Training finished (Sergi’s trainer had finally persuaded him he didn’t have to play ALL the time), the group reassembled at Clifton’s ready for the caravan. They had two covered wagons, and put boards up the sides inside for extra protection from missiles. The wagons were filled with turnips, and Clifton provided a couple of his normal guards to join them. And they set off. Yunan and Reed keeping to the sides of the road so they might go unnoticed.
The first few hours travel were fairly uneventful, but when they were passing some scrubland, Yunan noticed some movement in the gorse bushes – they were shaking and then falling down. The group got ready for an ambush…but were not expecting giant ants the size of house cats with throbbing green abdomens and green liquid dripping from their mandibles.
The ants immediately attacked with bite and spit, and when the team finished off the first one they discovered these ants had a nasty final surprise – they burst in a final spray of acid. One of the guards got very badly bitten and was gasping his last when Yunan healed him. Miroslav had a nasty moment when his weapon flew completely out of this hands straight towards Reed…but Reed managed to catch it and throw it back!
The ants took quite a bit of killing, but eventually all four were dead and the team could bind their wounds and continue, leaving behind the blackened vegetation where the acid splatters had hit.
The rest of the day was uneventful, and they camped in their usual campsite. The night was quiet as well, until around 5am when Reed was on duty the moon turned blood red. He woke up Yunan and asked his opinion of what this omen meant, and Yunan said in Ylaruam it was considered a sign that someone was about to die. At which point the moon reverted to its normal colour. Disconcerted, the pair of them stayed up the rest of the night, but nothing more untoward happened.
Next morning, the team broke camp early and headed out. As they came to the turning to Ironwolf’s Keep, they got the guards to stop pretending to check on the horses and have a brew while they waited for attack…an attack which never came. After an hour the guards insisted they move on, saying there was barely time to get to Verge before dark.
And so it proved – in fact it was already dark when they followed the road twisting down out of the hills and across the final stretch to where Verge stood on the other side of a small ravine. They crossed the bridge, passed the entry check, and headed to the Caldwell’s Cauldrons outlet and staging post. They chatted a bit with Maria, the woman in charge, asking about Ironwolf’s Keep. She knew about the keep but not that it was occupied, though she did comment that she had noticed lights flashing out that way at night sometimes. She was more worried about gnolls, and explained that was why Verge had such heavy fortifications. They then helped to unload the turnips and load up with the load of glassware and crockery which they were to take back. Having done that, Maria offered them a place to kip down on some hay and a basic stew. Sergi wandered round to the Fox and Grapes next door for a beer, and Miroslav wandered around exploring.
And there we leave it for another night…