A few days further along the road, the group noticed that one of the horses that had been rescued from the spiders was showing signs of injury. Upon closer inspection, Xander determined they were caused by whips and fists. Irritated by the clear abuse, Xander confronted that wagon’s driver, who insisted that the injuries were caused by the horse’s owner, a lawyer. While Xander interrogated the driver, the lawyer himself approached the Douchehammer wagon and attempted to purchase a horse from Thalia, presumably to replace the horse he had nearly beaten to death, and was firmly refused.
That evening, Xander snuck away from the Douchehammer wagon to watch the lawyer, and witnessed the man beating his horse, just as the driver had said. His confrontation of the lawyer was answered with an attack with a rapier, as well as orders for the knight and wizard guarding the lawyer’s caravan to kill Xander.
Xander called a dense fog to help distance himself from his attackers, and the commotion of the fight woke the rest of the group, who were able to join in the fight. Kyo quickly took the lawyer out of commission with a sleep spell, and the knight was offered a chance to surrender and save the life of his snoozing employer. He refused, and was promptly sent to sleep himself. Roscoe bound the sleeping knight. Refusing to take prisoners, Xander killed the sleeping lawyer, and Oberon slew the bound knight.
Unfortunately, the wizard was not as easily defeated as his allies. During the commotion that resulted in their deaths, the wizard vanished, and then began to bombard the adventurers with large and vicious blasts of ice and fire. Some of the group were able to seek shelter in the magic hut that Kyo created for sleeping quarters, but the damage was severe for those caught in the storm. Eventually, Xander was able to battle through the onslaught to locate the invisible wizard, and struck him down with Oberon’s assistance.
The damage done to the caravan by the wizard’s barrage was substantial, but Thalia was able to explain to her fellow merchants that it was, in fact, caused by the dead wizard, attacking on the lawyer’s orders. The spectacle made a sober warning of the consequences of threatening the Douchehammer wagon.
With the lawyer and his employees all dead, their gear and wagon was appropriated by the Douchehammer wagon, including plate armor and a spellbook for Kyo to study, as well as an extra wagon to serve as Thalia’s “love nest”.
Further down the road, the caravan met another wagon, where twin sisters Arietta and Zelina were cooking beef stew. They invited everyone to have some, and after a tasty dinner complemented by Oberon’s ale and whiskey, and Roscoe’s religious discussion with the sisters, it was decided they would join the caravan on the journey to Waterdeep. Only Xander opted not to participate, instead working on extracting the spider venom he had collected.
A wheel of the wagon came loose one afternoon, but it was promptly caught and easily repaired. Kyo, upon spotting a small mark on the wheel connection, suspected sabotage.
One evening during Roscoe’s watch, Arietta approached him and asked for help with her wagon. However, Roscoe felt he was not strong enough to be able to help as requested, so he politely declined. During the next watch, Xander noticed her sitting outside her wagon despondently, and approached her to offer assistance. However, as he neared the wagon’s door, he was attacked by Zelina, standing just inside the door. He attempted to fight her, but her surprisingly swift and brutal attacks swiftly knocked him unconscious.
The noise woke Roscoe and Oberon, who in turn roused Kyo, and they set off to investigate. Oberon was taken by surprise when Zelina – not looking like herself – attacked him, and without his armor he was quickly knocked to the ground, unconscious and bleeding.
Roscoe held off Arietta, who had shed her human disguise and showed herself as a doppelganger, and destroyed her with his spiritual blade.
Kyo found the doppelganger Zelina and called on her darkest magic to drain her life out with a touch, leaving a shriveled husk.
Tragically, over the course of the fight, Oberon’s wounds proved too great and he bled out where he lay. The doppelgangers were defeated, but at the cost of Oberon’s life.
Roscoe cried out his pleas to Bahamut, begging him to spare the life of his friend, but he was not answered. He then began to search the caravan for anyone who might be able to revive Oberon.
Kyo turned aside from her dead comrade, knowing she could do nothing, and instead attempted to move Xander’s unconscious body. She abandoned the task when she dislocated her shoulder, and instead returned to the hut. Xander awoke alone to see two dead doppelgangers, absent companions, and the lifeless body of his friend Oberon. He roared in rage and grief…