Searching for Ranger Martin

The Troupe, having cleared away the gnolls of Tri-Top, move on to their next quest. Almax has asked them to find the ranger Martin, who he lost contact with in the Reddy Forest. They leave Restenford once more, and make their way to the large forest on the north east of the island.

7 Flamerule 1368

It takes us half a day to reach the Reddy Forest. Even though we are surrounded by trees, we aren’t sure we are in the right place until we come across a sign.

The dangers in the forest are quick to show themselves, as we are attacked by a wild dog

Mur’Neth is quick on the draw, killing the dog with a single shot.

We come across a woman surrounded by dead wolves, their blood still seeping into the ground. She’s still panting, bloody and sweating, clearly her fight has just ended.

Locinda: What? More? Oh. You obviously aren’t a wolf.

Xan: No, nor am I a werewolf, just in case you were going to ask that next. Greetings, I am Xan. Looks like we just missed the fight.

Locinda: Yeah. I think that is the last of them.

Ugh, I think I need to find a cleric though. Do you have any healing potions I can use?

Xan: Yes, here you go.

Rose hands him a potion and he passes it to Locinda.

Locinda: Thank you.

I feel so much better now. So what brings you to these god forsaken woods?

Xan: We are adventurers.

Locinda: Well so far, this island has been an adventure I could do without. I should have never gotten on that boat to come here.

Xan: Things haven’t gone well?

Locinda: If you call getting all your money stolen, getting lost in the woods, and having every hungry animal in the area try to eat you a good time, you are crazier than anyone else I know.

Xan: Sounds like a typical day for an adventurer.

Locinda laughs.

Locinda: Yeah, maybe you are right. I was on my way to Garrotten but once I got off the road to camp, I couldn’t find my way back.

Xan: Garrotten is south of us. Head that way.

Xan points to the south.

Locinda: Thank you again. Perhaps someday we will meet again.

She drinks the potion we gave her and goes on her way. I was surprised to see that she found Xan’s depressing outlook to be…funny?

No sooner has she disappeared from our sight, the forest throws a gibberling into our weapons.

Then another.

Then a third one attempting to seek vengeance.

And another that finds only death like the others.

We search the tower here and find a loose rock. Hidden behind it we find a few coins and ten magical darts.

We place them in an ammo belt and fight our way past more gibberlings as we move through the forest.

Eventually we find what looks like a druid circle. Martin was supposed to be helping to build one in the area, so he should be nearby.

Unfortunately we find a giant snake instead.

One of these almost killed Cat last time, so we prepare for a tough battle. Xan uses a Power Word to send it to sleep for a moment.

I launch some Magic Missiles at the snake and Fabio uses his wand to do the same.

The snake bites into Rose and its venom drains into her veins.

She drinks a Potion of Healing so she can stay alive, but we need to get that poison out of her.

Xan and Fabio use their wands to launch another barrage of Magic Missiles.

The Missiles burst the snake open and its body collapses to the ground, unmoving. Rose pulls an Elixir of Health from the potion bag and it drains the venom from her system.

With the snake slain and Rose back to health, we move to the north where we find the actual construction, and a red-haired ranger overseeing the construction.

Rose: Yes, Almax sent us.

Martin: Almax? Good, then you have come from Restenford. I haven’t heard anything from Almax in weeks. I am sorry for my behaviour, I am getting jumpy, I guess. I have never been secluded this long before. The peace was nice the first week but afterwards, I really needed to talk to someone.

Rose: Almax mentioned that he lost communications with you. He assumed it was because the gnolls have been attacking the town and probably killed any messengers.

Martin: Humm, quite possible. We will need someone to find a solution to this problem.

Rose: Been there, done that! An Ogre Mage was controlling the gnolls. A few blades through his guts fixed the problem with the gnolls. Permanently, I believe!

Martin: That is good news. I need someone to take this message back to Almax.

Rose: Sure, no problem. We’ll handle it.

Martin: I thank you friend.

He hands Rose a letter containing a list of equipment. She hands it to me and I place it in Bartleby’s case. The Deliverer of Letters has another mission at last.

