10 Kythorn, 1489DR
After arriving from Nettlebee Ranch the Heroes spend the evening in Beliard, and do some shopping in preparation for their upcoming descent into the dwarven ruins of Tyar-Besil below. Gorbek and Altheon depart toward Red Larch, to search for their contacts there. Gorm Tanglehair and Wraith (the party) decide to head south to Rivergard Keep to check on things. Everyone agrees to rendezvous at the entrance to the Sighing Valley the following day, where they previouysly discovered a secret cave entrance near Feathergale Spire. The party is joined by Fyrnask in Beliard, and they rescue a travelling merchant and a bard on the road outside of town. They arrive at Rivergard and discover it is being abandoned. They are attacked the following day when travelling to the rendezvous, by a group of earth and water cultists who are working together.
- After learning about the Heroes of Phandalin, Fyrnask tracks them to the Dessarin Valley where he plans to join them in their cause. He meets Wraith and Gorm Tanglehair on the streets as they are preparing to leave Beliard, and offers to join them and help however he can. He mentions that there are some rumors going around that the Heroes of Rivergard are partly to blame for the destruction of Red Larch, due to their seclusion in Rivergard, rather than defending the people of the valley.
- Shortly after leaving Beliard, the party hears some shouting up ahead, and see an armed woman blocking a small bridge, demanding a travelling merchant pay a toll, to cross with his wagon. Gorm decides to intervene, and blasts the woman’s giant boar companion over the side of the bridge into the gorge below. Enraged, the woman transforms into a wereboar, but is also knocked off the bridge to the gorge below, before she can attack.
- Winston, the travelling dwarf merchant, and his half-orc companion Jarles, are grateful for the help. Winston offers to sell them some of his goods at a discount. The party acquires a handful of healing potions, and a mini-keg of distinctive ale, that has mysterious healing and charisma properties.
- Jarles asks if he can travel with the party, to learn more about their adventures, to get some inspiration for his stories and songs. The party tells him many things about their lives and adventures as they travel, and Jarles is quite pleased.
- Upon their arrival in Rivergard, the party finds a group of fifty or so refugees from Red Larch, being organized by Imdarr Relvaunder for a trip south to Amphail, where they hope to rebuild their lives.
- They learn that Captain Morningfall has received orders from Ushien Stormbanner, the leader of the Knights of Samular, to gather his men and whatever forces he can muster, and head north to defend Beliard in case it also comes under assault. It has become clear to Morningfall that Rivergard has lost it’s strategic value — if it ever had any in the first place — and there is no reason to leave anyone behind to defend it. The knights are busy training able-bodied men to augment their force heading north to defend Beliard.
- Men are also working to blockade the entrances from the underground river below. Morningfall is convinced the forces below the keep are gathering for an assault, and he wants to do what he can to cover their retreat. He ordered the remaining keelboat to be sunk against the gate at the underground river entrance, and has other men dumping whatever timbers, boulders, and refuse they can inside the main hall stairway to the boat landing below.
- The cook Eren Winenc, is apologetic because the beggar boy Max disappeared a few days ago, and she fears her cooking is pathetic in comparison. She is also sad that he left, and worried about what might have happened to him.
- The following morning, Rivergard Keep is abandoned as the refugees head south, Morningfall’s force heads north to Beliard, and the party heads west to rendezvous with Gorbek and Altheon at the entrance to the Sighing Valley. The bard Jarles decides to accompany them on the road, to learn more about their adventures.
- Along the way, the party is ambushed by a group of cultists, who have their foreheads tattooed with the words “I am punished.” Strangely, the cultists are a mix of earth cultists and and water cultists working together, who shout “For Haayon!” who will “eat their livers.” The ambush is thwarted, and the party continues west toward the Sighing Valley.
The party arrives at the entrance to the Sighing Valley canyon, where they meet Gorbek. Jarles departs, heading south toward Waterdeep.