Ambushed by Gallowed brigands, Garrett chats with their leader, an elf named Igach, who tells him the gang’s leader wants to see him. Garrett decides escape is a wiser choice, and swings down into an open window of the Wandering Serpent Inn. He interrupts a couple (a human man and a dwarf woman) enjoying a romantic evening, then careens down the hall, stealing an expensive, dragon-themed vase of imported tulips.
He attempts to swing across the chandelier in the lobby, but the whole thing comes crashing down, alerting the entire inn. Garrett overhears the alarmed cultists coordinating with the Gallowed. In the chaos, he sneaks out the service entrance.
But he soon picks up two tails. He tries to lose them in the city streets, but gets delayed by an angry dog. After scaring off the dog, he attempts order a fruit cart vendor out of the way, but the wizened half-orc refuses to budge. After “trading” some tulips for blood oranges and avoiding a befuddled baker, Garrett finally eludes pursuit. Battered and breathless, he arrives at the temple of Bahamut to tell Beryl what he saw.
She berates him for stealing the vase and damaging the chandelier, insisting he pay for the damages. The rogue then spends the night on the floor in her room. The next morning, they regroup with the rest of the party.
The cultists have hired on as teamsters and laborers for the High Road Charter Company, which is repairing the trade road between Neverwinter and Waterdeep. Raeyanne buys a disguise kit to hide Garrett’s identity, and then the adventurers (plus Jamna) hire on as guards for the caravan.
It takes a ten day to reach the Carnath Roadhouse, located in the treacherous swamp known as the Mere of Dead Men. Jamna tells a ghost story about how the mere is haunted by the spirits of the human and orcish armies that perished there thousands of years ago.
At the roadhouse, a half-orc named Bog Luck oversees the unloading of supplies.
The adventurers are assigned a shared barracks room at the roadhouse, but the sixth roommate turns out to be the half-elven cultist Larion Keenblade. He reveals to Garrett and the others that he wants to get away from the cult. There aren’t any wagons heading back to Waterdeep for at least a few days, however, and at least one person at the roadhouse is the cult’s contact.
The party is left with the dual questions of how to get Larion out alive and how to find out what is happening to the loot the cult hauled up.