Day 4-13; Short Version
-Met Brevoy solders at post, gave us new charter “Deal with Bandit king Staglord”
-met wandering priest of Erastil, want us to find a lost temple, warns of “Big Bear”
-Gave Svetlana the moon radishes, stew had by all
- Interrogated bandits, wedding ring stolen by mites, and learned of Bandit leaders
-went looking for kobolds, found haunted bridge ruins, demanded staglord’s corpse.
-found Netpik, and entered Kobold Cave, Mite cage kicking ensued.
-Joined Kobold war effort to kill mites, and return kobold god statue.
-while resting jumped by Tatzlwyrm, we took it alive for big money.
-Entered into Mites giant tree dungeon and gained no respect for the goofy basterds.
-Party Cuts their way to the mite war room, and get raped by a giant tick.
-after near death experience, party says nuts to jumping down dark hole, toss in torch.
-Giant centipede makes us soil ourselves, but through dumb luck doesn’t kill anyone.
-loot lair for all its worth, and learn that tree goo has medicinal purposes
-Save Kobold POW Tiktik, and return to Sootscale, chieftain smashes their god, revolts.
-learn Netpik has been sacrificed by shaman, and that shaman was a jerk in general.
-we form a evil shaman killing committee, and kill an evil shaman.
-Earned Kobolds favor, and found wedding ring, return to trading post by day 13
Upon the travelers’ return to the trading post, they found new allies in their struggle to bring order to the land. The first was a band of solders loyal to the lords of Brevoy, led by the warrior Keston Garrus. He and his stalwart band had taken up residence in the trading post, in part to see to it’s survival, and in part to help cement the victories already won against the bandits hordes. He is also seeking a cowardly deserter and thief by the name of Falgrim Sneeg, last spied fleeing into the Greenbelt. The second new ally was the wandering priest of Erastil, seeking a lost temple in the wilderness. Though it’s location is unknown, he confides in visions of a mighty and savage bear guarding over the defiled ruins.
Within the walls of the outpost, Oleg and Svetlana are overjoyed to learn that the badits who had reduced them to living in fear for the past months had been routed and reduced to a single half-dead man fleeing into the wilderness. As the bandit slayers rested and resupplied that night, they all sampled some of Svetlana’s delicious moon radish stew. After supper, Phaedral took aside the surviving bandits, and began her interrogation. There was still much about the bandits in the region that needed be learned before the land could be declared safe.
While these bit players in the bandit hierarchy could tell little of the infamous Staglord, they did have some knowledge of minor bandit leaders in the region who serve under him. First was Akerros Ismart, and fallen champion of the gods of light. According to rumor, he he was engaged in an affair, and when his lover spurned his advances, he slew her, and fled into the wilderness. Next is Ox, seemingly a massive man, known for his great strength. And last is Dovan, only known for being from Nisrack. The bandit captives also divulged the location of a bandit stronghold, within the remains of an old fort built near the shores of the Tuskwater, a lake to the south. With the interrogation at an end, the bandits were turned over to Keston and his men, to be strung up, and receive their just end.
The following morning, the band of heroes decided to meet with the Sootscale kobolds, in hopes of reaching a peaceful end to their recent hostilities. Ridding out after learning of the rough location of the old mine from Oleg, the travelers set off into the hills to the south. Upon coming to a river in the south, the travelers found the ruins of an old burned out bridge. Across the span of the river was a stout rope, with a bell hanging at each side. Nearby, an old worn out sign read “Nettles Crossing”, with a price for passage across the river.
Allowing his curiosity to guide his hands Alezandru struck the bell upon his side of the river. As the rusted bell let out its dull call, a figure rose from the waters across the river, and stepping upon the water as if it were solid ground approached the party. The obviously dead and water-ruined figure of a man made it half way before stopping and demanding in a gurgling voice the body of the Staglord. With hasty words of apology and dread, the travelers offered to bring the restless entity what he wished, and beat a hasty retreat from the river, rightfully wary of angering vengeful spirits. For the time being the truth of Nettles Crossing will remain a mystery.
Leaving the haunted ruins of the bridge, and following the river, the band of explorers soon found Nekpik, emerging from the waters with a juicy fish caught in his mouth. Upon seeing the travelers he met in the moon radish grove, he greeted them warmly, and inquired if they had brought the offering they promised for the chieftain. Upon the confirmation of the music box, he at once led them to his tribes home, the old Oaktop silver mine. while at first the guards challenged the presence of “tall pink-skins”, Nekpik soon persuaded them that the chief would want to see the tall folk.
