I have to spend some time getting ready for session #6 tomorrow so this write-up will be shorter than #2.
The party made their encumbered way back to Lake Farmin from Bald Hill. It was dusk when they reached the gates and had to pay their way in as before. Since it was too late for the meetings with Olhatta and Hestal, they decided to get rooms, store everything and grab some food and drink before going to sleep.
At the bar Tok decided to engage Glami the barkeep in some talk hoping a quick tale of their day's battle might net them some sort of discount. He opened with mentioning the serious scar on the inside of Glami's partially paralyzed right arm, "I see you're familiar with the hazards of swordplay. I would hate to see the other fellow." Glami mumbled "Yes, I know swords, what can I do for you?"
Tok began to mention the werewolf being a bunch of orc bandits and was about to pull forth a string with severed orc ears when he realized there were orcs in the bar as customers. He lowered his voice and confided the story to barkeep. Glami nodded his head and listened intently.
Despite the story, no discounts emerged. "Only the owner, Abraham, can cut breaks on prices."
Finishing a cheap meal, the company headed off to bed.
They planned to stay in town several days to rest their wounded, sell some gear, identify some of the items they had determined were laced with magic, and see if they could get Krak to modify some of the chainmail armor to fit their various sized group members.
Since the humans that could wear such armor would fit fairly well into it, they opted not to modify those, however the rest, 3 elves, two dwarves, and a halfling would require some work. In all, after negotiating prices, Krak indicated that the entire batch could be finished in 23 days, plus the two days he required to complete the work he was already doing for another customer.
This meant that they would only have a couple of people in better armor when they went hunting for the other bandit lair.
The party also determined that they had found quite a nice haul of magical arms and armor. One suit of chainmail, one suit of leather armor, a longsword, a dagger, a flail, a shield, and a girdle all reacted to the detect magic spell. Now they had to spend at least a couple days identifying items.
While the elves and wizard spent time conducting the Thaumaturgic Lore ritual, others would complete their business with Hestel the alchemist and Olhatta the jeweler.
Hestel returned the potions to them and explained that one was for listening at a distance, clairaudience, and the other was very odd indeed. He believed it to grant one sovereignty over plants.
Enough time passed that one of the chainmail suits had been modified and all of the items had been identified.
The party not only had a great deal more money, but found themselves now in possession of some powerful weapons and armor. The girdle imbues its wearer with much greater strength. The weapons and armor, greater prowess and defenses.
Refreshed and anxious for action, they gathered a small amount of supplies for a couple days hunting and set off to wander the Xerbal Mountains.
At first they seemed to be having little luck. In fact Seamus began to have what seemed like the worst luck he had ever suffered. As the company was walking across some open ground among some tall grass, while passing some bushes and small trees he managed to slip his foot into a hunter's snare and get tumbled and dragged into the bushes.
He suffered only a bruised ego from the snare trap and the laughter of his companions. Things were about to get much worse for him.
Elanna indicated she saw something move among a dense treeline about a quarter mile ahead. The party then spread out and began moving crouched over through the tall weeds. Valen, Tok, and Seamus moved ahead to get close enough to try using the clairaudience potion, hoping they might be able to determine if they were close to the bandits.
Valen uncorked the bottle and drank it down.
At first he noticed his hearing becoming worse, to the point of deafness and then as he concentrated on the area about 60 feet ahead, about 10 feet into the treeline he began to notice sounds. A squirrel to his left scampering up a tree. Insects chirping. The sound of breathing, and then a steady heartbeat. It was as if he were surrounded by the breathing and the slow, powerful heart beat.
He relayed this oddness and the three of them crawled slowly to within about 30 feet of where they perceived this to be coming from. Tok pitched a couple of rocks to help Valen guage things better. First one - 10 feet or so to his front. Second - about the same to his right. The third one, about 10 feet behind him and bouncing off tree branches and clattering into a bush. The heartbeat picked up a beat or two and the breathing was slightly quickened. Was he listening through the ears of the person or creature that possessed these sounds?
It was about the time of this realization that the enourmous owlbear burst fro the treeline tearing right at the three crouching intended meals.
Back-pedaling, Tok and Valen managed to get sling stones and arrows onto their foe. The party members further back were trying to draw ranged weapons and Rowena loosed a Magic Missile. Seamus was rooted in place by the sudden surprise of charging fur and feathers.
The battle was over quickly. Valen, still able to hear only through the ravening beasts ears was sickened at the sound of crunching bone as the owlbear clawed and bit Seamus. Then another stone from Tok and the assault of the remaining party members felled the creature.
After they pulled the 1500 pound monster from on top of Seamus where it had fallen, they began trying to revive the badly mauled thief. At first it seemed hopeless and then his luck turned and he began to draw shallow, ragged breath again.
While some tended to Seamus the others skinned the pelt and head from the owlbear. Then they made a litter for Seamus and made their way back to town.