4 Illumination 508
That evening, the party arrives at the lodge of Lord Coln on the far end of the town of Riverton.
At the end of a gentle, upward slope, they encounter an estate protected by wooden walls and a large gate. The gate is manned by a group of liveried soldiers. After Surm explains their business with the nobleman, one of the guards sends word to the main house of the party’s arrival.
Eventually, they are brought to the main lodge house of the estate and are met by an older man called Leofric, Lord Coln’s chamberlain. The party is welcomed by the chamberlain and brought into the house. The entry chamber of the lodge seems well-equipped for armed visitors, as the walls are lined with various pegs and racks for equipment. The party is asked to leave their weapons here and are escorted into a small rustically decorated sitting room. The room houses several stuffed animal heads and a large, furred, animal-skin rug. Here, Leofric offers them refreshment and asks for them to await his lord.
Soon, the party is met by a Lord Coln. The nobleman is a man of middle years, with a long, thick mustache and a large body that was probably once muscular, but has since degenerated to a state of pudgy comfort. He is starting to go bald and has a rugged, tanned complexion. He gives the party a hearty welcome to his lodge and takes a seat to hear their business.
In the course of their conversation, Coln indicates that the task of retrieving a griffon’s egg is still unfulfilled. It is a difficult task—the mountain passes are high and treacherous, occupied by more than just griffons, and the beasts themselves are not exactly safe. Surm assures him that they are the party for the job, because with them travels the great Savaric, " Slayer of the blood-beast of Stavan, router of the kobold’s clan underneath Corocal’s Barrow. "
The nobleman is glad to hear it, excited at the prospect of finally getting the egg that he wants. He offers the party 3500 gold pieces for the egg, should they be able to retrieve it. After a bit of negotiation, Coln agrees to pay the price for the delivered egg, regardless if another party brings him one in the interim. They seal the deal with a handshake.
It will take three to four days of mountain travel to arrive at the griffon breeding grounds in the upper reaches of the Slayt Mountains. Their gracious host offers to allow them to stay in his guest rooms for the night.
5 Illumination 508
In the morning, the party travels back into Riverton to shop for supplies. Surm notices that many of the streets are being patrolled by paladins of Barthal. They also meet with Master Cuthmund, an alchemist. He will concoct a sleep potion with which to dose a full-grown griffon. He provides two doses of the mixture. He also indicates that he would be interested in purchasing a griffon’s mane, should they come across one in their travels…
Completing their shopping expedition, they return to the mountains, passing through Lord Coln’s lodge on the way. Here they are allowed to stash some of their belongings, including some of their community funds. Finally, around noontime, the party starts moving into the upper passes.
After spending the day climbing steep slopes deeper into the mountains, the party ends the day making camp on the pass. As the group makes preparations for the coming night, an ogre lumbers into their encampment. The beast is soon dispatched and its corpse is rolled off of the side of the cliff.
The rest of the night, though cold, passes without incident.
6 Illumination 508
The party breaks camp in the morning and continues up the pass. As they travel upward, it gets harder and harder to breath, making the journey arduous and tiring.
Late in the morning, Savaric hears movement coming toward them from around a corner on the pass. The party lies in wait as an ogress comes bounding around the corner. A brief fight ensues, ending in the death of the monstrous creature. Her corpse, too, is thrown off of the cliff alongside the pass.
That afternoon, the party encounters another obstacle. The pass narrows to a thin ledge for a distance of about ten feet, widening again after the ledge. Savaric tries to cross, bearing a rope to secure to the other side. He falls, but is dragged back up by the others. He removes his armor and tries again, finally making the crossing. He attaches the rope to pitons hammered into the mountain wall along the way. Once the rope is secure, he crosses, carefully, back to his friends.
Now all of them make the crossing, with the rope forming a kind of rail. They are forced to leave the mules, and some of their equipment, behind, hoping to be able to come back to it once their objective is complete. They also leave the pitons and robe to be used on their return trip.
That evening, snow flurries begin to fall as they make a camp on the pass. Night passes without incident.
7 Illumination 508
That morning begins cold and overcast as the party continues up the mountain. Early on, they are forced to tread carefully through a narrow field of rocky debris, making their footing treacherous on the still-climbing slope.
As Savaric leads the way, he finds that the slope begins to incline quite steeply. Trudging his way to the top of the next slope, he loses his footing on some of the loose debris and slides steeply down through a crevasse. Catching his breath after the fall, the half-orc takes in his surroundings.
He finds himself in a pile of refuse and garbage. There seem to be some rotted out stalls or stables nearby. He thinks he is in a large, man-made chamber, supported by four carved pillars. There are old tents and lumber strewn about the smelly mess of the room.
Meanwhile, the rest of the party has secured a rope to allow them to lower themselves down into the crevasse, which they begin to do so, one by one.
Savaric hears movement in the shadows and soon finds himself confronted by a bizarre creature with three legs and an enormous, toothy maw. It swings its three tentacles wildly in the air him. A putrid stench emanates from the ghastly creature. Savaric begins to engage it in battle.
The rest of the party finally arrives in the chamber after climbing down the rope and assists the ranger in dispatching the ugly beast. Surm and Mõrvar identify the creature as an otyugh, a beast that feeds on garbage and offal.
The sorcerers provide light as the party begins to search out their surroundings. In amongst the rubble and debris, they some bones that are identified as belonging to “slurks”—monstrous, giant frogs with tusks that are sometimes used as mounts in underground lairs. They also come across some interesting finds:
- Three tanglebolts : three sickly bolts etched with spider webs and vines, capable of entangling their target upon being hit.
- An " assisting glove ": The wearer of this simple glove can speak a command word to transform it into a glowing disembodied hand. As a swift action, the wearer can have the glove assist him with a task as if using the aid another action; the glove uses the wearer’s base attack bonus or skill ranks when making the check to see if aid another is successful (it does not gain the benefit of the wearer’s ability scores or other bonuses). The hand remains until it has attempted one action or until 1 minute passes, whichever comes first, at which time it becomes a nonmagical lambskin glove.
- Two potions: Cure Light Wounds and Cure Moderate Wounds (1 dose each)
- A scroll in a waterproof scroll case. The sorcerers were unable to decipher the script.
The room also seems to have some sort of plumbing system attached to the ceiling. There are also two sets of double-doors: one to the “west” and one to the “north”. The party gathers to contemplate their next move…