Hoard of the Dragon Queen!

Chaos is the plan
large scale battle happens

Pharblex’s body is transported in up to the lizardmen who then plot their attack.The lizardmen execute Pharblex and claim Suncallers staff. The plan is set to invade the Bullywog’s camp in the early morning.

Zombies are released, Dralmora is informed of the upcoming situation. Fighting ensues.

The group attacks the bullywogs in the front tower. They are choked with poweder and pursue the adventurers in to the castle. Fighting outside the castle is not going well for the lizardmen, but the adventurers don’t know that yet. Osred is able to get the cultists to attack the Bullywogs. and make the cultists think the Bullywogs have betrayed them.

With the cultists aiding the lizardmen, the tide of battle sways in favor of the lizardmen. It would be a Bullywog massacre, except Rezmir is informed of the fighting outside by Sheranya.

The half dragon Rezmir melts the zombies in the courtyard and is able to stop the fighting outside. He returns to somewhere in the castle to “tell the others”. Dralmora doesn’t know who “the others” are. The cultists are clearing out the dead outside while the adventurers search Rezmir’s quarters. While Osred tries to carefully make a copy of the instructions to use the teleportation circle, Galazard proceeds to make it look like a break in by smashing a window, setting off an acid trap on to himself and then lighting the room on fire.

Having started a fire in part of the castle, the adventurers go in to the center tower to see if they can find the seer stone. It is possible that Rezmir and others have already gone through the teleoprtation circle. It is also possible that they are waiting inside the tower.

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From dusk till dawn
Recap from the last two weeks

Searching the room where they fought the three incorporeal figures, the adventurers find another ghost, who obviously disappears before telling the whole story, and some star maps that help identify and thus locate the constellations from the wizards’ analysis of Suncallers spear. If they got a chance, the ghost suggested to look into freeing her (him?) by doing something with the farseer. Sheranya pockets a couple more scrolls (she really should hand those to the defenseless barbarian and dwarf…), and Q makes sure the expensive star maps make it to the next buyer.

Before heading back to our beds the four poked their heads into one of the last rooms that they haven’t been to yet to find a bunch of bullywugs snoring. Apparently one of their guard rooms.

The night remained calm, and the tea helped with the stink. Just at dawn, however, Carlon came climbing up the wall to the window. He was completely exhausted, but managed to report that the heroes’ cover might blow soon, and they better hurry. Sending him up into the spider room to recover, everybody grabed their stuff and took off to capture the biggest toad in the pond.

They encountered a group of bullywugs that marched across the court yard (guards again?) but left them alone otherwise. Then they sneaked past the sleeping cultist, and entered the cave below the castle. Everybody agreed to not take the one-way down the crane but explore the other path, where apparently more bullywugs used to go. Indeed, soon the four encountered two bullywugs performing some kind of stupid ritual that involved rolling in mud. Galuzard had enough of the charade, and shot one of them. They were quickly disposed off and covered up in mud (probably their favorite place anyway…). Going along, Q managed to disarm another stair trap.

They came to a large room with two paths along a big black pond, and a giant frog sitting on an island that is connected by a bridge. Moving towards the frog made him/her leap into the water and more croaking ensued. Before facing an army of frogs, the four (surprisingly) quickly decided to take the left path, stopped briefly at a stone wall beside the path to listen to Q’s fascinating lecture about the science behind the calcite formation they came to visit, and continued to run until meeting two more bullywugs. Due to their by now expert persuasion skills, the bullywugs told them the way to the shrine, where they would find Pharblax. They also revealed that they were guarding the bullywugs’ offspring from the giant frogs.

Returning to the pond, the watchful giant frog was there again and jumped back into the water as soon as the four appeard. After learning so much about the cave’s rock walls, Osred couldn’t stop himself from exploring more and shone his shield’s light straight into the water. The view was blocked by a giant frog leaping out. And so the four had to face an army of frogs anyway. Q again showed his berserk qualities fighting in tight spaces, and soon the frogs where ready for dinner.

