While journeying southward from the Dale, Ragnar was approached by a lone half-orc named Ichle just north of Luskan. Ichle was looking for a traveling partner on his journey out of the area as his kind are particularly persecuted in this region. They teamed up and headed to Mirabar to seek some adventure and fortune. When about a day and a half out of the city, they detected an ambush set by some goblins hiding in a thicket, and ambushed them. The battle was a rousing success, and Ragnar discovered a bound Dwarf hidden in the underbrush in the midst of the chaos. This dwarf, named Dolgen, was from Mirabar and had been caught off guard by the goblins while attempting to sleep off a hangover. As a gesture of gratitude he guided them to Mirabar and showed them around the town, fed them and got them rooms for free. The three formed a social bond quickly and decided to travel south together towards Longsaddle and Triboar beyond.
Joining with a trading caravan to serve as guards, they set off. On the third day the caravan was set upon by a raiding party of some 40-odd hobgoblins. The guard panicked and fled, and the party had no choice but to retreat as well. Plotting revenge, the leader of the caravan, two other soldiers, and the party followed the hobgoblins from a distance as they dragged the carts of iron and goods up into the mountains. At some point a few miles up, the entire party was knocked unconscious by a mysterious force. Awaking some unknown time later, the leader dead and other soldiers disappeared, the party found themselves beholding a terrifying sight across the world in front of the mountains. A giant storm was brewing in the south, and smoke from the direction of a nearby volcano was thick and black in the sky. The party was fixed with a deep feeling of dread and foreboding that persists to this day. They pressed on, tracking the hobgoblins up the mountainside to a point where they found a guardpost along the trail. An attempted ambush did not go quite as planned, but the difficult battle ended favorably for the party. They returned with half a cart of iron and hid off the road while Ichle’s leg set. After a week passed, the party began to move southward once more, joining with another caravan for the remainder of the journey. Upon reaching Longsaddle, they unloaded the remaining iron at the destination and traded the cart for a canoe to use on a trip downriver to Neverwinter. The journey went very smoothly, and upon arrival in Neverwinter the party began to learn more of what had rocked the world.
A major cataclysmic event seems to have torn holes between Faerun and the planes. The smoke coming from the mountains is not from the volcano, but seems to be simply emanating from the rock. The giant storm to the south and far to the east seems to be more than a simple weather disturbance. Rumors of the sea catching fire have been trickling in from merchant vessels, and travelers from afar have spoken of wastelands blossoming with untold life while farms dry up or villages flood away when no rain has fallen. Reports of demons and extra-planar monsters from all places have spread very quickly, especially due to the fear they inspire. The dragons also seem to have been particularly agitated by this event, and many many sightings have been reported in the two + weeks since. The party, curious about this event and its effects on the world, decided to offer themselves as mercenaries to transport a group of druids and nobles southbound to Waterdeep as part of a large conference to discuss and investigate the state of the world. They would be in part of a large, well-guarded caravan very unlike the iron caravan from earlier. Approximately a week into they trip, the party and fifteen well-seasoned guards detected an ambush set by ogres, and decided to spring it with a devious incendiary trap of their own.
The plan worked perfectly, except there were a few more ogres than expected and the battle proved to be quite a struggle despite the clever tactics. One ogre in particular was quite brutal, and took a severe beating before being finally pincushioned and hacked to bits. The party was badly wounded all around, but there was only one loss of a soldier who got pancaked into the ground. The party healed up using the potions stored for just such occasions by the guard agency, and finished the journey safely to Waterdeep a few days prior to the large conference discussing the recent events. After selling the loot from the ogres, the party awaits the conference to learn more and see if a potential profit can be made from the situation.