Tyranny of Dragons

Session 16
Grind and rewind

Elyria Wolfsbane
Edward Gursk
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)
Sven Evenhand
Tairen Lairoth

While this may not be the best time, or location for a journal entry, I feel it best to chronicle the deeds of the party while the events are still fresh in my mind and we have a chance. Should we survive this encounter, we will have stories to tell. In the words of the prophet Mal, “We have done the impossible, that makes us mighty”

If we should not make this encounter, those who find this journal will know of our deeds and either honor us or curse us, either way, I will enter the halls of Kelemvor proud in the knowledge that I have done my best. Perhaps my sacrifice will convince Tyr, Torm and Ilmater to grant my fondest desire, removing the taint of devil’s blood from my veins and let me be a half-elf in the afterlife.

Azujhan would have been writing this, but he’s asked me to take over in his absence. He said he has infiltration duties to perform to maintain his cover. I nodded and refrained from asking further. What I don’t know can’t be betrayed.

After we defeated the patrol in Parnast, it was time to do some accounting of ourselves and our prizes we had earned. Whatever magic that had granted us incredible strength was failing and the coins in our packs were beginning to weigh upon our shoulders. With the last of that strength, we were able to change the coins in for some gems and some of the items that we didn’t need for other items we would need. While examining our packs, we discovered a strange artifact that none of us could remember how it got there.
The device was a small, oblong crystal sphere. It appeared as though an egg had been elongated and thinned. Inside of the device were a series of gears and an hourglass. A button on the side, meant to activate, released the sands and the gearing took the sand from the bottom of the glass and returned it to the top, grain by grain. At least a week would have had to pass to completely refill the top of the glass.

The mage we traded with called it a Granger Clock, according to him, a fancy but otherwise insignificant timepiece. It was a novelty to him. However, the price he offered for the “novelty” and the naked avarice in his eyes belied the actual value of the piece. Between Edwards impressive growling and Sven’s silver tongue, we were able to get the full story.

The clock was a time device. Once a week, the bearer could press the button and rewind time. The length of the rewind depended on the size of the hourglass within. For this one, the time was anywhere up to 10 minutes, depending on how much sand was released. However, these objects were dangerous and many wizards took precautions against those who would use the clock against them. He turned the glass over to reveal a mark and a name, Talis. The mage asked if we had made a pact with this Talis, we told him we had. His face grew serious. We must never break that pact. To do such would visit harm and destruction upon us. Without further knowledge of that pact, he was unable to tell us more.
He refused to hear more of the pact for fear of the possibility of his becoming involved.
After we had traded a few items, we took our leave and progressed towards the castle. We each decided to weave purple into our outfits. I purchased a rather magnificent purple cloak, Elyria wove purple ribbon through her hair and the rest incorporated it in some fashion. We unfurled the flag and attached it to a mithril spear we had found in the hunting lodge.

The trip to the castle was shrouded in fog. However, the trail was obvious and we had no problem following it. Before long, a magnificent castle rose above us, floating on a haze of clouds. For such a den of evil, the sight itself was worthy of the journey.
As we approached, twin giant statues guarded the door. While they seemed simply statues, we decided that this was an obvious place to say the passphrase on the off chance they would come to life and keep us from entering the castle. We passed through the gate and under the portcullis with no issues.

The grounds of the castle were abuzz with activity. I approached a guard, which was, in retrospect an unwise move. I inquired to where we should unload the “loot” we had “collected”. A look of suspicion sprang to his eyes and he questioned me as to why I didn’t already know. I shrugged and pointed at Sven, indicating he was the leader of our raiding party. I was able to persuade the guard that we were new and that we were unfamiliar with the layout. Then Sven began to ask about food and where we could get it. The suspicion returned to the guard’s eyes and he began to back away.

We thought we had assuaged the guard’s suspicions as we moved deeper into the castle. We stepped onto the top level to watch the ogre guards practice throwing the javelin. One noticed us, a rather intelligent one, and questioned our purpose here. While we were trying to talk our way out of this encounter, the alarm bell began ringing.

The smart (ish) ogre drew his weapon, only to go down in a flurry of blows and arrows. Ahead of us was a tower and a place of refuse. Tairen conjured a fog cloud as we darted to the tower. Above us, ogre archers began firing blindly, hoping to hit one of us by chance. We took surprisingly little damage as we approached and were able to open the door.

At this point, there was a lot of cowering as we discovered that we were essentially trapped.
Outside the guards of the castle gathered, including Resmir to demand our surrender. We decided that this was probably the best place to not be in and, by quiet unanimous agreement, Elyria pulled the Clock from her belt and smashed the button to release all 10 minutes of sand.

As an aside, I have to mention that I’ve eaten some bad mushrooms before. The effects of the Clock were similar. Time became meaningless and a confusing mélange of colors, smells and sounds assaulted us as time rewound itself. We found ourselves at the gate, the hopeless predicament a memory and a warning.

We entered the same way, speaking the same phrase. This time, we spoke to no one and proceeded into the castle. We happened upon a cave that was ice cold and eerie. Sven volunteered to sneak in and scout before we entered.

I’m not quite sure what happened in there. We heard a booming voice, but it reverberated off the ice cavern to the point that each echo overrode the one prior to it and it became one loud roar. A few minutes passed before Sven returned and, basically, had promised his soul to a white dragon. He had 10 minutes to get us back to the dragon to make the same vow. This presented a quandary for me. A vow to this dragon, the evil dragon, was anathema to all I believe in. Any such attempt, even feigned would be quickly unmasked and a violation to Torm, Tyr and Ilmater.

We agreed that the best course of action was to have me use the oil of etheralness and avoid notice. I would accompany the party in and Sven could honestly say that all members were present. They gave the oath while I remained silent.

The cavern was huge, gold, gems and weapons were everywhere, frozen in time by coats of ice. The dragon was boastful and eagerly accepted their oaths. Once I was sure I was no longer needed, I decided that the best use of my time was to use the one hour on the potion to scout the remainder of the castle.

Room after room, I explored. Each room got a cursorary glance, though I did return to a couple of rooms to get further information. In one room, two red robed wizards of Thay argued about arcane matter. One tower held a coffin and two emaciated elves. I took a peek into the coffin to confirm my suspicions, it was home of a vampire and the elves were her consorts.

In one room, I hit the proverbial jackpot. Resmir, our quarry, sat at a desk, apparently working on paperwork, or plans for world domination, I didn’t get a close enough look to determine which.

As the oil began to wear off, I returned to the party and outlined my discoveries. We agreed that the best way to move forward was to take Resmir by surprise and remove her first. We could then consider other courses of action.

I guided the group to her room. The door was closed and a quick attempt at the handle revealed it to be locked. Elyria quickly cast silence on a rock and Sven picked the lock. We rushed the door into the room.

Resmir was standing before her desk. If she was surprised, he hid it well and recovered far more quickly than I had thought possible. Our best guess is that the testing of the lock is what drew her attention, though she wasn’t sure it was an threat.