Following along the path, the heroes came back into the room with the crane, just on the lower level this time. They discovered the source of all the fog. It was a teleportation device of some kind in an adjacent room, that probably is a portal to some place in the mountains. It seems to be open, hence the fog/clouds spilling through, but they couldn’t tell for sure. They need to keep an eye out, as this is very likely where the loot is taken, and the easiest exit route once shit starts to happen…

Going down the last remaining stairs to explore, they finally reached the shrine, passing a collection of seemingly random and very exotic deity statues. Osred advanced to check out the situation, and soon was drawn into performing for the dozen bullywugs and Pharblax doing their weird mud thing in the shrine. What followed was a dazzling performance never seen before, a bard rolling in mud, throwing mud, while singing a never heard before song and playing the pan flute. As soon as Osred was close enough to Pharblax, he cast charm on him and his right hand bullywug. They must have had pretty strong coffee this morning, because they saw through his ruse and called for revenge. Osred exited the shrine hypnotizing half of them, Q stormed in and hacked a couple to pieces, Galuzard fired precise arrows into their big bellies, and Sheranya was still hungry for more frog legs and fried a couple of them with a fireball. Not easily being overwhelmed though, Pharblax stood his ground for a while with annoying druid spells and retraeting into his private chambers. With combined engineering ingenuity, Galuzard shot a rope across the room, which had turned into a lichen jungle, so that they could climb across faster, before Pharblax could take them out one by one. Although Q was the fastest, he seemed a little tired already and needed a little longer than usual to knock him out.

Hardly catching their breath, the remaining three alive bullywugs were tied and gagged, the room searched for stuff, the trap at the chest deactivated, and its contents identified and stuffed into pockets.

And so they toad him off to the Lizardmen… Or did they?

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And even more castle

Dralmora Borngrey reveals to us that Pharblax stole something from the Hoard (yeah, right) and needs to be punished. So she orders us to kill him, but specifies that this conversation never happened. Agreeing that this would be best done in the morning, while most bullywugs are still asleep, the four heroes continue their search of the castle, clockwise obviously.

At the end of the hallway they enter the mage tower, where they suspect to find Suncaller’s staff, being investigated by the Cult mages. On ground level they find a barred door, with weird zombie noises coming from behind. Q will later plant explosive pod seeds in the crates to free the groaning creatures if need be. There are stairs leading into the basement, but the searching order demands to go upstairs first.

On the second level they find 5 beddings with trunks, similar to their own room. (What else was on this floor?) On the third floor there are six more beds, clearly for more important people as they sport some kind of mattresses. Behind a door, the heroes can make out some kind of chanting. Sheranya knocks on the door, after Osred tries without success to identify the song. A mage opens the door and lets us in after Osred demands the staff for further investigation, on Dralmora’s order.

In the room there are 6 mages, arms covered in intricate tattoos – and one with tattoos also covering his neck and face, performing some kind of blood ritual with an unconscious man. Asking about their progress with the staff the mage points to papers on the table that show star constellations with nouns associated with them, and that we’re free to take them. Not wanting to bother any longer, the heroes leave the room, after detailed investigation of its walls and door. Hiding the staff among Galuzard’s javelins, the four make their way back to their room, storing the staff and continuing the castle search.

The court next to the keep has three aggressive drakes that attack immediately. Before any fighting ensues, three cultists come to our help and calm the drakes, explaining that they don’t recognize our scent yet, but that they will not attack us again. Q gratefully hands over a bit of his owlbear musk to one of the cultists, in hopes that having this smell associated with the handler may help them later. The Red Wizard comes out of his chambers in the keep and explains that the drakes are there to protect him. Luckily he doesn’t recognize us from the caravan.

Inquiring further about the castles hidden dangers, they tell us that the last tower we haven’t visited yet is their trash can, and that it is haunted. Encouraged by this information, the four go over to find a room without floor, but with chest high muck and a staircase leading up. Trying to jump the gap to the stairs, Q is deftly caught by a tentacle, and just as deftly wriggles himself out of it again. Enter 2T, a horrid creature with two tentacles, and really bad breath. Q swiftly gets up and makes minced meat out of the creature with a legendary hack and slash that generations from now will still sing about. Apparently lacking any internal organs that could have been damaged, the creature is still standing and goes for Sheranya, trying to crush and drown her. She just curses and hellish rebukes it, wriggles free as well, and burns it some more. Even taking an arrow from Galuzard doesn’t seem to bother it very much. Only when Osred gets out his flute and pretends to play, the creature topples over and is dead. (Chronological order might be incorrect.)

