After the fight with the gnolls, the other party members noticed the marks on Drugan’s arm had changed to red while he was raging. The party then finds Odric, bloody, but unharmed, standing over the corpse of a gnoll he had killed while it was attacking the horses.
The party packs up and heads onto Belfore where they find that the village is, indeed, deserted, aside from a few animals.
Mira befriends a dog and gets a few hints about where the villagers might have gone. They discover a Phagestone chalice near the center of town. Inside the chalice is a note written in an unknown language.
Near an outlying farmstead, they notice signs of struggle, blood, and the remains of magical teleportation.
Having encountered a dead end, they head towards Dreham, camping along the road. An old man named Dylan stops and shares their campfire for the night. After conversing with him, they find out he’s heading east, away from Dreham and the bad stuff happening around there.
In the morning the party continues on and encounters and merchant with a stuck wagon outside of town. Unbidden, Drugan and Lyra “help” him get it unstuck in a contest of strength. The party then continues on into town, with Lyra, in bear form, drawing some suspicious looks from the guards.
The party notices that Dreham is a bit grittier and dirtier, and doesn’t have the grandeur of Port Trellec. The party makes their way to The Broken Crown, a local inn.
Lyra paws at Mira who figures out she wants a bath. The stableboy takes the horses but refuses to go near the bear. Odric, sighs and offers to give Lyra a bath. Mira heads out to explore while Drugan and Oath head inside.
Upon entering, they find four thugs shaking down patrons inside. Drugan and Oath take on the bandits yelling for assistance. Drugan proceeds to eviscerate the first two bandits with ease while Oath stabs another. One of the patrons joins the fight by grappling one of the remaining thugs but is quickly put down by the bandit slicing their throat.
Lyra (in Soapy Bear form) and Mira coming running in for the end of the fight. One of the patrons, Drek, starts freaking out about how they shouldn’t have killed them as several black-robed figures appear and begin collecting the bodies. One of the figures is fully hooded but appears to be the leader, and eminates enough of an aura of danger that no one attempts to prevent what occurs. He pays Drek in Red Marbled gp for each body, then retreats outside with the other robed figures where Oath sees them use magic to teleport away.
Drugan buys a round of drinks for the patrons. The party sits Drek down and finds out he’s an undertaker and that the hooded figure, Krethe, first made contact about a year ago and has regularly paid for bodies for the last six months. He also hints at the fact that the city guards are on the take from criminals like the thugs that the party killed.
Drugan heads upstairs for a bath, while Lyra heads back outside. Oath plays for the patrons. Mira talks to other patrons and learns that Dreham has become pretty rough. She learns that Howar and Kathlyn Pyle’s farm was ruined in a raid and decides that she can use her connection with nature to restore their crops. She also talks to Corvus, a priest of Helm, who feels sorry for himself for not being able to help his “flock” enough. He mentions that he wishes he was a brave as Mira and the others. Lyra buys Odric some drinks for “bathing the bear”.
In the morning the party decides to see if Corvus would help them by taking the Phagestone chalice to Samal in Port Trellec. They buy him a horse and send him on his way. The party then splits up with Drugan, Lyra and Mira heading to the Pyles’ Farm in Helgar’s Ford where Lyra and Mira use their connection with nature and the spell Plant Growth to restore the crops. Drugan keeps watch.
Meanwhile, Oath heads to the governor’s office. After a shaky start, he finally ends up talking to the sheriff. He tries to inquire as to what’s going on around Dreham, but the sheriff is fairly tight-lipped. Oath is able to get the sheriff interested in investigating the robed figures. He’s introduced to Investigator Eirias who will look into it. He ends up recounting a bit to0 much of their story and is then put under watch and told not to leave the city. He then sends a raven with a message for Samal.
Upon everyone returning to the inn, the party decides that they want to leave, but that they need to deal with Oath’s tail. They settle on using an illusionary Oath to distract the watchman, while they make their escape. Lyra uses Pass Without Trace to help with their exfiltration. The party heads north out of town and is just getting ready to enter the Southern Greatwoods…