The level five Silvers for this session
Garth, fighter/Battle Master;
accompanied by Richlen, paladin/Oath of Glory, NPC this session
The Silvers begin 85xp from level six and end on 80
We won’t be stopping over
As the Silvers arrive back at Thundertree, a trace of smoke from Reidoth’s cabin, glimpsed against the mizzling rain and growing dark, evidences his presence. A couple of beady-eyed squirrels have been on watch for them and bound away to the cabin: and Reidoth emerges when they are a half-bowshot distance, gesticulating wildly – angrily? – with his staff.
Not angrily: he’s just excited to have them remove Rudolph from his cabin. Complains the magical ox has been chilling his cabin.
The Silvers elect to keep slogging, to take as much of the night as they can before resting again. That way Cryovain won’t interfere. Reidoth seems disappointed, says to Dak he’d have liked to induct him into the Emerald Enclave – it would suit such a ranger.
“I’m no ranger, but thanks for the thought,” Dak replies. Horrified, Reidoth claims he would never have “given” the Cloak of Seasons if he’d known – seeming to forget it was a reward.
As they head north-west, the ancient and somewhat mad druid walks after them, waving farewell. He seems crestfallen, says hopefully that next time they’ll hunt goblins together, the pesky runts forced him to hide in a tree while he was gathering eggs.
Minerva mentions the new Graycloaks
At first Dak merely follows the trail – little better than a game trail – then they find there is a view down to the river. A proper river-path or tow-path leads along it, rutted and churned, but a definite path to the city.
The Silvers are weary, but only Rich absolutely fails the second forced-march in as many days
Following this path – after at least 20 miles’ more slog – they find themselves, just after dawn, at the west or river tower of Neverwinter. The wall seems to be under a state of repair, but before they can think much about wandering off the path to leapfrog the growing queue of early-to-market produce sellers, guards wave them to the front of the queue.
They discover that the watch sergeant wishes to speak with them. Seated comfortably in the day-room, they meet Sgt Minerva of the River Tower, strong-built, blue-eyed, muddy-brown hair, a flaming red sash across her gray tunic.
Richlen learns that the sword he bears, Alagondar, makes him a person of great interest to the Sons of Alagondar.
The Iron Flagon Inn
With some general recommendations from Minerva – “call me Sarge, not Milady, I work for a living” – the four plus Rudolph slog a rather warm spring morning to The Croaking Board, the cheapest inn of the south-east quarter. As an ostler and his boys come out to help disencumber Rudolph, the ice beast’s rear hooves split apart, leaving him on rear stumps.
“Rudolph! Stay with us!”
“You know Garth this may be cheap, but I like the idea of that Flagon place, where adventurers gather and it’s close to exchanges and whatnot. We stand to make money that way.”
“We’ve changed out minds, we’re heading to the other place.”
“Whatever,” the ostler retorts, returning to his chores. The boys caper mockingly.
Dak casts a further wary eye about – he’s already resorted to his upbringing to warn off some potential street thieves – and heads west.
As they reach the Iron Flagon Rudolph’s front hooves give out, then he crumbles into his component snow and ice, and is gone.
“Oh well, we got great service from him.”
They stagger on in under the weight of bales and boxes and get seated and on the outside of a cooling cider. Then they meet Lyrana Delmont, proprietress: a fiery red-head of middle years, with a don’t try to bargain here me lad kind of attitude.
Lyrana arranges a joint room for sixty silvers a night. Meals and drinks extra, apart from morning gruel/porridge. She also recommends a variety of places to sell and buy gear. Rich, who has been unable to fully shake the weariness of the trail, volunteers for keeping watch in the room.
Sell! Buy! Sell! Buy!
Brief summary of proceedings: some treasure is unexpectedly valuable, some surprisingly valueless, but at the end of proceedings Vern has paid everyone back: and everyone has at least 1500 gold coin.
They report to Rich.
“Whee! Me for plate mail! No sense being this strong and not wearing plate. Of course (glancing uneasily at the other coins) I may need to owe you guys for food…”
“I think I only need buy a couple spells,” Vern says. “And Rich, we think you probably should move this clerical scroll on through the temple.”
“Right! I can maybe persuade a senior priest to see to the dragon barrow. By the way, Lyrana says that if we stay an extra day Sildar should turn up, apparently he’s here in town.”
