Zul, Lharvion 17, 998 YK (Day 3).
In the morning, Tam’elanath, Morgue, Zil’dejin, and Typhus gather outside the bowyer shop. Here, they are quickly approached by an unidentified woman carrying the two halves of the pearl discarded by the party the day before. Faint, unfamiliar markings can be seen on the inside surface of the pearl. The unknown woman asks them if the fragments belong to them, to which the party responds by collectively pointing at Morgue.
She then asks them if they would like to serve their king. The party is somewhat hesitant at first – Typhus seems directly opposed to the idea. "I acknowledge no such king," he claims. "And I don't recognize his authority."
"Will we be rewarded?" asks Tam'elanath, and the woman responds that any rewards will be dependent on the degree of success in their task. Eventually, the group agrees to the task, and the woman tells them to go to Winterhaven, a town smaller than Lakeside at the base of the Icetop Mountains to the north. There, they are to meet with a man named Eilian the Old, and give him a certain passphrase and a copper coin with the head of King Kaius III printed on its surface.
They make their way across the field in front of Tam'elanath's hovel, which doubles as a marketplace on certain occasions, headed for Sandercot’s Provisioners on the other side to pick up some gear and sell some unneeded items before setting out. Before they cross, however, a group of street thugs belonging to the local gang, the Lake Rats, emerges from the Lucky Gnome Taphouse next to Tam’elanath’s shop, somewhat drunk and intent on fighting the party. At the same time, two elven archers who had previously been in hiding emerge from behind some empty carts next to Sandercot’s Provisioners, also prepared to fire upon the group.
The woman is caught up in the crossfire and is forced to help the four combat these opponents. She is severely injured in the process, but ultimately the party is victorious. Despite their investigative efforts, the party cannot determine the origin of the elves who attacked them, and the woman leaves them behind, prompting them to decide to leave town as soon as possible.
After finishing their business in Lakeside, the four set out northwest upon the King’s Road, bound for the Icetop Mountains and the town of Winterhaven. On the way, they are ambushed by kobolds, but they successfully fend them off. When their assailants have perished, they find an elven woman apparently being held captive, tied up against a tree. She identifies herself as Delphina Moongem, a flower seller and citizen of Winterhaven. The party frees her after deciding she is not a threat, and escorts her back to Winterhaven without further incident.
The guard at the gate directs them to Wrafton’s Inn, where they can secure lodging. They go there, and speak to the proprietor, Salvana Wrafton, inquiring about Eilian the Old. She directs them to Eilian, who is present and occupying a table in the corner. The adventurers go to sit with him, and speak with him about the local area, but are apparently wracked with forgetfulness and for a time are unable to recall the pass phrase given to them earlier. Eventually, Zil'dejin remembers the phrase: "Do the local birds need a map to know which way the wind blows?" It as at this point that they realize they don’t have a copper coin with them. Typhus is able to conjure a temporary false coin, and Eilian deems this sufficient. He tells them of his last contact, Douven Staul, who has gone missing after going to investigate an apparent dragon burial site for something he called the “third sinister rib”, and asks them to search for him at a location he maps out.