We take a look around the henge that Martin has constructed so far. I wonder how he managed to move all these large stones by himself. Rose spots something hidden in a small hole in the rocks.

The gems are star diopsides, cut in the shape of actual stars.

The bolts we can’t identify, but they look similar to the bolts Mur’Neth already has, so they add the bolts to their quiver.

We leave the henge and carry on moving through the Reddy Forest and are accosted by a small group of human bandits.

One of the bandits plants an arrow in Xan, almost killing him again. We kill one of the bandits and I put all but one of the remaining bandits to Sleep.

It’s now easy for Rose to force her spear through the sleeping assailants.

While Rose kills and scalps the bandits, Viconia asks Shar to heal Xan.

We search the bodies and find bows, arrows, and leather armour. One of the bandits carries a nicely cut andar gem that is either red or yellow depending on how you look at it.

We keep searching the forest and Rose spots some giant spiders.

To our shock they teleport right in front of Rose and start slashing and biting at her.

I remember reading about spiders that could phase through space to get to their prey. I never realised they would be so big. We start pelting one of the spiders with bullets, bolts, and arrows. I launch a Chromatic Orb at the spider.

With one spider almost dead, the other phases behind Mur’Neth and starts attacking him from behind. The wounded spider manages to bite Rose and she feels the venom sinking in yet again.

Mur’Neth draws his Heart of the Golem and holds the phase spider in place. Xan starts using his wand to launch a barrage of Magic Missiles against the spider.

Rose thrusts her spear through the other spider’s maw and I call upon Corellon’s blessings to Slow the poison in her bloodstream.

With one spider down, we can all focus our attacks on the other. It doesn’t survive.

Fabio has learned a lot by fighting these spiders.

There is nothing to take from the corpses but exoskeletons, so we keep moving through the forest. After some time we meet another traveller.

Rose: Greetings. I am Rose. We are adventurers.

Volcifar: Ah, adventurers. Out and about, doing tedious quests, saving people too stupid to save themselves. That sort of thing?

Rose: There have been days like that, yes.

Volcifar: Well if you want a quest, how about heading south west of here and clearing out that old ruin.

Rose: Old ruin?

Volcifar: Yes, there is an abandoned castle there, except it isn’t abandoned any more. I passed by and thought I might look around but there are hobgoblins all over the place.

Rose: Hmm, I wonder what hobgoblins are doing there?

Volcifar: Exactly my point. They aren’t the smartest of creatures, and normally they live in caves and small huts. So why are they housed in a castle?

Rose: Interesting. Maybe we will look into it.

Volcifar: You do that.

After saying his piece, he carries on his journey. He seemed a but of a pessimist; Xan would probably get on well with him.

Hobgoblins at some old ruins? Could these be the troubles Pelltar wants solving? No one in the town has mentioned them so far, but hobgoblins arming a fortress is probably something to worry about.

We carry on and I have a strange vision of an arrow flying through my skull. Then we are attacked by another pair of spiders. These spiders don’t phase through space like the others do, crawling toward us on their spindly legs instead.

They prove not to be as tough as their phasing brethren.

The forest isn’t peaceful with the spiders destroyed, as we are attacked by another group of bandits. This time they are hobgoblins.

Xan opens with the Sleep spell this time, knocking two of the hobgoblins unconscious.

One of the hobgoblins starts chanting and glowing. It’s summoning the magics of a priest! I ask Corellon to take away their luck with a Curse.

Rose has an arrow stick in her and is cut by one of the hobgoblins’ swords. She stumbles a bit as blood starts to stain her white robes. Mur’Neth kills the Shaman before it can summon any more magic.

One of the hobgoblins breaks ranks and charges Fabio. Fabio and Xan respond by launching Magic Missiles at it.

The wounded hobgoblin panics and retreats. We get into a better position. Xan moves to the north. He has an idea.

The sleeping hobgoblins wake up just as Xan puts his plan into action. He uses his Wand of Fire to launch an Aganazzor’s Scorcher. They both collapse, their flesh still aflame after they hit the ground.