After the fight, Sheranya jumps back into the muck and stabs the (already dead) creature furiously (as if she has been deprived of chocolate…), and then falling still, looking somewhat out of it. Q moves on and, after some slipping and cursing, gets a chest from the second floor down to Galuzard. It merely contains (adjective?) earrings that she puts on, and a handful of silver. On the third floor Q finds a mirror and asks Sheranya to check if it is magical. She is rather interested in her own reflection, still acting strange. Osred comes to help, and casts identify on her. Waiting for the ritual to do its work, Q explores further and finds a trapdoor to the floor up, approaching which makes him incredibly sad.

Joining Osred again, Q finally succeeds in breaking the spell on Sheranya by convincing her with his charisma (yes, Q’s charisma! probably his ale didn’t hurt…), that she is real. Sheranya doesn’t remember anything. All together they approach the trapdoor despite any cautionary reason, Osred and Galuzard breaking down in tears first, but collecting themselves again soon. Upon opening the door, three incorporeal figures approach from what looks like long dead bodies on the floor. After a spell and magic arrow heavy fight, with Q munching popcorn in the corner, the last form strikes down Sheranya, but shatters in a flash of light emanating from where it hit Sheranya’s left arm. Osred quickly gets her up on her feet again and asks: “What next?”

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Castle Castle Castle

Passing their first night in the castle, the heroes arranged a watch rotation. Through the night, little happened save for the Mere displaying how it got its name. Groans erupted from across the moat, and glowing orbs popped into life. Held off by the orbs, each hero on watch could just barely make out the forms of shambling humanoids. The shamblers’ rotting flesh agitated their noses. Osred tried to throw a rock at them.

Sheranya overheard a conversation between Dralmora and a second voice, with which she was unfamiliar. The gist she understood was that the powers that be in the Cult of the Dragon, aka Rezmir, wish for the bullywugs to help out in running things, but Dralmora herself wants nothing to do with them, seeing the lizardfolk as the superior helpers. The heroes deduced that she, too, would like to see Pharblex killed, and that she wants to use us as her excuse.

Before even breakfast, our heroes were gathered for a meeting with the lizardfolk in their housing area. The leaders squatted around a fire, and discussed the situation of the lizardfolk. Their demands, should we choose to fulfill them, are that we bring Pharblex, alive, to them, and that we recover Suncaller’s staff from wherever it has been put in the castle. We agreed, naturally, determined to figure out later if we would actually side with them.

From our meeting, we elected to explore the castle further. The first room we found ourselves in, the Dragon Chapel, seemed to have scattered idols of prior gods stored in a back room. Osred elected to arrange the Tiamat idols in compromising positions, which he hastily corrected as cultists began streaming in for a service. Q shuffled upstairs to explore, fortunately by this act avoiding the need to act like a cult member. Upstairs from the chapel, the heroes found a great library, stocked with the spoils of many sacked towns. Sheranya found a few scrolls that might be of use in the library.

Above the library, the heroes found a beautifully carved door with a simple padlock. Galuzard, stepping up to pick it, was thrown violently back by a burst of lightning. Cursing, she heaved a javelin and shot an arrow into the face of the door, watching how the lightning arced between them. Fairly certain that they weren’t going in that way, the heroes considered other options. Eventually, Osred turned Q invisible, and Q scrambled out the window and up to the top floor. Around the room, he saw significantly more splendor than elsewhere in the castle, including carved creatures and a large, comfy bed. However, Q heard noises downstairs and, playing it safe, scrambled back down. All the way down. Into the moat. Where he was nipped by alligators before hauling his ass out and back to the group.

Moving clockwise around the castle as planned, the group next encountered the kitchen. The chef was a nice enough fellow, and Q snuck upstairs to grab some fancy grains for his next beer concoction: the Beer of Dead Men.

The next room contained cultists sorting treasures. After asking a few questions about where the loot went (they only knew that the bullywugs carried them off, but didn’t know where to), the heroes were pulled aside by Dralmora and the owner of the voice, …

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Hello, Castle

The group takes all three of the deceased Lizardmen’s canoes across the mere of dead men, following a series of blazes carved and painted on trees. On the trip, Osred and Galuzard are temporarily paralyzed by a deep sense of dread and fear. Kagrak “Q” Hammerfist is just fine. Banking the canoes, the group, still showing their cultist metal, meets the some lizard folk at the end of their 8-mile swamp journey, somewhat down the path. This path is wider and just enough to rise out of the marsh; it bears the footprints of humanoids, lizards, and frogs.

