Original game date: September 30, 2017
The game resumes with the party still in the town of Beregost, along the Coast Road, but first we backtrack slightly to the edge of the Cloak Wood…
The Land of Storms
After falling in battle Grellosh is pulled into a blasted, stormy landscape. He is pelted with debris, which lacerates his flesh as he is buffeted by ferocious winds. A figure appears out of the tempest, leering over him – it is an enormous female orc clad in heavy furs and leather, crowned with a circlet of jagged bones capped with dark blood, like fresh scabs. Around her neck is a chain of skulls (humans, elves, orcs, etc). In her gnarled hands she clutches a thick ironwood staff.
She glares down at Grellosh with angry scorn. IT is not worthy… it is weak and pathetic… She turns away, continuing to talk with someone Grellosh cannot see and her words become lost in the storm. Grellosh suddenly plummets as the ground breaks away beneath his feet. He is tossed about and pummeleted by powerful winds as he loses all sense of what is up and down.
Then he sees a glowing light in the distance that seems to pull him closer. It resolves into a pale grey-blue gemstone with a star pattern that shines with brilliant light amongst the stormwinds. An arc of lightning leads back from the gemstone and away from Grellosh connecting to a second similar stone, and beyond that to a third. As he reaches out to touch the first, he is pulled violently downward and they quickly recede from view.
Grellosh lands with a bruising thud on a hard smooth surface. Regaining his feet he sees another enormous female orc approaching. This one is clad in thick hide robes covered in metal studs in which are engraved orcish characters. She wears a open-faced helm topped by a thick spike, and carries a large maul in her hands. The base metal is lacking, but it can be reforged.
Above her shoulder as she approaches, a vision appears of a castle ruin on a storm-wracked craggy tor. As the creature approaches, Grellosh suddenly realizes that he is laying on an enormous anvil, just as she brings the hammer down on him.
Grellosh awakes to find himself lying in the grass on the edge of a forest (in fact not far from where the others made camp on the edge of the Cloak Wood). It is night time, and he is about 8 hours behind the others. Inspecting the painful wound on his chest he discovers that he’s been branded with the ancient orc word for Thunder (and now has the benefit of resistance to Thunder damage as a result).
A New Pack
Back in Beregost, after the first full day in town, Saul sneaks away to see to the dire wolf. His attempts to deal peacefully with the problem rather than kill the lone wold draws the attention of Odessa and Hambert Clearfield; the two druids appearing in the form of wolves. Together the the three druids successfully introduce the loan wolf into another wolf pack; they are not certain that the new pack will stick but hopeful. They ask Saul to be discrete about his knowledge of their capabilities. They are on a mission for the Emerald Enclave.
Vorai sneaks into Sylla‘s room while she is away meeting another mysterious contact, and he rifles through her satchel. He finds a brief ‘fact sheet’ about someone named Valentin Cormarose, a high ranking member of the Cult of the Dragon. He also finds several ‘wanted’ posters with bounties and one of them is for Grellosh. Her abrupt return forces Vorai to get out in a hurry.
The Stolen Book
The scholars from Humboldt College (Brian, Thomas, John and Stuart) who have been traveling with the caravan approach Ander with a problem. They are due to leave the caravan and take the road west out of Beregost to the city of Candlekeep, there to study at its great library. However entry into Candlekeep can only be purchased with the donation of a book of high quality. They had brought such a book, a treatise entitled Pythor’s Principia, to gain entry… but it has gone missing!
They prevail on Ander to assist them, having heard that he is a diviner. Ander agrees to investigate, though he lacks a Locate Object spell, and he is joined by Aesar. Together they visit the two local bookshops and question the proprietors.
Scriverner’s Pages is owned by Abigail Scrivener and her layabout husband Cliven. It is a small tidy shop with high shelves. The Book Market contains more uncommon books than its rival though it is not nearly so tastefully decorated. Its own is Lothar Darkwell, an unctuous man of nervous disposition.
Eventually the two detectives are able to figure out that Cliven is the thief, a regular habit of his to steal from travelers heading to Candlekeep. In reward, the scholars give Ander two spell scrolls (Mage Armor and Darkvision).
The party explores the town more and pays a visit to the Thunderhammer Smithy. A crowd has gathered outside to watch a display – Gord Thunderhammer is demonstrating a thunder cannon for his family.
Inside, they look over the wears, and the eponymous Thunderhammer, crafted by family patriarch Dug Thunderhammer, catches Grellosh’s eye but the 10,000gp cost that Dug sets for its sale is prohibitive.
Leaving the shop, they pass the town’s constabulary who are investigating a massacre at the tobacco shop.
The party encounters Sylla on their return to the Inn and she is visibly relieved and excited to see Grellosh, inviting him to her chambers later that evening.
The caravan wraps up its affairs in Beregost and continues south, making for the town of Nashkel in the foothills of the Cloud Peaks.
On the Road
Chatting with Roark Kincaid, Aesar recouns what he learned about Jesper Copperpot, impressing Roark, who offers him the gemstone he promised.
Zora Fel offers a performance at a reststop and attempts to draw out Lord Kubrick Dragonstone but she is pointedly rebuffed.
The caravan comes across the smoking and burned ruins of another small caravan. There is evidence of kobolds being involved, and a section of a spikey mask is recovered, which Aesar identifies as being distinctive of the Cult of the Dragon.
During a night spent at a Mazmanian caravansary, Sylla confides in Grellosh that there is something she must show him, letting him see the bounty on his head (for 500gp). She explains that the bounty is not her priority, she is simply in the habit of grabbing available bounties when she passes through Zhentil Keep; she did not expect to encounter one of the marks on this tour. She has other business on the caravan and this is nowhere near a priority. She hopes this won’t be a distraction but the tiefling forced her hand with his snooping, and she gives him the bounty to do with as he pleases.