Root Nerds

Chapter Four

The "Owlbears" of The South Ham Highway

The Magpies begin their journey south to the village of Hamfast where they were instructed to meet Kedawin, Priest of Pelor and friend of Father Tavish. With dusk rapidly approaching, the party decides to rest in the safety of the woods along the South Ham Highway. Mindartis and Big G attempt to camouflage the supply cart and their new steed, Festaramous. Adran lends his skills as a outdoorsman and appropriately conceals the group from view.

During the midnight watch, Mindartis spots another supply cart traveling north toward Fallshire. The cart is surrounded by Tuldurocian soldiers. Mindartis rushes back toward the camp to alert the other but is heard by one of the soldiers, a human, walking slowly behind the supply cart.

“Who goes there?!” shouts the Tuldurocian.

Mindartis replies though the trees “It’s okay – we are the supply troops on our way to Hamfast. We’re behind schedule and decided to camp here for the night.”

The Tuldurocian, unable to see in the dark, calls for reinforcements.

Mindartis panics and hisses “Keep your voice down! There are… Uh… owlbears… Yes! There are owlbears in these woods!”

The human scoffs in disbelief and continues to approach Mindartis through the darkness.

Mindartis continues his charade, yelling “Oh no! it’s got me! Run for your life!”

Mindartis’ shrill shouting is unconvincing – the soldier is coming closer and closer.

Suddenly, the young elf’s screams become very real when he’s quickly pulled to the ground by an unknown assailant. It was Gediuan – who had heard the commotion from the camp. Gediuan wrestles Mindartis behind a tree and silences his screams. The Tuldurocian stops and peers into the inky darkness.

The hush is suddenly met with a “GRRRWHOOO!” It was Adran in the tree tops (who just moments before was fixated on Mindartis’ leg with the intention of shooting it to make his cries for help more believable). But instead Adran hastily makes what he thinks is his best impression of an owlbear – something that present company has never heard before. He belts out a second “GRRRWHOOO!” The color drains from the Tuldurocian’s face and he retreats shouting “Run away! There are owlbear’s in these woods!!!”

The enemy supply cart quickly fades into the distance and the party is able to rest in peace for the remainder of the night. To this day the people will warn travelers “beware the owlbears of the South Ham Highway.”

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