Wilds Gate is a funny little fortress. As the center of civilization for this area is doesn't seem very civilized. A few rough markets in the town square, a blacksmith, a bar and a couple of inns probably sees more transient traffic than locals. THe only real business seems to be trying to control the dangers of the land so they don't overwhelm the human population.
We took a day in town to learn what we could abut the nearby mountains called the spires, what we might find there and anything we could on the thief who started the curse. Apparently when Zamuk stole the royal items (the sword, the crown and the scepter) a hundred years ago he brought down a curse that causes male heirs in the family to die before they come of age. It also looks like the current baron is about to come of age. Almost sounds to me like the female part of the line wants to rule and they are poisoning the boys before they grow up.
Apparently the baron has a hot older sister who rides around with a bunch of warriors looking for trouble in the wilderness, or more likely they ride up and down the roads and make people feel good, there still seem to be a lot of goblins about.
After a full days rest and very little in the way of information or supplies, we headed across the broken bridge on foot and proceeded north to the Foehammer Spires. We had a crude map drawn by one of the locals so thought to check ur an unusual feature drawn on the bit of forest near the washed out bridge. We came upon a lovely clearing filled with flowers, we began investigating and I found myself alone in the forest. I suspect the flowers gave off some kind of pollen … maybe something akin to what Suto used on us?
Alone in the woods with goblins nearby is not the best situation. I hoped the others were in having better luck. (It turns out they weren't and all of us had become lost in the woods.) U wandered for a time trying to think of some magic that might be of aid. Trying to bend magic to your will with no training or preparation is incredibly dangerous and I would only use it as a last resort. I decided to go the mundane rout and walk out of the forest. I followed the sun (as I assumed it was still morning and the river was to our east) but spent hours in the woods with no sign of the river.
Finally I heard signs of life, I approached cautiously but couldn't understand what sounded like human speech. If they were humans I assumed they would likely be hunters or woodsman associated with the town. They were not.
I walked towards the camp and came face to face with one of them. It appeared to be some sort of wilderness savage. Somewhere as we stared at each other I thought I heard banjoes. What are banjoes? I am not really sure, but I knew I was in trouble, the wild man smiled and looked back at his four companions. I ran. Even with the lead I had and fear moving my legs at maximum speed They began to gain on me. I tried a spell to frighten them, it didn't go exactly as planned and I guess they thought I was taunting them …. I tried to use the trees and roots to block their path, and that only bought me a little time.
They would still catch me, and unfortunately I had the horrible feeling they weren't going to kill me. I drew upon the only magic I knew to end this chase. Never had I worked the spell on so many at one time. With a great yawn I attempted to put them all into a magical slumber. And it worked, the fell to the forest floor and not one managed to stay awake. Though fear still chilled my bones I approached the sleeping ruffians, and with quiet determination I made sure they would never harm another traveler in these woods again.
I took an axe from them and made my way back to their camp, they had nothing of value, except a trail to the road that followed the river. I made it back to Magicarp, Aiden and Wailand. But the ladies were nowhere to be found. We traveled up river till nightfall but still there was no sign of them. In the morning we continued on, to wary to return to the woods and look for Cheralie and Sarah. Luckily we found them camping in the morning near a rickety old stone bridge.
We all managed to make it across and proceeded to the base of the spires. There was a stairway on the other side of the waterfall, but we couldn't cross the river, so we entered a nearby cave.