So, we took the offer to become Scouts. I think that this may have been the better idea. At least for us. Jeddick Bartail seems to have had the better answer for the situation. Though Cecily did manage to upset the coal cart on the way out by reveling the individual that had told us of his involvement with his Sergeant’s death. How that plays out is going to be a very interesting mess. So, provisioned and “uniformed”, we were sent out on the airship Striker to our drop off location. The Captain of the ship, a boorish man who found no love for us as not only were we “bug eaters” but also Technologists on “His” magic airship. What I wouldn’t give for a decently built ship of power. I guess beggers cannot be choosers. I must say, though, flying aboard one is a unique experience. One I will also say I am in no rush to repeat. If The Powers had meant for Dwarves to fly, we wouldn’t have been born in the Earth, by the Spark and Cog.
So, after a few hours aboard the Striker we were dropped near the coast about half way between the Port and Fort EverReach. Miss Cicily’s unfourtunate luck seemed to lead to her twisting her ankle a bit while disembarking. That blasted Captain and his rudeness. I’d have been severely tempred to introduce his head to his hindquarters if I weren’t certain they weren’t firmly planted there already. I’m sure he could have brought his blasted ship in lower, had he not been a complete boor. We started off in our treck toward the Fort a few minutes after Cecily got her ankle under wraps. She is quite a stalwart human when she wishes to be. Perhaps there is dwarven blood in her line somewhere. Ehh, either way.
Late afternoon brought us upon a cart driven by a goblin merchant named “Ro Bear” and his workers. He was certainly happy to see us. We managed a rather decent barter, gathering some spare bolts for my crossbow, though a few had to be scrapped for the heads. But some various valuable bits of furs, metal scraps, and some form of canister that the goblin seemed to indicate has possible explosive potential. Plus some freshish Coneys for dinner that evening. Icarus picked himself up an Obsidian wand of some kind, but I’ve yet to see it function. We also got a bit of warning of possible creatures in the area to be wary of.
The next day’s travel, that warning proved useful. About mid to late morning, we stumbled upon the things he had described. More appropriately, Cecily stumbled uopn one of their traps as I was about to warn her. I suppose it is partly my fault, as I’d gotten her thinking on how to put together a self powered mechanical carrier when she quite literally stepped in it. It being a puddle of waxy goo that had been laid out much like a fisherman lays out a bait line. Three six legged, tailed froglike things hopped from concealment and attacked us by spitting this goo at us. We managed to dispatch the first three and what I would guess were four more of their young in reletively short order. Among the holes we had found a Silver dagger, a sachel filled with goo, and a partly digested goblin. I did a quick sketch of these creatures and their rather intersting hunting techniques. May be worth briefing the Jeddick on when we get back. It also did help us to avout the three or four other fields of these creatures. Never thought I’d say this, but that little goblin helped us. Not too bright, but very nice critter.
The big shock of the day came later, however. We had finally got to within view of the Fort when we noticed a ship of some form beached next to it. After a minute or two of examining this, we saw riders coming toward us. They seemed to be making a charge, for which we prepared as well as possible to meet, but they broke to the right of us as they closed. I could scarce believe my eyes. Risto! They had this shiny black carapace armor and what looked to be rifles with large stocks. When one of them leveled one at us, I fired. The battle was quick, but in the provess, I got shot and clonked on the head by one of their rifle butts. But we managed to deal with them. Stripping them of their gear quickly, but upon trying to remove the armor from one I got a rather disgusting insight into Risto armor. It’s grafted to their skin. When I peeled the breastplate loose, it flaked away and was left seeing his exposed muscles. Gyagh.
Our contemplation of this however was cut short by an approching larger force. I managed to pack up my wounds as well as possible and we made a quick retreat from the scene. Icarus managed to find us an underground cavern to hide in. He covered it and them made to distract them leading them on what I can only assume was a merry chase for a bit until whaterver end it came to. I got an idea of the scale of the cave, being overly curious of where we may have gotten ourselves, but Cecily made a good point of us needing rest, especially me. She is a hardy woman. Very practical.
Icarus did manage to find his way back to us the next day, having managed to fend off the Risto persuit. How, I am unsure, but that man has some skill both at fighting and persuasion, so lord only knows. With the light now, I managed to find a bit more out about our hidey hole. Most of my darkness exploration had managed to get it pretty well mapped out, but I did miss a small side tunnel of sone kind. Also, ther was a plaster covered tunnel that had been hidden behind some rubble, but marked with skulls of possibly goblins. The tunnel lead to a small room with what looked to be a bone alter and a copper plate with a dried brown-red substance in it. Blood would be my guess. We moved out of it, and there was some kind of traplike setup in the tunnel. I saw the switches for one, but the magical one we must have triggered from the paintings on the floor wasn’t avoided. It did nothing to myself that I can tell, and if it had any impact on the others, I’m unsure. Never did trust magics. We’ve decided to rest in the cave for now until we are better able to get out of here. This must be reported back to Jeddick Bartail. Risto in the Savage Lands is important news.