By Shadow Catcher
The caravan path from Waterdeep is different from those before. The marshy surrounds punctured only by the newly build road of Lord Dagult Neverember. Whilst this road will not lead us to the Jewel of the North, Neverwinter, it will take us closer to our destination. The Carnath Roadhouse!
We arrive in the mid afternoon, to be greeted by a queue waiting to enter. Ryndel, never one for norms or protocol, barges in to see what is what. It is then I hear a familiar voice, one I will never forget from my childhood, a voice that fills me with fear and dread.
My suspicions are confirmed when we enter, there in front of me is the monster from my childhood, I remember his hulking form with blood soaked sword as I hid under my bed, it was indeed the half orc Bog-Luck. [ed… this is why Shadow is so good at hiding]
There are too many onlookers to take my revenge straight away, and my childhood fear holds me back. I will bide my time and take the opportunity when it arises.
We take our rooms and hatch plans. One involves me sneaking across the second story ledges and into Bog-Luck’s room. Surely my high agility should help in in such a climb, but my weakly limbs nearly sees me plummet to my death. To my surprise his room is not filled with torture equipment, but with learned books. Not surprisingly though there is no treasure to be found.
Blake suggests that maybe all the treasure is in the storeroom, perhaps we should investigate!
That night at dinner the cultist on the road who tried to frame me for a murder starts to hassle and taunt me. My high agility should provide me the chance to hit him in a vulnerable part, but again my weakly limbs fail me. He doesn’t back down and there is only one way this can end…. one of us lying bleeding on the ground. Perhaps this is also a chance to show Bog-Luck I am not a quivering child hiding under the bed anymore.
The arena is set in the middle of the roadhouse courtyard. The cultist pulls out TWO SWORDS! AND ATTACKS with one TWICE per round! Even my new dodgy skill is not enough and I am down to half my health in 1 round. My turn to counterattack.. OH CRAP, all my damage relies on my hiding behind Hitum! At last my crappy tricksters spells assist me. By forcing him prone with laughter I am able to get not 1, not 2 but 3 sneak attacks! His 3 attack onslaught is foiled by Ryndel’s sneaky pre-fight blessing. Blake is strangely quiet, not even an inspiring song. I assume he is composing the “Ballard of the Epic Fight at the Carnath Roadhouse”.
Having dispatched this sub-leader of the cultists, I tell the rest to stay clear of things they don’t understand and flash them the dragon cult sign. Hopefully this will be enough for us to not be bothered by them again. Over dinner my hopes that the skills I shown in the fight ingratiating me with Bog-Luck has not worked. He remains aloof and disinterested. I feel the strange need to impress him, rather than kill him.
Hitum finds out that the cook has been hearing rats in the basements. Maybe there is a sub-quest here for us afterall.
I sneak into the store area, with the help of the gnome, Jamna Gleamsilver and Blake’s two way messaging system. I find boxes of treasure! Too heavy to carry! ARGGGGH! My eagle eye picks up that one of the boxes is hinged. Oh crap! My thoughts race back to the rats I met in the tunnel in Greenest that nearly cut short my adventuring career.
With all haste the rest of the party comes down to the store room (with Blake’s cone of silence). Just as they arrive 9 lizard men, push aside the crate, climb through the hole, pile into the room and attack, all before ANY of us can react! They throw javelins through melee like there is no disadvantage rule and quickly have the upper hand. Fortunately Blake latest bit of fluff is actually useful. She uses her barbarian rage and alpha wolf status to give us advantage. Unfortunately for me I cannot seem to get a clear shot, not because there are 15 bodies in the room, but because an open doorway seems to get in the way. Fortunately Hitum, Rhydl and Blake make quick work of the lizards, with some help from the gnome.
Blakes silence drops and we hear cries from the roadhouse. Time to press on. As I once hear the Paladin Enforcers of Waterdeep say “Follow the money..” So we head out down the secret tunnel towards where we assume the lizardmen have been taking the hoard.
The swamp is bleak, the fog is thick, the path is only known by a small sigil on the occasional tree. After several hours of travel we arrive at a camp-site. Probably where the lizard men came from. There are three canoes. Looks like we are heading out on the water to find the castle.
We take a short rest and regroup. Will our pursuers catch up? This is the second time a childhood foe has slipped from my grasp. Bog-Luck was not what I expected, the monster of my childhood was educated, well spoken and a leader of men. Perhaps there is a second side to every story.