After the mysterious disappearance of Duncan from the Gator’s Gullet Inn in the early morning, the party decided to continue on their mission to deliver the package to Prince Morcant‘s estate – Mooncrest Lodge – a day and a half’s ride Southwest of Galethspyre. Although the weather started out fair, it was soon miserably cold and raining. The road dwindled to little more than a little-used cart trail outside of Galethspyre and the party began to get the feeling they were being watched. They could not spot the danger, however, until it was directly upon them in the form of 3 hyena-like gnolls. In his new armour, Oskar set upon two of them with little problem, completely beheading one, with Kithry and Tamsin contributing some arrow-shots from behind the cover of the terrain’s scattered boulders. Kithry’s attempt to sneak up on the third, unsuccessfully, and paid with a grevious wound. He had his revenge though, in the form of a well-placed dagger stab to the throat. Fortunately, our heroes prevailed in the end, with a few light wounds to deal with.
The party chose, with the echoing howls of more gnolls in the distance, to continue down the path along the rocky escarpment, where the trail passed a waterfall. With his darkvision, Oskar could see the corpse of a dead stag in the water, and, (with an exceptional spot check), the hulking moss-covered figure of a snoozing ogre. It didn’t stay snoozing for long, however, and was soon charging across the pond at the foot of the waterfall towards our party. The 9 foot tall, 600 lb ogre provided a sizeable challenge, but the party was up to it, especially with Oskar’s new armour providing the protection needed to go toe to toe with an ogre. It was, however, Kithry’s use of alchemist’s fire which provided the killing blow which fell the ogre, and a search for the ogre’s lair revealed a waterfall-hidden cave filled with the bones of unlucky passersby and several treasures of interest – including a (heavy) mace of disruption, a chainmail shirt, and 28 gp. The party set camp that late evening in the cave and slept undisturbed until late morning.
It took another day’s walking to reach the Mooncrest Estate, and the team split up to search for Prince Morcant. Kithry and Oskar headed towards the sound of barking hounds, while Tamsin made her way toward the main estate house. Kithry and Oskar were met by the Prince’s man Morrison in the dark recesses of the kennel building, where several hounds had fallen sick of late, while Tamsin found and conversed with the Prince’s manservant Orwell.
It wasn’t long before the reunited party was granted audience with the prince and toasted on their mission’s success by the prince himself (who, Kithry noted, did not partake of the wine they were served). Prince Morcant paid the party their reward, hinted at further opportunities for employment, and invited the trio to join him on a boar hunt in the morning – an offer which was accepted. Kithry took opportunity in the late evening to scout out to the servant’s quarters, where he overheard talk of a “Second Sun” (or was it Second Son?) between a groomsman (Jacob Eomer) and house attendant (Benjamin Marteens), and talk of someone called Arturo being responsible for the estate’s trouble of late. He stopped by the kennels once more to apply some healing potion to one of the sick hounds, who appeared to get better with this expensive intervention.
The hunt the next day was a success, with Kithry and Oskar felling a boar who was tougher than his small stature would suggest – much like the bravery of Kithry, who decided the best approach was to put the boar in a headlock … which he succeeded in doing!
At the celebratory party back at Mooncrest Lodge, the Prince revealed the nature of his next mission for them: to apprehend the halfling known as the Fist, to find out who his employer was in the theft and ransoming of the prince’s package and how the package was stolen, and finally to kill the Fist. In return for their success, the Prince promised a pardon for their sins at the lightning rail station and a rich reward. Not to be denied, the prince revealed that the party would also, as reward, receive antidote to the slow-acting poison they had consumed in their wine the day previous. He assured them they had at least a month to complete their mission, but this was little consolation to Oskar, who flew into a rage and charged the prince (successfully), leading everyone in the room, including the DM, to wonder what would happen next …