To reach this location from Oleg’s Trading Post, follow these directions:
- Southeast to landmark: Nettle’s Crossing
- Southwest (along Shrike River)
Enter the Trail in the Hills area and from where you appear along the southern edge of the area, venture east to find a pile of rocks, which hides a Scorched Fragment of a Necklace. Once that treasure is yours, return back west and then venture north until you reach a fork with two paths leading uphill, one to the east, and one to the west. It doesn’t matter which route you take, both lead to the same location. You might want to spell-buff, however, and lead with your strongest character, as a powerful foe awaits uphill.
While it may not be readily apparent, a Mature Leopard dwells here, although it’s fond of using Stealth to hide before it attacks. This is a definite power-spike compared to most enemies near the beginning of Chapter 1, as the Mature Leopard has a hefty store of HP, a high Attack Bonus and multiple attacks per round. Although offset somewhat by its mediocre damage and Armor Class, it’s still capable of shredding a level two party - and possibly even a group of level three adventurers - especially one without a full compliment of six characters. That being the case, you may want to avoid this fight until you have a full party at least, and perhaps level three characters as well. Even then, be sure to spellbuff ahead of time (Bless, Shield of Faith, etc.) and try to surround the beast and cut it down before it causes too much trouble. Using debuffs like Color Spray may also help secure you victory.
Once it’s dead, search the body of an unfortunate Kobold to claim a Shortbow +1. Not a bad prize for such a fight.