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Kingdoms of Kalamar
Into the Mountains
The party made good time in getting to Ekof, narrowly avoiding a particularly nasty blizzard that picked up coming off the mountains. They settled in for the night at Ekof commons, the only tavern and inn that caters to travelers coming and going. Their night was not uneventful, however, as a halfling merchant named Bendle and his guide, Ebert approached them with a job.

Bendle recently came into a deal with some nearby gnolls for a large amount of furs. The gnolls, either being too stupid to know the worth, or unable to sell them anywhere else, were offering up a massive trade for a ridiculously low price. Too good for the merchant to pass up. However, Bendle was not a stupid man, and knew better than to enter into a deal with gnolls without good backup. Having heard about Darius and the party's recent exploits, he figured a ten percent cut of the furs would be a reasonable share for watching the halfling's back during the trade. He wasn't expecting trouble, but gnolls have historically enjoyed halfling flesh.

The party agreed and all set out in the morning toward the meeting place. The snow had barely let up from that night before, greatly slowing their travel and ability to see. It was unfortunate, then, that Owl was off tracking the southern slope when they were ambushed by a small group of winter wolves!

The wolves moved in concert and attacked from all sides at once. Darius and Jhera took on the leader while Nissa, Bendle and Ebert held off another. Ngithol led Desarkis and Beshenel toward the third. It was a fairly nasty battle, and one that decidedly favored the wolves in their preferred climate. But home field advantage isn't always enough and while Darius took enough damage to fall, his mighty warhorse was more than enough to finish off the alpha. Meanwhile, Nissa and Bendle finished off the second, and between Desarkis' axe and Ngithol's fire, the final wolf was put down. Before they could enjoy the victory the party needed shelter from the continuing flurry of snow. Nissa opened up a mystical hut using her magic while Desarkis pulled the unconscious Beshenel and Darius inside. They moved to help Ebert, Bendel's guide, but found him frozen from the winter wolf's breath. A silent prayer was given, and the party slipped inside the hut for protection from the elements.

Once they had sufficiently rested and recovered the party set out again to meet with the gnolls. The weather had lessened and was now mostly clear skies with just the slightest breeze. Approaching the small valley where the gnolls were located, Darius was suspect. The gnoll pack leader stood out in the open with four armed warriors and a rather large pack of furs. Bendle and Darius moved down first, with the others keeping an eye out for danger. The gnolls were suspect of a non-halfling arriving to make the trade, but barked out his offer and Bendle agreed, showing the large pile of coin to trade. Just then, an arrow fluttered out from behind the visible gnolls and would have struck Nissa square in the chest were it not for her otherwise invisible mage armor. The arrow shattered off into the snow and the party quickly responded to the ruse, following Bendle into the fray. The fight was over so quick. What looked to be a serious skirmish was rendered moot when Nissa cast shatter upon the packlord and his guards. All three dropped instantly, their gear, eyes and brain matter exploding from the thunderous blast. The remaining gnolls tried to escape, but Jhera trampled one down while the other was caught by the arrival of a halfling scout, Emitt. He was wary of the deal that Bendle and his brother, Ebert had gotten into and came to survey the situation. A good thing, too, as the last gnoll may have gotten away were it not for his well-timed arrows.

Something didn't sit right with Nissa or Darius in how this all played out, however. They could locate gnoll tracks all about the place, but were unable to find the assumed shooter or his precise location. Nissa did locate a piece of the arrowhead that missed her, and it did appear to match up to the arrows used by the other two gnolls they did manage to drop. The whole situation was not without disappointment, however, as Emitt lamented the loss of his brother by the wolves, and regretted not being with his brother to help save him. The party spent the next few hours loading up the furs and checking the gap for any more gnolls. Bendle offered up the reward to the party in coin, seeing how he didn't end up having to spend it on the furs, which was a welcome offer, as it kept weight off the party's mounts and ensured the party didn't have to get the fur anywhere for trade and such. Besides, 1,800 dothok (gp) was a solid payday.

They arrived in Ryrej just before dusk and settled in the comfy calf for a nice warm stew and sleep for the night...
Session: Game Session 37 - Saturday, Sep 12 2015 from 1:00 AM to 6:00 AM
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