Armed with a name, a code key, and very little else, the Scalesworn strike out into the wastes of Amn to try and find some trace of their enemy. They know that caravans have been attacked, every person and animal slain, and all their goods taken. No tracks in the area have left them with few clues but at least they have an exact location for the last attack.
Using this as their starting point, the Scalesworn manage to a rough path, a trail mostly made of assumptions, the occasional drop of equine blood, and a guiding figure in the distance. This shape, a desert-robed female gnoll of the Jakaali tribe, draws the Scalesworn alone, eventually showing them a devastated Jakaali village before pointing the way onward for them. While not known for being a friendly people, this particular Jakaali obviously wants vengeance and is willing to help the Scalesworn in return for it.
Following this silent, savage lead, they arrive at a mountain far to the north of the main trade road, just below the start of the Cloud Peaks range. This mountain’s foothills show heavy signs of travel, all on foot. There are no mounted tracks to be found of any kind.
Sneaking up the side of the mountain along its only path, the Scalesworn come upon a pair of guards at a cavern entrance. While there are signs of other caves higher up, this entrance is the only one that seems easily accessible. The guards are very different in style – one is a human wastes tribesman in leathers with blue facial tattooing while the other is a powerfully built orc in extremely well-crafted plate armour.
It becomes quite clear the guards neither like nor trust each other, though both seem dedicated and vigilant, guarding the front of the cave with no chance of being bypassed. With no options, the Scalesworn resolve to strike quickly, hoping to take them down before they can raise an alarm.
Attacking from surprise, they manage to overpower the guards and drop them quietly. Once past the guards, they do a quick, careful scout and discover that the cave is a complex of worked stone with several levels. It is also currently hosting two separate groups of people – the wastelanders in large numbers and a smaller, heavily armed group of orcs with a cowled, magically-concealed leader of indeterminate features.
Again, like the guards, these two groups are openly hostile but not directly attacking each other. The orcs seem to be the guests here, present for a reason that is not immediately apparent. Knowing they stand no chance with a direct assault, the Scalesworn continue to explore, looking for some tangible sign of the blue dragon they suspect must be present.
They do not find it. Instead, they discover an aerie, tended by women of the wastes tribe, with a pair of azure-scaled wyvern and a clutch of a dozen eggs. Spotting a horse flank in a pen of butchered meat, their sudden suspicions are confirmed. The flank bears the brand of the D’acharn trading cartel.
The caravan was not beset by dragons at all. Despite the lightning damage found, the caravan was attack by these tribesfolk and their blue wyverns. Knowning all they need to know for now and woefully outnumbered, the Scalesworn withdraw quickly and head back to Athkatla as quickly as possible.
They have a report to send and training to complete while they wait for their orders…