This was after a month off for the holidays and we had 2 missing at the table with our revised head count (have had 1 gone now for 4+ months and truthfully, expecting him back anyday soon we hope). So there was chit and chat at first, followed up with not a strict gameplay to follow where side convos and non sequitors followed for some time.
But we did get some ball rolling as the night went on and the party now running the "B" team has a better idea of the scope of this adventure and where they have to go and hunt down the 2nd Warren. The biggest issue is the 11 miles of crawling wilderness between Base Camp and Warren 2 of which this team will have to hoof it and they are not geared towards wilderness adventures.
Either way, they kick off the rails next meeting and head out the door to adventure.
Write up follows:
The group awoke on the 17th of Firemonth and awaited for the Randari Rangers to return to let the party and the Harvesters know where on Furtham’s Peak the next batch of Firvin’s Cap mushrooms was to be picked and returned. This was the 4th day since the 1st K’Morat Warren had been routed and so far, there had been no sign of the kobolds – both a blessing and a troubling event.
By 8:30 the group had been given directions and we followed the Ranger’s directions up the peak to the 5,000 foot mark where Hornes and Spunifer met us, let us know that once again there was no K’Morat sign for them, and then returned to Base Camp while the party guarded the Harvesters on their job. Four Caps were cut down, stored away and sealed, and even though Dizzy and Sybil did walk a double width picket around the harvesting site and made sure to cross each others path repeatedly – again, no kobold sign.
We arrived back at camp by 1:30, discharged our duties, and then had a choice of heading back out to the wylde to hopefully get lucky, or perhaps see if the Reeve had something else for us to do. The group was feeling a bit useless and superfluous at this point. Donna Duncarian, the House Illytch rep and Reeve for the Base Camp, understood our concern and plight and although she had nothing direct for us, the camp’s kennel master, a half-orc named Black Drangis, was looking for some help and if we were interested, could speak with him about some aid to the Camp.
We went to the kennels where a dark-skinned beast of a half-orc, almost 7’ tall and 300 lbs., was more than willing to talk with the party. Black Drangis had 4 wolf-hounds here at camp, and he needed to have 2 of the bitches bred as they were in heat again. The wolves that had been seen out in the wylde were perfect candidates and he wanted help constructing and laying down a pit and wolf trap for the beasts. The party said nothing to Black Drangis about the strong possibility that the wolves were most likely Dunatis the orcish druid and/or member of his circle/cabal.
Instead they went with the talkative kennel master about ¾ of a mile south of the Base Camp and helped him dig out a 5x5x5 pit, lined with a net and set up with two snares along an area that had shown wolf passage in the recent history. We returned to Base Camp by 6:15, shared a meal with Black Drangis at the Mess hall and he offered his aid to us at least one day should the need arise in the future.
At 8:30 the group turned in, knowing that we would be getting up 6:30 on the morrow and hopefully assault the mountain once more for mushrooms and hopefully find some sign of K’Morat somewhere. It was 6ish the next morning when the camp was awoken to the returning Randari Rangers. It seems that they were ambushed not a half mile from the Base Camp by at least 40 K’Morat warriors and the orcish contingent was ill-prepared for the assault.
We agreed to go back to the attack site with Hornes and the rest of the rangers as well as a 4 count of giant killers from the Camp and a few others. Meanwhile the story made its way around and the party listened raptly. The Rangers were assaulted by well-hidden kobolds on both sides and although every ranger had been wounded, 4 of them were in serious condition, one was unconscious from wounds and blood loss, and one was unaccounted for. It was only Spunifer transforming into a bear and Hornes making the call to reverse direction and retreat immediately that saved the Rangers from an even worse position. The feeling is that at least 4 or five of the kobolds had been taken down or were mortally wounded at least by the time the Rangers retreated.
