Day 2) 11 Mirtul, 1490 DR
As the sun rose over Nightstone we entered the keep. We found four guardsmen arguing what to do next over – o horror! – my aunt’s dead body. I was inconsolable for a while, but as I managed to come back to earth, I could hear Aukanthi getting the order of events from the guards. It fell out in this way: the residents of Nightstone saw a giant castle in the sky, and four great big blue skinned brutes began to throw boulders down upon the town. As was the emergency plan, the residents began to move towards the keep, but then the bridge was taken out by a boulder, so they fled out of the town, we can only assume to the nearby bat caves.
As this was being related to us, Kella played her hand. Seven riders arrived in the town square below, and we watched as they killed the wargs we had avoided earlier. As goblins fled from the approaching riders, Kella explained she was an agent of the Zhentarrim, and that she and these seven – the Seven Snakes she called them – were on a mission to assess the town for a Zhentarrim takeover. I kicked up some small fuss over the heriditary laws, when she offered to let me take the keep and be an agent of the Zhentarrim. I usually don’t pay attention to such things, but I am fairly sure my family would not be happy about this, so I diplomatically turned down the offer for now.
We left the keep to survey the town with the Seven Snakes. Suddenly in the distance, orcs were spotted heading towards us. They seemed to be on the run and were injured. We manned the towers and shot from a distance at the approaching band. The blighters moved incredibly fast, threw themselves into the moat and started climbing up into the breach in the bridge. We fell back to a tower as they approached. Aukanthi and the leader of the Seven Snakes guarded the door, meeting the fierce rush of orcs. It was not enough – orcs started climbing the ruined shell of the tower towards those of us on the second level.
I’m not quite sure how we made it through, looking back. Six of the Seven Snakes fell, including their leader. The guards in the keep watched, too scared to help. A band of elven archers, surely those who had been chasing and wounding the orcs before this skirmish, appeared on the edge of the moat and fired innaccurately from a distance. As we finally whittled them down to the chief and the shaman of the orcs, Aukanthi finally fell. It was too late for the headsmen of that tribe though, as they fell under what firepower remained to us. And just in time thankfully, as I threw myself over Aukanthi, and with a strength I didn’t even know I had in me, I summoned up the last of my magical energy to heal him and save his life.
Exhausted, I raised my head only to see the leader of the elves shout ‘You’re welcome!’ and they left. I swear, I will seek out that arrogant cur and teach him to regret those words.
We intend to set out to the bat caves, but we must rest for now. I managed to convince Kella and the final Snake to remain and aid the survivors, saying it might earn them some credit for the Zhentarrim in the rebuild of Nightstone. Either way, they agreed to stay and aid us. After we’ve buried our dead and slept away the worst of our fatigue, we will set out.