Original game date: August 26, 2017
The game opens in the aftermath of the assassination attempt on Kubrick Dragonstone, in the Mazmanian caravansary outside Baldur’s Gate.
Having fought off the assassins and put the hobgolbins to flight, the caravan celebrates everyone’s survival. Kubrick Dragonstone is curt yet grateful for the assist but professes that he has no idea why he should be a target of assassins. Perhaps one of his uncle’s rivals wished him kidnapped, or they picked him out because he has the nicest carriage and thought he’d bring a good ransom. He throws around gold rewards and then returns to his privacy. He will admit to some magical ability, that he dabbles in Abjuration.
Sylla Belfal approaches Grellosh, complimenting him on his prowess in the fight; her sword is bloodied having helped fight off the hobgoblins. The two end up in Grellosh’s room for the night.
Loch Dundarrion and Birch Willowstep return from giving chase to the hobgoblins and the paladin helps heal some wounds. He is at first more conversant but falls back into his melancholy after a brief time.
Zora Fel performs to boost the morale of the caravan and help assure them that all is back to normal. Roark Kincaid remarks to Aesar that she is a fine woman, though perhaps one who could be dangerous. Roark inquires about Aesar’s intended pursuits, College of Lore or College of Valor? He challenges Aesar to observe the common folk of the caravan as they travel, and to learn their stories. If he can discover something about one of them that Roark does not already know, then Roark will give him a gemstone valued at 100-200gp.
Continuing on the next day, the caravan travels south to passes through the small hamlet of Landsmeet. The caravan is booked to stay at the Landsmeet Inn, the largest establishment in town, though it deals mainly with trade caravans so it’s a little dusty and wear and tear is quite evident despite the efforts of its owners Jack and Dinah Stonery and their many daughters.
Roark asks Aesar to visit the town’s second largest inn, the Alabaster Tankard, and see if he can drum up any new passengers. He overhears two elderly halflings, Hambert & Odessa Clearfield, being extorted for more money by Timmer Rhen and his crew, who were apparently escorting the duo home to Greenest. Aesar intercedes but it does not come to a fight, and he eventually persuades the Clearfields to join the Mazmanian caravan. In truth, the whole thing was a ruse; Hambert and Odessa Clearfield claim to be returning to Greenest after visiting their great-grandchildren in Waterdeep, one of whom is an acclaimed alchemist. That is in fact true, but they conceal that they are in fact agents of the Emerald Enclave, who have been asked to join the caravan to keep an eye on Kubrick Dragonstone.
Sylla slips away from Ingrid Strigsen and Vorai trails her. She heads over to The Keg & Castle and chats up the bartender, then is ensconced in a booth with a figure in shadow. Leaves after a couple drinks, the whole time she seems to be having a pleasant conversation but before she leaves, she receives a package under the table. After some minutes pass, the figure gets up and leaves – though he moves from shadow and pulls up a hood quickly, if he’s being watched then his face is briefly visible – short blond beard and hair, almost white; pale skin with visible blue veins.
The Dire Wolf
Saul is told by Henrik Rivers that the caravan has lost several sheep and told to consult with Birch Willowstep. Birch tells Saul he’s pretty sure it is a dire wolf, broken off from its pack; such lone wolves are dangerous. He’d deal with it himself but he’s been asked to scout the road ahead. Saul agrees to look into it, and that night sneaks out of town and finds the crazed dire wolf. Rather than slay it, he attempts to befriend it and lets it go peacefully.
The Lost Children
Continuing on southward toward the town of Beregost, the caravan comes to a halt when it is discovered that several of the children, Wil & Joss Woodlark, and Gertrude & Nathaniel Barrowstone, have run off into the Cloak Wood. Pavel Mazmanian is very concerned and asks the party to accompany the paladin Loch Dundarrion and the ranger Birch Willowstep and try to find them quickly. Pavel provides each with a healing potion and tells them the caravan will wait for them in Beregost.
With Birch’s able assistance the party soon finds the abduction point, and learn the children appear to have been dragged off my monstrous spiders before being transfered to a bi-pedal humanoid creature he guesses is an ettercap.
After dealing with some traps & snares, and fighting off some spiders, the party eventually discover the lair of a Green Hag named Polly Greenteeth.
The hag is preparing a special stew in advance of a dinner party, prattling on about it to the Ettercap when they eventually arrive. The children are in a rough wood cage, looking sickly and terrified. She keeps their fear at a pitch by surrounding them with horrid illusions.
As the party arrives on the scene, a portal opens (Ah! Our first guest has arrived!) and a Redcap named Bracken steps out. He is there to ensure that all is to the standards owed his Master – Daechirian, an Unseelie Prince.