I returned from Restov and delivering the bandit lieutenant to the Swordlord’s justice to find something most disconcerting: my erstwhile companions were cavorting and drinking at Oleg’s with a band of kobolds. It seems these “soot scale” creatures have recently reclaimed a mine and the rest of the company made a deal to allow them to continue to mine and trade the ore with Oleg. I am not pleased they decided to treat with these scaly little things without me but it was late and I was too tired to discuss it. When I awoke the next morning the tribe had left.
We continued mapping and exploring for the next several days. I was pleased to discovered there was boar in the woods south of Oleg’s Trading Post We tracked and fought one. Dax was delivered a grievous blow, but recovered with Thron’s help. Zolan struck the killing blow and I gave him the tusks as a prize. We dined well on roast boar that night.
We learned of another tribe of kobolds in the area, these ones have bronze scales. They had dug up a patch of a root vegetable known as dragon root, sometimes used as an emetic by healers, but evidently has an intoxicating effect on kobolds. They attacked us to defend their hoard, but in their inebriated state were no match for us; I sincerely doubt they would have been a match for us were they at full strength.
Returning to Oleg’s we found a man named Anton, a representative of Restovian smithing interests. It seems the sample of ore we sent them was so remarkable they sent a personal liaison to propose a deal. The ore is known as “Ghost Iron” and is so rare as to be semi-mythical; no smith in Restov has worked it in living memory. It purportedly takes enchantments easier than common iron, and is supposed to be proof again ghost, spirits and other incorporeal creatures. His employers will pay handsomely for exclusive rights to whatever raw ore we can recover.
It was decided we should return to the sootscales to discuss the ghost iron and also learn about other kobold tribes in the region. This suited me well as I want to make a few things clear to the their leader regarding our arrangement, and I also want to know the extent of dragon root use and trade among the tribes; I will not have drug smugglers running free in my new lands.
The trip down was eventful. We fought giant spiders in a copse of dead trees. I was badly bitten and their venom caused my joints and muscles to lock tight for a time. It passed eventually, but being paralyzed is not an experience I care to repeat. We burned the trees to make sure no more were hiding further inside. It was a good fire.
The final day before we reached the sootscales mine we encountered possibly the most astounding thing. We came upon a crossing on a river, recently burned. The bodies of small folk and bandits alike were in the area. The bandits bore tokens of the “Stag Lord” a bandit of some note in the stolen lands. One corpse in particular caught our eye. It appeared as though it had drowned and was left submerged for some time, but the destruction was too recent and besides the body was well above the river line. We were trying to puzzle what could have caused such a thing, when the answer presented itself to us in the form of an ambulatory corpse. This corpse too had drowned, buy the look of him, but had been reanimated by some fell magic. At first we made to defend ourselves against the creature but it made no move toward us. That was merely puzzling; what was shocking was when it spoke and asked if we were the stag lord’s men. We said no, and that we were actually seeking to rid these lands of his influence. The dead man asked that we bring his corpse to this spot on the river and toss the body in, so that this creature could exact his own revenge for the violence done to him and his family. We agreed to do this thing, once the Stag Lord was dead.
On a more personal note I’ve been working with Dax, teaching him to go for help if I should fall in combat. I feel the training is going well.