Everyone went around the battlefield gathering any useful items from the dead goblins. Mythe went around gathering his knives from where they had landed. The goblins didn’t have much of value on them. The real value was in the recovery of the ore that they had been hired to retrieve. Despite the morbid situation they found themselves in, all of them felt stronger and more powerful. A strong sense of having improved in their first real battle together gave them confidence.
They buried the bodies as best they could. Still, the snow could only cover up so much. The snow was not really sufficient to keep them covered as the wind swept snow this way and that. Lullaby, with her natural curiosity, found a few silver and copper coins. There were also two glass vials and a flute or whistle that seemed to have been carved out of bone. Myth found just a few copper himself and each had a scimitar and shield that could be melted down to make something better. A snuffling noise drew their attention to the cart that had joined the fight later. Attached to the front was a blindfolded polar bear. It sniffed the air as Brenna approached it cautiously. As she got closer she murmured soothing words, trying to get it to calm down. She slowly extended her hand towards the bear’s nose and managed to pet the beast with gentle motions. A complicated system of pulleys looked like it was used to lift the blindfold when the goblins needed to move the cart.
Brenna explained the situation to the rest of the group. She warned that the bear was probably not docile and she was unsure that it would not attack if set free. They took a moment to contemplate their options. Mythe brought up the possibility of selling the ingots off themselves for more money but Dvalin pointed out that they were stamped with the Battlehammer crest. The Battlehammers were a well known Dwarven family around Icewind Dale. Their ore could not be sold without heavy scrutiny if at all. There was also the matter of the cart. They wondered if they could keep it or would they simply leave it. Mythe suggested they, at least, try to use the bear to get back. Brenna looked at the sky to determine what the weather looked like. It was overcast and there was a storm on the horizon but it wouldn’t reach them for hours yet. Still, they wanted to leave for the safety of Bryn Shander as soon as possible.
The group contemplated attaching some meat to a pole to entice the bear to move in the direction they wanted. Brenna still had a dead hawk on the end of her javelin and realized she could use that as the enticement for the bear. It was about five in the morning. They moved each of the one hundred ore pieces from the sled to the cart and attached the empty sled behind the cart to drag it along with them. As they got ready to leave, Brenna filled them in on all the possible opportunities for jobs in the area. Adventuring was the best way to make some quick money to, hopefully, help them get out of the icy land they were in. Brenna climbed into the driver’s seat and held the meat at the end of her javelin above the bear. The rest of them clambered up onto the cart with Lullaby riding next to Brenna. Using the pulley system, they lifted the blindfold off and tried to set off.
The bear sniffed at the hawk on the javelin and began trying to get to the morsel. Its paws dug into the snow as it tried to move. The cart made a grinding noise as the strain built up. Realizing the bear needed some help, most of them got out to push. With a little help, the cart was able to start moving. Soon, they were steadily chugging along with members switching off when they got tired. Zephyr was huffing and puffing as he “pushed” the cart. In reality he was only pretending to push. Brenna followed the tracks left by the cart to retrace their steps and make their way back to civilization. On the way they stopped to pick up the remains of the poor dwarf that had lost his life to the Yeti attack. Brenna took her own turn pushing the sled and it moved at a considerably faster pace when she was helping to push. There was a touch and go moment when their strength failed them and the cart nearly crashed to the bottom of a tall hill. On their second try they were able to figure out a way to shove the cart up and over the hill.
They managed to make good time getting back to town and arrived at wide open gates at around noon. The guards stopped them before they could enter the town and warned them that the bear could not enter the town. The group discussed letting the bear go but they were really close to the gates and didn’t want to cause issues for the town. They also had to figure out how to bring the ore in without the help of the bear. The guards offered to guard the ore while they hauled it in bit by bit for a price. Ignoring them, the group began devising how to bring the ore in. After a bit of discussion they managed the feat and delivered the ore to the dwarven shop they had visited on their way out to keep it safe until they found the Dwarves that had hired them.
While walking through the gates with the final pieces of ore Lullaby began to try and identify the contents of the two mysterious vials they had found but, beyond the fact that they gave a magical effect when ingested, she could not determine exactly what they were. With a coo of frustration she placed the vial back in the pouch they had been stored in. The wear of the journey and subsequent fight hit them all at once as they entered the safety of the town. It was all catching up to them and they would need to take a rest before long but first they needed to deal with the bear.