Campaign Date: 24-27 Eleasias (Highsun) 1493 DR, Year of the Purple Dragons
The heroes continue their quest to "Deliver the Ale to The Troll in Flames,” in Morbryn's Shield. They arrive at The Troll in Flames and meet Oboth Thornsteel, Zhent “leader” of the town who assumed control after four fire giants strode west but did not disturb the town. Oboth grilled the heroes about Morbryn's tomb and paid the heroes for the quest. Phineas noticed the chip floating around Oboth's fingers from Yartar- he swears he's seen that goose-head chip before. The heroes learned during the evening that Oboth got kicked out of Yartar for his gambling habit and now views this as his next gamble. The heroes also learned that almost two dozen zhents were seen riding north toward the crumbled Nesmé ruins just two days ago. Heroes decide to follow that clue and head north in the morning toward Nesmé, encountering Anlow Hallan, thug leader of seven other thugs guarding the Surbrin Trail, slaughtering all but one. The one they spared doesn't know much about the rendezvous ahead, only giving the heroes the number of Zhents they will find. Heroes tie her up and give her a disturbing blanket of skeletons to ponder her nightmares with and let her go in the morning after the heroes rest. Heroes proceed to Nesmé and encounter riding horses and evidence of campsites; then set the horses loose from their posts. Edmund proceeds to slap them in the ass to get them moving off. Heroes stealth toward the rendezvous and Pust sends his snake familiar toward the meeting and uses the snakes senses to eavesdrop on the conversation between a male priest of Bane, Fylo Nelgorn, and a female fire giant named Gundahella representing Duke Zalto. Heroes do not provoke any of the twenty thugs, Fylo, Gundahella, or Gundahella's guard contingent of twenty hobgoblins. Heroes learn from the quick negotiation that the giants will release a dwarven Zhent prisoner if the Zhents promise to keep the Lords' Alliance and other groups from interfering in the fire giants' search for the Vonindod fragments, on the condition that the adamantine colossus not be used to attack settlements or parts thereof without the Black Network's consent. The heroes also note that Moongleam Tower in Everlund is an example priest gives as a vulnerable target that the Zhents need intact. Heroes see Fylo send off his flying snake southward. Since it's getting on in the evening, heroes head back south, not sure which way exactly, but they know they need to be off the road. This proves dangerous as the heroes encounter ten orcs in the night towing three halfling prisoners. Tormir begins the slaughter and eventually the heroes get to comforting the halflings and Tormir is thanked with a Ring of Water Walking in the morning.