24 Eleint 1486
After their welcome to Goldenfields, the party begins to drift off on their various errands. The townspeople explain they are readying for the Harvest festival and invite the party to stay until then, and ask for their help preparing the feasts. Titan agrees, is given a knife and a potato to peel, and does a terrible job while wandering through the kitchens eating all the best stuff.
Korotir stays behind to question Abbot Ellardin, who presided over his trial when he was last in Goldenfields, intimidating the Father into revealing the others involved in his exile. Ellardin tells him about a Zhentarim agent who bribed the other guards to open the gate to the assassins. It was a man called the Snail, who works out of Bargewright Inn, a town upstream on the Dessarin River from Goldenfields. Korotir also offers the party’s services while they are in town, a tactic Natalia seems bemused by – isn’t it her adventuring company? A woman attached to the temple, Zhi, agitates for hiring them, citing lax security on the walls. Ellardin agrees to pay them 2g per guard shift on the wall.
Natalia steers the conversation to the previous trouble in the city; Ellardin and Zhi explain that last week a group of hill giants came and threw rocks at the wall, damaging it. The guards filled them full of arrows and eventually they left. One might have been named Lob but it’s hard to tell.
Stuffed full and bored of filching food, Titan decides to go looking for an apothecary to replenish his supply of rogue-ly poisons. He accosts a passerby, “Hey, peasant!” and is given the location of a druid’s shop, rather confusedly. (“I hate Goldenfields. It’s too wholesome”)
The druid specializes in growing exceptionally spicy peppers, and he’s very protective of them, especially the one named Bartholomew. Eventually, through many back-and-forths with the befuddled druid (“…that’s not how bargaining works…”), Titan acquires a sack full of very spicy peppers. He returns to their rooms at the Inn to experiment.
Meanwhile, Tranled, now in the custody of Captain Strog, is arrested for murder after one of the guards discovered the burned and severed head of the Zhentarim agent Shalvus. He is hauled off to jail, and a local child is sent running to fetch Maxine, the resident wizard, to put out the fire in the blacksmith’s shed.
Atarah, followed by Envar, finally arrive at the smithy, after being detained by curious townsfolk. Envar
eventually stares them down so they can get on with errands. The smith comments on the exoticness of the blade, fangirls over it a bit when Atarah tells him it’s her dad’s, and agrees to repair it, though it will take a few days. When Korotir and Natalia arrive to purchase a weapon for Korotir, the smith pays very little attention to them, very intent on the sword.
Back at Nightfurrows Inn, Titan successfully makes powder from his spicy peppers, but only after getting burned himself. Miros, familiar with the effects of Druid Stone’s produce, holds the halfling down and pours milk over his face to wash out the burn.
The party gathers for dinner and drinks after completing their errands for the day, wondering about their tiefling travel companion. Should they look for him? Natalia sends a child to look for him, promising coin in return.
Orin, the local bard, pesters the group for stories about themselves. Titan regales the bard with the tale of how he heroically saved Natalia from an invisible stalker, going on at length and with little regard to the actual facts. Atarah says there’s no stories about her, yet, but that Orin probably knows ones about her dad, since he used to live in Goldenfields twenty years ago. Titan is grumpy about not having a dad, Atarah invites him to visit hers on the next Solstice.
Natalia notices their loud conversations are drawing attention from a shady group in the corner. While Envar goes to investigate, Natalia informs Atarah who fails to be discreet and heads to the bar – partially to get drinks, partially to check out the group in the corner. Korotir goes with her.
Both of them fail to notice Captain Strog until he slams Korotir’s head into the bar. “You’re under arrest!”
A fight breaks out. Atarah grapples the captain off of Korotir, the guards kick at Korotir, who gets up and Sparta-kicks a guard backwards, then dashes off for his gear. Titan jumps onto the kicked guard and stabs him in the throat. Atarah yells at the captain, talking with him while she holds him pinned to the floor.
Envar knocks Titan off the downed guard in time for Natalia to reach him and heal him, to keep him from dying (“Let’s not add murder charges, it’s bad for PR”). Distracted, Atarah is knocked over and flipped by the Captain, who starts to arrest her – “…for obstructing justice—” “I AM JUSTICE!” – and her celestial wings flare.
The wings distract everyone long enough for Father Ellardin to arrive (warned and summoned by Natalia), and for the two to negotiate a truce until morning. That runner child returns, tells them their friend is in jail, and throws a note at Atarah from a safe distance.
Everyone retires for the evening…
25 Eleint 1486, before dawn
Orin, as per his habit, goes on a drunken ramble late at night. He nearly runs into half a dozen very tall siege-weapon ogres, plus goblins and bugbears. He runs to the Inn, yelling once he gets there, “We’re under attack!”
Envar and Titan go scouting, discover the invaders are searching for something. They’ve split into groups, and the bugbears have vanished.
Titan goes to break Tranled out of jail, deciding the party will need him in the fight to come. He succeeds after a few encounters with guards, including knocking one out by throwing pixie dust at him and jerking a door open in front of the flying guard’s face. The pair head back to the Inn once Tranled’s things are recovered.
Back at the Inn, the ogres have fixated on the building. It’s going to be a long night..