For the first time in the campaign, our adventurers had their sights set on a destination more than a day's walk away from Shadowdale... Dagger Falls. After some deliberation over which path to travel, they set out on the path straight through Cormanthor and the Dagger Hills... a direct but more dangerous course to their destination than the more well-traveled roads.
- Kjell, Dhampir Inquisitor (Andrew)
- Thomus, Human Rogue (John)
- Blue, Human Fighter (Jake)
- Rurik, Dwarf Barbarian (Stetson)
- Mercy, Half-Orc Ranger (Jammie)
The first morning on the road, the group passed a number of poverty stricken travelers, most on their way from some secluded farm or another to Shadowdale to sell their paltry wares. Before lunch, though, they came upon a more interesting caravan: mercenaries from an Uthgardt barbarian tribe with a half-drow merchant, leading two wagons loaded with goods. Having just fought drow in the tunnels below the Twisted Tower, the group was especially cautious. The half-drow introduced himself as Kelaghar, and greeted the group as, "My friends!" GM's Note: Actually, now that I think about it, I might not have mentioned his name at all! Even more suspicious at this point, the adventurers turned down nearly all his offers to purchase his wares, including the magic items that lit up with a soft glow as he described them, although Kjell did purchase a masterwork heavy repeating crossbow. Before he left, Kelaghar asked if anyone knew if Elminster was in Shadowdale when they left, and nobody knew. He made a comment about how that idiot Tauster had better be
Later in the day, the adventurers noticed the smoke from campfires rising above the treeline not too far away. Thomus and Mercy, who scouted ahead on the path, were attacked by orcs rushing out of the trees to the east of their path. Although they were able to slay multiple orcs each round, more just kept flooding out of the trees, and finally their ogre leader charged into battle. By the time the sounds of battle died, fifteen orcs and an ogre had fallen in battle, while one orc escaped. The adventurers had suffered multiple injuries but no casualties, and were ready to set up camp for the night.
Conveniently, the orcs had already set up camp for them, and although their orc equipment was dirty and grimy, the tents had already been set up and the campfires already started. A quick survey of the area revealed no more orcs, but one character noticed large three-toed footprints, and identified them as those of a troll. Rurik and Mercy came to an "understanding" that they would be sleeping on opposite sides of camp, and Mercy threw dirt on the fires to avoid drawing unwanted attention. Watch groups were set for two shifts, and the adventurers settled in for what they hoped would be an uneventful night.
During the first watch, Mercy and Blue heard something large moving out in the forest. It seemed to be circling the camp, drawing nearer and nearer. They awoke the rest of the group and quickly decided whether they should go out in the woods to confront it or lure it into the camp. When the decision was made, Blue screamed and taunted the beast, which had the intended effect: it charged into the group. The adventurers quickly surrounded the troll, and hacked it to bits, while Kjell jumped in with an acid spell to keep it from regenerating and ruining their rest a second time.
And finally, they were able to rest.