As the group discusses the possible questions to ask the merchant’s dead body, Barrus mentions that he would like to ask if the Stone Tooth is a location. Questioned about the pointedness of this specific question, he reveals to the group that he used to be a guide between Sundabar and the dwarven Citadels around the Rauvin Mountains in the North East part of the Silver Marches, and spent some time after the Darkening traveling with his mentor in that area, and they came up a remote valley deep in orcish territory with a peak that looked like a stone tooth. His mentor mentioned that this peak was called the Stone Tooth and he had heard it was a landmark for an old dwarven Kingdom in the area, of which Barrus had never heard anything about before.
With the group’s agreement, this is the first question asked, and the dead body answer “yes” to that question.
The next question the group asks is “Where is the dark lake with the Black death?” to which the response is “under the Stone Tooth”
The last question is then “What did you need more of?” to which the response is “Durggedin’s weapons”
As the ritual ends with the last question, Ceylian offers hospitality to the group, mentioning that it is a tradition for temples of Tymora to offer hospitality to adventurers groups for up to 9 days for free. He thanks the group again for the insights they have shared, and mention that he will keep them informed the next morning after the priests check on the people that got raised here in the past years.
As the priests complete a preservation ritual on Cuslan’s body, the adventurers are taken to a sparsely furnished suite of rooms all arranged around a common room with table and chairs, located in another part of the Temple’s basement. Barrus decides to head out for the night, visibly feeling uncomfortable in the temple’s surroundings.
Amitreene decides to go to one of the local tavern and gather some information about the strange occurence that happened three days ago, as they were about to head out with Cuslan. Baelfyre decides to tag along. Everyone they talk to that evening remembers it vividly, the sense of dread felt and the goosebumps and all… After an hour they decide to head back to rest.
Chiwyll, Baelfyre and Juniper head out to the castle on the western shores of the river where the Shields of Yartar are garrisoned, bringing their prisoner with them. A captain of the local guards meet them, and they explain their presence in the caravan that was attacked east of the city a few days ago. Their confusing explanations seem to puzzle the Captain, who mentions his forces have investigated the scene of the attack for the past days and asks why the characters did not report the attack earlier if they survived it.
Not fully convinced by the characters’ role in this episode, he then decides to interrogate the prisoner, which once ungagged immediately claim that he has been attacked by the adventurers, and they stole his stuff.
Baelfyre retorts that he saw him kill a sergeant leading the caravan’s guards, and then flee in the woods in the middle of the assault.
Leejen claims it is a lie, he just fled because the caravan was being overunned, and did not kill anyone.
Chiwyll and Juniper realize that the only witness to the alleged murder is Baelfyre, and it is now a shouting contest between Leejen and Baelfyre.
Asking if there is any proof of the ranger’s alleged evil deeds, the adventurers must confess that there is only Baelfyre’s testimony.
The Captain then asks them to stay in town for a few days, while he takes custody of the ranger.
After concerting together back in the Temple of Tymora, with Barrus back from his night out (he still has some leaves tucked in one of his boot), they all decide to spend a few days in town and start do their trainings.
Juniper isolates herself to practice her martial routines in a very quiet location of the temple, Baelfyre hires a master at arms to practice his sword moves, while Chywill does his own weapon practice against a training dummy in one of the training rooms of the temple.
Barrus heads out of town again for the day to do his own training in the wild, Joren focuses on his books’ study while Amitreene focus on her own spellbook.
Later that day, the High Priest pay them all a visit and inform them that they have talked to a few of the people that have been raised in the past years in this temple, and all of them show some symptoms of the same disease that both Cuslan and Karina have shown, albeit not as advanced. He shares that none of the people they met had been killed by dragons before being raised. Their best theory now is that both Cuslan and Karina both seem to have a very frail constitution, and that the disease may have progressed faster with them that it is progressing for others.
Lastly, he mentions that all the people they came across started feeling the first symptoms around the end of the last month, only a couple of ten-days ago.
The next day, with no news from the Captain yet, the group decides to keep training. When the Captain finally shows up in the middle of the afternoon, he informs them that they have tracked the orcs, hobgoblins and goblins footprints from the attack’s location to a nearby cove from a small branch of the river, and found large crude boats used by the attackers to cross. The humanoids must have come from the southern hills to set up their ambush. Asking the characters if they have obtained any proof about their allegation against Leejen, the group stands by their story, mentioning Varus of the Crushing Wave as the ring leader of the attack, while Barrus explains how he got whispered messages from him, after he summoned his elemental to protect the last surviving members of the caravan. Varus had asked him as a “brother of the Mighty Earth” to hand him over the merchant, which Barrus refused. They then let the captain know they have to go to Everlund and plans to come back within the next ten-day, and possibly bring proof of Leejen’s involvment in the plot.
