The mood was dour. Harri, their companion since the attack on the Golden Eagle, was dead. Killed almost instantly. Zephyros, the mighty cloud giant, lifted Harri’s body upward through the clouds. The sun illuminated their faces. The party raised their steins and Laylyn muttered, “Well shit. To Harri.”
Goldenfields is flat and filled with various crops supporting Waterdeep, the City of Splendors. From high, the land is covered in different colored crops shaped in menacing geometric shapes. “Stop here!” yells Zephyros. “Drop the ladder. I hope to meet you all again. Good luck. No good way to get a hold of me.”
Djeruk had been sleeping for days. He had missed many of the groups’ minor and major skirmishes. Butterbean, drunk with ale, had tried multiple methods of waking him. Methods he claimed worked on all creatures, but especially orcs. Most of these methods were simply drinking more ale while yelling incoherently at Djeruk’s still body but the mighty orc still slept. He kept sleeping after the party left for Goldenfields. He slept for months. Then years. Djeruk never woke again. Years later, when Dresden regaled audiences about their battles in the rebuilt Golden Eagle, he would always forget to include the Orc in the tale, until Lelah poured half her drink out on the bar floor and said, “To Jerry, we hardly knew you.”
The Great Wall protecting Goldenfields was massive. It was larger than anything they had seen before. Definitely larger than the walls in Waterdeep. Horse-drawn carriages carried freight and supplies around the top. Goldenfield grew most of the crops that supported the region. And despite its importance, the Party noticed how the area was so lightly defended. They traveled through the wall’s tunnels conversing with guards and others while they searched for Miros Xelbrin.
Morak Ur’gray, the Inn Keeper in Nightstone had requested that they search out Miros and let him know his parents are dead. Dresden didn’t want to be the Inn Keeper’s errand boy but Laylyn suspected that there might be a good reward in store for them. And Laylyn had a thing or two for treasure.
Off in the distance they see a merchant. A seed seller. Lelah takes a sample. The spellcasters stock up on supplies. Dresden always looking for deal continues to haggle the seed seller until she relents. Longhouses come into view. They are beautiful. Anakis points to the oak tree in the center. Laylyn notices it too. It’s talking. And moving. It moves its limbs to create steps for the town’s children to climb. Dresden walks up to the mighty oak and begins conversing with the wooden giant about creation, the meaning of life, and existence itself until he notices that the party is heading to the tavern.
The bar is welcoming. Lively. Warm. It is a welcome respite from travel and battle. Lelah, still somewhat emotional from orphaning that Goblin baby in the dripping caves, searches out Miros, while Dresden orders a “Golden Gulp.” A local drink poured in an ornate flagon. The sign claims it is a Goldenfield’s original. Anakis and Laylyn notice all of the actors and bards and the lute playing halfling in the corner.
Miros is of course devastated at the news of his parents death. Lelah comforts him by telling him and the rest of her newly formed party that her parents disappeared in a great fire and were never seen again. The halfling playing the lute awkwardly tells Miros that he looks sad and plays the Goldenfield song of the Harvest. Miros immediately turns his sorrow into resolve and says that he must continue. That the harvest must continue.
Laylyn stealthly raises her finger, mutters a few words and the halfling playing the lute suddenly stops and silence fills the tavern. Anakis smirks. With silence in the air from the muted halfling, a mage from the town introduces herself and the party convinces her to join them in their travels.
Accomplishing the sad task at hand they walk out of the tavern toward the Abbey with a few of the key townspeople. They see two bears lay sleeping in the courtyard. Been there for years the guard responds. Dresden speaks to the monk at the Abbey and tries in vain to have him cast a spell on him to better communicate to Wolfy. No one is ever quite sure if he is honest in these requests or if it is simply the ale speaking. They light a candle for Harri.
Suddenly creams from outside the Abbey interrupt their quiet moment. The children are being attacked and taken by a group of goblins, bugbears and ogres. The run outside.
Lelah looks up and see the goblins taken out pretty quickly. Crossbow bolts dart across the main street while fire shoots from Anakis. Lelah smiles while Laylyn conjures a spell that tears a hole deep into the earth enveloping the attackers. Lelah dives quickly out of the way of the advancing ogres and Dresden’s wayward shots and looks up just in time to see Laylyn’s Tides of Chaos spell go awry. A third eye grows instantly from her forehead. “That’s a sight to see,” she thinks. More ogres fall and blood gushes from the bugbears. And just when the marauders might be gaining the upper hand, the mighty oak swings and smashes his branches in the remaining attackers. Lelah lowers her bow. Looks out at the carnage. The children continue to run to the carriage houses. The ground rumbles. There are others. This is not the end.