Venturing out from Vandover City, a seemingly average caravan began to make its way north along The Broken Road carrying a moderate shipment of wheat. It became apparent fairly quickly however, that something was amiss. The guards hired numbered far more than average, and they appeared to be of stronger stuff than the average caravan guard: an elven veteran of noble lineage and a minotaur holy knight of Hyron standing out the most, in addition to a merchant’s adoptive son and three more guards. In addition, an armored carriage traveled with the cart, inside of which 3 voices could be heard: 2 male (belonging to Tarin Denoc and his adoptive brother Samir Denoc) and one female. Once the caravan entered The Great Forest it began to encounter a series of problems. Axles began to snap, a horse broke its ankle, and one of the caravan guards was lost in a halfling attack. The remaining party noticed something strange among the trees, a massive stone pillar the size of a tree, but deep graphite grey and completely smooth. It seemed magic of make, but offered nothing for the group but a momentary distraction. One of the caravan drivers heard a noise in the brush, and as the guards returned from investigating what turned out to be no more than a fox and a rabbit, they discovered a fellow guard dead, stabbed in the back. Tarin noted that, though the blade was of halfling make, the wound was too high up. Anders, a caravan driver, insisted that the caravan halt in order to root out a spy. After a prolonged series of interrogations and awkward racial profiling, the group determined that the driver who had claimed to hear a noise was responsible, and imprisoned him in one of the carts. Before long, a strange human popped up at the back of the wagon train, and asked for a ride. He seemed like a road weary traveler, but before long he stole a horse from the front of the wagon and began to ride away in the other direction. While the merchant’s son and the minotaur were confused and unable to ride horses, the elf jumped onto a horse and began his pursuit, eventually taking the bandit down. But as the horse thief slumped into his seat, he launched a bright flare into the sky, the danger of which the elf realized immediately. The wagon train could not move fast enough however, and they were soon set upon by a band of gnome and elf brigands clad in deep purple robes. The leader of the group was wearing a similar ring to one found on the horse thief earlier. One of the gnomes managed to slay several horses, and many of the caravan members were lost in the assault as well, in addition to two carts. Tarin Denoc ordered all carts left behind besides the armored carriage, insisting that its contents needed to reach the north as soon as possible. The carriage was heavy to begin with, and with the addition of the extra passengers, the group’s movement speed is significantly lower.