I am pretty sure that the old man who runs the Last Chance Trading Post is crazy. I don’t think humans are suited for being alone, every human I’ve ever met who was on their own has been crazy.
It had only been a couple of days since we left Viculus de Adianua behind, so we didn’t really need any supplies, but we thought that maybe we could find some information about the Banded Agate Pillars, and possibly even Ravinia’s father.
The old man did remember Ravinia’s father coming through a year or so ago, and that he had headed in the direction of the Pillars. He couldn’t tell us too much about the Banded Agate Pillars, just that a lot of people went looking for them, and nobody ever came back. He said that there were a few small scattered mining camps, but not much else for civilized people.
He also asked us to deliver some supplies to a mining camp. It was on our way, so we agreed. If nothing else, the miners might be able to give us more information about the area. One of the supplies he asked us to bring was a jug of some disgusting alcoholic drink that the miners like. I thought it would make for good bargaining so I bought a couple more jugs of it to take with us.
Not much happened in our first couple of days through the mountains. We found the mining camp easily enough. I think the miners were more excited about the human females in our party than they were about the supplies that we brought them. They insisted that we spend the night, offering to roast a couple of goats for us. I brought out one of the jugs of the rotgut whiskey that I had brought along and passed it around. They started to play some crude musical instruments and convinced Morwenna to get up and dance with them. I was amused at the way that they fawned over Morwenna and the other’s, but kept a close eye on them to make sure that none of them got out of line.
Ulgaden tried some of the rotgut whiskey and found that it doesn’t agree too well with Koori stomachs. He sacrificed his dinner to the forest gods and returned looking rather green.
The miners warned us that there was a hostile village in the direction that we were headed. They warned us to avoid them.
While checking out another abandoned mine, we noticed the tracks of a Gargan hunting party. We decided that if we left the gargan alone, they would eventually find our tracks and would come after us. We decided that it would be better to confront them when we were prepared, and in a place that we chose – rather than have them sneak up on us in the middle of the night.
Ravinia seemed to be especially distracted today, almost as if she wasn’t there. So we suggested that she stay at the abandoned mine and guard the mules while we tracked down the gargan. Normally she would want to join the battle, but today she seemed content to stay behind and meditate.
The gargan hunting party turned out to be much larger than we expected it to be. There were 15 of them, and they were of the larger, tougher variety. They were tracking a buffalo and didn’t spot the ambush that we had set up for them.
Morwenna dropped her swarm of bees down in to the center of them, which sowed panic among most of them. Ulgaden and I picked off the gargan that exited the swarm at the front of the group, while Junia and Morwenna picked off the ones at the back. The ogre, as always, just waded through cleaving gargan with that giant sword. Between us, we made rather quick work of the gargan hunting party, taking no real damage ourselves.