Kingmaker

Trolls, Ettercaps and Owlbears, oh my!

What once was the hunter is now the hunted! My stalwart companions and I trekked forth into the foothills to the south of Gnarlgate where a band of trolls had taken up residence. We had fought through many with nary a scratch, but found ourselves at the entrance to what I could only surmise was the lair of the more powerful trolls.
Carefully, we entered the tunnel, and came across a fork in the road. Klois took the left tunnel, while Yuri took the right, their weapons glowing from Inari’s spell. From the darkness a bestial roar and two trolls emerged to pounce on Yuri! They beat the rogue into submission with gleeful hatred. Magnolia, seeming to have taken a fondness for our resident gambler and thief, charged forward to engage the trolls. Klois sensibly moved away and tried to put an arrow in one of the beasts to no avail. From out of the left tunnel, another beast emerged; this one a two headed monstrosity! After seeing my comrades swatted aside like so many flies, worry for Inari filled my being, and I moved forward to block the passageway from the foul beasts. She laid the two headed monster to rest, and cast new magics upon the trolls. It seems she learned a thing or two from our southern witch neighbor. Immersed in noxious fumes, the trolls retreated back from whence they came, and Klois and I were able to recover our fallen allies and make a tactical repositioning back to Gnarlgate Keep.
After many days travel and licking of our wounds, we return to the Keep to find it burning! From the beleaguered townsfolk we learn a monstrous owlbear had attacked the city and broken our palisade, and trampled our tavern as well. The militia attempted to stave off the creature, but lost many of their number in the process. After laying these brave souls to rest and grieving with the families, we once again pack up to track down the monster ravaging our lands.
Yuri was able to track the giant owlbear…not that a 10 foot swath of destroyed plants and trees was too terribly hard to follow. We arrived at a ridgeline after several hours ride, and found a large cave opening. Wanting to see if there was perhaps a rear way into the Owlbear’s lair, we rode along the ridgeline and found what we were looking for: a small opening on a ledge about 15 feet high. Klois took the lead this time, and scrambled up the cliff. Once he reached the top, it appears he was pulled in, and much scuffling about and clanking could be heard. Not wanting our friend to perish, we charged headlong toward the cliff and attempted the climb. Yuri and Magnolia made the scramble, but the weight of my armor and shield was too much for the slope to handle, and I slipped back down the embankment. Poor Inari is a great many things, but an accomplished athlete is not one of them, and she too slid back down. From later accounts, our three compatriots fought off several large spiders and two Ettercaps that were wrangling them. Ugh, giant spiders. Realizing they were in peril without Inari and I, the three made a hasty retreat with the help of gravity, and the Ettercaps and their minions returned to the dark.
We made our way back to the original cave opening, and found it full of moisture, fungi, and bugs. Klois made his way into the cave, and I flanked him, waiting for the Owlbear to appear before us. A terrible scream erupted from one of the man size mushrooms, and I quickly cut it down to size. Several other mushrooms sprouted tentacles and began to move toward us. We traded blows with the fungus for a few seconds, and narrowly avoided their deadly touch. A terrible roar came from the depths of the cavern as from Hell itself, and the fungus…smarter than they should be…retreated hastily down side tunnels. I raised my sword high and strode forward to meet the Owlbear as he emerged from the dark. With another challenging roar, the creature charged toward me. I stood fast to bear the brunt of his assault as I saw my compatriots began to circle him…when we were saved. Forgive me my Lady Sarenrae, but your divine guidance was not needed on this day, as the dark arts Inari studies struck the beast into an unnatural and sudden slumber. This was not a corrupt soul to be redeemed, but an enraged being in need of purification. We took the opportunity afforded to us, surrounded the sleeping beast and slaughtered it.
We searched the remainder of the cavern system and found a dead beastmaster and a pile of bones. A webbed corpse was in the vicinity as well. Cries from a nearby tunnel sounded much like the owlbear in mini, and we quickly made our way there. We came across the Ettercaps and spiders attacking a baby owlbear. Upon seeing us, the Ettercaps found a better place to be. I used all my charm and animal husbandry skills to sooth the baby, but to no avail While powerful, a friend of mankind the owlbears are not. Still, there was no need to kill the little one, and I know of merchants who will purchase said creatures for use where a simple guard dog just will not suffice. We found many items in and about the owlbear lair, including enchanted gloves that I took to aide my climbing and swimming, as well as a ring that should help me communicate my will to animals.
On the ride back to Gnarlgate Keep, I tried to calm the owlbear, and see if against all hope we could, if not tame him, at least make him safe to return to the wild once he was bigger and able to fend for himself. But to no avail, I was rewarded with my efforts by a particularly nasty beak bite that scored my gauntlet to the core. We fed the little beast until wandering merchants came by who were interested in purchasing him, and after haggling, we agreed upon the sum of 3000 gold. I shall keep this to replenish our supplies as our journeys continue. With a heavy heart, I put away my sword and take up the crown once again.

