After inspecting the uninspected areas of the ruins, the party exited the ruins and lit back toward Rasmark. On their way back Oriphin spotted a hut about a bow's length away. As far as they knew the Black Forest was uninhabited by normal folk who would build a dwelling.
Curious about who could be living there, the patrol decided to investigate the hut which was built off the ground. When they approached they saw a thin, vaguely elfin man covered in furs, antler head dress, sitting cross legged on the front platform in front of the hut. He was smoking a pipe. Within a few spoken words, it was obvious that the man was a bit touched in the head.
It seems he has the ability to communicate with the forest squirrels. There were hundreds in the trees all around his hut. After a little small talk, the hermit informed the patrol that goblinoids had been traveling in the woods and amassing a camp. If they wanted to know more, they would bring him sausages. The party left and continued back to Rasmark.
Upon arrival, they saw that there was a raid on the town. The raid hit an outlying building. It was obviously a raid to assess the strength of Rasmark's militia. Kaltes exchanged some words with Sauls, a wizard that he has an unfriendly rivalry with.
The next day (Juli 23) they returned to the Deranged Hermit with sausages. The hermit pulled a fast one, acting like it was ridiculous that a couple pounds of sausage would be enough payment for the information they sought. Instead he said if they cleared out the Ettercap lair near his hut, he would give them what they need to know. Apparently, the Ettercaps were luring his squirrel friends into their lair with acorns.
The patrol easily found the lair and tried to burn out the web canopy that was over their lair. A Deathjump Spider and three Ettercaps sought to put an end to that. After taking care of the opposition, the party decided to take a quick rest nearby the lair they had just attempted to set on fire. A second wave ensnared most of the patrol, so they were unable to flee from the Ettercaps who outmatched them in the patrol's current condition.
The Ettercaps made quick work of an immobilized Lunnin, moved onto an immobilized Kaltes and brought him down as he attempted to flee. Salen had broken free as had Oriphin and they fled back to the hut of the Deranged Hermit who came to their rescue. His horde of squirrels overran the remaining Ettercaps.
The patrol quickly returned to Rasmark to revive their fallen comrades. It is an expensive ritual and they did not have enough funds, so are now indebted to Mistress Sophia, town elder, and proprietor of Unlimited Bladeworks. She used one of her Raise Dead rituals that she had from her adventuring days.
EXPERIENCE: +200XP (clearing the ruins) + 188XP (Ettercaps) = 388XP
Total for Lunnin, Kaltes, Oriphin and Salen = 1,925XP.