Surrounded by goblins and pelted by arrows, the party had to do something quick. Brimstone immediately drove the horses forward into a run, just smashing through the dozen or so goblins ahead of them, two of the little beasts being trampled to death in the process. The goblins immediately gave chase, attempting to score a few more hits with their bows.
Pewter momentarily stymied their efforts with a magically summoned fog cloud. Ruby attempted to cast as well, but the bouncing of the wagon was too much for her. The goblins continued to give chase, and their bows proved to have a distressingly long range. A couple of more arrows found their mark. Ziggy used his illusion magic to distract the goblins, and then Pewter summoned an illusion of a troll. The goblins, not entirely sure what was going on, decided that discretion was the better part of valor and gave up the chase. Once the wagon reached the safety of the inn, the gatehouse was informed of the danger, and then the Silverforge clan could relax.
Unseasonably heavy rains came in, causing a delay in their departure. Deciding that the rain wasn’t going anywhere soon, the group continued on their journey after staying an extra day at the inn. Despite being early summer, the weather was much more like autumn. Eventually the rain let up, and after four more days on the road, they reached the city of Troye,
Their first stop was the Traveler’s Rest, their favorite inn and one of about a half-dozen so-named inns within the city walls. Oswald, the innkeeper, told them of a scholar who was seeking guards for an expedition. The group decided that they would meet this scholar at The Gilded Mouse, a bit of a lower class inn.
The next day, the group concluded their business with the Borgandy family, Ruby annoyed one of the guards at the counting house, and then they were off to meet with Sarrus Togren, Tenured Professor of History at the University of Subtleties, located in Troye. He was accompanied by his assistant, Nymea Goswynn, Fellow at the College of History.
Togren explained that he was leading an expedition to the Yolbiac Vale, specifically to a region known as the Quillande Ferosc. He believed that the first human inhabitants, the Ancient Ones, left secrets to be found there. However, the region was highly dangerous, being a favorite place for fugitives and bandits to hole up. The group agreed to go along, the parties came to a price, and then the group went off to get supplies, since the expedition was leaving the next day.
Right at the crack of dawn, the rain came back. The party met the rest of the students and faculty from the University: Sigra Ironshoulders, Professor of Engineering & Geography; Gedney Foulkes, a student of arcane history; Maiesse Tolivant, a student with extensive forestry experience; Drew Connat, a physically inept student who probably should have stayed at home; Sylva Monstrose, a bright, bookish girl who apparently didn’t care for Nymea; and Regis Tenebro, a creepy, sullen student whose presence on this expedition left many wondering.
It rained more or less constantly for the almost six days it took to get to the Avauntz Inn, which is close to the Quillande Ferosc. Along the way, Regis was caught going throw the group’s wagon, which caused a brief physical confrontation with Brimstone. Sigra quickly broke it up. Once the group reached the inn, the riding horses, draft horses, and wagon would be left there and the group would continue on with only the pack mules.
During their stay at the Avauntz Inn, the party got a handful of local rumors about the area, though they didn’t really engage the locals present in much conversation, so it’s possible some useful information was missed. During the night, Ziggy, who was sleeping in the stable, was awoken by scratching noises at the stable door. The next day, he found scratches incongruous with an animal. It was also discovered that Ziggy, Ruby, and Sylva all had strange, disturbing dreams.
Despite the still present rain, the group pressed on into the forest. After several hours of unpleasant travel, the expedition approached a clearing. That’s with the deadfall was dropped on them, hitting Brimstone. The party took out the bandit that had dropped it pretty quickly, and then they were engaged by a pair of archers. After an exchange of arrows and magic, Brimstone got to the archers and put an end to their antics. They heard other bandits in the trees retreating, though never caught more than a glimpse of them.
The group, shaken, pressed on a little further, then set up camp. During the night, the rain began to lessen. At one point, it seemed that there may have been something lurking in the trees nearby, but whatever it may have been was never seen by the sentries. And those disturbing dreams returned.