On Monday, November 18th despite a morning thunderstome, an unusually large adventuring party responds to reports that Teran, the hero of Confluence and a high level ranger, has not returned from searching for presumably lost hunters North of the town. They are:
- Verdis the Prickly (HuS): Level 5 Human Fighter.
- Simon (JeA): Level 3 Human Druid.
- Fenris: Wolf Animal Companion
- Jonathan (JaA): Level 2 Human Musician.
- Frank (PaT): Level 2 Dwarf Brawler.
- Aronis (WaB): Level 1 Human Magic-user.
With Jonathan’s new horse (Oscar Lindstrough, a plow horse with a plantings and harvests left in him) and good information about what direction Teran would have gone, they pack in 4 days of food each and head up the West bank of the East Confluence River.
Despite record rain fall the day after Teran’s departure, they are able to follow him by means of red ribbons with glittering bits of metal he left in the trees along his route. Simon and Verdis manage the tracking between ribbons well, with Simon picking up any slack with a prodigious perception.
The tracking is slow going and they cover only some 7 miles, scaring off a small pack of wolves along the way, before nightfall the 18th. The night goes uneventfully, but in the morning they find signs of winged lizards that they dub “mini-dragons” near the camp. They track them to the river, but with no way to cross they continue northward, in a hurry with Verdis knowledge that heavy rain will start around noon.
As the tracking continues, an object in the river draws their attention and Aronis gives pursuit, eventually slinging a rock at the thing as it moves up stream. It turns back to attack Aronis, who responds with a gout of fire. Verdis and Frank know how to handle the creature and the battle is short, with Aronis being pulled into the river, but never in danger of drowning. Despite coming out of the battle unscathed, they pass a couple hours by a fire, drying Aronis’ clothes and keeping him warm in the cool Fall air.
With Aronis’ clothes dry, they continue following Teran’s signs until they reach a camp site with dry wood set aside and an arrow of stones indicating a course Northwest away from the river. With less than an hour until the storm begins, they make camp, not bothering to light a fire. They remain confined to their tents until nightfall, Verdis sensing that the rain will continue until midnight. Their night watches go uneventfully, with the rain stopping in time for Jonathan to check on Oscar, who has stayed relatively dry under an evergreen tree, during his watch.
Wednesday the 20th, they awake to a wet and cloudy morning and follow the direction indicated by the arrow to a hunting blind atop a hill. The blind is pretty well sheltered from the rain and they find some dried blood, as well as tracks indicating a Northward departure from the blind.
They follow tracks, and before long come across what seems to be a stooped old man, or perhaps half-elf. He indicates that he knows where the lost hunters are and invites them to his his very nice home, which he found and claimed. They are suspicious, but agree to join him for lunch. Jonathan joins him in the kitchen for the cooking and soon the creature, who described himself as a fairy, turns upon him and uses his magnifying glass rod to shrink him “for his collection.”
The others become still more suspicious when Jonathan doesn’t come out with the food, but convinced that he was sent to the garden for tomatoes, Aronis and Simon go into the kitchen to get the soup. While Aronis carries the soup into the dining hall and Simon goes for some dishes, the fairy shrinks Simon as well. Aronis, hearing the command phrase, turns to see Simon has vanished. As he questions where Simon went, the fairy can tell he’s been made and uses the rod on him as well. Aronis drops the pot of soup, drawing his katana, and stepping forward to slash the fairy as he shrinks.
Through the open door, Verdis and Frank (who do not share a language with the fairy) see Aronis drop the pot, draw his katana, and shrink. They prepare an ambush, Verdis hiding while Frank sits at the table. Frank see the fairy scoop up the shrunken Aronis, but then he steps away. They wait a while and eventually it returns to mop up the spilled soup, looking guiltily toward Frank. Frank joins Verdis laying in wait and they decide to charge.
Frank rounds the corner, laying into the fairy with brass knuckles before it can finish an incantation. Verdis follows him in, ripping the rod from the fairy’s hands and kicking him off balance. Frank lands more punches, while Verdis tries unsuccessfully to shrink him with the rod. Frank delivers a few more punches and Verdis drops it with a blow from the rod.
Frank takes the fairy to the dining room, using Aronis’ rope to bind it to a chair, while Verdis searches for their comrades. He finds Jonathan in a bird cage in the kitchen, as well as a miniature hawk in an adjacent cage. In an outbuilding attached to the kitchen he finds a miniature forest, as well as Simon and Aronis unconscious and Teran, the two hunters, and a pair of gnomes. He descends into the forest, gathering them all up and returning to the dining hall.
Under threat of death, the fairy unshrinks all of them (after great efforts to find a deal where he at least gets to keep a gnome or Jonathan). Frustrated with arguments about what to do with the fairy and its rod, the party searches the large house, finding Phineas the speaking stone, a gel he describes as being used for dropping things safely from great height, and several other trinkets (courtesy of Who Would Just Leave This Stuff).
After a tied vote between killing the fairy and taking it prisoner (split almost along NPC/PC lines respectively), Teran changes his vote to allow the older gnome to take the creature to a gnomish archive. They spend the night in the manor, departing at dawn in light rain and arriving in Confluence just before dark with Teran’s path-finding help.
After a night in Confluence, they return to Citadel the morning of Friday the 22nd. There Verdis commissions the jeweler to make a silver chain and setting for Phineas the living rock, destined to be his permanent companion. Frank and Aronis level up, Frank gaining in stealth and combat ability while Aronis learns a little more magic, gaining the Oh arc, dark finger, and ‘re’ syllable.