Wherein the heroes take the hurt captain to Boar’s End and find it already plagued with troubles.
After the fight, Temper was in very bad shape. He was unconscious and dying after the fight. Frog hurried over to tend to his wounds. The group looked for the leader after the fight, but a strange thick growth of bush surrounded the place where he lay, and grew up the side of the shack.
Once the marines returned empty handed, the crew talked over their situation and decided that it wasn’t safe to stay. They would head back down the river. Before they left, however, the party learned that the creatures were called Kobolds, and the leader, Split Tail, had some history with Temper.
After Frog tended to Temper, he looked over each one of the groups wounds. Meander was barely standing after the fight, but after laying hands on his wounds, Frog helped him recover. Still the group was pretty ragged. They decided it would be best for Temper if they stayed at the dock shack for the day to help stabilize Temper, and give them a day to recover.
Broken was concerned with the Stone Man. He spent a long time that evening scooping up rocks, clay and dirt from the surrounding area and fusing it to the Stone Man’s body. After much attention, the Stone Man started moving around again.
The party spent the night in the shack and it was uneventful. They set off early the next day. The Stone Man carried Temper. Before too long they came across the road. They bypassed the roads to the logging camps and the halfway house. By afternoon, they reached the edge of Boar’s End. Broken stopped the group outside town. He moved the Stone Man away from the road and hid him as a statue. Meander took Temper from the Stone Man and carried him the rest of the way into town.
Shortly after entering the town, they came across an inn. They stopped at the Sitting Duck Inn, and were directed by the Innkeeper to either the church or the herbalist. The innkeeper talked a bit about Temper. It seems that several years back Temper killed Split Tail’s favorite son in a raid against the kobolds. During the conversation, Frog looked about and seemed to feel that a sickness hung about the town.
The party chose to head to the church. They walked down the street and quickly spotted the church through the buildings. When they came to a crossing by the church, they spotted a small group of sick clamoring outside. Broken tries hard to avoid contact with the sick in the town.
After entering the church, the priestess approached them. Lady Songbird talks to them for a bit about the sickness. It appears the sickness has only cropped up in the past few days. There is no real pattern to the illness and no sign where it could have come from. None of the loggers have come down with the disease yet. She had disparaging words to say about the local alchemist/herbalist. She accused her of selling snake oils to the masses. The party leaves Temper in the care of Lady Songbird.
After leaving the church, the party decided to go visit the herbalist. As they approached the crossings, they noticed two well armored men with spears standing on separate corners. The town folk seemed to go out of their way to avoid these men. After walking a bit further, they spotted a large crowd outside a building that must be the herbalist. The party shuffled into the line and waited about an hour to enter.
The herbalist, Laurel, seemed quite harried and testy. She told the party more about the disease that is descending upon the town. The disease is a particularly nasty mold that grows in the lungs called, “Black Scour Taint”. She reconfirmed some of the observations about the disease from Lady Songbird.
Frog took a critical look about the place. Most of the materials and concoctions in this shop appeared to be lacking in juju. He started chanting and dancing about the place. After peering at the crowd, he saw a nasty, evil black spirit lurking on some of the sick members of the crowd. He also saw magic emanating from Broken. Meander and Laurel appeared magic-less, much like the materials in the shop.
Shortly afterward, Laurel stopped the party as they started to leave. She mentioned a possible cure from one of her grandmother’s old books, but she was missing some ingredients. There were three main ingredients that she had no idea how to get; Elder Wood moss, Pickled Rats Tail, and Iron Cap Mushrooms. Frog thought he had some idea on the first two, and the mushrooms were probably in the nearby mountains. Elder Wood grows in the deep forest. Pickled Rats Tail grows in hot climates, so no where nearby. Frog also had an idea for getting more information about the herbs.
The party bid their farewells and proceeded outside of town for the rest of the afternoon. Meander stood guard and Frog and Broken spent the afternoon practicing rituals. Broken worked to repair the Stone Man further. Frog tried to enter the spirit world to seek advice from the spirits. After two hours of ritual, he entered the spirit world and sought out a spirit in the nearby woods. He found a woodland spirit. After a brief conversation, they were at an impasse and Frog strong armed the spirit into talking. He discovered the possible location of an ancient tree, “an old man”, 6 men length to length across. The moss could be found there. He also discovered an abandoned shack of a mean, old herbalist, where the rat’s tail may be found. The herbalist no longer lives in the shack. After finding out this information, Frog promises the spirit a favor, to plant trees for each lumberjack seen between here and the forest.