With only a crude map and vague idea of what they face, the group headed out again into the wild.
After leaving town as quickly as possible, the group first returned the Hunters’ Lodge where their last bit of trouble took place.
From there, the group set out south and westward.
From Nubereg’s notes, she planned to travel overland, first disguised as a merchant caravan until past the Common Road, then through the wilderness with the enigmatic Lemisk, and a smaller group of scouts to aid them.
The group traveled three days on the Common Road until they came across the tiny town of Nonce.
The group were able to recover from their journey and gather some supplies for the longer journey. Not wanting to draw undue attention, the group split into two smaller groups. With Aki, Fossil, and Sha’Riven being the more conspicuous they remained acamp in the countryside.
Meanwhile, it fell to Henry and Damien to get outfitted and gather any word of caravan traffic through these parts.
A trading post within a day’s travel was the likely place where Nubereg parted ways with the caravan. The region’s trading companies paid a stipend which covered upkeep of the road and a guard company to patrol the road. Given the lack of a central ruler outside of small townships, it was the only real order in the region west of Denhagen.
After several days of travel without incident, the group’s luck ran dry. A large horde of kobolds charged them at sundown.
Despite the numerical advantage, the kobolds were no match for the road-weary adventurers. Rather than slaughtering them outright, Aki Warflame merely subdued their leader and demanded the rest swear fealty to him.
And so the totemist was crowned Chief Aki, King of the Warflame Clan.
Aki’s first act as king was to discover his Clan was subordinate to a troll warlord who ruled the region outside of the guard company’s influence. When prodded, the kobolds revealed the troll’s lair was a haunted cave deeper in the moor that borders the Common Road.
With a possible destination within reach, the group heads into moors, with a kobold honour guard guiding them. With the kobolds’ aid and Aki’s enhanced hunters’ sense, they make easy headway towards the “haunted cave”.
As they get closer, they see the cave in actually a very overgrown temple. One built hundreds of years earlier.
As they traversed the wetlands, the group was ambushed by aquatic trolls. Attempts this time at diplomacy were not met well, so combat was engaged.
From their cover, Aki’s kobolds harried the bog trolls long enough for Fossil to conjure acid to leave the creatures permanently dead. The kobolds informed the group that the troll warlord was still at large.
Finally the temple itself was found, at upon arrival, the troll warlord appeared. it was actually a two-headed troll by the names of Gark and Nerk.
Gark alone might have been agreeable to diplomacy, but Nerk would have none of that. Summoning the remaining bog trolls in their gang, Gark and Nerk fought to the death. Fossil used the remaining charges of the red wizards’ fire orb wand to keep them dead.
The trolls left behind a rich bounty. The creatures had sporadically raided caravans unprotected by the guard company.
Among the treasures was a set of arcane scrolls mean to break enchantments, as well as a suit of magical armour that replaced the dented and rusted breastplate worn by Sir Henry.
The temple itself after a brief search, revealed an entrance to lower levels. After deciding to rest for the evening and start at dawn, the group set camp.
Rooting through the items of the trolls, they found evidence of the expedition of Comptess Nubereg; the travel notes and spellbook of Her Ladyship were among them. Thus the fate of Comptess Nubereg was determined, likely in the belly of a troll.
Dawn came soon enough. Sha’Riven located a secret entrance to the temple, and immediately Damien set out to find likely traps. Oddly enough some were found, but most were already sprung, and some marked clearly.
Someone or thing had already been through the ruins, and they left a trail to follow. Cautiously, the group did so.
The trail ended with a statue of a woman. From the looks of it, she did not want to be set in stone.
Then a skittering sound revealed where the statue came from. A flock of cockatrices descended upon the party, each with a peck that could turn a grown person to stone.
Frantic combat ensued, and the group luckily did not turn to stone.
Catching their breath, the group came to the conclusion this statue was the very same Comptess whom they sought.
Fossil was able to decipher the scroll to break the magical petrification, and at long last, the group found Comptess Etaine Nubereg.
After recovering briefly, Etaine (as she insisted they call her), revealed some of her findings. The temple they were in once was a shrine to an Elven nature god. The druidess who built the shrine was one of the heroes who brought low the God Emperor Thenacus centuries earlier.
Somewhere in this temple she was certain they would find the Brass Orb of Dragonkind.