After the encounter with the Orcs, we went back on our merry way towards the temple. Eric was quite talkative, “This is fascinating.” He holds out an artifact with unknown runes etched into it. Belborin discreetly checked it for magic; nonmagical in nature. Eric explains that he was given it by an adventurer from the South Mountains in an old ruin. He believed that it has a connection to the Chalice, hence our travel to the North Mountains. Other than that tidbit, Eric has no idea where the temple the chalice is. Traveling south to get to the northern temple.
During this exposition, I was basically going deaf of ear and took out one of my bombs to polish. The others looked at me funny and the dwarf said to do my polishing in private. What?
As we continued out, the path slowly became less of a road and more of a deer path. Rolim took out his bow and he seemed a bit more tense. The others around me prepared their weapons. Suddenly a goat ran across our path and Belborin, with his crossbow out, shot at it out of reflex. He missed and Grimir made some lame joke about killing Rolim’s kindred spirit, the dwarf laughed at his own joke, but no one else.
But they were right at the time, it was much too quiet for a forest.
Dusk was approaching and camp was made in a overhang on the side of the mountain. It showed signs of previous occupation and lots of grim names were given to our temporary abode. The horses were then tied up inside and we settled down for the night. Double man shifts were in order and I took first watch.
Though the day was quiet, night time was more boisterous and uneventful. When morning came, there was smoke over the trees.
I was all for scouting the smoke and seeing who it was, but the only stealthy member of our party was not keen on the idea. Ranger Rolim suggested leaving an explosive present behind us, but Schizo and the Dwarf were against the idea. I suggested smoke bombs instead, but to no avail.
On the fourth day, we found an ogre. With a human skull necklace with a large, very large club. Did I mention he was triple my height? And he had friends. He took me by surprise considering how tall he was, but the Rolim and Belborin were the first to react.
Rolim hit him, but the ogre didn’t seem fazed by it. Dwarf and Schizo both missed, more so Schizo since he tried a magic missile. Lisa did a fair bit of damage. When I ran up to attack, I had a crazy idea to run behind the ogre and give him an emergency explosive prostate exam. Lucky me when I ran towards him, he dropped his club. Unlucky me, I tripped over the club, but I ended up sliding underneath his legs. The cat made the final blow and lucky me again, I did not end up with a face full of testicles when the ogre died.
Now that the ogre was dead, we had to deal with his buddy in the bush. Belborin didn’t even let it come out of the bush before unleashing a jet of flame towards the ogre. He roared angrily and started circumventing the fire before he threw a javelin at me. It whizzed over my head and stuck itself somewhere behind me. I responded back with a rare successful toss of my bomb and promptly set it on fire. It looked badly hurt.
After the cat bit it, Belborin’s acid missile, and Rolim’s arrow, the ogre fell dead. Then the bushes all around us started shaking, so we jumped on our mounts, and booked it. In front of us, a cloak covered shape came out of the surroundings and gestured us towards its way. Seeing no other option at the time, we headed toward his direction, ran with him to his camp, to safety.
He took off his cloak and revealed himself to be a half-ogre half-human hybrid, oddly named Skip. When he spoke, his Common was little accented, “What the hell are you thinking running towards the ogre camp?”
Apparently, another mile in that direction, we would have ran straight into the camp of the main ogre body and would’ve gotten dismembered life and limb. He offered us shelter for the night after a bout of confusion of us arguing. Eric is also suitably confused throughout this and at this point, just tagging along. Probably wishing he didn’t leave the safety of the Gnome Mountain.
Skip led us to his abode where we met his parents. Val the mother greeted us warmly. I talked with her and explained the gist of what our quest was to her. She didn’t really know what the Chalice of Mother was, but said that her husband might know. He wasn’t home at the time, so while we waited, she led us out to the barn where we would stay for the night.
After settling in, we helped her prepare a meal for the night. Apparently, everyone thinks I have a bomb for everything, even cutting vegetables. Rolim came back inside during this and mentioned that Val’s husband was home. Grug was his name and when he came inside, he just grunted at each of us before turning to his son, “What have I told you about bringing home strays?” So Skip explains how he couldn’t just leave us to die to the camp of ogres, so he saved us.
We asked Grug the same thing we asked Val and he also said that he has never heard of the Chalice of the Mother, but he is aware of several ruins that may contain them. Rolim asks if he has seen ruins with runes similar to the disc that Belborin has and Grug recalls of one ruin like that. While he cannot lead us to it, Grug draws us a map of the surrounding area, along with the ogre tribes to avoid.
We all rest up for the night and Rolim recovers from his wounds.