Osred puts on his best performance, warning them in Draconic that something is wrong at the Roadhouse: Dralmora and Pharblex will be interested in our news, but for now we convince them to send a few of their number back to begin investigations of the commotion. Leaving our canoes behind, we walk down the path among these lizardfolk, who believe us to be their friends, packing eventually into three canoes once more along with them. The heroes note that these lizardfolk bear metal swords rather than clubs as the others we have seen. We cross another swamp, Galuzard and Osred (the only who can understand Draconic) chatting with them along the way and only briefly interrupted by their leader’s call to lizardfolk in a hidden checkpoint.

During this canoe journey, we learn that the shaman of the Lizard Folk, Suncaller, was killed by bullywugs (giant frogs). A mysterious lizard man, Snapjaw, obscurely asks Q if he wants to help, but seems uncomfortable talking openly in front of the other lizardfolk.

Upon arriving at Castle Naerytar, we see housing for 80-some bullywugs and an additional 100 or so lizard folk, and that is only the village at the castle’s foot. We are briefly introduced to Pharblex, the scummy leader of the Bullywugs whom we learned was responsible for killing Suncaller. We’re led past lazing bullywug guards, through hallways, and past a forge (where Q notices that the smithing skills of the lizard folk are positively execrable) into a practice room filled with lizardfolk attempting to master their blades. In the middle of this room, we meet Dralmora Borngrey (yes, that Borngrey), an elf who curtly criticizes Sheranya for diluting her heritage and who seems to be in charge of the operation.

Dralmora offers us a place to stay in the second floor of the castle, and plans to send forces back to the Roadhouse as soon as is opportune to deal with “those damn Harpers.” We happily accept her request, and Q volunteers to help in the teaching of smithing to the lizardfolk (who really and truly are execrable at it). Dralmora insists that they be taught Elven smithing rather than Dwarven, and while Q has some opinions about this he does not share them.

Snapjaw leads us up to our room, then quickly tells us his need for help. The lizard folk hate the bullywugs, but some fear that if an attack is made at the wrong time it could bring both the bullywugs and the cultists down upon their heads. He asks us to spark a war between them, and offers information on a drumbeat we’re to play on the bullywugs’ signal drum when we think the time is right. He retires without answering our questions.

Exploring our new surroundings, Galuzard discovers that the hinges on our door are mysteriously well-kept, compared to the ramshackle nature of the rest of the castle. Exploring further, we discover a trapdoor leading to a room on the third floor, which is filled with human, animal, lizard, and frog bones, as well as 5 giant spiders. After a bit of roughness for Galuzard, the other two (Q and Osred) manage to put them to rest, but unfortunately find nothing among the scattered bones. We wonder, however, whether the bones might help provide an excuse for the lizard-bullywug war….

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To the Castle
Through the tunnel of treasure to the beaches of lizardmen slaughter

Things go great in convincing Bogluck that the adventurers are part of the cult of the dragon. Hand symbols are shared, secret phrases are spoken. When Galuzard casually mentions that the shipments are headed North past the roadhouse, Bogluck turns from cautious and possibly convinced to Stabby as he calls for backup.

Things do not go well for Bogluck as he finds that we are better at the stabbing than he is. His indignant manner results in a casual knife to the throat from Sheranya. The Chef is paid off with a fist full of treasure and the guards are locked up in the rooms. This gives our adventurers a head start before trouble follows them through the secret tunnel Underneath Bogluck’s office.

It appears that treasure is shipped to Carnath Roadhouse, through a tunnel, onto canoes and finally to Castle Naertyar in the Mere of Dead Men. Following this path and emerging from the end of a very long tunnel, sits three canoes. Also sitting near these canoes are quote a few lizardmen. Being a very insular group, the lizardmen are not interested in the ideas of outsiders or talking in general. They decide to attack. After some raging, hellish rebukes, faerie fires and crossbowing, the group of Lizardmen are dispatched. It is a very cold blooded affair…Get it? Cause lizards are cold blooded…

Here is what the lizardmen looked like in their alive form:
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Roadhouse
to swamps and roadhouses

The cultists that we had beaten in the previous installment are charmed by Osred, and led to a square where they are picked up by the order of the gauntlet. This was of course after entertaining other options like simply burning them (that particular option being provided by the lawful good Galuzard).

