Eager to hit the road and make up for the day spent exploring the old giant outpost, Ghesh leads the party through a ‘shortcut’, attempting to cut through the edge of the forest to shorten the route.
Unfortunately, traveling through the forest made him miss the signs of an early winter storm, which caught you unprepared.
Vicious as only the early winter storms can be, several of the party members were laid low with serious cases of frostbite, and some of your food and equipment is damaged.
Skill check failure (4 successes, 3 failures)
The skill challenge continues, but now due to injuries and damaged equipment you are -1 penalty on all skill checks during the challenge (and any encounters that may take place before it is resolved). This is in addition to the loss of 1 healing surge that you are still suffering from due to the forced march established by Holdbar early in the trip.
In a foul mood from the storm and the frostbite on his foot, Holdbar is in no mood to waste time dealing with the small bands of orcs and other marauders that accost you constantly as you travel.
After one of the small fights, he mounts several of the orc heads on a long pole, and uses it to intimidate and drive off several other small bands, as well as motivate the ‘slackers’ in the group…
Skill check success (5 successes, 3 failures)
Passing through an area of difficult terrain, Ivar takes charge of the group to ensure that all are able to meet the physical challenges of the terrain; climbing the low cliffs, jumping across the small chasms, etc.
Despite the lingering effects of the storm and the forced march he is successful, and the party makes good time, getting closer to their goal.
Skill check success (6 successes, 3 failures)
As the others concentrate on the travel aspects, Leif keeps his eyes open on the surroundings. He manages to spot several orc patrols before they spot you, and divert the party around the un-necessary conflicts, saving much time in your journey.
With the time saved, you make it into the lands of the Jotun, with your destination maybe only a day’s travel away…
Skill check success (7 successes, 3 failures)
With the party deep into Jotun territory, Zanne takes charge of leading them, trusting in her superior nature knowledge. It is a relatively simple matter for her to lead the party to the correct location, despite the crudeness of the map provided.
A half-ay early for the meeting, the party makes camp in the ruins, careful to keep out of sight, lest they attract any unwanted attention.
Skill check success (8 successes, 3 failures)
SKILL CHALLENGE COMPLETE
That evening, just as the sun begins to go down , they see a large group of the Jotun approaching the ruins. Keeping an eye on them, the party sees the prominently displayed tribal symbols that they were told to expect.
Cautiously, the party makes itself known to the approaching barbarians.
Wary of each other, the two groups meet in the open space at the edge of the ruins. With both groups keeping a close eye on each other, a representative of each step forward to talk.
Expecting an older human, the ‘chief’ of the barbarian tribe, the party was surprised to see a much younger barbarian step forward. This caused some anxiety within the party.
When asked, the barbarian replied that his father, the chief, was too ill to travel to meet the ‘outsiders’ and sent him instead.
Several more questions followed, form both sides, as each group made sure the other was who they claimed to be.
Finally, both groups satisfied by the responses they received, the chief’s son handed over a package: a large bone scroll tube, crudely sealed and decorated with various fetishes. It is heavier tahn expected, and you can feel something sliding back and forth inside. It obviously contains something other than a scroll.
“Here is the evidence your ‘King’ wanted. This fulfils our debt to him. Now leave, and do not come back. If you do, you will be treated as all outsiders.”
With that, he turned his back and he and his troop withdrew from the ruins.