Comments

After slaughtering so many trolls, we went back to kill the final two. These two were fighting when we first entered the tower. I slept both of them at times, and they were easily slaughtered by my comrads.
Next came the tunnel. I despise being underground. And who charges us? More trolls, of course! This just adds to my hatred of these cold, damp, and dark places. Yuri takes the first beating and ends up in a position we have seen too often lately, knocked out, flat on the ground. That poor man has had his brain addled once too many, I am afraid. Much to our horror, the two trolls in the right tunnel are joined by a monstrous two headed troll in the left. Magnolia runs up to help Yuri, only to find herself unconscious. I sleep the two headed one, then the one furthest away. Klois showed off some acrobatics, only to find himself battered up a bit. He escaped back to safety. Things were going badly for our party, so I used a newly learned spell, stinking cloud. Am I glad I did. All three trolls up and leave, hacking and choking the entire time! Klois drags Magnolia out as Boreas gets Yuri. After they regain consciousness, Yuri mentions seeing a bare footprint in the sand of the tunnel. A mystery to solve another day.
It takes us many days to find our way back to our town. My heart sinks as I see smoke rising from our tavern. Buildings are damaged. People bombard us with news of an owlbear attacking town. It was wearing leather armor and seemed to go into some kind of berserker rage. Many guardians were killed. I see Boreas’ hands tighten into fists at the news of his men being slaughtered. It’s an easy decision, we find this beast and put an end to his rampaging.
The owlbear tracks were easy to follow, especially with the rogues’ keen eyesight. The tracks disappeared into a damp cave entrance. We circled around to find a small opening about 15 feet up a cliff. Klois, Yuri, and Magnolia easily made the climb. Boreas and are were not so lucky. His lead feet and my clumsy ones resulted in both of us falling. What a site. With the actions that followed, I think we two were actually the lucky ones. Ettercaps and spiders were awaiting our friends. Klois was poisoned, webbed, and dragged into the crevice. Klois got freed, ran to Magnolia and swept her off the ledge. Really? I was squashed once again. Images of the Staglord circled in my mind as my head cleared. Yuri threw some sort of explosive as he jumped down. We quickly decided that maybe the main entrance would be easier. Back to the front we went.
The cave opened up into a rather large sized room. The floor was covered in molds and fungi of all colors, shapes, and sizes. Toadstools grew everywhere, and the air was thick with moisture and an earthy smell. The floor moved with bugs. To the left and right were openings that appeared to go downwards. To the back lay a larger tunnel. Klois ventured in, only to be surprised by a fungus, one that was human sized, purple, with arms! To his side was another creature with tentacles. It didn’t look good for him. Boreas charged in to help. A shrieking emanated from the fungus, piercing the heavy air. Boreas was hit by one of the tentacles, easily dodging the other attempts. When all of a sudden, a howling filled the cavern. The plant like critters quickly run off as if scared. To the other side I notice others running off as well. This is an eerie feeling. The one we sought out entered from the back tunnel. The fight went easier than expected. I slept him, then the others hit him critically. It never had a chance! At one point I thought our fight would be lost. An ettercap crawled over the ceiling, a rock in his hand. Thank goodness he left, not waking our prey. We decided to enter where the owlbear came from, in the back.
This area was strewn with bones and refuse. There appeared to be a dead beastmaster as well as a webbed corpse. As we look around, we hear the cries of some creature being tortured. We follow up another tunnel to find the ettercaps harassing a baby owlbear. One sight of us and they quickly retreated. Boreas decides to take the owlbear for selling due to how much they are worth. We go back to where the dead are to find much loot! Boreas receives a ring of animal friendship, swimming and climbing gloves, and a potion of speak with animals. Magnolia got a magical MW sword and a jar of ointment of resistance. Yuri took a chain shirt, vial of antitoxin, and a smoke and thunder sticks. Klois received the two sticks as well as a tanglefoot bag. I looted a potion of speak with animals. Yuri was wearing a smirk, so who knows what else that sneaky rogue pocketed without our seeing. Finally, we can return home for some long needed rest.

paladin238

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