Table of Contents
19th of Mirtul of the year 1492
After winding up at the Ammakyl store and saying their goodbyes to the merchants they rescued, Sky suddenly spoke up.
“Hey guys. I just remembered something my mother had told me about where to look or what to do if she ever disappeared. I am going to run back to Waterdeep and start there. I am hoping to not end up naked again.”
And with that, Sky ran off with small amounts of dust following his heels. Tina Ammakyl escorted Fogo, Fwoosh, and Angelica to Wescott’s Saddlers to help them purchase a new ride. With Tina helping, the group was able to get a used wooden covered wagon and four draft horses. There was not really much negotiation, but Fwoosh was quick to make a friend of Nesbis and accepted the prices offered.
While one group was purchasing the wagon, the second group of Vladimir, ISAC and Avery went to the Stone Stallion to get a room for the night for everyone. After ringing the bell on the counter for over 15 minutes someone finally came to serve the ones waiting. For a small fee they were able to rent a medium room on the top floor again. The floor that was the most damage and set aside for mercenaries and those most likely to cause troubles. Signing in as “The Watchers” which only caused a serious eyeroll from the girl serving them. Going up the room, the only thing that was new were several deep scars in the wall of the hallway of the sixth floor. Which was a bit amazing since all the surfaces were protected by magic.
Avery rushed to the bath while ISAC rested on one of the couches within the room not watching Avery, nor paying for it. Vladimir headed downstairs to wait for the others to arrive so they would all know where the room is and be able to go to dinner together. Eventually the rest of the group arrived with Vladimir asked if they had also acquired any wagon fluid, which confused and concerned Fwoosh. It was then Vladimir explained that it was just a joke which Fwoosh was not at all happy about and did not understand.
Vladimir stayed behind for his bath while the rest went to the Stag’n’Flag for a late meal. Upon entry, the inside had not appreciably changed except the middle of the room had been emptied with an eight-foot woman standing there encouraging any burly man available to wrestle with her. The group made their way to a table ordered some food and drink. The mix of patrons within the Stag’n’Flag was a bit different from normal. There were far less nobles within than any of the previous visits. There were more merchants and even soldiers from the Iron Terminal, the new fortification being built on the edge of town.
The large woman was able to talk the muscled guard into a wrestling match which took more time to talk about it than the actual bout. She picked him up by the top of his head, spun him around and slammed him into the ground. She then one-handed picked him up and dropped him into a chair at the table he had so recently vacated. It did not take long for the large woman to make her way over and started talking to Fog, who was also over seven-feet tall. It seemed she had found her newest opponent.
Fogo was willing and was able to last an entire three rounds before a quick suplex laid him out flat and unmoving. He was carried by the large woman back to his table and introduced herself as Dlara and a friend of the owner. After being offered a bottle of fine wine, she opened and answered many questions from the party. She revealed that she was a wizard and wrestling was just a fun pastime for her.
She talked about having moved here from Waterdeep with her friend. Dlara specifically researched planar activity and movement. She was interested in the wider multiverse, but was not that familiar with the elemental plans, there were not an area she had interest in. When asked about the odd things happening further north, she did admit that it was odd, and smelled like the elemental planes were somehow intruding on this plane. She explained, it could be gods, demons or devils, artifacts, wizards, planar holes or portals, elemental lords trying to push their way into this plan, or even any or all those possible combinations. It could even be something she knew nothing about.
She also talked about the rumors of a set of ruins hidden under Horse Pond. The tomb of a barbarian maiden queen buried hundreds of years ago. Her tomb hidden inside some sort of pocket or plane under the water. She has been searching for it but has of yet not found anything. The Horse Pond is almost 800 feet deep at the deepest and is artificial. When the tomb was built, the pond was dug up and then the whole thing filled with water burying the tomb and any secrets under the water.
Avery took advantage of her good will and had her determine what the scroll was that they had found in the Ruined Moathouse. Looking for the coin and not adding these to his spell book in the future, Avery sold the scroll to her for a small amount of gold. It was with that entry that Fogo wanted to know more about arcane magic, and she briefly spoke about the Tapestry and how wizards pull the threads of it to create their spells.
It was then that Vladimir entered the tavern. It was at that point that Fwoosh decided that he should also joke with Vladimir. She convinced Dlara the body slam Vladimir to the ground, which she happily responded with a smack down that almost knocked out Vladimir. It was at that point that the party started discussing what a practical joke really was. With that she departed and wandered over to the bar counter.
Before everyone split up, there was a quick discussion for the plans in the morning, and then Angelica and Avery headed back to the room, with Fogo and ISAC headed to Horse Pond to have a location to have a quiet chat, leaving Vladimir and Fwoosh behind with some partially empty bottles of wine and another order of biscuits. The two left behind at the tavern drank a little more and then also headed back to the room.
Fogo and ISAC had a lengthy discussion on the naturalness or unnaturalness of what ISAC is. It was a long and somewhat esoteric conversation that covered a lot of subjects about what is alive, what makes a person, their shell or their inside, and just what seems to make sense between them. Nothing was fully resolved, but Fogo did admit while still feeling somewhat uncomfortable, was willing to support ISAC still fully in the party and would still do everything he could to support and protect him.
Eventually everyone made it back to the room and they settled in for a rest they all felt they deserved.
