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Ghosts Come Home to Roost?


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Ghosts Come Home to Roost?

5th day of the 2nd Ride of Eleint, Year of the Banner

 

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The peaceful land of Mistledale has been greatly troubled of late by raiding brigands who strike on moonless nights and then retreat under cover of darkness. Chasing marauding brigands over the fields and hedgerows of Mistledale has proved futile so far, but the other night, sipping your favorite ale while lounging about the taproom eavesdropping at the White Hart Inn in Ashabenford, a new development caught your notice.
Rumor, or perhaps fanciful spinning, has it that the brigands might be using the abandoned keep of Galath's Roost, an infamous ruin a few leagues east of Glen, as a base for their raids.
Local militia sent to investigate the site have found a few monsters but no signs of habitation. Nevertheless, raids in the northeast end of the dale have been heavy, and the company of militia most recently sent to watch the keep through the night seems to have vanished without a trace!

Some of the chatty patrons were not so sure brigands are to blame for the strange doings at Galath's Roost. Until recently, brigand raids were generally sporadic, and most of them took place not only on moonless nights but also always within half a night's march of the forest's edge. The most recent spurt of raids seem to occur more often, and on moonlit nights most of all. Furthermore, at least some of the raiders seem to be mounted.

Galath's Roost has long been rumored to be haunted by ghosts of long-dead bandits. Perhaps the ghosts of Galath's band have awakened to raid again!?

In any case, a great treasure is reputed to lie hidden in or below Galath's Roost, and that is enough to get any young, restless mind's attention. If that's weren't enough, there is mayhap coin to be made at the keep! The Rider's in Ashabenford have offered a bounty of 100 gp for any raider captured alive and 25 gp for a dead raider (but only if the bounty hunter can prove the slain person was a raider).

Your ragtag group, gathered that night around a table at the White Hart by the grace of Tymora, has made a pact and set off to get to the bottom of the mystery of Galath's Roost!
You've all yearned for adventure for reasons your own, for fame and coin, or mayhap to shed the yoke of the past. Whatever the reason, there is safety in numbers and so with legs still groggy from that night, you gathered your things, made some last minute purchase and set out for Glen and the ruined keep beyond the forest's edge.

Its been a few days of light marching and you left Glen behind early this morning. The sun had warmed your faces as the miles wore on, a well worn trail led you some eight miles to the forest's edge and an overgrown path led you some seven miles more, deep under the canopy of Cormanthor.
After some hours following the twisting forest path, you emerge into a wide meadow dotted with individual trees. Ahead, you see a vast pile of splintered and vine-covered rock surrounded by a bramble-choked dry moat. Broken curtain walls, now not much higher than a human can reach, line the inner side of the moat. Several gaps, each as wide as a doorway, are visible from where you stand.
A causeway of dirt and rock leads right across the moat to an opening in the curtain wall where a gate might have once stood. The wrecks of stone towers, each only slightly taller than the remaining walls, flank the opening.

The path behind you forks here, the west fork of the path leads in the general direction of Glen from whence you came. The east fork leads north and east, possibly towards the Standing Stone.

Beyond the ruin, to the south, you can see a low hill with several vultures circling overhead. Light game trails run off to either side around the ruin.

You all look to one another. So this is the infamous Galath's Roost?

OOCKnowledge (Local: Dalelands) and/or Knowledge (History) might reveal more about Galath's Roost.

MAP

[For sake of clarity, any reference to cardinal directions in posts will assume that North is Top of Map as posted, unless a Compass Rose is visible.]

Edited by Sorithar (see edit history)
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Having failed to find any trace of Porbus Winterwill in Mistledale, Kethra hooked up with some other young adventurers looking for various things, one of those of course being adventure.  Deciding to make their way to Galath's Roost, they stand outside the ruins, looking at the area around and the bones of the old keep before them.  Kethra is wearing blue robes to distinguish her status as a Seeker of Mystra, but otherwise seemed to wear no armor or carry a shield as many warrior clerics do... perhaps she is a different type of cleric.  Her thoughtful gaze at the keep seems sort of blank, as if perhaps she had never learned much about local history or even the general history of this region.  This is rather odd, given that she has been holding forth on many topics throughout the journey to get here.

