Day 6) 15 Mirtul, 1490 DR
It was wonderful to wake up again, and to know we had conquered the nightmare of the evening before. Had a quiet brunch with Miros and Oren in the common room. Miros was grateful, and since we are getting back on the road soon, he suggested if we head up to Amphail ever, we should give his regards to Arleosa Starhenge at the Stag-Horned Flagon. When he heard we were leaving, Oren was eager to join us, so we accepted his offer. He has no real aims in joining us besides adventure, but he has asked that if we go by Daggerford we stop by to check up on his sister Lily Hardcheese, who works at the Happy Cow tavern there.
After we had eaten we went to see the Abbot, who had been asking for us. I was keen to speak to him as I had just learnt that the giant prisoners were to be executed! When we arrived we found Naxene, Zi Liang and Lifferlas there with him. Since the guards had already claimed all the credit for last night’s victory, the Abbot, in his wisdom, asked us for the truth. We all told him the events from our perspective. Thankfully he was on our side. Not only that but we were able to convince him of Zi Liang’s helpfulness. Hopefully she can get a promotion and actually make a difference in the defence of the town. I also wrote a letter to Daddy, not only to let him know what has happened to me but also to tell him the true story of what happened here, so that the guards don’t take all the glory.
Before we left with the Abbot to interrogate the giants, we said goodbye to the others. Naxene thanked us and told us to seek out the help of the enemies of the giants, the dragons. She suggested we talk to Chazlauth Yarghorn, a dragon expert in Waterdeep. Lifferlas told us to look for his creator, Aerglas. Last seen heading into the High Forest, to meet Turlang the treant at the Shadowtop Cathedral. Perhaps he has the power to help us defend the land against the marauding giants. Zi Liang seemed to have made a solemn decision, and asked us to take her black pearl pendant to Cauldar Marskyl, head butler of House Thann, in Waterdeep. She said to us that he would give us her inheritance. I tried to give it back, but she insisted. She is determined to live her life as an ascetic, and so wants her worldly goods to go to good people like me. I hope I can do something good with what she has given me. I also hope this doesn’t put my family in an interesting political situation regarding House Thann…
The Abbot escorted us past the guards to the field where the giants were kept. I stood on the chest of the one lying down and talked directly into his face. I asked them obliquely about the food they were taking back, and from what they told me I was able to figure out that their leader Guh was starving them and taking all the food for herself. It seems as if she is trying to be the biggest giant of all… perhaps for this upcoming convocation of giants which I believe must be coming up? Either way, they offered to escort us to Guh in Grudd Haug. I asked the Abbot to keep them a little longer and to not execute them, but instead to release them to me to be my escorts. Thankfully, he assented, and when I come back for them we will buy a herd of livestock to take as a gift.
But in the meantime we will go a couple of days up the river first. A contact of Umbero has been here the whole time, and it turns out he was helping up last night, from the shadows, with arrow fire. His name is Shalvus Martholio and he has asked us to escort him to his superiors in the Bargewright Inn, two days up the Dessarin River. We told him we would do so after the journey to Grudd Haug if he could wait that long.
We got kitted out with new gear, an improvement on some of our damaged things, and got healing potions and mounts for all of us. Then we headed out with our two giant guides, with a herd of five cows as a gift for Guh, their leader.
Day 7) 16 Mirtul, 1490 DR
Two days since we set out and we are frustratingly lost. The giants are now squabbling amongst themselves about which was the right way to go. Aukanthi and Rillix, our best scouts, have no idea where the nearest spot of civilization is. I hope the others aren’t frustrated at me… this was my idea after all…
Oren is a bit of a pain really. He tricks the giants all the time, which he finds entertaining but we find sad and pathetic. The poor creatures are so stupid, I don’t know how he can find it so funny. I try my best to keep him occupied with herding the cows and that seems to suit him the best, when he can stick to it.
