We arrive at the village where Caela had said she had been hired to take out the scarecrows. She engaged the village blacksmith, also the leader, in a debate about how the task had become more difficult than expected, and that she was fortunate that she had run into these other adventurers and will nonetheless have nightmares for years to come. The blacksmith replies that Caela does not understand that the entire village scrimped and saved to pay her for her services and does not have additional resources to commit. Jerry interjects, pointing out that he was responsible for the explosions that the villagers saw off in the distance and could produce them again on a moment’s notice. The butcher walks over, asking Jarry if he would mind repeating what he had just said. Jarry replied that he wanted more money for the task at hand. The butcher begins to argue that it is obvious that the village has been dependent upon the crops and livestock and they really don’t have any money. The blacksmith chimes in and makes a few supporting points.
Jarry finds himself in a shame spiral. Caela decides to accept the offer as previously agreed and asks if there was other resources available. The villagers reply that a dinner in their honor was in the works, and all parties find this amenable. The villagers appear relieved, as though they had known they would have to deal with this, but did not know quite how they would deal with it.
The villagers are hungry for news of the outside world. We regale them with tales of ourselves, and the villagers love Jarry and Caela in particular. Geth notices a cooking fire away from the village, with different foods from all the different households in the village, with people rolling out large barrels of wine and ale.
Lauris is the first to collapse from inebriation, deciding that this place is perfect and we should remain here forever as kings. Caela passes out some time later, and Culdock after her around midnight. Geth retires shortly after him, and the last one standing is Jarry, the alcoholic wizard. The butcher approaches him to smooth things over, apologizing to Jarry for the tough act earlier. Jarry accepts the apology and offers him a piece of jewelry, which the butcher says that he will present it to his wife. As the last of the revelers converse, they make fun of all the other adventurers, who acted all tough but could not hold their liquor.
In the morning, all woke up hungover but with all their possessions, and outfitted with provisions for the journey back. Caela mentions that we ought to go get paid from the other questgiver, and asks who it was anyway. Geth mutters something about the Emerald Enclave.
Before we leave, Geth offers to speak with any problem crops and Culdock offers healing services. Culdock is ushered to two individuals, one with a broken bone and another with a rash, and he heals them both. Geth speaks with the plants mentioned before and resolves their issues. Lauris finds his familiar, a weasel.
We walk back to Waterdeep and get to know Caela. We tell her about the Stone of Golorr. As we walk, we recognize the symbol of the Zenterem faction.
When we arrive at the manor house, the door is open, there are lots of notices posted around the entrances. Jarry doesn’t notice a lot, but Culdock sees that someone has been in his shop. Geth recognizes that something is amiss–no broken windows or sign of a break-in but the place looks a mess. Lauris sees that some windows are open and the place is in disarray. We see obvious progress by the tradesmen we have hired for the brew, the wine, the furniture and linens, all of it stocked in the building and just sort of placed any old place.
Lauris finishes his ale and places his mug on the counter, then turns around. When he turns back, he finds that his mug has been turned upside down.
Geth notices a winged snake tapping at a nearby window. The snake has a note, and Geth takes the note and watches the snake fly away and turn into a small streak of flame. Melanor Fellbranch in the note offers his congratulations for ending the scarecrow threat.
Jarry notices a note from Istrid, asking the party where we have all been, saying that workers have been coming and going, that she is taking a big risk even sending the note and saying that the workers have had full access to the manor without any supervision. Lauris looks around for Istrid but does not find her.
Lauris in particular notices that something is wrong, and absolutely smells brimstone, although nothing is burning. His room has not been ransacked, but has definitely been searched. He begins furiously tearing up floorboards, only to find the Stone of Golorr was still where he had left it. The other valuables are in place.
Heading up the stairs, Geth notices the smell of brimstone, and little scratches here and there along the staircase. Checking on Lauris, detects a smell of brimstone, and finds a paranoid Lauris.
Culdock checks on his shop and can tell that there are markings from some nonhuman creatures that came through. Casting Detect Magic, he does not sense anything out of the ordinary, although there is a faint odor of brimstone that he can’t tell how long it has been there. Wandering throughout the manor house with Detect Magic, he checks all the rooms, and at the end concludes that the brimstone smell is more than 24 hours old.
Caela begins looking at the notices on the door. Each reads more or less the same, explaining that “we came here to deliver our goods but no one was here so we dropped them off wherever and left”
Caela also notices flyers from a neighboring drinking establishment, saying that our bar is horrible and people should come drink at theirs. Using Beast Sense to see through the eyes of her owl companion, Caela notices an odd red flash just before the spell ends, sort of a heat phenomenon and very different than the gryphon riders. It seemed to be hovering.
Geth asks Lauris if the goods are secured, and Lauris replies that the goods are present but not secured, and Geth sets to mending the floorboards.
We set a watch, and Caela sets an alarm for the front entrance of the manor house. Culdock tidies up on his watch shift a little. In the highest point of the manor house, during the first part of his watch, just after dark, he notices two things: a very faint glow off in the distance, which moves back and forth in the distance, moving beyond his sight and then disappearing. About fifteen minutes later, he smells brimstone. Culdock advises the next watch to keep an eye out for the glow that brings brimstone.
Caela assumes the watch and sends out her owl. During the last part of the watch, the owl returns rapidly. Caela explains to Geth that there is a large spined devil approaching Waterdeep, it is purple, scaly and quite scary looking. Geth, unable to recall if he has ever heard of such a thing before, thinks this is very interesting and we ought to be on the lookout. Caela thinks it is definitely not of this world.
Caela wakes Culdock as well and describes what she has seen. Culdock tells Caela that she has described one of ten different kinds of devil, but that given our history with devils, we know that something is amiss. We see nothing else on the rest of the watch. Come morning, the rest of us come down and discuss what Caela saw the night before. Though Culdock is the last to notice, the rest of the party notices that there is breakfast prepared for Culdock with his name on it. He digs in enthusiastically and sends his regards to the chef. Meanwhile, Caela attempts to sketch what she saw, which, Culdock, between bites, would confirm to be a spiked devil. Based on previous experience, we would expect there to be more than one.
After some conversation, Caela shared that she knows nothing about devils, and though Culdock said there would be more than one, this one is likely a scout.