After the old voice told the party to fuck off, two women giggled and agreed with him. Realizing what was going on, the party mostly backed away to wait. Leaf, loudly sat on the steps of the tracker’s house. Spoon danced in the rain for a bit and look in through the man’s window. Snow’s little angel snuck into the house, but the amorous trio didn’t seem to mind.
There was some discussion of the giants and the pygmies with the guard escort, but he didn’t know much. Leaf did keep pressing him on the Storm Lord’s behavior and strongly suggested that he change loyalties to another councilor.
Eventually the tracker emerged. He was clearly too tall to be an actual pygmy (standing over 6′) but was dressed and tattooed like one. He wore his hair in dreadlocks with skull and weapon bangles, had his left-side covered in tattoos and so on. He also had a huge number of vicious scars, several of which did not look like they could be survived without magical aid. He spoke to the party briefly from his doorway (naked), and agreed to help track the pygmies and went back inside to get changed. From the sounds his women-friends helped.
He re-emerged very quickly in leather armor, a kilt, greeves, and with an oversized pygmy-style crossbow and a pair of wicked daggers in his greeves. At his belt he carried two pygmy shrunken skulls, dangling by their hair, and a jeweled skull with viper teeth making it look like a vampire. He asked if the party had any information about the attacks and Snow shared the list that the seneschal provided. He read it very swiftly, then tossed it over his shoulder and walked off through town and vaguely gestured for them to follow. Snow grabbed the list out of the air and the party followed the tracker. The guard returned to Storm Hold.
He led them mostly along trails, but at times they did have to chop their way through undergrowth. He kept the little angel from exploring around and made sure that Snow walked on the ground so he could hear the party’s footsteps and know if anything was wrong. At two points he stopped and pulled out his crossbow. Once, the party barely caught site of a large black creature in some webbing in the trees. The second time, much more of the webbing blocked off the trail and he led them in a wide arc around it. They got to see several of the creatures up close, each was about the size of Moon Circle with 8 legs and vicious claws. But they didn’t pursue or attack.
They passed a few small thorps and hamlets, all well-fortified. At one of them, a ranch, the tracker called out very loudly and was answered by the ranchers. They gestured him to their barn and the party spent the night with them gambling and drinking. The ranchers named the tracker Dolmen while gambling, but didn’t say anything about the pygmies and the party didn’t ask.
In the morning, the party was woken up as the ranchers headed out. They got dressed, ate, and marched off across the walled in part of the ranch. At the far side they climbed over the restraining wall and headed out through the woods. It didn’t take too long to reach the site of the raid. This was the nearest village that had been attacked, but not the most recent. The village looked abandoned. There were no corpses visible, most of the buildings immediately in view had some signs of damage, and big chunks of walls and rooms were torn apart. A small tribe of baboon-like reptiles were lounging on one of the ruined houses.
The party decided that the signs of attack on the village’s main Inn (probably the only Inn) made it a likely candidate for examination. Winter reported feeling a strong sense of evil coming from it as well. They snuck around the back and entered near the stable. One of the pygmy’s stag beetles had torn its way from a nearby house into the Inn through the stables. Once inside, it apparently had gone up the wall to the second floor ripping a hole in the ceiling. Dolmen kept that hole covered with his xbow while the party filed into the main dining hall through the hole. Signs of the fight were clear, in the form of broken tables and furniture, some weapons left lying around and blood everywhere. Winter sensed the evil as below the room they were in and the Tracker reported that he didn’t smell or hear anyone in the building.
Moon Circle found a trap-door behind the bar that looked like it was used to access the basement food storage. He also discovered the corpse of one of the townies who was stabbed, then hid behind some barrels under the bar and bled to death. He looted a ring off the corpse and opened the trap door. Down in the basement were two more corpses. One was an adult male, the other was some kind of abomination, possibly once undead. It had overly thin limbs, a very blocky and distorted torso and one hand had been crudely replaced with a weapon. And that’s where we finished.