Hopefully not much longer til Grudd Haug…
Day 8) 17 Mirtul, 1490 DR
Well! That was an exercise in impotence. I write to you now from the safety of a strangely neat and tidy ruin of a dwarven city. We are hiding out and camping here because of the right mess we made of the whole situation.
We were all tired of each others’ company by the time the giants started pushing and shoving in their argument about which was the right direction. Just as I was about to intervene, three massive ettins crested the hill we were on and charged for our herd of cows. Our two giants and our herd of cows scattered. It was touch and go for a moment, as Oren got knocked out, and then Ninya. Thank goodness for my newfound healing powers. Once we got the first ettin down, it got a lot easier for Aukanthi to manage the battlefield while Ninya and Umbero struck with deadly force. I didn’t have much to do besides revive any fallen companions!
We were far too hurt to chase either giants or cows by that stage, so we gave up and rode as quick as we could to the place Rillix found for us. And now here we are, resting up. The ruins are secure, tidy, and the air is good. Very strange, but we need the rest.
Day 9) 18 Mirtul, 1490 DR
Woke up in the middle of the night to see the ceiling staring at me. I shook it off, and opening my eyes properly, saw that the face was gone. I went back to sleep. But in the morning we all reported similar things, and a feeling of being watched. We decided to leave at once, though we were grateful for the peaceful, if spooky, campsite.
But as we reached the door we saw a rat. It was almost as if it were speaking to us, and then when as a joke I started to talk back to it, its squeaks seemed to be in answer to my questions. On a lark, we decided to follow it, as it seemed to be trying to guide us.
Deeper in we found whole colonies of small mammals living in peace together. Aukanthi observed that we all seemed to be laughing more freely. I put it down to surviving the folly of my grand plans. We walked into one final room and then the rat scurried away and our torches went out.
There came a great voice: “WHAT DOES A DRAGON EAT?”
“Whatever it should wish to, I suppose,” I answered shakily.
“FIRECRACKERS!” the voice rejoined, and in a fit of laughter, the copper dragon lit the chamber and we could see him in all his terrifying, hilarrious mass.
His name is Yarglithimax and he lives here in peace and comfort with his friends the small animals. Apparently there are many other ruins around here with others of his race, and they have ample supply of ettins to eat. The dragon shared jokes and riddles with us, and got on best with Oren. We passed the day with him in jollity. Finally, as we spoke of returning to our quest, two things happened. Oren declared he was going to stay with the dragon. We were sad to lose his help (well, as much as there was, though I will miss the Unseen Servant he has the power to summon up. I wonder if I can learn that spell?) but ultimately we were happy for him as he and Yarglithimax seem to entertain each other very much.
As for the second thing, Yarglithimax gave us a treasure that is useless to him but of great use to us. It is a dwarven-made boat, with a great many runes on it, which folds right down into a small chest. It is fairly heavy for me, but Aukanthi carries it as if it were nothing. Getting a funny feeling from the boat, I asked Yarglithimax was it does. He says it has religious runes on it that make the riders feel guilty if they are not living up to dwarven standards. Odd! He was entertained though when I told him that we were going to escort a man of dubious morals upriver in it.
And so with his gift and a request to bring him back a good joke or riddle, we left Yarglithimax, and Oren too. I hope the dragon doesn’t tire of the halfling too fast!
Day 13) 22 Mirtul, 1490 DR
After an uneventful journey back from the wilderness, we arrived in Goldenfields. We kept our arrival as low-key as possible, since we had failed in our first task. We stocked up on supplies and informed Shalvus that we were ready to escort him up the Dessarin River to Bargewright Inn. Sadly when we all popped into the boat, he didn’t seem to react, but I notice Aukanthi started sharpening his battleaxe more and rubbing his chin where no beard can ever grow, what with him being a goliath. The day is pleasant enough, hopefully the weather stays good as we have a journey of two days to see through til we reach the Inn.