Killing in the name of (Leeroy)!
As we had ridden all day, our group decided to camp a comfortable distance from Davik's crossing. Just as we were about to set up, Baranabas got called away by some magical summons. We had no time to act, he just rode off! I thought about going after him, but for some reason felt compelled to let him go.

So we set up camp, fed the horses, and ate some goodberries. I threw the ball for Leeroy a few times, until it got too dark for him to see, then went to bed.

Later that evening as I slept, I had a disturbing dream. I was piggy-back riding on Drath Redvar, when he stumbled and pitched me off! I heard a sickening snap, and realized that Drath must have stepped into a pothole or something. I realized, sullenly, that he would not be able to continue on. With a heavy heart, I notched an arrow, and shot him through the head... But he didn't die! He screamed, and started thrashing, so I quickly notched and fired another arrow, then another, and finally I was able to put poor Drath to rest. I was appalled by the bizarre course of events, and started awake. I looked over, and noticed that Drath was ok, sleeping peacefully for the first time since the battle of the crossing. I was beginning to wonder if perhaps Davik had double crossed us, and cursed the rest of us!

Pharast 15th – everyone seemed alright, but there was a general uneasiness, perhaps others had disturbing thoughts and visions the night before as well. If they had, nobody seemed willing to talk about it.

So we rode west for several hours, into some hills. Eventually, we came upon a great old sycamore tree. Its branches were barren, its bark was black. The tree seemed mostly dead. We decided to dismount, and investigate the tree further. Among the root I espied what looked like a cave covered by roots and moss. Kroog and I peered down into the depths, and I saw what looked like a piece of metal flit through the air. I looked over at my companions, and realized I was the only one suited to climbing down the hole. The others were either wearing too much armor to climb easily, or physically inept, or perhaps both.

So I slung my bow, and climbed down, using various protruding roots as handholds. When I got to the bottom, I was confronted by two loathsome-looking blue creatures I would later discover were mites. One of the mites shrieked at me in its odd language. It seemed like a savage beast, and was obviously aggressive, so I grabbed my bow, and loosed an arrow into it, skewing it instantly. The other ran away, down a passage. My fellows made haste, climbing down as well as they could, trying not to fall.

I went after the fleeing mite, down a cramped passage. It lead me to a chamber with a bunch of heaps of offal the mites were using to breed centipedes. With my fellows right behind me, I made my way into the den. My comrades and I killed some giant centipedes while the mite continued to flee. It was at that time, I noticed hundreds of little centipedes swarming toward me. I tried kicking at them, and brushing them away, but there were too many! After getting bit a number of times, I retreated.

I moved past Drath, who valiantly decided to cover our retreat. The centipedes swarmed all over him, biting and poisoning him. Drath collapsed with a moan, succumbing to hundreds of tiny bites. Kroog tried to douse the swarm with oil, but was having difficulty. Fizby's magic seemed to scorch away swaths of the centipedes, but more kept coming. I used two alchemist's fires, but could not throw them very effectively hunched over in the small tunnel. The flaming oil kept splashing Drath's unconscious form, which twitched violently. Was the portent in my dream coming to pass? Finally, we were able to burn enough of the swarm to disperse it...

We rushed over to Drath. I fed him a potion, but his injuries were too severe for him to revive. Kroog and I had to carry him back up to the surface, to where we left the horses. We could hear the mites talking to each other as we left...

Kroog was able to meditate, and use his druidic knowledge to heal Drath to the point where he was awake. We could tell something was wrong, though. Drath seemed unusually sluggish. He slurred his words, and seemed barley able to move at all. I sighed, realizing that this was what my dream foretold... I took very careful aim, I was about to put a shaft right through his left eyeball, when Kroog asked me what I was doing. After I told him, he explained that Drath was poisoned, and though it would take several days, he would recover.

We were depleted on resources, but the others wanted to press on, even Drath. So we went back into the hole, cautiously, expecting an ambush. On the one side, we discovered a hole. Looking down, I could not see anything, but I could hear mites and other noises. We were worried that the mites would attack us from behind, so we covered up the hole to the left with roots and detritus, went to the right, back to the breeding ground for the centipedes. At the other end was a small tunnel that seemed to descend downward in a spiral.

When we got to the bottom, we could hear more mites. We rushed forth to slay them, and saw that there were six of the foul creatures, and one of them rode a giant tick! Presumably, he must havebeen their chief, as he whined at the others, and they sullenly moved to attack. The cramped tunnels made it difficult to get a clear shot, and most of the time my allies got in the way, however I was able to slay two more of the wretched beasts. I noted that the mites would frequently open their eyes wide, and stare at my comrades. Though I never faced the glare, Kroog told me he felt an impending sense of doom when they looked at him like that. In the end, the giant tick proved to be more of a challenge than the mites, but we were still victorious.