Las Felro has been resurrected. He is some sort of powerful wizard. He didn’t remember much, except for a study and a man in red robes. He gave us a key to his chest that was formed from his blood. It was decided that Q should choose which item in the chest he wanted, since we were only allowed to get one (and Q had entered a life debt to conclude this particular adventure). He now has a fancy golden brooch with which to pin his cape. It looks roughly like a pair of linked shields, and it confers resistance to force damage plus immunity to Magic Missile.

We leave Waterdeep after getting our horses provided to us by the order of the gauntlet. Sheranya purchases an extra horse from the stable owner Gaston just in case. We pay the guards on the way out of town after briefly entertaining either running away swiftly or burning them where they stand (the idea again coming from the lawful good Galuzard ).

The party catches up to the caravan headed to the roadhouse. Donning disguises, and wearing the cultist robes the group uneventfully makes its way around the caravan. Noting that Jamna is part of the caravan, the group decides to camp on a nearby hill and catch up with Jamna. There was probably discussion of burning the caravan.

Using Osred’s ability to turn 2 people invisible, Osred and Sheranya make their way down to the caravan. Failing to hail Jamna with his voice, Osred writes a note, attaches it to a rock, and is able to pass it to Jamna. Jamna decides to travel north with everyone because there happens to be an extra horse.

The group heads north for several days, passing through a couple of nondescript small towns before reaching Carnath Roadhouse. Mark repeatedly makes Roadhouse references for the 1989 Patrick Swayze movie. Actually if he is honest it’s more of a reference to Family Guy referencing roadhouse. Everyone else is confused.

At the roadhouse, Bogluck the roadhouse manager greets everyone, noting that the only people to make their way through the area tend to be workers. Random travelers are an odd sight. Going up to the kitchen we are greeted gruffly by the cook. The cook is initially gruff and bitter, but warms up with some ale from Q. He mentions the noise that is coming from what he assumes is some sort of animal infestation coming from the floor. It appears that strange things are afoot beneath the roadhouse.

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Life and debts

Upon arrival in Waterdeep, the brave guards Q, Galuzard, and Sheranya were paied their remaining salary. The group divided to run their individual errants. Galuzard went with the cultists to report on where they were staying. He found out that they would stay at least one day longer. Osred met up with his buddy Reginald who rewarded him for bringing him Owl Bear Musk, which Reginald intended to modify and improve its scent to flood the market with it. Q and Sheranya went to the church of Pelor, after Osred’s recommendation, to inquire about the revival and curse removal procedure. The high priest determined that it is a binding spell, that bound Lasfelro’s life force to the Gargoyle. In order to make Lasfelro whole again, the chain needed to be fixed first, then both of them revived and finally, Lasfelro’s body killed. This all would be way to expensive, but luckily the merchant gave us the blue chip, token of a life debt, which might be able to “pay” for the procedure.

The four adventurer’s met up again later that day in the “Lifted Skirt”, to discuss their findings and new plans. Lasfelro’s wagon was parked behind the inn, and hist chest, gargoyle and body carried into their room for safekeeping.

The next day, they went to Deren, the man the hight priest had directed us to, who happened to be the minister of life debts in Waterdeep. Deren took the blue chip in exchange for an affidavit and sent us to Lady Denari. The chip belonged to her. Lady Denari, a former Paladin in some high dude’s service (and worshiper of Torm), agreed to deliver the service, but only in exchange for another life debt, as we wanted to revive two creatures. Q, after some hesitation, offered his. The resurrection and curse removal procedure would happen the following day.

Afterwards Q and Sheranya went to their Gauntlet contact and invited Osred into the club. (Galuzard refrained from coming as it might have jeopardized his good standing with the cultists.) Everybody stocked up from the meagre supplies there were, and agreed to pursue the cultists further north, trying to stall their plans, whatever they might be. Instead of joining another convoy led by Ardred Briferhew (a convoy charged of repairing the roads), they decided to go by themselves on horseback, the latter provided by the Gauntlet. The contact also talked of a rumour, that the Zhentarim, a dark network of illuminati thieves, had gained an “interest” in the cultists, as they felt threatened in their position of being the ones to rule the world soon.

