After defeating the forces at Malrien’s Keep and conferring with Tally, the team decided to travel to the foothills in the far mountings to meet a smith with talents in working with quartznium. During their travels, they heard a scream from a boy and a shout from a man. Theren quietly rushed into the medium growth forest to see a human man and boy standing defensively in a wide clearing. It became clear they were being advanced upon by several reptilian creatures. The creatures were unarmed, but they were clearly crazed. The rest of the team was alerted by Theren and everyone joined the fight. Luckily, the creatures were not a challenge to the heroes. Theren turned his wall of leaves into a leaf statue of himself while Baldwin collected wood to build a burial fire for the defeated leaping felldrakes (x4). Telesphorus accepted the simple yet customary gesture from the man (Brandlin) and his son (Fillian). They had nothing else to offer, but the sharing of tea and a meal is a high honor among the poor humans of this region. Brandlin was also in awe of Ashlynne and her obvious magical abilities.
The next day, the heroes parted ways with Brandlin and Fillian, after learning a wide creek was at the end of the clearing, due west. Brandlin said there were ample provisions to be gathered along the creek, although game was surprisingly absent for this time of year. The team continued west until they reached the creek, which was easily crossed. While drying supplies after a successful crossing, Theren sensed a faint rumbling and saw a single stream of dark smoke rising from the middle of a dense forest directly to the west. The rest of the team were also able to also see a large cliff in the far distance to the northwest, with two other small streams of dark smoke rising; one rose from the top of the cliff. The team decided to step cautiously into the dense forest.
Again, Theren advanced into the forest quietly until he could make out the following scene: a wide clearing in the trees revealed a slowly rising drumlin with the ruins of ancient pillars and a statue. On one of the massive pillars sat a large figure with its back turned to Theren’s view. A fire gently burned, obviously having been tended as a cook fire. Two wolves sat near the fire, gnawing at bones, while the large, seated figure moaned with sorrow. As the rest of the team cautiously approached, Telesphorus saw that the statue was of Humphrey Of Newcastleton. [Humphrey was a ruler that dedicated all his efforts to building monuments to himself; as a result, Newcastleton was never even officially established and “Humphrey” is still used as a derogatory term to this day.]
The massive, seated figure could be heard muttering “Where Tor?” This caused Baldwin to attempt parley. This, in turn, caused the massive figure to turn around and reveal itself as a giant, bare-breasted ogre mother in full-on distress mode. She grabbed her club and immediately swung it at the unarmed Baldwin for 13 damage. Theren and Telesphorus were able to kill the two hunting wolves, just as two more hunting wolves emerged from the wood. Ashlynne attempted to lie to the ogre mother, telling her that “Tor that way,” pointing in the direction of the cliff and the other smoke streams. Ashlynne was successful and the ogre mother ran away in a sprint along with her hunting wolves, ignoring the rest of the team. Without stopping to heal, the team ran in pursuit. Theren tied 20’ of vines to an arrow and fired it at the ogre mother’s club, but he misjudged the distance and missed.
Theren was the first to arrive to where the ogre had run, and he immediately saw an encampment of furry humanoids. They were Wilden and Theren knew it was quite uncommon for Wilden to be camping outside of a forest along a cliff-face, and especially in a long wooden cabin. Wilden Destroyers were on the ground with axes, Wilden Hunters were mostly off the ground with bows, and the ogre mother and wolves were trying to maneuver through defensive structures (rocks and fences). The wolves each took out Destroyer, then two Hunters took out both the wolves. Just then, a Wilden wearing raiment made of bones and stitches of fabric emerged from a small, single-dwelling hut. The Wilden Ancient held up a crude, carved, wooden figure, stamped his spear into the ground and then struck the wooden figure (totem) to the spear. This caused the earth to swell in a straight line leading to the ogre mother, where the soil erupted and pulled the ogre mother 1’ into the ground, where she was immobilized and damaged. Theren rushed up near the side of the ogre mother and fired a shot at a Hunter to the far northeast, causing 6 damage. The Hunter attempted to return a shot, but in the sudden commotion, he instead fired an arrow into his thigh, causing himself 18 damage. Telesphorus sensed an opportunity to cause greater harm to the evil creature and fired a hand crossbow bolt into the wound for 3 damage (bloodied). Ashlynne then advanced and caused 13 damage to the Wilden Ancient. Baldwin rushed to the side of Theren, placing both of them directly beside the ogre mother and her giant club.
The ogre mother sniffed the air to get a sense of whether or not Tor is nearby, but her perception was so low that she still believes Ashlynne’s lie. The ogre mother will continue sniffing the air for indications as to whether Tor is near. If Tor isn’t near, the ogre mother has no reason to continue fighting because her urge is to search for Tor.