Outcasts and Refugees

Session 15

Good thing we bought horses.

That next day’s travel was probably the most difficult that the group had faced together. Sleep deprivation made the constant guard a tricky task. But the well traveled road was merciful, and the caravan made up for their interrupted night with a long rest.
Over the next few days, the group pushed their horses to the peak of their stride and then just past it. A week passed on the road to Baldur’s Gate, but on the morning of the ninth day, Varn Gargengrim awoke to declare that they would reach Baldur’s gate by mid-day.
Sure as he promised, the group cleared a low hill to see the walls of the great city, and the sprawl of merchants and citizens that flooded out into the surrounding plains.
Some provisions were purchased, possibly out of elation, from the merchants that lined the road leading into the city. The dwarves treaded forward the whole time, eager to meet with their contacts and seal the deal of their long trip. But on their trek into the huge city, Varn hopped off of his post at the side of the wagon. He walked over to Dvallin and kept pace with the horses steps.
“I can’t tell you how much I admire the path you’ve taken in your life.”
He went on to explain his admiration for his fellow dwarve’s heavy quest in life, to which Dvallin replied with humble acceptance. In the end, Varn let loose the clasps that held his fur cloak to his person. He folded it twice over his forearm and then extended it up to the cleric.
“I do believe that it will serve you better than it would if I held onto it.”
Dvallin was confused. He knew that the cloak was the kind of thing that grew to define the dwarf’s personality.
“Go on” Varn urged,“I want you to have it. I want the realms to have it.”
The Cleric nodded, as his kobold squire knudged him, and he took the cloak with a deep consideration to it’s power, and what was facing him in the times to come.
After being paid by the Gargengrimm clan, the party made one collective stop: Vernon’s Press & Ink. Where a kindly man, about the age of Strogg, greeted them with a friendly welcome. Dvallin expressed his interest into the local Bullywug population and was met with the reply,
“It’s grown quite civil actually.”
Dvallin, slid a pouch of coins across the counter. The man opened it and counted the coin, with his fingers in the pouch the whole time.
“Actually, It gotten slightly more aggresive, AS OF LATE.” the man peered at all of them with an inviting stare. “It’ll cost ye’ 20 gold more, stranger.” He whispered.
Dvallin didn’t hesitate to collect the payment from his party.
“All’s well then?” He asked.
“Indeed, wait here a momment.” the printer replied.
Soon they had their “official documents” and the party decided to split up and meet at an agreed upon inn at dusk. Dvallin and Aedric set off to the temple district of Twin Songs, to do some detective work. Rivyet decided to do the only thing she enjoys more than causing severe psychological trauma to her enemies, shopping. Strogg decided to shop for some needed supplies as well, equiped with just a few gold and a case of fine whiskey.
In Twin Songs, a trip to the temples of Kelemnvor and Correlon, by Dvallin, proved to give no new major information, but allowed him to establish a line of communication with like-minded folk throughout the temples. Aedric enjoyed a stop to the temple of Tempus, where he prayed, was blessed, and imbibed some ale over great battle stories, all in time to join Dvallin in visiting Correlon’s temple.
Rivyet returned to the inn at dusk, having found nothing of particular interest to buy. Strogg was there, chatting with the bartender, who bought all but one of his remaining bottles of whiskey. Strogg had “negotiated” his way about town, picking up some barding for his mule, Chester, and selling the whiskey at a handsome profit. Dvallin and Aedric returned and shared the outcome of their scholarly efforts in Twin Songs.
It was then that Strogg recalled an isolated keep that he’d heard about, between Baldur’s Gate and the cities of Amn, off the beaten path. A place called Candlekeep, that was said to be a small city that served as a library to all things past and present in Faerun.
This seemed like a worthwhile stop on their trip, so the party rested and set out on the road south, the next morning.
On the fifth day, after leaving Baldur’s Gate, they reached Candlekeep. An ancient Ritual Tome from the catacombs of Spellgard payed for the group’s room and board while Dvallin and Rivyet set to days of painstaking research. Aedric and Strogg went about, enjoying the strange city of scholars as guests, and helping out where they could. Three days there, left Dvallin and Rivyet satisfied that they had learned all they could about the Nai Rutha, the Zinovief family, and other still questionable parts of Lady Saharel’s prophecies. So the next morning, hoof hit road again, as they set off towards Amn, with Athkatla being the first scheduled stop. Rivet was sure that she could obtain a peaceful audience with Lady Guanaphel Athkat.
This proved harder than she’d anticipated. The heat was on, and security at the manor house of the Athkats was thick. It was decided that some quality deception would be needed to speak with the Athkat matriarch. Keen disguises were crafted and several fine desserts were purchased. Combined with Stroggs’ silver tongue at the manor house gates, the two (Rivyet and Strogg) rushed the platter of pastries straight to Lady Guanaphel’s chambers, with everyone convinced that these tiny cakes MUST be delivered before they grew chill. Lady Guanaphel recognized Rivyet immediately and pulled the two “bakers” into her room.
Rivyet discussed the details of the stolen magical scroll, and how recklessly the evidence of a Murann’s involvement was left for their best minds to deduce the family’s involvement. All the while, Strogg stuffed cake after cake in his mouth.
Rivyet agreed to find the magical scroll, in the interest of ending this quarrel between the two merchant houses. They would use her cousin Niren as a messenger, and the password of “hot cakes” would be used for everyone’s security. With that, they were shooed out a window, and made haste back to the safety of their friends, who were deciding if they should storm into the house and rescue them.
Much to their relief, they were not forced on such a suicide mission. Instead, they had a different suicide mission to complete, which quelled their relief. Rivyet needed to go home, to Murann, and try to recover what information she could from her family.
So the party traveled quickly on their steeds, three days, to Murann. In the evening, they arrived at the outlaying orchard that Rivyet and her cousin, Niren, used as a meeting point.
Niren frolicked up, before dusk, and was more delighted than anyone could imagine, to see his cousin. He let his happiness out, shamelessly, as the warlock explained the situation. But the 19 year old boy seemed more interested in playing “footy monster” (much to the group’s confusion) than adventuring in the recent events. His curious ways lead to a simple talk between himself and his cousin, where she withdrew the limited information that he could offer. Mostly, that there were correspondence with creatures that lay within the Muranndir Woods, to and from the house Murann. A most unsettling scenario.
The party finally let Niren leave, on a most unsettling note, about the family’s closeness. But still they decided to go into town. They picked out the roughest, out of the way tavern to grab a drink and settle their curiosities, where Rivyet planned on dying her hair as a disguise. But, before they could even finish their pints, trouble lingered.
A few words and interesting commands drew the attention of the party. Swiftly, several denizens of the tavern moved towards their weapons, trying to conceal their moves. But it did not surpass what the group had learned on the road, or had already been trained to be aware of. Finishing the last drink that they would have that night, the party saw two armored men pick halberds up, leaned against the corner of the walls. Then, a voice from the other end of small watering hole called out:
“For Lady Murann, SEIZE THEM!!!!”

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DMaaron

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