The party returned to Greenest, where Governor Nighthill informed them that Leosin Erlanthar had gone on ahead of them. Erlanthar had generously purchase horses and riding gear, and left a message for the party to meet him in the city of Elturel.
After returning some pieces of jewelery, stolen by the Cult, to their rightful owners (and recieving a reward for doing so) the party set off. The trip was uneventful, and they arrived in Elturel about six days later.
Elturel was a large, orderly city overlooking the River Chionthar. Its most distinguishing feature is a brilliant magical light that hovers above it, illuminating it day and night. This light is painful to undead and is visible from almost every corner of Elturgard (of which Elturel is the capital).
Arriving at the city, the party immediately split up. Heironymous Caine and Breonna sought out the seediest dive bar they could find, while Thertranna went to the opposite end of town. Dona headed for the city barracks, and Seraphina Tealeaf looked for the local Thieves’ Guild.
Thertranna was able to earn enough money through performance to pay for food and lodgings for the whole party. Dona spent some time with the city guard and their blacksmith. Seraphina gained the favour of the goddess Tymora by distributing alms to the city’s poor. Heironymous Caine and Breonna had a much more interesting time…
While trying to use her telepathic ability to search out information from the tavern’s patrons that might help them to locate Cult members, several of the patrons started getting excessively handsy. Caine started to help, but Breonna didn’t seem to require it. Black tentacles sprouted from her body and beat up everybody within range, including the thugs, and including Caine. This certainly deterred the attackers, but left her comatose for a time due to the mental stress. Once all had quieted down again, they were asked to leave, but the authorities were not called.
After spending the night at the lodgings Thertranna had procured, they were at first unsure how to proceed. However, one of the beggars that Seraphina had favoured informed them that the monk they were seeking might be found at a tavern called A Pair Of Black Antlers.
Upon entering the tavern, it was very clear that it was not really a tavern. It turned out to be the headquarters of the Order of the Gauntlet. Erlanthar was there, and he introduced the party to the Order’s leader, Ontharr Frume, a big paladin with a big voice. The entire Order were friendly, and engaged the party in games of skill and drinking. Frume was able to win both an arm-wrestling contest against Dona, and a drinking contest against Caine. The party was, however, unable to get any information until the following morning.
The Order of the Gauntlet had joined up with the Harpers, of which Erlanthar was a member, and another organisation known as the Emerald Enclave in order to find out more about the Cult and its doings. The party was well-positioned to help.
The factions needed to know where the treasure was being taken, and what was being done with it. To that end, the party would travel to Baldur’s Gate and get themselves hired as caravan guards. They were to follow the caravan and keep an eye on the Cult as they moved the treasure north. The mission was surveillance, not interception – it was more important to find the Cult’s hidden base (and whatever, or whoever Naerytar was) than to prevent them from finishing their journey.
The party were given new equipment and sent downriver to Baldur’s Gate.
Only a couple of days after they arrived in Baldur’s gate, the party noticed Cult members arriving. At first one at a time, then a group of them arrived with an unknown person carried in a palanquin. Their contact, one Ackyn Selebon, informed them that the unknown person had bought five wagons and supplies and were looking to leave the city shortly. The party did their best to hire themselves as bodyguards.
Caine was hired by Aldor Urnpoleshurst, a human lawyer looking to leave Baldur’s Gate, apparently due to some sort of scandal. Dona was hired by Samardag the Hoper, an extremely optimistic and generous human merchant carrying fragile porcelain. Breonna was hired by Noohar Serelim and his brother Selvek, elves from Cormyr. Thertranna was hired by Green Imsa, who was green. Seraphina didn’t get hired, but posed as an itinerant healer and traveller and accompanied the caravan anyway.
The trip was to take two months to arrive at Waterdeep. The first few days were uneventful, but on the morning of the fifth day, one of the wagons owned by the Cultists overturned and spilled some of its cargo. The valuable-looking jewellery was spotted by a number of people in the caravan, including Caine. But it was also clear that the Cultists also saw who had spotted their goods.
Among the caravan there was also a merchant who routinely mistreated his horses – failing to attend to their needs and shorting their feed. In the evening of the fifth day, one of his horses collapsed in its tracers and the man started beating it. Seraphina intervened, casting a healing spell on the horse, but it didn’t look like the man was going to change his behaviour.
The next morning, one of the guards who witnessed the overturning of the Cult cart was missing.