After a hearty lunch of crumble cake and horse, the party returned to Red Larch and headed for the Swinging Sword to visit Kaylessa and collect their reward. Kaylessa was overjoyed to see the Bard (and less than thrilled to see theWarlock). She provided a reward to the adventurers and directed them to see Harburk, the town constable, who was looking for help dealing with the recent troubles surrounding Red Larch. As they left the Swinging Sword tremors rocked the town and a sinkhole opened up just outside of the Swinging Sword, swallowing several children playing inside of a cart. The brave party propelled down into the sinkhole and saved the children, while discovering a larger cavern within.
In their exploration of the cave, they found several dead bodies marked with a strange symbol – a triangle with a small upwards line from the bottom middle of the triangle. A few dead rats and a floating bear later, the party was attacked by a group identifying themselves as “The Bringers of Woe,” wearing brown robes with stone masks, along with a wizard wearing a golden mask in the shape of a gargoyle face with horns. After a close fight, the druid identified what looked to be Mirrobarian Trade Bars used by the nobility of the city in commerce and as expensive gifts. The party assumed this could have some connection with the Dwarven Delegation from Mirrobar, which at this point was several days late for their expected journey through Red Larch.
A small boy in the cave by the name of Braelin Hatherhand told the party that the group responsible for overseeing this cave was “ The Believers” of which his father is a member. He also provided a list of the names of The Believers to the party, all prominent business owners throughout the town, and directed them to the Room of Moving Stones within the cave. Here they saw large Stonehenge-like stones move around on their own, upon them etched the names of many long-dead dwarves.
Upon exiting the cave, the party returned the boy to Harburk and told the constable of the Believers. He told the party that a full investigation would be launched into the Believers and this mysterious cave. He also asked the party to deal with some local banditry and provided a location. When the party returned to the Swinging Sword, they spoke with Larmond Greenboot, a local shepherd, who told them about graves that had recently popped up around the local grazing fields, and offered to take the party there in the morning.
The party travelled to the grave, discovering four bodies: Two warriors dressed in the garb of the Mirrobarian Army (Tabards with a red axe on a black field), a dwarven artisan, and a mysterious figure wearing white robes with black feathers. In the distance, they spotted what they would later discover to be Feathergale Spire – a huge tower that thrust into the sky like a glittering white sword.
The adventurers approached the tower, which was built on top of a small plateau jutting up from a canyon floor. The Feathergale Society advised the party that they knew nothing of their fallen comrade (although they were dressed the same as the man in white robes with black feathers on the shoulders), but that they would investigate. They claimed to be a group of aerial enthusiasts from Waterdeep who protect the area from danger while flying Hippogryphs and Giant Vultures through the local Sighing Valley. The party was invited to stay for a feast that night by their commander, Thurl Merroska. The feast was interrupted suddenly when a Feathergale Knight burst through the great hall doors claiming “The Mantiore has been spotted!” Thurl Merroska rose to his feet and held a giant garnet ring in the air proclaiming “To the one who brings me the beast’s head!”
The adventurers were brought downstairs to the stables where they were given flying Hippogryph mounts to use in the hunt for the mantiore. They tracked the beast quickly and charged in pincer formation. The fighter leaped off his mount and cleaved the beast’s tail from its body, disabling its spike attacks. The beast rose into the air, unsteady with the loss of its tail and plummeted to the bottom of the Valley. Whistling for his mount, the bard leaped off the cliff into the open air and fired a bolt at the manticor, missing his target, as well as his mount. Seeing the free-falling, mountless bard plummeting to the earth, the druid reacted quickly and swooped in with his mount, saving the bard from sure, instant death.
Flying in at high-speed for an eldritch blast, the warlock unleashed an unsteady blast that struck thefighter’s greatsword, melting it instantly. When the battle was won, the greatsword Bane was recovered from the beast’s lair to replace the melted blade.
The next morning at Feathergale Spire, after being generously rewarded, Thurl told the party of a mysterious Earth Cult in the area at the Sacred Stone Monastery. Upon looking through a spyglass at the top of Feathergale Spire, the party could see Sacred Stone Monastery, and these mysterious earth cultists walking around wearing golden gargoyle masks identical to the one they saw in the cave with the moving stones. After questioning Thurl Merosska at the pinnacle of Feathergale Spire, maybe a bit too aggressively, he snatched the rewarded ring from the bard and demanded they remove themselves from Feathergale Spire. Trying to snatch the ring back, the Feathergale Knights at Thurl’s side crossed their spears in front of Thurl with a clash, then readied themselves for battle. The adventurers hesitated. Then attacked. After a ferocious battle, Thurl Merroska was left begging for his life, offering the service of The Spire in return for mercy. The party refused, and attempted to bind Thurl. Breaking free, Thurl ran and leapt from the tower…
Is Thurl dead? Who are these mysterious earth cultists? Where is the delegation from Mirrobar? Are they alive? Will he warlock every find true love? Is the fighter really a mercenary duke? What is the cause of the mysterious weather in the area? All these questions remain unanswered, until next time…