A group of mercenaries were hired in Absalom to escort a mysterious floating wagon driven by a Taldan captain and a Qadiran mage. After a week of traveling, the caravan has crossed the Inner Sea and traveled up the Sellen River to reach the Verduran Forest.
The caravan consists of Guard Captain Aurelia Volus, a Taldan officer with traces of elvish heritage and a southerly accent; Khoda, a mysterious Qadiran mage with an even stranger pet bird; Sergeant Quinius, a veteran Taldan soldier; and Bator, a young recruit in the Taldan Army. The mercenaries include Felicity the Satyrling bard; Kegra the Half-Orc ranger and her wolf companion Shepard; Miette the Catfolk sorcerer; Spring Brambles the Vine Leshy shifter; and Yorkshire Kalvin the Halfling gunslinger.
4 Desnus, AR 4742
After a long day of travel, the party discusses guard duty assignments for the evening. Felicity, as she has been doing the last few nights, volunteers for first watch and invites Bator to join her. Spring Brambles volunteers for third watch with Quinius, and Kegra takes the middle watch. The half-orc makes an early night of it to get ready.
Felicity joins Miette in prowling around the campsite, eventually discovering a worn silver locket in the dirt. While Miette beds down on top of the wagon, Felicity chats up Bator. Yorkshire, meanwhile, polishes his gun Betty before bedding down.
Felicity and Bator have an uneventful watch, and she wakes up Kegra for the second shift. The half-orc's wolf companion Shepard notices something amiss in the woods. The two investigate and see small shapes conferring with each other in a strange tongue. Kegra returns to camp and tries to rouse people with a low whistle. Bator and Captain Aurelia emerge from their tens and Yorkshire Kalvin is roused to wakefulness, but Felicity and Miette remain asleep.
When no ambush immediately develops, Kegra, Shepard and Bator go to investigate. Yorkshire goes to wake the sleeping ladies, and decides the fastest way to get them both up is to fire his gun. The loud crack of the musket sends Felicity stumbling up cursing, while Miette springs to wakefulness. The strange creatures panic and flee at the sound, and Yorkshire gets chewed out by Aurelia, Khoda, and Felicity for the noise. Keg inspects the creatures' tracks and determined that they were a group of kobolds. During the rest of her watch, Kegra hears some strange far off noises, but nothing draws near.
5 Desnus, AR 4742
The next morning, half the party is bleary eyed. Felicity manages to scrounge some coffee from Bator.
They proceed traveling north, with Kegra and Shepard in the lead. Around mid-day, they stop for lunch. Kegra and Felicity go to fill water skins at a nearby stream and Yorkshire Kalvin takes his pony to be watered. They notice that just across the stream is a ruined campsite that looks like it has been ransacked. A pair of ettercaps emerge from the tents and rush them.
Yorkshire's pony takes a scratch but the halfling himself is able to dodge the attack and graze one of the creatures with a shot. Felicity starts up a series of insulting quips to inspire the others and Kegra moves to engage an ettercap with her nodachi.
Miette leaves the caravan to go help, but another threat emerges — four giant spiders hiding amid a giant web in the trees. Miette uses entangle to snare the spiders in a viney web of her own. But one of them manages to break free and attack, wounding and poisoning her.
Spring Brambles hangs back to guard the wagon with Aurelia and Khoda, while Quinius and Bator move to help.
Yorkshire reloads his musket and gets bitten by an ettercap, but shakes off the poison. The shot goes wide, though. Felicity tries to daze Yorkshire's opponent with an ear-splitting scream, but it resists the effect. Kegra continues to battle her opponent while Shepard moves in to help.
Miette backs away from the giant spider attacking her and blasts it with magic missiles. Bator gets between her and the spider, while Quinius looses arrows at the other spiders trapped in the trees.
Kegra cuts down her ettercap and moves to battle the one going after Yorkshire. The halfling withdraws and climbs up onto his pony, which rides back to a safe distance. Unfortunately, his musket misfires. A third ettercap comes charging into the fray, drawn by the cries of the others. Felicity retreats, too, and casts cure light wounds on Yorkshire.
Bator cuts down his spider, and Quinius kills one in the trees. Miette fires more magic missiles.
Kegra kills the second ettercap and then positions herself in front of Felicity and Yorkshire, bracing her nodachi for attack. The remaining ettercap charges and she slices it in two. The celebration is short-lived, however, as the two remaining giant spiders wriggle free of the vines and come down after Keg.
Shepard wounds one of the spiders and Keg cuts it down. Felicity tumbles past the other spider, kisses her brass knuckles to empower an arcane strike, and then finishes the creature off with one punch.
After cleaning up the gore, Felicity and Kegra inspect the ruined camp. There is little of value there, but the tracks tell an interesting story. The humans at this illegal logging camp were led away by satyrs before the ettercaps showed up. Shepard follows the tracks up into a fork in the road. The tracks head northeast, following the stream.
The party regroups at the caravan, where Aurelia and Khoda are arguing in Qadiran about which path to take — the more direct northerly route, or the northeast path. They put it to the mercenaries for a vote. Felicity is very eager to head northeast in the direction of the satyrs, and the others agree. The bard heals up her wounded companions with a wand of cure light wounds and they continue northeast.
The sun seems to drop low on the horizon earlier than expected as they enter a section of the forest that seems strangely sickly. Spring Brambles talks with one of the trees, who says that the sickness has been around for a while. It seems unrelated to whatever issues the leshy itself is suffering.
Shortly after the tree conversation, the party hears the sound of approaching wing beats. They scramble for cover, but there is little to be found between the river and the cliff. Spring Brambles and Felicity are caught out in the open, and Yorkshire's pony gets agitated.
A huge dragon descends to ground level. It's scales are a yellowy metallic color tinge with a sickly green patina. It roars at them menacingly and speaks a strange language that no one can understand. While the others prepare for a fight, Felicity pastes a big grin on her face and greets the dragon with arms thrown wide in a welcome gesture.
This seems to bring the dragon back from the bring of hostilities, and it speaks again in its strange tongue. Behind the party, a half-dozen kobolds drop out of a tree. Their leader approaches and speaks in pidgin Common.
They demand that the one who created the terrible noise the night before come forward. Yorkshire rides his pony out from under a tree. After a bit of negiotiation, he agrees to stop his "boomstick" away, which placates the kobolds.
The little creatures explain that their "god-king," the dragon, is sick and needs "plant medicine." They insist that the party help cure him. Seeing no other option, Felicity promises that the group will help and they shake hands on this "truce-truce." The kobolds insist on leading the caravan somewhere and the shadows grow long.
The party regroups to follow them, with Felicity trying to assure them that everything is under control.