Clovis, and the gang: Garret, Tag, Urath and Mamadune encounter through a small and seemingly chance encounter the start of something different and perhaps a sign of things to come.
Each day along the path to Starstream was one full of events and strange happenings. If it wasn’t a roadhouse, a lodge or a small town, some of the local fauna was trying to consume you, or one of the locals had decided that you’d be better with your skull crushed and your belongings in their pockets. Thankfully, the companions that were travelling together were a dangerous lot, and they had been able to quash all of the attempts on their life so far. Giant Spiders, Bandits and Bugbears had all been defeated along the way. The path to the elven city was assumed to be safe, but peril lurked down every path, at each turn of the road, and beyond the crest of every hill. The omens, though, were consistently favorable, leading Clovis to believe that each day would be the turning point of danger and that they would finally stride into the golden meadows and lush forests of the elves each and every afternoon.
It never came to pass.
Even now, in the fresh darkness of a new evening, approaching Deepgreen, a small town with a few inhabitants and only spare buildings, it was prudent to be wary. At the inn, there were but a few dour faces, and an innkeep with little to hide. He mentioned that there had been a terrible event, recently, the death of a friend, a lover, and a daughter as all three left to head to Frontier. They were found with deep, fatal slashes, at a crossroad just a few hours out.
Garret, impulsive as always, used his magic to create a poorly detailed but moderately accurate rendition of the crossroads and the three graves we had found along the way, and though the location was confirmed as the site of their deaths and the burial ground, it was too much for some of the patrons of the bar, who left weeping over their dear ones.
Quickly, it was resolved to track down the murderers, because the investigation the town had been able to conduct had been unsuccessful. There wasn’t a lot of discussion around it, and plans were made. One of the locals, however, was not confident that success could be had where none had been achieved prior. None the less, the plans were made, and in the morning, they went back along the path to the ambush location. A thorough search was performed, but nothing of note was discovered. A decision to head west was made, into the woods, to try and track down the location of anyone who had been assisting those who had performed the ambush, or where they had come from.
After traveling for great distances in the wilderness, following Garret, the undaunted and doughty leader, a creature made itself known, and offered assistance finding those who were assisting with the ambush. They had only moved in a few days ago, but the twig creature was sure that these beings were part of the ambush.
deep into the forest, following the twig creature, they found a small camp. Two small tents and a large one.
Clovis crept around the campsite, keeping the two large, lumbering creatures in his sight at all times. The large tent, hopefully, held the mementos from the slain that they had resolved to recover; A sword, a ring, and a locket. He chose each step carefully, planting each foot in turn and feeling its stability prior to picking up the other. Here, in the wilderness, was different from the streets he grew up on but the concepts remained identical. Each stride covered little ground, but it often gave him time to understand where he was heading, and as he reached the backside of the clearing, his mind raced. The two lumbering brutes outside were a threat that he didn’t want to engage if there wasn’t a need, and surely not without his companions. The big tent had the highest chances of holding their objectives, but what was inside was unknown. The distance between the edge of the clearing and the tent opening wasn’t particularly far, but he was positive he’d not be able to make it up and back while still taking a look around.
The far guards back was to him, and the other fellow was poking the fire nearby. Clovis silently bolted out from the treeline, his eyes set on the flap to the big tent. Approaching at full speed, he cut between the flap and the wall of the tent, doubling back inside the tent to stand against the wall he’d just passed by.
a pair of large, green eyes stared balefully at him as he stood there, panting, in the tent. Clovis yelled. “Tag!”
The encounter with the Ogre and its two, smaller, guards, went as well as could be expected. The Camp was fairly surprised as it was ambushed, and the Ogre was quickly outdone by the combination of Tag and Clovis. The guards outside fared slightly better, as they were assaulted by rays of searing light, spontaneous bonfires and bolts made of pure magic. Once Tag and Clovis had finished with the giant in the tent, Tag having been struck roundly by his huge axe and was bleeding a bit, the two others were quickly overwhelmed and the fight was over swiftly, with little injury.
All in all, it seemed a waste of time. None of the pilfered goods were in the camp, and there seemed to be no reason for the camp to be there at all, until it was found, on the ogres corpse, a small, round, bauble just like the one found on the Goblin Druid, all those days earlier in the cave. It was an exact copy. These three were also pawns of the drow. These, though, were inside the elven territory, and likely not a simple interesting phenomenon. It was resolved that it should be taken up with the wizard at Starstream as well. And there was the small problem of finding the murderers. That problem still needed to be solved, one way or the other.