I charged though the door, not looking, or particularly caring where any further dangers lie. My attention was solely focused on the black half-dragon before me. A rug attempted to trip me up, but I was able to avoid it. Edward wasn’t so lucky as he advanced behind me.
I swung my greatsword, praying to Torm, Tyr and Ilmater to empower my blows with their might. The Triad answered in generous proportion and my strikes were potent. Resmir attempted to raise the alarm, however, the enspelled stone blanketed the room in silence. With no help forthcoming, Resmir let forth a stream of acid that hit me and Tairen. The acid burned, but I was able to twist just enough, imposing my armored arm before I could receive the brunt of the assault.

That was the last great act of Resmir the black half-dragon. She didn’t have a chance to cause further damage before we struck her down. With the last strike, she vanished in a puff and ash rained into a small pile before us. A chest on her desk vanished with her death. We were able to defeat her pet drakes with little trouble.

The party is almost ready to go again. It is our hope that Azujhan will join us, we could use his help. However, I am also confident that we have the resources and willpower to win. In the words of the poet Jayne, “Let’s be bad guys”.

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Session 15

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Lucas Higgs (Bosun) – Tiefling Paladin
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian

== The Story ==
So I’m not sure what happened but somehow I got separated from the others. I almost stumbled into the middle of a patrol of trolls and drakes but managed to get under cover before they saw me. After finding them and hearing the story of what they had been up to I realized that it had been a separation in time as well as space. My guess is that the teleport was somehow malfunctioning or that Rezmir had trapped it somehow. Either way, Sven is still missing.

After sharing our tales we decided to head back into the lodge. We went back to the room with the tapestry and this time began exploring the rooms to the other side. Where we discovered a most unusual site. Kobolds doing laundry.

They were just as shocked as we were and we exchanged a few awkward pleasantries and closed the door. We waited a few moments and once it became clear no one was coming through the doors after us we headed off to the next set of rooms. And discovered the kitchen.

Something about these workers was different from the last time we stumbled into a room filled with cooks. These were less timid and tolerated no foolishness. We were quickly sent on our way and we left without pushing our luck.

The rest of the downstairs wasn’t that eventful and we decided to head up to the second floor. Bosun tripped on the stairs and made enough noise to wake the dead for miles around. No point in sneaking at this point, the entire lodge knew we were hear and where we were.

So Bosun kicked in the first door we came to. Inside was what looked like and armory in a bad state. The weapons didn’t look that great and there was a hole in the roof with which we could see the afternoon sky.

After examining the room we headed back into the hall and were confronted by several guards who demanded to know just what we thought we were doing. We explained that Bosun was upset about the hole and that it gave him nightmares. They laughed and told us to keep it down and that before we go kicking in anymore doors we should talk to the Quartermaster.

We agreed and thanks our lucky stars we had tricked them into leaving us be. At least we thought we had. Turns out they had orders not to interfere with us. Information we learned in the next room we entered, where Talis the White sat awaiting our arrival.

Turns out shes a little annoyed that Rezmir left her behind and ran away after telling her that she (being Rezmir) was being chased by some adventurers. Basically Talis believes that Rezmir left her here as fodder, hoping that we we eliminate her in our ‘mad pursuit’ of the black half-dragon.

That and she’s peeved that she was passed over as a Wyrmspeaker, her ‘rightful place’ being taken by Varrum. So she offered to help us, of a sort. She would give us information, and allow us to ‘purchase’ more in exchange for letting us go and killing Rezmir. As much as I hate the idea of working with someone like Talis, even if in an obtuse manner, I am willing to for the greater good so long as her goals align with ours. At least for the short term.

She told us Rezmir was heading for a floating castle called SkyReach and that she was taking the collected treasure to the Sunset Mountains, right back where we started all this. We got other various bits of information including the names of the ranking members of the Cult and headed to the dungeon to see if any of the prisoners there might know where Edwards mother happened to be. Turned out she was there herself and had been tortured, mentally and physically. We managed to prevent Edward from exacting revenge thought I’m not sure I would have tried that hard to stop him had tried. I do know that when it comes time for retribution I will not stand in his way.

We got his mother up and moving along with another prisoner, a priest that Talis had taken in an effort to find us ironically. When we got upstairs we discovered Talis waiting for us, the kitchen having been cleared of the other staff. She told us that outside the doors were several members of the cult waiting for us. She said that they were there to keep up the appearance that she wasn’t helping us and that they had no idea od the deal we had struck. That any injuries the inflicted on us were real and not accidental. With that we left the room by the door at the other end, quickly went back to the laundry and grabbed the banner we needed to get to our next destination and headed out through the tapestry. Completely avoiding any battle.

Shortly after arriving in Parnast where the castle had been hidden we made a few inquiries about getting Edwards mother and the priest to a safe location. Elyria made an offering at the only temple we saw and we headed into the tavern for a quick rest and bite to eat. Once again we were expected and a trap had been set. And once again we were able to quickly subdue the attackers, including one Captain Othelsan. He informed us that Rezmir had laerted him to some adventurers that had been tracking her and asked that he take care of us.

After getting basically nothing more out of the good captain we decided to head off for the castle itself.

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Session 14

Party
Elyria Wolfsbane
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)
Tairen Lairoth
Edward Gursk

I write this on a spare scrap of paper during a short, very short break. We need to have a record of what has happened should we fail. Others must know what they face in the fight against the Dragon Queen. To those future readers, I can only offer my apologies to the brevity and lack of detail in this entry.

A flash of light and a sense of disorientation followed the last sound of the pass word to the teleportation circle. Pain flared in my ears as the sudden change in air pressure catches me unawares. The chill air felt odd after the stifling thickness of the Mere. I don’t know exactly where we are, but it’s in a ridge of mountains. Before us stands a majestic hunting two story building with thatched roofing.

I do a quick look around, we’re missing two people, Sven and Azhujan. We don’t have much time, we risk having someone notice our arrival. But, we wait a few minutes in case they hadn’t uttered the phrase yet. We finally end up concluding that they aren’t going to arrive and make plans with their absence in mind. I know they are out there somewhere, but we have little clue where they are and less time.

As we stop to gather our wits and plan our next move, Elyria holds a hand up to silence us all. She turns her head like she had heard something. What she heard becomes evident a moment later as two trolls and three ambush drakes dart from under their cover. Most of us were surprised by the sudden attack; however, Elyria was able to send a few shafts in the direction of the trolls before we became engaged.

We were able to finish off the ambush drakes off without much problem. However, the trolls were another matter entirely. As I swung my greatsword into one of them, leaving a long gash, I looked in stunned horror as the wound began knitting together before my eyes. I finally felled one of the beasts, but it opened its eyes and leapt up to rejoin the fight. How do you kill something that simply rises from the dead?

Anger welled from my chest and I could feel the demon fire that infused my soul. With great difficulty, I kept my cool and fought on. However, one hit was too much for my control. The fire leapt forth from me, against my will to strike the troll in the chest. A gaping, singed hole appeared as the troll dropped to the ground. I waited for the inevitable return, but the creature stayed down.

“Fire! Kill it with Fire!” I yelled to the group and the second troll was quickly put down.

We then decided that this had to have been a random patrol. A force meant to intercept us would have been much larger and we would have seen them coming from the house. We elected to proceed to the house, partly to avoid any other wandering patrols.
I pushed the door open, with Edward at my heels and Tairen close behind. Elyria kept watch of the forest for any signs of pursuit. The antechamber was empty, only a door to the next room. As I began to open the next door, Tairen took a hold of my arm and pointed to his undead minion, a zombie affectionately known as “Mr. Stinky”. I nodded my agreement and Mr. Stinky moved past us into the next room. We let go of the breaths we were holding, party from Mr. Stinky and partly from anticipation of what the zombie would encounter.

