Brann was staring into the cave. The smell of troll was still there although faint. Seems safe he thought and crawled inn. Winter is coming he mumbled to himself.
The cave was dark, as most troll caves are. Trolls has a tendency to turn to stone when the sun hits them. Firewood he thought and went back into the sleet.
Not long after the fire lit up the cave, and Brann could explore the cave.
Being a troll cave the floor was littered with all kinds of bones, half rotten pelts and what was that? A skeleton of some sorts, still dressed in a leather armor, and a sword. Must be an elven sword, stil sharp.
Brann spent the rest of the evening cleaning the armor and polishing the sword.
As the morning fog liftet from the forrest, Brann was sitting outside the troll cave. What was that? Looks like people. You must me pretty stupid to be out in these parts of the woods. I must head over to them and find out what they are up to.
Hullo there Mr Man, the dwarf said to him.
Hullo there Mr Dwarf Brann replyed. Are you looking for something?
The dwarf was nose down in a shrubbery, picking some clove looking herbs.
Yes, these, the dwarf said holding up the herbs.
My friend is hurt and he needs some healing herbs.
I think I saw some more potent ones a few minutes back. Brann pointed towards the cave from whence he came.
We are staing over here, the dwarf said pointing towards a dell by the river.
Brann ran back, and found the herbs, not exactly where he thought he saw them nor quite the exact colour, but near enough.
As Brann came into the dell he was greeted by the dwarf a dog and two men. One of them having a rather grim bit from a wolf. Having helped himself to some of the dwarfs herbs, the wounded man seemed a bit better already, but wanting to be on the safe side, Brann brewed some tea of his own herbs.
How strange, Brann though. The herbs don’t seem to have the effect I had hoped for. The wounded man, introduced to Brann as Varian, was sleeping like a log, being rather funny, Varian being a lumberjack, and the wound didn’t seem better. Might I be in the wrong? Did I give him the wrong herbs? I must go back and find the right ones. Brann excused himself and went back to the cave. Of course he said to himself, these are the right ones. I must have given the lumberjack some anunina, the sleeping drug. Must be careful with those, they are highly addictive.
Back in the camp Brann got the stories of why these people were out in the wild like this.
It seems Old Báir, the dwarf, Brólins uncle had been out here prospecting by the ice caves where he came upon a ghost that had scared the willies out of the old dwarf, and now they were going to find out what happened. The other man, Pike, a deputy out of Bree, were also chasing some brigands.
Being eager to help old Báir, a good teller of tall tales, known to all that frequent Two Waters, the best bar in Culwic (all knew it was the best bar, as it was the only bar), Brann decided to venture with them.
Not many hours after, the heavy sleeper awoke, and got a dose of Branns healing herb, the real one this time, and soon they were ready to press onwards.
After some rather heavy trecking over the hills, the party came upon a man on a cliff, just by a ravine. Hullo! They shouted. Ahoi there Mr. Man! The dwarf has an peculiar way of greeting people, Brann though. The man, apparently alarmed, jumped up, and ran for the ravine.
Wait! We are not dangerous! We are friends! They shouted, but the man kept running.
The party ran after, well not ran, but rather hurried along at a cautious pace, and Brann all but caught the man before he fell head over heals down the ravine.
They found him at the bottom, his leg broken and the man passed out cold.
We need to get the leg splintered they agreed. Lets find a shelter.
They found shelter under the roots of a fallen pine, covering what was open with branches from fir and juniper bushes.
The man soon came to himself, warning them to let him free, or else ill would befall them. Apparently the ice caves were just nearby, and whatevere were found inside the caves would come after them.
Being armed with elven swords and a dwarven warhammer, the newfound friends thought nothing of it, and started to plan the night watch.
Varian, still wide awake from the effect of the sleeping herbs Brann had given him, would take the first turn.
They had not slept for long before Varian heard something outside. Something not natural. He awoke the others just to hear the most frightening crescendo of a scream, making their blood like ice and their courage break like twigs. They ran. As fast as they could, not caring where. They just had to get away. Fast.
When Brann came to himself he was not sure where he was. All he knew was it was dark, and the snow was falling. He could not orient himself while it was dark, so he climbed up into a tree.
Soon he heard a noise down by the trunk. Twas the dog.
Brann climbed down. Here dog, lets find your master.
With those words they set of into the dark.
As the sun came up, the dog and Brann stod by the troll cave.
Hullo? Brann shouted!
Woof! said the dog.
Hullo came the reply from the cave.
The rest of the party had found themselves to the cave, and there they lit a fire and had a good sleep.
We must return to the camp. Having left their arms and rucksacks under the fallen pine they had to return, and so they did.
At mid day they found back to their camp, but it was empty. No prisoner, no weapons and no supplies.