June 27, 2020
Come the morning, the adventurers resumed their upriver march. By noon, they had reached a fork in the river, the point of origin for the Pilmer River, beyond which they would be following the path of the Menk River. It was there that they met Sir Robb, the paladin who was responsible for many of the Sherriff of Wattingham’s problems, and he was most eager to find Diomedes.
Sir Robb explained his history, how his life’s path had led him from his native Virzan to the neighbouring Isle of Kuth in search of a ranger who would help him fulfill his destiny. He had thought it was The Hood, but the ranger’s recent extremism made him second-guess his choice of companion. Guided by dream visions, the paladin now felt the ranger he was meant to seek help from was actually Diomedes and that his goal lay through the Gates of Tamburien.
Impressed by his charisma and recognizing there is safety in numbers, the party welcomed Sir Robb, with young Ramona rather smitten by the handsome champion of Good. Later that afternoon they interrupted a ceremony by lizardfolk making a sacrifice to a copper dragon circling overhead. Seeing a Halfling among the sacrificial offerings, Sir Robb leapt into action and the party overcame the enemy.
Confronting the dragon, they realized there was no Halfling sacrifice and that the dragon had merely added the illusion of one to test the Goodness of the adventurers. Azakata was her name and she claimed to be part of the clutch of eggs that birthed her brothers Sazzledash and Cyprazul. As it turns out, Cyprazul is the true identity of Chip the Vagabond, for the dragon enjoys masquerading as a human and interacting with them. Azakata advised the party to think of their best jokes to tell to Sazzledash who they could expect to run into up ahead and then she flew off with the offerings the lizardfolk had left her.
The next day, Diomedes was very confident that, with a good pace, the party could reach the Ruins of Tamburien by day’s end. As the sun began to approach the horizon, the adventurers heard the blast of a horn ahead and sent Diomedes to investigate, using Raz’s cloak of invisibilty. He returned to say that a group of gnolls, an ogre and an ettin all led by a knight in red armour appeared to have captured a copper dragon in a large net.
Immediately, Sir Robb called for a rescue and the party was willing to go along until Ramona offered to animate some undead to fill their ranks. Sir Robb could not allow the open practice of Evil necromancy and fought with Ramona to take her bag of holding away from her after she had taken out a couple of bundles of bones. Diomedes sided with Sir Robb and scattered the bones into a ravine while Raz scooped up the bag of holding to try and stop the argument and get everyone back on the rescue track.
Screaming bloody murder like a teenage brat, broken-hearted Ramona initially refused to go with the man who had gone from idol to asshole in seconds flat, obstinately choosing to search for the scattered bones than help the party against the Red Knight, but her tune changed when she realized she was all alone in the badlands if she didn’t go with them.