Let’s go see where Shrek lives!!
We begin at the Tinker’s house that the party has been squatting in. Froderick finds himself thirsty, with a deep body thirst that is seemingly unquenchable. He is afraid that his waterskin won’t be enough to satisfy him, so he elects to go to the stream by Shaghorn’s temple.
While he is gone, Rorek makes Turq pay him half of the earnings from the kobold adventure. Podmidor gives himself a headache trying to learn to cast Levitate while Cues drools over the spellbook. Turq expresses interest in trying to learn a few spells himself. The spellbook is like a new toy at a daycare center. Chickens, meanwhile, targets Rorek with a surge of magic. Rorek notes the sudden intense focus and suspiciously checks first his beard…then his axe…then down the front of his breeches…“Whew”, he mutters. To Chickens’ immense relief, there is no noticable effect.
When Froderick returns, wet and cold, but happy, the group discusses next steps. They decide to go ogre hunting, and everyone gets ready to go. Chickens goes through his belongings, and discovers that all of his items seem to have exchanged weight. His bedroll feels much heavier than before, so he dumps it and leaves it behind him. Meanwhile, his rope and Headsplasher seem to be extraordinarily light.
The group heads back toward the crater, figuring that they can try to find the ogre cave from there. Partway into the trip Chickens targets Froderick in a magical surge, but again nothing seems to happen. Afraid that he is going to ultimately destroy every member of the party, Chickens asks them to walk up ahead far enough to be out of sight and he will follow along behind. Turqeel elects to stay with him, as does Russellbob, who is riding along on Turqeel’s pack.
Once they have fallen further behind, Turqeel again requests that Chickens focus any surges he can control at him. Chickens is mystified by this, and the two discuss Turqeel’s worship of the powers of chaos and his beliefs as they walk while Russellbob listens on. The next surge does come, and Turqeel is the target. A foot long blade of fire appears in Turqeel’s hand, though it does not burn him. He waves it around making lightsaber sounds for a few moments before they continue on. The Flame Bladedisappears some minutes later.
Before the crater is visible, the party sees the carrion birds circling in the air above it. When the lead part of the group arrives at the crater, they find crows and turkey vultures gorging upon the dead kobolds, as well as a black bear that has come down to feed. Podmidor, Froderick, and Rorek descend the slope to the crater floor, leaving Cues behind at the rim. Chickens arrives with Turqeel and Russellbob shortly after. Podmidor notes a low buzzing sound as he nears the floor of the crater, and realizes that it is coming from thousands upon thousands of flies that are creating a swirling black cloud around the kobold bodies. Podmidor wishes to try to find the kobold chief one more time, so the group passes through center of crater, trying to avoid the bear.
Chickens and Turqeel continue to discuss Chickens’ curse, and how to either gain control of it or find Mandretch.
The bear becomes aggressive at the group’s proximity. Podmidor suggests that they try to look as big as possible. Really. Froderick might have an honest chance at this, but a halfling just suggested that he and a dwarf try to appear as big as possible. This is not lost on Rorek, who looks at Podmidor incredulously for a second, then raises up his hands and yells, “I’M AS BIG AS POSSIBLE!!!” Despite Rorek’s intimidating display, their ursine assailant charges. As it is closing the distance, carrion birds scattering and clouds of black flies swarming with every stride, Podmidor pretends to draw an imaginary bow. Murmuring a Melf’s Acid Arrow incantantion, Podmidor looses his insubstantial arrow as the bear is closing the last twenty feet. A green arrow streaks out of nowhere and flies true, piercing the pupil of the bear’s eye. The creature has a sudden change of heart as the acid commences to do its work and stops so quickly that its own momentum tumbles it into a somersault. Shrieking in agony, it rises to its feet to turn and flee. Frodrick jumps in, sickle blurring through the air toward the anguished creature’s neck. At the last second, the bear sees the movement with it’s good eye, and jerks its head back. The sickle’s curved blade removes exactly five hairs from its neck . It gains its feet and turns to flee. Froderick takes advantage of the opportunity, and brings the sickle in an arc that opens a wide swath of flesh parallel to the bear’s spine. Crying in pain, it flees in a stumbling run. After a few seconds, it slows down, pawing at it’s face. In another moment, it collapses.