20 Marpenoth through 2 Uktar 1486
Titan and Korotir are “working” for the Snail in Waterdeep for roughly a tenday and change, posing as unemployed swords-for-hire. They get several jobs doing boring guard work for various elements in the city, using their positions to sneak into offices and extract samples of stationery for the Snail’s “paper expert.”
While in the city, Korotir turns in the Fire Giant’s ear for the bounty it is worth, but is recognized as being part of the banned group. He is not evicted from Waterdeep but is warned against coming back. Doesn’t matter, got paid.
The work pays off, despite its mind-numbing nature: the Snail’s expert identifies the office which issued the edict against the party and the Snail can move into phase two of his plan: insinuating an agent into the offices. This phase cannot be helped by the presence of Korotir and Titan, and the two meet back up with the party in Daggerford after the rest of them have successfully raided their new Vulture mounts.
2 through 6 Uktar 1486
Since leaving the Temple of Air, the party has convinced their vulture mounts to trust them even without the benefit of the Air Acolyte robes, which are gratefully discarded. Lata informs the party that the best saddlemaker in all of Faerun lives in Goldenfields, and once the cultists have quit chasing them, they should go back and get geared up.
In Daggerford, after reconvening with Titan and Korotir and discussion with the Snail, the party decides to go back to Goldenfields (minus Willy, who, task for the Snail complete, is rewarded with his own desired information: his lost companions have been seen, and he is given the location).
On the flight back, somewhere in the Forlorn hills between Nightstone and Goldenfields while the party has settled for the day, Envar, Atarah and Korotir go hunting for vulture and people food. A pack of crag cats ambushes them, dropping down from above. Two of the cats are killed, and Korotir manages to knock the third unconscious, having determined to make a pet out of it. They drag all three bodies back to camp and Korotir asks Natalia to take a look at the unconscious one.
Natalia determines that the crag cat is female and a recent mother. Atarah and Korotir decide to go find the cubs; Envar declines, bloodied and thoroughly done with the whole situation. He feeds the vultures on the dead cats, saving their pelts. Korotir and Atarah track down the den and return with one month-old crag kitten. The mother proving untamable, Korotir settles on the kitten as his new pet, killing the mother and saving her pelt.
6 Uktar 1486
They end up running into Naxene first, and ask her to identify the Rod they’d picked up from the Giant, as well as does she have any diamonds they can buy? For Natalia’s spell components. Naxene doesn’t have any but she does know someone who might… Several hours later, they’ve somehow canvassed most of the town and come up with two suitable diamonds for Natalia (properly paid for, of course. The rod is identified as a Rod of Vonindod, which can locate objects within a thousand feet or locate adamantine artifacts within several miles, a number of times a day.
Envar runs into some Emerald Enclave elves, who invite him back to a celebration of the elvish god Corellon… he stays with them for almost the entirety of the time the party spends in Goldenfields, returning with a deep blue star-studded cloak and new magic.
They do end up finding Orthovir Margaster, the saddlemaker, who disparages the quality of the saddles the vultures came with and promises them better ones… for 80gp each… they need ten of them. Orthovir proposes a discount: deliver an order of completed saddles to Noanar’s Hold, along with his agent Nik and he’ll take 200gp off the final price. The party agrees after some hasty conferencing with the Snail, since he had told Atarah about the drop point in Noanar’s Hold and she doesn’t want to wreck his investigation there. Orthovir is a Waterdhavian noble as well, and Natalia recognizes him from many years ago.
The party has two tendays to wait in Goldenfields while the saddles are completed. They acquire, through barter and coin, fur-lined leather flying gear, including goggles. A set is left in Goldenfields when they leave, along with an extra Vulture, for Tranled whenever the Snail is finished with him.
Korotir spends his time acting as the Captain of the Guard, the position he’d claimed from Strog after the fatal duel, and also learning from the druids the lore of animal training. His kitten grows rapidly, from chicken-size to mastiff-sized, and now bears the name QujmeH (Kushmay), despite Natalia’s suggestions of “snowball” and “marshmallow” and other white-themed names. It’s not even half-grown yet.
Atarah takes over an abandoned building from the giant attacks and works to refit it as a chapel to Summerheart (AN: fic forthcoming), and also visits the druids before they leave to Noanar’s Hold to get her hair dyed as an attempt at disguise.
27 Uktar 1486
The party, including Orthovir’s agent Nik, packs up and sets out for Noanar’s Hold, going north through the Dessarin River valley. They quickly settle into a flying and hunting routine. One night Voldrick tells stories of a great stone bridge spanning the valley, built by the dwarvish god Moradin. It’s become a site of pilgrimage and since they’ll be flying right over it, he’d like to stop and see it. The party agrees.
30 Uktar 1486
They reach Stone Bridge. It is impressive, being a single-arch bridge two miles long across the river and valley, fifteen feet wide and several hundred feet high. While Voldrick prays and readies himself spiritually for the walk across, Natalia also prays to her watery god. Korotir and Atarah spar, learning to fight around Kushme. Titan makes disparaging comments, probably, and Envar practices the flute.
As they start across the bridge, Korotir and Nik decide to race. Nik, being a monk, leaves Korotir in the dust fairly quickly. Only to come running back just as fast, yelling “Tall man!”
There’s a fire giant and two hellhounds quickly approaching Korotir – who is far ahead of the rest of the group, due to the race – at the top of the bridge.
Korotir stands his ground against the giant’s chain-whip, attacks one of the hellhounds and manages to shove it off the bridge. The rest of the group runs to bolster Korotir, casting shield of faith on themselves. Voldrick and Titan are quickly left behind (shorter legs!). Atarah whistles for her vulture but fumbles the first attempt to swing on while running.
The other hellhound spews firey breath at Korotir, the giant swings his great sword – and Korotir crumples to the ground.
Envar is running as fast as he can and Atarah manages to get onto her vulture. Nik makes it back to attack the other Hellhound, who snaps at him but misses. The giant also attacks Nik, distracted by this… small one… and does not finish off Korotir.
Atarah leaps off her vulture once it is in range, landing with blindingly bright sword point-first into the giant’s clavicle above the protection of its plate mail. She hangs on.
Envar looses a shot as he runs, Nik hits the hellhound and frightens it away with his terrifying monkliness. Envar finally gets to Korotir and spares the dying, only to be flicked off the bridge by the flat of the giant’s sword to fall several hundred feet to the river below. He calls Atarah’s circling vulture but doesn’t manage to get on it in time.
Korotir gets to his feet, woozy but alive.
Atarah and Nik get in a hit each that the Giant shrugs off before staring, amazed, at Korotir. Most things he smashes to the ground do not get back up. He hits Korotir, who – blocks, with shield and Thunderblade. The blade snaps, its magic melting into the shield. The giant staggers back, shaken, and Korotir smashes him with his shield to the sound of thunder. The giant falls.
Natalia calls up the waters, trying to save Envar, but he hits too fast. She calls her own vulture to get down to him quickly, but doesn’t get a good grip. Natalia and the vulture hit the water hard. She heals Envar from afar, bringing him back to consciousness, and the two start swimming to shore. Natalia’s vulture limps its way back, injured, and Atarah gets back on her bird, flying less panicked to get down and help tow the two in the water.
Voldrick and Titan finally catch up in time to not be able to help, aside from Voldrick healing those in need.
The giant falls from the bridge and washes downstream, where his corpse is picked over for loot and then offered to the vultures. Titan takes several vials of burning giant blood. The party camps on shore beside the bridge for the night, thoroughly bedraggled.