And so we start buying goods, organizing equipment stored with Oleg, and breeding the horses. In seemingly no time, Somanal is pregnant, but Sleipnir is not.
While planning the trip local trappers come into Oleg’s trading post; trappers are becoing more numerous. A group of prospectors come in to survey the local area for the Aldori Swordlords. Another group comes to survey the land for logging.
When the group sets out, the trees are in bud. There are a lot of new streams from the winter melt. Eventually, after fording the area, we come across the old settlement ruins, and make our way along the ancient boulevard to the temple of the elk.
There are three deer drinking at the pool and a fox sitting by Elder Jhod. We greet each other. Akiros declines Erastil’s blessing. All but Kaylee go back inside for a tour. As Kaylee tends to the horses, she sees a deer return to drink along with a wild cat.
Back at Oleg’s, Tamarie sees an incoming traveler with a familiar face. Saphal arrives for a visit, bringing several fowling cages with him. He was a part of the Varling host. It would seem that the fall of the Bandit lord is all the talk at Fort Serenko. The Varling host has begin surveying for a new settlement. He offers Tamarie a gift of several eggs which will hatch into carrier pigeons. Once they imprint on Restov, he’ll trade a few for those who hatch and imprint on Vanhold. They spend some time talking shop.
When Xene and Kaylee return, Sleipnir spends some time with Caliber and becomes pregnant.
23rd of Desnus, 4710
The young master returns. Xene has a quiet evening with Kesten.
24th of Desnus
The Rostlandeers ride out.
It’s a beautiful day. The ground is wet, but everything is in bloom. The old Margreeve is slowly filling out its canopy.
Come nightfall, we set up our tents, feed the horses with the wondrous box of plenty. The sky is a spray of brightly lit stars.
25th of Desnus
In the morning, after prayers, breakfast, and breaking camp — we spy a large form. It rears up on its hind legs to observe us. It seems curious. We approach slowly. It’s a sizable grizzly bear, foraging for spawning salmon in the pools and newly formed rivers. The bear follows us on the other side of the river for a mile and half.
We pass a small group of male elk and collect fish for dinner.
In the evening, after camping, we hear wolves howling in the near distance. No doubt they are gorging themselves on salmon, just like the rest of us.
26th of Desnus
It rains in the morning. Clearing and cooling throughout the day.
We ride back north to the multi-river ford. The salmon are still running so we easily collect a few for lunch.
Later, in the twilight, we make camp. The horses get nervous. Kaylee watches the horses and learns that whatever is scaring them is coming from the river. Furtive shapes move behind a came. A group of soot-scale Kobolds come up yelling for a truce.
Tamarie and the young master g out to treat with them. Two come down from the came while a further 3 stay up top. Once they’re sure that we are the humanoids that they’ve met before, they all come down to talk. They want to trade that have fish and silver.
It is otherwise an uneventful night.
27th of Desna
After prayers, we break camp early and eat quickly.
We travel to the edge of the forest by mid morning and scout a cops of trees and find bushes of blood red berries. As we move into the thicket, Xene learns they are infested with chew spiders. Calling upon Erastil’s prayers she asks for the assistance of the insects, and the infestation disappears. She is gathers 8 doses of fang berries. Boccan will be pleased.
We enter the forest (after politely praying and asking permission to enter). The trees are straight and tall, probably new growth filling a clear-cut area. Amid the trees we find an old path. A way marker is embedded in a tree pulled out of the ground. The exposed side is uncut.
We find old foundations, but cannot tell what type of building it use to be. We hear an animal and follow its noises to a clearing. A pit trap is full. Inside is a Phylozine. As Kaylee bends over to look, she falls in to the pit. The young master jumps in immediately following her, and they fight and kill the Phylozine together.
Using the horses, they haul the beast out and leave it for the wolves. We camp among the ruins. The night is cool but comfortable. On the eve, after sunset, the howling starts. It dies down around midnight.
29th of Desnus
We awake to a light drizzle that trickles down through the canopy. Near the Stag Lord’s keep we hear incomprehensible voices, similar to silvan. We approach to find a small wagon mired in the middle of the river. The ponies are floundering. There are two wagons on the far bank, along with slightly less than a dozen gnomes.