So you took back the carts, only to be accused of having stolen something (as well as having damaged one of them). The bales of tobacco were deranged, and Ansel said there was something missing and accused you of having stolen it. After you proclaimed innocence, he hesitated then took you into his confidence. He had been carrying a special item with powers against an evil which is rising in the broken lands of the humanoids. He had been carrying it in a secret compartment in the tobacco wagon, so didn’t know how Ragnar had known about it or where to find it.
You took the hint and headed back off after Ragnar. A few hours upstream from the camp site, you came upon a tumbledown building next to a river crossing. You ventured into the building, and disturbed first a swarm of bats, then some frogs (as The Monk charged through a rotten door and measured his length in a puddle the other side). Fonkin ventured upstairs and fell through the rotten ceiling. Meanwhile Ylva and Horace had discovered a pile with some red points of light gleaming out of it. Fonkin came in and tried talking to it; it turned out to be a giant rat which was happy to talk back to Fonkin. It said there had been some big people, bad smelling, staying. Fonkin then insulted it by calling it his small friend (it was 2 foot tall) and offering him herbs (it preferred meat or cheese). When Fonkin tried to persuade it to follow along, It headed off, encountering Kade, who had discovered that the wall between the two sides had a hole in. It ran off.
While this had been happening, The Monk had found a camp site with a fireplace where the embers weren’t yet cold, and some indication that several human-sized figures had slept there. Kade had found a store cupboard with some rope and barrels of rotten, chewed and spoiled food.
Ylva headed up the stairs and, learning from Fonkin’s mistake, headed carefully across the floor, following some footprints. She found a scrap of parchment with details of the timing of the caravan, including the arrival in Rennydale two days earlier. On her way back, she strayed off the safe path and put her foot through the floor/ceiling (startling Horace and Fonkin who were below) but managed to catch herself. The Monk came rushing over to help, but actually just succeeded in shaking the floor as she got herself loose.
There being nothing else of note in the building, you headed outside and noticed footprints which led from the path to the door and then back along the wharf a bit before stopping next to a bollard. Looking across the river (which was about 40’ across at this point) you saw a boat on the other side. It was tied up to a wharf at the foot of the cliff. There was also a wooden building nestled against the cliff on the left, and a winding stairway/path up the cliff to the top. The space under the cliff had been worn away by the river in years earlier, providing a sheltered area under the rock.
Horace tried throwing a grappling hook over to the boat to pull it in, but it only reached half way.
Kade tried putting the grappling hook into her crossbow, but it didn’t fit. She then had the idea of tying a rope to the bolt and firing it across the river – first thought was to try to hit it into the boat, but then you thought better of that in case you sank the boat, and she fired it at the wooden building instead. It hit and dug in, and you had a rope across.
Fonkin tried swimming across holding onto the rope, but lost his grip in the current and got swept away. Fortunately Ylva managed to throw him a rope and pull him back again.
He tied the rope on this time and tried again. Again he lost his grip on the rope and was swept away.
Ylva took the second rope and tied it on and gave it a go – and she made it across. She untied the rope and got into the boat with it, and Horace pulled her and the boat back to your side. Ylva, Fonkin, The Monk and Kade went across together, using another rope to pull on, then Horace pulled the boat back and went over on his own (he didn’t trust it to carry all of them). The Monk tied the boat up again where it had been.
Looking in the building there wasn’t much except some oars and a few pallets (Kade hid the oars), and under the overhang there were a couple of places where people had obviously made fires, and some rough walls. The group spent the night in the building.
In the morning, you had another look round, then headed up the stairs/path to the top of the cliff. You made it without incident, and found moorland with what looked like a simple animal track heading out. Following this track, you saw occasional marks of humanoid feet and footwear. After a couple of hours, the moorland gave way to trees and the forest. You saw a family of elk, but let them be, and then a rusty brown flying lizard. You kept under cover and after a while it dived down towards an area in the distance diagonally to your left.
The path came to the edge of the woods again and passed alongside more moorland, and a few hours later you heard the sounds of battle. Following those sounds you came across about 50 warriors in pitched battle…but you could see right through them and they didn’t notice you. Kade ran across, and right through them without any effect. Fonkin managed to recognise one of the devices on one of the shields as being from ancient history – maybe 500 years ago. After a bit the warriors faded out and were gone as if they had never existed, leaving no trace behind on the heather.
It was getting dark, so shortly afterwards you made camp for the night. Screeches disturbed your meal time, but nothing further happened until you were settling down to sleep. Ylva had taken the first watch, and the others were in the tents, when a huge figure pounced on her out of the darkness, giving her a surprise and a nasty bite. Its screech and hers together woke the rest, and while she retreated, the others spilled out of their tents. The Monk tapped it with his quarterstaff and a kick, and Fonkin tried to put it to sleep – which had no effect. Kade stumbled out of the tent and hit it with an arrow, and then it took a huge swipe at The Monk with its claws and left him a bleeding wreck on the ground.
Horace rushed over and gave him the stabilising touch. Ylva took a shot with her arrow, The Monk ran round behind it…and missed with the quarterstaff but hit with the unarmed punch. Kade got another hit in, and it ran off. Although you had a look you couldn’t see where it had gone, and you decided not to give chase…
So, 50xp for returning the wagons, 150 for your investigations in the ruined house, 400 for getting across the river and 700 for routing the owlbear gives a total of 1300xp for the session. Split between 5 gives 260xp each, which added to your 35 each from last time leaves you on 295xp…tantalisingly close to the 300xp for level 2…