The squad, having taken a good night’s rest, left Greenest to follow Leosin. Pry had left separately – and secretively – to hunt the escaped dragon-cult leader.
Following the trade route north the squad passed through the farmed countryside, stopping at farmsteads along the way to sleep in the hay barn. The group entered the town of Berdusk where they found signs of Pry’s passing – he had been handing-out crudely-drawn “Wanted” posters for the cultist leader. When the group got to the city of Scornubl they found more of Pry’s handiwork – there in the square was the cultist leader, pinned to a tree with an arrow and a note stating “Got her”.
After a few more days of uneventful journey the squad arrived in Eltuvel, a walled city on the riverbank with much barge traffic. Inquiring with the city guard they learned that the Unther had set-up the Order of the Gauntlet at a tavern called “The Black Antlers”. The squad found Leosin being inconspicuous amongst a bustle of burly, thick-armed and hairy-chested drinking louts (representing a number of various holy orders) and they collected the sum previously promised to them – paid in platinum coins.
Before any other business with Unther could be attended to, though, there were various “rituals” to be done. Dag ingratiated himself to the paladins, besting them at games of arm-wrestling and axe-throwing (and Faurgar made a good sum of cash betting on his companion’s prowess). Starag showed himself less than capable, though, when it came time to race horses through the city.
The following morning the squad accepted a mission from Unther to travel to the city of Baulder’s Gate and there meet up with an informant named Ackyn Selebon, who would give the squad information about which caravan the dragon cultists would be using to transport their captured booty from their rampage in Greenest and its surrounding communities. The Order opened up its armory for some re-equipping of the squad before sending them down-river on a barge.
Caelum, who had been sick for the duration of the journey so far (although the other squad members think he was faking it so he could spend time, undisturbed, to devote to the dragon poetry found in the caves), turned out to be “sea-sick”.
The barge was captained by a veteran of the river – one who knew all the sand bars and snags but wasn’t foolhardy with his speed. Fearing attacks from river pirates the squad set up a watch outside of the small shack that was built onto the deck of the barge.
This caution was not unrewarded – on the first watch Emmerik noticed some humanoid figures creeping up onto the deck. A group of lizardmen, led by one of their shaman, had boarded the ship for some nefarious reason. A swift and brutal melee ensued, in which the sick Caelum was bitten by many snakes magically summoned by the shaman. One of the lizardmen was thrown from the barge by Starag’s magic while the others were slain under the assault of Faurgar, Dag, and Emmerik.
The captain wasn’t one to spend the remainder of the night anchored in place after that assault – he explained that there were likely additional parties of raiders out. So, running cautiously at night, the barge proceeded downriver for the rest of the night and the better part of the next day. Nearing dusk the captain docked at an unnamed village on the riverbank for some relative safety.
At the village’s inn the squad learned that one of the farmers – Darren Darren – had run afoul of a traveling wizard who had cursed his farm with a series of curses, culminating in the invasion of huge insects. The hale members – Emmerik, Dag, Faurgar, and Starag – made their way to the farm. At the farm they fought several Anhkegs before discovering that a magical “beacon” was causing seismic vibrations that attracted them. The group had quite the puzzle as to how to deal with the beacon since the object seemed quite indestructible and, wherever it was taken to, the anhkegs would surely follow. At last the squad took the beacon to a nearby quarry – trailed by a large number of the creatures – where they threw the beacon, to attract the anhkegs away from the village and its farms.
The squad then returned to the nameless village to rest before continuing on their journey.