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Week Twenty One

April 2nd, 1997
Avg. Rating: 3.2

Aircarn, Manayar 12th, Year of the Shield, Night

The episode opened with two of the three harpies swooping down on Kelly and Rakmor, both charmed by the third harpy's song and unable to act. Despite the creatures' advantage, however, the party's luck held; both attacking harpies were slain before they could seriously wound anyone. The third, herself wounded, wheeled around and attempted to escape, but her injuries were too severe. Erik gave chase, and when the harpy quickly tumbled to the ground he was there to finish it off. The party quickly gathered themselves and continued towards Mt. Sar.

A short distance from the battle the party discovered four corpses, lying in the grass. They each wore the armor of Waterdhavian Guardsmen, though Rakmor didn't recognize them; their wounds indicated that they had been slain by the harpies. The party moved on, wondering if these men were of the five sent with Texter two nights previously.

After another hour of travel, Kelly, then the rest of the group, noticed something silver sparkling just off their route. When they investigated they found the scene of a large skirmish: lying dead on the ground were eight human soldiers, four horses, and three huge wolves, 7 or 8 feet long. Six of the men wore leather armor, one wore only heavy robes, and the last was fitted with chain mail; his tabard indicated that he and his men hailed from Silverymoon, Waterdeep's largest neighboring city. The men's bodies, clearly killed by wolves, held nothing of interest except a small steel vial which Tristan took from the man dressed in robes. The party again pushed on.

Finally, after more than three hours' travel, the party reached the low foothills of Mt. Sar. After a brief rest Rakmor led them a short distance up the mountain face to a large cavern entrance, indicating that this was Hrothgar's home. Lanterns were lit and the party stepped inside.

As soon as they were inside the cavern, however, hundreds of bats began flying from their perches on the ceiling and walls. Harmless in themselves, they were unfortunately not alone; a dozen or so stirges had also taken up residence here, and began attaching to the PCs for blood. Though everyone was attacked by at least one, Willow suffered the only serious damage (and was saved from even more serious damage by Erik, who pinned a stirge from on top of her head to the wall with a thrown dagger).

Late in the battle a man had joined the fray, emerging from an enormous door hidden in the back of the cave. A young man, he too wore the studded leather armor of the Guard. Once all the stirges had been killed he introduced himself as Perda, one of Texter's men. He claimed that he and Texter, after leaving the other four behind to battle the harpies, had made their way to Mt. Sar, and then slipped past the overwhelming stirges into Hrothgar's home. Hrothgar was already dead when they arrived, and Texter soon lapsed into unconsciousness from his injuries inflicted by the harpies. Perda had spent the past day tending his wounds and trying to keep him alive.

Tristan used the last of the healing poultice given to him by Breesa on Texter's wounds, and Texter was quickly alert and mobile. Though initially suspicious of the group, especially Tristan (who had hypnotized Texter while treating him), Texter eventually came to believe that they had been sent by Piergeiron. He wanted to return to Waterdeep as quickly as possible, but the party convinced him to spend the night in the cave.

The cave itself didn't contain much. The outer cavern held nothing except dead stirges and bat guano. The main chamber was where Hrothgar's 15 foot corpse lay, along with a giant-sized fire pit, rocking chair, three barrels, and assorted clothing hung from pegs. Hrothgar's body was covered with swollen puncture wounds, and his skin was very pale. Finally, the bed chamber contained nothing but a bed and a huge tapestry. Behind the tapestry was a gate, similar to the one the party discovered in the sewers, though this one appeared completely inactive. Weary from their travels and satisfied they were safe for the moment, the party went to sleep.

Texter and Perda slept in front of the door to the room; Willow and Gregory, on top of the large bed; Tristan and Rakmor, on one of the bed's pillows; and Erik and Kelly, on the cushion from the rocking chair.

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I think a man's duty is to find out where the truth is, or if he cannot, at least to take the best possible human doctrine and the hardest to disprove, and to ride on this like a raft over the waters of life.
--Plato