They searched for the Barghest’s lair, but lost the trail in the rocks. The night passed uneventfully.
In the morning, they moved further from the river to explore the hills to the west. The day was wet and gloomy, but otherwise uneventful. Stormbolt found an unoccupied cave to camp in for the night.
The next day was clear and refreshing. They surveyed the region and mapped it. The night passed quietly.
In the morning, they arrived at the keep and left Froing with the priest to consecrate the site. The others spent the day assessing the site.
They spent the rest of that day and the next day documenting the region around the keep. Toward the end of the day, an animated mass of foliage arose, mauled Smith with its tendrils, and grappled him.
Stormbolt closed and tore at it with his claws. Lucee sliced it as well. The creature squeezed Smith to death. Oostend hit with his sting.
Stormbolt bit, clawed and gored the thing. Lucee missed. The creature slammed into Stormbolt, but he barely escaped the grapple. Oostend closed to engage.
Stormbolt bit and gored. Lucee activated her Smite and killed the creature.
The party returned to the keep and mourned the loss of their newest colleague undisturbed. The cleric finished consecrating the keep that night.
The remaining area to be explored was on the other side of the two rivers. Stormbolt flew the others across. They mapped the area and returned to the keep that night.
A New Colleague
On the first watch, Lucee noticed from the parapet nine, smallish, animal-like figures approaching the keep in a line. She sounded the alarm and the others were awakened.
As the creatures got closer, Lucee recognized them figures as nine kobolds, one riding a pig. Stormbolt flew over to meet them. Some of the kobolds recognized him. Others scattered.
Stormbolt informed the kobolds that the bad humans from the fort had been slain and that he and his group were going to build a new settlement there. He assured the kobolds that the new settlers would be friendly to kobolds.
The kobolds came to see what the foreigners were up to. Stormbolt told them that they were exploring the area to learn the what was there. The mounted kobold asked to join the group.
They agreed that someone with knowledge of the area would be a great asset to the party, while a kobold member of the team would be a clear signal to the kobold tribes of their amicable intentions.
In the morning, the party started back to Oleg’s to gather up the craftsmen to start development of the keep.