After a short rest the party approaches the final section of the Ancient Trade Post, half a dozen brutally killed goblins are scattered about the hall that leads to the final two rooms. The first room has a very sophisticated lock that most of the party spends time puzzling over as Brogol enters the unlocked room. As he quietly enters the room Brogol sees the a large older Minotaur bandaging his wounds. It turns out the Minotaur, named Jong, had rescued the Aurochs from the goblins and locked them in the room the party had been attempting to get into.
Jong helps the Bestiars return the Aurochs to Keld and work out an arrangement with Gwen to sanction Jong to be a protector of Keld. The now apprentices decide to rest up in Keld for the night and then move right onto the next mission. The next mission is regarding unusual things happening with wildlife and monsters in the Pale Wood, they are to meet with a contact named Faine in Nera at the center of the woods.
On the parties’ way between Keld and Haverton, a town between Keld and the woods, they come across a group of bandits extorting people for money for using the road. The Malice and Brogol disagree on whether to pay up and a fight ensues where the bandit leader is killed and Keluvial intimidates all but two into fleeing. The two who didn’t flee are apprehended and taken into Haverton to the authorities there. One of those two was unconscious for several hours, that really can’t be good for him. I decided to give the new apprentices their badges in Haverton, I know we usually wait until the celebration but I thought they could use the authority while we are in Nera.
From Haverton the Bestiars decided to take the direct road from Haverton through the Palewood itself. The old road through the woods has some striking similarities to the architecture to the Ancient Trade Post that Jong lives in. Things were uneventful until the party went to bed down for the evening where we were attacked by swarms of bats that Slithiss realized could be driven off by Jarik’s unique form of music. Slithiss also noted that these were fruit bats, not usually likely to attack. As the party slept several twig, needle and a vine blight attempted to ambush the camp; however, Jarik noticed and sounded the alarm so everyone could defend themselves. The blight’s are clear evidence that something is terribly wrong in the Pale Wood.