On the way back to Greenest from the cult’s camp, the party spotted a wagon with a broken wheel along the side of the trail. A woman and four men, apparently merchants, flagged down the group and asked if they could help repair the wagon. Using his impressive strength, Garin was able to help the men lift the corner of the wagon so that the wheel could be mended. However, Doric became suspicious about the merchant’s story and their secret cargo. The situation escalated quickly until the merchants drew weapons – refusing to let Doric view the contents of their wagon. After the battle, the party searched the wagon – discovering two crates of goods stolen from Greenest and also a letter that revealed that the travelers were members of The Cult of the Dragon posing as merchants. The letter read:
Dragon Wing Lemura Ironcloak,
I fear our operation may have been compromised with the escape of the monk, Erlanthar. Thus we begin the second phase. Our collected hoard will be split among a number of caravans each sent on a different route to the city of Baldur’s Gate. Once there, sell your wagons and supplies, secure your part of the hoard, and seek our agent, Aravax Foxtraveler, who will give you further information.
The Queen of Dragons WILL rise again – Wyrmspeaker Rezmir
Back in Greenest, the party was greeted once again by Governor Nighthill. He thanked them for returning the stolen goods from the cultists camp. He also informed them that the monk, Leosin, had left them a gift before he left for Elturel – four horses with riding gear. After spending one last night in Greenest, the party set out on a six-day journey to Elturel (where they agreed to meet Leosin).
After a day on the road, the group discovered a journeyman’s cemetery along the side of the road. Near the cemetery gate, they spotted two elderly humans arguing with a halfling. Upon spotting the party, the halfling introduced himself as Orwerd Hardy, the proprietor of Orwerd’s Cemetery. He revealed that the two humans were retired guardsmen from Elturel. The men were on the road when one of the companions was attacked and killed by a bear. During the burial, one of the men observed a man in red robes stealing from one of their wagons. They gave chase, but the red-robed man fled straight into a nearby open crypt. The men asked the group if they could enter the crypt and attempt to recover their belongings. Never being ones to shy from adventure, the group agreed and made their way into the crypt.
Inside the crypt the party discovered a stairwell that led down into an underground chamber that appeared to have once been used for storing smuggled goods. In the storage area, the group was attacked by more members of the Cult of the Dragon. After defeating the cultists, the party learned that the cult had previously hidden a dragon egg in another chamber deeper below the cemetery. The egg had hatched several weeks ago and now the cultists were in the middle of conducting a ritual to strengthen the young black dragon. The group was able to defeat the young black dragon along with the cultists that were conducting the ritual. They were also able to recover the retired guardsmen’s stolen belongings before continuing their journey to Elturel.
Upon arriving in Elturel, the party discovered that the city was celebrating the recent bountiful harvest with a festival for the goddess of agriculture, Chauntea. The group asked around about Leosin, but none of the guards seemed to know anything about the monk. When the group inquired about the paladin, Ontharr Frume, they were directed to a tavern named “A Pair of Black Antlers” . They learned that the tavern served as “headquarters” for Frume’s faction, the Order of the Gauntlet.
At the tavern the group found Ontharr, surrounding by cheering tavern patrons, fighting another large man. After Ontharr defeated his opponent, he introduced himself and informed them that, “Leosin has said much, but there are too many ears present to talk right now.” He told them that there was a meeting planned for the following evening and encouraged them to pass the time by enjoying the festival activities.