20th of Mirtul of the year 1492
Starting early the next morning, Vladimir went to the saddlers by himself to get everything ready for their trip, while Avery visited a poorly managed egg and poultry store purchasing a dozen eggs.
Angelica, Fwoosh, and ISAC headed to the sundries store. Purchasing as many healing potions they could find as well as some random gear that they hoped would help them more in the future. They were offered and mechanical canary but only Fwoosh was a little interested but was talked out of the purchase. They did discover that a gnome had been by that they through was probably Jepos. ISAC found an interesting little cat pendent that seemed to be interesting enough for him to purchase. Once completed, they headed to the saddlers.
While everyone else was occupied, Fogo headed to the Dwarvish Smith’s forge. He arrived at loud banging and pounding as the forge was active and busy. Meeting one of the young female dwarves inside he attempted to negotiate for some ratty reptile skins he had, but finally settled on giving them a very large pile of cash to have the chiton of the Ankheg turned into a breastplate for himself. Heading to the saddlers to meet everyone else, the group was once again together.
For some reason, Avery seemed to know about the cat pendent to which ISAC gave it to him. When Avery found out that there were mechanical birds available, he ran off to the sundries store and bought the canary as well as a mechanical owl. He rejoined the group and all of them got on to Long Road and headed to Red Larch. Only Fwoosh was unhappy since he had wanted to purchase the mechanical canary but felt that ISAC had talked him out of it.
By the time they finally got on the road it was midday, the farthest they would be able to reach would be the fortified outpost to the north. During the trip Fogo concentrated on the magic ring they had acquired from Lareth and Avery seemed focused on his new cat pendent. Only an hour later Avery dropped out of the back of their wagon, stroked gently and with care and yelled out the following.
And a medium sized hairless cat appeared with a saddle and seemed to be ready to be ridden by Avery.
Hairless Cat Mount
Hopping on, Avery took a ride on his new acquisition.
It shrunk back down into its pendent for with which Avery put it back on and hopped back on to the wagon. They eventually arrived at the fortified outpost just before dark. They were once again greeted by the guards, a different set from previously. With some conversation with the sergeant that met them at the gate some additional information came to light about their commander back in Amphail.
“So, you met the commander; he is a hoot. Every man here would die for him. It would have been better off if they had not told him to retire. There is not a better man you could have guided you or driving you. None of us would be here without him.”
After a quick inspection of the people and wagon, the party was allowed to camp near the outpost for the evening. Avery yelled out as they set up camp.
And his hairless riding cat disappeared back into its pendent form. Fogo continued to strive to make a meal for the group, it was not horrible, nor was it great, but it was edible and somewhat tasty. Deciding that this camp site was most likely safe being adjacent to the outpost, everyone slept as if their lives have never been in danger.
21st of Mirtul of the year 1492
Morning arrived without anyone being stolen for a snack, no surprise attacks, just another normal morning, one of the first in the last two weeks for them. As they were getting ready and with a quick move Vladimir seemed to be able to see behind his back and saved Avery from being kicked in the head by one of the horses named ‘William”.
It was at that point, that Vladimir requested Fogo to look for any additional magic around the wagon. It seemed that most of the party members had been hearing a voice of an old man in their heads. ISAC pointed out he had talked about this before, that he had a friend Kieran that was around. Everyone suspected that he had been communicating with them for some reason. When pressed for more information, ISAC explained a bit more about his friend.
After a quick meal they got their wagon and horses ready and after an hour or so managed to get back on the road again. The day progressed without any issues, but at some point, Fogo noticed a pair of hippogriffs flying parallel to the long road for a period and flew off to the north.
The afternoon rolled by, and evening was approaching the party find a camp site near the road for the evening. As they started setting up, the weather began to change once again. Black clouds have continued to grow further south. Lightning was frequent and the roar of thunder could easily be heard as the storm was moving toward them. While not raining on them, it was only a matter of time before it reached their location.
When looking around and seemingly directed to a location, ISAC found a pile of large dung. Calling Fogo over to identify it, it seemed to Fogo that it came from some sort of bear, but not quite. Bears are omnivores whereas this stool came from a carnivore of some type, but still resembled bear feces. This news only concerned the party that they might have a large creature in the area.
Approaching Lightning Storm
The group headed to bed attempting to have some sort of watch at night to try and keep the camp safe. It was during late at night that the storm arrived. The lightning was blinding for those on watch and the loud thunder not only made all the horses nervous, but also prevented everyone from getting a full night’s rest leaving everyone fatigued.
22nd of Mirtul of the year 1492
With everyone awake far too early with the storm pounding the outside of the wagon, everyone was feeling tired and not just a little irritable. Working together to get the wagon and horses ready they were ready to get out of the storm and get to Red Larch. The storm kept away any creatures that might have attacked them, but at the end of the day they were still a half day away from probably safety.
Deciding to push on and further exhaust themselves and their horses even more they attempted to make the remainder of the trip to Red Larch.
23rd of Mirtul of the year 1492
It was early morning, and prior to sunrise, the storm finally broke several miles away from Red Larch allowing them to reach the town in rough condition with everyone filled with exhaustion and the horses ready to drop.
And this is where the session ended.
It was a long trip, but they made it safely back to Red Larch. With everyone with several levels of exhaustion, the group will not be able to do much for a couple of days. They are very close to the conclusion of the Prelude and only have a few things left to find and accomplish. Maybe then they can take a small rest, much like the calm before the storm.