On a stygian, rainsoaked eve, amid the gloomy arboreal shadows of the Triboar Trail, a stout figure persevered. Wispy moonlight reflected deformed shapes against mail, auburn hair, and dusky skin. An owl screech sparked light in Naysus, alert hands readied his warhammer, and grey eyes followed the arcing path of black fowl against midnight blue. The only evidence of civilization glimmered through the twisting inky silhouettes.
A rumble of thunder harked the return of drizzling rain as Naysus entered the warmth of Stonehill Inn. Seeking warmth and minimal conversation, he pulled up a corner stool near the fireplace. He had not shaken the droplets out of his beard before a bouncing barmaid came to his table. She introduced herself as Elsa, and took his order, a small simple meal. At his request of mineral water, she amiably wondered why a dwarf would turn down ale, pushing him to admit his teetotalism. A passing moon elf called out her expectations as “racist”, before heading upstairs. Out of the corner of his eye, Naysus noticed two dark-cloaked figures at the door, one wood elf, the other undefined as her hood was drawn up. Elsa returned with his meal and continued with intrigued questions, interpreted by him as racial alcoholism jests. The crash of a spilt tankard paired itself with a woman’s shriek as the wood elf lurched over the bar clutching the bartender’s blouse. She fled in tears as the bar owner confronted the two suspicious women. Minutes later, this cloaked figure sauntered over to the dwarf’s table. She pulled down her hood, revealing curling brown locks and the alluring fey face of a woman, and introduced herself. Having spent decades of life in monastic abstinence, Naysus was unable to properly converse with the other sex, mainly with a lack of insight into her motives. Missing her attraction to him, the half-elf seductively glided upstairs to bed.
Finishing off the last scraps of a modest supper, Naysus headed outside for the local town’s shrine. At the north end of town there stands a monument of reconstructed stone from old Phandalin in it’s pre-invasion days. A plain house stood a few feet away, candlelight glowing through the glass. Naysus knocked on the door, and was met by a young elven woman. She introduced herself as Sister Garaele, a priestess of Tymora. Despite her apparent prejudice, Sister Garaele allowed the dwarf a bed out of principle.
Naysus awoke to the gasps and hushed tears of Sister Garaele, as she struggled with replacing the bandages around her wounded arm and abdomen. When confronted with his concern, she admitted her failed journey to Conyberry, in the attempts to speak with Agatha, the local banshee. She was sent by her superiors to find the name of the author of a particular spell book. She faced harrowing encounters, including a bandit raid that left her bloodied and weak. However, once at the lair, Agatha was nowhere to be found. Her efforts were fruitless in coaxing her into the material world. Naysus offered to complete the task for her, and she softened to him, explaining that she had never before met a dwarf that shared empathy so freely. Before leaving, she handed him a silver comb with inset pearl, alma-made, and proceeded to clarify its purpose. She believed if one was to appeal to Agatha’s vanity and flatter her with a gift, she may answer one question.
On his way to Stonehill Inn for breakfast, the dwarven priest bumped into the moon elf, at the lead of her posse. She, a halfling and a sun elf stood in the doorway. After a moment of silent gazing on the moon elf’s part, she started with embarrassment and coyly invited him to their journey. Naysus agreed with minor hesitation, and they headed northeast to the Tresendar Manor. Along the road, he noticed the half-elf and wood elf stalking their party.
Finally the seductress confronted the halfling, while the elf snuck over to the dark cloaked high elf in the attempt to snag her bracelet. She caught the would be thief out of the corner of her eye, and summoned a circling flame from her band’s jewel to light the briar patch behind her aflame. As she drew her knife, the mage blasted her with a wave of thunderous might, flinging her into the crackling brush. The sun elf headed over to loot her burning, incapacitated body, yet halted at the click of a bolt loaded and locked at his back. The halfling restrained her with netting, and he and the mage threatened to end her life if she did not comply with them.
Naysus watched from a short distance as the half-elf let go of her heavy crossbow and dropped to the ground. As the three, moon and sun elf and halfling, continued on towards the Tresendar Manor entrance, the dwarven priest lay his hands upon the singed elfin thief.