Tl;dr : Our Adventurers were eager to explore the newly cleared ZHT portal more, trying to discern where it might be in relation to known areas. One adventurer trained in using the stars for navigation thinks the portal is nearly 400 miles southwest of Ruined Oak. In the course of their exploration the group was attacked by a Chiwera who wanted to eat the hero Goose Honkers in exchange for the party’s lives. The party taught this creature a fatal lesson and Honkers survives to terrorize.

Adventuring Tip : Last person to go through the portal collects the stones just before travel.

Session Title : ZHT Scouting
Session DM : Calmseeker
Session Date : 22 May 2021 @ 0130 UTC

“Scout” and “Trailblazer” Bardy (Bard 9/Cleric 1) With Honkers (Goose 6)
“Chronicler” Cade (Warlock 8) with Patrick Star the Familiar
Gargot (Barbarian 1 / Druid 5)
Glanfath (Barbarian 8)
“Cartographer” Murdrum (Warlock 2 / Wizard 5) with Tiny Servants
“Leader” Tenfoll’at (Warlock 1 / Wizard 8) with Coco the Familiar

Tenfoll’at was planning an expedition to explore the region around the newly cleared ZHT portal and I volunteered to join. The party met up in Ruined Oak. On our first day of travel we went to the portal and set the stones for ZHT. (while collecting the LAS stones for our return.) As we travelled east of the portal we spot a injured man, (apparently by wolves). Gargot healed him and we spoke. His name was Derell and he was lost. Tenfoll’at invited him to travel alongside us. We saw mountains to the east that Derell had no name that he knew for but said that frostgiants of Jotunheim plunder there.

We continued east and found ourselves at the base of those mountains. We elected to set up camp. During the night, Derell and I heard a howl that set him shivering. He then asked me if I was familiar with the legend of the Chiwera (I was not,) then told me it was a chimera had eaten too many lycanthropes, then manifests the abilities and appearances of them.

We set forth in the morning, veering northeast. We found a sabre-toothed tiger eating a dead elk. Gargot talked to it for a bit. (I miss being able to talk to animals, I forget how I used to do that.) After Gargot finished his chat we continued north. As we travelled Derell started to recognize his surroundings and said he lived further north, in a place he called the Small Wood. He mentioned there were more settlements somewhere to the east direction then left us there. (Later we realized we misheard him or he misspoke, and that west was the direction he probably meant)

Around there we detected the tracks of giants going southeast, but decide to go east to try to find settlements. As we travelled east a blizzard started, so we huddled in Ten’follat’s hut until it ended (My old bones were quite happy to be in the magic hut than a freezing blizzard). When the storm ended, we heard a horn blow, and then thumps on the ground. We saw a group of frost giants approach our hut, but it seemed like the did not notice us.

Gargot decided he wanted to talk with them. (Out the maniac went and proceeded to chat. I did not understand the guttural grunts, but I assume after some back and forth, it was decided that they should have a drinking contest. My luck to continue having party members who willingly accept a challenge from giants to drinking contests.) The frost giants were apparently pleased with Gargot’s performance as the they laughed and then walked away. As they left some ice trolls approached hostilely.

We fought the ice trolls and won the battle. While we rested afterwards, we realized that we had gone east too far with no signs of inhabitation, and that Derell probably meant the settlement was west. (He was severly injured when we found him, possibly had some brain damage) We continued going east for the remainder of the day before setting up camp. During the night Cade woke me up to help him use the stars in an attempt to discern our position. He thinks we were roughly 350 miles southwest of Ruined Oak. (Assuming flat, easy to travel terrain and a straight path a journey that far would still take weeks on foot, plus the night he checked the stars we were 2 days worth of travel away from the portal.)

We set out west from where we slept and passed uneventfully into the afternoon when I saw a manticore and what I assume to be the Chiwera approach. The Chiwera shouted they wanted us to leave Honkers for them to eat and we could live. (Honkers is a manifestation of my soul animal, I might leave him in town on occasion but I will never leave him for dead. I am thankful the rest of my party were willing to risk their lives for him as well.) Naturally we resisted with all our might. It was a ferocious contest but we prevailed.

We traveled a bit more southwest that day and night passed without incident. (At least no incidents that warrant a mention.) As we travelled southwest back to the portal, we discovered a large stone column with this written in giant “Territory of Lowfir the frost giant.”(It would seem the frost giants claim a large amount of territory east of the portal, be wary fellow adventurers)

We continued our southwest direction and arrived at the portal as night descended for the day. We put the portal code for Ruined Oak (LAS) and I grabbed the stones before we went through. After the portal we pushed on to Ruined Oak to spend the rest of the night in our own comfortable beds.