There were at least two differing tribes of kobolds; one was wearing a chalky substance on the hands and face and wore shifts made of fur and skins, the others had jerkins made of moulded leather and brigandine style armor and relied on their natural coloring. There was plenty of signs of battle but the bodies were gone – half-orcish and kobold. And after 2/300 feet or so, there was an effort to sweep the place clean of tracks. Even so we were able to tell that the mass of 40 kobolds did head north. We went back to Base Camp and arranged with Blank Drangis to come with us and bring his dogs. Healing was dispensed and the Bailiff made some noise about giving the Ranger’s the rest of the day off as well as no work tomorrow. There was mutterings about Bailiff Youngston’s decree but the consensus was to let it lie for now.
The mass of us: 11 Rangers, 5 party members, 4 giantkillers, the kennel master and his 4 wolfhounds all went out and after working the area a bit, we followed tracks north to the valley beyond Furtham’s Peak and then the hounds took us east towards the Enderlyn River. According to Spunifer who spoke with the hounds, the trail here was older by a day and the thought was it was half the kobold tribe crossing here the day before and then setting up the ambush.
We backtracked to the valley and then followed the rough valley and scrublands between the ranges north, not actually finding the K’Morat, but feeling like this was the corridor at least half the assaulters had taken on coming here. Throughout the walk, Spunifer was concentrating on Black Squirrels, constantly locating them and using their presence as a guide on whether we passed a Warren being they were common. Although the numbers did fluctuate up and down, there were no wild swings so there was no warren along our walking path.
On the way back we all discussed the maps and what we knew. Two tribes and one of them was more militant the other more barbaric. The barbaric tribe was most likely on this side of the river since they were seen wearing chalk on their face and hands. Chalk deposits were suspected to come from further upriver and we assumed that was as good of a place to look. 2 days upriver? 3? We hoped that Hornes would lend us a Ranger or two to help us get to a point on the map then they could return while the party scoped out the area for a Warren.
It was late in the day when we returned. The party went to the cook, Ruhilde, getting the ok that he’d get us some rations to take into the field tomorrow. The thought was to get up early, eat well, and be out and on the way by 8. The Rangers would give the Bailiff some song and dance about 4 days needed for mourning their companion but the group had already heard the Bailiff say one day would be given off. No one wanted to step in the middle of that mess.
Early the next morning, Firemonth the 19th, there was the call of “fire” from the wall guards and there was a bonfire roughly 400 yards from the Base Camp south of the tree line. The Rangers went to investigate, the party and other members of the Camp coming as well. It was obvious the K’Morat had lit this and had done so some time earlier. There were feces and steps everywhere; but on a flat stone near the fire were the busted bones scrapped of marrow remains of the missing Half-Orc Ranger taken yesterday morning.
Hornes lost his shit, and the other Rangers were joining him; keening and chanting a dirge to their fallen companion. Spunifer was looking around carefully along with the group; giving the Rangers a wide berth as we had looked on them as comical on some occasions, but were now actually frightening in their fury. There were about half the number of kobold tracks here, leading us to believe it was one tribe now making this display. And besides the tracks which did fade but went north again into the valley area we also found definitive piles of Shellback Hickory nuts which do not grow anywhere near Base Camp.
There was some talk that Shellback nuts could be found much further upriver near Grandfather Mountain and the source of the Enderlyn River (3 days or so from here), which tied in with the idea we had of the Warren being upriver from here. We arrived back at Base Camp and Hornes and the Bailiff got into a public screaming match with one another before the Bailiff had us join him back at the Rep House.
Once there we learned that the Bailiff wanted us to find these kobolds and put the problem to bed. He was a bit derogatory about the half-orcs and even though they were important to the Base Camp, he was more focused on profits and income – the Randari were employees. We also made the mistake of saying we were going to take a Randari or two which had him flat out tell us no. Eventually he settled on us taking one, leaving Hornes with 11 to his retinue. Everyone in camp is on edge. However, the caravan arrived and the party went over all the gear the other party members had requested, taking most of it for ourselves and asking Donna to order another batch to replace what we were taking for now.