The morning after the fight at the Inn of Double Daggers, we get set to leave Carse and begin the trip to Caldara. As everyone is packing up their horses for the trip, I try to convince them they won’t need their horses, but being the newcomer in the party no one listens to me. I seek out the paladin to enlist her help. I explain to her that I can perform a ritual that would provide a faster mode of transporation for all of us. Karlithen believes me and she convinces the others to trust what I say and get rid of their horses.
Hordo, always looking for a way to make money, speaks to the innkeeper. The dwarf entrusts the innkeeper to board our horses and watch over them. In return, the inn can rent out the horses to travelers needing a way around town. The money made from this rental business will help cover any costs for the horses upkeep and any profits will be shared between us and the inn.
Having settled that matter, the others turn to me for their transport. I advise them that performing the ritual in the center of town would scare many people, therefore I suggest we wait until we are well away from the town where we cannot be seen. Once we are away from the city, I perform the ritual and six shadowy horses rise up from the ground. I explain that while these phantom steeds will only last a few hours, they will be able to travel much faster. Satisfied with their new mounts, we turn toward Caldara, folowing the river away from Carse.
Along the way, our ranger finds pieces torn from a page of what appears to be someone’s journal. What we gather from what little we can read is there is a logging town nearby that has been terrorized by bandits. We decide to investigate and end up in the town, which appears to be deserted. We separate and are wandering the town trying to find some clue as to the whereabouts of its inhabitants when suddenly we are surrounded by a number of ghostly apparitions. A short battle ensues and we defeat the ghosts, but not before the leader curses us, thinking we were aligned with the bandits.
We find ourselves at a crossroads, trying to decide if we should continue to travel through the forest or take a path through the mountains. I perform a Hand of Fate ritual to find out which way would be the best path to follow. The hand points into the forest, so everyone decides to go that way. With the help of Elric and Streeaka, I perform the Phantom Steed again and each person is rewarded, this time with winged steeds.
Our journey continues just above the treetops, until a clearing in the forest is spotted. We stop at the edge of the clearing and see an encampment. Suspecting it is the bandit camp, Karlithen and Streeaka swoop in and land in the middle of it. Just as they touch ground, a couple of barking wild dogs attack them. The noise alerts others in the camp and six bandits appear from their tents. Hordo alertly flies overhead, pouring some of his ale over the men. Then I swoop down while casting a fireball spell and set half the camp on fire, the flame intensified by the dwarven brew.
We make quick work of four of the bandits while the paladin, using her beauty, makes the two wounded beastmasters submit to her. A quick interrogation of the remaining two takes place. We are told that the leader of the Green Heart bandits is named One-Eyed Bart and his camp is just up the road. Elrick and Streeaka put the two bandits out of their misery. We douse the remaining fire and decide that, as night falls, this would be a good place to rest.