As we left off, our intrepid heroes (?) were planning to make haste to the caves by Bugbear Falls and head off the party that had set off to exterminate the "monsters" inhabiting them.
Sadly, they were unable to do that, as an attack by a rogue group of Iomedan knights as soon as they headed out the city gates and multiple random encounters plagued their journey.
The knight attack was unexpected, and ended with one of the 9 attacking getting away, but also gave the party a hint at a heretofore unknown adversary, one Lord Laeryndaal and an organization called The Black Lotus, which no one had heard of before.
After that, a destructive encounter with mysterious, hulking warriors carrying Javelins of Lightning, and a few other brushes with fate, including a tussle with a dire boar, slowed them to the point of not being able to catch their quarry before reaching the canyon where the caves are located.
When we left off, the group was staring up at the various cave entrances, looking for any sign of the young man and his party.
I'd like to apologize for how short and somewhat dull this report is, but honestly, I don't think my six siders wanted the players to succeed. It seemed like I couldn't NOT roll an encounter for the group, and I know that's probably frustrating for everyone, but I did try to make them interesting, at least.
In the area that the group is in, there's a 1 in 6 chance of encounter every hour. I realize this is pretty heavy, but I kept with it, and it seems sometimes to swamp the pacing of the game.
I've been thinking about putting together an encounter table of my own, and adjusting the chance of encounters, but I keep putting it off. I think I need to get on that. I also want to touch on some of the other topics I mentioned I would cover here, like magic item bloat, etc., and how I plan to tackle that in the campaign.