Fire’s Day 15th of Skalar 1011 AF
In the morning the three remaining adventurers are quiet. There is an awkwardness in the air. Zelmauk and Daresso provide some food and cook it, then early in the morning they begin the long trek back to town.
Along the way it is discovered that Lycium’s venomous toad is still alive. Zel’mauk names it Lycium. Daresso and and Zel’mauk loosely fill in the events of the bandit hideout to Deirdre, she informs them of what happened to her. After the stories are explained they come to the decision that they are ready to claim their reward, as all three had seen the wingless dragon. Daresso serves as navigator while Zel’mauk and Derirde keep their eyes open for enemies, monsters, traps, hazards and possibly hidden discoveries. Zel’mauk sees more of the bandit symbols left on the trees that Yvaine had seen when they first entered the woods.
Daresso does an excellent job leading the through the woods, only unknowingly wandering off-track for a short time before before correcting his trajectory and finding the initial trade road they travelled on to get to the Bandit ambush point. Before they make it back to the abandoned trade route though, a celebrating group of dirty, short, pointed-ear, humanoids (apparently goblins) is seen traveling with their wolf companions. Daresso signals for everyone to lay low and wait for them to pass. The goblins are loud and in seemingly high spirits, but after a time they pass and can no longer be heard.
The adventures make it to the trade-route and decide to set up camp in a hidden alcove somewhat north of it. Deirdre and Daresso select the camping location, a rocky and irregular alcove full of brambles and thorns. While they set up camp and prepare dinner, Zel’mauk goes to investigate the bandit markings further. Earlier Daresso had recognized one of the symbols to mean “poison” in the tongue of dragons. Daresso didn’t know why he knew that, but he had shared this information. This had made Zel’mauk very interested in the runes and he began formulating theories about their purpose. He spends hours trying to unravel their mystery even almost poisoning himself with Lycium the toad while trying to discern the draconic marked “poison” tree, to no avail.
Star’s Day 16th of Skalar 1011 AF
The next morning, he bargains with Daresso in order to have a few morning hours with the marked trees. Daresso agrees and as a result Zel’mauk continues checking them. He finds a hollow under the “poison” tree and shoves his hand in it, letting a wet fungus touch his hand. This fungus is a potent and potentially lethal paralytic, but due to the toughness of the dwarves, Zel’mauk is injured, but not lethally so. Now knowing that these symbols mark what lies below the trees Zel’mauk searches some of the others finding a wide open cavern under the “air” tree, two amber rods under the “fire” tree and useless scraps under others. He comes to the conclusion that these hollows were meant to hide supplies for bandits back before this regime.
Once all is ready the three adventurers continue slightly off path all the way back to town, later that evening they arrive back in Thalen Castle-Town. Once there, Daresso makes sure to get in contact with Alec Foesur. He lets Alec know that two died on the expedition and one left indefinitely. Alec assures him that the pay will be the same, and that Caleb Margrove (The man who paid for the dragon to be investigated) will be arriving in town the next morning, so if they could be ready for the mind scrying (to verify that they saw the dragon) tomorrow morning, he will be ready to pay them.
Zel’mauk immediately heads to claim the bounty on the head of Pietro Bournfly. Upon entering Zel’mauk is rudely refused and ordered to leave by the Grand Jailer. Before things get violent Zel’mauk spits and turns to leave, but once he gets outside he angrily turns back inside and evokes his title, and his companionship with Duke Roretold. The Jailer, not wanting to lose his job, accepts the the bounty and sends Zel’mauk to the back bankers office in order to collect his reward. The teller on duty is an attractive red-headed human female named Margaret. Emboldened by his latest adventure Zel’mauk flirts with the teller, learning her name and arranging a date. He receives his payment and leaves.
The next morning the adventurers meet-up at the designated meeting place at Craffsign. There Alec Foesur buys them drinks and breakfast. Daresso pulls Alec to the side and asks if Alec knows any mages that would be willing to help Daresso quietly. Alec says he knows a guy who just happens to be in town, and that he will contact him on the morrow.
Alec Foesur takes them to the town square. There they meet Caleb Margrove. Deirdre immediately recognizes him as the noble-man who she had run into at the bandit’s hide out in Fuleph woods. She chooses to stay quiet in that regard, he gives her a knowing look. He leads the group to the Plaza of Shrines. Along the way he explains that the priestess’ of the Cult of the Eye, only speak truth, and are some of the only priests in Thalen which can probe a person’s mind for facts. The adventures tell him about the bandits in the woods and how they saw a large wingless green dragon. He scoffs at both accusations. The group consents to the mental extraction ritual. An old priestess in a blindfold and long white robes with gold adornment runs the Shrine of the Eye. The priestess and her two assistants prepare the ritual. After the ritual is over the priestess turns to Caleb and with a pause tells him that the adventurers are being truthful, Caleb acting flustered agrees to pay them and with a cheeky smile rights the notary check. Caleb and his men leave in anger.
The adventurers claim their compensation and then use the next 15 days spending some of this income in various ways. Zel’mauk begins making reparations to his property in order to be able to draw income from the farmstead. Daresso buys a horse and very expensive saddles. He also meets Alec’s friend, a 3rd Circle Wizard named Peter Wistwind. Daresso spends the next 15 days training and sparring secretly with Peter. Zel’mauk works on new techniques with the King’s guard, and Deirdre trains with her old fencing instructor. They all pay their taxes and bills and put in request to the AAC for new adventurers.