So, it was very cold and there was not much food to be found. And in the end we got almost nothing - it only costs us money. Not much of a thrilling tale now is it?
The opposite is true. Hear me out.
First, we met up with a small man called Averson in the Black Clover Inn in Brighthaven. He showed us a large leather map and pointed out a spot where he saw gargantuan lumbering creatures, made of rock, with eyes of pure diamonds. He pointed us to the northeast, where the foothills of the eastern mountains reach the East Marches plains, about 8 days walking northeast of Willemsfield.
Tocayotia, Elise and I had been on the lookout to find diamonds for a while now, since a few of our spells depend on them. There is some small quantity of diamond dust available via the Empire traders, but whole diamonds?
This was our chance.
Tocayotia led us through knee-deep snow, and there was not much food to forage. We rationed our food and made slow but steady progress in the direction of the mountains, clearly visible in the distance. Four days into our journey we encountered some brutes that kept 10 or so very hungry Empire dwellers prisoner. They declared these men fled from the empire and were being taken back.
Now. First of all, they were not very polite. Travelers on the road should help each other out. And they failed to take care of their captives. And I could sense Arkas and Elise were getting angry - they both also fled the Empire themselves. So there was no other way. They were killed or fled.
Now we were 4 days away from the civilized world, knee-deep in snow, low on rations ourselves, and … we had 10 very (very) hungry, cold, and exhausted people to feed. Elise used her magic and I gave them some of my good food and found them some grubs and bugs. It took us 4 long days of walking and 7 days of rest before we were ready to venture out again. Only to learn that temperatures had dropped and much more snow covered the plains to the west.
Now… you have to know that I am old. Very old. The youngsters set an ambitious pace and I tried not to slow them down too much. But I failed. After 8-9 days, I was just exhausted and so very very cold. We could not find any food, the temperature dropped so badly during the nights that it was impossible to stay warm, even in double bedrolls and inside our tents.
Just as we saw no other possibility but to turn back … Arkas convinced us to climb one more ridge, just to see what was on the other side. And there they were: A herd of 10-15 gargantuan lumbering beasts. Most standing between 12 and 20 feet tall, moving slowly on four legs, grazing in the snow, munching solid rocks. It was majestic.
In the center of the group, there was one creature that was the biggest of all. I think that must be their tribe leader. There was also a smaller one lagging behind. That was our target. We jumped on our shields and sled down the slope, trying to intercept the smallest one.
We tried to distract the smallest one and were successful. A larger creature (presumably a parent) stayed close to the small creature but slowly moved on. I created some giant eagles for Arkas and Elise to mount and there we went.
Now - I’ll agree that it was a bit brutal of us to isolate the baby and try to pry its eyes out. These creatures behaved much like animals. Still, the laws of survival of the fittest dictate that we try and take what is ours. The diamonds. DIAMONDS!
Arkas jumped on top of the creature and try to pry out an eye. He tried doing that with a very small diamond first. Amazingly enough, he was successful. But the creature bellowed in pain and shook him off violently and then proceeded to step on Arkas and kick him multiple times. This was going south quickly.
Reacting to the cries, the larger creatures started to turn around and head in our direction. We tried to wound or kill the smaller one in the hope of it collapsing or shattering, giving us the opportunity to harvest its eyes. But most of our hits, even the magical hits, seemed to do no damage or less damage than expected. Especially bludgeoning and piercing damage seems not to hurt it as much. Which makes sense, since it is made of … rock.
It was not enough. Arkas was badly hurt as Elise grabbed him and took him to a safer place. The creature made t back to the rest of the herd. And we headed back to the civilized world. Cold and hungry we arrived at Willemsfield. But after just one night's sleep, as we met over breakfast, we took out a map and started to plan our next expedition.
There has to be a way to slay these creatures!!
Arkas, Tocayotia, Elise, Arestes