Cleaning up after their affair with the trolls, Sarthaal, Finch, and Mason all collect their breaths before riding east, to get away from this troll infested section of wood. Clearly there is more of a troll presence here than originally thought, and it would not do well to remain in monster territory!
A kobold harries them briefly as they ride, slinging Sarthaal in the face, who mutually responds with an arrow to the kobold’s neck. A critical hit! Not falling for any of the ‘chase me’ shenanigans, the party is pretty sure that engaging that kobold directly would have led them into a series of traps.
Their gallop leads them to the territory of another monstrous denizen- what they presume to be a drake, who is spitting acid at them! Having no time for this, still they ride- evading the beast’s poisonous clouds. They don’t stop until they reach the Slappidy-Doo and his tribe of Azureclaw lizardmen for respite. Gracious hosts, Slappidy-doo and company offer them food and rest, remaining on neutral-good terms with their more numerous neighbors to the north.
Meanwhile, Redemption is under attack! Brand is awoken, having slept off his almost-death with alacrity, only to have to deal with more shit when he awakens. He could kill everyone for this. Rallying with the town guard and Commander Reeves, they formulate a plan to combat the enormous, enraged owl bear that is stalking the city streets, currently destroying houses and having eaten a number of townsfolk (or at least parts of them).
Brand and Reeves quickly arrive at the plan to get some of the guard to lead it on, and lure it into a trap- Bokken has agreed to forgo any normal charges for his products and simply give over any of his in-town stock of flammables to the cause of city defence. The giant beast is attracted just as it sinks its claws into the city’s finest gentleman’s club, ripping off the door before turning on Guardsmen Harding, who screams and flees, with the beast in tow. A pit has been dug on Hobbs street, with all of Bokken’s explosives contained within. Jeoff is up in a window ready to flaming-arrow the crap out of that as soon as the beast is lured over top. Running distraction is Brand himself, replacing guardsman Harding, and accompanying him are Commander Reeves, and Sirs Bruce Gawain and Robin of Locksley. Circling the beast over top of the trap, Jeoff delivers a palpable hit- the explosive force setting the owlbear’s leg fur on fire and injuring it as the warriors on horseback harry it further. Nearly all of them feel the whallop of a crippling owlbear strike before the beast has had enough this day, and barrels off with surprising speed back into the wilderness out of town, leaving behind the city’s smoking and broken ruins!
Some serious thought is being given at this point to city walls.
Sarthaal, Mason, and Finch only arrive in the aftermath, congratulating Reeves and Brand on the feat- at which point, in a very quick ceremony, Mason passes leadership of the town guard to Brand, a role that suits him more favourably. The town guard and assembled militia give a cheer, before hurrying to put out fires, tend to wounds (of which Mason and Joan’s curative spells are a big help with), and assemble temporary shelters for those affected by the attack- as well as keep the peace!
The rest of the council assemble for a meal in the main hall of the castle to discuss strategy. Guardsman Goldblum, the scout, has already been sent out to track the beast, and they are discussing what to do in the meantime. City walls are brought up as a primary construction project (after the existing homes are rebuilt for the citizens), and a series of historic conversations occur- many of the council talking about their pasts, and what brought them here. Sarthaal, of note, has a brother somewhere, and was kicked out of his island home for having fallen in love with an orc raider who did not, in the end, love him back the same way. Finch speaks briefly of having fled the devil-worshipping nation of Cheliax, and Brand is asked about his house, and his swords. After the owlbear battle they appear to have gotten drawn etches on their metal, which don’t appear to form anything distinct yet, but are not battle-scarred damage. No one is quite sure what it is, but Mason can tell him that those marks are not random. They swap some stories regarding growing up near Stoneclimb (although Brand, as a minor noble, had something of a wealthier upbringing). Sarthaal continues to make overtures towards Kanaan, his bride to be, who finds them annoying at best, though she is still on strained speaking terms. The booze helps.
Mason sets to crafting a shield in the time they have- using his giant turtle shell acquired some time ago for parts to form something stronger, lighter, and more magically empowered than his simple metal protection previously worn.
Several days later, Goldblum returns- the beast has headed southeast in a pretty straight, easy to track line. Prepping potions, sharpening blades, and mounting up, the party moves to follow.
575xp each, from clever thinking, deflecting the owlbear, and good conversational RP.
People bought potions.
Mason built a Turtle Shell +1 Shield with a dash of Bull’s Strength added to the mix that he can use once a day, calling upon it via giving it a good bash with his sword.