CHAPTER TWO: The Summergale Trail
Cliff, Ehd and Sam listen to the pleas of Amber to be released, and they finally agree to let the woman go, but not before knocking her unconscious and taking her coin. Then the three catch up to the brigade before it leaves Arabel. They talk to an elf and an eladrin for more information about the possible whereabouts of the elven woman. Soon after, a dwarf named Berend Irongull who works for the Summergale family saunters up to help answer questions that the three have. It sounds like more than one brigade was sent out of Silverymoon to find the girl, and that every city from Arabel to Baldur’s Gate has been tagged with the reward posters. She is being sought because of an arranged union between two noble houses of Silverymoon through the marriage of Sona Summergale and Aramil Lantherval. The direction that she most likely traveled was further east, possibly over the Thunder Peaks and on through Winterhaven.
The dwarf bids them farewell and they decide to look for a means of transportation. They visit a stable just outside the city that was left standing during the dracolich attack the previous night. The proprietor finishes answering some questions by another agent of Silverymoon, and then attends to the three hunters. They also ask what the man knows and find out that Sona may also go by the name of “The Maven of Strings” and that she was quite an exceptional musician and extremely beautiful when he caught her playing and the High Moon Inn. Cliff and Ehd barter for a trio of horses and then decide to check out the area of the High Moon Inn for more clues.
Reaching the northern area of Arabel, there is a group of makeshift tents and people giving medical attention to the injured. Cliff approaches a particularly fine mender and asks for some attention. She takes him to her tent and bandages him up, he asks her about the owner of the High Moon Inn and she tells him that she was one of many who perished in last night’s attack, but learns that many other musicians are local, and may know something of the missing elven woman. Cliff thanks the mender and rejoins Ehd and Sam and they all head off in search of one of the musicians.
It’s not hard for the trio to locate the musician they seek, as he is busy playing for a small crowd in one of the crumbled squares, attemption to soothe the rattled town folk. Cliff waits until the musician is finished with his song and tosses him a gold piece. Then he asks the man what he knows about the missing girl. The musician, like the Stable owner, recalls her being extremely beautiful and she put on a wonderful show for Arabel. She mentioned to him her intent to continue her town hopping to the east to find more venues to play at. They thank the man for his information and decide to head back to the stable to pick up their horses. Realizing that the three horses they purchased were not of ideal pursuit quality, they return them for a pair of younger, faster steeds. The three mount up, Cliff and Sam on one horse and Ehd on the second, to head out of Arabel galloping east.
About a mile outside of the ruined city walls, they pass the Silverymoon brigade who appear to be setting up camp on either side of the dusty road. After a few more miles, they run across a destroyed wagon, it’s things scattered about and rummaged through, it’s drivers and horses missing. A trail of blood leads away from the wreckage into the field to the south and disappears beyond a treeline. Sam can hear what appears to be the snivels of a small child. She looks around until she finds a little girl tucked under a few boulders inside what appears to be a large rabbit hole. The girl is shaken, but answers Sam’s questions about who she is. She says her name is Wisspyr, and that her parent’s wagon was attacked by Ogres just earlier that morning, while moving out of Arabel. Her father hid her inside the rabbit hole before trying to fend the monsters off, but he never came back and she fears the worst. Sam, Cliff and Ehd both eye the trail of blood and are pretty sure the girls fears have come true. Sam tells the girl to stay put for a while longer and if they don’t return, she is to run west along the road until she comes across the brigade. Sam and Ehd are ready to leave the girl, but Cliff decides it isn’t right to do so. He convinces the other two that there may be some treasure to find on the ogres and killing them may be good practice.
They follow the trail into the trees and come across a cave within a hill, just beyond a little brook. Piles of junk, bones and other debris lie scattered about the entrance, the stench of burning flesh is in the air.