Our Heroes continued north from the bandit encounter and the next day found a large gathering of nobles and men-at-arms camped around a small tower-and-bailey castle. The servants collecting water and washing clothing in the nearby stream were happy to inform the party that the group, about a hundred strong, were holding a tournament to decide who was worthy to lead the small army into battle against the brigands of the woods, who apparently had a large hideout and numbered twice as many as the men in this camp. The party decided to continue north to Stavros with their caravan.
After successfully seeing the caravan to the Trade Syndicate warehouse, the party took a few days to procure goods and then leave Nyxa, the girl who was ravished by the goat-beast, with the priestesses of the local church of Tittivila. It was decided that the group would head back to Weaverham with the goal of getting the fourth stone skull that they knew to be in the possession of the sheriff and then see what happened when all the skulls were placed on the pedestals in the goblin caves west of town. The journey south involved repeated encounters with a group of savage men living in the woods who made hit-and-run attacks over multiple days. One of the wizard's hirelings was killed and a near-TPK loomed at one point; however, clever use of a light spell and the net they'd carried out of the goblin cave turned the tide enough for the party to escape mainly unscathed.
Reaching Weaverham safely, a successful Charm Person from Brains resulted in the sheriff happily handing over the skull and when placed upon the pedastal, the group found a secret entrance into a long-forgotten Duvan'ku hideout. Brief exploration led to a few traps being successfully triggered from distance by the thief and while the party avoided touching the various unsettling objects within, they did find a secret door in the chapel that revealed a relative mother lode of treasure in the form of tithed silver coins. Deciding to get out while the getting was good, the party returned to Weaverham and promptly caroused with their newfound wealth. Only one major mishap occurred (Olin got a pretty cool looking tattoo) as Forest Woodtwig was compelled to go on a quest by his gods, Dogar and Kazon.
(A reminder: Forest Woodtwig is an Elf that was raised by Orcs who told him they were Elves and then taught him a falsified version of Elvish culture as a joke. Part of this apparently was teaching him to worship nonexistent terrible gods. We decided that what he thinks are Dogar and Kazon is actually Tsathogga.)
The quest in question is to go down to the swamps south of Larm (itself 3 days south of Weaverham), recover a frog idol and return it to its proper place. The journey south involved a couple of encounters with hostile orcs in which one of Brains' followers died again, now making him 4/4 for deaths of hired infantrymen. He's already paying double rates for hirelings in Weaverham and he's likely to get outright refusals soon.
Arriving in Larm, the party again hit the local merchants and searched around for a good base of operations. Carousing again (our sessions wind up being pretty short and there was plenty of discussion before decamping for Larm) led to Forest insulting Lady Orchid, one of the town's nobles and a mysterious figure from the exotic West. While Forest went into hiding, the remaining party members took part in the local Rat Festival, in which armed men compete to see how many swamp rats they can kill. The party wound up being 2 rats short of the eventual winners, which they accepted as a decent result considering their lack of knowledge of the surrounding terrain. As the last session ended, the rest of the party was preparing to meet Forest at the Gallow Middens outside of town before setting out in search of the frog idol.