Gord, Pico, and Jagga set out with Ash to the small village of olsly. Almost immediately after they left halbrook the spring rains began. This made Ash worried, as the spring rains were relentless, and nearly always brought flooding to the main road north.
The trip to olsly was wet, but otherwise uneventful. The Ranger station still stood on the flood-plain, and seemed to be manned by the old Ranger Henry. Ash confided that they may need to ferry across if the rain continued for their return trip.
In olsly, Ash exchanged the seeds with Remp, the half-orc elder. The party was given accommodations in the the town hall for the night. Pico visited the town herbalist, to both test their skill and to sell some materials Pico had gathered on the voyage. Jagga traded some of the honey that his family had accumulated for 23 old iron nails. Gord introduced herself to Från, the Vishkanya Justicar. Från showed Gord her nice accommodations, including some rare brass plates and a map of the region. Gord attempted to boast and tell stories, but Från saw through them, and scolded Gord for not being honest.
Gord returned to the town hall, and Ash told them all to get some sleep. Gord made an attempt to steal some of the more mundane plates at town-hall, so that she might exchange them for the plates at Från’s. Ash catches Gord, and strikes her with her quarterstaff. Gord starts bleeding from the nose. Ash reminds them again to go to sleep, and starts to write in a book. Gord attempts to see what is being written, and Ash again whacks Gord with the staff, and encourages sleep.
Gord runs back to Från, but is not allowed into her home. She tells Gord that Ash is wise, and Gord could learn lessons from those injuries.
In the morning, they party sets off with the aurochs. Four males and two females. The going is slow, as the rains have not yielded. Ash continues with her morning ritual, of whispering words on a freshly plucked leaf, and blowing the leaf away from her hand. This seems to still the storm a bit for some reason.
Days pass, and they see that the road ahead is very flooded. Vision is severely hampered by the rain, but they can still make out lights coming from inside the Ranger station. Thankful for a dry, warm shelter, the party approaches. Ash and Gord go to the door, asking for Henry. What they find is three Tengu, who claim to be Rangers. After Ash announces that they have gold, and Gord says to be careful, Ash is hit with a poisoned dart, and falls unconscious. A battle ensues, in which Jagga is able to climb the tower, jump in through the window, and hide under a table while the Tengu launch a volley of darts. Gord drags Ash into cover, and Pico changes into a bestial form, while also throwing a concoction at the now closed tower door. Upon impact, the leaf-bound concoction explodes, starting the door on fire and greatly reducing it’s stability. Pico throws himself at the door to break it open, but instead bounces off, getting slightly burnt by the flames in the process. Jagga cartwheels downstairs to find the third Tengu waiting by the door, with a leather bag filled with heavy stones. Jagga enters a rage, and attacks the Tengu with his terbutje Pico breaks down the door and joins the fight. The Tengu attempt to fight back, but are easily brought to heel. Suffering staggering wounds, they surrender, but Pico insists that they be killed. In a rage, Jagga is happy to oblige, driving his terbutje home into the neck of the fallen Tengu. While the party is dealing with two Tengu on the first floor, the other slips out of the window to the ground outside. Gord attempts to get in the way, but slips on the floor and nearly falls of the ledge. The Tengu escapes, running through the aurochs. The aurochs start to panic, and one of the males falls into the raging water below. The party kills the two Tengu, and find the remains of Henry (who had been eaten by these Tengu, presumably). Gord leaves a note of what had happened here.
Ash was in a deteriorating state, as the poison seemed to be some sort of mixture of drow alchemy and other substances. Pico did what he could to slow the advance, but things were getting worse. Ash had mentioned an alternate route, taking the highlands through the wild in order to get back to the village. Without Ash being able to give further directions, the party backtracked, trying to find another path. Eventually Pico was able to find a very old cobblestone path which had been overgrown. More days pass, and each night they are visited by wolves who circle their camp. Cold, wet, and essentially blind in the woods, the party begins to despair.
Along the path, the party finds a tunnel which is built under a waterfall. They are able to pass through the water using this tunnel. Inside they find script that none of them can read. Gord writes some examples of this script (later found to be halfling writing).
They continue past the tunnel for a long while, and find a trail that goes off from the main path. This leads to a large ruined building, with many toppled statues and broken pillars. It is a welcome respite from the rain, so they decide to camp here for the night. While exploring, they discover an ash pile with several humanoid remains, and burnt books. Gord finds a mostly intact (though rotting) book, detailing the existence of Zon-Kulthon, who seemed to be one of the old Gods. This frightened the party, as they wanted no part in any dealings of the old gods. On closer inspection, if seemed as if the statues were of tortured figures. The ruins did not seem as welcoming as before. Also, a strange purple vine was growing in the ashen pile.
During watch, watch that night Gord heard a strange whistling and wailing noise. Gord woke Spirit, and hugged spirit tight. They determined that the noise was coming from a distinct, large slab of stone on the floor, which seemed to be separate from the rest of the floor. Gord woke the others, and they decided it’d be best if they slept outside.
During Pico’s watch, he decides that it would be a good idea to temporarily abandon his party and retrieve the old book. They hadn’t seen any of the wolves or other creatures follow them while they were near the ruins. While inside the ruins retrieving the book, Pico carefully takes a sample of the strange purple root that was growing out of the decay.
Continuing with their terrible luck, the next night the tarp they use as a tent broke down, waking them all. Without time to dry or warm themselves, the party is covered in fungi and sores, and is without good sleep (they are taking -4 to all checks).
During the day, they run into an Elf named Brood, accompanied by a great Tiger and a ferocious beast, about the size of a bear. Brood seems to know Ash, and is willing to help. But only if the party will give up one of the aurochs. They quickly agree to give the non-pregnant female to Brood, and the elf makes an herbal mixture. It seems to ease Ash’s suffering. Brood explains how lucky the party is, because if Ash weren’t here, they would have been his prey. But now, he warns you of the dangers of the road, and to protect Ash.
That night, several of the large shapes approach during the third watch. pico throws a bomb…