It wasn’t a dream. Your group wakes the next morning well-rested, but with many questions. The memories of your fellow caravaners—presumably now all dead—are still fresh in your minds. Vii bustles around, serving a breakfast of vegetables and grains (having no animals to farm from, he can’t provide eggs, cheese, or meat). He tells the group what he can of Lavendar Blink and her keys. Though he doesn’t himself know where the keys are hidden, he does know that the Wizard Blink held the Harpers of the Material Plane in high esteem, and had some contacts in the organization.
Your team discusses how to move forward. Ander questions whether you even should open the mysterious puzzle box. Considering the trouble it’s caused, perhaps it would be wiser to leave the box and go. Felicia quickly dissents. Would he truly pass up the chance to unlock the masterwork of a plane-traveling wizard?
When asked, Vii confirms that he would be pleased to see his mistress’s opus work revealed. As a follower of Aoskar, the God of Portals, it’s no doubt connected to planar travel. Whatever’s inside, he believes it will be a boon to many—a force for good in the multiverse. Unfortunately, his mistress’s connection to the fallen god may also be what makes the box dangerous.
No matter what the party decides, Vii reminds you that a solar has marked you all for death—just for encountering the object. Unlocking the box is likely your only way of understanding why. Ruvyn searches the library for information regarding solars, and learns that they are celestial beings second in power only to the gods. Usually they serve one of the good-aligned gods, though some do act of their own accord.
Vii believes your group will be safe using the box, if you use it only to travel between the House and other planes. The box’s magical energy would indeed alert the solar to its presence, but the House exists in a pocket dimension all its own—the solar cannot sense you here. Using the box to travel to the outer planes would release this energy securely out of the angel’s sight; returning should give you enough time to escape to the safety of the House, as long as you don’t dawdle.
With few other options, your party decides to seek out the keys for answers. The teleportation circle in the library glows magically and you are transported the Outer City of Baldur’s Gate.
Knowing only that you must contact the Harpers, Ander leads the team to the Temple of Sune. The clerics there point to a contact at the Temple of Mystra—an extremely handsome and renowned sorcerer, Arivae Highnoon, who rose quickly through the ranks to become one of the Harpers’ most senior leaders. Arriving at the temple, your team finds Arivae with two other figures, deep in discussion. He greets you warmly, and when Ander mentions the name Lavender Blink, he seems a bit shocked. The Wizard Blink was once a great friend to the Harpers, many years ago, and she entrusted a key to the organization—saying that she, or perhaps some friends, would be back to retrieve it someday. Unfortunately, Arivae claims the key is not in Baldur’s Gate.
When asked where it is, he responds with a wry smile. He’ll be happy to get it for you—and perhaps your band of adventurers could help the Harpers in return.
Arivae reveals that a cult has formed recently, dedicated to the dragon goddess Tiamat. They have been razing nearby villages, taking any valuables they can find. The Harpers have received word that a group here in Baldur’s Gate will be leaving the city soon, traveling within a larger merchant caravan. The Harpers must know where these cultists are ultimately taking their cargo…and why. Arivae says that if you are willing to help stop the dragon cult, he could work on procuring the key in the meantime. With only a small amount of indignation at being used by the Harpers, your party agrees.
For your help, Arivae offers to make the team honorary members of the organization, and the group agrees. Each of you takes a pin, signifying your association. Arivae tells you the pins can be a great boon if presented to the right people—opening doors and revealing secrets. They could also get you into trouble, if shown to the wrong sort. He entreats you to use the pins wisely.
Your group is instructed to find the merchants at the north entrance to the city. The cultists will be recognizable by a particular figure leading them: a silver half-dragon named Langderosa Cyanwrath. You waste no time, and most of you manage to find jobs working as guards for various merchants in the caravan. Spotting the half-dragon hidden within a palanquin, Akorn transforms into a spider and overhears her ordering a dozen or so cultists around, memorizing as many faces as he can. Langderosa then leaves the city, to travel ahead to somewhere unknown, and the cultists disperse among the merchants.
A couple days later, your caravan sets off for Waterdeep. The journey will take about 750 miles—two months’ time. The early days are peaceful enough, until the caravan makes it to a stretch of land called the Fields of the Dead.
While there, you encounter a nobleman and two guards on the road being attacked by a troop of hobgoblins. Rushing to help, you find that the noble, while equipped with crossbows and plenty of ammunition, hasn’t quite mastered how to use them. He accidentally hits Ander while trying to aid his rescuers, and the injured cleric is soon overwhelmed by the hobgoblins’ opportunistic captain.
Felicia enchants an illusory barrier to block line of site to and from the noble, while Akorn summons a group of bears to join the fight and heals the cleric. Ruvyn massacres hobgoblins with squalls of cold and spears of ice, and Akorn’s bears take care of the rest. Working together, your party fights off the monsters and rescues the noble.
The man is grateful (if a bit embarrassed for nearly killing Ander), and the caravaners now look upon your band with new respect. Any who hadn’t yet found work as guards are quickly hired.
This sudden celebrity, however, means that blending in may be difficult. The cultists are well aware of you.