Quiet fell upon the walls as the few surviving kobolds retreated in the aftermath of the battle. Their assault on the walls breach was foiled, and the party was left to collect themselves and aid the surviving guards in helping the injured, and collecting the fallen. Collecting the kobold corpses to dispose of, the party found a few items of use. After around an hour, they retired to the offered bunks in the barracks, exhausted.
Awakened early (and rudely) by Midna, she fed the party a soldier's breakfast while she explained the party's next task.
"There's an old ranger off in the woods, Rorand, bit of a recluse," she said, while eating with the party. "Normally 'e keeps to 'imself, but with these kobolds pushing farther and faster into the woods, he's been keeping an eye on their movements. We don't know where the buggers dissapear too; they cover their damn tracks too well. Ror," she said through a mouthful of bread, "has them roughly figured down. I'll give you a pointer to where he lives, and he'll lead you'all to the general area. Don't piss him off too much though," she said, almost as an afterthought. "I've never seen the git coming."
After the quick breakfast, the party set out just as the dawn was breaking, following the crude map they had been given to the ranger's whereabouts.
As they neared to where they had been told, a massive oak, hundreds of years old, reared into view, easily dwarfing other surrounding trees. As they moved closer, the party noticed a pair of glimmering eyes in between the leaves and branches. Peering closer, they noticed a rather large leopard lazily observing them, followed by a tap on the warforged's shoulder. Turning around, a bemused, older human looking at them, none other than Rorand.
After some startled introductions, he and the leopard, (evidently his animal companion) led them near the ruins of an ancient keep, overgrown and little more than foundations. Rorand said that all the kobold tracks seemed to dissapear around here, and with his keen eyes, his guess was that they had fashioned some hidden entrance around here. After a sleepy warning to keep an eye out for 'forest critters, vegetation, and bad luck,' he dissapeared back into the brush.
The party, taking his warning to heart, cautiously circling the ruins hesitantly. Grim informed the party that from what little he was able to scrounge from the town's 'library', that this was an ancient keep, built and run primarily by gnomes. It served primarily as a outpost, and was abandoned by whatever kingdom it served to save gold.
Deciding to play it safe, Grim rendered himself invisible and scouted ahead of the party as they cautiously advanced. Nearing the remains of a tower, they noticed a viney bush suddenly animate and seemingly grapple the air, as vegetation all around it began writhing and grasping at anything around it. Quickly determining that Grim had stumbled upon an assassin vine, the paladin rushed through the entangling underbrush and quickly squashed it flat, saving the beguiler in the nick of time. After some comments about venturing off by himself, the party continued to search the ruins…
...but only seconds later were ambushed by a pair of shambling mounds rushing from their hidden, motionless position. Getting some good hits in their attempt to eat their prey, the party made quick work of them, rendering the shambling mounds into salad mounds.
Taking some time to recover, they ventured to the last area of the ruins, a fallen tower spire, covered in a mound of vegetation. Moving closer, the goliath was surprised as the vegetation reached out and wrapped itself around him, rearing up to form the hideous shape of a tendriculous, and tore into him with terrifying teeth the size of longswords.
Grimly slashing into it, the party with some skill (and not a little luck) eviscerated the plant until it moved it's last. Exhausted, they party searched over the spire, and discovered a concealed door as Barley bumped a stone brick. A section of stone swung away to reveal a tunnel leading underground. Deciding to rest before venturing into the dark underground, they retreated a ways, and settled down for the night.
What remains to be seen is unknown, the but our brave adventurers will find out tommorow…
Experience Gained: 2725