Having no luck returning the crate to its proper owner, Kale decides to sell some of the crate contents (most of the fabric) reserving 4 yards of plain red silk, 4 yards of plain black silk, and two spellbooks. (Please remember that only Kale is privy to this information in game. To everyone else, he has shared gold and materials – quite generous of him actually.)
Meanwhile, Mishka delivers his messages and make plans to stay at one of the churches in Fellig. The church he chooses for its proximity to the inn reserved by Gunner is also the church that Lupar Degrata frequents when in Fellig. Mishka will discover that Degrata is a very devout man who has given a great deal of his wealth to the church over the years. (Others may have noted his devout meal prayers – but the extent of his faith is known to Mishka only.)
Jurg decides to find other quarters for the night, also. He goes to the local chapter of the Union Steamo and holes up there to do some work and rest.
Meanwhile, Wren and Inara head into the bar area of the inn at which they are staying. It is apparent that a local citizen is hired on as a minstrel for the inn, but the keeper doesn’t mind when the two women begin to “bard off” with the other performer, Dirk Hierel. After about two hours of riotous dancing, singing, and story telling, Dirk finally yields the floor to the women and orders some food to sit and listen to Wren’s tale about their travels from Five Fingers to Fellig. Dirk takes a few notes and slips away later in the evening.
During the performance, Kale enters the inn, puts away what remains of the crate contents, and grabs the head of the unknown animal the party killed just the night before. Keeping it tucked under his coat, he heads to the bar area. He listens for a time, throws the ladies a few coins in the hopes of inspiring others to do the same and leaves.
Putting on his most formidable face and flashing the dead demon dog’s head, Kale wonders the streets and tries to find a bar that might buy the head. He comes across one bar in a seedier part of town. The image on the bar’s sign is of a man pierced through the heart by a blood covered sword blade. Not being literate in the local language, Kale figures this bar might just be tough enough to buy the head and mount it on their wall. When he enters, he encounters a room full of Khadorans.
Fortunately for Kale, he’s Rhulic and that won’t earn him a boot out the door or worse from the men of the “Dead Cygnaran.” The patrons talk to him and tease him a bit about the puny size of the head when compared to the trophies mounted on the barroom walls. Then he mentions his father is a dwarf and the barkeep says that explains it and buys the head from Kale for 5g. They share drinks with him and Kale remains in the bar gathering Khadoran stories. Late into the night, he walks back to the inn warding off any would-be assaulter with his tough guy face and loud, destructive crowbar.
A little after Kale leaves the inn where Inara and Wren are performing, Jurg enters to see what is going on and to get a few drinks. He watches Wren and Inara for a while and also throws a few coins their way to inspire others.
As the night winds down, Inara and Wren head for their room and Jurg heads back to the Union. Mishka remains at the church with plans to get up early and help in the garden as per the Father’s request. Kale will be coming back to the inn shortly after the others retire.
The next day, Mishka does odd jobs for the church and is introduced to Shara Brocker who is to accompany the caravan to Corvis in case they should need assistance. Jurg continues working on some of his projects. Wren and Inara do some street performing.
As evening approaches, the group gathers together in the bar to meet with Gunner Wadock, who is the owner of the caravan bound for Corvis. After ordering food and drink, Gunner details the caravan for the group:
- Five wagons piled high - Five people - 19 Horses – Eleven pulling (three on front wagon), four pack at the back, and four relief horses - Multiple chests strapped with rope to the side of the wagons
Gunner also explains that the road will initially be more solid and forested. After about the first week, it will change to a more swampy, marsh area.
He will talk a bit about himself, about Corvis, trading, and caravans. As the night wears on and he drinks more, he becomes more relaxed and asks about members of the group. He will head out later evening to rest up for the next day. He tells the group to be ready to leave by dawn.
At dawn, the group meets with the drivers and is introduced to Viggo, a long standing employee of Gunner’s. Gunner is more taciturn this morning, probably nursing a hangover from the night before. As the sun gets just to the horizon, the group sets out. The wagons being as loaded down as they are cannot go too fast. Gunner pushes for a long day, traveling passed sundown so that the caravan will arrive at Deepwood Tower that night. Ten crates are unloaded from the caravan (two per wagon) and left with the local store/supply area of Deepwood.
Bright and early the next morning, the caravan heads out. Over the next few days the group keeps a close watch on the caravan. The first thing they notice is the drop in temperature and a strong, cold wind begins to pick up. For two nights, one or two party members feel there is something following the caravan. On the second night, Inara and Wren are on duty when they sense creatures nearby. Inara wakes up Mishka who thinks he might see some small creatures moving about. He can barely hear them moving and believes there to be several. He recommends not moving in after them. A minute later, an ear piercing scream is heard, waking all of the caravan and stunning several members.
After a short, but fierce battle, the group is able to dispatch of the creatures. Inara and Wren realize the animals are screechers. Small and bipedal they emit ear piercing screams that can stun their victims. The group is able to salvage three of the screecher air sacs which Wren remembers as being useful to make bagpipes and ship horns.
The next day, the group enters marshland and then swamp. The going is difficult and slow. Several times the group has to dislodge wagons bogged down in the soggy soil. The wind continues to blow cold and miserable. Late one afternoon, Inara senses that snow is in the wind and mentions this to the caravan. Gunner takes her at her word and stops early so that people can set up camp in a more solid area of ground. It does in fact snow, and for the next few days the caravan can travel a little faster because the ground is frozen solid. However, when the snow begins to melt some, the ground turns to a cold, slippery surface and the wagons break through the thin ice layers and get stuck again. It’s miserable weather.
Finally the caravan is within a day’s journey of Corvis. It’s taken longer than anticipated due to the terrible weather and heavy wagons that become stuck so easily. Just four or five hours outside of Corvis, Mishka spots an anomaly in the road. He lunges forward in time to stop two of the three lead horses from falling into a pit of spikes.
Gunner is furious and jumps off his wagon to walk to the pit. The group is tensed as the marsh fog begins to thicken. Mishka wrinkles his nose as the fog closes in and realizes, something isn’t right about it.
A minute or so after the horse falling into the pit, the fog becomes thick and obscures sight beyond 10 feet. Shortly thereafter, the caravan is beset by a dozen small creatures. Battle ensues with the party pursuing the small thieves all across the trail and wooded edges. Though it takes a few minutes, the group is able to kill most to all of the ambushers and retrieve all of the chests and horses. Gunner, though furious at losing a horse and being attacked, is very pleased with the group and their performance.
As the group heads for Corvis, Wren notices a few odd shapes off the side of the road and upon inspection finds the eggs of a bog constrictor. The group collects the eggs with the intention to sell them.