The party just killed and burned the troll. Randall told us that beer or wine takes out the stink of the troll. We used the garnet of hygiene to clean ourselves up and get rid of the stink instead. As we make our way to Brewster's homestead, Randall comes alive and becomes more confident and shares information about the Brewster homestead. It's an brewery out in the wilderness with 12 foot walls to keep the trolls out. We begin to see a fire burning and we try to avoid it by cutting southeast, but the fire keeps getting closer. We can see a bright, central fire like a tornado that burns the scrub land all around. It looks intelligent. We decide that we don't have the tools to fight it at this time. We choose to ignore it and bypass it double-time. We camp overnight with no issues.
Randall is more excited to be so close to home. As we approach Brewster's we see a copper-plated metal gate which we later learn is to keep it from catching on fire as they fight the trolls off. We met two gentlemen at the gate wearing homemade clothes, one of them named Jeb. They are surprised and glad to Randall fetched helped, but unwelcoming towards us. We introduce ourselves as friends of Sherif Irdwin of Long Saddle and he sent us to investigate and help. They open the gates and bring us in. We see people working in the fields where one man is working and one man guarding (very inefficient farming). We see charred marks everywhere. Inside the houses are made of stone and mortar and look more like man-made caves against the stone walls. In the center of the homestead is a 2 story building, and on the south side, the largest building, the brewery.
Everyone appears stern and unwelcoming. Outside the 2 story house, we meet Darnell, an old man with his shaggy dog. Jeb introduces us. Darnell asks us what we want for payment to help, we ask for a night's sleep instead of payment. We are shown the bunk house, told to clean-up and they'll comeback for us. The bunk house is co-ed, these people have no qualms about showering together. We decide to use the garnet of hygiene to clean-up instead when no-one is looking. The girls decide to stay and wait in the bunkhouse. The boys decide to find the blacksmith and ask more information about trolls. Gerald gives them some generic information about using tar then they head back to the bunkhouse.
Jeb brings the whole group back to Darnell's 2 story house for dinner. Grella is the head of the waitstaff. We sit at long table and are served a very heavy dinner of meat and potatoes. Darnell says prayer to Shantae? (god of Harvest) and is offended when no one joins him in prayer. He recounts the story of what happened. The ranch hands didn't return as expected. He sent more men to check it out, they found the carnage, where the bodies and wagon where dragged off. They followed them to the hills and stopped because the hills are troll country. They speculated and didn't think they were trolls or ogres as they wouldn't be interested in the goods. We asked about Orcs and told them about the news from the Sherif about the Orc gathering in the North. Darnell dismissed the notion.
We talk some more and tell them about Randall killing the troll. We ask if we can bring Randall with us since he knows the area. Wilfred makes it clear that Randall will be coming on his own accord. We'll do our best to protect him but cannot guarantee his safety. Darnell is reluctant because it's clear that Randall got lucky, but he agrees. However since it is his first kill he must have a bloodletting ceremony in the morning before he goes. We get to introduced to everyone. Darnell has three son's. Leland, his eldest son and Randall's father. Gerald, the middle son, the blacksmith. Craig, the youngest son. We also talk to Grit who is not related but a hired hand. He is the weapon master of the town and it is clear he holds Darnell in high esteem. Grit is married to Grella. After dinner, the party continues to talk with Grit about trolls. He said that trolls are nearly blind with a foot long nose that can smell and track a mile away. You kill them with acid or fire. You need to be careful because if you cutoff the head, the body still attacks. If you cutoff the arm, the arm still attacks. You need tar to burn trolls, but you can't use tar offensively. We also talked about Ogres He tells us that they are usually solitary but the young ones sometimes band together in groups of 3-4 until they mature. But don't let that fool us, the young ones and female ones are just as strong as the male ones. Wilfred in the most engaged with Grit soaking up the information and asking the most questions.
After dinner, we go back to the bunk house. It's an odd sight. When it comes to the business Darnell runs a tight ship, strict attendance, no drunkenness, no stealing. However, personally there doesn't appear to be any religious morals in this place. The co-ed bunk house with everyone showering naked in front of each other and people having romantic relations in public. We're told breakfast will be ready at 1st light, don't be late. The next morning, there is at least 100 people in the mess hall for breakfast and the conversations fall silent as we enter. We finish breakfast and Grit takes us on a tour of the brewery. It is the largest building with 3 domes. He explains the yeast process and how it in the air and cannot be replicated anywhere else. He gives us a taste of the ale and it becomes clear why they risk their lives for this finely-crafted quality product. After the brewery tour, Tannis and Jeanne Marie get some archery practice using Grit's targets.
The ceremony is held at noon. Darnell announces to the homestead that Randall killed a troll and gives him a chain coat, dagger (footlong, almost short sword size), spear, and a shield. Nothing seems to excite the homestead, people are as dower as ever. There is a meal served afterwards and Wilfred pulls Randall aside. He tells Randall that if he comes, he must do so under his own accord. Wilfred insists that he write a death note to give to his love ones in case something should happen to him. Grit escorts us to the base of foothills, first to the site of the murder then second to where they track the trail and stopped. Tannis immediately picks up the trail and determines that it is Orcs based on the footprints. He reminds us that Orcs have great night vision. Grit will not travel farther and must turn back. The party readies itself to move into the hills.