== 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.
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.