December 27, 572 A.T.
The party wakes up early in the hopes of reaching Milshire that day. Deciding that it was imperative to get to Milshire as quickly as possible the party concludes that the main road into Milshire from Southbarrows would be taken. They figure that if the soldiers and catapults are far enough behind them that they will be able to warn them of any impending attack. Some of the soldiers scoff at the idea of being mere caretakers for catapults, but they are outranked and must comply.
They march for several hours without incident and come to the base of a small hill. The hill is high enough that one cannot see the road past it so Lucan and Seven decide to go ahead and see what lays beyond. They are mystified by an odd sight. Past the base of the mound, about 70 yards away, lies a wagon cart with what appears to be a small goblin on its top. There are 4 large creatures surrounding and ceaselessly attacking the cart. They are able to deduce that the cart seems to be protected by some sort of magical barrier and that the beasts are Owlbears. The goblin notices Lucan and pleas to him for help, as Seven returns to the bottom of the hill to relay what he’s seen. Marcus is highly dubious of the goblin’s cries, but decides that helping him is the right thing to do.
Lucan suggests that he could try to distract one of the creatures with a well placed arrow, drawing it near them. The rest of the party agrees with the plan and tells the soldiers with them to stay at the base of the hill and await orders. The soldiers are confused as they are unaware of the situation, but do as they are told. Lucan draws an arrow and expertly drives it into the shoulder of the nearest Owlbear. Unfortunately, it has little effect much to the chagrin of the goblin. Fearing they may be heading into a trap Marcus and Lucan decide once more to try to distract one of the creatures. Marcus reaches into his bag of provisions and pulls out a chunk of preserved meat. Lucan skewers the meat with two arrows and is able to deftly place his shot near an Owlbear which promptly devours the meat in an instant and continues its barrage. Marcus is greatly annoyed by this, as the meat was expensive and not easy to procure.
Gerard and Ulmo decide that its best at this point to meet the Owlbears head on as nothing else seems to be working. The goblin’s cries become more and more desperate as the party descends down the hill to dispatch the beasts, or so they think. As they approach the cart, the goblin yells at them once again for help, but also mentions that he would really rather that they not hurt “his” Owlbears. The group is perplexed but decides to abide by his request.
The battle begins well as Lucan is able to leap on top of a nearby Owlbear and attack it. Gerard and Thalius, ever quiet, set up a strong defensive flank that finally draws the beasts away from their melee on the magical cart. The goblin is pleased at this and mentions that he’ll be able to help them in a moment. Mortis uses his arcane magic to lift himself into the air via levitation. From here he rains down various magics upon the creatures, one of which is put under a magical sleeping state. Lucan circles around and begins assaulting a third Owlbear that had decided to keep attacking the cart. His bow lets loose a hail of arrows which nearly kill the creature. The goblin yells that he can help the party too, and tosses a potion onto the Owlbear which miraculously shrinks down to the size of a frog and begins to slumber. The party is stunned initially, but continues their onslaught. Seven manages to leap onto a beast as well, jabbing it in the head several times. He then vaults off the creature back to the ground to attack another nearby Owlbear. At the same time, Thalius had fallen into the grips of one beast which was subsequently biting at his face and chest. Marcus was able to stave off any grievous injuries using his divine invocations. He then muttered several prayers of divine retribution that fell on deaf ears. It seemed Pelor was not on his side that day. Gerard shifted his attentions between two of the animals and was able to defend himself against nearly all of their attacks with the expert use of his trusty shield. It was an impressive sight to the goblin, who tossed another potion onto a nearly unconscious Owlbear thus shrinking it. Immediately afterward, Ulmo planted his mechanical staff into the ground which began to project various arcane magics upon the two remaining Owlbears, allowing Thalius to finally break free of an Owlbear’s deathly grip. He was pleased by this and began a fierce blitz on the now reeling creature. One by one the creatures are all knocked out and shrunken down by the odd goblin’s potions. No one is seriously hurt thanks to the groups use of sound tactics and strategy.
Marcus, deciding that they needed an ace in the hole decides to use a bag to capture the sleeping Owlbears. The goblin is stunned by this act and pleads for their release. He explains that he keeps them in a vivarium on his cart, where they usually reside. Unfortunately, the cart had hit a rather large rock in the road and the vivarium broke, freeing the animals. The group questions the goblin who reveals that his name is Kabble Bottlesnag and that he’s an alchemist who trades in the region. The party finds that while eccentric, and perhaps a tad erratic, he is not evil. He fiddles with an odd crystal ball. Marcus asks if they may take it with them, but the goblin refuses, citing that it only works in his hands. Ulmo examines it with the goblin’s blessing and finds that it isn’t anything more than a trinket filled with cloudy water and bits of plant matter. Kabble would occasionally shake the ball and by looking at the floating matter divine the meaning therein. Marcus gives him his Owlbears back and he in turn rewards them with some special elixirs and general knowledge of the area. It seems that there is an old path that leads through the grasslands north of Milshire to a well-situated hill. It’s dotted with caves and has a commanding view of the town and surrounding area. He then warns them that conflicts on this scale tend to attract the attention of things that most people would rather avoid. He then sets off to the north, heading to Southbarrows.