While settling in at the East Fork Inn Pippa’s Gang joined in the revelry when it is announced with great exuberance that the road circumventing Tan Gen had been completed. This was a great accomplishment for Da-Yen as it would help them reclaim control on the secessionists in the southeast. However amid the hubbub, it seemed Dig was more troubled than excited about the news, considering that it appeared his brother, Dug, had been instrumental in the opening of a new barracks for Da-Yen in the region of his hometown.
Upon waking early in the morning Marthis and Raslin, depart from the inn to set about some errands and social calls. Their first stop was at the den of the Black Sparrow monks to speak with Callie and ensure that Pim was well received and to hear what news she had of the order. She informed him that the order had been flourishing, though they weren’t without the usual concerns that came with the order’s sometimes less-than-legal dealings. After spending an evening with Pim she was confident that he was exactly the sort who would make a good Sparrow.
The pair ventured from the den to Grok’s Rocks to make a quick acquisition of a new spell focus for Raslin. He purchased a sparkling diamond, which Raslin managed to haggle down considerably, pointing out some perceived flaws in the gem.
Their purchase made, the two moved on to Mayor Bellwyn’s home, where they were met by Pippa, and greeted by a one of the mayor’s servants. After exchanging pleasantries the servant gave a tentative acceptance of Raslin’s request to peruse the mayor’s library, in spite of the Mayor still sleeping of the celebration of the night before. The trio soon found themselves poring over book after book in hopes of uncovering some clue as to what the strange tome Raslin absconded with from his college. During their research, they discovered some interesting history books. One was on Raslin’s college of Clearwall and made reference to the founder, Headmaster Gretch, who founded the college as an option for aspiring wizards who were not accepted by the snobbish high elves at the colleges in the Great Wood. Interestingly, Raslin had never heard this name, in spite of the fact that Clearwall was always celebrating its history. In this same book, near the chapter about Clearwall college, he also noticed a chapter entitled “Dark One out of the North Woods” that seemed to reference a powerful demon that came out of the North Woods. They also uncovered three books in the same strange abyssal language that seems to make up the bulk of Raslin’s tome. During their investigation, mayor Bellwyn joined the researchers and after a short conversation regarding the origin of the books, which belonged Bellwyn’s father, he agreed to let Raslin take the books, if for no other reason than to be rid of the books (and of his increasingly unwelcome company).
The group, deciding they had achieved what they came for, settled in for the evening and took some time to unwind before finding their room and going to sleep. After two nights without being bothered by it, Raslin was again visited by the strange dream that has dogged him since the battle in the graveyard.
Having rested and acquired Cavalier’s order at Grok’s Rocks, the group set forth to Ferrel’s Keep, pursuant to the request of the vampire Esther who had visited them a few days prior.
As they began their journey, Pippa’s Gang stopped briefly to admire the mountains and waterfall on the edge of town. Carrying on, the group traveled along the mountain paths, when suddenly they were set upon by the hobgoblin who they had fought with on their way to Great Fork just a few days before, now accompanied by more hobgoblins as well as a ferocious ogre.
Marthis just barely noticed their attackers before their javelins rained down upon them, as he quickly scurried up the face of the crag they attacked from. Raslin set up his defenses but, while riding around the ridge to gain a line of attack, he was quickly struck down by the ogre. Marthis climbed his way up the cliff to go toe-to-toe with the chief hobgoblin, but was too winded from his climb to manage to land any blows. As he retreated to recuperate and launch another attack, he was gravely wounded by the chief hobgoblin. Meanwhile Cavalier launched his own attack, charging up the hill on his mount to attempt to shove their assailants down to the path and possibly even down to the river below. Unfortunately, they saw him coming and were able to sidestep his charge. Seeing his friends desperately injured, Dig leaped into action, quickly providing aid to Raslin and Marthis. Pippa too, came to the aid of her friends, and charmed the ogre who became docile and ceased his attacks. Feeling revitalized, Raslin jumped to his feet. He still did not have a good line of attack, but the friendly ogre lifted him above the ridgeline while he cast a spell, quickly dispatching a hobgoblin with a searing gout of flame that erupted from his outstretched fingers. Still feeling dazed and timid, Marthis took his time before rejoining the fray, casting a quick dart from within the folds of his robes, striking one of the goblins. Dig continued his efforts to bolster his friends’ health, while Pippa continued her assault on the hobgoblins. The group eventually dispatched the hobgoblins, while the ogre began to leave the melee altogether.
Deciding they could not afford another encounter with him (as they just had with the hobgoblin chief) they began their attack on him. Pippa infiltrated the ogre’s mind, making him believe he was suddenly trapped in a lightning storm and breaking the charm she had placed on the ogre. The ogre grew furious with Pippa for charming him, but before he could attack her Cavalier commanded him to remain in place, suffering even more from his mind’s torture. Before he could break free from Cavalier’s command, Pippa told a knock-knock joke so funny that the ogre could not help but laugh, even through the fury that had built within him. Doubling over in hideous laughter, the helpless ogre quickly succumbed to the lightning storm and the group’s assaults. Pippa’s gang licked their wounds, gathered their loot, and prepared to move on to Ferrel’s Keep.