Our heroes have been scouring the woods for the orc reavers who raided the abbey of Northport and made off with three sacred rings. After coming to a fork in the road, the party chose the left-hand path and began traversing northward.
Soon they came upon an old oak (1) next to the path. A welter of tracks surrounded the oak.
"Perhaps they hid a ring in the oak." Khamen suggested.
"Be careful of old oaks," Rikk cautioned. "They can't be trusted."
"What could happen?" scoffed Khamen as he stuck his hand into a knot in the tree. He groped around and gave a cry of surprise. Then he pulled out his hand, holding a small bag. Unfortunately, it only included a few coins and no ring.
Game Note: I actually rolled a ring but decreed that it was too early to find one.
The party continued north, running foul of a swarm of bees, a magical whirlwind, and a forest fire (2-4). After surviving these hazards, our party rested in a clearing (5). Their break was short, for soon after they heard growling from the woods. Seven hungry wolves sauntered into the clearing.
Candorra jumped up and with a word and a gesture cast a fireball at the wolves. Two were burnt to a crisp and the others fled.
"Careful with that." Rikk warned. "Don't want to start another forest fire."
"Yes." Khamen agreed. "We'd be out of the pan and into the fire." Candorra just groaned.
Further along the path our heroes met a merchant and his guards (6). They perused his wares but he did not have anything of value to them.
Continuing north, they entered a patch of human-sized mushrooms (7). Suddenly, a fungoid-like creature attacked.
"A fungus ogre!" cried Rikk.
"Lets find another way!" suggested Khamen as he retreated down the path. His comrades agreed as they fled from the creature.
Their encounter turned out to be fortuitous. As they returned along the way they came they spied a hidden path that veered west. This path led to a huge boulder, about 20' high, that was shaped like a skull (8). Its jaw was opened wide. Looking into its gaping mouth, they saw a cave leading into the bowels of the earth. Around this entrance, Rikk could see orc tracks.
"A skull cave - fitting lair for an orc reaver." Candorra commented.
Khamen nodded in agreement. "This must be the way. Let's go in." At this, the party filed into the lair.
What will they discover inside? Find out next time!