It’s worth nothing that while I was open to the idea of the players going wherever and doing whatever, we’d been playing in and around the Haliartos tri-city area for several weeks, and it looked like we were going to stay there.
If I sound “bitter” about my intentions for the game, it isn’t that I was trying to impose my will on the group or anything. It’s just, we would build up this thing together and they would walk away from it. Several times.
The Road to Delphi
Striking out for Delphi, the group knew only the rough direction they were going, and that whoever had killed the courier’s family had gotten his poison there.
Along the way, they stopped to help some farmers whose lands were under attack from a “Lizard God.” They commandeered a ferryman’s raft and paddled partway out across a man-made lake (yes, man-made) to kill a band of lizard-folk.
After killing the lizard-folk, they continued on their way.
The party encountered some orcs too, who they easily dispatched. The orcs appeared to have targeted the group specifically — though how they located the PCs on the road, or why they attacked at all was never questioned.
The PCs skirted the edge of an ogre village, realizing they were outmatched.
Avoiding every major settlement on the way made them exceedingly difficult to track — but something managed to track them anyway. Before the party reached the “border,” they were ambushed by a bugbear called Hane.
Hane had afflicted the group’s monk with lycanthropy, though the PCs decided to spare his life. They left him unconscious and trussed up in the middle of nowhere, fully expecting him to escape under his own power. (They later learn he did.)
In the last leg of the journey, the group found passage through an abandoned quarry — though their crossing was challenged by a horde of fiendish apes. Effectively trapped, the PCs made a temporary camp at the bottom.
The next day they managed to punch through the apes and escape by inflicting serious wounds on an enemy they nicknamed, “The Monkey Prince.”