We asked Arnik about Woodscale. While his current location is not known, Arnik could tell us where his old lair was. He sketched us a map, with landmarks (mountain that looks like a dwarf’s head, mountain that looks like a human’s head, etc), and instructions. It would be about a day’s hike.
So off we set, an almost immediately began to be badly bitten by insects. Cog & Al were itching furiously. Al even cast an acid splash on herself in an attempt to get rid of it. Ow. Note to self: do not do this. So many mozzies! And leeches too. Ick. Cog suggested that we’re getting bitten worse because we’re low down, and that maybe the taller members of the party could carry us? Mel promptly picked up Al.
We noticed some brightly coloured butterflies flutter past, then fly away. Hmm… possibly scouts? It’s hard to know who or what we can trust around here. We might need to be ready for something worse than mozzies and leeches. Al mage-armours up, just in case. But… nothing. At least, nothing for the rest of the day.
We make camp for the night, as we still have a few hours to go to the dragon’s old lair. The first two watches passed uneventfully, but on the third watch Aloeine noticed some birds taking flight – an unusual thing in the pre-dawn darkness – so she woke Mel to investigate. And Mel spotted a swarm: a roiling blackness running over the forest floor.
Ants. So many ants.
We fought the swarm of ants, and escaped relatively unscathed. As day breaks, we move on – Aloeine again scouting ahead as a bird (or birding ahead as a scout).
Aloeine returns with the news that others have been there before us – there seems to be a kind of pulley-lift arrangement set up. We continue and get a closer look at it. The area at the base of the cliff has in the past been cleared and heavily trafficked, but not recently. There’s a track leading away, which looks very much like someone has relocated a large hoard. We make a plan: to send Cogs up to check the (deserted?) lair, armed with invisibility, the ring of spider climb and the ring of feather fall… then we’ll follow the track and see where it leads.
And apparently the next bit of our adventure will take “some time”. Oh. Goodie.