To be sent back to Waterdeep port;
An asset for the Lord’s Alliance to quote;
To Red Larch the party aims a trip short.
They chance upon signs of a hidden camp;
Just out of sight of the road, bandits within;
About whom was revealed a demeanor damp.
Supported by two reavers with shark-toothed blades;
Leading several bandits who seemed caught in the hoop;
Fearful of how their employers’ sanity fades.
Marle and Angus next set their eyes;
To garner some information before the shouting;
They took on a nautical guise.
With advice from Angus’s practiced hand;
The tiefling hoped for news to spill;
From out the mouths of this malevolent band.
By cutting a shallow line open upon his arm;
And then the two limped their way to them;
Who sat waiting for passing merchants to harm.
Though quickly a selfish twinkle Marle surmised;
Betrayed an intent to use the pirate’s slippage.
From their allies of the Black Earth, recently ravaged;
Suggesting the heroes might weaken fire’s visage.
The thoughts of a coming caravan to be raiding;
Blinded him to his coming personal cataclysm.
Was the signal that launched the waiting heroes;
Gathered about the camp they had come quietly;
And even the paladin and cleric had stepped as pillows.
Propelled by inner sun’s fire to great leap;
Striking down from the sky with great zest;
She struck the priest two blows not cheap.
Swinging her yarting into her hands;
A playing a tune of thunderous invention;
Toppling the pair through the air until each lands.
Being deflected by a shirt of light chain;
And leaving him needing to pass the buck;
Rather than reduce the priest to a stain.
Propelled by the trickster’s gauntlet;
With an eye towards the priest to mangle;
The blow added to what Fennle’s already set.
As Elivia unleashed her wand from the stag’s back;
Striking three times true and quite clean;
A pile of blows which upon the priest did stack.
Talindra upon his back as she swung her Rosethorn;
Cutting the priest down as a wind from the north;
Then from a reaver a head was quickly shorn.
Her insides were reduced almost into jelly;
By Fennle’s powerful blows delivered most fleet;
Leaving the bandits with no reason to stay steady.
But were quickly pursued by Fennle and Angus;
One was tackled beyond a short rise in the land;
But the rest stopped cold at the monk’s promise.
Bolstered by a paladin’s zone of truth;
Though one did resist and thus his life was spent;
On the assassin’s blade directed with no ruth.
To the bodies of the reaver and priest laid before her;
Within them evidence confirming her suspicion did lie;
Of some pact made with a great evil that now did stir.
A contract that twisted and tormented the bound;
And corrupted their forms in manner unreal;
Likely similar twists in their minds would be found.
The party lumbered back into Red Larch;
Their prisoners turned over to company wills;
To Moonsilver and Zhentish orders to march.
To having a building staffed by a half-elf scribe;
A family agent to Elivia’s house a pen in hand to wield;
Accounts to face and bills to steadily transcribe.
Made from by the curious cooking savant;
Though a bit more salt he might his palate tickle;
Grund nodded and promised new recipes to flaunt.
Rumors of druids with a mysterious rite;
To whom an Amnish merchant hoped to sell booze;
Gathering somewhere a Wicker Giant to light.
A Waterdhavian scion to recover from the cult;
And another keep to purge of evil most dire;
They set themselves ready to this newest assault.
And camped well hidden from enemy eyes;
The plan to use the nightly fog as the time to sally;
And get close to where the tower’s shadow lies.
Lohn awoke in camp to find his skin had taken a new hue;
To a dark stone grey and leaving the question to hover;
About what his new toy was causing to stew.
Lohn insisted they focus on the mission at hand;
And under the fog they moved quick and silent;
The wheels of their wagon creaking across the land.
Hidden as there’s had been from the notice of the Spire;
About it five bird-like people surrounded a dim lamp;
Whom Elivia recognized as beings of standing to admire.
Servants to the Wind Dukes of that other realm;
Noble warriors known to be just and fair;
And not folk whom evil plots would helm.
Convincing the other five that they were not the norm;
Though calming suspicions took time a bit more long;
They eventually gathered together and information to form.
Confirmed Elivia’s fears that about this great menace;
A force of evil that had brought worlds to malice;
Though it seemed to Toril to be a new blemish.
Fearing for a moment that she had heard Earth;
Provoking confusion as to the source of her original hearth;
And wondering why her world was named “dirt.”
Of Yeenoghu’s spawn along the river;
And the winged beasts that dwelled in stone hangers;
Griffons and manticores to bring farmers a shiver.
And the decision was made to clear the small pack;
Which to Talindra were an itch that tolls;
On her awareness of the demonic forces at their back.
To avoid unlooked for fights;
Others suggested the gnolls death could intice;
The distant vultures to alight.
Expecting this to prove the fools should leave it alone;
Before the dangers of the cult should take their tolls;
And end their lives surrounded by stone.
Of how accomplished the heroes already were;
Though soon that skill would enter their schema;
And maybe then they would be able to but stare.