"I wonder where the troop was stying who had vanished the other night.  Do you think they were camped anywhere nearby?"

 

Edited by Sorithar (see edit history)
Name
Knowledge (history)
5
1d20+4 1
Knowledge (local : Dalelands)
6
1d20+5 1
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RodinToken.png.56386b76bbc0b62d9c4d7bada805098e.pngRodin Sethilaud

Wood Elf, Ranger

 


 

 

Rodin is glad that he has found a group of mostly like minded individuals to team up with. Now after their short trip they have arrived at the ruins of Galath's Roost. He studies the place and notes the vultures to the south.

Perhaps we should check out the hill over there. There seems to be something over there that has attracted the attention of the vultures.

As he speaks he is checking out the ground and seeing what he can learn of the comings and goings. Looking for horse tracks as the recent bandits have been rumored to be on horses, but he also looks for any other tracks that would tell of anyone or thing moving through the area.

OOC

OOC stuff

 

AppearanceRodin stands at 6 feet tall and appears a bit more muscular than the average elf. His skin has a light brownish tan look to it. His hair is brown with streaks of copper highlights through it and hangs down to just touch his shoulders. It normally has a bit of a wild windblown look to it. His eyes are a medium green which reminds most people of the color of leaves. He wears studded leather armor that has been dyed a camouflage pattern of browns and greens. His cloak is held closed by a brooch the shape of a silver arrow with green fletching. Aside from his dagger on his belt, the only weapon he carries is his longbow, which looks a bit thicker and sturdier than most bows.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Sorithar (see edit history)
Name
Survival check for tracking
6
1d20+5 1
Knowledge Dalelands - untrained
2
1d20 2
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Jessie Tosscobble III has been on the move for nearly as long as she can remember, traveling from one burg to another village and then to the next town as opportunities arise or more likely as circumstances seem to dictate. 

Recently those travels took her to Mistdale where she happened upon a group of individuals who were intent on exploring some nearby ruins and looking for some bandits plaguing the area upon whom the locals had placed a bounty.

Since these new companions were willing to share meals and snacks with the diminutive halfling, and possibly because there was some mention of a lost treasure, the rogue couldn't resist the temptation to join in the fun.

That was what lead Jessie to her present location, standing in front of the ruins of Galath's Roost while chewing on a over-sized wheat flour biscuit from her 'stash' and wondering what the 'Tall-ies' wanted to do next.

However, when mention is made of the missing militia unit and a group of buzzards who were circling nearby, the burglar gets a serious frown on her face as she looks up at the others and says in a soft voice, "That's not a good sign at all.  I suppose we should take a look."

Even though she is not a tracker, nonetheless Jessie is a good 'finder' of things and, thus, looks for any evidence that anything or anyone is routinely entering and leaving the ruins while the lass waits on the bigger folks to move on, after all poking around was her only superpower!

OOC

The tiny halfling is happy to be out in the sun!

Jessie Tosscobble III's AppearanceJessie is small standing at 2 foot 8 inches and weighing a mere 27 pounds. As such, the lass intentionally keeps her brown hair long to cover her halfling features, which allows the rogue to pass herself off as a small humanoid or even young human or half-elven child when convenient or necessary.

Dressed dark purple clothing, which is overlaid with attractive black leather accoutrements, Jessie keeps the paraphernalia of her 'profession' secreted upon her person, and especially the authorities, except when in use.

Her friendly blue eyes and warm, sincere smile are disarming and allow the lass to paint a picture of a young girl who is completely unintimidating by all appearances, an assumption often made by others which suits her well and which she actively cultivates.

To promote this look of youth or innocence, most of Jessie's weapons, alchemical doodads, pack, and other equipment are kept hidden under her clothing and also by her large heavy dark green cloak.

