On January 11th, Year 6, Rowan and Ragnvaldr return to Earl Wraecliff’s castle to continue their exploration of his Demesne. This week they move further West, planning to explore an area that includes the gnomish shack with the trapped fey lord.
- Rowan (MiM): Level 6 Elf Magic-user
- Ragnvaldr (TrS): Level 5 Human Fighter
With the land covered in deep snow, but fair weather ahead, they anticipate being able to thoroughly explore about 10 square miles in 6 days, less than their previous week.
On their first day, Rowan realizes they are being stalked by an owlbear and Ragnvaldr confronts it. Ragnvaldr is mighty for a human, but only an even match for an owlbear, but he begins the grapple anyway. They tie the first round of grapples, but with a good second roll Ragnvaldr topples the owlbear and takes a top position. As the grapple rolls continue, the owlbear rolls horrifically low and though evenly matched, Ragnvaldr wins 13 out of 16 rounds. With his agility giving him a free round ever four, Ragnvaldr completely dominates the owlbear, crushing it into submission while taking only one bite from it.
When the owlbear finally stops struggling, he feeds it a little and, weak from hunger and the fight, it follows them. Worried that it will eat all his rations, Ragnvaldr asks Rowan to keep an eye out for a deer and Rowan soon spots some, creeps up on them, and shoots one. The owlbear eats a lot of it, but what’s left they cook and take with them to keep the creature fed. With Ragnvaldr as the best source of food it’s had in weeks and afraid to go against his wishes, the owlbear continues to follow them.
On Tuesday they encounter some kobolds near the northern edge of Wraecliff’s demesne who profess to be hunters. Their story seems plausible, so Rowan and Ragnvaldr pass on.
Wednesday they come across dozens of predator ash, but Rowan has little trouble identifying them and they go out of their way to eradicate them. Near sunset, as destroy one of these trees, Rowan notices a path cut into a hill and they investigate. Inside there are arrow loops and a door that leads into a bunker. The bunker is full of vines that attack them, with little success. Even their ability to shoot explosive peas out of massive pods only damages Ragnvaldr a little.
They find the source of the vines in a lab, a magically enhanced and somewhat sentient pea plant. When Ragnvaldr nearly kills it in a single blow, it hits him with all the explosive peas it has and attempts to bite and whip him. Ragnvaldr’s giant shields allow him to weather the storm with minimal damage. They soon finish the plant and search the rest of bunker, finding it to be a gnomish creation. Neither of them read gnomish, so they copy some runes to have someone else read. In the lab, they find some potions and they discover that the unexploded peas have withered into prismatic stones.
The remainder of the week passes with little event, besides some rain that slows them only a little. They slay some giant spiders and return to Wraecliff Saturday evening having search 8 square miles. He pays them, accepting the presence of “kobold poachers”, and worries there might be more owlbears than the one now following them. The bunker interests him.
They distribute loot and Ragnvaldr levels up.
As they make their way further east, things are becoming more interesting. I’m afraid the density of things east of this point is going to slow down exploration quite a bit, but hopefully improve loot.