Edward followed the zombie then Elyria. Suddenly, the room erupted in motion as two statues, gargoyles, came to life and charged at Elyria. Tairen and I both rushed to get into the fray. Edward fell into a rage and I was able to use the enemy’s flailing dodge to my advantage and we quickly killed the gargoyles. That isn’t to say we were without price. As we finished off the last of the gargoyles, blue glyphs on the two standing suits of armor flared, freezing two of us.

There were a few doors leading off from the hall. We decided to take a methodical search and moved to the room on our right, making a counter-clockwise sweep of the house.
The door opened into a small walkway, and into a sumptuously furnished room. We examined the room in great detail, a stout, if dull suit of armor stood on a stand by a desk and a large tapestry hung on the far wall. I’m still unsure what triggered it, but the suit of armor came to life and began attacking me. Black tentacles writhed in the doorway, holding Tairen and Mr. Stinky in their grasp. Edward came to assist me and I was able to use his rage again to my benefit and dispatch the monster.

Tairen decided to examine the tapestry and discovered magic emanated from it. Cautiously, he reached to touch it. His hand flowed through the tapestry and he quickly withdrew it. For some reason, Elyria decided to step through and disappeared. For some, even more mysterious reason, I charged in after her.

I don’t know what happened to Elyria. I found myself in the woods again, with no clue as to how I had gotten there. I took a few minutes to reorient myself, but the woods were simply too thick. I stripped my armor and climbed the tallest tree that I could find. Looking above the canopy, I spotted smoke from a chimney about five miles or so. I threw a coin down to indicate which direction the house lay and climbed down again.

I had taken one of the suits of armor from the hall for my own use, replacing my somewhat acid eaten splint. However, I was already out of my armor so, I decided to don the new.
It took the better part of two hours until I arrived back to the lodge and the waiting party. We walked to the door again and stopped as a large troll with four arms confronted us with six drakes at his side.

Let’s admit something to our future readers, we were not a charismatic party. Without Sven, our “face” rested on a human cleric or a tiefling knight, neither of which were able to talk themselves out of combat.

I won’t lie, it was a brutal, brutal fight. One of the toughest that I have known in a while. We were able to kill the drakes off without much trouble, but the four armed troll was a serious threat. Each of his four arms wielded a weapon and his teeth were sharp. But, in the end, we were able to overcome it.

We plan on moving into the lodge further to find Resmir or some idea as to the plot the Cult of the Dragon is hatching.

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Session 13

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Lucas Higgs (Bosun) – Tiefling Paladin
Sven Evenhand – Half-Elf Rogue

== The Story ==
When Elyria and I awoke we started to plan. All we knew was that Bosun had been captured and needed to be rescued. We avoided discussing the fate of Sven and Tarien but rather went on the assumption that they were still alive. After throwing out ideas for a few moments we decided to make our way back to the room where the others had been poisoned and gather any remaining pots to use as grenades. We weren’t entirely sure what would happen but since they had rendered our friends to the point of uselessness we were hoping it would do the same with the guards upstairs. The other idea we had was to find a way to use the centipedes to our advantage.

We made our way carefully back to the top of the stairs that lead into the cavern, expecting the castle to be on alert now that they knew adventurers were here.

We cast silence on a pebble and I opened the door to the centipede feeding room slowly to get a look. I barely made it a fraction of an inch and sensed that even that little bit of motion could have alerted the hyper alert creatures inside.

Closing the door we crept around the corner to get a look into the great hall. Inside were several black guards similar to the ones we had encountered earlier. We backed out and I began breaking off bits of my rations and laying them out, creating a trail from the great hall opening back to the door to the centipedes. I rigged a rope to the door and crept up the stairs leading to the second floor of the tower, closed the door most of the way and pulled, slamming the door shut quickly.

The effect was what I had hoped. I don’t know if the trail of food lead them to the great hall or if they just went that way be default but we heard screams and fighting and crunching. It last for several moments during which I eased open my door, carefully pulled the rope in and began inspecting this room and the one above.

When everything quieted down we slowly and carefully made our way back to the door. Opening it slightly we peered out, down the stairs. Seeing nothing but viscera and blood stains we crept down the stairs. At the bottom, there were two black guards cleaning up. We closed with them quickly and were able to take them down quietly. Two down.

We peered into the great hall and saw four other black guards. Two were fairly close so we opts to toss a pot at their feet. Both became infected with the poison and starting behaving… oddly. After a few seconds they started making their way towards the caverns, presumably toward the water just as Bosun and Sven had. The other two who were at the other end of the hall made their way over, curious about what had happened. As they came through the door way Elyria and I attacked them.

Six out of the way.

We scurried into the kitchen and checked around. We arranged things so that we could set it on fire later if we needed to. We scanned the courtyard and watched for a moment. Occasionally we would see a single figure in purple walking around but nothing else. We snuck into the chapel and took a moment to catch our breath. After we crept back into the kitchen and set it on fire, going back into the chapel as it grew.

After a few moments a groups of black guards came storming past the doorway and towards the kitchen. We snuck back out and looked in to see 6 more black guards trying to put out the flames. Elyria threw a pot at their feet, and fire were immediately affected and began heading towards the door to the cavern below.

The remaining guard stood and watched. His attention torn between the growing flames and his oddly acting companions that were now hopping away from him. We were able to quickly dispatch him thanks to his distraction.

Twelve.

Just then Sven appeared from the top of the causeway wall. He was dirty and scuffed, I assume from climbing the wall. I have to admit, it was slightly amusing to see his finery dirtied.

Immediately after the man in purple came out from around the central tower with two more black guards and Bosun and Tarien in chains. He said something but since we had the silence spell still up no one heard it. I started to signal to Elyria to drop our weapons and approach, hoping to get close enough to throw the final pot but before I had the chance Bosun disappeared and re-appeared a little closer.

When that happened one of the guards stabbed Tarien.

The other dashed forward and attacked Bosun. Both went down very quickly.

The guard that had stabbed Tarien came forward and attacked Bosun. The man in purple came forward as well. I grabbed the remaining pot from Elyria, ran forward a bit and threw it at their feet. One was able to react in time and managed to avoid becoming infected with the madness. The others weren’t so lucky.

We managed to tie up the guards and the man… sorry, elf, in purple. Then we went to check on our friends. Both of whom were dead. Elyria had a blessing of the gods with her and used it to revive Bosun, thinking it would be easier to carry Tarien back to Waterdeep or somewhere else that might have someone that could help raise him. We made preparations I remembered the two remaining Diamonds of Life and crushed them over Tarien’s body, hoping it would help but not knowing.

Thankfully he finally took a breath and woke up. Afterwards I learned that while I did this Sven went around and slit the throats of every black guard that was still alive. We then tracked down Bosun’s armor using the spell Elyria had cast earlier in an attempt to locate them. That was long before we learned they both had been stripped of their armor and that Tarien was naked underneath. Turned out that the spell lead us up the tower which contained the chapel. On the second floor was a library and several other guards. All of which we easily took down.

