Early light turned to afternoon as the motley crew makes their way back to the city of Greenest. The large half orc leads the group into the keep of the castle, waving back at the welcoming faces of the residents. As they continue through the castle, Liosin is escorted to the infirmary and quickly treated. Governor Nighthill welcomes the group, saying, “Well? What news have you?”
Tibus raises an arm in a sweeping gesture to Lucan, “He just recently escaped from the Dragon Cult camp, he should be able to tell you all the information you need.” Hearing the cleric’s words, the sorcerer looks up at the governor and begins to retell the information that he had previously shared with the adventurers. As Lucan speaks of the layout of the camp and the forces that occupy it, Nighthill nods his head. With the report complete, Nighthill reaches into his bag and begins to count out platinum pieces, dispersing 250 platinum to each of the adventurers.
The governor continues to count his platinum and realizes that two are missing, despite the addition of the man named Lucan. “Where are the high elf twins? Did they not leave with you?”
Woghulgat speaks up and tells of Aldar’s demise and his burial on the trail to Greenest. Amongst themselves, the group wonders aloud about the elven rogue, and assume he must have left the camp on his own and would return to Greenest soon. Nighthill turns to the half orc and says, “I believe there is someone here that can aid in your training. He is working with the militia, preparing them for the next time Greenest comes under siege. His name is Sildar Bladeseeker.”
Lucan speaks up to Nighthill, asking if any information has been discovered about the
cultists or his captured friend, Talis. The governor has no information to give Lucan, but offers to share any new information with the sorcerer.
The group departs and immediately head for the tavern. It isn’t long before they find themselves within The Humble Ox. Sitting at one of the rounded tables, Khevrac and Woghulgat order a daily special of short ribs as the rest of the group finds satisfaction in a round of mead. Woghulgat stands with the human male bartender and asks about the status of the town. Sorrow fills the face of the half orc as he learns of the ravaging of the northwestern part of town, the destroyed homes, the ransacked chapel…but hope returns to him as he hears of the chapel and its protectors offering aid to the displaced townspeople.
Wooden plates are brought out to the round table, with wisps of steam coming off the racks of ribs. Large flagons are brimming with mead, and Khevrac takes a deep pull from his headless drink. Lucan speaks up, asking where the others call home. Raoul speaks of Luskan, and the sorcerer interjects that Luskan was also once his home.
“So, where you all from? Lucan asks, “Why are you out helping this town? You don’t look like you all belong here. Raoul smiles and replies, “Well i come from a far off port city named Luskan. I’ve been travelling for many a year and seen many a place…” Interrupting the Raoul, Lucan speaks up, “Uh,I’m from there too.” The smile on the bard widens as he says, “Then you’ll know that Luskan is a very seedy, seedy city, by the coast.” With shifting eyes, Lucan says, “Ah, yes, very seedy.” The sorcerer turns to face Woghulgat and asks, “And where are you from?” Woghulgat grunts through his short ribs, “I live here.” Lucan quickly says, “Oh good, nice town you got.” Woghulgat sets down the rib and says, “Nicer before the dragon.” Still looking about, Lucan asks, “What, dragon? You mean the dragon with the cultist?” Woghulgat goes on to describe the dragon that attacked Greenest’s keep. Lucan chirps, “Ah yes, the cultists tamed that dragon, and they attack settlements with it. It’s a very scary dragon…” Woghulgat asks Lucan, “What are you doing in this area?” Lucan replies, “Looking for friend that I spoke of earlier, hopefully she isn’t dead. Have you heard about this woman?” Each member of the group shakes their head, and Lucan turns his gaze to Tibus. “And where are you from, he asks?”
Tibus looks up from his drink and says, “ I hail from a town near the Grey Peak Mountains, it doesn’t exist anymore…Speaking it’s name wouldn’t make a difference, you wouldn’t have heard of it.” With another darting look, Lucan says, “Oh yes, I’ve heard of this place.” With half a frown, Tibus says, “Yes, it really is a striking place, isn’t it?” The sorcerer seems eager to correct himself and says, “Ah, no, I’ve never been, so I couldn’t speak to that. But i have heard things of this place…very…lush.” At this, Tibus becomes very suspicious of the sorcerer. “It’s very strange, since it’s very snowy.” Despite contradicting the cleric, Lucan immediately agrees with Tibus. Tibus continues with his tale of home and speaks of the dragon that destroyed it.
