Introductions are made, but the gagged man has suffocated and is not telling any secrets.
The tower is a derelict looking thing having suffered much ravishment from time and the salt spray of the Nyr Dyv. Plaster bits flake off in the wind and small birds nests circle eaves of the coned peak. A broken sign, well worn from the elements lays by the door partially obscured by grasses; reads “Misquoi the Magnificent.”
After a few attempts they manage to rouse the wizard indoors, a dottering bespectacled man in reddish brown robes who seems a bit hard of hearing and talks out loud occasionally to some unseen entity. And the staff is exchanged for a bag full of rubies. Gunnar’s package delivery turns out to be a sandwich, which Misquoi eats in celebration of obtaining the staff of serpents. He ponders for a bit and offers the group a contract job to retrieve more items for hims. This time he is looking for a spellbook and orb from the ungovernable Crocport in northern Furyondy. The city has been reclaimed more than two years now from the forces of Iuz, the Old One, but there are many vile things left behind. Rumors abound of lawlessness, murders, and arrests in recent weeks.
Our adventurers accept, and take Gunnar with them for a full share of the rewards. They also poke around Walthain in the taverns, and the adventurers guild, and the temples for a fourth adventurer, with intent for a healer. They have spotty luck all around until they decide to purchase the skills of a cleric of Pelor, effectively sponsoring an individual in their mission to rid the world of some vile evils. They enlist the help of a young high-elven woman by the name of Vandia Silverfrond; blonde, graceful and fairly short, and also clad in the gold hued stole and half plate armor of Pelor’s church.
Three days out they are ambushed by a wagonload of bandits at the crossroad to Blackwell and are very nearly all slain. A phantasm of a Hill giant felled Vandia and Deux with a single blow and Gunnar is flanked by two with short swords while one stands on a wagon and carefully fires his crossbow repeatedly into the dwarf. Silaka breaks from the fight and begins to pick off the rogues with her bow and Nodelkir, her hound, is wounded in the fight. Silaka triumphs with a single brigand running for his life, and she stabilizes Deux, Vandia, and Gunnar seconds before their approaching deaths. Revived and healed they cautiously move onward.
They reach Libernen on the 5th day and then Littleberg 5 days following that. There they take a break for a day and recouperate, visit the tavern, visit Silaka’s half-elven mother and the family farm, and poke about before heading on. Locals comment on the exceptionally dry spell they’ve been having. Good that it ended the blight, but the crops could use rain as they approach midsummer. Deux learns of troublesome kobold activity on the west fork trail and is adamant about pursuing and slaying any kobolds she can find. Vandia agrees that to rid the area of the foul threat would be a boon to Littleberg and help to free the trail.
Three days into the trail they find kobold track hardened into the dry mud of the road in the marshy wood are ambushed by kobolds as they venture off of the path. There are at least a dozen and a half kobolds with spears that land a few significant blows before being scattered. Silaka loses them, but after a lengthy walk about the area the kobold trail through the knee high grasses is discovered. Deux immediately sets fire to the dry grass thinking to catch the kobolds in the blaze, but the wind turns southerly and the fires are fanned back towards Littleberg. Deux sends her owl familiar back towards Littleberg to warn the village. Silaka goes back to get the horses out of harms way should the flames reach the wood, but she is attacked by three parched looking bullywugs. The horses bolt and the cart is lost, though the bullywugs are quickly laid down.
Back in the grasses Deux, Gunnar, and Vandia have found a hole by some small boulders that is being defended by several vicious kobolds. A strike of lightning from the dark opening nearly finishes off Deux. The kobolds have a sorcerer, and several elite kobold guards press back at Gunnar and Vandia while it summons a fiendish hawk. Silaka returns to the group and brings down the fiend with a well placed shot. The battle is an obvious stalemate unless one side or the other develops a strategy, and they settle for pushing one of the boulders into the whole and Silaka makes a marathon run for Littleberg.
The fire is eventually put out.