Dorrmags climbed up after the bird while Ayman cast his favorite Grease spell on the tree tops, dislodging three things from the branches: the bird and two large, ugly spider creatures. As we fought the spider-men-things, six large regular spiders came down from the trees. We defeated all but one of the normal spiders, which Dorrmags decided to keep as a pet. (Ugh! Thanks, Mags.)
We continued traveling and reached the abandoned outpost we had fought at before; however, it wasn't entirely abandoned- we found a handful of goblins in the tower. We teamed up (I cast Silence on the tower and sent up some fire ants, Dorrmags sent his spider up, and Ghost shot arrows at the tower), then when Ayman cast a spell to frighten the remaining goblins, they jumped from the tower covered in fire ants. Goblins destroyed, we searched around the fort.
We camped in the fort that night and, while on watch, Linora flew above the trees and saw a plume of smoke to the southwest miles and miles away, in the direction we're heading. When I was on watch later that night I was surprised to see a kobold peeking in through one of the holes in the wall of the fort. He ran away, leaving his lunch behind (was he on a kobold picnic?).
The next day we made it out of the treeline and reached the plains, where we met with a group of centaurs. One of them told us that they'd seen a group with a paladin pass by a week ago heading towards Logging Town. He also told us that they saw a halfling with a war band going west; he thought it may be because the group was looking for a hidden halfling village in the trees.
We finally reached Logging Town where we heard the tale of Maxwell from the bard who was in the tavern. We asked around about Homer and Dorian and learned that the paladin was in town but went east, and some of his group stayed behind. Ghost and Dorrmags went to find the mayor and found out that goblins come every few days and that two months ago they saw a black dragon to the east (but not near the town). Meanwhile Ayman and I found the people who had been left behind from Dorian's party: two teenaged boys. They were left behind because the group didn't want to take them into the mines, so they're in town taking care of the horses. They told us it's been two weeks since the group set off for the mines, but they should only have been gone a few days. They sent a message to Dwight a few days ago, but as soon as we have all the information together, I'm going to send a message to Armand to Gate to Dwight so that the duke will learn of this sooner. It is definitely strange that Dorian has been missing for so long, and I'm wondering why Homer went west when he was supposed to go south.
~Cyneric Conroy, Order of the Fleet Fox
May 13th, 6th day of Brightmoon