Once we were provisioned we set out that late morning, Ristelle promised us a much shorter trip saying he knew many short cuts back to his enclave known only to one with the skills of a Elvish ranger, plus we would no longer be traveling with an entire caravan which had made our first trip so long. While traveling back with my two companions I began to see if I could figure out any more information about my gnomish companion. Ristelle was much easier to figure out he was helping us out of some sense of honor and because he believed as I did that soon there would be a war that could ruin all of Faerun unless all of the races united against our common foe. But, my nameless bardic gnome companion still was much of an enigma to me, I know he had as much of his memory as I did, still he would prattle on about this or that never truly revealing his feelings or anything about his past much less his name. I trusted the little fellow with my life though as I am sure he trusted me, still I wondered when he would begin to open up to me. I was feeling I was missing something about that riddle the priest gave us as well as the cleric of Dumathion whose cryptic remark kept following me into my dreams every night.
A few days out from the elven enclave we encountered a foul abomination called a Tendriculos that Ristelle immediately went after some sort of warped tree creature. Ristelle was using his bow as I closed on the beast when suddenly it grabbed my legs with long plant like arms pulling me towards it’s mouth, I could not break free and my short sword was having little effect on the monster’s appendage. Just as I was saying my prayer to Moradin the gnomish bard’s magic kicked in and as the creature tried to bite me I literally squirted out of the monster’s hold, Ristelle was still pegging the beast with arrow after arrow. Though they seemed to have little or no affect on the beast. Ristelle’s wolf companion Loki was having much better success as it sank it’s teeth time and again into the beast’s body, but finally it too was caught and being pulled into it’s gaping maw. I finally regained my balance and while the beast was preoccupied with Ristelle’s wolf, proceeded to hew and slash into the back of the beast for all I was worth with my short sword. This time I was causing the foul monster pain as was Ristelle, his arrows now seemed to be hurting the beast combined with my sword strokes, still the beast kept pulling Loki into it’s mouth when again our gnomish companion cast another spell that made Loki slip out of the creature’s limb. Once Loki was freed Ristelle and I were able to make quick work of the beast, after the battle Ristelle pointed me towards a small creek and I washed the foul beastie’s slime off me and setting up camp I thanked my companion’s slapping my gnomish companion on the back for a job well done. He of course had by now made up some songs of our travails, giving us all a good laugh for the evening. A couple of days later we made our way into Athlanor the Elven enclave still having no luck deciphering the riddle of the divination. My nameless gnome companion took the name of Thorvald after a elven name he heard (I now called him Thorvald the nameless gnome), we were able to find out that there was a traveling bardic gnome who had also been a Great One called Stolig the Road Weary, who had also come from the same area as my friend Thorvald the nameless gnome.
Resting for a few days we still had no luck with the divination even with the elvish help, a trader by the name of Yoseff sought us out though asking for our help in defeating a juvenile green dragon, that had been raiding in the area he traveled that had killed some of his friends and other adventurer’s he had been traveling with at the same time. He promised he would outfit us with better equipment and weapons to help fight the dragon, he also introduced two other elven volunteers from Athlanor, along with Yosef that gave us a total of 6 to go against the dragon, knowing our funds were getting low and also relishing the idea of going against a dragon (at least Ristelle and I were, Thorvald was another matter) we agreed to set out in two days time to battle a dragon.