12 Nightal- 17 Tarsakh
Having finished the task they set out to do, the party debated what their next move was- would they make the long trek to the Temple of Omos, to speak to Velka in person? How would they deal with their contract with the Giants? No easy answer could be found, so the party decided to focus on the immediate task at hand- leaving the strange forest, and returning the body of the slain werewolf back to its clan. They returned to their house, with two new members in tow- Adama’s tiny luck dragon, and Wombert’s new friend, William.
As they maneuvered their house back through the woods, led by Creed’s (mostly) accurate directions, they already detected some slight changes to the forest. The perpetual dusk seemed to have lightened somewhat, now bathing the trees in what looked to be the light of a never ending dawn. Adama detected the sound of a few birds, something that had been absent before.
The party reached the werewolf encampment, and Adama, Sharpe, and Wombert proceeded to speak with Amarok, and were invited to participate in the funeral ceremony for the slain werewolf. While this was happening, Mystogan and Creed shared a cryptic conversation, in which Mystogan wondered how best to reveal the fact that he was one of the Four Horsemen, without actually explicitly stating it. The rest of the party returned to the house, and Ceirnon, the werewolf the party had rescued when they first entered the forest, offered to lead the party the rest of the way out, and they accepted. They stopped quickly to say goodbye to Beathan, who was slightly confused by the fact that they were leaving, but said he hoped to see them again soon.
Upon leaving the forest, the party experienced something strange- their memories seemed to swim hazily, with Wombert totally forgetting the entire trip through the forest. After some trolling, Mystogan deigned to restore Wombert’s memories, and they continued on. They eventually arrived at the city of Waydale, where other travelers were heading in preparation for the festival of Greengrass- something that threw the party off, as Greengrass shouldn’t have been until the end of Tarsakh, which was a few months away. It seemed that on leaving the forest, what had felt like minutes to them turned to weeks for the outside world. There was much they would need to catch up on.
Creed spoke with a guard, telling him that they were the heroes of Caerlin, who were currently undercover. He also happened to inform him of the group’s new name, the Knights Blightwood, pointing out the flag he’d attached to their house as their new symbol. The guard was honored at being confided in by these heroes, and agreed to keep their presence a secret.
As the party settled down for the night, they learned several things- there were rumors of disease and sickness spreading on the other side of the mountains. Trade had slowed to almost nothing, leaving the dwarven market of Silverdeep nearly empty. There was rumor that the gate leading out to Caerlin had been closed. Mystogan checked in with Seven to find out more, and she confirmed much of the rumors. Caerlin was in the grips of a plague, and the home of the Heroes of Caerlin had been put under quarantine. There had been numerous deaths, the first reported case being their elderly stable hand, Norris. The high priest, Darron Thurlo, had also succumbed to the illness. As for the royal family, no one had seen them recently.
Seven also had news on Wombert’s family. She had spent much of her time tracking them, becoming increasingly concerned when weeks went by with no answer from Mystogan. She had heard reports of pirates abducting travelers on the coasts near Mirestone, and believed Wombert’s family had fallen victim. The information she had gathered seemed to indicate these prisoners were being taken to the city of Karn, the territory of the Burning Blade Orcs. She would have pursued the rumors further, but without contact from her friends, and the sickness that began to break out, she was unable to continue.
Creed received a dream from his patron, in which she praised him for his actions in defeating Gandling, and implied that it had been her who sent the dream that tipped Velka off, starting the whole quest for the chalice. She hinted that there was more to come, and that she would be contacting him again soon.
With all this in mind, the party headed through the tunnels beneath the mountains to the city of Silverdeep. On their way they passed several checkpoints, but were still allowed to pass. Leaving the city, however, was another matter. the market by the East Road was nearly empty, and the great Gates were shut. The party was told that they would be allowed to leave, but once they did, they wouldn’t be allowed to reenter the city. Seeing no other option, they agreed, and headed forth, the Gates shutting behind them. As they passed down the East Road, they came across several additional blockades that had been added, manned by mostly elderly dwarves- they had volunteered to stand guard and send reports to the closed city.
Exiting the tunnel, they found the area completely deserted. A wooden barricade and sign detailing the quarantine warned travelers coming from Caerlin that they would not be allowed to pass until the threat of the sickness had been eradicated. The only consolation to what they saw was the empty sky above them- no sign of the giant’s castle could be seen. Unsure of what they would find, the party continued on down the road.