Wealsun 1-5 After a week of celebrations in Bissel, the party gears up for an expedition into the Yatil mountains in pursuit of the Fingers of Iuz.
Although a river journey up the Velverdyva might be faster, the waters are swollen with sring runoff and unsafe. Besides, the overland trek would also be very difficult. The Highfolk road is also not an option due to a recent avalanche that has washed out the road.
As they prepare, the party is introduced to a female Ranger, Calixta. “I know some of that area.” she says, “And you look like you could use an extra companion and guide.” Tarvik is able to vouvh for her. “I knew her brother. Both were fine trackers.”
The party leaves Bissel without fanfare. The journey into Ket and the Yatils takes a good eight days.
During those days, food and lodging are taken at welcoming villages and farmsteads, which get fewer and further between as the party goes higher into the mountains.
On the 6th day out from Bissel the party comes upon a burned out farmstead. They had been planning on tethering the horses with the local farmer here. The farmers bodies are found, lined up and executed. A black feather tells the party that the Fingers of Iuz are a few days ahead of them.
As the party climbs the trail into the mountains, local flora diminishes. There are fewer copses of trees, most giving way to tangleweed and scrub brush. Some few stands of pines and evergreens persist in places. Many game trails and caves dot the landscape. In many places the trail winds around precarious precipices, while at other times it crosses alpine meadows full of heather and dandelions. Water in plentiful, many streams churning with spring runoff.
Goats and sheep run free, and the odd bear and elk can be seen, studying the party before fleeing into the brush.
While the trail is difficult the off trail terrain is downright formidable. (All off trail movement is considered difficult terrain.)
Movement daily by horseback is 15 hexes/day Half that if searching for trails or tracking.
Movement afoot is 9 hexes/day. Again halved if tracking or searching. This is halved again for minor trails, and halved again for off trail excursions. (1/4 move off trail.)
The party must graze the horses 1 day in 3, and can also take that opportunity to hunt, once provisions run out.
The party encounters a landslide and must spend half of a day clearing a safe path.
The party happens upon a Hobgoblin War Party camped on the trail. The party dispatches the Hobgoblin scouts and then Kidge sends some Arcane ice storm into the encampment, driving the Hobgoblins off in terror.
Just before noon the party stops at an intersection of trails, and while looking for the Fingers’ trail, Calixta is set upon by a pair of large brown bears. The party scares them off without taking any casualties. Shortly thereafter the party encounters a band of Dwarves on the march. The dwarves are hunting the hobgoblins, and the party passes on what info they have. It takes several hours for the column of dwarves to march past. The many dwarves have obscured any trail that the party may have been able to follow.
While trying to regain the trail of the Fingers’ Calixta finds a hidden trail and some very faint gnome tracks. They follow the secret trail for a few hours, before turing back. They mark the trail for locating again later. That evening the happen upon the carcass of a horse in the road. By the spilling of its packs, the party determines that it belongs to one of the agents of the Fingers’ likely the Duergar. They camp just down the road.
Believing that the Fingers’ are now at least 4 days ahead of the party, they hurriedly break camp and begin their journey, only to be surprised by a pair of Ogres hungry for a quick breakfast!!
The party dispatches the ogres fairly speedily, and prepares to resume their journey…..