After exploring the few sections of open plains and hills directly south of their characters base of operations, the party decided to head to south and west and begin exploration of the woods and hopefully to discover the abandoned temple to Erastil described to them by the cleric, Jhod Kavken.
Fully resupplied, another section of open plains was explored and added to their map. On the second day out, the party ventured into the woods of the Narlmarches.
Being forced to dismount their horses to properly explore the forest, the task was going to take much more time, much to the delight of the party’s dwarf, who very much hated riding, and to the chagrin of the rest of the party, as it meant their task was made much harder.
And the forest offered much more difficulty to their task, beyond just the simple obstacle of extended time. During the first night in the forest, their horses had managed to untie themselves and wander off, even with Giltar standing guard. On the second day, the party found their rations spiked with something that gave the elves delicate digestive systems trouble.
It was at that time, that Aurikk began to suspect that some minor fey might be involved and attempted to make contact with them, to no avail. Although his suspicions were proven to be sound, by the laughter elicited from high in the treetops at his feeble diplomatic attempts.
As the party bed down for the third night in the forest, Erivyn with an assist from the wizard managed to successfully contact the fey, with a bribe of some honey mead the ranger had on her.
Tyg-Titter-Tut, a female grig, and Pervalish, a male fairy dragon cautiously accepted the bribe/gift and began a conversation with the ranger on her watch.
The two fey, had assumed the party were with those awful bandits and had decided to play pranks. After the wide ranging conversation/interrogation with Erivyn, the fey disclosed many secrets of the immediate area, Including both the location of the lost shrine of Erastil, and bandit camp further down river.
The fey, now knowing that the party were not allied with those nasty bandits, promised to not plays pranks on them anymore, and the party promised to bring some sweets with them the next time they returned to the forest.
The group decided to head to the holy site first and encountered a sickly bear, who acted as a guardian of the shrine.
Giltar answered the guardian bear’s challenge with a bellow of his own, and nearly paid for it with his life. As usual, Dazgrim patched the party up, and Giltar’s blade rammed deeply into the bear and finished him off. As the bear died, he transformed into an old man, and then sighed and turned to dust. The shrine also transformed, the sickly waters turning bright and clear once again, as if a curse was lifted from the place.
The party spent the next few days exploring the area around the shrine, and Erivyn spent her free time restoring the shrine to its intended purpose.
At this point the characters, fully rested from the guardian attack, set out to investigate the bandit camp, the two fey creatures had informed them of.
It was meant to be strictly a recon mission, but it appeared that the bandits had had enough time to set up an ambush for the would-be ambushers.
Erivyn was caught unawares by a pair of the bandits, who used a thunderstone to stun her and then nearly killed her with their bows from their hidden spots among the trees.
Giltar went into a full rage, and charged the camp to make certain that the remaining bandits focus went to him.
The camp’s leader, a vicious human ranger by the name of Kressle, directed the fight of her band and slowly whittled away at the barbarian’s life at range with her daggers from the treetop platforms.
Giltar hacked his way toward the bandit leader, who grinned and brandished her twin hand axes, thinking the wounds he had already endured would ensure a quick finish of this foe.
But, as with her lieutenant before her, her head was removed from her shoulders with a single, massive, swing of the barbarian’s blade.
The remaining three bandits immediately surrendered after witnessing the carnage wrought by the hulking half-orc.
The party showed mercy and accepted their surrender and sacked the camp and headed back to Oleg’s to turn over the bandits to the guards.
After spending a night of rest, the party set off with Jhod to the temple of Erastil and follow up on a few more leads into the woods of the Narlmarches after getting the cleric settled in.