The party re-equipped and sold the rest of their loot, then arrived back at the tower camp with draft horses in tow - at this point, Ouze went back to town himself, and they further divided spoils. Gladric took Vadco to the side and told him to tone down his whining since he had a lot to be grateful for...
After Ouze’s return, there was some discussion about where to go next. Demurarg said she knew of a cave to the south a ways, but the Lawful cleric reminded everyone that they’d given their word to the druid (off to the northwest) that they would aid him. They decided that exploring the cave could be left for later, and set off across the wilderness.
After a few hours travel they encountered a herd of a type of bison. Demurarg suggested she use her “fire magic” to down some. This seemed like overkill and rather inhumane as well. The illusionist said that he could create a phantom wolf that should be able to down one of the beasts. In the end, they decided to try to drop one with missile weapons since they already had a large amount of rations from the wild boar they’d killed a while back. It seemed best to not unnecessarily expend their magic. Pathetically, I think everyone missed but Gladric with his crossbow, and they spooked the herd. They decided pursuing the injured animal was too much of a hassle and distraction.
A few hours later they happened upon the sight of a well some distance away. A scantily clad beautiful woman was seen there, leaning up against it. Her eyes and beauty seemed beguiling even at a great distance, and they decided to steer clear.
They traveled for a while longer and it started to get dark. They stopped and made camp, building only a very small fire to make some hot water for tea, not wanting to attract much attention. It was cold, but they weren’t going to freeze. Then they heard voices approaching. Readying their weapons, some humans called out in the local nomadic tongue, saying that they were the druid’s men (Ouze deciphering). They wanted the party to follow them to the druid’s tent, but Demurarg wanted to wait until the morning to travel further. Gladric asked the men to join the group around the fire to discuss things at greater length, but the two men declined and said they would be on their way and left. After that Gladric mocked the nomads for not wishing to dine with the group and there was some discussion that they might not have been the druid’s men after all.
The next morning they found the camp of the druid, and the visitors from the night before were there among others. They were heartily greeted by the druid who was accompanied by a beautiful woman fighter of some sort. He presented her as Sidre. The druid had met her acquaintance at an abandoned villa which was “besieged by goblins under the effect of the contagion I’ve been fighting.” Her comrades had died, but he'd saved her. She pledged her allegiance to the Druid for saving her life, and also entrusted him with the precious object she was carrying, which he explained was of great importance. When questioned about this object, the druid suggested Sidre explain what it was herself.
Sidre explained how she'd been charmed by a wizard in the employ of the bandit leader Bekarovka. She was delivering to him the object when she was attacked by goblins - it's a special potion referred to by Bekarovka and his inner circle as “Midnight Eye.” For most people, it has an opiate-like effect, but for magic users who consume it, it provides “visions of other worlds” and prescience of the actions of one’s enemies. The bandit leader doles it out regularly to his followers to keep them happy and servile, and regularly uses it himself for its magic power.
Adventure-Building and The Ecology of Murder
10 hours ago