The effects of the dream reverberated throughout the offices of the college. The party members were not the only ones to have their subconscious selves called out to. As the semester wound down around them, they found themselves summoned to Cymantha Fehrety’s office once again. Someone new to the group was also present at this meeting. Oddly, while Damon had not adventured with the group before, being brand new to the fighter’s academy, he was present in the dream as well, swinging a bloody sword.
Before Cymantha began, someone very short moved out from behind her desk wearing very fine clothes, a jeweled vest under an elaborate, opulent long coat. Dean Fehrety introduced the Hin and Caramel Bunyan, a weathy merchant whose interests coincided with the college’s, the Grand Duchy and necessarily the Empire at large. This she sternly impressed on the group.
Contact had been lost with a trading post/way station at the western borders of the Grand Duchy — which also represents the western extent of the Mureaux Empire on Kathgryus — run by members of the 6th Shire. Because of the myriad of possibilities that exist, and due to increased activity of the Tiger Clan tribes, the Empire has made it clear it does not want to risk open war with the Children of the Tiger so it will take no overt action currently. The Arch Duke at Tansun has also been ordered no not involve itself directly. Enter the students.
Caramel has outfitted a caravan of touring merchants to make the journey to the outpost 5 days away. It’s something he would normally do this time of year anyway, and it provides cover for their greater mission: to find out why they lost contact and report back to the school. Caramel provides enough inventory for the group to pass as general mercantile merchants and gifts each member of the party with an item befitting their assumed roles.
The next day they set out. The wagon appointed to them is rather huge, drawn by a team of 4 horses; Strawberry is given a cart laden with barrels and an ox. At the head of their convoy are a trio of Dwarven metal smiths from the settlement outside Nevamyr. Behind them travel A father/daughter team of elves along with their trusted business partner. Their beautiful coach loaded with furs and wood carvings. Riding animals the party had never seen before, pulling carts of an unknown make with large spoked wheels were the group from the far Southern continent of SeyLaft. Elygyn took special care to introduce himself to these folks and see their jewelry and bead work. Bringing up the rear were Caramel Bunyan’s troops of agents: Fabrizio Valet, Viniciano Lipton and Athena Vargas.
The first couple nights were uneventful with the party rotating watches over the camp. They wisely spent the time getting to know their fellow caravan travelers. It didn’t take long for their to be a consensus among them that Tessar Garandyn, a boisterous, affable man of very dark skin and very bright temperment loved speaking to them about his bead work and art, Mynudwe Ugar, the beatiful master of the Seylaft merchants present was very aloof Fabrizio Valet didn’t seem to really like anyone around him and appeared to have a crush on Athena and that Sissy Ironbreast the dwarf and Shawynn Silvermink were very good friends, giggling together and swapping their wares.
The third night, things changed. Elygyn chose to sleep away from the encampment where it sat within a grove off the road and away from the the lake. His dog Oaklyn was with him ofcourse. Gaelwyn had first watch, sitting atop the grand wagon of Caramel Bunyan and halfway between midnight and dawn, Rabbye took over for her. As they made their shift change, there came a great “Hoo-hoo-hoot!” from in the woods. Rabbye motioned for Gaelwyn to return and she relieved him of his post, resuming her place atop the wagon as he rushed to see what was approaching Elygyn’s position in the woods. In the meantime, Allyn was wakened by a hand going through his robes. He looked around, seeing Damon still sleeping near him by the fire, and a man standing over him. His hair was greased and bpulled back tightly in a severe bun. His entire body was a maze of piercing and gold jewelry and accessories. His eyes were smeared over with a black something that made his whites bulge out fiercely. Reacting, Allyn reached out to grab hold of the mad, successfully wrestling him to the ground.
In the woods, the hooting was laced with the roars of a large animal. Bursting from the brush between the trees, a huge bear, 8 foot tall with fur that gave way to feathers under the arms charged toward Elygyn even as Oaklyn started barking fiercely, backing away from the monstrous owl’s head that topped the powerful body. Rabbye hollared a challenge to the thing and, seeing it’s huge shape with her infravision, Gaelwaynn line up a shot with her bow, having trouble due to the trees’ density. Being closer, Rabbye was able to make his shot count, Elygyn, woken from sleep was not as lucky.
Losing his fight with Allyn, seeing Damon was waking up and Strawberry was approaching from across the camp, the invader grabbed a hold of Alyn and hooted right in his face. The monster responded in kind, turning from Rabbye and Elygyn, heading into the camp. Shocked, Strawberry turned his attention to the big owlbear and charged towards it. With his shield before him ,her rammed it up into the Owlbear, his weight and height and the blow itself serving to trip the beast…right on top of Strawberry who disappeared under it’s bulk.
Damon came to his senses, wasting no time in pulling the assailant off of Allyn and cleaving him nearly in two with his sword. Gaelwyn and Elygyn did the owlbear in, one with a well shot arrow, the other by running at full charge, plunging his sword up into the nether regions of the owlbear via it’s posterior…
The camp was alive then and searchers were organized to see if there were any more surprises waiting for them in the woods. Damon came across an unusual, smooth wooden crate that was more of a cube. Inside they discovered several balls of very hard, heavy rubber, and a single egg that shocked Caramel. “That’s a wyvren egg!” he declared. He said that the rubber balls probably masked its scent, but leaving it exposed would definitely bring trouble. Boxing it back up, they left it in the woods where they found it. In searching the dead man and the beast, they discovered that a symbol carved onto the owlbear’s beak matched a necklace charm on the savage’s neck.
