I had a rather peculiar dream. And a severe hangover the next morning. A herald of the drunken god decided to pay a visit to my dream, to deliver a message (of which I promptly forgot the most, getting drunk in the dream). Apparently I had made an impression and would be blessed with powers which might prove useful in our quest in this region. No idea what that grand quest is, but nevertheless I would gain some perks. Nothing overtly powerful, but something suitable to these rural lands.
That morning I was nursing my hangover, and trying to remember/decipher my dream, while others were discussing which way to explore and what to take with them. I was a bit tart due to hangover, and didn't contribute much. A minor argument was had when I didn't feel like purchasing more food, claiming we had enough and could always hunt for more, while others wanted to carry a mountain of food with them. In the end I found their faith in our survival skills a bit lacking, but bought the food, if only to silence them.
My mood got better as day progressed, an effect travelling usually has on me. We set forth to west, and then turned south scouting the western fringes of our emerging map.
The first night outdoors was rather eventful as Turalyon spotted something odd during his watch. He investigated stealthily. It seemed the earth itself was on the move, bushes and vines creeping onwards. As he couldn't make any sense in what he saw, he crept back to camp and woke the rest. We put on armor and grasped our weapons, and scratched our head trying to figure what it could be. Finally Antoni shouted ”who goes there” to the night. And the phenomenon turned towards us. I adjusted the fire to coax more light out of it, and then we saw it. A shambling mound, or so Antoni identified it, a creature of plants and vines, rather immune to fire and lightning.
We scattered and began to fire arrows at it. I strayed a bit too close and was struck, and then strangled until darkness came. Others fared a little better. Dragan blinded himself trying to shoot the monster. Tyrillia revealed she could cast healing magic as she attempted to save my hide. Antoni got me concious again, while Turalyon was getting hammered by the monster who seemed to obsessed in elves.Turalyon managed to exfiltrate through the bushes and the monster turned to face the rest of us. This time Tyrillia got snuffed out, while I was busy testing my newfound divine gifts and healing my sorry ass. In the end Dragan skewered the monster with his greatsword (monster was already mostly dead due all the arrows received).
That was a lot of excitement for one night, it may have been a lot wise to just run at the beginning, but well, the monster is dead and some of us revealed some new talents, so it wasn't completely useless fight.
The next day we were beset by pranksters. Later they were identified as some sort of fairies, but initially we were clueless as to who could do so. And Dragan of course started blaming others in the group. We managed to focus on our task and ignore the pranks, and as they got so outlandish it became clear it couldn't be any of us. A nest of fairies was seen on a treetop, and in effort to placate these mischievous spirits we sacrificed Dragan's bottle of herbal alcohol to them. Dragan was bit reluctant to part from his bottle and took couple of huge gulps from the bottle before finally parting from it. Hopefully half a bottle is enough. It wasn't, my horse was painted green during the following night.
Fleeing from the mischivous fey we stumbled in the lost temple of Erastil. It looked like a temple, or at least like a place of contemplation, so we set to explore it cautiously. Jhod had told us about a bear guarding it, so we advanced carefully, some trying to sneak, others armed with bows. And then Antoni shouted ”Do we have any bears here?”.
And we had, a huge bear swiftly made it from the cave (the temple was a cave with some yard ornaments) and got right in front of Dragan before we could react. We may have been a bit overconfident after the shambler, since we were all just moving without keeping overwatch.
The fight was short and vicious, we triumphed, and Dragan almost died. He got better, but had a sour disposition afterwards.
An argument was had about shouting to lairs/enemy hordes/unknown buildings. Dragan insisted gagging Antoni so no shouting would be possible, I wouldn't tolerate any of that (neither would Antoni, or others). In the end Antoni agreed to ask if shouting is necessary, and confided to us that he is rather inexperienced in the outdoors (I doubt this was news to anyone). Dragan and Antoni did explore the temple and picked up some horn and silver artefacts to be delivered to Jhod. I objected, claiming we should just leave them there or hide them if they are afraid someone might steal from the temple. I got shouted over and decided it was not worth a fight to assert my opinion, let Erastil smite those two if he objects to removing the artefacts from the temple. Erastil didn't object. Before the argument and exploring the temple He had shown us that He had noticed the temple being secured. Oh, and the bear which died, did after death turn to an old man, who quickly turned to dust.
Continuing our exploration we found couple of ruined buildings near the temple, some distance to southwest. We approached carefully, and since Antoni looked expectant, I told him to hail the building, which he did. Others didn't seem to approve, but it is only polite to announce your presence when approaching a place of shelter.
A trio of hidous monsters erupted from the bigger building. And our archers promptly opened fire. The monsters fled inside, except one, which shouted in broken Taldane ”Truce”. I bet our bloodthirsty brutes were feeling smart (But I may have shot as well if I had had a bow in my hands, luckily I was geared for melee this time).
The Boggard (the monster) had very few words, and a maimed hand, but it didn't seem hostile, and it had claimed the buildings for itself. So we didn't intrude, gave it some food and Antoni healed them (our brutes had actually managed to hit them, at least once, maybe twice). That should be suitable apology and recompensation. And as a line of communication was not established -the boggard had less than ten words of Taldane, and we had zero word of boggard nor magic to gain comprehension- we left them in peace.
It had been a week or so of exploration and some battle, so we headed back to Oleg's. Antoni was true to his words and delivered the artefacts to Jhod, who was elated at the news of his God's temple being now cleared, and pleaded us to take him there to purify it. Since we propably would continue exploration near there we agreed. He also might have something to help us communicate with the boggard.
As the day dawns in Oleg's trading post, the group notices that Antoni is gone, his bed empty. Going over the party gear reveals nothing stolen. Asking around about the events of that night reveals that one of Kestens guardsmen met Antoni on his way out. He was sulking and stopped for a brief chat about something that the guard rather lacked context for.
Antoni claimed his good deeds were going unnoticed, with others second guessing his motives constantly, and he had even been threatened. As no duty towards his companions had formed yet, he decided to split to avoid getting killed. He had a good amount of gold that the party had divided a week ago to afford a new start.
Antoni mounted his horse and rode off north, bidding the guardsman a good night and asking him to wish Turalyon good luck on finding his kinsmen and the ruins.