Fabio keeps using his wand on one of the hobgoblins now fighting Rose.

It’s at this point I notice someone watching us from a distance. Who is he? Why isn’t he helping?

There isn’t time to think about that now. The wounded hobgoblin panics and tries to run away from the fight. I attempt a Hold Person on the only bandit left fighting.

My spell fails to hold the last warrior, but it holds the one that is fleeing.

This doesn’t matter too much, as the warrior is electrocuted to death by Mur’Neth’s crossbow bolts.

Cat slashes the throat of the hobgoblin held in place, and we chase down the last hobgoblin. It heals itself and turns to make its last stand.

It only takes a couple of wand blasts to make it panic again.

Eventually Mur’Neth notches up another kill.

We root through the bodies of the hobgoblins and find a couple of Potions of Healing. They are also carrying some scrolls, two that create a trap for anyone that enters the area.

The other causes debilitating amounts of pain for opponents nearby.

One of the hobgoblins also carries a Potion of Memory that can allow the casting of more spells. I keep this one in my belt.

They also carry a couple of gems – one a waterstar gem…

…the other a zircon gem.

We go back to the place where we were ambushed to find the man that was watching us.

Tolvar: I’m a complete failure. Please leave me to my self pity.

Xan: I like him. He makes me feel better about myself, and that isn’t easy to do.

Tolvar: What? Can’t you see how worthless I am? Leave me alone.

Rose: Why are you worthless?

Tolvar: What do you care?

Rose: I don’t know if I do care, yet.

Tolvar: Look. I have been trying to hook up with anyone that needs a wizard. The last group left me here to die.

Rose: Why?

Tolvar: Because. Because, I’m no good. I don’t know much and the few spells I know I fail at.

Rose: You’re that bad?

Tolvar: Well… I choke under fire. We were attacked by some gnolls, and I couldn’t get the spell out. I just stood there like an idiot.

Rose: Sounds like you need some better training.

Tolvar: Training? Who would want me as an apprentice?

Rose: Down in Restenford, there is an old elf named Sir Billybob (goofy name, I know) anyway, he works with the young soldiers to help them learn how to fight. Maybe he can do the same for you?

Tolvar: Hmm, I haven’t been there yet. Okay, I guess it can’t hurt to go find him. Worse that can happen is he laughs at me. Thank you.

That explains why he wasn’t so quick to help us. Since we are returning to Restenford, he walks with us part of the way. Eventually he decides to slow down and keep his own pace. We keep travelling for around half a day to return to Restenford on our own.

We return to Almax’s home so we can deliver Martin’s message to him.

Rose: We found Martin. He gave us this message for you.

Almax: This is wonderful! Thank you for tracking him down. I will get the supplies ready and send Amos to deliver them. If you see him again, please let him know that Amos should be arriving in a few days.

Rose: Okay, we will tell him.

We are beaten, bruised, bloody, and damn tired so we go to the West Wind for some much needed recovery.

8 Flamerule 1368

After a good night’s rest, Viconia heals my familiar before we move on.

It is another half day’s travel but we make it back to the Reddy forest where we are ambushed by bandits yet again.

We know the drill by now. Xan puts most of them to Sleep.

After which they are easy to kill.

Among their possessions this time we find an impressive looking bluestone necklace.

We go back to the druid circle and find Martin to deliver Almax’s message.

Rose: I delivered your message to Almax. Amos should be here soon with your supplies.

Martin: I thank you friend. I have made something that I hope you can use on your travels.

Rose: Thank you very much.

He hands us a cloak that feels like it has been woven from bright green leaves and vines. It seems magic in nature, but we don’t know what it can be used for.

After all this adventure, Fabio says he is learning even more.

With the gnolls in disarray and Martin found, it seems that Restenford’s problems may be solved for a while. But the stranger talking about the hobgoblins at Bone Hill has us worried. If there is something happening there, Restenford may be about to face even more trouble.

We resolve to go down to the ruins and take a look. If only to confirm that the ruins are actually empty.

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