The third floor contained a chamber that was much more well-appointed than any other room in the castle. A room that we all kind of assumed belonged to the half-dragon Rezmir. We found their armor and began searching the room for the trigger word for the teleport we had discovered below. Shortly after I discovered a slip of paper with the word and what looked like an insignia of some sort an explosion went off in the bed chamber. Bosun had triggered a trap laced with acid in a wardrobe.

The acid destroyed most everything in the room, fortunately Bosun had managed to dive behind the bed and sideboard so he was only slightly singed. Still, acid hurts like hell no matter how little actually hits you. We gathered our things quickly and headed back downstairs. Elyria and I anxious to be away from the castle as fast as possible. After seeing that the man in purple had recovered from the madness but was still securely bound and gagged, Sven insisted on exploring the rest of the castle and after some hesitation I agreed and Sven and Tarien went up the central tower where they discovered a far seeing device of some sort along with several gargoyles.

Sighing deeply Elyria and I went up to help the others since she too wanted to look thought the device. We took down the gargoyles but it wasn’t as easy. We were all tired and they didn’t seem to take as much damage from anything that didn’t bear magic. I have to admit, it was a good thing we did this because upon learning how the device worked we learned that what we had learned about the black dragon Voaraghamanthar hadn’t been the entire truth. We have no idea who knows the truth if anyone, but there isn’t just one black dragon in the swamp but two.

Though we don’t know who the other is he, or she, looks identical to Voaraghamanthar. I’ve never heard of dragons having twins but I suspect it’s possible. The notes on the desk nearby suggest that the twin might be Waervaerendor. If that’s true then these too have been fooling people for centuries. Either way it just increases our need to get out of here.

Suddenly we realized that in our meanderings we had forgotten to speak with the man in purple so we heading back down to speak with him. Before doing that however we went outside to talk with the Lizardfolk to see how Snapjaw was doing and to let him know we were leaving soon. Turned out the Lizardfolk were preparing to break camp and leave the area. We told them about what had happened in the castle and that the Bullywugs were all dead as were the black guards. We also told them about the twin dragons. A fact they didn’t seem to know about themselves.

When they learned of the change in power in the castle they decided to stay and help Borngray (the man in purple). We went back to speak with Borngrey and attempt to gather as much information as we could about where Rezmir went and what awaited us on the other side of the portal. Turns out the portal dumps out near a lodge in the Graypeak mountains over five hundred miles away. We learned that he supported the cult and their desire to help Tiamet rise because he thinks the human race should be wiped from the face of Faerun.

As much as I wanted to punch the smirk off his face I refrained and simply left the courtyard. As exhaustion began creeping up on all of us we decided to head to the cavern and rest, allowing everyone to regain their strength and Tarien and Bosun to meditate and replenish their spells. Borngray promised not to harm us or attack in any way, a promise I wasn’t entirely sure about but he stayed true to his word.

When we came up the next morning many of the Lizardfolk had moved into the castle and were cleaning up the mess we had made. They all seemed happy and Borngrey was there as well, helping and being kind to them. We made our goodbyes and prepared to head out through the portal. I couldn’t resist telling Borngrey to take care of the folk or I would return for him. He simply bowed and gave his word that he would. And for once I believed him.

We gathered in the room with the teleport and said nothing as we prepared to go though. For once we had an idea of what we were heading into and what was waiting. Not in detail granted but it was more than we had ever known up to this point. Though everything we had grown closer and what had once started out as a bunch of strangers thrown together by happenstance had started to become a family.

I closed my eyes and whispered the command word for the teleport.

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Session 12

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Lucas Higgs (Bosun) – Tiefling Paladin
Sven Evenhand – Half-Elf Rogue

== The Story ==
We now know what the cloud release by the pots did. It drove Edward, Bosun, Sven, and Tarian insane. What we didn’t know at the time was that they were seeing huge frog monsters everywhere. Hallucinating things that weren’t really there. A couple of them managed to get out of the room we were in and made it back to the underground pond. In the confusion I’m not sure who made it first but I do know Bosun and Sven went last. I know that because when I tried to tackle Bosun to try to tie him up he punched me and ran out of the room sticking his tongue out like he was a frog.

It was a disturbing image.

I still am not sure what the hell Sven was doing.

In an attempt to prevent Tarien and Edward from drowning Elyria went into the water to pull them out. Doing so upset the giant frogs who decided to go on the warpath and began attacking. Between dealing with them and trying to keep the others from going into the water we had our hands full. Over 20 frogs were attacking myself and Elyria, with the occasion aid from one of the others when they had a moment of lucidity. Tarien would come to his sense and heal someone of the poison and they would fight off a couple frogs.

Only took a few minutes but it felt like hours. In the end we finally managed to get Bosun and Sven securely tied up and we sat and waited for the effects to wear off. After that we made our way back to the castle upstairs and sought rest.

Snapjaw had arrived and had apparently been voted (do lizardfolk vote?) to become the new leader. He was concerned because he had to magics as he said, and he asked us if we could give him magic. Sven attempted to trick our friend into taking a ‘magic knife’ that turned out to not be the least bit magic. Not sure what the play was there but Snapjaw didn’t go for it. Edward and I realized we had never searched the other room where Farblax was and we ran down to grab the robe the he had been wearing thinking that might be enough to get him by. Tarien followed and was able to tell us that the robe itself was magical. So we brought it back to Snapjaw who said it looked like the robe Suncaller had worn. He slipped it on and was immediately able to start casting small spells.

Doing this gave him the boost he needed to take over the clans now that the Bullywugs had been eliminated. After we rested we began searching the rest of the castle. We found a stable where a couple of large lizards we being kept along with tens of thousands of copper pieces and jewerly. A few tried to take what they could but since most of area already carrying quite a bit we decided to leave most of it behind. We also explored the reliquary were Snapjaw pointed us toward a hidden panel secreted inside a carving of Tiamet. Hidden within was a dagger that, when you pressed a button on the hilt, would cause a black poison to coat the blade.

Finally we went into the central tower and began to make our way to the second floor. As we entered one of the rooms upstairs a raven began squawking rather loudly. Elyria was able to calm it but we heard what sounded like footsteps downstairs shortly after. I can only assume that Bosun thought something was happening to Snapjaw as he charged down the stairs. We quickly followed, even though I knew we were not going to like what happened next, and were immedately embroiled in a battle. There weren’t that many and we made quick work of them.

The second group however wasn’t so easy. I was quickly knocked out and later revived by Tarien. I’m not entirely sure what happened next as things are a tad groggy but Edward, Elyria and myself were able to escape into the Great Hall and downstairs. We saw Bosun being captured but aren’t sure what happened to Tarien and Sven. We can only hope they got away as well, though how we will be able to communicate with them I do not know.

I do know that we have to rescue Bosun. However at the moment, there are only three of us and we do not know the fate of our other friends.

View
Storming the Castle
Session 11

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Lucas Higgs (Bosun) – Tiefling Paladin

== The Story ==
After cleaning up the battlements so that our actions at least wouldn’t be noticed from below we quickly made our way across the causeway. As we approached the castle proper Elyria peered into through the door, seeing only five Bullywugs and no other we decided to charge forward and eliminate them as quickly as possible. After a few minutes of battle th Bullywugs were down save one who attempted to escape. Elyria felled that one just before it made it’s was around a tower. When no others had arrived Edwardstarted exploring, opening a door to a room filled with Lizardfolk.

