Mirtul the 9th – Mirtul the 22nd, The Year of the Gauntlet (05/09/1369 – 05/22/1969 DR)
As the group digested the newfound Royal Charter it was time to plan out the next step for them all. After all that had happened, moral was a mixed bag, with each individual finding themselves in very different places and looking forward to different avenues moving forward. The group agreed to take a tenday in order to settle affairs within Suzail before they sat down to determine how to proceed forward. There were many options and for the first time since Alwyn and Galdoreth left Tyrluk, the option of what came next was up to them and not rushed.
Tempust went about procuring items and crafting magical trinkets for the group as was needed, finding in the process a request from the Halfling whom he had set up his previous arrangement with for a specific item while doing so.
Ength and Seph went about taking time to entrust their respective assets in the hands of those they came to trust, or at least value, in running the newfound church of Loviatar in Suzail, the business dealings with interrogation for the crown and the matter of Shaliber’s Ship. Ength was careful to keep his relationships under thumb, using the affection of Maerun Stoutbold to ensure there is a competent person at the helm of a lot of his dealings.
Galdoreth continued to slip further into his isolation, often lost in his thoughts or away from the company of others. Attempts to rouse him were met with friendly discussion, but most eventually degraded into his more common slips into lost dreams.
Alwyn did his best to piece back together that which Jheg took from him, but more than anything attempted to focus on the future. He decided to continue his work with the church of Lliira and supporting orphans of Suzail, but did so as a silent partner and no longer with such a direct hand involved in the care of the facility. He realized that with the constant travel and work against forces of evil that such an affiliation would always be seen as a target by those willing to exploit it against him.
Dhurst continued as he had been the weeks prior, waiting for the others in the group to decide the next course of action for them all, but longing to head to Tilverton and explore the deeper meaning behind the jewels left to him by his “father”. He understood in speaking with Alwyn that Galdoreth’s worsening condition would likely take precedence though, and the murmers among Tempust and Ength were a trek West, toward Waterdeep was likely.
On the eve prior to the tenday the group had agreed to gather in the tavern of the Dragon’s Jaws to discuss what was next. Tempust, Seph, Dhurst, Ength and Alwyn sat down to discuss the situation, awaiting Galdoreth. As a decision to head north along the desert borders to aquire the item that Tempust’s contact desired, then west to Waterdeep to investigate the Fire Knives was imminent, Alwyn and Dhurst decided to bring Galdoreth into the fold.
They discovered Galdoreth missing, his belongings and person already gone from the room. Just as they entered though, Alwyn began seeing a repeat-image of Galdoreth rising from bed in a half dream-state, gathering his things and rushing out of the inn while speaking about some individuals being alive. Hurriedly he rushed from the inn, leaving Dhurst in a state of confusion and barking to Dhurst to bring him food. He followed the image as it left town, seemed to steal a horse and took off down the Northern road out of Suzail.
Eventually Dhurst calmed Alwyn and convinced him to wait for the others. It took a few hours, but the images that Alwyn was following never wavered. Eventually the group was saddled and on their way, following Galdoreth’s ghost image out of Suzail and into the wilderness. The caravan procession moved slowly and took far more time than Alwyn would have liked, as it appeared Galdoreth was moving very fast. After pushing their mounts to the limit, the group ended up in Waymoot and could go no further, as it appeared the ghost image of Galdoreth was likewise exhausted and had ridden his horse to death then gotten into a fistfight with those who investigated before fleeing town once more.
The night passed without incident, however in the morning as the group met in the tavern to prepare for the day, Alwyn was missing. Tempust grew impatient before deciding that the group would just wait until Alwyn came back, but Dhurst would hear none of it, sending his wolf on the trail of Alwyn and following his scent around town. Ength, Seph, Tempust and his group remained in the tavern for drinks to wait for the others to return.
Alwyn eventually came to a small building, a non-descript tavern with very limited seating. Upon entering, he found what he came for. He was invisible and remained undetected, wishing to study for a moment before proceeding. For he came to investigate the half-drow female, sister of the two that had killed Tempust’s brother. He had spared her, taking her possessions and leaving her a blanket to protect from the cold the night of her defeat. He did all of this without consulting the group and decided to see if his good nature in sparing her had given her cause to change her ways.
Before he could get any definitive information though, Dhurst walked into the tavern. The woman looked up, along with her companion, a very pale man in dark garb sitting across the table from her. Upon seeing Dhurst she exclaimed suprise and fear, using her shadow magic to fall into the shadows under the table and disappearing. This led to a series of confrontations between Alwyn and Dhurst outside the tavern and eventually Alwyn confronting the man left at the tavern while Dhurst confronted the innkeeper.
While Alwyn was frustrated with Dhurst for not trusting him and delving into his business, Dhurst was equally upset over Alwyn hiding such a valuable piece of information like leaving alive someone who had attempted to kill them. A brief argument culminated in a quickly hashed plan to use Dhurst’s wolf to track the half drow. They came to a building across the street, one that the woman’s companion had went into after leaving the tavern.
Alwyn attempted to engage the two in conversation from the front door, knocking and pleading his case to want to talk about the situation. Eventually he moved to the back door, leaving Dhurst at the front. Upon noticing the man in an upstairs window looking down at him he headed toward the front of the building. As he did so, Dhurst’s wolf began barking like crazy and Alwyn hurried to come upon a scene of Dhurst unconscious, the half drow cradling him in her arms with a blade to his neck.
After a short standoff in the street the at odds group moved inside the building where Alwyn attempted to calm the situation down, but the half drow was insistant that they were coming to kill her. After learning that it was indeed only Alwyn and Dhurst she coerced Alwyn out of his hat of disguise and sent him away to go get Tempust as she took Dhurst to the basement of the building. Alwyn did as directed and after a brief discussion with the rest of the group came to return to the house, only to find it empty of anyone but Dhurst, who lay unconscious in the basement, stripped of all his posessions except his underclothes and the blanket that Alwyn had once wrapped the half drow in when he left her alive in the forest.