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17th of Mirtul of the year 1492
Starting the morning on the edge the swamp, the weather was remarkably warmer than the previous several days. It took only a day to reach the Long Road where they decided to camp on the side of the Long Road. It was a nice change to have the merchants take care of the camp and everything related to setting up the camp. While not stated, it was evident that the group needed some camp nannies to help them out.
At some point of the day, Angelica noticed that one of the merchant drivers kept looking up confused. When asked about it, she was told.
“I saw something weird flying above us not long ago. It seemed like a horse with wings or something.”
Later in the day one of the other drivers also noticed something flying in the sky. The report was basically the same as he first description. Deciding that if someone were on top of the wagon, they might be able to get a better view of whatever might be flying around. Fwoosh and Sky decided that they would be the ones to watch from on top of the wagons.
Later during the afternoon, Sky was able to notice far away some creatures flying. It was not horses with wings, but a creature with an eagle in the front part and a horse in the rear part. After discussing it between themselves, they were able to figure out that it was a hippogriff. Now that they were more aware of what might be flying, they were able to watch more carefully.
The hippogriffs seemed to be flying parallel to the road and occasionally there were more than one flying, and looking closer, they noticed that people were riding these creatures. Vladimir was able to remember that there have been some military forces that have used flying creatures in some of their more elite units. He vaguely remembered a former Waterdeep unit that had all quit together and moved somewhere else. They were called “feather-something”, he could not remember the entire name.
The group finally reached the Long Road as night approached. The merchants quickly set up camp and took care of the horses and wagons. At some point Fwoosh looked for Jepos and noticed that he had started putting together some new clothes to replace his rags, some new shoes, and even started tailoring some of the clothing from the dead bandits to fit him. The rest of the night was uneventful If not a little fearful with the thought of those creatures flying above them somewhere.
18th of Mirtul of the year 1492
The morning was simple, and everyone worked together to take the camp down, the party, the former prisoners, the horses, and the remaining two wagons all headed south toward Amphail. Nothing happened on the route south, however, ISAC stopped everyone to look at where they had been ambushed two weeks ago. It was very puzzling and alarming. All the bodies were gone, the fallen trees gone, the ground seemed to have been repaired. It was like the ambush had never happened. Fogo pointed out that it must have taken a druid, or powerful magic to have fix everything like it was.
While still on top of the wagons, Fwoosh and Sky kept an eye on the sky but instead of hippogriffs, they instead saw that the sky north of them was no longer a dark orange, nothing unnatural, there were only a few dark clouds. It was toward the late afternoon Fwoosh was able to see faintly four things flying in the sky. Something to the east of them. Four creatures flying in formation.
The last few hours of the day passed, and they began to reach their camping site, they saw a fortified outpost sitting on the side of the road. As they approached, ten soldiers came marching out, soldiers that were all wearing Waterdeep uniforms. The same uniforms as the soldiers in Rassalantar.
These soldier unlike the ones in Rassalantar, these were all older me, scarred and much more serious. Vladimir was able to recognize their specific unit. They were a well decorated and were veterans of many wars. While he did not remember their commanders name, he did remember the two nicknames he had, which was “The Law Giver”, and “The Butcher”. A strict man, one that kept the law very rigidly.
Stopped and queried by the sergeant they were instructed to park and camp next to the outpost. After an inspection by the solders and the group sharing some information about the Ruined Moathouse, the party was told that they would be escorted to Amphail the next day and brought to the Commander, who now was the Lord Warder of Amphail.
Getting the camp set up, the group rested with a contingent of guards wandering around their camp during the night. Another uneventful night passed them by.
19th of Mirtul of the year 1492
With the soldiers coming to the camp before daylight and attempting the roust the group, the merchants managed to get the party together and on the road with the soldiers jogging beside the wagons as everyone else road them. Arriving at Amphail another surprise greeted them as they could see a large Motte and Bailey being constructed by several hundred workers. The wooden walls were already constructed, a 70-foot hill sat in the southern part and a stone tower was being constructed. The small fort would easily be able to hold at least a hundred men.
As they slowly road into town, they were also able to smell the Middens. It seems that someone had burned it to the ground since they were here last. The sergeant led them into the fort and had them park while he ran up the staircase up the hill to the tower. There were also two stone fortified buildings being built inside. The entire fort would be completed before the end of the month. It was at this point that the party realized that Jepos was gone and no longer with them. They were not sure at what point he had run off.
They with the sergeant waited to be called by the commander. When they told him about the missing gnome, the sergeant seemed to be confused since he and his men had not seen the other gnome, nor had recorded his presence. They gave a description and what little details they had about him. After an hour they were finally called up to meet the commander. Sky and Fwoosh used this opportunity to rush and run to the top of the stairs. Only through their excellent dexterity allowed them to get up those uneven and treacherous steps and not fall and seriously injure themselves.
They were escorted into the commander’s office and seated in chairs fanned out around his desk. There sat the commander, Briiathor Alogarr.
A tense discussion then took place, mostly tense for the characters and much less so for the very stern commander. They explained about themselves and how they managed to rescue the Ammakyl merchants with most of the details of what they had found and faced. They gave him their map from the Constable and later during the conversation the letter they found in Lareth’s room. He was also surprised by the varied weather and temperature changes in the swamp, and even that there was a swamp in the valley. After being told about the bleeding eye tattoos, he seemed to recognize it and told them that the name of the commander of those bandits was called Lucius Morgan.
He was also apprised of the possible water cult using the drow water symbol. The Lord Warder asked a lot of clarifying questions and pushed for answers in several different ways. While asking questions, he also revealed more information about the different forces in the valley and their distribution. He was curious about what had been encountered, how many of different types, and how skilled each group they encountered might have been.
They had also mentioned that they had seen several hippogriffs with riders in the area as well. Briiathor remembered about a unit from a few years ago called the Feathergale Knights that had been serving in Waterdeep under the command of Thurl Merosska. There was some sort of scandal with nobles and their leader led them all away to somewhere else. It was assumed they had become mercenaries of some sort. He also expressed his admiration for the Knights of Samular, and that they are considered very trustworthy.
He did query into all their circumstances and reasons for being in the valley and specifically Red Larch. As a final part of their discussion, they also mentioned that there had been a gnome with them but had disappeared. The party was requested to tell them if they encountered this gnome again. He also requested that they seek and destroy any remaining bandits since they had not yet killed all that were around. It would take many more bandits to have taken out the Ammakyl wagon train than they had encountered so far.
Before departing they were given a small, silvered coin with a gauntlet with lightning bolts on it. It represented this military unit and would allow them to make contact and request assistance sometime in the future.
With the merchants, the group headed down to the Ammakyl store to settle accounts and deliver the freed merchants. The once again met Tina Ammakyl and other shopkeepers. There were a lot of sad stories told as the merchants talked about who was missing. In the end only eight came back out of the over 40 that had left with the merchant train. Tina rewarded them and even bought the contents of the wagons and any else they wanted to sell no matter the source.
And it was here where the session ended.