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Present: Felix, James, Sarah, Shane.
Set out for Highforge early in the morning with Finston, his servant Ross, and his two dwarf guards. Met two young nobles at the gate; twin brother and sister, Quintus and Quintica from the Verona family. Let them travel south with us.
Quintica was talkative. Left Eli to make the polite conversion. Sounded like the noblewoman was feeling out our political position. When the road split we parted company with them. Quintica told us to look up their uncle if we visited Kelvin, at the Guilded Rose Inn.
Finston told us about Highforge. Mostly below ground, and true entrance not where people think. Their King Dorfus Hilltopper isn't fond of big people. We could look around but warren areas best avoided, tight passages where we'd get lost. Warned us never to comment on a gnome's moustache, even a compliment could be taken badly.
Talked about gnomish inventions we might see. Machines with cogs and gear, powered by elementals. Including a bowless crossbow that usually worked - sounded dangerous.
Stopped at a way house Finston knew in the evening. Sent the horses back to the Feywild for the night. Spooked the stable boy they disappeared! Common room was boisterous. Lord Titinius of the Black Eagle barony was staying with his men. A large man, proper warrior. Travelling to Gnome Ferry for a diplomatic event, launch of a new boat. Xavian stayed up all night drinking and swapping tales of heroic deeds with him.
Another day travelling south on the roads. As evening approached Finston led us into a field, and a gnomish inn hidden by illusion magic. Rural folk, laughed at us ducking under their low roof. But they knew Finston and accepted us by association. They talked about the launch. A new river boat powered by water elementals, called the Crimpshrine. Promised to be very fast.
We weren't allowed to see the route into Highforge. Finston asked us to sit in the wagon. I paid attention to the turns in the road though; reckon I could find my way back if I needed to.
Finston was greeted by his wife and three children. Finston Junior was excited to see elves. His cousin from Castellan Keep joined us for lunch. Said another adventuring party had cleared out the rest of the Caves of Chaos now. Sounded like Eli's friend had been with them.