Original game date: September 9, 2017
The situation as the game resumed: Loch Dundarrion is positioned centrally, about 10 feet away from Grellosh, Vorai (who left himself visible to draw fire since he is undamaged) and Saul are battling spiders and the Ettercap. Ander is about 10 feet back having withdrawn. Truffle aids Vorai to give him sneak attack as needed. Aesar and Birch are over by the cage, with Aesar unconscious and sliced up by mirror shards. Birch is now free from the fear magics. Everyone has a potion and Birch’s next action is likely to pour one down Aesar’s throat. More spiders on the way along with an Ettercap and will arrive within 6 turns. The Unseelie Prince will arrive in 10 turns.
Grellosh falls in combat with the ettercap, exploding with thunderous rebuke for an unusual second time, and when the fog of war clears there is no sign of him anywhere, simply the smell of ozone in the air.
Flight Through the Forest
Polly Greenteeth screams at them, insults them; tries to use Fear to isolate Ander. Loch advances toward Aesar, granting his protection to the children, who begin to come around. Loch soon encourages them to stay close as they retreat under Fear attacks by the hag and the constant approach of spiders and ettercaps. At a certain point Loch senses Good and heads off in that direction until they find a pool with several animals around it, in which dwells a naiad (water nymph) named Naya of the Brightened Glade. She is angry for they have brought evil down upon her glade. Loch beseechers her for assistance as a Knight of Wine & Song. Says they protect innocents, children meant to be a meal served up by a hag to an unseelie prince.
They take a short rest; Naya will not fight (the hag will not enter the glade) but she calls help (in the form of sprites) to distract the hag while they flee finally reaching the safety of the tree line.
Collapsing down on the ground, the party is relieved to have survived and concerned for the fate of Grellosh. While they rest, Loch Dundarrion shares more of his story with them, telling of his quest for ivory keys to something called the Wyrmbone Organ that his knightly order wants to lock away so they can cause no more evil in the world. Gathered together the organ when played can raise an undead dragon, a dread dracolich. Some of the keys had come into the posession of a tribe of stone giants. Believeing from what he’d read that stone giants are not evilly inclined and that they appreciate art, Loch sought to negotiate with them, bringing only Birch with him and leaving their compatriots to wait behind. The meeting went poorly after guards discovered the others and massacred them and then Loch and Birch had to flee for their lives. Loch blames his own hubris in getting them killed.
After a long rest, Grellosh had not re-appeared and so the others continue south down the Coast Road toward Beregost. Shortly before their arrival they are passed on the road by a mounted company of armored dwarfs who ride past at speed and without a word.
The Dwarfs of Mithril Hall
Arriving in the town of Beregost, the party meets up with the caravan and finds them in confrontation with the party of armored dwarfs. The company of mounted dwarfs from Mithril Hall has caught up to the caravan after giving chase south from Baldur’s Gate. They have come to arrest the merchant Salizan Stremp, who is accused of stealing a vast quantity of mithril intended as part of a bridal dowry. Aesar notices a wordless exchange between the leader of the dwarf company and the caravan’s cook, Jesper Copperpot. Following a hard stare, Jesper wordlessly slinks away, his shoulders slumped. Aesar notes that the two bear a striking resemblance. Filing the information away for later, Aesar impresses Pavel by speaking up and claiming Salizan Stremp’s remaining belongings for the caravan.
A welcomed return
The party is welcomed back by Pavel Mazmanian and the caravan are saddened to learn of the loss of Grellosh. They are rewarded for their efforts with gold and can keep the unused potions loaned to them. Henrik Rivers pulls Saul aside to say that despite his recent heroics, the caravan has continued to lose sheep from the dire wolf. Birch says Saul is reluctant to kill the wolf… well if they keep losing livestock on the road down to Nashkel, they will have no choice but to fire Saul.
The Black Network?
Vorai has his first opportunity to report in to the Black Network at a tobacconist’s shop. Unknown to him, the local agent was murdered and a private gang of bandits (Rolf’s Bulldogs) moved in. Two of them try to bluff some information out of Vorai but they are not very convincing. When Vorai offers the pass phrase: I fancy myself a nice smooth Goldenfields pipe weed… Their reply is incorrect.
When Vorai goes to leave, he finds several bandits waiting for him outside and blocking the way, along with their leader, Rolf Brewer. Rolf inherited the shop after murdering his uncle, who he knows was doing something shady on the side. He has no idea he was Zhentarim.
Vorai gets in a scrap and Sylla Belfal intervenes. Together they kill all but one of the thugs, who flees. Afterward, Sylla affects a casual air, glad to have been of assistance when she saw the thugs ganging up on a fellow caravan member.
Had you a fancy for pipe weed? Or is it Amnian cigars? It’s a shame, the old owner of this place had excellent wares, but word at the Inn was he was murdered several months back. His oafish nephew and this pack of idiots moved in.
Aesar finds a depressed and drunk Jesper Copperpot and converses with him, learning something of his past. He appears to have suffered some great trauma down in the underdark that he is reluctant to discuss in detail. He and the two goblins, Urt and Drog, became trapped together for a considerable amount of time, bonded by the horrible events. When the moment passed and he was eventually rescued, his brother Jasper ordered the goblins killed. Jesper refused and over the next few months it became apparent that he was a changed and broken man, pitied by his former friends. And so he left, and Urt and Drog came with him. Eventually they joined the Mazmanians as cooks.