Despite the various warnings to avoid the road North, the party pack up their carts. The road seems pleasant for the first several miles, the quality of maintenance steadily dropping off until the paved road becomes little more than dirt. The party come to a stop to identify some reddish splotches on the ground. Rilken thinks it is blood but Shalazar identifies it as rust.
They continue North until nightfall. With no inn around and not wanting to camp near the road, they look for a cave in the mountains nearby. The cave they found seems large and dry, easily able to contain both wagons.
Dael's sharp eyes see a at least two sets of humanoid footprints. Long bare footprints with clawed toes.
Illiaph sends his invisible familiar inside to investigate. Within the cave are a series of rugged wooden walls and doors. A pair of wooden cage doors hold three rustmonsters in a small side cavern, the smaller one has a large blue bow on its collar.
Standing around a large table, counting out coins are three reptilian humanoids, dragonborn. Piled around them are barrels of wine and food, supplies, and weapons. These bandits must have been at this for quite a while to accumulate such a haul.
A massive set of curtains wall off the back of the cavern. Within the curtains is a large pool of murky water. The walls are piled with wooden statuettes, furniture, fine carts, shields and gold. Piles of gold coins lain out in the open.The dragonborn bandits seem to be gearing up. They speak in draconic, a language that isn't understood by the party. They move out of the cavern and down to the road. The party know what's coming. They are going to jump passing caravans. Dael and Alistyr panic. They rush down to stop them and jump the nearest dragonborn charging towards a small caravan.
The dragonborn seems tougher than he looked. His scales are thick and the blast of cold from his mouth sets the stakes a bit higher than they expected. The merchant caravan stops cold and the three humans fall solid to the dirt road. Another dragonborn tackles the horse and begins clawing ferociously.
The bandits turn to the party and the battle begins. The fight is fierce and Rilken and Dael are heavily wounded. Rilken is mortally wounded and falls to the ground. The dragonborn shout something to each other and the one that tackled the horse takes off running into the dark towards the cavern.
Illiaph flies over him and Alistyr sends animals to chase him into the brush. The dragonborn shouts, bellowing as loud as he can into the night.
Illiaph is buffeted by a blast of wind. Above him is a smudge of darkness, blotting out the stars. Illiaph flees in terror.
A voice booms over the region.
"Who are you to so brazenly attack my pawns? You dare to interfere! Umbriviridix rules this forest and this mountain! Dragons have perished but we remain! Kingdoms will fall and we will remain!
A good haul tonight! The third caravan this evening!"
The dragon lifts the fallen wagon into the air, hoisting a screaming pony along with it and carries it back towards the cave.
The party panic. The third caravan? Where is Olahorns wagon? They rush back to the Empyreans and find them shaken by the voice but otherwise unharmed. Olahorn has been telling the others a very engaging story about banking practices and Aravyr and Leigh are fast asleep.
The party look around and are unable to see the decoy caravan's lantern. Were they taken?