 

Edited by Terran (see edit history)
Name
Search
13
1d20+4 9
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Aeruiel Moonshadow   Half-Moon Elf Barbarian from Ashabenford


The young inexperience and adventurous woman looked to her companions as they discussed what to do next. She was unfamiliar with this place and never explored ruins before, so she had no practical knowledge to offer anyone; what she was was an experienced chamber maid. The others looked about for something and she felt inclined to do the same. She wasn't sure what she should be looking for, but figured if it was interesting enough to catch her attention then maybe it could be a clue. At this point, anything was better than doing nothing at all. So she dropped to a knee and began looking at the ground, hoping to find a track, even if she wasn't sure she could accurately pick one out. While she looked at the ground she kept her ears sharp for anything that would sound like anyone else in their vicinity. 

OoC

She has a Spot of 1, and a Listen of 5, so she will use those skills at this time.

She is trying to imitate the Wood Elf by copying his techniques. Not really sure what she should be looking for, but if she can Spot it she will know it.

While she does this she will keep her ears sharp to Listen to her surroundings. 


AppearanceFemale half-elf, age 17, blonde, blue eyes, fair skin, 5'-7" tall weight about 125 lbs.

She is described as a willful and free spirited young woman, who likes playing pranks, and flies into fits of rage when bullied.

 

 

 

Edited by rauhric (see edit history)
Name
Spot
13
1d20+1 12
Listen
20
1d20+5 15
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Lucky as usual, Jessie's snooping around pays off as her sharp halfling eyes are drawn to an odd reddish stain on the nearby path.  After gently poking the discolored earth with a stick to see how deep the liquid penetrated the ground and hence how much blood was lost by the creature who was injured here, the diminutive rogue looks around for any further evidence of the reddish stains.

A brief glance in a concentric circle from the first stain reveals another, similar stain several steps away and to the southeast of where Jessie stands.  Drawing her fancy short bow and nocking an arrow, the tiny burglar calls her colleagues over to the site by merely pursing her lips and sounding a light, "Pffftttttt." 

Once the sneak has their attention, she silently points at the first stain and then the second stain hoping that the group's tracker might be able to follow these clues to fruition and then whispers, "Looks like blood."

Once again, Jessie searches a concentric circular pattern around the two blood stains on the ground in an attempt to locate a third stain.  While she pokes about, the tiny halfling will keep her eyes and ears focused on the surrounding environment for the sight or sound of movement or anything unusual in the immediate vicinity as part of a makeshift perimeter watch.  

OOC

Take 20 on the search for a 24

Jessie Tosscobble III's AppearanceJessie is small standing at 2 foot 8 inches and weighing a mere 27 pounds. As such, the lass intentionally keeps her brown hair long to cover her halfling features, which allows the rogue to pass herself off as a small humanoid or even young human or half-elven child when convenient or necessary.

Dressed dark purple clothing, which is overlaid with attractive black leather accoutrements, Jessie keeps the paraphernalia of her 'profession' secreted upon her person, and especially the authorities, except when in use.

Her friendly blue eyes and warm, sincere smile are disarming and allow the lass to paint a picture of a young girl who is completely unintimidating by all appearances, an assumption often made by others which suits her well and which she actively cultivates.

To promote this look of youth or innocence, most of Jessie's weapons, alchemical doodads, pack, and other equipment are kept hidden under her clothing and also by her large heavy dark green cloak.

 

Edited by Terran (see edit history)
Name
Listen
25
1d20+6 19
Spot
22
1d20+3 19
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RodinToken.png.56386b76bbc0b62d9c4d7bada805098e.pngRodin Sethilaud

Wood Elf, Ranger

 


 

 

Embarrassed that he was not able to spot the blood spots first, Rodin moves over and examines them. He tests the bloody ground to try to get an idea of how long ago this happened. He then sets out seeing if he can follow them, if they continue that is. He does his best to keep his eyes and ears open for any other signs of conflict or danger.

OOC

Will take 10 on Survival, Spot and Listen checks for a total of 15 each.

It gets a +3 bonus if any of those are applied to Drow or large spiders.

