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28Th Of Bountiful Harvest

Posted by brothermouran , 08 May 2012 · 1,261 views

In the morning, we packed up and headed back for the city.  The journey was uneventful, and took the better part of the day.  The long walk also allowed for plenty of time to work through the aches and pains of the encounter with they hydra.  Hopefully Bryn is able to spare some of his healing magic today, as I definitely feel like I could use some more.

We reached Opal's father's home without any issues, dropped off the hydra teeth, and passed along the information we had gleaned from the mine.  We also discussed our next moves.  We used the rest of the day to search for some information as well as to take care of another time-sensitive matter.  We sought out a shop that dealt in all manner of unusual items; our plan had been to see, if in their dealings with the bizarre, the shop owner might know where to find trolls in this land.  Also, my friends also had something to dispose of.  While I had been healing up and helping Nagmar with skinning the hydra, some of the others explored a bit.  They had found something I hadn't realized... a couple of hydra eggs!  While the shop wasn't able to help us with our troll problem, they did pay us a handsome sum for the eggs.

The next morning, we tried a different approach - we sought out a tannery.  Again, we had two reasons for our destination.  On one hand, there had been some thought about seeing if we could have something made from the hydra's hide.  Since it was a magical creature, it's hide can apparently be used to craft some gear that could eventually be enchanted.  The other thought had been that the trappers that bring animals in to the tannery might be a good source of information on where to find trolls.

Luck turned out to be with us.  Not only did we find a trapper with this sort of knowledge, he was also going to be heading out that day and offered to take us to a valley where he knew there was a troll.  As soon as his business with the tannery was settled, we headed out.  Our journey the remainder of the day was easy, and we ended the day at a comfortable inn.  One minor complication did arise... our trapper companion seems to have overestimated what we plan to do, and announced to the inn that we were there to clear out this particular valley (a site they have not been able to trap in due to the presence of the troll, a dryad, and other denizens of the valley).

The next morning, our guide showed us the way to this valley, a box canyon filled with woods.  A bit of open meadow led down to the edge of a trees, with a stone cairn in the meadow.  According to our guide (who has gone off to his trapping grounds) the cairn marks the closest anyone has been able to get to this valley since the trouble started.  We stopped near the cairn and took a few moments to look over the scene and noticed a large eagle circling overhead.  Knowing that there was a dryad involved, I followed a hunch that the eagle was up there with a specific purpose, and called out to the woods in the Sylvan tongue.  Hearing her native tongue sparked her curiousity and the forest fae showed herself.  In short, we were able to convince her we didn't mean her or her home any harm and only needed to deal with the troll; she allowed us to entere unmolested.

That isn't to say that we were totally safe.  We encountered several traps, assembled from the natural growth of the grove.  Once Nagmar managed to accidentally trigger one of them we knew to be looking for them.  We also narrowly avoided stumbling into a giant wasp's nest, but were not so lucky in trying to avoid a patch of assassin vine.

Finally, as we were nearing the end of the box canyon, I managed to catch a glimpse of our quary.  There was something very large trying to double back behind us.  I've never seen a troll before, but Nagmar apparently has, and thought from my description that was what I saw.  We also doubled back, and found some sign that whatever we were following had climbed up a stone chute that was the water source for the small lake we'd found.

Climbing up the chute, we finally got our first look at the troll - having seen it now, I'm not looking forward to a possible fight with it.  It was big, agile, and, from what we soon learned, much more intelligent that I'd expected.  I hadn't expected it to be smart enough to build defensive fortifications... I definitely didn't expect it to be smart enough to write a warning in the dirt to us to leave it alone.  This does open up a possibility that I hadn't expected... could we possibly be able to try and reason with it?

March 2017

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