Provided you've dealt with the event "Troll Invasion" by meeting with Kesten Garess in Tuskdale, your first stop should be the "A Ford Across the Skunk River" area in the Narlmarches. Not like this is much of a diversion, as you'd have to go out of your way to avoid this area if you want to explore the depths of the Narlmarches. If you haven't already been to this area, read the page A Ford Across the Skunk River to catch up on the general encounters. Now that Troll Trouble has started, however, there's a new encounter worth checking out. To reach this area from Tuskdale, use the following directions:
- Southwest to reach landmark: A Ford Across the Skunk River
When you arrive, simply follow the road northwest until you find a Gnome standing around. Approach and he'll beseech you for help, leading you into the river where some other Gnomes - led by one named Jubilost - are fighting several kobolds. By now, these Kobold Sentinels and Kobold Archers aren't any threat to you, so wipe them out without worrying too much about tactics. After the kobolds in the river are defeated more kobolds will appear on the northern bank, while their leader - the so-called King Tartuk - will appear on some cliffs across the river. It doesn't matter what you say here, Tartuk is determined to fight, or rather, to have his minions fight you for possession of Jubilost's cart. Kill these kobolds, which aren't any stronger than the last few you killed save the inclusion of a Kobold Sniper, which is slightly stronger than your average Kobold Archer.
Once this second wave of kobolds has been slain, Tartuk will vanish and Jubilost will fret over his cart. What the kobolds failed to do, the river now threatens, so interact with the cart to start an Illustrated Book Episode:
- [Choose a character] One of us tried to jump onto the cart to untie the ponies still standing in the water.
This option will allow you to pick a character, who will then have to pass two skill checks, a [Mobility 15] check and a [Lore (Nature) 10] check. If your character fails the Mobility check, the subsequent Lore (Nature) check's DC will be raised to twenty, so picking a character with a high Mobility check is imperative, as the Lore (Nature) check should be easy enough for most characters to pass with a bit of luck. If you don't do this option, you'll fail at retrieving the cart. In fact, you won't even be allowed a check.
2. Gathering our strength, we began pulling the cart from the river.
3. We tried to pull the cart out.
If you failed (or didn't attempt) the first option, this will automatically fail without giving you any options. Calming those ponies down is simply a necessity if you wish to resolve this successfully.
If you succeeded at the previous Lore (Nature) check, you'll get three options for saving the cart: [Lore (Nature) 19], [Athletics 20], or [Charisma 15], so you have options if you're smart, strong or pretty. Hard to be more fair than that. Furthermore, if you pick the option We tied a rope to the cart earlier, you'll also get a [Strength 14] option. Pick whichever one your party is most likely to succeed at to save Jubilost's cart.
Save the cart if at all possible, then talk to Jubilost. The arrogant gnome wastes little time arguing with your companions and complaining about the lack of infrastructure and security in your domain, while constantly fishing for recognition of his supposed celebrity. After the contentious introductory sparring is out of the way, you'll be free to ask him some questions. Assuming you're not out for blood, be sure to say "You said you were famous, but I don't know you. What are you famous for?" followed by "So what is such a famous person doing that far from civilization?", then "What is this dwarven outpost you're searching for?" and finally "I'm looking for the troll's lair. Maybe we're looking for the same place? Let's join our efforts and start looking together". If you saved his wagon, he'll trust you enough to travel with you. If not, you'll have to leave him where he is until you've discovered the ruins yourself, then return and tell him what you've found, after which he'll join you.
Jubilost is an Alchemist, a ranged support class that more or less fits a similar niche occupied by Linzi and Octavia. He can be trained up to meet your Trickery needs just fine, but his arcane spell progression is a bit slow to be your primary arcane spell caster. You can also appoint him as your Treasurer, if you feel so inclined. There's a good chance the position has been vacant thus far, and while it seems silly to nominate somebody you've hardly met well, the position is doing you no good unfilled, either.
Note: The event card "Treasurer Requests Your Attention" will begin two days after you appoint a treasurer, but since you've only met one candidate for the job, you may want to wait before starting this event if you wish to have more options. This, in effect, means you'll need to avoid appointing a Treasurer, or failing that, entering your throne room until you earn the loyalty of more candidates.
In any event, you now have a goal, albeit a vague one. You'll need to find these dwarven ruins to satisfy Jubilost, and with any luck they'll contain some clues about these trolls that prowl your territory... and possibly Tartuk's kobolds. The last thing you need is a would-be kobold kingdom popping up along the southern expanses of your territory.