On June 26th, Year 12, Gorg and Harold see that Rovert is offering to buy fog frogs that are said to be found in the elvish mountains (north of the Great Road and Gilded Falls, west of the mountains the gnomes dwell in). Gorg has travelled quite a bit through the heart of gnomish lands during his merchant days and thins he can help find information there.
- Gorg (HuS): Level 7 Orc Thief
- Harold (MiM): Level 4 Halfling Thief
They take Gorg’s donkey and wagon up the gnome road, arriving in Rathad Oidhche by the end of the day Tuesday the 27th. Their inquiries learn nothing that evening, but they stay the night and in the morning hear from a gnomish soldier that the people from his town, Uisge àrd, sometimes make their way west along the river south of town and get treasure from elvish manors in that river valley in the mountains. He even thinks he has heard about manors shrouded in fog.
They set off north on the main road to Lùb Aibhne, making good enough time to cross the bridge there and cut west through the hills on a little-used road. They reach the large river whose head Uisge àrd is said to be near and head north along it, soon finding a gnomish village where people have heard of the fog manors.
They spend the night in the village and leave the wagon and donkey in the care of a farmer before setting out Thursday morning continuing north along the river. When they see that the bulk of the river turns west, they scramble across the smaller branch of the river to follow it. As they continue west along the river, the steep mountain rise keeps them close to it and moving slow through scrub as it begins to rain around noon.
With the cliff and river converging and the river rising with the ongoing rain. Not seeing any sign that the cliff will diverge any time soon, and worried by the increasing debris in the river and the streams flowing down the cliff, they decide to cross the river while they have a chance. With Harold on his back, Gorg wades across the river, Harold using a spear to push away incoming branches. They make other side and moving away from the river find an overgrown elvish road. Following it through the continuing rain, they soon spot a diverging road with a gate in the fading light and decide to look for a manor up the side road so they can have shelter for the night.
They find the gate in the manor wall with a broken lock, but when they approach the manor door, they find it locked. Gorg picks the lock and as they creep inside Harold hears orcish voices. They move closer and Gorg understands that they are talking about dinner, and indeed they can smell venison being cooked.
Gorg approaches the orcs inside and learns that they are a small family who, seeing the Union of Schek dissolve, escaped to this valley before orcs and goblins not dedicated to a schek could be persecuted. They are eager for news in this regard and aren’t surprised to learn it is chaotic in post-Union lands. They allow the adventurers to share their dinner and sleep out on the back porch. In the course of conversation, they learn that there is a moaning that comes from the basement, but the family avoids that part of the house and the ghost leaves them alone.
They wait until the family is asleep and head to the basement to eradicate their ghost. At the back of the basement, they find two coffins, one with an elf woman, beheaded with a stake in her heart, bereft of all jewelry. When they open the second, a red mist emerges and nearly kills Gorg before they can retreat. While they flee, Gorg uses his flute of ghost summoning and specters appear, surrounding him on the stairs, putting him truly in danger of death.
They manage to clear up the specters, and the red mist isn’t following, but the orc father arrives just as they finish the last specter. Seeing their success and hearing there is only one ghost left, he offers to join them fighting the last ghost. Despite Harold finding that his lay on hands cannot heal most of Gorg’s wounds, they go back down and confront the mist, but almost immediately withdraw when it grabs Harold and Gorg is forced to take damage pulling him out. They decide to see if their wounds are more healable by morning.
Their wounds are not more healable in the morning, but they go down anyway. Sneaking up to the coffin, Gorg finds the red mist pooled in it. He quickly throws the coffin lid back on, but the mist starts to seep out of it, so they flee, shooting arrows before rushing up the stairs. They decide to leave it alone and hope it returns to the coffin and continues to be a good neighbor.
The orc family points them toward a manor up the valley that they say is always shrouded in mist, which scared them from it. They soon find the foggy manor and confirm that they are frogs there. They head to the river and Gorg starts weaving a large, makeshift basket from the reeds there. While he works, an ogre approaches, but they quickly slay it by hiding separately. When it tries to find Harold’s hiding place, Gorg snipes it with a sneak attack.
Saturday morning, with the basket made, they return to the manor and capture 17 fog frogs over the course of the day. This seems like far fewer than they’d like, so they make camp by the river again planning to make another basket the next day. During the night, they are attacked by a large pack of wolves that greatly threatens Gorg’s life in his weakened state.
They think better of lingering in the area and in the morning, Sunday, head back along the road toward gnomish lands. It is an extremely hot day, but the fog from the toads streaming out of the basket keeps them somewhat cool. On the way, they meet a goblin delirious with thirst and the heat, who they give water. They learn that he (Shurgi) is from an independent village that was destroyed by Schek Kagirt and that he has been fleeing from them. They invite him to accompany them to the Vale where other refugees have been received and he accepts.
While they continue on the way, a pair of orcs ambush them, shooting Shurgi down. They quickly kill them and revive Shurgi and he swears to serve them. Near the end of the day, they cross the river to the village where Gorg left his cart and they head back to the Vale, arriving there by Wednesday the 5th. Harold has recovered from the damage done him by the red mist, but Gorg still needs weeks to fully heal. They sell the toads to Rovert.
I was afraid they would be too persistent with the blood mist, but they were wise enough to give it a rest, even if Gorg will still be recovering from it through July 16th and longer. The frogs were not really worth it, but the henchman was quite a prize, and the information has them wanting to war against Schek Kagrit.