The road south from Nenlast is broken and in bad repair, making the journey far more difficult that was hoped. Of course, it’s downright luxurious compared to last few weeks of trekking through the foothills of the Giantspires, so spirits are high. After passing the handful of farms and crofts outside of Nenlast, no other travellers are seen on the road and the party finds itself alone with its thoughts.
Cygnet is withdrawn and spends much of her time riding quietly, staying near her father’s body. Theros is engrossed with his work forming the length of wood recovered from the tree damaged by elemental energies. The rest of the party passes the time in their own way, enjoying the calm and peacefulness of the journey.
The night before arriving at the Fiveleague House, Cygnet approaches Sharat and begins to ask him of his own past – of the death of his wife & child, and his path to becoming a warrior of Oghma and Ilmater. She very much wishes to avoid becoming a victim again, as she did before, and Sharat sees that she bears fresh and raw emotional scars from being possessed by the “spark”. He spends the time with her, seeking to guide and control her intense emotions and agrees to help her come to grips with her situation, both in a martial and a spiritual way.
After the conversation with Sharat, Cygnet returns to her bedroll, but does not fall asleep immediately. Elestrynna, who sits closest to her, meditating as she often does during the night, notices Cygnet pull a small talisman from around her neck, where it is secured by a delicate silver chain. With a deep shock, Elestrynna sees that it is a piece of scrimshaw – a bone carved into the shape of the Tower of Magic in Myth Drannor superimposed over an oak tree. The symbol is that of her family and she remembers that a talisman exactly like this one was carved for her brother, Galrynnod, by her father.
Elestrynna wakes from her meditation and presses Cygnet for information. “Where did you get this talisman, child?”, she asks. Cygnet looks at it and says “From my uncle Gal. He gave it to me when I was just a kid. Well, he’s not really my uncle, just a good friend of my father’s.” Stunned, Elestrynna pauses for a moment. “Gal?”, she asks. “Galrynnod?” Cygnet nods, “Yes. Do you know him? You do look an awful lot like him, but I don’t know any other eladrin, so I might be wrong.” Elestrynna swallows. “Galrynnod is my brother.”
After questioning Cygnet further, Elestrynna learns that Galrynnod, her brother, has been a long time friend of Markus’s and helps the Spysong Network as well. He was last seen in Nenlast about two years ago and Elestrynna struggles to understand why her brother has not revealed himself to her when she has been so close for so long. She swears to Cygnet that her father, Markus, will be raised again, knowing that this man is her best link to finding her brother after all these years.
At the Fiveleague House
About two days earlier, Trek arrives at the Fiveleague House. The circumstances of his arrival are, as of yet, a mystery, but he arrives with a purpose. Upon arriving, he finds the inn quite crowded, though he does secure a room from the dwarven innkeeper and settles in to wait. He learns that the gates of Hammerfast were closed about three weeks ago and all non-residents were expelled, so many merchants and visitors are waiting at the Fiveleague House, hoping to return when the city’s gates reopen.
On the first night following his arrival, Trek meets a dwarf by the name of Hamish Blackforge, a merchant formerly from Hammerfast that has spent the last few decades travelling the lands around the Vilhon Reach (Chondath and Turmish) in the southern reaches of the Sea of Fallen Stars. Hamish isn’t exactly clear why he’s decided to return now, but he and a small retinue of other dwarves have recenly arrived at the Fiveleague House and are deciding their next course of action given the situation in Hammerfast.
The next night, while relaxing in the crowded bar, a terrible deed transpires. The stable boy, a stout young lad, stumbles into the room from the outside, his face and torso badly mauled, and collapses in a pool of his own blood. Behind him stands a cadaverous, spectral hound…chewing on a gobbet of flesh torn from the poor lad. At that moment, the tall glass windows shatter and leaping in through the openings come a flood of similar hounds and both decomposing and spectral dwarven warriors. The scene becomes one of complete chaos as patrons are hacked down and others frantically attempt to defend themselves from the onslaught.
Hamish and Trek are forced to retreat out the broken front window and Hamish last sees his two surviving companions being forced back down the hall towards the inn’s kitchens. Unable to fight their way through the hoard of undead dwarves, Hamish and Trek flee to the north while more dwarves pour out of the forest towards the Fiveleague House. Trek notes that most of the undead are coming from an old monument marking a massive battle between the dwarves of Hammerfast and the orcish army during the Orc Wars 100 years ago.
After fleeing for almost a mile, Hamish and Trek stop to catch their breaths and take stock of the situation. But they are given little time to rest before they are attacked by a pack of hounds!
The Party is Rejoined!
The party coming from Nenlast pushes on into the night, looking forward to warm beds and food at the Fiveleague House. Ominously, the peaceful night air is shattered by the choking bark of many baying hounds. The seasoned team veterans look around at each other, knowing that those warm beds may not be there for them tonight, and loosen their weapons in their sheathes. Riding now with a bit more urgency, they come upon a battle already in progress. A dwarven warrior slings spells at a pack of ghostly, cadaverous hounds while the familiar figure of a halfling twists and tumbles around another pack of hounds, daggers flashing in the moonlight. Trek? TREK? Despite their shock, the party rushes into the fight, quickly dispatching the hounds.
Before greetings can even be made, more undead dwarven warriors emerge from the darks stands of trees and the fight starts up once again!