The old lady at the temple here needed some shrooms for healing the local livestock of an infection, asked for volunteers. Didn't have anything better to do so I decided to go, though her attitude sure as hell coulda been better. Not always the best idea, talking down to the people who're getting you the shit you want.
Went to the northeast and after a while we crossed into a desert, I'm still finding that damn sand in places. Pretty uneventful until we noticed a bunch of giant-ass spiders ahead, big as dogs. One of those creepy-as-hell magic dudes cast an illusion of trees. No idea why he chose that, considering there hadn't been a damn one for miles. Never did have much use for magic, but whatever, it worked and the spiders kept going. The weird elf magicky guy found a human leg bone he decided to keep for a club.
Found the cave the old lady talked about, and there was some crazy-ass guy in there. Snuck up close and the others started talking to him, apparently he lived there with his 'family' though he hadn't heard another person's voice in who knows how the hell long. The elf magic guy did something to make the bucket for the shrooms head over to the wall to scrape them off while the guy living there was distracted, which didn't go too well when the invisible thing holding the bucket fell into a damn hole. The barkeep Derevan did get him to give up some of the shrooms for a bottle of booze, though, and we started heading back to Darmend.
Until crazy dude's 'family' returned. Bunch of damn hyenas, and one of the magicky types made some illusion of sand dunes to hide us. Made a hell of a lot more sense than the trees earlier, though the hyenas could still smell us. The druid was able to talk to them, though, and eventually negotiated letting us continue on instead of trying to eat us.
Get back to the edge of the desert and we found the big-ass spiders again, this time they were fighting a bunch of giant bats. What the hell is with this place? I took up a position hiding behind a dune while most of the others attacked. The dwarf brute went charging in as fast as his short legs could carry him, screaming 'DARH!' as he went. The hell? Using his name as his battle cry? Whatever.
Fight went pretty well, only one bat got away and most of the spiders were either killed or turned to our side by the druid. She was pretty damn useful. I got the kill shot on one of the spiders, and we raided the bodies for spider venom, mandibles, and legs, and bat wings for leather.
Quiet the rest of the way back, the old lady was pretty happy about the mushrooms and loved the spider venom and mandibles. Got paid in some gold and health potions, and I sold most of the spider legs to the Flying Spoon. Made pretty good soup, though they called them 'land crab legs'. Kept one for Greta to experiment with.
Fuzzy – giant-ass spider
Bored so I went to the southeast with a different group to find a source of iron ore. Didn't get the details, but they'd been out this way before, with all kinds of crazy and weird shit happening. Something about giant birds, fish people, and slavers. Got to the river and we eventually found a ford we could use….which had some giant-ass water lizard thing ready to ambush anything that tried to cross. The ranger Kire managed to distract it long enough for everyone to cross.
Or try to cross. Holy fuck what a disaster that turned into. Few of us made it across, but few others slipped and got washed downstream. Environment is more of a threat than anything else, I guess. Everyone finally got across and out of the water and we made camp, I took second watch. About midnight I heard Bigfoot howling a ways off.
Dumbasses didn't believe me it was Bigfoot. Kept telling them and they blew me off. Came back to bite them in the ass later. First though we climbed up the foothills to get a better view of the area, since they said it was near the slaver plantation. Saw a bright reflection deeper in the mountains, and there was a clear area further down the foothills a few miles away.
Got closer and Kire was able to tell there were a bunch of humans there, so he, me, and the barkeep Derevan snuck up. Or at least me and Kire did, Derevan sucked at being stealthy. Alerted the guards, so he tried to mimic some kinda animal, which failed miserably. They started shooting at him as he ran away while Kire and me waited it out.
They'd built a new wall around this place, seemed to be some kind of mine. Bunch of green logs with one of the gates having been damaged by something big. Told Kire it was Bigfoot, dumbass didn't believe me. We could tell there were a buncha guards, though, and looked like they had slaves working the mine. Didn't sit well with either of us, and we reported back to the others.
Group decided the best plan would be attacking from all sides. They'd built pretty good defenses, with a couple towers and the wall was a good 10 feet high, but they'd ignored the cliff they were backed up against. 60 feet up is a long ways, but we made a rope to be able to climb down. Plan was for me and Kire to climb up the rise and fire on them from behind while one of the creepy-ass magicky types laid down fog to blind them, another creepy-ass magicky type firing on 'em, and the others rushing the wall.
Got up to the edge of the cliff easy enough, and we picked our targets. I took out one of the guards, arrow through the back of his head and out his left eye socket, and Kire took out another. All hell broke loose and I lost track of a lot of what was going on, 'specially after some asshole shot me. Though I put an arrow through him as payback. At some point one of those magicky guys was putting guards to sleep and melting them with fucking acid, while Derevan stole a crossbow and fired on them.
Then Bigfoot showed up, and he broke the enemy's will.
Proved all them wrong about doubting me when he came roaring up, tearing at the wall. Leader guy who I dubbed Captain Morgan couldn't decide whether to have his guys attack us or Bigfoot, which didn't help them any. Me, Kire, and Raina, who'd organized this whole thing to get some good iron for her to use, teamed up on Captain Morgan, and I got in the kill shot on him. Raided him real quick as by that point Bigfoot was inside the wall, killing the last of the guards, and ready to turn on us. Found a couple daggers and a scimitar, though I didn't need them as he was dead by the time I could attack.
Turned out this was a pretty sick group of assholes that wound up dead. Five guards still alive, three asleep, two deep in the mine with most of the slaves. Kire and me killed those two, freed the slaves. In one of the buildings they'd been holding some rich trader guy hostage, while in the other there were several women they'd been using for things other than working the mine. Kire gave them a club and they got vengeance on the last three guards.
Found a few crates of spices and some shit called opium the trader was pushing, and we brought the freed slaves back to town with us. Looted the bodies and found a few light crossbows, which I took one, and a bunch of leather armor, so now I'm better protected. Traded the scimitar for another healing potion, don't have much use for it myself, need something quicker than that thing was. Daggers will do for now. The mine itself wasn't exactly what Raina was looking for, it had more gems than iron ore, though she found enough for a few pieces.
Captain Morgan – asshole slaver leader
Pansy – slaver who ran away
Squinty – guard who I first killed
Jackass – the guy who shot me
Did some hunting, gathering, tanning and trading. Got a couple deer, and picked up some good wood for making some more arrows and some bolts for the sweet new crossbow.
Talked to Kire, he's apparently trained as a bowyer. Fletching's not quite the same, but he handled it well, got 30 more arrows and bolts to use. They've got light blue feathers from some really big bird he killed, didn't go into detail though. Wanted to trade me the arrows and a heavy crossbow for the leather, but heavy crossbow's too bulky for me, need something light. Does less damage, but I'm a lot better with it. Traded him some of the meat instead, got deer jerky now.
Spent a few days tanning the hides, so now I have some leather to work with, though I don't know shit about making anything with it. Probably trade it, could definitely use a sword.
Mohawk & Speckle – deer