A brief travel to Dhunmoor and the wilds are beneath our feet once more. A sour stench entered our nostrils long before the Skunk River came into sight. The embankment was near riotous with excitement. A group of gnome explorers had run into a bit of misfortune. Whether cross the natural ford with too heavy a cart or tarrying too close to the water’s edge, I know not, but what is certain, a wagon and its two ponies were in danger of being swept away to the unknowns of the water’s end. I leapt from my horse and waded the water towards the wagon and its occupants. Katara, Nix, Wade aid from the shore. One frightened pony freed, Katara and Nix pulled it to shore. Process repeated and the second pony was safe on shore. Gnomes crawled the cart, pulling boxes of supplies and other tools from the cart as we tried to pull the cart to the shore. Our efforts only seemed to delay what was all but certain. The wagon creaked, a snap, then float down the current. Those that had been liberating the carts supplies fled the makeshift boat and swam to shore.
“Ruined! Those foul creatures have tried to ruin me.” Shout the perceived leader. “But this is taking it too far. Our blood-feuds run deep and often claim victims not even related to the claims and this attack has cost me greatly. And you,” he pointed at us, “You fools let my wagon float away! I shall never make it to the lost dwarven outpost at this rate.” The gnome continued in his odd tongue, but these words are lost all say Nix.“Calm yourself or I shall remove your tongue from your lips.” I threatened.
The small one did not seem deterred by this and continued spouting at his companions.
“Who are you and what going on about?” Katara’s voice soothed the air.
“I am Jubilost Narthropple and this is my expedition. We seek an ancient dwarven outpost rumored to lie in the southern Greenbelt. Now, thanks to a pack of kobolds, we have lost much valuable supplies. Ah… I am sorry I began to take my frustration out on you. Thank you for saving the ponies. I have no doubt that you would have saved the cart if we had but a little more time. Now if you please, we must take inventory and be on our way.”
“Surely you have a map, if you are exploring these lands?” Nix inquired.
“Of course I have a map. I have lots of maps. None of which would do you any good.” Retorted Jubilost.
“Maybe we can trade secrets of the land, you and I?” Nix replied.
This seemed appeasing to the excitable creature and he and Nix poured over maps, comparing, making minor notes, pointing out key features. This went on for quite some time. We shared a midday meal with the small folk, and bid each other safe travels.