 

AppearanceRodin stands at 6 feet tall and appears a bit more muscular than the average elf. His skin has a light brownish tan look to it. His hair is brown with streaks of copper highlights through it and hangs down to just touch his shoulders. It normally has a bit of a wild windblown look to it. His eyes are a medium green which reminds most people of the color of leaves. He wears studded leather armor that has been dyed a camouflage pattern of browns and greens. His cloak is held closed by a brooch the shape of a silver arrow with green fletching. Aside from his dagger on his belt, the only weapon he carries is his longbow, which looks a bit thicker and sturdier than most bows.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Draidden (see edit history)
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Posted (edited)
About the Roost

He may not have noticed the small reddish stains at first, but upon closer and more careful examination, Rodin is quickly able to establish that these stains are not blood, but rather some other lightly reddish liquid and have been dry for a while. With the party in tow, over the next half an hour, Rodin is able to carefully lead the party after a trail of these irregular stains, each roughly twenty feet away from the last. The stains round the ruin to the east, almost hugging the ancient moat, and then continue south, giving a large sinkhole in the ground to the south of the ruined keep a wide berth before terminating on a low hill.

Nothing except a couple of bare spots in the grass mark this area. Rodin's sharp eyes note many tracks of booted feet and shod horses move south over the bare spots, but no traces extend to the bare spots. Looking around you, the party finds a scattering of miscellaneous items in this area of the small hill, broken arrows, torch stubs, and a single worn thumb (cp). 

OOCKnowledge (Local: Dalelands) and/or Knowledge (History) might reveal more about Galath's Roost.

MAP

[For sake of clarity, any reference to cardinal directions in posts will assume that North is Top of Map as posted, unless a Compass Rose is visible.]

Edited by Sorithar (see edit history)
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RodinToken.png.56386b76bbc0b62d9c4d7bada805098e.pngRodin Sethilaud

Wood Elf, Ranger

 


 

 

Well, that is interesting. There are lots of tracks leading up the hill to these clear spots, but they just end. It is like they just vanished and cease to exist. I am no arcane specialist, but I am going to say that magic was used by them to move beyond this point. You guys know of any magic that would do this?

 

He glances around and picks up the copper coin and glances at the rest of the stuff.

 

If this is not the hill with the vultures overhead, then he will head that way next. He continues to study the ground and pay attention to his surroundings.

OOC

Will take 10 on Survival, Spot and Listen checks for a total of 15 each.

It gets a +3 bonus if any of those are applied to Drow or large spiders.

 

AppearanceRodin stands at 6 feet tall and appears a bit more muscular than the average elf. His skin has a light brownish tan look to it. His hair is brown with streaks of copper highlights through it and hangs down to just touch his shoulders. It normally has a bit of a wild windblown look to it. His eyes are a medium green which reminds most people of the color of leaves. He wears studded leather armor that has been dyed a camouflage pattern of browns and greens. His cloak is held closed by a brooch the shape of a silver arrow with green fletching. Aside from his dagger on his belt, the only weapon he carries is his longbow, which looks a bit thicker and sturdier than most bows.

 

 

 

 

Edited by Draidden (see edit history)
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About the Roost

From atop the low hill, it is clear the vultures actually circle the edge of the wood just south of the low hill. It doesn't take Rodin long to walk over to just under the bough here, where the wood begins to thicken. Despite being a trained hunter, Rodin has to hold down his lunch at the sight before him. Behind the first row of low brush, what appear to be two shallow graves have been dug up and a nearby third seems to have been started on. Nothing recognizable is left of the shredded and bloodied remains from the dug up graves. 

OOCKnowledge (Local: Dalelands) and/or Knowledge (History) might reveal more about Galath's Roost.

MAP

[For sake of clarity, any reference to cardinal directions in posts will assume that North is Top of Map as posted, unless a Compass Rose is visible.]

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RodinToken.png.56386b76bbc0b62d9c4d7bada805098e.pngRodin Sethilaud

Wood Elf, Ranger

 


 

 

Rodin turns from the site and covers his mouth till he gets control of his insides. He warns any others that followed him.

Just a warning before you look. There are three shallow graves on the other side of those bushes. Two have been dug up and the remains are scattered about. Most likely a wild animal looking for food.

