Bart and Brandon headed back to the great city of Veluna with news of a lead to find the flowers in the Sea of Dust. They encountered another patrol of orcs along the way still seeking the wrathstone, and considered that the orcs had been tracking their group as they were the last to have the stone in their possession. After much discussion they decided that the orcs would never have ventured into the Great City of Veluna in their search.
Brandon noted during their travels that Bart was behaving strangely on several occasions, in a most unpaladinlike manner. Several times his actions seems so inconsistent with the Bart he had travelled with for so many months. And so it was that after having spoken with the city fathers in Veluna that Brandon took leave of Bart. Bart decided to meet the others in bride as they had planned.
Bart made it to Bride with a minimum of misadventure and thereabout met with the Captain of the City Guard and offered his services to assist with capturing any criminals, or helping the city to recover from the depradations the orcs had recently visited upon the town. Bart found the outlaws the guards sent him to bring down, slaying two of them during their capture. He took one back to Bride to stand trial, then acted as executioner. Bart chopped the heads off the brigands and put them on pikes next to the road and posted a sign saying, “The Fate of Thieves.”
Bart was experiencing some level of guilt, in the night since the town had been razed by orcs in pursuit of the wrathstone which he and his group had been carrying across the land.
Meanwhile, the daughter of the Baroness discovered that the “Book of the Dead” an ancient tomb from the Sea Of Dust, was missing from the dead Baron’s library. She realized that it held secrets the party would need to successfully achieve the magical flowers they sought to restore the forcefield around Velune. She dispatched Drusana, one of her guards, along with a incessantly chattering Mul, to meet up with the adventurers in bride as they had planned. Drusana was gifted with the Baron’s horse, a fine steed, which proved the earnest intent of the Baroness that the party successfully find the flowers, whose secret source had been entrusted to the most noble family of Restonford for generations. Drusana informed the Baroness that William DeHellsong, and his friend, Nicole, had left for Celene to aid the elves in the war against the invading army of Orcs. The Baroness directed Geeves to provide the Mul with Firefly, a “spirited” mare who had gained notoriety in the stables of Restonford. The Baroness charged her with providing the party with the importance of achieving the stolen tome, and told them to meet with the sorcerer who might know of another location where they might find that particular tome. On their way out of town, they did encounter the wizard and Caronne and the old geiser recalled a copy of the tome to have been in the library at Castle Hagthar, which was a stonghold of the dragonfolk.
While awaiting the arrival of the others, Bart did what he could to help the people of Bride. After all the orcs who had burned the town were in pursuit of the Wrathstone, were they not? Despite his gruesome experience, his manner was gentle yet fierce in his desire to avenge wrongs. He assisted the townfolk, and quickly gained their trust, and indeed affection during the days he spent among them. He took on tasks from chopping wood, to healing the wounded, to assisting the blacksmith in the city to fashion weapons should orcs revsist their city. He provided the men of the township with some training in the ways of war, though mostly it was the young men who sought to learn from him. One young man even fashioned himself a helm of goat horns in an effort to emulate his new mentor. Bart donated his earnings from the city fathers to the temple there to help the rebuilding of the town. He spoke often of Truesilver, always getting the name right, and tried to share the importance of law in maintaining order, and peace in a civilized society.
The Tiefling realized that he was growing to love this city. He had been welcomed here by the people in a way he had never before experienced. The temptation to stay, to become a defender for this town was very great, but he had made promises. He knew that he would return here someday after his promises had been made good. And he hoped that someday he might even call this city home.
As Drusana and the incessantly chattering Mul came riding in to the town of Bride, a young boy spooted the Mul’s mule and tried to pet it, but the spirited critter answered with a hoof to the head of the boy, which brought his mother dashing across the dirt street to the aid of her son. Drusana calmed the mother, who carried her son to the healer at the temple. Bart aiding the mother by laying hands upon the child.
Drusana, the warrior from the northern mountains, Bart, and the Mul met to discuss their plans to recover the flower for Veluna, realizing that Bart alone was the only member left from the party sent by the regents of Veluna on the Quest for the Flowers. The Mull was quite concerned about the importance of a healthy breakfast. They discovered that the incessantly chattering Mul was the creator of the “talking stones” they had been using to speak with the Dragonborn. They also learned that Titus apparently had requested that the stones be designed to allow only brief exchanges of communication. Bart and Drusana looked at the incessantly chatter Mul with irony expressions. The stone was drained, not destroyed, but the Mul realized that its powers had been spent and it may be quite some time before it might be used again. In the morning Drusana went outside to greet the morning while performing a set of intricate exercises with her sword, “Northwind.” Bart also performed a strange ritual, dipping his swords in oil and bathing his body in flames as he performed a strange ritual of atonement. At the end he was staring into the sun, the hilt of his sword eclipsing the orb of morning. Two young boys who had developed a hero worship of sort for the paladin Tiefling, also tried to emulate what he was doing. Bart took the two boys to a nearby copse of trees where he gathered them wood poles that he fashioned into bokken for them to practice. He promised to begin their lessons in fighting upon his return. But showed them some basic maneuvers, quite unlike those of Heimlich, to practice until that time. They decided to leave for Castle Hagthar on the following morning with high hopes of obtaining another copy of the “Book of the Dead”.
As they made their way into the land of the Dragonborne they were set upon by large wolves, beasts that could stand on their hind legs. Bart was bitten and though he survived the attack, his wound was serious. He knew that he had been infected by the bite of the wolf.