Looking around the chamber, it appeared to be a communal living quarters. Strewn about the place were various bits of junk and a couple of workbenches, some pallets, and makeshift furniture. There was a stew pot with some foul-looking meat in it. Among the debris, we discovered some coins, and what appeared to be an ivory statue of some sort of devil. We gathered the treasure, and went further into the tunnel.

The tunnel opened up into what looked like a fissure, with several tiny hand holds for climbing down. It appeared that there was another tunnel opposite. Kroog descended down into the fissure, but one of the hand holds gave way, and he fell. Fortunately he was not injured, as the commotion and noise attracted the attention of a massive centipede, which erupted from its lair, and charged after Kroog.

Kroog managed to get to his feet, and use his nature magic to cause the roots in the fissure to hinder the beast, and we attacked it as best we could from the ledge. I shot several arrows into it, and finally we were able to slay the beast. We took our time, edging past the massive carcass, and continued onto the other ledge.

We entered another winding, cramped tunnel, which seemed to backtrack toward the entrance. With Kroog and Drath ailing, it was my turn to go first. Drath argued that Fizby should take the lead, and I could understand his logic, but with my training and acute mental awareness I was obviously better able to fend off an ambush. There was a room ahead, and we could hear what appeared to be cries of pain. I strode forward, and saw it was some kind of torture chamber, there were five more mites, and three kobolds hanging from the wall. Two of the kobolds were clearly dead.
Without hesitation, I shot one mite, killing it before they could even react. Fizby charged in, perhaps feeling he needed to prove his bravery, and used his fire magic on a mite. The mites responded by opening their eyes at him, but Fizby remained unflappable. Drath also stumbled forward into the room, along with Kroog's pet, who was not as constrained by the low ceilings. Two of the remaining mites fled, climbing up the shaft in the center of the room. The other got mauled by the cougar.

I went to the shaft, and saw that the mites were having difficulty with the detritus we left to cover the hole on the floor above. A couple of arrows later, I had killed them both. Eventually, the cougar and Drath managed to wear away the last mite.

We freed the kobold captive, though I was tempted to kill him. Kobolds are often cunning evil creatures that gang up on and harass dwarven miners. However, I had read that some tribes have advanced cultures. Perhaps this kobold and I could overcome the stigmas and prejudices that have plagued our peoples for countless millenniums. I remembered one of the Psalms of the Spheres:

Can't we raise our minds and make a start?
Can't we find the minds to lead us,
Closer to the heart?

So I listened. The kobold said his name was Mikmik, and that his tribe were the Sootscales. The mites stole their idol, a winged fearsome kobold warrior. I realized immediately he was talking about the ivory devil statue. I was a little concerned, if the kobolds' patron was a devil, they may prove more difficult to deal with that I initially expected. However, I felt we should at least see if they were in fact friendly, and whether we could negotiate or not. Mikmik promised us we'd be received as heroes, but you never know when caprice will take hold.

So we decided to take Mikmik with us, and returned to the horses. We set up camp, ate some goodberries, and fed the horses. I threw the ball a few times for Leeroy, before making him go to bed. Someone suggested we could get Mikmik to take a watch, but I felt that we shouldn't completely trust him just yet. Besides, he was still wounded from his ordeal, and probably not an effective sentry in his condition anyway.

Pharast 16th – That morning I noted that Mikmik appeared to be feeling a lot better, he was excited to show us his tribe, but unfortunately we opted to ride in a different direction. I noted that morning as we prepared, Drath was still moving rather slowly. He was having a hard time saddling his horse, and thought for certain he was going to accidentally kill himself shaving, but he managed to get by with only a dozen or so cuts... Still, I could not fault him for his bravery thus far.

We rode south east, coming upon the Shrike again. This time we were able to find several crossings, and made sure to stay on the south bank of the river.

Pharast 17th – We continued following the south bank of the Shrike, the river deepened, and we could no longer cross to the north side. We would have to come back to explore along the north bank at a later date.

Pharast 18th – Again, we followed the south bank. Mikmik seemed to enjoy riding with us on our pack horse, and made no complaints. The fact that he seemed to trust us so much was heartening to me. Hopefully the rest of his tribe would be open to us as well. Eventually, we came again to Davik's Crossing. We made camp again. Looking over our pack horse, I noted that we would probably have to head back and get some more feed soon.
Session: Game Session 3 - Saturday, Aug 13 2016 from 3:30 PM to 8:00 PM
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