Gleaning what information they could from Morrik the party set out from Brindol heading north east into the mountains on their way to the ruins of Rivenroar where Morrik said that Sinruth and his new Red Hand of Doom had set up their base. Rhavis used his preternatural ability at tracking to keep them on the trail of the hobs as they headed into the forested mountainside. A steady downpour began and Rhavis’ ability to pick out their path became even more crucial as time and nature seemed to be set against them. Everyone chipped in on the journey keeping their eyes open for any hazards the wilderness might present.
The heroes made good time until the last leg of their journey when Seakas, keeping his eyes open for anything dangerous, spotted an innocent, innocuous cave that would provide them with some much welcome rest out of the storm. Not a fool, Seakas silently crept forward to scout the cave for dangers. Not a fool, no. But not silent enough either. As he neared the cave he stepped on a twig. A small harmless sound. Maybe no one would notice. No one did. Some THING did though, a very angry cave bear. The party flush from their resounding defeat of the hobs in town did not fear this creature of nature. They found out the hard way that there is nothing more dangerous than the wrath of mother nature and her children.
The bear mauled and clawed its way through the party, its thick hide preventing any of them from doing any substantial damage. Seakas was the first target of its ire, taking a crushing blow to the head. The bear made its way through most of the party delivering devastation to Ironskull, Rhavis, and Thorin. Only Castianna managed to get away relatively unscathed, darting between her allies and bringing her arcane powers to bear against this unexpectedly mighty foe. Ironskull furious at the afront this savage beast paid him and his mangled armor finally broke through (literally) the bear’s defenses and cleaved his greataxe through the animal’s skull. The cave now empty, the party really needed the rest they initially stopped for.
After regrouping and mending their wounds the part moved out back onto the mountain path, descending into a canyon leading to a forested vale. At the end of the canyon, flush against the mountainside the party could make out the ruins of Rivenroar. Unfortunately between them and the ruins were dozens of pushed up dirt mounds. Having learned a lesson from their encounter with the bear they were far more cautious this time. Seakas and Rhavis crept forward silently and with light footfalls. Rhavis got close enough to examine one of the mounds and realized it was the entrance to a kruthik burrow. As he and Seakas made their way through the canyon Thorin finally decided to try his luck and with one ungainly, clanking step brought every kruthik in the canyon out of the ground and skittering towards him.
Luckily the part had an advantage this time as the beasts had no eyes and could only sense them by the tremors that they made as they moved. Seakas and Rhavis stood in the middle of the canyon and unleashed a hail of arrows against the kruthiks, picking them apart. Thorin and Ironskull, being as nimble as, well, dwarves, stomped around trying to draw the kruthik’s attention. They did an excellent job. The kruthik focused their flailing insectoid bodies and mandables on the two dwarves who took a beating from their pincers and their chitinous outsides. Castianna stood behind her two sturdy dwarf protectors and brought lightning and frost to bear against the creatures, giving them a taste of what it is like to be targeted by nature. The arrows rained and the dwarves hacked and bludgeoned and finally the kruthiks’ bodies lie still; a pile of goo and ichor.
The party trudged through the remainder of the canyon, covered in the remains of their skittering foes, and smelling worse for the wear. The ruins of Rivenroar loomed ahead.