Night drew on as we looked over the carcasses of the spiders. We were still uneasy, though. Ezio and I moved to inspect the barn and found it utterly devastated. Hebo, Oromis, Petra, and Luna went to the farmhouse and found it in the same condition. But the farmer was missing, much to Hebo’s dismay. Ezio, being a distrustful person, began to interrogate Hebo about the farm and the farmer. Hebo insisted that the farmer was good and that something dreadful must have happened here while he was away. We found tracks in the dirt and mud that led towards the mountains, but injured as we were, we could not follow.
Ezio and Luna watched over our group while we rested, recovering from our wounds. During the night, Ezio extracted venom from one of the dead spiders. In the morning, Hebo suggested we follow the tracks and find his friend. Oromis disagreed, wanting to take one of the spiders to Exatorus instead. We convinced Hebo to join us and return to Exatorus first. Exatorus, we explained, may have answers for us and that rushing off to chase some monster could be deadly for us.
Our group learned that day of the strength of dwarves. Oromis’s strength far outmatched any of the rest of us. By himself, he lifted the heavy body of a spider onto a wagon and began pushing it by hand towards his employer’s home. Hebo gathered some supplies from the ruin of the farmhouse and we followed Oromis.
Hours passed and Oromis was exhausted. Ezio and I tried to push the wagon but we could not move it in the rocky terrain. Frustrated, Ezio decided to go into the woods nearby and try to find some food. The rest of us contemplated purchasing a horse should we decide to go back to search for the farmer. Petra, Oromis, and I spent the time playing cards.
An hour had passed. Where was Ezio? He had been gone a long time, and Luna and Hebo decided to go after him. Oromis and Petra remained behind with me. Oromis complained that the spider’s carcass was beginning to stink. Another hour passed and the three of us began to worry that the others were in trouble. We armed ourselves and set out. We had scarcely gone no more than a few hundred feet into the woods before we saw Hebo, Luna, and a bleeding Ezio emerge.
Luna described to me the situation. Ezio searched all over for some wild game before he found tracks. He happened upon Hebo and Luna while following the tracks. Hebo and Luna had apparently gotten lost while searching for Ezio. These two were not as stealthy as Ezio and they happened to attract the attention of a large Auroch. The Auroch attacked and left Ezio with a grievous wound. Hebo spoke some healing words to Ezio while Luna cast a spell to speak to the Auroch, subduing it. The three of them escaped and left the Auroch alone.
We met them in the woods and returned to the wagon. Vultures had been pecking at the spider’s body. Angry (perhaps only at himself), Ezio drew his bow and loosed an arrow at the birds. One was grazed, but only slightly. They flew away, drawing the conclusion that Ezio’s hunt was a failure. Oromis, no longer winded, continued pushing the cart, though at a noticeably slower pace. After a day of travel, we ended up at Exatorus’s home again. He was aghast at the sight of the spider and commended us in bringing its body for study. He paid each of us for our work (though, noticeably, he paid Oromis much less than he deserved).
Exatorus told us nothing about the new larger creature that attacked Hebo’s farm. At least, nothing we didn’t know. We knew it was large and it carried some heavy weapon like a club or greatsword. But Exatorus gave us the same charge as he did with the original attackers: bring it to him, preferably alive.
Oromis was again sent with us on the mission, but he refused to push the cart by himself. Petra suggested we purchase a horse by pooling our gold pieces together. Ezio, unfortunately and not uncharacteristically, refused. Hebo had the mind to offer to pay Ezio to stay with us to help find the farmer. So Ezio purchased his own riding horse while the rest of us purchased a horse for the cart. While at the stables, the stablemaster offered us money if we could bring him some iron ore from the mountains. While my comrades purchased horses, I found a shop operated by a very fat halfling and purchased more lengths of rope. If we are going to capture a creature, we should be prepared to bind it.
We each spent the night in our own ways. Hebo sang at the local inn for room and food, and he, Luna, and Petra spent the night there. Oromis returned to his master’s home as he had a room there. I do not know where Ezio went. I spent the night in the alley outside the inn. People do not like my kind, but I do not mind it. It is easier for everyone if I stay out of the affairs of the common folk.