To Capture an Owlbear
Elias Stone gave the troupe options when they expressed that they wanted to get close to the Gosser family in Baldersbalet, and all of those options were to make the gladiator trainer a bit of coin along the way. Fair’s fair – scratching backs and all that. And here’s where we find the troupe deep in The Forest of Silver Leaves laying a trap for a fey beast they tracked for two days, slowed down by a group of unsavory ogres (aren’t they all?) who were tracking the trackers. In the end it was Grotto’s scent that gave them away. Apparently taking a dip in the river in order to cross it wasn’t enough to wash away the musk of rum, salt and weed.
His particular spice actually played into their capture of the owlbear, in the end, however, as Grotto’s inability to stay hidden drew the creature in. So as Pontius Glaw recited the incantations of a hidden arcane snare ritual, Gideon went over the plan – a plan that had been used in times past by The Cylonian Moorelves, a group of people Gideon had come across in his extensive reading in the libraries of Fel’buus. The moorelves had developed a number of ways of capturing, taming and herding owlbears in their homeland, and the technique used this day was to snare it’s legs with lasso ropes and secure them to trees. An owlbear thus entangled over a day or two becomes morose and pliable – if tempted with food, can become accustomed to it’s captors and led not much unlike a horse.
So where were we – Pontius’ trap set, Gideon’s magically summoned owlbear mating call, and Grotto’s distracting odor, the lone owlbear (or “rogue” as the Cylonians called them) was drawn into a small clearing surrounded by trees, in which Saorise, Tsvolat and the others were perched with rope, one end secured to the tree, one end a lasso.
Pontius’ trap was triggered and the creature was pinned momentarily by spectral chains, and the hidden assailants leapt from their trees and began trying to ensnare it’s feet. The elves and the wizard found their marks relatively easily followed by the pirate, but it took a combined effort to tie down the last rope as the owlbear thrashed against the taught ropes, but thanks to the intimidating yells of Grotto Ramage, the last rope was secured and the creature was caught.
The River Barge
Overnight the creature’s will was broken, but the night was not so uneventful as Pontius and Saorise bore witness to a flock of flying women and their animal familiars swooping north over the tips of the trees.
Taking Morgendaan’s advice, they took their captured quarry east to the river where they waited on the bank for a barge sent to collect them. Manned by the eccentric Melvin, the barge carried them back down to Baldersbalet, but Melvin gave them a commentary on an old-world fort a little way in from the eastern bank.
“Melvin tells you now, that between where you are and that place there, there’s an uncountable number of skeletons of would be plunderers, thieves and desperate men. The ground is writhing with vines of terrible poison, the same poison the tips the arrowheads of the guards in it’s towers. See, it’s the greed they die of, really, not all the horrible things that happens to ‘em. Melvin ain’t that crooked. Simple life makes Melvin happy.”
Elias facilitated the handover at the dock, but before he could count out the shares of the gold, a group of mercenaries after Pontius’ head came to collect it. After dispatching the members of the ambush, Morgendaan, who had joined the fray, led them to a back-way establishment called the “Stock Pot Tavern” where they could lay low as Elias explained what had happened in their absence.
Terror in Baldersbalet
A group of drow headed by a sinister woman, had spread some terror in Baldersbalet, offering bounty for Ponius’ head.
“House Loroak rises, House Glaw falls. The last son of a corrupt bloodline will dine with Lolth in the Abyss. One more skull to complete my set. The one who brings me the head of the tainted dark elf Pontius Glaw receives a share of the blood stained gold from the vaults of his fallen house.”
With this news, the group decides to lay low for two days until Elias can get them onto the Gosser’s property for a dinner party hosted there to start organising the games for next summer. Let’s hope Pontius’ head stays firmly attached until then!