Khevrac changes the subject, bringing up the group's previous encounters, including their time at the threatened mill. The mead continues to flow, and the group continues their banter. Despite the hearty conversation, the cleric continues to study the suspicious sorcerer. As the hour grows late, Woghulgat returns to his home and the others acquire rooms from The Humble Ox. Before departing, the group agrees to meet the next morning.
Coming down to breakfast, Raoul sings of the Amakiir mage. Khevrac asks why he would be singing about the recently dead elves Group finishes their breakfasts and rejoin back at the Humble Ox.
With the rising sun, both Tibus and Woghulgat head to the militia barracks. As they approach, they see many of the townspeople lined in a single formation. As they watch, a man with battle torn armor leads the militia through fundamentals of swordsmanship. The man wears abused plate mail armor, has a scarred face and graying hair. Woghulgat approaches the man, and asks, “Sildar Bladeseeker?” The man nods, studies the half orc, and says, “I hear you are the Champion of Greenest?” The scarred face shifts to one of mild embarrassment, and speaks of the half dragon in an attempt to deflect the Bladeseeker’s words. Sildar continues, asking for more detail regarding the half dragon. As the half-orc recounts his contest with the half dragon, Sildar seems impressed, and says, “that’s a lot to take in…” With their conversation drawing to a close, Woghulgat asks Sildar, “is there anything you can teach me?” Sildar smiles and points to an opening in the grass field.
“Eadyan Falconmoon will watch over us,” says Sildar. The armored man leads Woghulgat to the opening and challenges the half-orc to hit him. Woghulgat strikes out, misses with his first strike, and his second strike is easily parried by Sildar. As they continue, Sildar asks Tibus to join their training. With Tibus’s and Eadyan’s healing, the sparring pair continue to trade blows. As the fighting continues, Sildar keeps his eyes fixed on Woghulgat’s movements, calling out ways for the half-orc to better strike out with his scimitars. This continues for hours between the four, with militia men and women joining in the lesson. With the lesson halted, Tibus and Woghulgat return to their group, speaking of the awesome display given by Sildar.
The group walks to the town’s general goods store, McGregor’s Magnificent Merchandise, only to find it closed with a sign that says “Gone Drinking, At The Tavern.” Shrugging, the group makes their way back to the Humble Ox. As they walk in, the single occupant is hard to miss. A short dwarf, legs dangling well above the floor, sips from a tall flagon.
Raoul steps to the Dwarf, clears his throat, and greets the man in Dwarven. Raoul’s face turns to one of embarrassment when the dwarf calls to Khevrac, saying, “Oye! What did your boy say?” With an apology, and a fresh round for the dwarf, Raoul and the group sit with McGregor. McGregor takes a long pull from his flagon, keeping an eye fixed on Raoul, and begins to speak. “You see this bar? Built it with me own two hands. But no, they don’t call me McGregor the bar builder. And that wall,” the dwarf points out the window to a stone wall, “I built that with me own two hands, but they don’t call me McGregor the wall builder.” The dwarf leans in, both eyes staring into Raoul’s, and continues. “That pier behind ye,” still staring at the bard, “I built that with me bare hands, but they don’t call me McGregor the pier builder. But you fuck one goat…” and with that, the dwarf laughs uproariously at his own joke, and the group quickly joins in. Still eyeing Raoul, McGregor asks for a story. Despite sitting among friends and the jovial dwarf, stumbles through his story of the Giant Beanstalk. With an eyebrow raised, McGregor consoles the bard and says, “we’ll have to work on that.”
