The adventurers (Hoto, Gwudd, Rikkan, Pax, and Placeholder) were put in charge of protecting a shipment of potatoes from the undergnome city of Shogoth to the Nagaji city of Yoso. Many shipments had been vandalized and robbed but the culprits were often too quick to have a proper description.
The adventurers set out to the wagon yard above Shogoth to find the potato merchant they’re supposed to protect. The wagon driver turns out to be a gentleman with the greatest knowledge of potatoes in the western hemisphere, going on and on throughout the journey about potatoes. The adventurers eat very well as they make camp (since this potato-man has as many potato recipes as he has potato facts). Hoto found the potato talk very interesting, and was able to help find a seedling hot-potato plant that he could add to his garden.
Halfway to Yoso, their wagon hits a hard pothole the wagon breaks a wheel. As the party begins investigating the pothole and damage. They are immediately wary as they have heard that this is where other food carts had been ambushed. Gwudd and Rikkan are looking for anything strange near the edge of the woods. Gwudd spots a pile of branches and a single footprint. By using Residual Tracking, he is able to see a young grippli with a shamed look.
They are ambushed from up high. Nets are thrown down subduing several of the party. (Nets half speed, prevent running and charging, and add a DC 15 to cast spells) There are three or four cloaked figures moving quickly through the air. Pax is able to break free of the net and hits the figures for some damage. The attackers appear surprised and begin a hasty retreat into the woods. Pax casts a spell that slows the last attacker and he is able to catch up to him and hold him while the rest of the party gets out of the nets. The uncloak the figure to discover it is a Grippli child. They take his weapon (a tiny sword) The child explains that he and his brothers have been stealing food for their camp. The party is conflicted and wants to talk to their leader. The small grippli agrees but warns that it will be a long journey.
The party begins following the young grippli into the woods. He climbs a tree, with the party following, and then leaps from the tree gliding a few hundred feet. The party drops down and races after him, yelling and threatening him. The small grippli laughs and agrees to continue on foot, though gliding is much faster and safer (with a slight nervous look over his shoulder). They continue to trudge through, reaching a swift moving river. The Grippli tells them to follow his movements exactly as he begins climbing a massive tree that arches over the river. Hoto and Placeholder are careless and end up activating the Skunk-tree’s stink spines, coating them in a horrible think liquid that smells horrendous. (This cracks up the young grippli)
They eventually come to a large swamp/big. The still water has a earthy musk, and the adventures see no way to ford into the water. The grippli demands his sword. The party demand to know why and he says that it’s the way to get the leaders here. The party give him the sword and he walks to the waters edge and slaps the surface three times with his sword, then returns his sword to Pax.
The party looks confused and the gripplu chuckles a but. Some minutes pass and then a strange buzzing can be heard. Soon after a terrifying creature appears at the water’s edge. A bog strider, about 6 feet in height, with a man-like torso and arms, a beetle like head and thorax, and six thin spider like legs ending with elegant pads resting on the surface of the water. This creature is very fast on the surface. The young grippli jumps up on the creature and says, “go get the drow and the elf” (they had names, but I’ve since forgotten them). The grippli jumps down and the bogstrider races off. An awkward silence comes over the party as the smug grippli seems unbothered by the monster. Fifteen minutes later the buzzing returns, but grow much louder than before.
Rounding a huge waterlogged tree comes a raft drawn by 6 bogstriders. Upon the raft are a teenage elf and drow. The raft comes up to the bank, and the riders step off.
The grippli is excited to see them and climbs up them to hug them. The elf and drow, though happy to see the small grippli are soon-after angry and questioning where he’s been and who the party is. The grippli avoids the first question and simply says that the party wanted to talk to them. The party explains the wagon and the attack, and the elf and the drow look both angry and dissapointed. They yell at and question the grippli who says that he and the others had been unable to find any food and had to resort to thieving to feed the others. The party inquire about the others, pressing the elf and drow for more information. The elf and drow decide to take them to meet the boss.
The elf, drow, grippli and the party board the raft and it quickly whisks away incredibly fast. Rikkan attempts to keep a detailed map of the area, but with few landmarks finds that he only ends up with a basic map that he feels won’t be of much use. After 20 minutes of passing tree after tree that look exactly alike, a sudden cavern of a tree appears in front of them. Arriving they find that a small island of land surround this huge tree stump. it stretches 70 feet in the air, but is easily 100 feet across. They step off of the raft and are greeted by more gripplis and some Svirfniblin and many other children. The elf and the drow appear to be the eldest of the group.
The elf and the drow tell the party to wait while they prepare their leader. The go off into the tree while the children all stand around and gawk at the party. Low voices and rumbles can be heard from the tree slowly escalating until a loud yell is heard. The talking stops and the drow and elf emerge. They are followed by a thirteen foot tall walking tree who’s every step causes a rumble to ripple out through the land. He walks to halfway to the party and stops, telling the children to go inside, grabbing the one grippli that was with the party placing him on his shoulder. Once the children are inside the tree motions for the party to come closer. He introduces himself as Granvere, and asks that they recant what has happened to them. The party retells the story, providing back information regarding the other captured wagons.
Granvere looks deeply saddened and disgraced by the situation. He tells the party his story. How he ran the orphanage at Greytree and how it had been a thriving community. People loved giving of their abundance so he always had time to spend with the children; teaching them that they were important. Once the warforged seized Greytree, the donations became sparse, and the orphanage was ostracized. Granvere moved further into the woods so that donations could still come in under cover of the woods and darkness. Being so far out, Granvere was among the first to hear of the warforges army marching on Greytree, making a fast retreat with the children deeper into the Theor wood, across the Acor mountains, landing at this spot in the swamps beneath the Gordotch Grail. The limited resources put him under great stress to provide, he sent out the more mature children to gather food, while used his magic to repair their house and create what he could. He invites the party into tree.
The party sees an amazing site. Their are bunk beds and cupboards and doors and hinges and all matter of woodworking that seems both exquisite and impossible. Granvere inquires about the wagon wheel that was damaged. He takes hold of a door sighs and the door begins creaking and small fissures appear. the fissures make the rough outline of a circle and then quickly spread to make a wagon wheel that then pops from the door. He gives the party the wheel and says that this should work for now and that this hole in the door will serve as a reminder to him and his orphans. Hoto asks what they will do, because they cannot go on thieving. Granvere looks troubled and says that he will have no choice but to move closer to a city and hope that he can count on the kindness of strangers again. The party all offer to teach him what they can. They provide seeds and druidic magic to quickly grow some food. At the end of the day Granvere is left with plenty of food for the next few weeks, and skills and magic necessary to continue living in this location for a log time.
As the party makes to depart, Granvere pulls a hidden trunk out, and offers to each party member a magic item. He explains that these were donated and he had been keeping them to trade. He says that they are all that he can offer as his gratitude and thanks. (things include a pearl of power, a cloak with extra to savings throws, and other miscellaneous wondrous items valued at about 1000 gold each.
The party are escorted away via bogstrider drawn raft, and are escorted back by the grippli, drow, and elf. The party used the wheel provided (which befuddles potato man since it’s of amazing quality and the grain seems to run in all the right way to prevent cracking), to get back on track and they continue on to Yoso. They pick up a cart full of Sea Wheat and make their way back to Shogoth.