Our time in Skulltop Hill was certainly exciting. Full of suspense and danger. The long periods in darkness I hadn't expected. Torches are quite smoky, perhaps I will reveal my tricks to the small group of people who ventured under the hill and faced the cave giant. Next time perhaps we can travel by magical light and save ourselves the choking on oily torch smoke.
Back in Dundraville there was quite the celebration, food and good times had by all. The menace and fear of the ogre was gone and we could get back to living. The day after was for recovery, the small farming and fishing town experienced a rare late morning and a day of grumbling and good humor. Dayle the inns tavern wench offered me a wonderful meal and a wink, I am not quite sure what that is about, I guess she is grateful we saved her from the ogre, understandable I suppose.
After all the goods had been returned to the townsfolk we still had a heavy burden of treasure to divide among our group. I sorted it all and in the end held the more valuable treasures that couldn't be split up. We took the scrap silver to the blacksmith and he was able to melt it down quickly and make a number of 50 and 100 coin weight bars which we divided in equal measure.
After consultation with the traveling peddler Jonas, we decided to head to Oakhurst, a larger town to th north. It was a week or more by foot but is seemed like the best place to get what we needed.
I felt it might be worth the time to travel to the capitol city of Archbridge, but my companions decided the quicker solution seemed best. Once Ruvaris had taken me to Archbridge. It had been many days travel and I stayed in a room most of the time studying while he was off doing wizard things. Some business with a secret order i came to suspect. I never found out the details, but I was loaded down with 'supplies' on the return trip. It certainly was a place filled with fantastic sights and sounds, and everyone talked about competition between some groups of warriors like it was a great sporting event.
But we would likely find there everything we needed in Oakhurst. Before we set out we were in need of traveling supplies. Last time I made any length of journey I had run out into the wilderness with nothing but my clothes and a few items I could quietly gather as I escaped. That journey nearly ended in my death. If it hadn't been for the fact I found Dundraville I would likely have died in the wilderness. This time we had money and time to prepare.
Each of us was outfitted with a standard kit of traveling gear. I also got a tent, a shovel, an axe and a dagger. I felt the pitchfork could be left behind. The gear was heavy but not as heavy as Ruvaris's 'supplies', it would be a long hard walk but a good one. And so outfitted and prepared we headed out in the afternoon a few days after returning from Skulltop.
The first few days were uneventful. The sounds of the wild were new to many and some had never traveled long distance despite being comfortable in the wilderness. Most people never felt the need to venture more than a few days journey from their home in the entire span of their lives. On the 5th day we encountered 3 figures dressed all in black who ignored us. We gave them a wide berth.
A couple days after that we saw a circus tent in the distance. Occasional one sees traveling carnivals even passing through sparsely inhabited lands. Perhaps they were stopping for a few days rest or became separated from a larger troop. We noticed animals and activity but as we approached that all seemed to disappear. Through highly suspicious I was intrigued and had to investigate.
I have a word of caution here … never investigate a strange out of place circus tent! Within we found a lone clown playing a pipe organ. A very creepy mutilated clown. We should have started running then but I felt perhaps he was an innocent victim caught in the same magical trap we had just wandered in to. Nope just a creepy ghost clown. We tried combat and divine smiting, but nothing affected the apparition. It was only by when Aiden called on the divine intervention of his god Madrah were we able to escape the clutches of its evil. But even though we got free of the tent, we ran until our hearts nearly gave out and our lungs forced us to run no more. And there we laid upon the grassy field and could not move until the dark came and we fell into slumber.