Eleint 18 – 19, 1479, Year of the Ageless One
“It’s too bad I can’t turn U’Cla into my own mount,” Lo-kag said with disappointment. “Since everyone has mounts these days, it’s time I got one too!”
Caldreas and Deb both smiled. True, since Huntrah had first arrived at Bear’s Head mounted on a terrifying wyvern he named Sting, it seemed many were seeing the value of owning a mount. Caldreas had recently purchased a hippogriff from Iriaebor, while Deb had acquired a dire wolf as a mount.
Around the three, the sounds of merrymaking; of singing and drinking grew louder. With three days remaining until the Autumn Equinox, it seemed people were busy celebrating before the onset of winter. There was much to celebrate about after all. With the Sunset Vale free of undead once again, life seemed to be returning to normal again.
Across the room, a satyr bard just finished playing an sad elven tune on his lyre. He stood up from his stool and got the crowd to join in a song of thanks to the person who invented beer. The crowd raised their mugs in salute at the song ended.
No sooner had one song ended when a table of goblins—rare goblins who chose to live among civilized people to abandon their evil ways—offered up a song of courage and foolhardiness to a particular goliath, halfling, and eladrin, whom the goblins heard where going after U’Cla, the mightiest of dire bears.
And so the night went on until the inn closed and adventurers and townsfolk alike left the Bear’s Head Inn or turned in for the night.
Early morning mist still clung to the ground when the three left the comfort of Bear’s Head and made their way to the Reaching Wood.
Several miles into the forest, the group encountered a band of poachers who surprised them with a volley of bolts fired from crossbows. The adventurers returned the ambush with attacks of their own which claimed the lives of every poacher save one, their leader. Unfortunately, the battle also cost Deb to lose his mount which was killed during the encounter.
When interrogated, the leader revealed himself to be a person with a bounty on his head. Kira, the innkeeper of Bear’s Head, had told the group about a man who was poaching in the Reaching Woods. The town of Bear’s Head had then placed a reward on his head.
Satisfied they had the right man, the three gathered what they could from the slain poachers and made their way back to Bear’s Head to turn the poacher over to the authorities. Along the way, they asked him what he knew of U’Cla and if he had seen signs of the dire bear which they were hunting.
“That devil of an animal killed some of my men several days ago,” the poacher said with spite in his tone. “I was lucky to escape with my life. Now you will try to kill it? Gods be with you, but you will not be able to kill it. There is no one alive who can kill that beast.”
After leaving the poacher with the guards at Bear’s Head, the three traveled back to the Reaching Wood with thoughts regarding what the poacher had said about U’Cla.
The story continues in U’Cla