Black Maiden/Lucy: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (12) + 2 = 14
Dominic: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (8) + 2 = 10
Lydia: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Tawner: 1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
1d20 + 20 ⇒ (4) + 20 = 24
So that leaves the quest to the Numerian frontier (journal updated). At the pace set by the party's slowest member it will take over a month (33 days) to get there on foot without any stops (or hustling), longer if you spend time foraging. There are no roads there or back to Daggermark once you find what it is you seek so carriage travel is out. You might consider heading back to Allenstead for supplies (+7 days) as there isn't much in the way of supplies in your immediate location. The biggest 'town' here are the three structures clustered around Blanch's place (The "inn", the wood shed, the chicken coop and the outhouse). The only substantive community between where you are and the quest site are the River Kingdom known as the Protectorate of the Black Marquise the most piratical of River Kingdoms. Southeast of that is Rookwarden the ancient dwarven fortress in Loric Fells rumored to be currently held by an army of trolls and goblins.
"Beds!? Vat you think this is!? Seat down I vill fix for you the grrruel. Oi, now fire is goink out."
The woman tightens her babushka, grabs up a huge double-bladed axe, and stomps outside muttering to herself.
"Head is outside." Blanch says a bit disappointed in Hallimir missing the place's sign. "Is like trrrademark. I was thinking about keeping a tally of a the people who come on a sign next to it: 'Dozens of People Served'. Is catchy, no?"
When you see it again, the bear's head is not particularly big (it was probably immature or from one of the "smaller" species of bears. It looks old and haggard. Knowledge (nature) would help identify it.
"Forrr you I make exception, but pay in advance." She spits on the dirt floor again.
She gives the group directions to the grove, about a mile away.
"You no kill shaman. He's alrrready dead. Errrastill turrrn him into bearrr and hunterrr herrro boy kill him long ago. My husband use to say bearrr head overrr doorrr was his but stopped because it scarrre away customerrrs. Now have grrruel."
Lucy is staring daggers at the old woman, but leaves Dominic to the talking. She does give a nasty smirk at the idea of Lydia being Dominic's wife though.
sense motive: 1d20 + 2 ⇒ (5) + 2 = 7
Blanch looks confused by the strange love pentagon presented her. She looks at Tawner hoping for clarity.
"For why would handsome boy like you go to Cannibal Grrrove? Is crrrazy, no? Look at name. 'Cannibal Grrrove'. Perrrhaps you and yourrr blushin--err, yourrr wive here-" She nods to Lydia "Go to 'Beautiful-flowerrr-and-rrrainbow-grrrove-full-of-singing-birrrds-and-small -grrround-mammals?' Is betterrr, no?"
This common room feels like a cave, its sagging rafters clogged with yarn, shabby ribbons, and odd miniature knick-knacks including a host of mummified tubers that reinforce its claustrophobic atmosphere.
"Have grrruel. One silverrr piss. Make you strong like Blanch." says the woman in her thick eastern Ustalavian (think of Boris and Natasha from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show) accent. She's holding a huge butcher's knife and wears a bloody smock. By the stains, whatever it was she had been doing before you arrived it did not go easy. She shows off one tattooed and muscled arm as proof of the power of gruel and then spits on the dirt floor.
"You stay night. Is 5 copperrr. Comes with brrraykfast"
It is about 100 miles to Allenstead. At a base speed of 30, it would take you 6-7 days.
"I kould make you some grrruel to take vith you. It doesn't trrravel vell, but it's harrrd to tell zat when you eat it."
Options: Pack a lot of trail rations/pet food, hunt along the way (though this increases travel time), some combination of the two. There isn't enough civilization here to buy much in the way of transport like horses and such. And no coaches. There are coaches though that run from Tymon to Daggermark to Gralton.
"You'rrre back? Vherrre did pale guy go?" Blanch asks in her hoarse, thickly accented voice. She was sweeping leaves off the floor of the Restless Bear. "You vould not happen to have seen my bearrr's head vould you?"
Put the Restless Bear map back up on top of the slides.
That reminds me, bzl109 (I'm gonna name my next gnome that, "bzl109" "How do you pronounce that?" "The way it's spelled: bzl109.") Make sure you have Google Slides downloaded as an app to your gaming devices. Otherwise you will be able to see the map but not touch it. The program has greater functionality on a laptop/desktop than it does a phone, but you should be able to zoom in and move things even from a phone (aside from rotary phones that is).
After some time, Blanch eventually breaks down and tells the party how to get to the grove, adding "But you'll be sorrry. You'll see."
Hallimir Duskrin wrote:
"But I am curious....to what things in the grove do you speak of?"
"It vas wherrre famished shaman vorrrked his black mirrracles. Zey say zat old drrruid vas mad. Zey say he vas kannibal. Zat he vould turrrn into beasts, and hunt forrrest forrr human prrrey to feed upon zeirrr flesh. Zey say Old Dead-Eye stuck him in forrrm of ackurrrsed bearrr forrr otherrrs to hunt. My old man use to say zat bearrr over doorrr vas shaman, but stopped bekause it vas bad forrr business. Now eat yourrr grrruel beforrre it gets kold."
"Niet. I vill not help you. Prrrecious little girrrl herrre is so small and veak, faintest hurrrikane kould knock her overrr. Za zings zerrre vould eat you up and spit you out. Pitooy!" She spits on the floor again.
She serves the party a warm porridge the color of the floor, and the walls, and most things that you've seen thus far in Ustalav.
"Now eat yourrr grrruel. It vill make you big and strrrong like Blanch." She flexes one bulging bicep, and smiles, showing all five of her teeth.
"Why vould prrretty young zing like you vant to go zerrre? Niet girrrl, you rrremind me too much of myself maybe five orrr ten yearrrs back; charrrming and charrrismatic." She spits on the packed dirt floor. "I bet you have to beat boys off vith club."
She retreats to a back room to prepare the party's food.
This common room feels like a cave, its sagging rafters clogged with yarn, shabby ribbons, and odd miniature knick-knacks that reinforce its claustrophobic atmosphere.
"'Frrresh?'" The woman looks a bit confused.
"It's five kopper per night, per guest. Food and boarrrd included." she says in a thick eastern Ustalavian (think of Boris and Natasha from The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show) accent.
She spits on her hand and holds it out to Hallimir to clasp.
Alexis "The Odd" Trismegistis wrote:
The woman looks at Alexis as if she were some exotic species of lizard. She reaches back to the tray, grabs one of the pretzels with her hand, and sets it on the table in front of Alexis all while not taking her eyes off of the little gnome.
Sir Hayden Greyrun wrote:
He motions to the woman acting as serving girl. "Do you have any tea, love?"
"Tea? What in the Nine Hells would I do with 'tea'?" She says her voice as smooth as course sandpaper being rubbed on the ears. She coughs a long, ragged cough, not covering her mouth very well.