Seems to be working today, at least for this thread, though I'm not sure about the Rogue's Gallery. That one's not a big deal anyway.|
I'll wait for Mips to post before advancing the Westwater story.
Ashur, Analiese and Bannor, as they await the inevitable arrival of someone whose name starts with C, begin heading in the general direction of Waterdeep, which is going to be a fairly lengthy but not unachievable walk from this region. Emerging from the forest, you manage to find your way to a dirt pathway across the surrounding meadows; The Long Road which carries trade to Waterdeep from the far north is some distance ahead, and once you reach such a thoroughfare, you can likely hook up with a caravan and rent some horses or something, but for now you're still on a barely-paved wagon track that connects the local villages and towns...not purely rustic, but definitely pastoral.
You pass occasional sites of minor interest, which might have once gotten your attention - a tree with a face carved into it, a roadside shrine to Shaundakul, a surviving post from some otherwise-rotten farm fence, or a set of colorful ribbons tied around a large rock - but in all cases you are able to quickly assess what you're looking at, find that it has no particular pertinence, and move along. The pattern is broken, however, when you come upon a wooden sign nailed into position beside the road.
BEWARE THE DEADLY
HELD CAPTIVE HERE
The blank in the above message once held a single word, carved into the plank with a larger and probably fancier typeface than the words around it, but has also been almost entirely obliterated, as if someone hacked into the sign with a flaming sword or the like. The blackened gashes form a crude shape, with the illegible remnants of the original word making it difficult to identify the shape which the vandal was trying to gouge into the wood. You think it's probably meant to be the head of a beast of some sort, something long and low and covered with spikes. Next to the rough graffiti, however, is a far clearer sign also burned onto the lumber's surface...a symbol of five wavy lines, like double-recuved "S"es, all coming together into a single central point with a circle drawn around it. It's crystal-clear, as if a specially-forged metal brand was used to create this sigil.
Everyone give me an Intelligence roll. Characters who have certain things on their character sheet automatically succeed on this roll, but I don't want to say what things those are, so post a roll regardless, and then I'll announce who knows the answer and what that answer is.