Roscoe’s desperate quest to find healing for Oberon resulted in a resounding “No” from Bahamut, and no aid from the caravan. In despair, he began to question his faith.
Xander woke Thalia to tell her to begin funeral arrangements, accompanied her to get answers from Kyo and Roscoe and to investigate the scene of Oberon’s death, and then entered the hut alone to cut off and burn his beard in a dwarven mourning ritual.
Suddenly, Oberon’s body, laid out for funeral preparations, began to glow green, and then vanished!
Oberon felt his soul called away from floating in a void, and upon following the call found himself in front of the necromancer Sandresh Verkov, who resurrected him, branded his mark on Oberon’s hand, declared Oberon his slave, and commanded him to guard Kyo (a valuable investment) with his life, on pain of…intense pain, which was promptly demonstrated. Business concluded, he was sent back to the group.
Kyo recognized the vile signature of Sandresh Verkov in the manner the body vanished, and immediately began cursing, infuriated with Verkov.
Oberon reappeared in front of his friends in shock. Roscoe, though confused at the method and hurt that Bahamut refused his prayers, was overjoyed and embraced the resurrected gladiator. Xander merely puzzled at the occurrence. Kyo quickly searched his hand for the mark matching her own and, suspicions confirmed, cursed loudly. They would need to talk later. Thalia decided she needed ale to steady her nerves, and brought some for Xander, but he decided Oberon needed it more.
With the excitement dying down, Kyo returned to her watch, Roscoe went to sleep on the back of a horse, and Xander sat down for a talk with Oberon, wherein he blamed himself for the death. Oberon assured him it wasn’t his fault, and told him what happened.
Finding himself beardless for no reason (as there was no mourning to be done), Xander decided in his desperation to try the dubious “Potion of Anti-Shame” given to him by the kooky herbalist as a hair tonic. Surprisingly enough, it did in fact grow his beard…by 3 feet…as well as every other hair on his body. When cut, the hair simply grew back, so he resorted to braiding it all for the 3-5 days Kyo estimated it would take for the potion to wear off.
On a morning hunt, Oberon and Xander took down a bear, and Oberon noticed that his attacks seemed a bit stronger, and emitted a strange green glow.
Finally, the caravan reached Daggerford, and was joined by 2 additional people: a female gnome in leather attire with Longnose’s wagon, and a male human wearing a strange hat with earflaps, travelling with the Cult’s wagons.
The Douchehammer group stayed at a tavern called The Dented Lamb, a nice place with a vengeful barmaid who watered down Oberon’s wine when he paid in copper pieces. While staying at the inn, Kyo had a private discussion with Oberon about Sandresh Verkov, their “master”, where she told him to keep his head down and follow orders, explained parts of her own history with him, and revealed that she planned to kill her teacher someday.
Upon returning to the road, the group noticed the gnome, Jamna, watching the cultists, the man in a hat, and the adventurers themselves. She displayed great skill in stealth, and thwarted all attempts to spy on or talk to her.
An axle on the wagon broke, the result of obvious sabotage, and Thalia handily repaired it. When they caught back up to the rest of the caravan, Kyo noticed a particular cultist who looked very disappointed to see them back.
Jamna finally spoke to them to warn them about “bone slivers” in the oatmeal, designed to expand and cut the unwary open from the inside. Uncertain about this information, Kyo asked Xander to retrieve stomach fluid to test the oatmeal. He came back with an enormous dead snake…with the stomach cut open. The gland juices didn’t quite have the same effect.
Kyo exchanged some information with Jamna, who claimed to be an ally, and was able to tell her that the man in the hat is a member of the Red Wizards of Thay.
Xander decided to strike out at the Cult in the night, and snuck up to one of their wagons under the cover of fog to set it on fire. It took the cultists nearly an hour to notice the smoke amid the fog. Once they did notice, they accused Oberon (who was on watch) of the incident and attacked.
The noise of the battle woke everyone else, and a fierce fight ensued.
To take out an enemy magic-user, Roscoe called down a giant ball of fire, which did its job of incinerating the mage, but also set several wagons in the caravan alight and killed the porcelain merchant, Samadag the Hoper. Seeing the terrifying display of power, one of the cult soldiers surrendered.
The group worked to put out the fire on the Douchehammer wagons, and Xander retrieved Thalia from inside. Roscoe’s search for survivors led him to the body of Samadag, whom he resurrected and healed to soothe his burns. Oberon helped Longnose put out the fire on his wagon. Kyo used the chaos to examine the newly-exposed cult wagons, spotting many barrels of gold but no sign of Rezmir.
The soldier who surrendered was bound and questioned, and he was able to tell the group that the man in charge of the cult wagons is called John the Strong, and only about 30 of the 50 people traveling with the wagons are cultists. With his promise to resume peaceful life as a blacksmith, the soldier was released to attempt to make it back to Daggerford.
Xander set up an arrangement for Samadag the Hoper, whose wares were ruined, to work with Thalia to sell the bear meat, which was nicely smoked after the fire.
The cult wagons attempted to outpace the (clearly insane) Douchehammer wagons in the caravan, but the group doggedly kept pace with them, and drew within sight of Waterdeep just as the cult was also arriving.