Hoard of the Dragon Queen - Rise of Tiamat

Episode 4

On the Road

Calithilon Lunarborn here. After we destroyed the dragon eggs and narrowly escaped with our lives, we trudged back to Greenest. Joash, Ran-dal, and myself had caught the worst of it, but poor Wim was walking mostly naked thanks to that acid spray trap. We made it back…barely.

In Greenest, we were able to rest a bit and Wim found some decent clothing. We recovered from our wounds and bought a few needed supplies. We returned a few items we had recovered in the caves to their rightful owners, and were rewarded with a decent bit of gold. We were sent to Eltereal to meet with Leosin or, if we couldn’t find him, to look up one Ontharr Frume.

We arrived at Eltereal after a long ride. We stopped at a local inn and inquired about Leosin. Nobody seemed to recognize the name. However, everyone seemed to know the name Ontharr Frume. We were directed to a bar across down called the Two Black Antlers. Two burly brawlers spilled out the door as we arrived, wrestling and laughing. Inside, we could hear the sounds of laughter, singing, and general merriment. We followed the brawlers back inside and made our way to the bar. The barkeeper hailed Ontharr for us, and a huge man strode over. He introduced himself as the head of The Order of the Gauntlet and told us he had been expecting us. Leosin had sent word on ahead.

That night is a bit of blur. There was drinking, i remember, although I didn’t think I partook of much of the human ale. It doesn’t usually sit well with me. I remember Wim doing well at darts…I think? and even besting a big fighter in a boxing match. I think he also beat Ontharr in an arm wrestling match…but it’s all so foggy…I don’t see how he could have done that. I definitely remember that big fighter punching me in the gut.

The next morning brought headaches to Wim and me, but Joash and Ran-dal seemed fine. We met with Ontharr and Leosin, who had arrived in town overnight. They told us about the cultist wagons that were heading north, and we decided we’d try to catch up with them at Baldur’s Gate. Ontharr told us about the Order of the Gauntlet, an organization devoted to helping those who couldn’t defend themselves and standing against evil, and Leosin told us about the Harpers, a similar group but more secretive and mostly composed of wizards. We agreed to join both, and Leosin gave us each a medallion on a silver chain worn by all the Harpers that would identify us to other members. Before leaving, we bought a few more supplies and sold a few items we had picked up along the way.

We rode hard and arrived at Baldur’s Gate a couple of days before the cultist wagons. No animals were allowed into the city so we had to sell our horses at the gate. Quite a racket they have going here. We searched out one Ackyn Celebon, a fellow who sold equipment to the caravans passing through. He directed us to the appropriate places to get hired onto the caravans that would be leaving, and vouched for us to give us credibility. We met a few of the cultists in a bar, and tried to engage them in conversation. They were curt, if not outright rude, and my temper almost got the best of me. Wim quickly ushered me out the door before I had the chance to set the lot of them on fire with a spell. Wim and Ran-dal were hired on by a bird trader, Oyn Evenmore. Joash and I had the misfortune to get on with a fur trader, Archeny Ulyeltin. His wares smelt like exactly what they were…dead carcasses…but it would serve our purpose. Thanks to Celebon’s vouching, we were all hired on at sergeant’s pay, 8gp every 10 days. Pretty good money for guards. We were able to purchase new horses as we left.

The first several days of our journey were mostly uneventful. On the fifth day though, things got ugly. It started when we noticed a couple of large birds flying around above us. As one began to dive toward us, we realized that it was much bigger than we thought! It was a Peryton, with the body of a huge bird but the head and antlers of a stag. The first one swooped toward me, as I was at the head of the caravan. I narrowly dodged it as it scraped at me with talons and horns. I knew the other must be attacking those behind us, but I was too busy hitting the dirt to notice much. I saw the creature dive toward Joash, and knew from his screams that it had found its mark. As the huge Peryton flew past me, I gathered myself and shot a powerful firebolt at it. It screamed a horrible screeching cry as the fire tore into it, but it didn’t stop. In its anger, it turned and dove for me again. This time I was unable to avoid its fury, as its antlers drove into me and its claws felt as if they were trying to rip my heart out. The pain was unbelievable. Ran-dal and Wim were being attacked behind us, but Ran-dal tried to come to my aid. He caught the creature with a clean throw of his javelin, but it seemed to be almost completely unfazed by the attack. It was then we realized that only magic was going to do much damage to these horrible foes. Wim began to cast spells of his own, and I managed to dispatch the one attacking me with a weak firebolt. The other Peryton caught up a rider from his horse and flew away.

We thought that would be it for the day…but no. Behind us, a "noble"man who had mistreated his horses the whole trip had one fall out on him. He stood to the side, beating the horse in his anger. Ran-dal could stand the injustice no more, and went to confront the noble. As he approached, a huge knight in full plate mail stepped in front of him. The noble refused to listen to reason and the situation became very tense. I stepped in and offered the man 3gp for the horse, and took the poor beast with me. Thankfully, we were able to avoid a nasty confrontation.

On day ten, another little incident occurred. The cultist wagon driver took a turn too fast and the wagon tipped over, losing a wheel and spilling some of their crates. One of the traders behind them offered to help, but he was dismissed and became a bit perturbed at their refusal of his help. Ran-dal and Wim stepped back to see what was going on, and caught a glimpse of the contents of one of the crates. It was filled with precious and unusual jewels and trinkets. The cultists quickly ushered them away and whispered among themselves, no doubt wondering whether or not the outsiders had seen what they were carrying. The next morning we learned that the trader who had tried to help them had caught a mysterious fever and died overnight. I wondered if I should be worried about my two friends.

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