As I had begun to prepare for our journey to Neverwinter, a troublesome cry came from the rest of the group. Sir Keldon was inspecting the Bard, who had failed to relay the extent of his injuries. As the paladin stepped away, his hands covered in the dragonborn’s green blood. After consulting with Erathil, he insisted that we must make haste to the next town for the Bard would not make it to sunrise if we did not get him medical attention. Without question, Esben threw the song performer over his shoulder and we all continued down the road at our fastest pace possible.
We were very fortunate for it was not long until we reached a nearby town, that’s main purpose was to provide food and lodging to those passing by. We quickly acquired a room and bed for Balasar to rest, however rest would not heal this mortal wound. The tavern owner informed us that the courtyard currently held the attendance of three merchants who might be able to insist us. Esben stayed in to attempt to gather information inside the tavern and perhaps scope out the friendliness of the barmaids. Sir Keldon and Erathil approached a shady looking merchant for his stock of goods while I caught eye of the gorgeous, half-elf Iona. After inspecting the wounds of our comrade, it was apparent that healing means necessary to close the wound were outside of her knowledge and her stock. She graciously volunteered to make the potion if we could find a way to get the ingredients and the recipe the appropriate tonic. I bid her farewell and reconvened with the rest of my companions. They had found the ingredients, three to be exact, necessary to make the remedy that would heal Balasar, however only had information on two of them. The shady merchant, Jafar, had the first ingredient, moon berry, but required quite a few for it. Though, you can’t put a price on the life of a friend. The second ingredient was Baker’s yeast, hopefully held by the Tavern owner. The third was a white mushroom with blue spots, that we could only pray to find in the trees nearby.
Jafar had offered to give us the moon berry for free if we were to sabotage his competition, Iona. Against this plan, I began to form an idea to steal the moon berry from him. My hand would be swift enough to take such an item, however the price of getting caught would be steep with the courtyard covered in security form both the merchant and the tavern keeper. Putting our heads together, we were able to form a plan with the assistance of Iona. We would pretend to sabotage her goods and perform a rouse that would trick Jafar into giving us the moon berry. Though Sir Keldon refused this idea, it was the best way to save some cash and con the con man.
As the rest of the group went in to the tavern to discuss the Baker’s yeast with Sleepy Pete, I ran into a seasoned adventurer. On my travels, you learn to spot a man who was familiar with taking care of himself and traveling the roads. And with great luck, PRAISE AVANDRA! This ranger, Robin, was familiar with the location of the mushrooms we would require. He only asked for our assistance in taking down a nearby dire wolf he had his sights on. After convening with the group, it appears the tavern owner had a request of his own. He wanted us to kill and bring back proof of the nearby bandit leader who had been stealing the tavern owner’s goods and livestock. Making it difficult for them to eat and survive. We all looked at each other and agreed. We decided to hunt the dire wolf first and ask the tracker to lead us to the bandit’s hideout after. Unfortunately, despite my persistence, he would not assist us in battle with the bandits for he could not take a human life. We swiftly headed out to the dire wolf location and made quick work of that beast and his cubs. As part of the deal, Robin detected the appropriate mushroom and lead us to the tracks of the nearby bandits.
Still traveling with haste, we barged into the bandits camp. Sir Keldon demanded surrender and insisted that we took the leader Jezebel alive. She and her henchmen just laughed at us. Sir Keldon responded with a one on one battle of strongest warrior versus strongest warrior. Jezebel agreed announcing herself as the strongest warrior. I started taking a step forward as Esben placed his giant hand on my chest and accepted the challenge. The battle could have gone either way, but it was Esben who stroke the victorious blow bringing Jezebel to her knees begging for us to spare her. We insisted that she come with us, as the deal was agreed upon prior to combat. She refused. Afraid for her life at the hands of the tavern keeper she instructed her henchmen to fight. Still weak from his battle, Esben went down quickly at the first attack. I quickly jumped in using the flow of my punches and kicks to push the first wave back. After the rest of my party joined the fight those orcs and hobgoblins didn’t stand a chance. Furious with her dishonesty, Erathil fumed with rage to hash onto Jezebel but Sir Keldon was able to talk him down from taking a defensiveless life.
We escorted Jezebel back to the town and made good on all our promises. As Sleepy Pete gave us the yeast we now had all the components we needed. Iona quickly concocted the healing potion and applied it to our wounded ally. Immediately, it’s healing properties were noticed and I was assured that after a quiet night’s rest Balasar would be on the road to recovery. Only time can tell but at least this is one more knife we have dodged on our journey to Neverwinter. What else awaits us on that long road there?