Our little heroes awake a few hours before dawn on the 28th of the Rabbit, and head to a secretive area of Lah’kola’s shore – and then hitch a ride on their dragon friend miles north of the city. Now, they’ve only seen Stazia in dragon form once before – but, an adult steel dragon isn’t anything to scoff at. A special harness is applied that lessens their weight and straps them in for the ride.
They are dropped off not far from the wizard’s keep (which they notice has a light) and not far from a portion of the forest that was clearly aflame not that long ago. They decide to trek to the burned out place (even though Conner really wants to meet this wizard). On the way, they are attacked by a scout and his wolves which they handle easily enough. But, when they approach the “fire zone” they find a problem. They sneak up to what is clearly the entrance to a cave – HEAVILY guarded by men wearing uniform of some sort. Not a kingdom, but maybe a merc crew? And, to the side it seems this place was seiged recently – fire has gotten into the trees and scared them.
Yeah, they decide to go check in with the wizard instead of charging willy-nilly.
At the wizard’s tower, they are first told to stop approaching by a young elven boy – then a gruff older man tells them to bugger off. They explain who they are and kindly ask to discuss the issue of the well-guarded cave in the distance. The gruff man invites them in. They meet Amos, who is… wait.. over six feet tall? Built like a brick shithouse? Doesn’t fit into his threadbare robe well? The elven kid and this pretty female servant provide them gruel – they guy sits down and is rude and gruff…. this is odd. They eat.
All but Victor fall asleep (and I must thank the crew for being okay with having eaten the gruell – none said they weren’t – I assumed. They were kind to me :D ) Victor stares at the guy and says “not Amos are ya.” and the fight starts. The kid and the lady run out – she casts a web behind her.. they are in the wind. And “Fake Amos” hulks out – no kidding. He grows two feet, and begins to pound on Victor like he’s a drum. The others are awakened by Aldric’s spirit companion – and the fight goes down.
IT was hard – but they lived. Barely. In fact, the first death saving throw for the crew was rolled… and the first death saving throw fail occurred as well ;)
They get the guy beat down, the chick is long gone – with stolen goods from Amos’ house… Amos’ little “house servant” is actually a brownie – who they nickname “Andy” And tells them his boss headed out a few days ago – and hasn’t come back. He went to the caves… well, hell. No place to go but to the caves, huh?
On the way their, they almost bump into another adventuring crew (a crew belonging to Stazia’s rival), heading the same way -this gives them a GREAT idea. A diversion.
They not only let the other crew attack, they make sure to sneak in the door and alert guards – so the basic mass of troops heads outside. They then sneak in, find poor Amos starving and driven insane. They get him out and leave the place to the other crew – and notice a few interesting things on the way.
1. These are cultists – no doubt. These guys are crazy, and have intentionally driven Amos insane for fun. And maybe to turn him into one of the icky things in cages they found.
2. These guys are apparently into some sick things…. they snuck past a party of cultists having some rather sado-masy fun time.
3. They saw a few empty bags and boxes… all bearing an odd symbol on them.