23rd of Firebirth, 1383 Era of Man
Several priests with large growths on their head begin to restrain the party. At first it appears the party is about to be captured when Byron is able to break free and Rymus wakes up as his attackers are tying him up. They begin waking up the other party members and Rhogar, Rymus, and Mara are able to find some cover and hide. The priests get split up and eventually start losing members. Three priests end up fleeing, but one is captured by the party.
During their interrogation the spore growth on the priests head gives off a cloud of spores that allows Byron to communicate telepathically with the colony. He was able to hear all of the sounds of the forest as well as a commanding voice saying “capture”. Under all the sounds he was also able to hear a faint cry for help.
Rymus also attempts to learn more from the captured priest. After attempting his interrogation the priest says “Ajax” and the spore on its head explodes rendering him brain dead. The group then decides to leave, but first Rhogar collects a few mushrooms that caused them to fall asleep and burns the bodies.
As they are leaving the forest they follow a stream and find a white horse with a long golden mane. Rhogar attempts to speak with the creature. He finds that it is far more intelligent than he’s expecting. It tells them that it has been keeping track of the priests in the forest and that it has been sent to deliver a message. Before Rhogar is able to find out exactly what that message is the creature turns its head revealing a horn on its head that glows brightly just before the unicorn disappears.
Rhogar ends up finding a note in a bottle where the unicorn was drinking from the stream. He sees the note is for Mara and hands it to her. While she is reading the note Byron asks if Rhogar can talk to his horse for him. Rhogar is able to communicate with the horse and find out it likes apples and its name is Josiah.
After leaving the forest the group arrives at Phandalin just after dinner time. They head to Stonehill Inn and get some food and drink. There they see a family in the corner table. They approach and find out they are refugees from Orlane. The father of the family speaks with them in private and tells them that the town made a deal with a mysterious man to solve their missing person problem. The deal they made had them giving this mysterious man all of their dead. The town wasn’t happy about making the decision but ultimately agreed to those terms and began exhuming bodies the next day. The family fled because they had an elderly grandfather who was not feeling well and they did not want his body being taken.
Mara also discovers that Gundren is drinking by himself and seems to be very upset about something. She’s able to find out he was recently robbed. She plans to launch an investigation the next day, and Rymus is a prime suspect.
24th of Firebirth, 1383 Era of Man
Rhogar investigates the mushroom spores he collected in the forest and determines they are not of this world. He decides the library in the City of Bedegar Keep may be the best resource.
Byron and Rymus head out the next morning to gather their pay for taking care of the goblins. They speak with Sildar who has had a hero’s welcome since he returned and is now in charge of the town guard. He tells them that Halia has taken over all contracts and they should see her for the pay. Sildar also asks them if they found any map at Cragmaw Fort. Byron lets him know they did and he asks that they give it to Gundren.
Mara and Thoradin launch an investigation into the robbery of Gundren. As they investigate the room they can’t find any evidence of the room being broken into. They do notice a weird smell in the window sill. Thoradin thinks this may be related to the arcane. They ask if anyone had motives to steal and Gundren doesn’t think anyone would do this. He does finally note that Halia would stand to lose the most by a mine being opened up nearby. Mara and Thoradin decide to head to Halia’s new house.