Mother + Father,
I want to start out by assuring you that I was not involved with the pie event, and I do not know what has gotten into Thorin. My dear cousin has decided that he needs a squire, mostly to assist him in donning his new plate armor.
He hired an elf-girl named Bidet.
This is going as well as you'd expect.
As we'd finished our business in Waterdeep, we again set out to follow-up on another lead, heading toward the Kryptgarden Forest. It was a ways away, and we passed through several small towns and villages along the way. Mostly these were uneventful stops, and the roads were mostly clear. We did witness a robbery in progress, and decided to ride to the rescue. As compared to orcs and giants, the bandits were a rather welcome opportunity to flex our muscles without too much worry.
There were 2 incidents of note about the encounter. My dear cousin is not well suited for the cavalry. He not only managed to fall off of his horse, but became so ensnared in the various straps and stirrups that he ended up at the feet of one of the bandits, practically helpless, with his own shield trapped under him. Thankfully his armor is as thick as his head. The other was Joda, our monk, using a sun bolt attack on the bandit captain. While it didn't kill him, it did blast him to his knees, and he instantly surrendered. (When you roll a pair of 20s on your attack with advantage).
One of the little villages we passed through had a friend of the yeti bat keep from Goldenfields, so we stopped in to say hello. I think the old woman is starting to go a bit off. She gave us a magic ring that will supposedly summon a Halfling to help us. Maybe the next time we find ourselves facing a giant pie? Or needing to bake one?
Then the real excitement... staying at a Zhentarim run inn. Bran noted the innkeeper was acting weird, and taking notes about the party during the night, and so snuck into his room, tossed a great cat into the innkeeper's lap, and stole his treasure chest. Not wanting to actually kill the innkeeper, he dismissed the cat before it finished mauling him. But we got away with the chest, and, seemingly, without suspicion. Within the chest was a collapsible druidic staff, a magical gem, and the notebook the Zhent was keeping. We'll be forwarding the notebook on to those who'll be able to most make use of it.
Westbridge and The Kryptgarden Woods are now before us.
I still don't know why he hired the elf...