The next night was attacked again from the north, and the party was awoken by Tiron who spotted sparks in the sky and hopped on the horse again to ride and meet the incursion. Upon arriving, the party found that there were ten of them, this time marching in formation and straight for the town center. They attacked using the same type of hit and run tactics, except that they didn’t turn on their injured this time. Sen cast entangle, and trapped the majority of them in overgrown zucchini plants. Three of them broke free, though, and the party hit them with similar hit and run tactics, and arrow shots from afar and from horseback. Before the first three were fully dealt with, the entangle wore off, the zucchini plants shriveled up and withered, and the trapped monsters were now free. Chasing the party again, the party rode circles around the monsters, wearing them down with arrows. Another attempt at a rope trip was done, and one of the monsters grunted, and in unison all of them jumped over the rope, distinctly not tripping. After identifying the leader, the arrows were focused on hitting him. A particularly amazing shot hit him right between the eyes, killing him instantly. It was only a matter of time before the rest were finally dealt with down to the last man. By now, the arrow supply was near finished, so it was a matter of necessity to face him hand to hand. Dwindler hopped down first, and launched her spear, missing spectacularly. The monster turned on Dwindler, and Bertand stepped in the way to block him, fighting defensively. At this time Thoraim decided to hurl his morningstar frighteningly close to Bertand’s head in an attempt at hitting the monster, it missed, but it was spectacularly frightening. Bertand deflected his axe strikes, and Willow stabbed him with her short sword from around Bertand, delivering the final blow.
After looking down at the fallen foes, Willow states “I’m glad that worked, otherwise I would have had to use my Magic Missile.” Dwindler gets furious: “Are you KIDDING ME!?! You could have used that on the horse and we wouldn’t have had to get close at all!” Willow, deciding that her job was done now that they were all dead, walks away and goes to stay at the farm where she has arranged a stay. The rest of the party, angry with her, get to work cleaning up the bodies and retrieving arrows. After the bodies are stacked back into the granary, they realize it is quite full. So they gather all of the supplies and load it onto the cart. Dwindler then cuts one of the bigger one’s head off for her own nefarious purposes.
When the party finally finishes, they speak with Captain Tiron about where they can stay, since this is the first night they can actually sleep. Captain Tiron agrees to let them stay in one of the abandoned houses from the recent attacks. Dwindler uses cantrips to clean the blood stains out and they move the door to the lavatory to the front doorway. They all (except Willow) share the bed, and Bertand sleeps at the hearth so as to have his death screams be an early warning for the rest to get out, just in case they came back tonight.
The next day, the party gathers to seek out their trail westward to follow them to the source. They set out, leaving Thoraim behind to mind the horse. While moving in the forest, there is a rustling in the bushes. The party stops moving, and keeps a close eye out. After throwing a couple of rocks towards the bush, whatever it is runs away through the underbrush. The party does not pursue.
The tracks lead westward and slowly turn northward until they spread out as they reach the foothills of a mountain range. At the base of one of the foothills, they find a cave mouth, a narrow opening into the limestone of the hill. Bertand volunteers to go into the cave to check it out. They tie a rope around his waist and he descends into the caves. The caves are large and expansive, and after tugging for more rope a few times, it becomes apparent that he cannot find his way to the source quickly. returning, he gathers the rest of the party and they explore the cave system. Eroded out limestone caverns, there are many crevices and nooks that they cannot fit into, but neither can the monsters they hunt. They stick to the large broad caverns filled with stalagmites, stalactites, columns and guano. On occasion, they find chambers with random, erratically places boulders. After a while, they find a collapsed wall that leads to an old, underground river course that has long dried up. following one way the path continues seemingly indefinitely, they turn back to explore the other way, and it widens into a few series of larger chambers, but then disappears into crevices too narrow to traverse. They turn back to the long passage, and it takes them after a long period to a series of caves. These caves have even more erratic boulders placed.
random encounter with something
came to foothills of mountains
limestone caverns with bats
ancient river tunnels
owe the forest two favors