The party built 9 houses in Restwell — 4 timber-built and 5 wattle and daub — that would seem them through the coming winter. They also built two guard posts at each of the four entrances to town, and the mages raised a 1.5 meter earthwork all the way around the town. During that time, they learned that the Great Boar was a symbol of the Barthold family, and had never been hunted as a result. They decided to follow that example.
They also met Dakshesh de Selby, seneschal of Her Grace, the Lady Rodes, who advised them to be careful and to watch for signs of corruption in the Duchy. With him they talked with Vaethairimoth Wharff, a legendary but ancient ranger. None of them had ever heard of his exploits (lots of failed skill rolls), but they questioned him at length regarding the region and its dangers. When questioned, Sir Wharff warned them of the power of the Cheesemakers’ Guild, and gained some idea that the party had run afoul of them.
While in his cups, Ian revealed that he had given “birth” to several demon children, and thereafter the townspeople kept their distance from him. His reputation is spreading quickly.
Once the houses were done, fall was coming, and Sir Barthold decided to visit his other two villages. He began with Kukgul, where Humffreye Stanton introduced himself as the Sheriff and swore undying loyalty to Sir Barthold. Humffreye had worshipped Sir Lorak Barthold, and now wants to repay the deep debt of gratitude to the new Knight.
The party messed around for a time with a painter named Guang, a truly unskilled artist. No one wanted his work, especially not the local trader who had already accepted twenty-five in exchange for food. Brendan tried to increase the value of the paintings, while Ian let it slip that he was considering murdering the painter and sprinkling his blood on the paintings to raise their value. Once again, Ian was not endearing himself to the general population! Brendan, however, actually got the sheriff to believe that GUang was an undiscovered master.
The alarm was raised in town when Aig Dyamysell, squire to Sir Roger Corderay of Jackhold, stumbled into town. Sir Roger had been killed by a giant, and his warhorse eaten. Aig had fled, but now volunteered to lead the party to the site of the ambush. Humffreye insisted on accompanying them, desperate to prove himself to his new lord. Since Humffreye was one of the few people who like them, and since Humffreye was the one who would be gathering taxes for them next month, the party spent a great deal of time protecting him for the rest of the adventure.
They found little left of the knight and his horse, which had been eaten. They tracked the giant to its lair in a cave and began exploring, leaving Aig and the Selkie outside. The party found nothing except some cave paintings and were heading outside to camp when they ran into the giant coming in. Of course, the mage was in front and the fighters in back at that point, so Josette tried a Domination/Control person on Begbones the giant, forgetting the spell was immensely slow. The giant swung first, greatly damaging the bear pouka, and then a SECOND giant (his mate Godeva) appeared and did the same. Josette retreated and got Rocky the Earth Elemental to pull the bear to safety, but before that could be accomplished, the giants had literally beat the bear into two halves.
The party retreated deeper into the cave and Shaped a section for protection. The next morning, they shaped an eyehole into the giant’s den, and spotted one of them asleep. Josette cast Sleep upon the beast, and Ian snuck out to cut Godeva’s throat. He accomplished his mission, only to discover that Begbones had come to investigate the shouting that Alexios was doing for the past five minutes. Ian jumped to safety at the last second, and Rocky moved to cover the hole. The giant landed a critical hit on Rocky, killed him, and set him flying. In a rage, the giant pursued the small antagonists, ignoring the multiple arrows they sent gleefully into his thighs, his chest, and especially his derriere. Eventually he was forced to flee the cave, limping as he went. The party used up all their fortuna in the battle, but next time they plan to pursue him and finish it.