As the journey to the north continues, the first notable stop is in the town of Appleton. In most towns that the caravan passes through the drinks are cheap, in quality not coin, and the company is worse. So, when the carriages roll into Appleton and she the decorations for an early spring festival, the mood brightens. While Kamden and Kylan head to the local tavern, Senji attempts an early evening meeting with the Mayor and Yentha visits the local graveyard.
Kylan finds a cozy table by the hearth and Kamden heads to the bar. The bartender is a kind friendly man with a broad chest and a well trimmed beard. Kamden orders a drink and it is better than any he has had on the road so far. He begins to chat with the man and is offered the best drink in town. It is a crisp apple ale, a hard cider, that is one of the best that Kamden has ever had. After a few more jovial drinks, the bartender tells Kamden that the cider comes from the apple orchards on the south edge of town that was passed on the way in. It is a local favorite and is known as a treat throughout the region. Kamden finally joins Kylan at the table and they chat about the cider and possibly picking up a keg at the orchard.
Meanwhile… Senji meet with the Mayor, who seems to have the taint of dwarf on him. Senji does an astrology reading that has a dark tone, but he tells the mayor only the good parts for the coming season. The mayor loves it and invites Senji to join him for dinner, which is a real treat. The night carries on in good conversation and Senji returns to the tavern later that evening. However, Yentha’s time at the graveyard seems to be cut short as she returns to the tavern and goes straight to bed.
The next morning they decide to swing by the orchard before they get back on the road. The cart with Kamden, Kylan, Senji, and Yentha pulls up to a large ranch house at the edge of the apple orchard. A dwarf working in the yard runs to the house and moments later an older dwarven man exits the house to meet the group. Kamden tells the elder dwarf that they came for a keg of cider. After discussing the details of the sale and the possibility of a future mutual agreement with the Taproom, the elder dwarf offers to give the group a tour of the ranch. The elder’s daughter, Belren, joins the group for the tour and she seems to have a bit of a crush on the savage Kamden.
Near the end of the tour a goblin runs up panicked. In a high squeaky voice he says that their pet had escaped and they need help catching it. The elder looks frustrated, but explains that they are allowed to live on his land in exchange for helping with the harvest. He offers Kamden a free pony keg if they help clear up the mess.
The group follows the goblin through the apple orchard to a small goblin village near the far end of the orchard. The goblin village is a run down, disorganized, dirty assembly of stick shacks. There is a cooking fire in the center with a cauldron of stinky green stew. The goblin guides the group to a small clearing where their pet “Fluffy” was kept. There is a goblin body covered in twigs and leaves that was bitten (in half) by Fluffy when he chewed through his leash and escaped. After some investigation they discover that Fluffy has been irritable lately and that the goblins have been feeding him a special brew that has made him grow really big in strong. With little other information, the group goes into the orchard looking for Fluffy.
A brief search through the orchard shows that Fluffy is headed back towards the village. They double back just in time to see Fluffy creeping back to the goblin village. Upon seeing Fluffy, they notice he is not a small pet. He is a giant crazed weasel with matted fur and a bloody scar around his neck where a rough rope still hangs. Realizing that there is little hope of capturing or subduing Fluffy, the group moves in and attacks. Unfortunately, once the battle begins, the goblins are worked into a frenzy that their pet is being attacked. However, Fluffy is quite wily and springs all over the village attacking at random. This drives Kamden into a rage who charges through a crowd of angry goblins, leaps into the air and splits the poor Fluffy in half with a single mighty blow.
The goblins scatter and the group retreats back to the ranch house where the elder dwarf and his daughter meet them. After a brief tale of what happened, the elder dwarf assures them he will be able to make it right. With that the group returns to the caravan and continues their journey.