Turned out to have been perfect choice. These Lizardfolk had gotten word of our intention to aid them in getting out from under the thumb of the Bullywugs. The leader, who I’m calling Dave, insisted on us taking time to rest saying that we looked terrible (I felt it) and that it would give them time to spread the word to the rest of those in the castle. The mobile hearth they had, attempting to learn metallurgy made the room warm and inviting. Dave assured us that they would take care of the Bullywugs lying dead in the courtyard outside, hiding the fact we were here. But he did point out that there was only so much they could do.

We decided to trust Dave and rest overnight. We talked for a couple hours, asking him about various aspects of the castle. He himself (I assume Dave is male) had not been to the basement but knew some that had. We asked about having a guide and he agreed, though is convinced that any that help us will likely die.

The next morning we took a bit of a tour around the tower the Lizardfolk lived in. Apparently Borngray ‘gave’ them these rooms in hopes of helping them overcome the depression that has settled on the folk since the death of Suncaller. In each successive room the folk therein are larger and a darker green than the room before. Thanksfully there are only a couple more rooms. These are apparently backup guards chosen bt Borngray himself. The purpose as of yet unknown.

Finally done with the tour we set down to further discuss the castle layout again, trying to find out if there was a way from the tower we were in to the one that lead to the basement without crossing the courtyard. There wasn’t so it was decide I would cast a Silence spell on what looked like was supposed to be a spear point and we stole across the courtyard to the other side. Elyria pressed against the door, listening for sound. Hearing nothing she edged it open just slightly and peered in, seeing three people inside.

Bosun charged in, smashing the door on his way. As made my way in I realized it was merely the cook, dropped the Silence spell and shouted “STOP!”

The cook was obviously shaken. And fearful for his life. With Bosun standing over me bearing a sword poised to strike me down, I would be as well. It was obvious the cook was no threat. I talked Bosun down but barely. Elyria lowered her bow and Edward his spear.

Once everyone settled we began talking with the cook and his helpers. We convinced him that Bosun was merely upset over the level of spice in the food. Perhaps not our strongest argument, but being the cook it worked. We were able to see into the Great Hall, see the 16 cultists, Dragonclaws and others sitting at the table feeding. We decided to attempt to find another way.

Someone suggested we go around the inner tower, try to find a back way into the cellar tower. Elyria scouted ahead, which turned out to be both a blessing and a curse as three Guard Drakes attacked. Thankfully we were able to dispatch them fairly quickly. We expored the area around the tower, the guide folk, who I’ve taken to calling Charlie in my head, informed us that there was no way around the castle into the basement other than going through the Great Hall.

Something we were trying to avoid.

No matter how we asked, or how we phrased the question Charlie told us there was no other way. So rather than delay any longer, rather than dwell on the hows and whys we decided to stirde in bold as can be and hope we could get through. Save that, we fight our way through.

Seems the latter option was our only one.

The fight wasn’t swift and it wasn’t clean, but in the end we did prevail. There were four Dragonclaws in the mix. We managed to take them out quickly, well, fairly quickly any way.

Afterward the cook came out and gave us food, allowing us to rest from the conflict. He assured us repeatedly it wasn’t spicy, hoping not to incure Bosuns wrath again.

After the rest we headed below. I could give you a step by step guide of what we did and where we went, but instead I’ll focus on the things that did happen.

First, Bosun crept into a cavern just off to the right of where we came into the caves. Once in he apparently woke a Grey Ooze, causing his armor and sword to begin to decay. Something will we have to replace later.

Afterward we discovered an underground lake with a single frog. Edward made his way out onto a islet and the guard disappeared, leaving only the sounds of croaking.

Another cavern had the sound of thousands of tiny feet, like wave upon wave of centipede lying in wait.

We went another way.

Deeper into the caves we heard voices. We weren’t able to decern what they were saying as none of us spoke Bullywug. Within a shrine of frogs we found Farblax and his guard. This fight was fierce. Farblax threw up a field of thorns, attempting to seperate the party but Bosun was able to make it through. Edward ws able to leap his way over the thorns leaving Elyria and myself to pick at them with arrows. Not the most glorious way of helping but we were able to keep the guards busy while others were able to take out Farblax.

Once again someone open a chest that triggered a trap. This time dropping several pots from the ceiling. The effects of which, we don’t yet know.

View
Mere of Dead Men
Session 10

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Sven Evenhand – Half-Elf Rogue
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)

== The Story ==
I’ve come to the conclusion that Bosun will never recover the memories of his time before we started this adventure. Not because of some injury or magic interference but rather because they no longer exist. It’s strange, I know Bosun but at the same time, it feels like it’s not the same Bosun I served with on the Pearl.

I suspect that further pursuit of that line of thinking will lead to only madness.

we spoke more with Snapjaw as we approached his home. He gave us more information about the layout of the area and ranted a bit more regarding the Bullywugs, whom he seems to completely despise.

After several hours of conversation we learned that Bullywug named Farblex rules the bullywugs and that it was he that killed the Lizardfolk shaman Suncaller. We also learned that since Suncallers death the Lizardfolk had become complacent, accepting this as their fate. In spite of this Snapjaw has managed to convince a couple that a revolution is needed to free themselves. Others are interested but there aren’t nearly enough to overthrow the Bullywugs and secure their freedom. We also learned that Rezmir was in the castle.

We managed to eventually convince Snapjaw that we would help him help his people. After some discussion we decided to pay a visit to the Bullywugs, telling Snapjaw that we were gathering information.

It was decided that we would go with a story that someone had stolen the most recent shipment of treasure and we were sent to investigate. Farblex wasn’t there but after Tarien started throwing out accusations the Bullywugs said they would have him met with us to discuss things.

A few hours later we did headed into the Bullywug camp to met Farblex. A meeting that didn’t go well at all. Not only did Tarien’s accusations of theft upset the shaman but Bosun managed to get himself thrown out of the tent. Something told me that we would later pay the price for how things ended.

Finally we decided that since we had no other recourse we would attempt to infiltrate the castle. As we made preparations Elyria reminded us that we had mentioned getting the Lizardfolk on our side. Something we hadn’t yet even attempted.

So, after explaining things to Snapjaw Sven opted to give a speech to the other Lizardfolk to inspire them to rise up along with us. It wasn’t the most inspiring of speeches thought to his credit he did manage to eventually inspire them somewhat.

Using that new found enthusiasm we decided to scope out the castle. With Snapjaw and a few of the other Lizardfolk with us we walked pass the guards, the Bullywugs assuming we were just another group of cultists returning for the evening. Or so we thought.

As we reached the center of the room they moved to attack, we had been set up. It seems word of our accusation and treatment of Farblex has made the rounds already.

Thankfully the fight didn’t take that long and we didn’t have that much trouble. After the fight I decided to head up the stairs in the corner quietly to see if there were reinforcements above.

There were.

Fortunately a few were sleeping so we were able to mostly make out way up and take a few down before they managed to assemble some sort of defense. Apparently they were set up to pling arrows at us as we crossed the open causeway into the castle proper.

