it is a few days overdue, but here is the skinny on the continuing misadventures of my player's party:
After helping defend the Warden outpost from the goblinoid attack, the party set forth on New Years Day in the year 10,000. They decided to head to the southwest in order to find the missing Elf Warden, Lydia.
The rapid and rocky Broken Arrow River, which is impassable from any other direction that the PCs know, had to be forded. The ranger found the least dangerous place to cross it in the immediate area. Everyone made it across, but not before the mage and his horse were nearly swept down river! Continuing on, the party had to ford yet another river, the Drakes wash, which is a tributary that joins the Broken Arrow later on downstream. Thankfully the Drakes Wash is slower and more shallow, so it was not a difficult crossing.
Heading into the edge of the prairie lands, the party decided to camp for the night. They set up their six person tent and made a fire. Attracted by the fire was a wandering soul, Beldac the Mad Trapper, who explained that he had lost his mule recently to some trolls. Beldac sold a few skunk pelts and their scent glands to the party for some silver. Parcifal offered to share a meal with the trapper, who promptly ate the entire evening's rations. Setting in near the fire, Beldac slept and snored. This and the fire attracted something: the trolls!
Hunting the trapper down, the trolls finally had a clue as to his whereabouts and they approached the camp. Beldac ran off as the party gave combat. The mage was severely injured, but the PCs eventually slew the horrid towering creatures just as the trapper returned with a stick to help them fight the now dead trolls. Everyone was quite effective against them. Hard work does not go unrewarded! Inside pouches that the trolls carried was an uncut diamond, 2 dried bullfrogs and a few silver pieces! Parcifal also found a quivering green blob in one of the pouches, which Kelvin wanted to experiment upon, but Parcifal decide to keep to determine what it was and whether it was living or not. Some of the party affectionately named it the "troll booger".
in the morning, the mad trapper departed, heading towards the village of Arrowsmouth to procure another mule. The party broke camp and headed out on the trail of Lydia once more, eventually picking up a faint trail, because it had not snowed.
Following this disappearing then reappearing trail, the party reached the place where Lydia abruptly ended her journey to see Mellion the Druid - a sinkhole! Oban the ranger almost fell into it, too, as he came upon it. Leaving Parcifal and Oban to watch the horses, the rest of the party tied off a few ropes and defended into the sinkhole. It initially bottomed out at 60 feet, but had a slightly downward sloping part that continued from the floor of it. The carcass of the horse of the missing Warden was found at the bottom of the sinkhole.
As Airyka the sword sister, Kelvin the mage and Smyrynel the Paladin delved deeper into the darkness, a voice cried out. It demanded to know who and what the characters were, told them that nobody was here and to go away. Kelvin cried out a challenge in return and the voice from the shadows ceased.
Eventually the party came upon a creature dressed in patchwork rags, that one decried as a "dirty Gnome". In reality, unbeknownst to the party, this is a Brownie. The creature was seen in the light of the sword sister's lantern to be emptying a pouch into its hand. Not knowing what the diminutive being was doing, the party was fearful and attacked. What the thing was pouring out was Kelvin's pouch, which it had deftly stolen without being seen. I guess the Brownie was not impressed with Kelvin's unprovoked challenge ;)
There were some slapstick events:
The mage grabbed it upon realizing just what it had in its hands. The Brownie placed the paladin in a stasis after she tried to continue past down the tunnel. It then blew sparks out of its mouth at Kelvin's eyes, so that the mage let go of the mischievous little thing. Running down the passage back into the darkness, the Brownie made a deal with the two mobile PCs in the sinkhole for the release of Smyrynel from its spell. Kelvin the Curious curiously decided to trade it one of his flash bombs for the release of the paladin! The being told them to back up and came and retrieved the bomb which was now in the darkness. The being emerged after a bit with the bomb in one hand and its dagger in the other! Keeping his word, the Brownie released Smyrynel from the enchantment, but she then launched upon the attack once more! Airyka also drew her sword, but hit the sinkhole wall, dropping her sword. The Brownie tossed the bomb at the mage, giving him a taste of his own medicine. The mage, recovering, tossed a net at the Brownie, but in the narrow passageway only managed to ensnare the sword sister. The Brownie, after doing a dance near the enraged Smyrynel, dodging her blows, finally ran off down the passage, which split into three other channels…