“You have nice manners for a thief and a liar” – Smaug
After emerging from Felldane Manor, some sleuthing discovered the scene depicted in the swirling pool of blood was an old abandoned temple to Umberlee not far from Baldur’s Gate. The party wasted no time in investigating, but found that Curwen was long gone. What was remaining was a circle of runes hidden beneath the remains of a beacon fire, a trail of slime leading toward the ocean, and some zombies. The alien whale that appeared from the waters of the sea imparted to them some cryptic advice, and informed them that Curwen had traveled to the Elemental Plane of Fire. Coming up empty handed they returned to Baldur’s Gate, just in time for some of the party to enlist as caravan guards before the great wagon train departed.
The caravan north was a long, 2-month trek along the Sword Coast. During the trip they fought a group of hob-goblin raiders, rescued a harper agent who as buried up to his neck int he road, rooted out the three cult wagons and their contraband, hunted a golden stag who gave them a warning and a gift, stopped in the city of Daggerford, met a gnome rogue (named Jamna Gleamsilver) who appeared to be on a similar mission as they, witnessed a Red Wizard (Azbara) traveling with the Cult of the Dragon, battled a large infestation of spiders and their drider mistress, faced accusations of murder by the cult, and finally arrived in the great city of Waterdeep.
The cult continued on its way through the city, not stopping or dispersing like the other merchants. They eventually came to rest at a warehouse on the north end of the city. At this point the party found themselves at the Yawning Portal Inn. They were led to a private room where they met one of the Masked Lords of Waterdeep, a woman named Learal Silverhand. Lady Silverhand was a friend of Leosion Erlanthar, and has been working to bring the threat of the Cult of the Dragon to the attention of the rulers of the Sword Coast. Her position within the Lord’s Alliance puts her in an ideal situation to do so. In the meantime Leosin, Onthar Frume, and herself have formed a council to collect information and unite to decide what to do with about the Cult of the Dragon.
The party was given a vote on the Council, as was the Lord’s Alliance, the Emerald Enclave (Varis representing), the Order of the Gauntlet (Grigsby representing), and the Harpers (a man named Delaan Winterhound standing in for Leosin). The first order to vote on was brought in by Jamna Gleamsilver, who followed the party to the secret meeting and wished the Zentarim to be present on this council. She offered an exchange of information to sweeten the deal, the names of two more Wyrmspeakers – Galvan the Blue and Severin the Red (who the Zentarim believe is in charge). The council voted in favor of allowing the Black Network, The Zentarim, an far reaching criminal organization, to sit on the Council Quiet.
The next steps were discussed… the Cult was planning on traveling north on the road, but the road has been destroyed for years, having been swallowed by the unnatural swamp, the Mere of Dead Men. A road crew has been working to rebuild the road for some time. It was decided (and was later confirmed) that the cult must be using the construction crew as a cover to haul the loot even further north. It was also stressed by Lady Silverhand that destroying the Wyrmspeakers, starting with Rezmir the Black, should be a priority, killing a dragon by cutting off its heads if you will.
The party then went back on the road and followed the construction wagons north, skirting the edge of the Mere of Dead Men. Along the way they destroyed some undead, long since buried in the mud, and continued their journey north…