Now that our way is clear we have taken a moment to re-evaluate our decisions now that we know the Bullywugs are on alert. We haven’t seen any human guards or cultists attacking or heading for us so it’s doubtful Rezmir knows the situation. But we must decide and act quickly before she is alerted to our presence.

View
Journey to Castle Naerytar

Elyria Wolfsbane
Edward Gursk
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)
Leosin Erlanthar

Despite my best efforts, my memories stubbornly refuse to resurface. I am becoming discouraged of them ever returning. Ahzujan has entered his meditations, so I’ve decided to give recording the events since my last entry one more attempt.

Having reached the end of the tunnel and looking along the path that led deep into the Mere, we faced a difficult decision. We still had the job we had agreed to take on with the HRCC, but we had the greater obligation of discovering what the cult was doing in the Mere and what roll the lizardfolk played in their schemes. Ideas were bandied around; however, the popular consensus seemed to be finding a campsite a ways off the trail and wait until dawn and the convoy had moved along to the north.

The Mere is a nasty place. The trail was poorly marked and water seeps into everything. Every step squishes as you walk. Often the water reaches to the knees, making walking difficult. Even then, we were able to keep to the trail, following the stamped down vegetation and tracks left by the lizardfolk on any “dry” land that appeared.

Our first encounter was with a group of Bullywugs. Without hesitation, they attacked, but were soon dispatched. Our next was with the crocodiles that live in this area. Crocs are dangerous under any circumstance, but this one provided a certain level of hazard. One clamped on my leg and attempted to roll, trying to knock me off balance and drown me in the brackish water. However, I killed it with a quick jab into the creature’s eye, killing it and releasing my leg. I moved to help the others.

Later in the day, we spotted what appeared to be torches in the distance. They bobbed along and we decided they warranted a closer look. Leaving our items on the trail so we could locate it again, we readied our weapons and spells and stepped off the trail. However, these weren’t torches, but Will-o’-wisps, nasty malevolent things that feed on fear and panic. Unfortunately, while they held our attention, we stepped into a pit of quicksand and three of us began sinking, including me. The others in the group threw out a rope to help us out, but were hindered by the attacking Will-o’-wisps. Eventually we were able to extricate ourselves and killed one of them. At this point it was decided to move back to our gear and make a stand there against the other two. One quickly fell as we began moving, but the third vanished from sight. I opened up my senses and the foul odor of undead filled my nose. There, it was just there. I pointed it out to the rest, but none of us were able to hit the creature. Finally, it left its invisibility to attack Elyria. From there, we completed the kill.

The rest of the day passed uneventfully. Later in the afternoon, we approached an abandoned campsite. Lean-tos provided cover and a comfortable stack of dried fish was set inside one of these. However, the camp was unpopulated and we were easily able to approach. As the sun was sinking, we decided that this was the best place we were going to see in a while to rest and recover from the ardors of the day.

As the sun sank, a motion in the distance caught our eyes. Three canoes appeared from the ever present mists. Silently, I thanked Torm for the wisdom he had given us by not lighting a fire in the firepit. We easily gathered our gear and found spots behind the lean-tos to hide, letting the situation develop.
Nine lizardfolk came out of the canoes and appeared to be disgruntled. Later I learned that they had been annoyed by the absence of the group set to meet them here. Apparently those were the ones which we had discovered at the roadhouse and attacked. Needless to say, my sympathy to their plight was somewhat lacking.

We used the quiet and their complacency to good effect. We attacked and quickly killed most of them. We did keep a few of them alive to question. One of these, named Snapjaw, professed that he hated the cult and the alliance that his tribe had entered into with them. He wished to provide assistance to us to regain his people’s independence. We were naturally suspicious, but none of us could find any falsehood in Snapjaw. We agreed to his offer and he began questioning his companions in their draconic tongue. He asked the first one a question, to which the creature shook his head and answered angrily. Swiftly, Snapjaw sliced the creature across the throat, killing it. He moved to the next and asked the same question. Along the short line, he moved. Each question was answered in the same no. Each no was quickly dispatched. In truth, one could only admire the bravery and strength of conviction of these creatures. Each knew what was in store for them when it was his turn to be asked. Yet, each stood defiantly, refusing to budge from their refusal.

We loaded up the canoes and followed Snapjaw’s guidance. Our destination was to be an ancient and overgrown castle deep in the Mere. We had barely moved along the way when we were attacked by a shambling mound, basically an animated mass of leaves, branches and swamp mud. It was truly terrifying and only my faith kept me from giving into that fear. With difficulty, we overcame the monster, which sank slowly back into the water, air bubbling back to the surface.
An hour or so later, we were attacked, yet again, by giant lizards. They threatened to swamp our boats, but we overcame them with little trouble. It got a little hairy when the owners of the giant lizards appeared, clutching their crude weapons and generally looking discontent. Snapjaw was able to talk to them and let them know that the giant lizards had attacked us. However, it appears as though we are still responsible for those lizards and, somehow, have to recoup the lizardfolk for them.

The rest of the journey was uneventful, the lizardfolk guided us and soon the castle stood before us, rising from the mud and muck on the only piece of truly dry land in the Mere. We are about to assault the castle, though nobody knows how as of yet. I can only pray to the Triad for success.

View
Construction Ahead

Members:
Edward Gursk
Elyria Wolfsbane
Lucas Higgs (Bosun)
Sven Evenhand
Tairen Lairoth

My name is Lucas Higgs, also known as “Bosun” for some strange reason. Emotions and confusion swirl within my head as I try to come to grasp my rebirth. Azerjhan has suggested that I review this log and to make a few log entries with the expectation that I would regain, at least, part of my previous memories. I’m dubious about it, but I’m willing to try anything at this point.

The first thing I remember is awakening in a strange place, a wagon at rest for the night. I blinked my eyes and sat up, waves of pain rolled through my head. Air burned red tinged, white hot in my lungs as I drew desperate breaths. My panicked actions awoke those around me. They seemed to know me, with the exception of one individual named Sven. He made it rather clear that he distrusted my horns and tail. Apparently, they are new additions from the rebirth. But, on the whole, they remained cordial and seem willing to help me understand what happened to me.

The next day we arrived at what appears to be our destination, Waterdeep. The wagons of the caravan joined a long line of other wagons awaiting inspection by city authorities. Three of the wagons that we have expressed interest split from the caravan to move north through Waterdeep to an unknown location. The rest of the caravan turned to a road that would eventually take them to a major market plaza. This, naturally, left us in an unenviable position. We could hardly follow the cult wagons openly and still maintain the charade that we were simple merchants. Yet, we risked losing the wagons in the city if we tarried over long.

Jemna offered to assist in following the cult wagons and we agreed to meet at the aforementioned plaza in six hours’ time to discuss what to do next. I needed to outfit myself in more usable garb than what I had owned previously. Luckily, my former self had been quite proficient, if not overly thrifty, in his, my, duties as a bard. As such, I was able to outfit myself with a new set of splint mail and a great sword. Something compelled me to seek out the Order of the Gauntlet in Waterdeep, but I ran out of time before I could locate them.

Returning to the plaza, Jemna and company quickly outlined what they discovered. The cult wagons had rolled into the yard of the High Road Charter Company. The High Road, leading north, had been destroyed and the HRCC had been contracted out to reclaim it from the Mere and restore it for safe travel. We sold our current goods and took up residence in an inn across the street from the HRCC yard. The walls around the yard were high and attempts to glean information by climbing on to the roof of the inn were unsuccessful. We finally elected to take the more direct path, through the front door.

