3rd of Sarenith, 4710
Oleg’s trading post is bursting at its seams. Humidity is high, insects are buzzing, and the plains are in bloom. Hunters, trappers, and woodsmen are coming in a lot more frequently; drawn by rumors of the Rostlandeers and the lack of bandits in the woods.
Oleg himself is warming up to … some of the bondsmen. Copper Red is no lone’s favorite, but Taylor the smith has Veckle pumping the bellows. Taylor is always busy. When he doesn’t know what to make, he makes nails.
The trading post is growing. The bondsmen are busy. They’ve built a paddock outside the wall for the horses, and a lean-to against the palisade. The next project is a new guesthouse.
Veckle is so proud of Kaylee‘s achievement that he sees to the mounting of Tuskgutter’s head himself. He puts it up on the right-side post of the trading post gate.
Over the next three days, it’s warm with only 1 day of rain. We meet most of the locals within 40 miles: some 3 dozen people in all. Most come to see Tuskgutter’s skull, but as many come to see us. Oleg is doing a brisk business. We stay in camp until the guard change on the 5th.
5th of Sarenith
It’s a warm day with a fair wind. We depart the trading post with a few huntsmen. We part ways at the edge of the Old Margreeve. We skirt its edge and enter the Camelands after lunch. As daylight fades we camp at the Thorn river ford.
It’s a nice night. Above us is a vista of stars with a waning gibbus moon. The wolves are howling in the west, but otherwise the evening passes without incident.
6th of Sarenith
The pre-dawn is filled with dew. It grows into a misty morning and another beautiful day (23 degrees H, 11 degrees L with light breezes). We enter the Old Margreeve and travel to the Thorn River ford. The spring run-off has died down and the fording is easy. Within no time we are back out on the cames.
We find the old road within a hour and by mid morning we spot the Erastilian statue. We take a break at the statue and pray, leaving behind an arrow from Tuskcutter’s hide.
We lunch in a cops of trees and ride through the afternoon to make it to the Stag lord’s keep before dark. The doors of the keep are loose on their hinges but there’s no sign of intruders. We start poking around and find a few subtle clues. Kaylee and Xene both notice old tracks and bootprints now smoothed out. A few still have a bit more definition; someone’s been here within the last week or so. The trap door is ajar, but after a few careful moments of poking around we don’t find anything.
We bring the horses in for the night.
Sister Xene and Tamarie Iluvatar stay int he tower while Kaylee and Sir Thierry Mareschal, Bt. ride out. When they ride out far enough off the trail the earth belches out undead! A desiccated body sits up, plants its hands and rises up. More hands reach out, trying to grab the illusion brought forth by Tamarie. Each undead has a single bloodied eye.
It takes time, but we destroy all 12 undead. Kaylee is injured in the fight, and receives ministrations from Sister Xene.
Later that night we rest in the keep. It is an (otherwise) uneventful night.
7th of Sarenith
We rise and pray for the souls of the no-longer restless dead.
We ride out into a beautiful day with mild winds. We explore more of the swamp in the forest, heading towards where we’ve heard a witch resides. We find a dry spot to camp and are serenaded by a murder of crows.
The night passes without incident.
8th of Sarenith
After a bit more exploring in the new day, we find a 2’ tall fense that runs for around 40’. It has no nails. Instead it uses vines to tie the pickets together. It is made of very rough wood. The fence posts are decorated with small fetishes.
The other side of the fense are large wicker works. We find a ramshackle hut int eh bow of a large, squat tree. The house is sized for a gnome, 20’ up in the tree.
Sir Thierry rings the bell at the gate.
An elderly green-skinned woman answers. She confuses Sir Thierry with his grand-sire, who died some 60 years ago. She invites us in. The ladder creaks unbelievably and bends under the weight of each of us, but somehow it holds up.
She locks the door with one key, then opens it with another and ushers us into her hut through the small main door. We sit around the table.