“After defeating the possessed Royal Rhapsodist, receiving strange visions from a golden woman, and bribing the Royal Guard to look the other way, you returned to the theater known as the Sprites Assembly where you’d taken up residence with the three members of the Red Aces troupe. However, the next morning, you woke to find your dragonborn friend gone – along with the enchanted flute that had caused so much trouble. Many things happened after that, but before we talk about them …”
“Luzzarai. You left in the early morning to go run your “errand,” and it’s now late afternoon, approaching early evening. It’s an overcast day with a slight drizzle, and you are making your way back from the Merchant Quarter to the Western Run, to the theater where you left your friends. As promised, you kept the flute with you and didn’t let anything happen to it. And in the time that you’ve become attuned to it, you learned a little more about it.”
- Luzzarai coming back from a date with another white dragonborn, a ranger from the Lancers named Roshen
- became aware she was being followed by a red dragonborn and a human man (Thelar Carontok‘s two thugs from the Circle, unbeknownst to her)
- they surrounded her, offered a thousand gold for the flute – when she hesitated, they attacked
- Barrel of Rapiers were inside Sprites Assembly, resting up after excursion to the Sovereign’s Circle – heard commotion outside and came to help
- defeated thugs, sent them running
- preparations to leave and head north
- Upaaq asked if they would be back in time for the rescheduled Battle of the Bards in one month’s time, shared a moment of encouragement with Nehiri
- Mavoi gifted Senara with a book about woodcarving (based on the numerous times he had seen her at the hobby) – she accepted and asked for his assurance that he would be back
- Keird pulled Gwyn aside to talk about the upcoming journey, gave her information about joining a caravan led by someone named Cormac who would let them travel with them for cheap if they helped provide defense
- Keird asked if Gwyn would bring something (a detailed foreign silver coin on a leather thong) to his father in Strawford if they went that way anytime during their travels – his dad will know what it means
- Luzzarai left a note for Roshen: “thanks for the good times, I’ll see you next time I’m in town, no dating other dragonborns”
“The time comes, you all gather up your supplies and make your way to the northeast gate of the city. On foot, you follow a winding path down the hill toward Lake Ilruun, which is laid out before you and glinting in the sunlight. When you glance behind, you can see the towers of the royal palace looking out over the valley, growing smaller as you descend.
“The caravan you meet up with is led by a human man named Cormac Hayward, a rotund, jovial fellow who – if you let him – greets all of you with a bear hug. There are about a dozen wagons and carts in this merchant caravan, and after skirting around the lakeside estates of the nobility of Vorenia that border this side of the lake, you finally get to the road that leads northward across the plains known as Sidro’s Expanse.
You travel along this road for about five days, stopping at small villages and roadside inns as needed as you go. As you near the forest where elven territory begins, the land takes on a different shape – like highlands, with more exposed stone and rocky crags. Cormac warns that this is the place where he’s glad to have adventurers with the caravan, as the hills and outcrops provide great places for bandits to lay ambushes."
- Barrel of Rapiers successfully helped defend the caravan from a bandit attack
“Finally, you come to the end of the highlands, and as you crest over the last hill, you can see an expanse of towering trees stretching out northward and both east and west almost as far as you can see. This is known as the Wandering Forest. You can see the ribbon of a river flowing south through it before it bends away westward. There is a town at this juncture called South Bend, and that is where the caravan is heading and where you will part ways with it.”
- Hildy suddenly realized this is the town where she studied magic with an elven tutor and accidentally caused mass property destruction, so she cast alter self and disguised herself as Kipri (male halfling)
- party made their way directly to the Sentinels guarding the road leading north into the forest, only to find the way was blocked due to security concerns – only those with official papers from House Umelynn would be admitted
- the party tried several deception and charm attempts, which ultimately failed and led to a battle
- the party killed four Sentinels and a treant guardian, while two other Sentinels escaped and retreated northward
- the party was left in the middle of the road, with dead elves around them and the smouldering remains of a treant