As we entered the yard, we noticed the cult wagons; however, they appeared to be empty and we didn’t have a chance to look closer at them. All around us were wagons and supplies, food and tools, timbers for rebuilding bridges and raw rock to pave the new surface. We were introduced to Ardred Briferhew, the current foreman for the HRCC and leader of a convoy heading north to the current worksite to relieve the crew that was already there.

A few of us were able to sign on as guards for the wagon; however, the caravan was flush with guards and Briferhew was in need of laborers. I, and a couple others, signed on as such. We were told to finish up our business in town and join the caravan tomorrow for departure to the north.

The journey north was quiet, if eventful. We were set upon three times, bandits, ogres, giant frogs and the like, but rarely did it offer a challenge and broke the monotony of the travel. After 10 further days of travel, we arrived at the Carnath Roadhouse. The roadhouse is a two story affair, sturdily built and recently repaired. We entered the courtyard and begin to help unload the cargo.

As we unloaded, we noted that a few of the crates were being directed to locations that were unusual. Bags of sand, rock and tools were being stored in their respective places in storerooms, but these crates were being taken into the strong room. We attempted to take one of these small crates to the strongroom, but were quickly directed to carry the remainder of the items, leaving the crates to others.

As the wagons were finally unloaded, the camp superintendent, a half-orc known as Bog Luck, addressed us as a crowd. He described the rooming arrangements and expectations for the roadhouse. They were simple, keep to yourself and rest while you are here. The job is difficult, but the rewards are fair, generous even.

As we began to disperse, a woman from the wagons that we identified as the cult shrieked across the courtyard at Azujhan. She held the impression that our dragonborn friend had been responsible for the death of her friend. She challenged him, his manhood and his honor. It was obvious; the cultist was seeking a fight. I laid a hand on Azujhan’s arm and turned to the cultist. I needed to prove my worth to the group and, even though I hadn’t known him long, my time with Azujhan had convinced me that he was no murderer. A killer, yes, but aren’t we all? You don’t take the job we have in this world and expect to come away clean. But cold blooded murder? Impossible!

I drew my blade and squared my shoulders for the inevitable assault. She was skilled, I have to grant her that. A few of the blows she landed stung as they breeched my defenses. However, the might of Torm, Tyr and Ilmater seared through my body and my arms and I was unstoppable. In short order, another cultist lay at my feet.

I whisked the blood from my blade with a quick flick of the wrists and returned to my ready stance. I expected the remainder of her crew to beset me, having taken her out. However, none of these did more than cast dangerous, hateful glares at me before they moved to retrieve the body of their comrade.

In all honesty, from here, the details are hearsay. I retired to the stables, which were both drier and more comfortable to rest. While the rest of the crew was friendly, I still find it awkward and had elected to spend my time to myself.

From what I can piece together, two of our members had gotten curious and decided to sneak into the strongroom to investigate the diverted crates. While they were there, they were attacked by a group of lizardmen that entered through a disguised trap door. Jemna frantically roused me from my sleep and I followed her directions to the strongroom. I only had time to grab my sword, my faith in Torm, Tyr and Ilmater would simply have to serve as my armor.

The fight was winding down as I entered and the crew had acquitted themselves honorably. Elyria was badly injured, but was quickly roused. We finished off the remainder of the Lizardfolk.

We followed the tunnel they had emerged from, it wound down from the strongroom to the edge of the Mere. Tracks and boxes showed that this area was well travelled. Obviously, we intend to investigate further.

View
The road to Waterdeep
Session 7

== The Party ==
Azujhan Yarjrev – Dragonborn Monk
Edward Grusk – Half-Orc Barbarian
Elyria Wolfsbane – Wood Elf Ranger
Tairen Lairoth – Human Necromancer
Sven Evenhand – Half-Elf Rogue

== The Story ==
My illness has passed.

Many thanks to Bosun for taking up my log of these adventures. Speaking of Bosun, he has disappeared. There are no signs of a struggle and it doesn’t look as though he left, all his things were still in the tent in the morning.

However that is a puzzle for another time. For now we must finish the mission before us and do what we can against the Cult.

As we began the day Elyria noticed a couple of guards approach the Cultists in the group of wagons in front of us. They spoke for a few minutes but seemingly nothing came of it as they left with their bowls full. Not sure if they were trying to share food or bribe or what. Either way it didn’t work out they way they expected I guess. Later both Elyria and I noticed the guard at wagon two getting angry at his horses and mistreating them. We said or did nothing at this point other than indicate to each other to keep our eyes out for further abuse.

Which was fairly swift in coming. Later during the day the same guard began begging the caravan master to stop for a break as he was out of water. The Caravan Master, not wanting to stop for something that should have been resolved in the morning (no reason to run out of water during the day) refused. The guard, again angered, fell back in line with the horses of the wagon he was guarding and began taking water from their containers. When the caravan stopped for the night we noticed he refusing to care for or feed the animals. Though it was cruel we still did nothing, choosing not to cause a scene at this point.

That decision would be made for us in the morning. Again with a fair amount of cursing the guard refused to tend or care for the horses complaining about having to deal with the ‘filthy animals’. A few hours after everyone got moving it became apparent that we had only noticed a tiny amount of the abuse. The horses started to stumble and slow. Again the guard got angry and began whipping the animals until they finally stopped. As we rode up the Master of the wagon came out. He too was angered and began whipping the guard.

We stopped him before he killed the guard, but it didn’t sit well. After a few moments of rather heated discussion he called out his passengers, a knight and mage. After more heated discussion he demanded they ‘take care of us’ and the mage and knight took up positions between him and us.

I tried to make it clear that we didn’t want to fight but that we couldn’t tolerate the wagon owner treating the horses that way. It was causing an issue with the caravan but slowing down everyone. The other caravan members supported us and even the caravan master began to see out point of view.

Finally Sven, who to the point had stayed without wagon and complained about our efforts to help the horses made an offer to the wagon owner. He would loan a couple of horses to pull their wagon. They would not be allowed to whip the horses and we would feed and care for them. Removing all responsibility from the wagon owner and the guard.

They accepted the deal and we made the switch. I like how Sven volunteered us to tend the horses attached to the wagon as well as the mistreated ones we now had.

During the trip Sven began to notice that one of the Cultist guards had been watching Edward, stealing glimpses and trying to get a better look at him. As we talked it over at camp one night Sven also mentioned that the last couple days that particular guard had been isolating himself from the rest a bit more and suspected that whatever the guard thought he knew he hadn’t told the others yet.

We choose that night to sneak into their wagons and attempt to spy on the guard to see what was going on. Using my Ki I was able to cast a silence spell on Elryia, Sven, and myself. We crept under the wagons and carefully made our way into each, examining the interior. While there we learned why the Cult guards always seemed fresh and alert, they had a rotating sleep schedule. There was always two or three guards asleep at any time.

As we were leaving we heard two guards having a conversation. Sven signaled that one of them was the guard that he had noticed watching Edward. Having learned the sleep rotation we knew that he would be entering the wagons in a few minutes to begin his sleep cycle.