On the way back, the heroes were ambushed by a group of cultist, led by a women in cool purple robes and chainmail, and the ball-punched guy among them. They didn’t like that we had been meddling in their business, and didn’t want to talk about it either. So we instead cleaved, lulled, insulted, grilled, and burned them, leaving only four of them alive. One of them was very talkative, and so we learned about Mondath, wearer of purple, different greeting hand signs, and the precise location of their meeting point in the Mere of Dead Men, the Carnath road house. We tied all of them up to be delivered to the Gauntlet for further questioning, keeping their clothes and scabbards, just in case.

Back in the “Lifted Skirt”, our heroes went to sleep, glad to have gotten a chance to whet their skills, and eager for what the next day might bring. Would Lasfelro come back from the dead? Would he remember how he had died and reveal their shameful secret? Would the remaining cultist in Waterdeep rally to confront the troublemakers? Would Sheranya get her purple outfit? Stay tuned…

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New friends, new enemies

We are in the bar, meet Osred. Osred accepts a vial of potent owlbear musk from Q. The cultists all leave together and go down the street, collecting traveling goods that are clearly meant to last more than seven days – maybe 2-3 weeks?

Salazar and Sheranya go invisible and listen in to the cultists’ room in the tavern by climbing outside their window. He sees a map showing a route going to Mere of Dead Men (??).

Jemna, a female that Q spoke with at the bar, joins Bayd’s caravan.
A man with a wool hat also joins the cultists.
Jemna is keeping an eye on the man with a wool hat. Some of us notice. She notices that some of us notice. Some of us notice that she notices that some of us have noticed. It is unclear whether or not she notices that some of us notice that she notices that some of us have noticed.

Sheranya approaches Jemna about this, Jemna notes that we have enemies more powerful than we may realize. She refuses to tell which side she’s on, saying “the enemy of my enemy …” winks, and walks off.

A few days later, we have oatmeal. Ewww! Luckily, Jemna stopped Q from eating a little kernel in her oatmeal that would open up all these spikes in her stomach and slowly kill her. Phew! Salazar finds some things that look similar but we are not yet sure.

A couple of scary horned meat-loving birds try to kill us. We kill them instead.

End scene.

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Sheranya plays the intimidation game

After Q convinced everybody to stay in the castle, the caravan starts to calm down and gets ready for the night. The selfless heroes divide the guard between them, making sure to be in pairs and have at least one person with night vision on guard. The night remains calm though, and everybody (except the guards) gets a restoring and well-deserved rest.

The next morning, before the camp starts to awake, Q, and Sheranya decide to follow the bandit’s tracks through the hole in the ground, to see where they might lead. Galuzard is completely baffled by this idea (“tracks? There are clearly no tracks visible anywhere…”), but follows along. Surprisingly it is Galuzard who finds the bandits’ leatherpouches in the bushes near what looks like a forward camp. A whole 21 silverdollars! Which the three of them decide to not be worthy of splitting with the others.

Back at the castle, they search the bandit king’s clothes and find 28gp, of which they give 3gp to the farmer family and divide the rest among the five heroes (Salazar gets 5gp). (I feel like we don’t like complicated math…)

Back on the road, the caravan reaches the Trollbark Forest after a couple of days. The dense undergrowth and, twisted trees, and burbling bogs slow the caravan down a bit. But other than scaring the little kids, it seems fairly harmless. On the third day, as the caravan is going over a small rise, the horses on the forth wagon – a cultist wagon – get spooked and bolt ahead, tipping over the wagon in the sharp curve ahead. Crates tumble out and some shatter on the ground.

Q immediately runs to their “help”, hardly being able to conceal his grin at this newly found opportunity. But by the time he gets to the wagon, the cultist guards have already blocked off the area and try to usher people away. He still gets a good look at it though, seeing all kinds of stuff individually wrapped in linen on the ground. Galuzard help is refused as well, although a bit friendlier, as he has not been initiated yet.