Finishing their training for the day, the group then regroup the following morning, riding to Everlund with Cuslan’s body and Chloe. At the location of the attack, a patrol of the Shields of Yartar is still clearing the remnant of the wagons and carts, and putting the remaining goods still there in carts. The Sergeant inform them they found and killed a few scattered humanoid stragglers, but the group decides to continue on their way eastward. The weather is bad with short episodes of storms and pouring rains, making the journey uncomfortable. They meet a small group of men having a camp fire by the side of the road and continue on. They camp alongside the road, and head out the next day to reach Calling Horns by end of day, where they arrive before a medium sized caravan coming from Yartar, after declining the offer of the caravan master to escort them up to Everlund.
After a night there, they head out toward Olostin’s Hold, their next stop, and during the day, they come across a group of boars grazing by the road and taking mud baths. They decide to add bacon to their regimen of fruit, berries and small games that Barrus have been providing so far. A short fight occurs, where Juniper is wounded by one charging boar, but eventually all boars are dispatched, one of them taken for roasting later and the five others left on the side of the road for the incoming caravan to find. This night, they feast on the boar and go to sleep, when in the early hours of the morning Amitreene hear commotion happening south of their camping ground. She wakes everyone up, and they decide to investigate, Barrus keeping Chloe at the camp site. After a few minutes in the darkness, they come upon a fight between a small goblin hunting party and two boars by a small pond. The party attacks, dancing lights are cast to provide light for Juniper and Joren, and the goblins are quickly dispatched. They all have a tribal symbol of a thorn crown entwined around a short sword. The group finishes the night without completing their long rest and head east again at first light.
By the day, still under persistent rain and short burst of stormy weather, they get closer and closer from the Evermoor. In the middle of the afternoon, a buzzing sound coming from the North get their attention, and they see a small cloud of flying creatures, each one the size of a bird heading in their direction. Juniper perceives the creature as flying moles, and Baelfyre sends the group to gallop to attempt to avoid the dozen of more creatures buzzing in their direction, flying low above the ground. Chywill loses control of his horse who separates from the group and start dashing unbriddled southward in the surrounding hills. The flying critters pursue the main group up the road, when Juniper opens her eversmoking bottle creating a thick cloud of smoke behind them. The flying swarm then lose interest in the pursuit, and buzzes off. The group reconnects with Chiwyll who has fallen from his uncontrolled horse, and finally locate the horse a little bit farther.
They resume their journey toward Olostin’s Hold, which they reach later in the afternoon, informing a patrol from the local militia of the presence of the flying critters a few miles west from them, and learning from them that they were probably stirges, blood sucking pests that love sucking the blood out of any horse, or human unlucky to be in their path.
The last day of travel from Olostin’s Hold to Everlund happens without further incidents, and by the end of this 26th day of Ches 1489DR they enter the walls of the free city of Everlund. They try to find the location of Beregond’s Estate with the help of 6 years old Chloe with little luck until one of the adventurer suggest to find a shop she really likes, and she mention the candy store behind the big tower. From there, she can lead them to the fancy mansion that was called home by Cuslan, Beregond’s Estate in Everlund.
They go straight to the front door, and knock to deliver Chloe back to her family. A butler opens up and soon goes to fetch Bolen Sulmaster, the regent of the estate. The group informs him about the contract, the death of the merchant and the return of Chloe. As he is reading through the contract, some in the group seem to perceive a quickly hidden burst of anger, and the regent agrees to complete his part of the contract after checking that the body is indeed Cuslan’s. Amitreene asks if they can meet Satine, to which he responds that she is resting at the moment, and is not available. He will be glad to introduce them to her in one or two days if they want. The regent informs them that the merchant left earlier than he planned to Waterdeep to do a big donation to the temple of Waukeen there in the hope of finding a cure to his disease, after exhausting all the healers and clerics here in town. Despite his cold politedness, he seems eager to see the adventurers on their way, and sign the contract once the adventurers agree to release Chloe, Cuslan’s body as well as his signet ring, into his custody.
As they leave the mansion, their quest completed and a signed contract of ownership for a weapon store in Waterdeep, Joren asks his raven to peak around all the windows of the second floor of the mansion, and the adventurers then easily find a comfortable inn, the Golden Eel, thanks to Chiwyll’s familiarity with the city.
After the group settles, take their first hot baths after these nearly two ten-days on the road, and enjoy the comfort that this inn provides (all matching what Chiwyll mentioned it would be), they regroup for the diner together and discuss the next steps. Barus is missing though.
As they dine, the raven returns to Joren, and he learns that a teenager girl is indeed resting in one of the bedrooms in the second floor, but she looks bruised and battered.
After the diner, as Barus is still nowhere to be seen, the group looks for him, thinking that may be he fell asleep, but his bedroom is empty, untouched. As the adventurers regroup in the main room, and discuss Barus strange behavior in Yartar, and tonight’s disappearance, a tavern hand brings a sealed letter.
“Hi, Your dwarven friend said that I should give you this letter if I see you looking for him. Seems like that is what you are doing, right?”
The letter contains a well drawn map showing the location of the Stone Tooth peak, as well as the following message.
“Friends, if you stay in the region, it is possible that our paths will cross again, but I have to walk my own path for now.
I have left you a map to reach the remote valley in the Rauvin Mountains where the Stone Tooth I know of is located, in case you decide to search for it.
Please take good care of my horse.
Well met and safe travels!