The party camped for the night outside of the Old Sycamore as they mourned the death of their friend Feldspar. The next morning they discussed their options, either heading back to Oleg's or returning the statue to the Sootscale Kobolds. In the end they decided that returning the statue was more urgent as Joseph could keep Feldspar's body fresh enough to be reincarnated at a later date when they returned to the trading post.
As they traveled toward the Sootscale Caverns, the party soon heard the sounds of a battle up ahead. Vlad sent his eagle ahead to scout out the scene and help inform the party of the situation. His eagle was able to see a half orc fighting with two wolves, so the party decided to approach cautiously. By the time the party arrived, the half orc had killed both wolves and was admiring his work. The party observed that the half orc was wearing an amulet of the Stag Lord and he admitted to working for the Stag Lord when he saw the same amulets on the party. He introduced himself as Mugwort and claimed to be a scout for the Stag Lord. He offered to travel with the party as they both continued to work toward meeting the Stag Lord's goals. He did inform the party that the Stag Lord's fort was about one hundred miles from their current location.
Arriving back at the Sootscale Caverns, the party asked to be taken to Chief Sootscale. They informed the Chief that they had the statue and he proposed that they work together to defeat Tartuk. When the party agreed, the Chief lead the party to Tartuk's quarters, with several kobolds following along to see what would happen. Upon seeing Tartuk, Joseph removed the statue of Old Sharptooth and smashed it to ground. This enraged Tartuk and he ordered the kobolds to attack the defilers as he turned invisible and his pet flew at Vlad.
Tartuk's pet tore into Vlad, nearly killing him, but fortunately for Vlad, Joseph was nearby and was able to heal him. As the following kobolds started to attack the party, Chief Sootscale attacked Tartuk's pet. Tartuk reappeared in time to launch a couple of magical missiles. It was at this time that Cice told a really bad joke that caused most everyone to simply groan, however Tartuk found it to be absolutely hilarious and began rolling around on the ground in a huge fit of laughter. Although Tartuk's pet was vicious, it could not withstand the might of the party on its own and Tartuk continued to roll around laughing until he was killed by the party.
After the fight, Chief Sootscale proposed that the kobolds and the party form an alliance and have peace between them, respecting each other's spaces. As a sign of good will, he offered to let the party have some of the treasure that the kobolds had collected over the years (and which had been appropriated by Tartuk after he arrived). Although the party was interested in the Chief's mace, he was unwilling to part with that.
The party left the kobolds and continued to explore the Greenbelt as they looked for the fangberries that Bokken wanted. The party soon located the Shrike River and followed it to the north looking for a crossing. They did find a crossing that appeared to have once been a rope bridge that had since been partially destroyed. Mugwort rang the bell that offered to allow passage for five coppers only to see a soggy, undead humanoid rise from the waters of the river. Davik Nettles informed the party that if they were with the Stag Lord then their lives were forfeit and that the blood toll could only be paid by throwing the Stag Lord's corpse into the river. When the party told him they were not with the Stag Lord, despite carrying his amulets, he receded into the waters.
The party continued their exploration over the next couple of weeks, exploring much of the region around the Sootscale caverns. For the most part they did not encounter anything until they were ambushed by six bandits working for the Stag Lord. Torm was nearly killed during the initial volley from the tree-perched archers, but once the party spotted them, they proved to be no match for the party. A short while later, the party found a brush thylacine that was trapped in a pit. Mugwort fell into the pit when he tried to help the creature and the hungry thylacine thought Mugwort was a snack. Mugwort was able to escape the pit without killing the creature and then Micka befriended the creature and set it free.
It was a couple of days later that the party finally located the fangberry patch and were able to collect more than enough fangberries for Bokken. With their supplies running low, and the knowledge of the location of the Stag Lord's fort gained from the one surviving bandit, the party decided it was time to return to Oleg's to reprovision and prepare for the assault on the Stag Lord. It took a few days to make the journey north, but the trip was otherwise uneventful. The party asked Jhod to cast Speak With Dead on Feldspar to see if he wanted to be reincarnated or not. Feldspar's soul told Jhod that he had accepted his fate and that he wished to remain at rest. He did ask Jhod to be buried near where his friends Perlivash and Tyg-Titter-Tut lived.