Within the entrance to the kobold warren, the travelers found another piece to the puzzle that was the greenbelt. The kobolds had a captive mite in a cage, hissing at all who approached. When questioned regarding this, Nekpik grows angry at the mite, and delivers a swift kick to the cage, declaring “Stupid mites!”. He explains that the mites have been raiding their caves recently, and have once again, stolen the kobold god, Sharptooth. This being the third time that particular crime has committed seems to be a sore point for the kobolds. It soon became clear that the travelers had stumble upon some sort of tribal war between the mites and the kobolds. Nekpik even had a brother TikTik, who has been sent with the rest of the tribes warriors, who had not returned.
As the Travelers were ushered into the chieftains chamber, trouble was narrowly averted, as Nekpik had fallen behind due to debate he was having with another of his tribe. Upon seeing pink skins entering his chamber the chief almost gave the order to attack before it was explained Nekpik brought them here to talk and give tribute to the chief. Upon hearing the heroes hopes for peace between their two peoples, the chief asked if they would retrieve their god Sharptooth from the mites, thus leaving no reason for the tribe to cause trouble in the region.
Upon agreeing, the newly appointed champions of the Sootscales were brought before the shaman Tartook, a vibrant purple kobold, definitely standing out from his black scaled kin. After confirming the chieftain’s claim that the travelers were there to help, he demanded the return of the statue, and informed them that Nekpik would wish them luck, seemingly to Nekpik’s displeasure. Figuring that it was some form of cultural issue, and that Nekpik just feared some slight punishment for acting without requesting permission, the travelers ventured forth, unable to guess at the true fate awaiting their new kobold friend.
Riding forth from the warrens of their new allies, the kobold crusaders set about scouring the hillsides for the lair of filching fey. They needn’t have bothered, for their new found foes laired within a mighty tree, over a hundred feet tall, and the path to its base was littered with the signs of the hostilities, mite and kobold bodies left to rot where they fell. They couldn’t have missed it if they tried. Before attacking their blue skinned foes, they made camp to prepare for the coming hostilities.
As Kolnirr stood vigil in the night, he found himself assailed from the shadow, sharp fangs digging into his flesh, and holding him tight. With a burst of frenzied strength, he broke free and looked upon his attacker, alerting his slumbering allies to the threat. It was a dreaded Tatzlwyrm, all mighty coils, claws and fangs gasping with a foul miasma. But as fierce and deadly a predator the beast was, it could not stand against the fully roused might of the heroes of Greenbelt. In short order, the wyrm was subdued, and prepared for Oleg, who in passing had mentioned his wish to have it’s head mounted on his wall. With there unexpected prize secured, they prepared to descend into the lair of the mites, not knowing the terrors that awaited them.
As they descended the dark tunnel, lit by the torch carried in Alezandru’s free hand, the first sight they saw left them baffled. A trio of mites atop a group of table, with two engaged in a bizarre game of “Catch & Swallow the caltrop”, while the third watched the affair. Such was the explores bewilderment that they completely surrendered any advantage of surprise. Not that such an advantage was needed, with the foul fey falling in short order.
The next chamber held more surprises, but of a disturbing sort. Centipedes, the size of a man, all coiled around a bowl filled with a chunky red slop, being poured by a mite attendant. Surrounding them were half a dozen nests filled with what could only be eggs, and in thick streams around the room ran a viscus, foul smelling goo, leaking from the walls. As the mite tried to end the Centipedes’ feeding frenzy, the dungeon delvers formed ranks and prepared for the onrush of bug furry. With lightning fast spear work, Kolnirr held them back and gave grievous wounds, and soon, all lay crushed before them, though the handler had fled in the confusion of combat.
Following the trail of the fleeing mite led to a vast chamber deep within the tree, filled with all sort of refuse and garbage, bookshelves filled with worthless trinkets, and soiled bed sheets forming crude hammocks. This was obviously the main lair and resting place of the trees inhabitants, confirmed by the half dozen mites entertaining themselves in the in the center of the cavern. Once more battle was waged, with bow and blade reaping a grim harvest in mite lives. A quick search showed the room was as bereft of value as it first appeared, and so the mite slayers journeyed deeper into the tunnels
Here they saw a most curious sight indeed. Four mites standing atop a table, with objects and trash scattered across it, pointing bickering before their attention was drawn to the intruders in their midst. Beside the loudest and ugliest of the mites rested a sickeningly large creature, atop six spindly legs, and a squat ugly head with cruel hooked jaws. Immediately the Mites leader jumped upon the giant tick, and ordered the his followers to attack, charging the dire bloodsucker into the fray
First to fall to the titanic tick was Phaedral, left drained and senseless upon the floor of the mites war room. With a slap to the beast’s back, the mites’ minute marshal turned it to new targets. Next it latched onto Alezandru, and in short order felled him as well. Seemingly insatiable, the beasts fangs struck Kolnirr. By this point, the mite commander and his retinue had been felled, but the creature still fought on, covered in arrows, cuts, and burns from arcane blasts. As the comatose cavalier fell from it’s jaws, the remaining heroes combined their efforts and with bow and spell, finally slew the beast.
