After another two days mapping, the party came upon what appeared to be ruins of an old temple. The fountain was filled with foul smelling algae, and it was covered in moss and lichen. Feng found himself on the wrong end of a bear again, however, when while attempting to explore the cave at its western entrance, he was charged and mauled.
This bear was smaller than the first bear, and though Feng still relied heavily upon the healing magic of Andros to stay in the fight, it was Arkady who proved the hero today. His explosive alchemical bombs caught the bear on fire and int he end, destroyed it.
As it died, the bear became a man, and then crumbled to dust. The temple flagstones became clean, and the water became not only pure, but was determined to have curative properties. The group did not tarry long, however, as they were distraught to realize that they had cleansed the temple of Erastil, and worried that Jhod Khavken would have no salvation.
Still, they knew they had a job to do, and they would bear their shame until returning to Oleg’s.
They discovered the spring at the source of the Skunk River, and saw, but did not approach the giant frogs that lived within.
Andros grew frustrated with the lack of action, but knew that his charge was to map. They continued, but as the day grew on, the sky filled with portents of rain.
It began to rain heavily, turning the plains around the party to muck. they found a small cairn and checked inside, uncovering a long deceased barbarian. While they noted be bore a magical ring, they chose to not defile the man, and restored the cairn to nearly its original state..That evening, they were beset by a worg, but it did not enter their camp. They remained vigilant.
After 3 days of rain, they returned to Oleg’s. Here they purchased some oiled leathers, and refreshed their supplies. Oleg gave word to Char that his armor was being crafted, and would be ready in late Desna. They were greeted warmly by Jhod, and he explained that Erastil had blessed him again – his hands may not have cleansed the temple personally, but Erastil had forgiven him.
After 4 days of rain, they awoke to a bitter cold, and to find that the rain had turned to snow. In addition to the cold and the muck, there was now a layer of white on everything. They bought some cold weather clothes, Oleg’s being well equipped with furs. They returned Jhod to the temple, where he immediately set to rebuilding.
They found an apparently abandoned hut, and seeking to explore, knocked. A voice within answered clearly, “Go Away!”.
They did not. Soon enough, Bokken bade them enter, hungry he was for their company. He talked of potions and Oleg’s, and of his hatred for his brother, whom he described as a bastard and a crazy old hermit. Irony is, of course, lost on the insane.
A field littered with skeletons revealed a trap door, further revealing a trapdoor spider. Gregor was the hero this fight, for in one second he uttered but a single command, “Sleep!” and the spider was slain. Feng cleared out the spiders den, and found the body of a bandit. His pockets yielded some treasure, and a map to more.
The bandit’s map found yesterday led them to a rotted tree, at the roots of which, under two inches of snow, was a magical wand and some gold, a spellbook, and a masterwork dagger. Johanna claimed the dagger, and Gregor and Arkady the book.