Location: Star's End Monastery
Date: Fall, 1332 Avard
A special cargo of ogran scrolls was being transported from the orc duchy to the north to the monastery when it was ambushed by 'giant frogs' in the mountains west of the pass. The lone survivor could recount little more than the location of the ambush, leaving the monks fretting as to the status of the rare scrolls.
Nedda, Aragonite, Yurok, and Padai were quickly sent to retrieve the scrolls. Padai's owl was able to scout the area nearby, and discovered an east-west valley in the shape of a crescent moon. The valley was flooded, wet, and full of swamps and marsh thanks to the work of tree-climbing grippli. The grippli, distance kin to bullywugs, were thought extinct in Rakore – but the hidden valley proved so isolated that not even the invading orcs had discovered it, yet. Padai's owl was nearly eaten by one of the grippli when Padai urged the bird to go into one of the grippli structures nesting in a tree.
Nedda attempted to open up communications with a grippli scout, while the rest of the party debated best methods and practices. After the encounter went south, the rest of the team slaughtered the grippli scout, sending Nedda into a ruminating observational mode, hidden from the others.
Aragonite set up his shield guardian Bastion to appear as a god of lightning, while Yurok spoke with the grippli in their own language. The bluff paid off, and a disappointed Padai loosed no arrows in the exchange. With a bit of patience and investigation, the team learned the truth: The ogran scrolls were written on grippli hides. The grippli, cowed by Aragonite's display of power, agreed to turn over the hides to Yurok. They hoped the hides would return so that their dead could be buried with honor.
Possessing no written system of their own, the words written on the hides meant nothing to the grippli – but the skins were members of their tribe long since killed by an ogre named Itzak. The Supreme Leader of the Ogre Nations had recorded his first foray into the wilds of Rakore on the scrolls, and they were of great import.
Feeling somewhat guilty in their aggressive use of force against the grippli, the team paid their respects to the intimidated grippli leader who still spoke some of the Karatikan tongue.
DM's Notes: I was a bit worn out from sleep deprivation, between the harlequin dane pup and the 20 month old. I made some mistakes in game play, partially because of how we were using the gaming board. I either need a bigger board, or perhaps need a 'tiny' map overlay for longer-distance engagements. A plexiglass overlay with 4:1 scaling against the 1“ = 5' board might help with such battles, especially when we have characters with Range 50 attacks. I need to rebuild the gaming board, anyway, as it was designed for portability and to double as a briefcase – and I no longer need that as much, anymore. The players often note how wobbly and unsteady it is when set up. I was surprised and delighted, though, when they found a less volatile solution to their problem; it prevented blood shed on the part of the grippli tribe, and also let us wrap up a bit earlier so I could fall into an exhausted sleep sooner.
Reference: Campaign IX