After an early breakfast, the Wardens gathered in the courtyard to see the full caravan’s composition. Angmar Ironshield welcomed them and walked them about for proper introductions. A quick report to Katra clarified the group’s placement and assignment. Aelith and Carden were designated as forward outriders. Rhogar was assigned as a roving rider for the first half of the caravan and Tamnai was to remain close to the first quarter of the column. Dyan’ette was assigned to the first hardened wagon to be available to Bazain, the Caravan Master. Upon mention of his name, Bazain Oathkeeper the Caravan Master approached for introductions. An intimidating muscular dwarf with a square face, broad forehead, coarse gray hair and beard, and narrowed eyes announced himself in a deep booming voice. He crossed his heavily tattooed arms as he listened to introductions and skill sets. Bazain and Katra left the Wardens with Angmar as another dwarf approached. This scholarly dwarf with neatly cropped red beard and hair was tall and beefy. He introduced himself as Thirbar Stoneshaft and Angmar explained that Thirbar would be serving as the assistant Quartermaster to Angmar for the journey.
Angmar further walked the column and introduced the remaining members of the caravan. The party observed that each wagon had camping supplies such as tents, cooking items, and a water barrel. The covered wagons had two horses hitched to pull them while the hardened wagons, obviously used for underdark travel in the past, were pulled by a giant boar each. As he passed the wagons he called to the dwarves by their names and each waved their acknowledgement in a dutiful manner. The group consisted of:
- The lead wagon was covered, laden with crates and barrels and ridden by Jhaster and Faern
- The next wagon was hardened and ridden by Arn and the caravan master Bazain
- Next was a tarped cart ridden by two female dwarves Miira and Nandae
- The next wagon was covered, laden with crates and barrels and ridden by Nor and the assistant Quartermaster Thirbar
- The next wagon was hardened and ridden by a female dwarf, Gwythiir, and the Battlemaster Katra
- The next wagon was covered, laden with crates and ridden by Durl and Dorn
- The next wagon was covered, laden with crates and barrels and ridden by Cindarm and Uldred
- The next wagon was hardened and ridden by Boront and Quartermaster Angmar
- Next was a cart laden by barrels and ridden by Sandor Stoneheart
- The next wagon was covered, laden with crates and ridden by Tol and Mern
- The last wagon was hardened and ridden by the female dwarf Abryn and male dwarf Elmyrn
Angmar finished the tour by introducing four dwarven cavalry boar riders from Gauntlygrym. Rakor Stoneheart, the brothers Jorn and Badorn Blackanvil, and Dagun Steelhand each respectfully nodded to Angmar and returned to ride the line. Finally, Angmar motioned for a dwarf of the keep that approached with two warhorses and a riding horse. Angmar took the reins and passed them to Aelith. “These are for your group’s use, so best to take care of them as if they were yer own.
The party took their places as Rhogar summoned his bear mount and the caravan left Stoneshaft hold shortly after dawn. Travel to the edge of the Mere of Dead Men was uneventful and the caravan paused for some food and drink. Luckily, travel through the mere proved ordinary and the caravan reached Carnath’s Roadhouse an hour before dusk.
A large half-orc announcing himself as Bog Luck, the superintendent for the Roadhouse, argued with Bazain about actual fitting such a large number of wagons in his small waypoint. After negotiations and exchange of coin, the dwarves set about orderly placing their wagons and mounts within the confines of the walled establishment. The drovers and warriors, other than the boar riders, were to remain with the wagons while the others secured rooms on the upper landing of the Roadhouse.
The group noticed a strange wagon parked against a wall and eventually discovered its stranger owner in the kitchen/dining room of the Roadhouse. Along with a mumbling cook named Gristle Pete, few were present when the party arrived for their bland meal of stew and bread to be used as a spoon for the stew. The stranger intently eyed every member of the party as they entered, almost to an awkward point. The stranger continued to study the group and any other that entered over the next half hour. The group ultimately approached the stranger to be introduced to Aristor Del’Donnis, a tethyrian dressed in long blue robes and hood. His fair complexion with straw colored hair and beard with reddish highlights, pierced nose and right brow, long fingernails, and numerous gaudy jewelry gave a sense of curiosity. Aristor confided in the party that he had been at the Roadhouse for over a week and would like them to sponsor his request to join the caravan to the north with intention to make it to Neverwinter.
The following conversation revealed that Aristor was extremely observant, overly confident, and very callous without recognizing such. This was the need for the group to sponsor him with the Caravan Master. He also suggested his occupation as a merchant with scented cooking oils and perfumes from Amn could be beneficial. After some introspective deductions about Rhogar, Carden, and Tamnai, the party recommended him to Bazain. A thorough reading of Thirbar at his expense in front of Katra ended in Bazain’s approval of Aristor joining the caravan.