Starting World Date: 04/21/1493
As the Heroes examine the dead horse lying in the middle of the Long Road outside of Rassalantar, they discover tracks of a single horse and large human-sized boot print. Casting Pass Without Trace and Prestidigitation (camouflage), they follow the tracks.
The Spring morning is bright and chilly; the green of the growing season colors the ground. After a few hundred yards the tracks disappear. Galadhon believes someone is attempting to obscure them, but they didn’t do a good job. Zarn notices TWO human-sized boot tracks just off the trail.
Ever wary, the Heroes investigate further. About 800 yards off the Long Road, Galadhon makes out two Hobgoblins hiding in the wood and new growth foliage. The Heroes fan out to attack, triggering a Hobgoblin ambush. At full strength, the Hobgoblin party numbers six soldiers and three leaders. The leaders holler orders and attack!
By fanning out, the Heroes make it difficult for the Hobgoblins to envelope the group (their plan). The new growth of plants inhibits missile fire for both sides, but the advantage turns to the Heroes with Galadhon’s immunity to covered targets and Aaron’s Magic Missile spells.
A grinding fight ensues, but once their surprise attack fails, the Hobgoblins are killed in combat or while fleeing.
About 100 yards from the battle site, the group finds a captured pack animal in the Hobgoblin camp. Investigation reveals the Hobgoblins have been here only a few days but were planning on staying a while. On the packhorse, the Heroes find a lot of provisions (food, cooking utensils, etc.) and a magical short bow (+1 Short Bow, given to Galadhon). After searching the bodies and camp, the Heroes return to the Long Road and continue to the town of Amphail.
Arriving in the town of Amphail, the Heroes find the townspeople chaotically preparing for a party. One of the leading citizens of the town, Tylander Roaringhorn, is having his 63rd birthday party today. The whole town is invited, and the Heroes are welcomed to attend.
The party is festive with an abundance of food and drink — however, three lumbering Hill Giants, hungry and attracted by the smell of food. The Heroes spring into action, placing themselves between the giants and the frightened townspeople. Aaron casts Faerie Fire and Eleindar charms one of the giants. Houblon and Zarn unlimber their weapons in expectation of a fight.
Speaking Giant, Aaron learns the Giants are merely hungry. The group quickly gathers food and drink for the Hill Giants and moves them to a far pasture to eat, guarding them. The Charmed hill giant persuades his brethren to relax, eat, drink, and leave in peace.
The Heroes ask about Guh (the “Queen” of the Hill Giants) and where she may be located. The Hill Giants renowned inability to comprehend directions leaves the Heroes with no real answers. After a food-induced nap, the Hill Giants lumber off, and the Heroes return to the party, all with the townspeople’s thanks!
North and Old Gnawbones
Over the next several days, the Heroes encounter only travelers on the Long Road as they continue traveling north. Brief stops at Red Larch and Westbridge are pleasant and uneventful. At long last, the group reached Kryptgarden Forest, the home of Old Gnawbones.
Exploring the forest for most of the day provides the Heroes little in the way of knowledge. As the evening approaches and the group is about to turn and head back to Westbridge, Old Gnawbones makes an appearance. Imposing in both size and aura, Gnawbones does not attack, intimidating the party with the body of a dead barbarian hanging from her mouth. The Heroes explain they are looking for information to restore the Ordning and were directed here. Old Gnawbones is surprised at their bravery (and foolishness) in disturbing her, but the Dragons’ eons-long hatred for Giants sways her mood to the Heroes’ favor.
She tells them to head north to the Valley of Khedrun, to the Giant Temple “Eye of the All-Father.” There they will discover the path to fix the Ordning and stop the Giant attacks. She believes they may run into a Frost Giant named Harshnag in that area. If so, she thinks he will help the party, as he is committed to keeping the Giants in check as well.
Ending Word Date: 04/25/1493
The PCs move to 7th Level.
Notable NPCs encountered:
Dauner Ilzimmer – Lord Warder of Amphail (current)
Krivven Shamblestar – proprietor of The Stag-Horned Flagon in Amphail
Tylandar Roaringhorn – Prominent citizen of Amphail. The PCs arrive in town just in time for his 63rd birthday party.
Herivin Dardragon – halfling proprietor of the Harvest Inn in Westbridge, and owner of most businesses in the village.
Old Gnawbones (real name: Claugiyliamatar) – Ancient Green Dragon living in Kryptgarden Forest. Helped party with information about the Ordning.