[14 Mirtul 1372]
The group decides to spend the night in Longsaddle.
[15 Mirtul 1372]
Over breakfast, conversation turns to the frog fights witnessed the night prior. The innkeeper, "Trappy" Snulgers, continues telling wild stories of dragons, punching out gods, and climbing down a volcano to rescue slaves.
Cain decides to bring an expert to help craft a new holy symbol, and is directed to a silversmith named Nalanther, who specializes in delicate work (usually involving spurs). Nalanther is quite reluctant to get involved in religious matters, especially for a cleric of a god like Kossuth, but after speaking with Aldarac Harpell he agrees. Several hours later, Nalanther presents Cain with an exquisite, perfectly-formed holy symbol. Nalanther is modest about his achievement, but Cain is quite pleased and promises to spread word about the craftsman's skill.
While Markus looks around for barding for his mount, Fargrim tells Mellia more about his and Cain's exploits on the mysterious island with a temple dedicated to the supposedly dead god Myrkul. The connection between Aldarac's story the night prior and Fargrim's story allows Mellia to make some insights which she keeps to herself.
The group visits an outfitter named The Rolling Wheel and purchases several items in preparation for their journey east. They encounter the Red Ravens there, but Mellia refuses the trio's entreaties that she join them.
That night, a last visit is made to a gambling den where frog-fighting, punching contests, and knife-throwing are the contests of choice.
[16 Mirtul 1372]
The group makes a few final purchases at the Rolling Wheel and then heads east toward Nesme. Mellia asks Fargrim how they'll find Startop Mountain, a potential hiding place for the bandit leader Grim, but Fargrim is uncertain.
[17 Mirtul 1372]
In the morning, Mellia raises the question as to whether the group may be misguided in heading east, as she's dubious that Grim would make a hideout so far away from the Long Road. Fargrim thinks that the nightmares suffered by himself and Cain may be leading them to the Evermoors. There is some debate,
but a consensus is reached that, having come so far, the group should continue journeying east.
While climbing an icy hill, Fargrim's mount's propensity to suddenly stop and refuse to move almost results in injury.
Some hours later, the group comes across a small number of wagons, partially wrecked and abandoned relatively recently. It's clear that some sort of attack took place. Mellia spots figures on a distant hill, so the group decides to hurry on their way before being spotted.
After an hour's journey, the group starts a fire and sets up camp on a defensible hilltop. That evening, a vigilant Markus realizes that a trio of hairy, seven feet tall goblin-like creatures are trying to sneak up on them! The battle is short and fatal for the Bugbears, as Fargrim levels one with his Greataxe, another slips and is set on fire, and a third is incinerated by a scorching ray of energy invoked by Mellia. A search of the bodies turns up a valuable collection of coins and jewellery, presumably taken by the Bugbears
from previous victims.
Director's Commentary (October 29, 2013)
This is a nice, concise recap compared to the 2,000 word blow-by-blow retellings I tend to write nowadays!
Cain's request to have a silversmith create his new holy symbol was a rousing success, as the smith rolled a natural 20 on this check and created a totem of real beauty.
In retrospect, I may have been a bit too railroady having both Fargrim & Cain's nightmares and clues to Grim's whereabouts lead in the direction of the Evermoors. Each story thread on its own makes perfect sense, but together the coincidence may be a bit heavy handed. I should have perhaps set up more adventure hooks elsewhere in Faerun. The issue I was trying to resolve was that session after session was passing by, the PCs were levelling up more and more, and the early levels of Startop Mountain were going to be less and less challenging if/when the PCs finally made it there. I wanted the campaign to have a real through-line and story and not be a true sandbox campaign, but it's still unclear how well this worked.
The PCs did a good job finding a defensible, concealed campsite but then undermined their cause by building a fire and attracting attention. Much later in the campaign, they'll do something similar by finding a great hidden campsite in the wilderness and then popping a magically-created cottage there that no one around could miss . . .