Into the west

Heading into Town.

Our hero, Dragonclaw Wyverndrake began his latest adventure naked and alone in the desert. Having recently escaped torture at the hands of a tribe of wild orcs, he fled across the desert looking for a trail or town in which he could find aid.

Eventually he came upon a burnt out wagon, and two dead bodies. Confident it wasn’t a trap, he cautiously approached, and found a set of hand tooled leather armor of rare quality, as well as a matching carved lute and engraved sword, all clearly a matching set and custom
made for someone. A successful search also found few letters from an uncle Bornell. Apparently the couple was heading to the nearby town of Coffin Rock to meet him and help out on his ranching endeavors.

Dragonclaw continued on his way to town, and found a burrow, battling a scorpion and finding a few gold, as well as a pouch containing more letters from the wagon. They revealed that uncle Bornell had fallen from a horse and died, and unless his heirs were to arrive soon, his distant relative and enemy

Upon reaching town he learns the locals are not ones to allow horsethievery, and he witnesses a hanging of a goblin from the towns only tree. Ironically, the town is called Lynchtree.

After a brieif visit to town, and booking a gig he heads to the bornell ranch to let them know the bad news about their kin, but before he can speak, Holedigger and his gang arrive to take possession of the ranch. Costa, the minotaur ranch foreman, stalls, while Carlotta, the niece of Uncle Bornell nonverbally pleads with Dragonclaw to play along and pretend to be the missing heir and save the ranch, which he does. Holedigger, perplexed and angry rides away.

Later that night, Dragonclaw, Carlotta, and Costa hatch a plot to incriminate Holedigger with a horsethievery charge. Dragonclaw will perform at the town saloon, while Carlotta and Costa take horses with the Bornell brand to The Holedigger ranch then alert the sheriff of the supposed theft. Costa will arrive in the saloon when the job is done., and due to the bad blood between Holedigger and the heroes new friends, the charge won’t be outlandish.

Our hero goes into town the next morning and meets a few of the townspeople, as well as the sheriff, but is interrupted by Holedigger who I plays that he knows what’s up and that Dragonclaw isn’t who he says he is. But with no other plan in place he stays the course.

Dragonclaw performs for the town, and is wildly successful, dispute some of Holediggers toughs being there to intimidate him. He waits and waits for Costa to appear, but he never does, then suddenly, a Holedigger thug arrives, says a few words to the other toughs and they all grin maliciously at Dragonclaw and leave.

Suspecting something is up, the Bard retires to his room for a break, then sneaks out a window to investigate.
At the edge of town, he finds the entire band of thugs, as well as Holedigger himself with a captured Carlotta, and beaten and injured Costa. He admits to killing the relatives in the wagon, and threatens to kill Carlotta unless Dragonclaw comes clean with his true identity

Dragonclaw returns to the saloon with Costa, and waits out the night in his room letting the minotaur rest and heal from his beating.

The next morning he faces Holedigger in the street, and nearly defeats him, but in terror the villein turns coward and orders two of his men to help him, and the others to restrain Costa and the sheriff, and they render Dragonclaw unconscious.

Upon awakening in the doctors office, Carlotta greets Dragonclaw and informs him that the town rose up at Holediggers cowardice, and hanged him. All is well and the ranch is safe in her hands.

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The Skitters!

We open in the town blacksmith shop. Krunch, a warforged, is working on a sword and Dragonclaw arrives from the Bornell ranch with four horses to be shod. But there’s a newcomer in town. A Hamadryad named Kalani.

She is new to the civilized world and quite fascinated by it. While watching Krunch craft the sword, the mechanical being miscalculated and bends the blade, much to the annoyance of his gnomish employer, and is sent out to take a break.

Dragonclaw chats with Kalani, and she decides to go buy a cowboy hat. Upon leaving they see Krunch, who’s just standing outside staring into space as he has no need to rest, and didn’t know what else to do, so he accompanies them. At the general store they meet a local farm family bringing their potato crop into town, and Kilana strikes up a friendship with Elizabeth, the farmers daughter. They notice she’s wearing a certain silver ring with particular engraving that she claims has been in her family for generations. Kalani forms a telepathic connection with her, (as she already has with Krunch and Dragonclaw) and the family returns home.

The three adventurers head to the griffins eye saloon for lunch, and discuss adventuring topics, and other small talk., hearing the family leave town in their wagon. After a few drinks (and cans of oil for Krunch) they hear a commotion outside. Elizabeth’s father is screaming for help, saying that “skitters” took his daughter.

Realizing that he means giant ants, the heroes mount up, (with an exclamation of “NOW, WE RIDE!” From Dragonclaw) and they begin tracking the girl.

They find where she has been dragged along with pieces of cloth from her dress and eventually find a hole in a hillside that the ants clearly are using as an entrance. They tie the horses up, and proceed inside, finding psychic impressions, and Elizabeth’s silver ring along the way to guide them,

They battle a large group of ants, and upon killing a particularly formidable one, find a pair of magic boots in its stomach, attached to an unfortunate skeleton. They proceed, and find the ant queen, along with a cocooned Elizabeth who is still alive but scared. They defeat the queen and rescue the girl, and even manage to domesticate 4 giant ants, who are confused and leaderless now without their queen. On exiting, Kalani’s horse panics at the sight of their insectoid steeds, and runs away, with her new hat on the saddle horn.

Unconcerned, the four mount up on their ants, (with a “WE RIDE” from Dragonclaw) and return to the town of Lynchtree as heroes.

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The joys of home ownership!

Dragonclaw Wyvrenbane, deciding he’d freeloaded at the Bornell Ranch long enough, decided to head into town to procure his own dwelling. After finding a domicile in his price range, he went to the bank to procure a mortgage and open up an account (which would help lower his interest rate as well as give him a place to keep his meager adventuring coinage.) upon taking possession of his new house behind the saloon, he realized it was a bit more of a fixer upper than he originally thought, as well as being a depository for the towns unwanted boots. Heading to the local chapel to unload the boots on someone, he got a few leads for a handyman. Namely the two sons of switchfizz the gnomish blacksmith. On his way he was warned by the sheriff of Holediggers brother being in town and asking about his whereabouts.. Thanking the sherrif, Dragonclaw went on his way to see the gnomish brothers. The former seemed willing to do the job, but Dragonclaw wanted to try every angle so he went to check with the younger and more gaudy brother at the first chance palace, the lesser of the towns two saloons. Upon meeting with the amputee bartender, he met with the brother, who much preferred the life of a gambler to the life of a carpenter. The bad wished him well and went back to the more blue coller, (and smellier) of the brothers.

While they were in Dragonclaws new abode, a shot rang out, and narrowly missed our hero. Coming outside, he found the older Holedigger brother. Seeking vengance for his hanged sibling. When words failed to calm the situation, Dragonclaw unslung his lute and the battle was on! Two more outlaws came from behind and joined Holedigger in his attack, and injured our bardic protagonist, but his gnomish acquaintance came to his aid and decapitated one of the ambusheers from a window. Dragonclaw was able to fend off the other two, and they fled out of town after taking a shot at the sherrif.

After getting the lowdown from Dragonclaw Wyvrenbane, the sherrif prepared to organize a posse to go after the two owlhoots.

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