PCs: Arlo, Ghesh, Andromeda, Theoris, Desmond
The group (Arlo, Ghesh, Andromeda, Theoris) heads to the Lower Hollow to find the tax collector, Herman Ryal. In addition to Herman, they find two thugs, Inard and Folke, who had been harassing him. After a fight, they manage to obtain the tax collectors ledger, and set out on the road for Solhomme.
A few days into their journey, a young boy comes to the wagon, seeking help. His brother has been lost in a cave. The gang ventures into the cave, only to find an Ankheg guarding the interior.
Arlo strikes at the Ankheg with Shatter, Ghesh with magic missles, Theoris with his bolts. The creature nearly seizes Ghesh in his claws, but the dragonborn breaks free. The party continues to fire at the creature, striking it down, when they hear a cry from deeper within the cave.
They chase it, past the corpse of the ankheg, and come face to face with 4 huge Wolf Spiders and an Ettercap. As they prepare for battle, an even larger Giant Spider joins in, attacking the Wolf Spiders. Theoris flees in terror, never to be heard from again.
With his fearsome Shatter spell, Arlo instantly destroys two of the wolf spiders. The Giant Spider spins a web and captures the ettercap, but the ettercap managers to break free, and attacks the Giant Spider. The two remaining wolf spiders attack the party, but do little damage. Ghesh lets loose his lightening, severely wounding them. Andromeda’s mighty blade cleaves a spider in half. The party dispatches the last remaining spider, and turns on the Ettercap.
As the battle rages, the bard once again lets loose Shatter, and the Ettercap is destroyed – at which point the Giant Spider turns into a human – the druid, Desmond.
The party returns the boys to their home, where they live in peace with their grandfather, and continue on to Solhomme.
Upon reaching the city. they run into an old friend – Bertez! Bertez relieves them of the tax delivery, encourages the paladin Ghesh to visit the temple of Beroan, and leaves after some catching up.
The party stops at a tavern, the Foolish Trickster, before continuing on to the Temple of Beroan. After mass and a brief theological discussion, the priest at the temple tells them of a new group, causing instability in the kingdom. He encourages them to go see the clown, Remy Desmares.
The group finds the clown, who slips them a note with an address during his performance, and mentions 2 men leaving a tavern called the Broken Candle in the slums.
The party arrived on the street where the Candle was just in time to find the men, and followed them into a hideout. Desmond transformed into a Dire Wolf and the halfling Arlo snuck in above, and the party ambushed the men, as they review what appears to be a code book of some form.
Ghesh lights the building on fire. As they fight inside, Andro kills one of the men. While most of the code book is destroyed, they recover a bit of it from the ashes. The other tries to run, but is struck in the leg with a crossbow bolt. As the crowd across the street begins to clamor for the townsguard to put out the fire, Andro slices the remaining one open to leave no witnesses.
As they escape, a little street urchin boy slides out of the shadows, and informs the group he’s been directed to tell them to get to Solhomme Cathedral right away. He slips back into the shadows as the party escapes the scene of the fire.