Once he did Elryia crept in to learn what he knew. I’ll skip the details on what happened, but needless to say neither Sven nor I will ever forget.

When it was all said and done she had elicited a promise from him not to reveal that he knew Edward had been on of the adventurers fighting in Greenest.

A couple days later we came across an interesting sight. Up ahead was a head lying in the middle of the road. As Elyria and I rode up to investigate we realized it was more than just a head, rather someone had been buried up to their necks in the dirt unconscious but alive. As we approached we noticed the word ‘Oathbreaker’ painted across his forehead. After reviving him he told us that he had promised to marry a woman but broke off the engagement when he learned her father and brothers were bandits and that he was expected to join their group.

I didn’t fully buy this but he wouldn’t give any more information. It was obvious that he wouldn’t last much longer exposed like he was so I opted to dig him out, much to Svens dismay.He did nothing but once again complain.

Turned out that the story the man gave while buried was just a cover. He was in fact a Harper on the same mission as us. He had left Balders Gate a few days ahead of us in a caravan containing Rezmir. Now we knew that the black half dragon was only a few days ahead of us. I managed to help Carlen secure a position as a caravan guard after explaining the the caravan master that the ‘Oathbreaker’ painted on his forehead was merely intended to teach him a lesson, not as a permanent solution.

A few days later, as we exited the Troll Claws a forest of mushrooms essentially sprang up around us. They grew faster enough that I could just see it happening.

Elyria identified them as Mycetium, a poisonous mushroom and everyone froze in their tracks. We tried not to breath in the spore that were release when the front guards accidentally crushed two of them, causing a horrid moaning sound.

Not knowing what else to do since no one could move without crushing a mushroom I investigated further. Turned out they were simply Mycelium, a relative of the Mycetium but non-poisonous, that grew just under the surface and spread everywhere. I explained this to the rest of the caravan, but many were too over come with the moaning (including Sven, Edward and Tarien) to do anything other that block their ears. I cleared out a bit of the trail using my fire breath and, along with those not cowering in their wagons, cleared out the rest of the path so the wagons could get through.

The next day the Cultist guard that had recognized Edward appeared at the back of our wagon. Our first reaction wasn’t pleasant and he nearly lost a limb or two but he quickly explained that he wanted our help in escaping the Cult. His name was Lane and he wasn’t comfortable with their plans and beliefs any longer and asked that we help him escape. After a lengthy discussion in which Sven wanted to send him back to the others we decided to hide him in the crates in the back of the wagon until we reached Waterdeep. We figured that would be an easier place for him to get lost, perhaps one of us helping him get a new identity.

While passing through a small wooded area that didn’t appear on any map we were attacked by three eddercaps and three giant spiders. It appeared that the eddercaps were going for the horses while the spiders were just attacking at random. Elryia managed to extricate herself from the wagon and get a decent distance away and started pelting the eddercaps with arrows. Tarien took on a second eddercap while I targted a third. Edward was left battling s spider. Both Tarien and Edward got webbed by the creatures, Edward burst through the webs, and Tarien quickly cut his way free.

Sven also got webbed as he tried to fire arrows from the far side of the wagon, however he had issues with freeing himself from the web.

By the time it was over we had felled all the eddercaps and a couple of spiders. Sven finally managed to get free of the webbing just as the rest of us took off after the horses that had been set free by the invaders.

As we pulled in for the night a couple of rather friendly women approached the caravan. As they got closer I could see they were twins, a rare sight. I passed on their overtures as did Sven, but Edward seemed intrigued. A few minutes later a dragonborn female approached. I sensed her pheromones but something wasn’t right. Elryia came up and warned off Edward and myself. Finally informing me the women were dopplegangers.

Normally I would have nothing to do with the creatures and would have chased them out of the camp, however a thought occurred to me. Perhaps they would be willing to assist us in gathering information from the Cultists for a fee. We told them of the wagons we wished them to spy on, and informed them we had a defector that one of them could emulate to gain entry. We also informed them the wagons had all sorts of treasure that they could take their fill of. We haggled on price, finally steeling on 150gp for them. They ultimately did gather some decent information before disappearing in the night.

We learned that there were three guards, one on each wagon that would be making their way to the north gate in Waterdeep to be reassigned. Again, no one knew what the assignment was but our group had some ideas. We also learned that even though they knew Lane had disappeared they were keeping it quiet for fear of anyone attempting to investigate their wagons.

Our stay in Daggerford was uneventful. Several of the wagons left the caravan, replaced by a couple others. We moved up a place in line, now traveling just behind the three Cult wagons. Many of the guards left and others were hired as replacements. One of which was a female gnome by the name of Gemna Gleamsilver.

I know this because one morning, several days out from Daggerford she came into our camp just as we were sitting down to our morning meal and takes Svens bowl of oatmeal. After digging through it with her fingers she pulled out what looked like a tiny little bead. She explained it was a sliver of bone put there by the Cultists to try and kill us.

After giving us this information she walked away whispering “Let’s talk this evening” as she did so.

The rest of us dug through out oatmeal, finding various lumps that were undecipherable. It was at this pint I decided to join Elryia on her hunting expeditions. I wouldn’t eat anything handled by anyone else, even though I wasn’t one hundred convinced Gemna was on the up and up.

That night she came back to our camp just as we finished setting up. She told us we didn’t work for the same people but that we were on the same side, that we were all invested in preventing the Cult of the Dragon from gaining power. She wanted to know what they were carrying and asked us to help her find out.

Sven told her we already knew having poked around in their wagons earlier in the trip. He also told her about the sleeping schedule and just about even piece of information we had except for Lane. I have no idea why he decided to just dump everything. He claimed it was because we had been found out but there was no proof of that. Gemna hadn’t identified us, hadn’t mentioned Greenest or anything. She gave us very little information.

The only thing she told us was that the guy in the red robes that had joined the Cultists was Azbara Jos, a Red Wizard of Thay. Something I and Tarien had already assumed and commented on earlier.

We knew nothing about her, who she worked for, what she was doing here and yet he told her everything. This is the one time I will say that I thought Sven was out of line. I don’t know if anyone else feel the same way, but I suspect a couple might.

After she left she dashed back and pressed a Harpers coin into Tariens hand. Sven used that to validate that he did the right thing, claiming it proved she was on out side. The only problem being that we don’t know that it was a legit coin, and she had already said we didn’t work for the same people.

A couple of days later the camp was woken by shouting coming from the area near the Cultist wagons. As we gathered around we saw the body of a dead guard lying face down in the grass. The cultists, upon seeing me, began accusing me of being the killer. A fact that surprised me since I had been nothing but friendly towards them, even assisting once when one of their wagons threw a wheel. When the caravan master finally made his way over they accused me again, demanding that I show my shortsword. I drew my sword and gave it over to the caravan master. This prompted more accusations. He calmed them down and apologized to me for the trouble.

The rest of the caravan had gathered around us and had begun making comments that the Cultist claims were unwarranted, and saying that I and the rest of the group had done nothing but help the caravan on many occasions.

Oddly, it was the newest member of the Cultist group, Azbara Jos, that seemed to calm things down the most. He starting talking about how because there had been no witnesses nothing could really be done, all to the agreement of the caravan master and several other members of the caravan.

Now, on to Waterdeep.

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