Settling the West: Around With Ronchester
Lord Ronchester takes them on an intriguing romp.

Barret and Mufasa had just rescued Lord Ronchester from the clutches of a bandit gang. Unfamiliar with the area the guys hoped to have Ronchester help guide them to a nearby town.

Ronchester turns out to be a rather unpredictable yet charismatic rogue whom “goes where the roads take him”. While Mufasa was a little suspicious of the man he was won over by his debonair style. They headed down the road and eventually reached a roadside inn.

The Wheat Barrel Inn was placed along the highway as a rest stop for travelers. The group decided to spend the night and get directions from the innkeeper. Upon entering Ronchester quickly took charge and managed to secure free food and lodging for the group. Ronchester was able to drink Mufasa under the table (possibly chemical aid) and give the watchful Barret the slip. In the morning he was gone.

The guys were a little angry with Ronchester and went off in search of him. While scouring the roads for him they came across a group of armed men. They turned out to be the escort of Lord Ronchester and learned that the man had been taken captive by bandits and was being ransomed. In discussing this the guys learned that the Ronchester they met looked nothing like the man these guards were looking for. The guards were heading off to drop the ransom money.

Now furious that they could have been scammed by what they believed was the leader of the bandits, Barret and Mufasa headed back to the Bandit camp. When they arrived they found it had been cleared out and was no longer there. Frustrated they headed back down the road. In the distance the could see the guards they encountered earlier leaving something. They waited for the guards to leave and then headed out to where they had been.

They found a chest, but it had already been emptied. The guy had a feeling it was Roncheseter and that he was some sort of criminal mastermind. Humbled and awed they went on their way to the nearest town.

Settling the West: Over the Mountains
An expedition back over the mountains to recruit more settlers begins.

The group decided that they needed more recruits for their fledgling town. Unfortunately they did not have anyone spreading the word. They decided to go east back over the mountains to try and “convince” more people to make the trip.

After collecting supplies for the journey the guys make their way across the mountains. After several days of mostly uneventful travel the group entered Screecher territory. Screechers are large, aggressive, territorial birds. The birds were a dangerous distraction for several weeks until their aerie was discovered near the summit. A plan was quickly hatched to drop an avalanche over them.

After another couple of weeks of winding their way down the other side of the mountains the group finally came to the foothills only to be attacked by a group of bandits. Luckily they didn’t take much to defeat.

Mufasa thought it would be a good idea to follow what remained of the cowardly bandits back to their hideout. They successfully tailed the bandits back to camp and waited in the shrubs until nightfall to sneak into the camp.

Come nightfall they snuck into camp and started looking through the various wagons. They only had to knock out a few bandits to remain hidden. Barret found a locked wagon and picked the lock to gain entry. Inside he found a man chained up that said he was Lord Ronchester. Mufasa thought Ronchester might have access to wealth and the decided to rescue him from camp.

Settling the West: Into The Hollow Woods
The group explores the forest across the river.

Early in the morning the group sallied forth from their small encampment. They crossed the nearby river which they previously gone to great pains to get a bridge across.

After trekking out a ways into the woods they started to notice strange grooves and round holes in the gigantic trees. The party followed these holes and soon discovered a network of tunnels in the trees and marks throughout the forest.

As the group moved deeper into the woods they began to notice an odd chittering noise. The noise sounded like a cross between slithering and stones crushing up against each other.

The group followed the tunnels deeper and deeper until they came to a gigantic tree that was as wide as a house. Inside the tree it was hollowed out like many of the other trees they had previously come across but their was a corkscrew ramp running up to the far reaches of the tree.

They climbed up the ramp noticing that some of the larger branches had been hollowed out. They attempted to look in but it was too dark to see anything and they were afraid to use flame in a hollow tree. The continued on to the top of the tree.

At the top they were able to look out over much of the forest and were even able see their camp to the North East. Looking down upon the forest they could clearly see the network of trails and smoothed branches throughout most of the forest. After looking around the group decided to go back down the tree.

As they moved down the tree Mufasa decided it would be a good idea to check out one of the hollow branches. Against the better judgment of Barret he shoots a flaming arrow down the branch to illuminate it.

Inside they saw a greenish white coating on much of the walls also some large melon sized wooden bulbs. Barret ran down the branch to grab the arrow before it could ignite any of the tree. In doing so he slid on some of the mucusy substance, but managed to keep his balance.

Barret tried to stab one of the wooden nodules with a dagger but was unable to even mark it. They decided to saw off one of the knobs and take it with them to examine. When they tried to leave they found that the mucus had hardened into a kind of lacquer and Barret found himself stuck in place. He ripped the sole off of one boot out and cut the other free in order to escape.

The group left the large tree to find a safer tree that they could climb to try and find the way back to their village. They were alarmed to hear the strange grinding noise coming closer to them and moved away from it.

Mufasa climbed a tree and discerned the direction back to their camp. They started heading back that way but it wasn’t long before they heard an angry creaking noise accompanied by a large wave of the rock tumbling sound that followed after them.

They ran full tilt back to the river and crossed the bridge just before the sound caught up to them. They looked back across the bridge and saw hundreds of large branchlike creatures (See Woodwurm) stretching out of the woods towards them.

Barret tried to toss what he believed was an egg back to the creatures only to have it fall short and crack open. This caused the creatures to become angry. A much larger one came through the forest to reclaim the egg. It was large enough to nearly reach across the river. It spat some of the mucus at (one of the characters) whom became glued to the ground (it took about an hour and some serious sawing to free him.). After doing this the creature sucked up the egg pieces and retreated back to the woods along with its smaller companions.

The Next Day

The group decided that they need head back across the mountains and convince more people to join their settlement as they have been whittled down to seven. They realized that to do so they will need to leave some of them behind to care for what they have built.

The group headed out to negotiate with the nearby Turtle Clan (See: Clans of the Great Marsh). When they reached the Clan much later that day they are able to negotiate with the leader to watch over their land in exchange for metal tools that they will bring back from across the mountains.

They are attacked by a large constrictor while traversing the marsh but are able to easily defeat it.


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