Once under control he turns back to see if there is any clothing or anything left that might have identifying marks on it, figuring the soldiers sent out would have had something on them to identify them.

He also checks the area for signs of footprints leading to and from the graves, other than his and the parties.

 

OOC

Will take 10 on Survival, Spot and Listen checks for a total of 15 each.

It gets a +3 bonus if any of those are applied to Drow or large spiders.

 

AppearanceRodin stands at 6 feet tall and appears a bit more muscular than the average elf. His skin has a light brownish tan look to it. His hair is brown with streaks of copper highlights through it and hangs down to just touch his shoulders. It normally has a bit of a wild windblown look to it. His eyes are a medium green which reminds most people of the color of leaves. He wears studded leather armor that has been dyed a camouflage pattern of browns and greens. His cloak is held closed by a brooch the shape of a silver arrow with green fletching. Aside from his dagger on his belt, the only weapon he carries is his longbow, which looks a bit thicker and sturdier than most bows.

 

 

 

 

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About the Roost

If the desecrated corpses had any clothing or other items to speak of, it is beyond recognition or gone. Despite a careful, if quick, search, Rodin is unable to find any footprints leading to this location, though he suspects the heavy underbrush and hard packed earth here would hide all but the most obvious of footprints.  

OOCKnowledge (Local: Dalelands) and/or Knowledge (History) might reveal more about Galath's Roost.

MAP

[For sake of clarity, any reference to cardinal directions in posts will assume that North is Top of Map as posted, unless a Compass Rose is visible.]

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RodinToken.png.56386b76bbc0b62d9c4d7bada805098e.pngRodin Sethilaud

Wood Elf, Ranger

 


 

 

Well, nothing of use here. So we found three graves and a trail of foot/ hoof prints that lead up onto that hill and then vanish. What say we go check out the ruins themselves and see what we can find there?

 

Rodin heads for the ruins unless someone suggests a better direction to head. He will use the dirt path to enter, not wanting to try going through the mote.

 

OOC

Will take 10 on Survival, Spot and Listen checks for a total of 15 each.

It gets a +3 bonus if any of those are applied to Drow or large spiders.

 

AppearanceRodin stands at 6 feet tall and appears a bit more muscular than the average elf. His skin has a light brownish tan look to it. His hair is brown with streaks of copper highlights through it and hangs down to just touch his shoulders. It normally has a bit of a wild windblown look to it. His eyes are a medium green which reminds most people of the color of leaves. He wears studded leather armor that has been dyed a camouflage pattern of browns and greens. His cloak is held closed by a brooch the shape of a silver arrow with green fletching. Aside from his dagger on his belt, the only weapon he carries is his longbow, which looks a bit thicker and sturdier than most bows.

 

 

 

 

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Once Rodin informs the group that the reddish stains are not blood, Jessie's curiousity is further aroused causing the tiny halfling to poke around the multitude of stain spots until she finds a leaf covered with the dried reddish liquid.

Popping the reddish leaf in her mouth, the rogue allows her tongue to decipher the clues as to the source of the stain, whether it be sweet preserves, hot red peppers, spicy tomato sauce or even dry red wine, and then she informs the others what she learned after spitting out the mixture.

Of course, Jessie is also interested in the gigantic sink hole as the group passes by and asks in a low tone, "It's obvious the folks we are tracking steer clear of that large sink hole over yonder."

"But what do you suppose caused it to form," the tiny halfling burglar asks her companions in the same low voice?  "Underground dungeon works, collapsed tunnel, failed well and cistern, or simple event of nature?"
_________________________________________________________________________________

However, the halfling's curiosity peeks even more when the group follows the voluminous tracks to a dead-end atop a hillside overlooking the nearby ruins.  Given the debris littering the hillside, which of course Jessie is forced to poke through by habit, it's clear that large groups of 'somebodies' moved through this way even to a non-tracker.

Unable to resist, the halfling rogue carefully investigates the strange scene, looking beyond the ended tracks, circling around the top of the hillock, walking forward in the track marks to where they end, throwing stones ahead to watch for any reactions, using smoke drifting through the air to the place the tracks were lost from different angles to see what occurs, all in an attempt to decipher the clues at hand.

