A sense of trouble has been growing among those with ties to the elements. Rumors are growing concerning the Sumber Hills, and genasi among the Emerald Enclave have begun asking to investigate. From Neverwinter Wood, Boult and Nuria head south to Waterdeep to meet another genasi sailor, Parzival, and the two other genasi there with him, Agate and Rowan, all more Enclave members. From there, the five head back north to the Hills.
The genasi encounter a pair of humans on the road, Kurt and Stitch, just as they are surprised by a small gang of orcs and a bugbear, fleeing a bulette, with a small captive fey in their clutches. The bulette proves all but impervious to assault, so the orcs and bugbear attack the travelers to leave them as fodder for the monster. Boult tries to use his Gruumsh symbol to persuade the orcs to fight with the travelers against the bulette, but they are convinced only of their own need to survive. The three sides meet in a bloody and desperate clash, until the barely-surviving travelers free the fey creature, who teleports them to safety (leaving the orcs and bugbear to the bulette), flashes a mischievous grin, and disappears, leaving seven odd gold coins on the ground, which, when flipped, turn to ash that is absorbed into the adventurer’s flesh.
The new party trudges back up to the small trading town of Red Larch, passing the mutilated bodies of the orcs and bugbear along the way. The local constable questions the motley looking crew, as there has been an increase in disturbances and foul tidings as of late. Luckily, Rowan manipulates a puddle in an entertaining way, and the constable assumes the adventurers are in town for the market coming in a few days. He directs them to the local taverns: The The Swinging Sword Inn and the Helm at High Sun. After the party overhears gossip about a few troubles in the surrounding countryside, including a terrified girl, a missing Havex boar, and ominous occurrences by the singular odd landscape feature near Red Larch, Lance Rock, the constable offers to cover their lodging and perhaps a meal or two if they will check out the complaints that lie beyond the town’s limits at The Swinging Sword Inn.
The first incident the party investigates involves a stolen prize pig. Bandits seized it from a merchant caravan the day before along the Cairn Road, east of Red Larch. The adventurers travel several miles down the road before they discover the highwaymen’s camp. The camp is easy to find – the bandits have a fire going, and a starved black bear in a cage cries out pitifully. Behind the encampment is a cave set into a 10-foot hill with sloped sides. The adventurers decide to ambush the camp – most of the group sneaks toward the camp, hiding behind trees for cover, and Parzival sneaks up the sloped hill toward the edge, intending to free the bear. However, one of the adventurers accidentally steps on a twig, which alerts the bandits to their presence. As the bandits call out, Parzival is discovered by another bandit hiding in a tree on the hilltop! The bandit focuses her arrows on Parzival, striking him down, but not before he manages to levitate the pin on the black bear’s cage. Beast and adventurer alike set into the bandits: Kurt, Boult, and Agate take front melee positions, weapons flashing, Nuria sets a nasty swarm of insects on the bandit leader, Rowan pulls a bandit toward the hungry (and angry) bear, who mauls his victim, and Stitch deals damage while saving Parzival and healing other members of the group. This brief but intense fight brings victory for the party! Upon exploring the cave, the adventurers discover that the prize boar had already been slain and carved by the highwaymen, so the party takes the pork back to town. They find that the merchants who told their woeful tale of theft have already left Red Larch, so the party and their new hosts will dine well in the days to come.
XP award: 100 xp per character
Gold award: 16 gp per character
No downtime, renown, or magic items
One strange thing did happen at the cave that could have brought problems to the party mix. Stitch noticed that Agate had cut of the head of fellow he faced while fighting him. Stitch saw Agate pick up the head and stick it in a bag. After the battle Stitch watch to his dismay as Agate pull the head out of his bag, cut of one of the ears of the fellow and put it on a string that hug on Agate body. Stitch confronted Agate about the action. After learning Agate had been raise by Kobolds. He understood the action and decide that it was his goal to see if he can teach Agate that he should not behave that way.
Harburk Tuthmarillar the town Constable tells the adventures he will pay for a few day stay at The Swinging Sword Inn for what they did. The party head to the inn with there meat and settle in. Kaylessa Irkell the innkeeper serves them tea and cooks the meat for dinner. Then shows them to their rooms
Back at the inn, that party learned something else about Agate. When they where all sitting around, Agate pulled out a roll of paper. He unrolled it on the table and they saw it was a map of the Sword Coast. Agate said “Me like pretty maps, me see all these places some day.” He points to the Dessarian River valley. “We here” he says as he pulls out a second map with Red Larch. They he sat back and was silent again, drink on some of the nice tea the inn keeper has been providing.