“I have to sell the map and silver-finder compass over east tomorrow so that’s fine.”
The following day Dak purchases Bracers of Archery, and potions to suit his needs, Vern buys those scrolls, and Rich visits the temple once he has a chance. This is a long journey. He chooses the nearest obvious temple to the inn, and by virtue of good manners and his background, is able to gain audience with sacrister Dorian.
Rich makes a 22 Persuasion to determine the overall smoothness of his dealings. Based on this, there will be no problems asking the temple to intervene.
Rich finds that the fame his group the Silvers has accumulated does not stretch to just asking the temple to do them a favor. Dorian suggests that the Scroll of Augury will show sufficient goodwill. Rich makes a fine Insight check, judges that Dorian is being truthful, and hands it over.
Dorian fulsomely thanks Rich and invites him for a cup of wine, but Rich has yet to purchase javelins and get that final fitting for the plate mail, so makes his excuses and leaves.
Tier two caravan guards?!
As Rich arrives back from checking the room, he finds the other three already seated and drinking ale. Slightly miffed at the lack of security, he elbows his way through the adventurer-leaning common-room crowd, in time to see Sildar Hallwinter enter from outside, followed by a silver-bearded, black-skinned man in the sort of big hat that Big Al wears.
Sildar is glad to catch them, says he is bound to stay in Neverwinter a little longer as his griffon got banged up fighting Cryovain. He asks the Silvers to help him out by escorting Don Jon (last name Raskin) to Phandalin, and maybe help with an issue of the mines he has the rights to. They’ve been taken over by were-rats, so ’tis said.
“Mines? Wererats? Say, we heard something about that from that other dwarf, the sketchy one…”
Garth discovers that Sildar, who comes across as genuine and transparent, is capable of acting a part. He takes Garth aside and explains:
- The Rockseeker brothers, including Gundren – the sketchy one Garth is thinking of – say they have found the entrance to Wave Echo Cavern. Well, maybe so, but he – Sildar – agrees there’s something off about those three.
- Sildar has not told Don Jon this, because cults seem to be everywhere and best kept to as few people as possible, but his griffon is fighting fit, and he is actually going to fly to Phandalin and investigate the Rockseeker claim.
“So if you see us flying overhead just act like we’re an optical illusion,” Sildar finishes, chuckling.
Dove x Rage are the actual caravan guards
“Howdy! This here’s Rage, I’m Alydove, call me Dove. Rage don’t have much to say, but we’re a team.”
The speaker is flaxen-haired, short, with deeply tanned skin, and well-worn leather armor under cold weather clothing. Her obvious weapon, a longbow, seems to mark her as a scout or ranger. Rage, if that be his name, is relatively short, wears chain mail beneath cold weather clothing, and bears a shield and sword.
Dove explains that she and Rage are both ex-military, out of Baldur’s Gate, and make their living as veteran caravan guards on the high road. To Garth’s question she replies that a regular guard can expect a gold coin a week, but they are worth more, 15 silvers each a week. “And it ain’t as though we’re spending much as we go,” she adds.
Over the next short while the Silvers all make Insight checks and Dak and Rich decide they are genuine, Garth (with a 10) is not quite as ready to trust them.
Dak makes use of the Cloak of Seasons by slipping from cover to cover well ahead, allowing the wagon to get up to 40′ from him before moving on.
Rage is accustomed to handling oxen so normally walks at the pair’s noses.
Garth walks beside the wagon and does not let Rage get behind him.
Vern rides with Don Jon.
Rich tends to walk alongside or behind the wagon.
Finally, Dove takes a rearguard role, watching the backtrail but staying close to Rich.
The only thing they have to contend with during the first day is the weather, for once clear of the immediate micro-climate of Neverwinter, they feel the early spring chill and rain squalls are common. Travelers along the High Road assure them that this is a better option than the warm, for that will bring vast swarms of skeeters.
At camp, Dove tells of waking on maneuvers to find mounts completely sucked dry by skeeters.
Dove, Rage, Garth
Don Jon, Vern (breakfast duty)
Finally the crossroad, marked by its gibbet to coastward, and the wagon swings left and takes the north-eastern Triboar Trail. Dak spots, and alerts the caravan to, a foraging brown bear. With patience, there will be no danger to the oxen. They are about a day or so from the south fork to Phandalin.