After healing up from the encounter, the group continued north. They found the owlbear’s lair on the fourteenth, a large crack in the rockside leading into a dark cave. Eumelia strengthened Bryn’s resolve while Galienne pulled out her torch. They walked through the hallway until they reached a large opening. Kalevi stopped them, having seen the fungus ahead of them. Some of them were monstrous mushrooms known to rot their prey. The lords engaged them from a distance, killing them easily, but their movements caused shrieking from the darkness. After the fight, Bryn and Kalevi moved to the sides to take care of the two screaming mushrooms. Eumelia and Galienne noticed a magical object in the refuse in the center of the room, pulling out a vial of silversheen.
There were three openings in front of them. One possessed webbing, one smelled of rotting vegetation, and one sloped downward. They chose the slope and came face to face with the owlbear. It roared and charged at them. Curiously enough, the owlbear was wearing leather barding, so they knew it was not completely natural. Eumelia tried her luck at charming the beast, and while it believed her to be a friend, its rage was too great to listen to her sweet words and continued its assault on her allies. The owlbear was making quick work of the swordmage and shaking the clockmaker in the air as though she were a ragdoll. Eumelia convinced the owlbear that they were mean to her so they could fight back without breaking the spell that hinged on plausibility. Eumelia made this more apparent by throwing a wand of healing at Bryn, the owlbear not recognizing this as anything more than an attack. The owlbear was laid low by Bryn’s falchion and Galienne’s spells but still kept alive. Bryn and Kalevi spent time healing using the wand before examining further.
They found a map with both the owlbear den and their capital marked. The remains of an adventurer laid to one side, appearing torn by the beast. A room to one side revealed six dead bandits and the remains of the owlbear’s family save a starved cub. Eumelia befriended it while Kalevi gave it a ration to eat. They gathered up what was salable and useful. In particular, Kalevi chose an imbued chain shirt while Eumelia benefited from a lovely magical darkwood crossbow that probably belonged to the one halfling corpse. Galienne, wishing to hedge her bets further, claimed the daggers and wellcrafted throwing axes. Among the adventurer’s treasure was a ring meant to charm animals but laced with a curse. The ring instead cursed the target animal to fly into a rage. It was obvious the fool had caused his own death along with endangering the capital. Galienne’s proficiency with Shekastra’s secrets allowed her to question the skull, explaining that it was sent here to resolve a prison sentence given to him by Dullunar. He gave no further explanation of Dullunar’s status other than the status quo they were familiar with.
The lords quickly explored a couple other areas of the cave without being thorough, wishing to avoid the obvious spiders in one corridor. They wiped some other spidery creatures in an above opening and another shambling mound that had made its home nearby. These monsters were unintentionally guarding a powerful ethical horn and a wand that shot lightning. The cave safe enough, they camped in order to cure the owlbear in the morning.
Morning came on the fifteenth, and Galienne uncursed the owlbear before healing it. Eumelia told the owlbear to take the cub and go north for a new home. The adult mourned the loss of his family before taking his leave. Eumelia told the group to take the head of the dead female so we could prove quickly to their people that they had solved the problem.
They returned to their city on the twentieth amid cheers. The victory of stopping the threat healed the unease caused by the attack and allowed the city to flourish further. The lords, not expecting any further distractions and satisfied with their exploration attempts, settled down to hone their skills and expand the kingdom.