In the cave exit, Capriole, Relentless and Cileth used some of their minor spells to try and frighten the wolves without harming them, while Ehljayy tried to push one away from Cileth, and Ash first tried to distract the wolves with meat and then, when that didn't work, with mighty effort wrestled the dire wolf pack leader to the ground, establishing at least temporary dominance, while the smaller wolves cowered before all the magical commotion. The wolves were subdued, at least long enough to escape through to the cave's exit.
On the other side, our heroes found the woods at the back of the mansion, and within, three horses tethered to a tree. Relentless calmed the largest and most vicious of the horses, with a little help from Ehljayy's sugar cubes, and they searched the horses' saddle bags. They were mostly empty, save for a steel box with a built-in lock. Ash fetched the party's horses and all set up camp for the night; Ehljayy, on first watch, heard something large – or perhaps multiple somethings large – moving through the woods, but whatever it was was seemingly scared off by the ensuing loud conversation. Overnight Cileth picked the lock on the box, nimbly avoiding the trap set within it, and in the morning revealed its contents: shards of what appear to be a dragon egg.
Heading back to Fallcrest, the party gained audience with the Lord Warden and told him what they had found. The Lady Allende confirmed through her wizardry that the shards were dragon eggs, mostly like from a metallic dragon. Upon hearing the name "blood patch" – which the group who attacked you used to refer to themselves – the Lord Warden went through an old warrant book and confirmed that the Blood Patch are a large criminal gang, known to take odd jobs from anyone who pays – no matter their motivation. They are usually situated in the south of Casparia (the nation of which Fallcrest is a part), but the coin Relentless found in the old mansion is from Gamric, the nation to the south (and also accepted in Chalice, an independent city-state which straddles the border). Deciding that the kobolds stole the dragon egg from the hidden laboratory in the mansion, and that this means the hatchling's mother is likely far away, Ash reveals to the Lord Warden that the dragon did not escape, but died protecting them, and places its body into the Warden's care for burial.
Ehljayy heads to the Moonsong Temple, where the elf Maester Ressilmae Silverlight reveals that the symbol on the letter you found is that of Tiamat, Queen of Evil Dragons, a goddess with no organised religion whose power has waned in the last few centuries after she was imprisoned in one of the Nine Hells. Any cult who worships her, he says, must be evil.
With this new information, the party prepare for a greater battle ahead:
- Relentless decides to hit the taverns, offering up the horses they liberated from the Blood Patch as bribes to any criminals who might have information on their whereabouts.
- Ehljayy visits the Archdeacon of Fallcrest, the wizard in the tower whom you asked about dragons a couple of days ago, hoping for magical assistance.
- Ash goes off alone to pray to Kord for guidance, as he seems uncertain if the quest ahead is what he is meant to be doing.
- Capriole speaks with the Lost Ones, giving them money to keep them going, and explaining that he may have to leave for a while, before heading to the southern docks read to bust some heads among the River Rats, a criminal gang for whom he worked in the past, also looking for information on the Blood Patch.
As for Cileth? Well, we'd all love to know what Cileth might be doing…