It took several days of travel, but the party eventually arrived at the second outpost. Once they did, they heard from the guards that Sir Karl was awaiting them in his office. Wasting no time, they headed in to see him, curious as to how he could have beaten them to the outpost. Wil Dhargon suggested that maybe Sir Karl was a multi-planar creature who could teleport at will, but the rest of the party told him to be quiet.
|The trip was fine...thanks for asking...|
The party stayed in the outpost long enough to memorize important spells and rest themselves. By the next morning, they headed north, toward Gargath. Once they reached the main gates, the discovered that they were guarded by human soldiers. Seedy ones.
|My business is none of your business, so mind your own business or I'll give you the business...|
To everyone's surprise, this seemed to satisfy the guards, who opened the gate and allowed the party inside. Wil Dhargon whistled a jaunty tune as he lead the rest of the party toward the streets of Gargath. Even still, it was obvious that the guards were suspicious.
Once they were out of sight of the guards, a man slipped up to the party. "Finally, you're here! I got word that Sir Karl was going to send someone to check this place out. I've been waiting for you for days. Come with me." The man headed away. When the party hesitated, the man suggested it might be safer if they followed him rather than wander around the streets. Reluctantly, the party followed him into an abandoned building.
Once there, the man told the party more about what had happened. "Gargath was overrun about a week ago. There were only a few of us here at the time trying to rebuild after the War of the Lance. Draconians and evil forces snuck in at night and captured the Keep. Since then they have been bringing in prisoners and putting them to work. They make us wear these hoods to keep track of us."
|I want to say no, but my heart says yes...|
A few minutes later, the party headed back out into the streets. It didn't take long for them to notice something unusual.
A group of Draconians, different than the ones the party encountered in Throtl, headed toward a large wooden structure built in front of the keep. They disappeared through what appeared to be a solid wall. "Must be a secret door there," Janessa Waylan suggested. The party headed in that direction.
|So many choices...so little time...|
Unfortunately, the draconians weren't in the mood for foolishness. They hissed loudly, spread their wings wide and leaped at the party.
The draconians attacked with a fury. It soon became obvious why they had been licking their blades...to cover them with the natural venom in their mouths! Lord Benjamin felt the sting of a blade touch his arm. The poison overtook him and paralyzed him, allowing the Kapaks time to incapacitate him!
Thaddeus rallied the rest of the party together and helped to turn the tide. His blade struck true, and a Kapak fell to the ground. But, to the horror of the party members, the draconian quickly dissolved into a pool of acid! Thaddeus jumped back to avoid being burned.
|Thaddeus...almost tripping on acid...|
Determination and luck ruled, and the party managed to bring the rest of the draconians down. Out of breath, the party gathered together the wounded party members. They hadn't been expecting such a powerful enemy and they needed to head back to the outpost to rethink their strategy.
"Hey! There is a secret door here!" Wil Dhargon proclaimed proudly, showing the party where the wooden wall swung open. "Wait! Where are you going? We can catch them by surprise! Come back!"
The party left Gargath in a hurry, making great haste back to the outpost. Once there, Lord Benjamin and Kavina Do'Arden were healed and brought back to their previous good health. Janessa Waylan stopped in to see if she could learn a new spell, and was happy that she managed to master the Fireball spell while there. Certainly, a powerful spell like that would be handy against dangerous foes like the Kapak Draconians.
The party stopped in to see Sir Karl. He urged them to head back to Gargath and continue the mission. He also asked them for a favor.
Renewed, the party headed out to Gargath again. This time, the guards at the gate were gone and they had no problems getting in. They made a quick path back to the wooden structure in front of the keep. Slipping inside, they headed toward the main doors of the keep, hoping to catch their enemies by surprise.
As luck would have it, a group of people bearing the symbols of the evil goddess Takhisis came through the main doors. "Myrtani awaits our return. We should hurry."
There was the name 'Myrtani' again. The party had heard it before, of course. But, now, it was obvious that Myrtani was here in Gargath. But, they didn't have time to ponder this information; because the followers of Takhisis drew their weapons and engaged them.
|Watch where you swing that sword, elf!|
Or, was it? Janessa told everyone to stand back. Calling upon the forces of magic, she allowed a flame to come to her fingertips and sent it flying toward the enemy. Fire erupted all around them. They screamed in agony as the fire ended their lives.
UP NEXT: The party explores Gargath Keep in search of a legendary dragonlance!