The dwarf shares with the group that he has many stores throughout various towns, and that they will be able to look into his wares within Greenest. The group continues to drink, and McGregor moves to speak with Raoul. As they talk, McGregor shares with him the requirements for the College of Lore as a bard. Finished, the dwarf calls for the group to join him to his store. Members of the group purchase Potions of Healing. Tibus attempts to trade his mace and warhammer for a longsword. As McGregor agrees to trade, with an extra 20P for the overhead costs, Raoul tries to
perform to cover the additional platinum. As he finishes, Raoul smiles to the dwarf. A scowl on his face, McGregor turns to Tibus and says, “25 platinum for the sword.”
With their newfound provisions, the group returns to the tavern, enjoying some ale. Lucan tries to get the group to find his friend, but the consensus is to go to Nighthill first. As they approach the keep, guards and Liosin are awaiting the group with Nighthill. Liosin thanks the adventurers for saving his life. “I need you to return to the cultist camp,” he says, “and I need you to check if they’re going to remove anything from the caves.” Liosin gives a forced smile as he continues, “ I don’t recommend getting captured…” The smile disappears and he says, “I will be traveling to Elturrel to speak with a friend, Ontharr the paladin of Torm. I see that you’re all eager, it won’t go unrewarded. After you’ve successfully completed this task, head to Elturrel, and I will give you 150 platinum each.
After expressing concern for Rolen, the group leaves Greenest. As they step into the camp of the Cult of the Dragon, it’s immediately apparent that the forces have moved on. As the adventurers investigate the first the level of the camp, they see matted grass as if the group broke camp and marched off. “Their fires are still warm,” Woghulgat says. The group continues their search, and as they make it to the second level of the valley, they find the cold body of Rolen face down in the
mud. With no time to bury their fallen comrade, the group makes their way up to the third level of the camp.
As they lead the others, Woghulgat and Raoul find the opening to an enormous cave. Upon entering, they see varying ceiling heights and the light receding into the cavern. The group steps into the cave, echoes can be heard from the cavern’s depths: miniature wildlife, dripping water, and the clanks, thuds, and coughs of unknown humanoids.
Khevrac studies the cave entrance and says, “I don’t sense any traps as far as I can see.” Behind him, the half-orc snorts, “You first old man.” Stepping forward, Khevrac leads the group into the cavern. As he leads them around a stalagmite, the group is spotted by a pair of guards. With stealth on their side, Lucan and Raoul strike out at the guards, with Lucan hitting one of the guards with a fireball. Woghulgat produces his newly purchased crossbow and fires a bolt into the darkness. Khevrac strikes out his enemy with his quarterstaff, wheezing as he makes contact. Stepping to the dwarf’s right, Tibus strides forward and slays the guard with a single strike. After suffering another fireball strike from the sorcerer, the guard desperately strikes out. With a swing of his sword, he cleaves fingers from Raoul’s sword hand. Stepping to Raoul’s aid, Woghulgat and Khevrac finish the guard with a strike each. Raoul stoops, grasps his amputated fingers, and places them delicately in his pouch.
The group continues to sneak deeping into the cavern. As he leads them down a passageway, Khevrac feels a slight change in the air, as if the thinnest of fogs were hanging in the corridor. He gestures for the group to stop and bends to collect herbs from the floor. The cold and damp weeds in his hand, the dwarf smiles to himself and whispers, “quite the dank find…” With his herbs collected, Khevrac signals for the group to follow.
The group finds a chamber at the end of the passageway, finding a sleeping cultist and a chained up female Halfling. Woghulgat tries to jump onto the cultist and lands, missing by inches. The half-orc swings down with his scimitar, and drives the blade into his foot. In similar fashion, Lucan casts a spell and hits himself with it. Together, Tibus and Raoul hit the cultist, killing him. With the cultist slain, Tibus and Woghulgat attempt to bring the halfling down from the wall. Tibus yanks
one of the irons from the wall. With all but the dwarf attempting to free the halfling, Woghulgat pulls the second chain from the wall. Siegurd speaks up, with a high squeaking voice, and comments about the groups failed attempts within the room. Raoul feeds the halfling a ration while Tibus cuts a makeshift robe to cover their new female companion.