That evening, Elygyn opted to sleep inside the grand wagon of Caramel Bunyan. In the very blackest hours of the night, the wagon shifted under someone’s weight as they entered. Only half awake, Elygyn listened, but didn’t react at all, even as someone brushed past him carrying something.
After another uneventful day of traveling, the caravan finally was in the middle of the wildlands between borders, the edifice of the trade post in sight some distance up a hill. Looking through a spyglass, Caramel didn’t like the looks of things and held everyone back. It was decided to scout the place out first. Allyn and Strawberry moved ahead in Strawberry’s beer cart while Elygyn finally relayed what happened the other night in the wagon. Concerned, Caramel gave Elygyn a manifest of everything in the cart and told him to check it out. Rabbye and Hawkyns jumped to help. It didn’t take them long, combing through the inventory to discover the strange wooden box with the wyvren egg inside was in the cart itself!
As this was happening, Strawberry and Allyn reached the front door of the main house of the trading post. Though the tower was largely intact, it didn’t take but a moment for them to suspect strongly they were looking at a gutted husk of a building.
Rabbye and Hawkyns cracked open the box to confirm their fears…
Strawberry forced the door, pushing it over dust and grit from the debris. In front of him and Allyn was a long, scorpion-like tail and a huge, brown scaled hip. Two giant serpentine heads raised up with a fluid grace from the wreckage, looking up over the walls back towards the caravan, letting out a challenging roar.
Allyn started screaming. Strawberry moved to shut the door.
Elygyn, Rabby and Hawkyns slammed the box shut and started running away from the wagons and carts. But the damage was done. Both wyvrens beat their wings to gain air, nearly blowing Allyn and Strawberry over. Damn and Gaelwyn had been riding up towards the post, but now reversed direction to intercept the monsters before they ran their friends down. Most of the merchants at the caravan ran for cover, except for Warblynn Broadleaf, one of the Elf merchants. He stepped out from behind his wagon, a spell on his lips as he gestured.
The first Wyren caught up to the fleeing trio with the egg box rapidly. Damon leapt to his feet on the back of his horse and promptly slipped, landing hard on his nether regions, his action halted. Gaelwyn sent an arrow flying but missed the target. The Wyvren, undeterred, struck out, catching Hawkyns in the shoulder, injuring him through his armor and sending him tumbling.
With a small tap to the face, Strawberry got Allyn to snap out of it and run back towards their party.
The elf merchant Warblynn cut loose with his spell finally and all were briefly blinded by a irregular stick of lightning, pulsing and flashing a foot from his hands, striking the larger wyren dead center and exploding its ribcage. It crashed to the ground, roaring in pain. Damon tried again to attack the other wyvren, this time maintaining his balance and striking up at the airborne creature. He tumbled from his horse but was unharmed. So was the wyvren. Hawkyns took down the other Wyvren with a continual light spell cast at its eyes. It hit the ground like a wounded bat, squeeling and thrashing about until the groups closed in and put both monsters out of their misery. At this point Strawberry and Allyn reached the group, Strawberry calling for silence…
Someone not too far away back the way they came was screaming and cussing wildly. Collecting themselves, some ran, some mlunted up, but everyone went towards the yelling. Caramel looked around, taking inventory of everyone, making mental note of who was missing and who was present.
They came across Stafford Hungryforge laying in the grass, axe in hand. A little ways on from him was Buprofyrn Brasshammer, holding a bloody Sissy Ironbreast and hollering after someone they couldn’t see. Hawkyns immediately set to work on the two wounded dwarves while Buprofyrn was questioned. He said Fabrizio grabbed Shawynn and fled, injuring Sissy and Stafford in the process. Cormorant Silvermink blanched taking Rabbye as a rider as he, Damon and Gaelwynn spurned their horses onward to pursue.
They rode past an ambush point, 6 men in very similar attire to the man that attacked camp nights before leap from camouflaged holes in the ground, blowguns at the ready. Elygyn was struck, but he resisted the poison on the tip of the dart. Gaelwynn, in a string of horrible luck not only broke her bowstring, but fell into one of the open holes on top of a body Elygyn had felled a second before. Fabrizio rode out from the high grasses with Shawynn held before him at knife point on his horse. He seemed alarmed to see his ambush and escape were falling apart. Strawberry putting one of his compatriot in a choke hold and tearing him from his hole helped reinforce that.
There was a back and forth with the group and Fabrizio revealed he was indeed a Tiger Clan spy, living among the weak filth, looking for a way to avenge the troubles unleashed on his people. No one knew what trouble was unleashed, but he intimated that there were new tribes of goblins never seen before, roaming and pillaging his people’s lands. He revealed himself further to be a member of the Chameleon tribe, just like the savage that attacked their camp. They started to negotiate for the life of his man in exchange for Shawynn. Fabrizio implied she was dead, dropping her from his horse and charging them agrressively. He didn’t make it…
In the aftermath, Sympkins and Gaelwyn were able to bring everyone back up to a healthy state and the party searched the remains of the trading post, now a bone and crap filled wyvren nest with a very distraught halfing, Caramel Bunyan. He encouraged them to keep the magic daggers they found as they used to belong to his friends. he vowed to get his best people on rebuilding the post and beseeched the group to follow him further and see what else they could learn in the area.
DM’s Bibliography: This adventure was entirely made up by the DM.