Somehow the farmer has made it through the line of guards and is holding up two items in his hands, one clearly a family heirloom of sorts, shouting “And what is this now?” He is approached by one of the guards and commanded with an icy stare to leave immediately. Sheranya thus asks the fake merchant for an explanation. A slightly heated debate follows during which the fake merchant claims that he owns a pawn shop. But Sheranya is not fooled by that, as the market for pawned in Baldur’s gate surely is more promising than in Waterdeep. But before anything else happens, Galuzard steps in and ushers Sheranya away, trying to keep the peace and slowly growing trust of the cultists in him.

Mary Bullocks, the farmer’s wife, also is not fooled and outraged by what she thinks (rightly so) is stolen goods. She yells at the cultists and spreads nasty words about them. Back on the road, Sheranya approaches the family and tells them to keep it down, lest she might not wake up in the morning. She promises Mary that the cultists will end up in one of the nine hells for what they did.

A couple of days later the Trollbark Forest gives way to a beautiful landscape with rolling hills and lush farmland. Following a small stream, the road soon reaches a small town called Haverford. There’s a fancy-ass statue that’s a little too nice for a town like this, but not inconceivable. But even the innkeeper doesn’t know how the person was.

We get some ale and sit next to Las Felro, the Gargoyle’s owner, outside in the beer garden. He begins a joke: “A dick, a pig, and a squirrel walk into a bar, …” and then sits stone-still. He occasionally comes to life and says “One of stoooone…..” then goes back to stone-stillness. We determine that this is uncanny and that he is calling for help, so we carry him back to his caravan (as he wouldn’t walk), where the gargoyle comes to live and stares at us through glinting eyes. It also starts to talk and urges us to kill Las Felro. Further inquiries into why or what doesn’t yield any useful answers. It seems as if the Gargoyle’s memory had been altered, and Las Felro continues to be as stupefied as before.

Weighing our options, we agree that killing Las Felro does not sound like a good option. If only because it might be hard to talk our way out of killing an innocent because a gargoyle told us to. Q thinks that we should try cutting the silver chain that attaches the gargoyle to the wagon’s frame. Sheranya agrees as it seems to be a safe option, despite the chain being clearly of magical nature. But what does she know of magic…

Q proceeds to cut the chain and succeeds on the second attempt, resulting in both the gargoyle and Las Felro arching back in pain and screaming, before they fell limb, and in Las Felro’s case, dead. “Well, shit!” Galuzard tries to tie the chain back together, but instead it dissolves in thin air (or did just the knot dissolve?). Sheranya suggests to check out the chest anyway. But Galuzard’s attempt to pick the lock results in the lock pick shooting back out of the keyhole and burying itself into a wooden post behind her. Hearing footsteps approaching, Sheranya shouts for help, pretending that they too had just arrived at the grizzly scene.

Immediately, Manaar is fetched and assesses the situation. She deduces that Las Felro and the gargoyle have been linked with some kind of curse. She suspects that we could find someone in Waterdeep to remove the curse and revive them, but only if Las Felro’s body doesn’t rot. Owing that much to Las Felro, the three pay Manaar 80gp to cast a preservation spell upon the body, which we place on the bed inside the wagon.

Frustrated and sad, the three go back to the Inn, where Galuzard starts carving masks at the bar while slurping four pints of beer. Q goes to sit at the creek, and Sheranya tries to overcome her frustration by singing it away with the local people.

Out of the corner of his eyes, Q sees some commotion around the cooking area, and hurries there to see what’s going on. Everything indicates that Mary has been poisoned, having dropped her tea mug, choking, and being all pale and green. Again, Manaar is called again, who arrives just in time to reverse the poisoning. One caravan guard draws his conclusion a little too fast and accuses Salazar of the deed, as he also butchered a horse cold-bloodedly just a few days ago. Sheranya stares him down and tells him to shut tf up, “you dumb shit of an arse”. Mary, obviously and probably correctly, thinks that the fake pawn merchant is behind this to take revenge.

Sheranya, having enough for the day, stomps over to the fake merchant, followed closely by Q. Apparently height sums up, as the two 5’ shortlings appear to frighten the guards around the merchant, which Sheranya steps up to, barely an inch away. She threatens him, whispering that if anything, anything, happens to Mary again, no matter the cause, he will be a dead man. As response he only spits her in the face – which she takes as a confirmation of her suspicions, punches him in the balls, and walks off.

Night falls.

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