In the ruins of the mite war room, the victorious traveler’s gathered their broken and battered allies, and tended to their wounds. Atop the crude map of the surrounding region, sat a wicked and fiendish looking statue, the kobold god, Sharptooth. But amongst the rest of the trash and treasure hoarded by the strange creatures, there was no sign of the Svetlana’s ring, supposedly stolen from the bandits by mites. Among the remains was a crude tablet, with opposing columns, seemingly a tally of gains and losses from this miniature war, but its exact nature remained a mystery until its language could be translated.
On the far end of the chamber lay a large chasm, with signs of more tunnels across the way. Testing the hole, a torch was tossed into the abyss, and before its flickering light died out, a large chitinous shell was momentarily revealed. Bringing more light to bare revealed one last threat in those dread cave, a mammoth vermin swarming up the wall, all legs, snapping pincers, and whipping tails. While brave and true, so soon after their last bug-fueled near defeat, the mite slayers chose to employ a strategic withdraw to lure the mighty centipede into a position where all their assets could be brought to bear. This strategy served them well, as those able to block and deflect its deadly strikes held it back, the rest could let loose with all they had left. Against all odds, the beast was kept at bay, and was unable to land a single strike, which would have surely rent a man in two. With a keening wail the hundred legged horror succumbed to its wounds, and stirred no more.
Across the chasm, the remaining mites of the colony were felled with a barrage of darts, bolts and arrows, the foul cretins too absorbed with their torture of a lone surviving kobold. This prisoner of war was TikTik, brother of Netpik. His gratitude for his freedom was as great as his surprise that pink skins were the ones to do it. And upon seeing the god statue in the possession of his rescuers filled him with relief and determination to see it returned to his tribe. As the travelers prepared to depart this hole of despair, they learned what seemed to be its only virtue, that the foul smelling goo within the centipede nursery was in fact quite fulfilling and sustaining when eaten. What may come of this discovery remains to be seen.
Across the hills the champions of the Sootscale tribe rode, back to the Oaktop silver mine. In keeping with their hosts customs, and in part repaying the pains suffered within that dread dungeon, a kick was delivered by each to the caged mite by the entrance. Upon greeting the chieftain, and returning the idol, the chief declared their freedom from the usurper and smashed the Sharptooth. Within moment it became clear that the shaman Tartook had been abusing his position in the tribe, with constant sacrifices, cruelty, and threats of curses upon those who did not obey. Upon learning that Nekpik, the kobold who had befriended the travelers at the radish patch, had been sacrificed upon their departure, drove the party to join with the chieftain to see the evil shaman brought to justice for his sins.
They found Tartook cowering in his chambers, still demanding obedience and acting for all purposes as if he still ruled the warrens around him. As his end rushed to meet him, his magic failed him, and the killing strike was delivered by chieftain Sootscale, crushing the purple kobolds skull with his war club. Within his trove of war prizes and treasure brought to him by the subservient tribe, was a journal written in the tongue of the deep, and the elusive wedding band, taken as pillage from the mites caves in a kobold raid, and hoarded by the shaman. Upon Ridstrum’s translation of the journal, Tartook’s true depravity became known to all.
He had once been a wicked and foul gnome illusionist, who upon finding his home threatened by ogres, sought to betray all he should have held dear for coin and his own worthless skin. Of course the brutish ogre dispatched him, but to the gnome community, it looked as if he had valiantly set off alone to face the giant menace. In reward for his seemingly heroic end, he was given life anew through a ritual of reincarnation. But it seemed that gods of gnomes can not be fooled, gave his new life’s form a fitting shape. He awoke as a kobold with scale of purple, just as his hair had once been. Now an outcast for this obvious sign of divine disfavor, he set out into the world, to take out his wrath and petty vengeance upon the kobolds of the land Posing as a shaman, he would use his illusions to fool tribes into accepting them, and create complex lies of a fatal curse that needed to be appeased with the blood of the faithful. In this manor he had already destroyed two tribes, and the Sootscale were to have been the third.
With kobold peace attained, the travelers set off with rescued wedding band and bound Tatzlwyrm in hand, returning to Oleg’s outpost to gather supplies, and plan their next move in the retaking of these Stolen Lands.