"They came through here alright and by the looks of it this place has been used by a large group more than once in the past," Jessie says.  "Well, I can't track where they've gone and I don't have any magic solutions for this conundrum, but I can at least know if they use this hillside again in the near future," she adds with a smile.

Gathering five small yet stout twigs, the diminutive rogue takes a spool of fine thread out of her pack and plants the small sticks upright in the ground allowing her to string a nearly invisible thread across the path of tracks about ankle high which blends in quite well with nature.

"There, that will tell us is this hillside is used as a highway again in the near future," Jessie says in the same low tone with a satisfied grin.  Standing watch while the others take time to look around and do their 'magiks,' the tiny cutpurse also indicates her readiness to explore Vulture Roost over yonder when her friends are ready to move out.
__________________________________________________________________________________

As the group approaches the Roost, Jessie knows in her heart what the circling buzzards mean and her nose confirms these suspicions long before any of the dead bodies were found.  However, it was the shocking state of the disturbed make-shift graves that hurt her tiny heart the most.

However, rather than gagging or retreating from the macabre sight, Jessie draws a black bladed knife in the flash of an eye from gods knows where and freezes as she scours the surrounding environs for the sight or sound of movement or anything unusual, while also silently praying for the fallen.

Assuming the coast seems clear, the halfling will eventually nod in the affirmative to her colleagues before beginning the unenviable task of picking through the desecrated graves whispering, "I'm looking for anything to identify them, but my guess is these are the missing soldiers."  Unfortunately, she comes up empty.

Nonetheless, business was business and, after wiping her blade on a nearby leaf, Jessie uses water from her skin to clean her knife before restoring it to a hidden ankle holster.  Next, the lass uses water to clean herself up from the gory task that necessity and good will toward the villagers and their families dictated.  

Jessie knew about tribes, clans and loyalty, and this was the same; after all family was family and she owed them her best.  With a final funerary prayer in her mind, the diminutive rogue stows her skin and says in a low voice, "I couldn't find any proof of their identiy and there is nothing left to bury now.  Best to move on to the ruins."

OOC

Take 20 on the searches for a 24 each time needed

Jessie Tosscobble III's AppearanceJessie is small standing at 2 foot 8 inches and weighing a mere 27 pounds. As such, the lass intentionally keeps her brown hair long to cover her halfling features, which allows the rogue to pass herself off as a small humanoid or even young human or half-elven child when convenient or necessary.

Dressed dark purple clothing, which is overlaid with attractive black leather accoutrements, Jessie keeps the paraphernalia of her 'profession' secreted upon her person, and especially the authorities, except when in use.

Her friendly blue eyes and warm, sincere smile are disarming and allow the lass to paint a picture of a young girl who is completely unintimidating by all appearances, an assumption often made by others which suits her well and which she actively cultivates.

To promote this look of youth or innocence, most of Jessie's weapons, alchemical doodads, pack, and other equipment are kept hidden under her clothing and also by her large heavy dark green cloak.

 

Edited by Terran (see edit history)
Name
Listen
11
1d20+6 5
Spot
10
1d20+4 6
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Posted (edited)
About the Roost

As the rest of you go about your investigations or lack thereof, the hin's curiosity results in a couple of further insights and discoveries, though not in regards to the strange vanishing tracks. For one, Jessie is quite confident that the red stain are indeed dried wine.

Her sharp eyes also uncover another feature of the low hill upon which the stains and prints disappear, a very carefully concealed makeshift campsite on the far side of the hill from the other debris. Here, her eye spots several circles of turf that seem to have been cut away and then carefully replaced. A closer investigation reveals them to be an old firepit and several holes where trash might have been buried, mostly discarded food waste and stained cloths.  

OOCA successful Survival Check at this campsite might reveal more.

MAP

[For sake of clarity, any reference to cardinal directions in posts will assume that North is Top of Map as posted, unless a Compass Rose is visible.]

Edited by Sorithar (see edit history)
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