Previously, our heroes repelled an attack by giants and trow on their base camp. Their confidence bolstered by this victory, they now set out to secure their camp and scout their surroundings.
Read the first part of this campaign log here.
Despite the nighttime attack by the giants and their minions, our heroes proceed with the day as planned: Sykka, Halred, and Wenning go hunting; Whan and Aran set out to replenish water supplies; Ena stays at the camp; and Lorin and Wisse teleport to the watchtower in the forest (in hex 11, see this entry for a map) to scout it.
Lorin and Wisse teleport close to the watchtower and approach it carefully to avoid curious eyes. It turns out the watchtower protrudes from the roof of a longhouse, which is in turn situated on a mound. The mound is enclosed by a palisade. Wisse uses the Blink spell (see Core Rulebook, page 144) to teleport past the enclosure. He climbs the watchtower to get a better view. From this vantage point, he sees several things:
- the bridge in the pass east of our heroes’ base camp (in hex 12; see map here) is guarded by a walled village;
- the mountain flank northeast of the base camp (in hex 9; see map here) is honeycombed with tunnels; and
- the village of Faire Ghealach (in hex 8; see map here) is inhabited. It is situated on a lake, composed mainly of crannogs with some houses on the shore as well.
When he’s finished surveying the area, Wisse climbs down to scout the longhouse. He spots a single man inside and--joined by Lorin--decides to knock on the door. The man asks their names and where they are from. Ultimately reassured by their promise they come in peace and to trade, he opens the door to speak with them.
The man introduces himself as Siois Urloch. He hails from the village of Faire Ghealach and is a brother of its chieftain, Cowyn Urloch. The village of Faire Ghealach, north of here, maintains this outpost as a hunting camp and to guard the western approaches and the bay. Siois is stationed here as a guard. He tells Lorin and Wisse that if they plan to go north to the village they should be careful: his brother Cowyn demands tribute from anyone who uses the services of the village or who wishes to enter its territory. Lorin and Wisse (who does not speak the man’s language, Ard’Teanga) try to interview him about the area, but he first demands to know their business. Somewhat reluctantly, Lorin tells him they came here to hunt Jotte, the dragon. This surprises Siois, and he does not seem particularly happy to learn that they do so by commission of King Bern Rodriksonn of Oesrike. He also finds it hard to believe that these two men, an alp and a cripple, think they can take down a dragon. Lorin tells him there are more of them.
Siois is now a bit more trusting. He asks our heroes what kind of trade they should like to make. Lorin and Wisse purchase a large quantity of dried meat for 1 Silvermark. The trade concluded, Siois offers to tell them a bit more about the island. He tells them that the area to the south (where they have landed) are the hunting grounds of trow and giants that serve the dragon Jotte. The men of Faire Ghealach do not go there, and in return Jotte and her trow and giants leave Faire Ghealach alone. When Lorin presses Siois, Siois explains this is also because the people of Faire Ghealach pay tribute to Jotte: food and other supplies. Siois also explains that the caverns that Wisse saw to the east (in hex 9; see map here) were long ago inhabited by the ulder. This was before they learned to farm the land and build villages. Since the ulder left, bears, cougars, and other dangerous wildlife have moved in. Siois recommends they stay away from the caves.
Siois also explains that there are several more threats in these parts. Foremost among them is Farhast the Bastardspawn. Farhast is a bastard wyrm, a spawn of Jotte, who has set up in the Dragonwoods (hexes 4 and 5; see map here) and seeks to usurp Jotte’s realm. To that end, Farhast is busy raising an army to rival Jotte’s. He is trying to enlist or enslave one of the few independent giants of Arrverden, Huga the giantess, who lives somewhere along the eastern cliffs (hexes 2, 3, or 31; see map here). He also courts the trow that live in the Red Woods (hex 1; see map here) and in Adhmadbaile (in hex 2; see map here), the ruins of a village the men of Faire Ghealach sacked years ago.
As for Jotte, Siois knows the dragon has every pass through the mountains guarded. As he said earlier, an entire walled settlement of giants and trow guards the bridge into Coaferlain’s Pass, close to where our heroes have set up camp. The Pass of Blades (hexes 13 and 14; see map here) is probably also guarded. Moreover, it is a cursed place: it was the scene of a great battle a decade ago between the men of Faire Ghealach and Jotte’s giants. In that battle, the dragon subjugated the villagers. Many men died there, and their spirits still roam the mountain pass. It is said they feed on the blood of the living and seek ever to entrap them. Siois advises to stay away from that pass.
The northern pass (hex 34; see map here) is guarded as well. Also, the route to that pass leads straight through Farhast’s territory, which makes it even more perilous. Finally, Siois also warns for the route that leads from Faire Ghealach to the northern beaches (hex 7; see map here). That was the site of a great battle between the men of Faire Ghealach and Adhmadbaile. Siois’s people won that battle, and the warrior-queen of Adhmadbaile was entombed there after she fell. She lives on in undeath as a malicious wraith, ever preying on her ancient enemies and anyone foolish enough to venture close to her barrow.
When he’s done talking, Siois asks our heroes where they are camped. Reasoning Siois could spot their base camp from the watchtower anyway, Lorin tell Siois they put up camp on the beach to the south. When Lorin tells Siois that they have slain the Fandenwyrm that dwells there, Siois is impressed. In gratitude for ridding the area of a serious threat, he gives them another Silvermark’s worth of food for free.
Their business concluded, Lorin and Wisse part with Siois as friends and teleport back to the base camp.