After their initial meeting with Ontharr Frume, the party decided to pass some time in Elturel by enjoying some of the festivities and contests offered during the Feast of Chauntea festival. Doric claimed victory in an archery contest while Garin and Tanakar both suffered defeats in drinking, strength, and foot race contests. The group also participated in an event known as “The Seeker’s Find”. This event was a scavenger hunt/riddle contest offered by a group of retired adventurers known as “The Seekers”. This challenge, which had been held annually for the last five years, had never been completed by any of it’s participants. The party was able to solve several challenging puzzles and eventually recover the golden star required to win “The Seeker’s Find”. Upon winning the contest the party was allowed to select a prize from several magic items that previously belonged to the Seekers and an invitation to join the Seekers was also extended to the group.
While having dinner at the Pair of Black Antlers tavern the party was approached by one of Ontharr Frume’s squires. The squire led the party to a room near the back of the tavern where they were met by Ontharr Frume and Leosin Erlanthar. Ontharr thanked the party for the information that they’d gathered so far on the cult’s recent activities. He revealed that he and Leosin were both part of separate organizations (the Order of the Gauntlet and the Harpers) sworn to protect Faerun from the spread of evil. Ontharr explained that both organizations were both very interested in the Cult of the Dragon’s recent activities – amassing huge amounts of treasure and moving it to the north.
Ontharr extended an offer to the party to join either the Order of the Gauntlet or the Harpers in order to help them stop the Cult of the Dragon. Tanakar accepted the offer to join the Harpers while Doric and Garin declined due to their untrust of any organization.
Ontharr revealed that his organization knew that the cult was transporting treasure as far north as Waterdeep – but had no idea where the treasure went from there or what the cult planned on doing with it. He asked the party to travel east to Baldur’s Gate via the River Chionthar where they should arrive about a week ahead of the group of cultists that abandoned the camp south of Greenest. Once in Baldur’s Gate, the party would await the cult’s arrival and then attempt to get hired as caravan guards or pose as merchants in the same caravan the cult joined before heading north to Waterdeep.
After taking a boat west to Baldur’s Gate, the party spent about a week and a half scouting around the city waiting for the cult’s arrival. After spotting some of the disguised cultists, the party was ableto secure employment with some merchants who were travelling in the same caravan north as the cultists. Garin was hired as a guard for a dwarf merchant named Lai Angesstun while Doric was employed to protect a human lawyer named Aldor Urnpoleshurst. Faeron was hired on as a guard by two elf merchants – Noohar and his mute brother Selvek. Tanakar decided to pose as a traveller – following the caravan on foot.
During the first tenday of their journey the caravan came across a wagon under attack by a group of hobgoblins. After the hobgoblins were defeated, the group discovered that a merchant, Thelry Walda, and his guards were hiding underneath the wagon. Thelry left his guards behind with his wagon and joined the caravan in order to travel to the next hostelry and buy new horses.
A halfling teamster by the name of Losvius Longnose took up a special interest in Doric’s sword short and offered to buy it from him. Throughout the entire day, Losvius was very persistent about the sword and the next morning Doric discovered that his sword was missing. After an investigation, Doric learned that a gnome guard, Gimble Raulnor, had overheard his conversation with Losvius and decided to use the opportunity to steal his sword. Doric was able to recover his sword and will be keeping a close eye on Gimble in the future.
During the second tenday of travel the caravan entered an area known as the Trollclaws. There they were attacked by two creatures that resembled large birds with the head of a stag. Later, they learned that these beasts were known as perytons.
The following week the group discovered a man buried up to his neck in the middle of the road. The word “oathbreaker” was painted across his forehead. Against the rest of the caravan’s wishes, the party dug up the man. They learned that his name was Carlon Arnoffel and that he was a member of the Harpers. Carlon was travelling with another caravan – attempting to trail some smugglers (also members of the Cult of the Dragon). The cultists discovered Carlon’s identity and convinced other merchants in the caravan that Carlon was working with bandits to rob the caravan.
The caravan entered the Trollbark Forest during its fourth tenday of travel. There, the caravan was attacked by two giant spiders and three humanoid spider-like creatures. While the caravan guards were fighting off the giant spiders, the humanoid creatures cut two horses free from their harnesses and led them away into the woods. Garin and Doric’s employers, Oyn Evenmor and Aldor Urnpoleshurst, urged the guards to travel into the woods in order to recover the lost horses.