Day 118) 6 Eleint, 1490 DR
Six days ago we left Citadel Felbarr, after instructing the dwarven architects to build our tower north of Silverymoon. Yesterday, after four days walking on a peaceful road, we found ourselves at Hawk’s Nest, a fortress of the Order of the Gauntlet. They ride hippogriffs there! We were greeted warmly and to top it all off, they flew us into Silverymoon this morning!
The only reason we stopped on here was because we wanted to sound out House Margasta, which Othovir in Triboar claimed to belong to. We had a cold reception from the lady of the house, and the long and short of it is that Othovir is a black sheep of the family. We decided against taking the stash he told us about, and I don’t expect to see the Margastas or their demon guards again.
Day 120) 8 Eleint, 1490 DR
On the suggestion of Urgala in Triboar we stopped at Zymorven Hall to meet Harthos Zymorven and ask to borrow his giant slaying sword. His hall is impressive, and there is only him and his staff in the whole place… but Halani pointed out to me that there are many magical suits of armour and swords on the walls, so he should be fine. Sadly, after hearing our story and our plea, he told us that his son had run away with the sword and a female theif years ago to Yartar. We let him know we would try and track him down.
By the way, last night I had a dream. I was sitting by the side of someone who I can only assume was the Storm King. Was I in the place of the Queen? He was very angry, and yelling at three other storm giants. Were they our children? It was all very hazy.
Day 126) 14 Eleint, 1490 DR
We went five days ago into the Moonwood, and we eventually stopped by Halani and told to wait. Unfortunately for us, we were not allowed in Halani’s village, but at least she came back to us after a day of celebration, and with new supplies for the road.
On the way back to Silverymoon, we were attacked by bandits and we found unexpected riches once we had defeated them! There were Gauntlets of Ogre Power, made long ago by Uthgart barbarians, that give the wearer a blissful sense. I have those on now, and they have improved my swordplay greatly. Also from the ancient barbarians was a Pearl of Power, which Halani wears (though it has made her occassionally let out a wicked snigger). Ninya is very happy to be the new owner of a gnome-made Ring of Waterwalking. We also found an extremely tough hat of diguise that makes the wearer feel covetous. Umbero wears that for now.
I write this in our room in Silverymoon, feeling very happy after doing some shopping. We all have magical weapons now, and Aukanthi and I have magical shields. We all feel very well protected and competent now.
Day 128) 16 Eleint, 1490 DR
This morning we reached Everlund and from there teleported to Waterdeep, only to find upon arriving at home that Daddy had been kidnapped by the Zhentarrim!
But it was not as dire as we thought. I ran first to Laeral, who naturally assured me that she got to him first and had whisked him away to one of her safe houses on the other side of the continent. She even let me visit him myself. We truly were very far away, and yes, Daddy is safe.
Laeral has asked me to consider whether to call the Zhentarrim’s bluff and go chasing them down in the meeting place where they say they will return ‘Daddy’ to me, far out east in the ruins of Llorkh. It is something to think about, as they are also blackmailing Umbero, who, when I went to Laeral, went to speak with his contacts and received their ultimatum. I’ve told him he doesn’t have to tell me if he doesn’t want to, because he has earned my trust. But if he wants us to do something about stopping the blackmail, we will.
Tonight we will rest and think about our course of action.
Day 129) 17 Eleint, 1490 DR
I dreamt last night again, this time of being the storm queen (or who I think might be the storm queen) and brushing my daughter’s hair. It rose in great flowing waves – we were underwater.
I was woken to hear a message that would decide our course. Zira, a member of the Zhentarrim, wanted to meet us in Daggerford, to discuss a coup. We couldn’t resist the idea of striking back at the Zhentarrim when they thought they had the upper hand. We told Laeral where we were going, and she gave us a parting gift. She took the hat of disguise and magically enhanced it so that now Harshnag can wear it and it makes him appear like a very large human. This is the best gift we could ever ask for.
Now we are on the road. It’s pleasant to be in my local haunts again.
Day 130) 18 Eleint, 1490 DR
I’m writing from the Nightstone inn tonight. We reached here in the evening, after running into an old friend of mine on the road. Harriana Hawkwinter is a knight now, and she had with her a squire, Adellit, and a bunch of children from out east. She said she had rescued them from stone giants and was going to go back, if we would take the children to safety for her. We assented, though we asked if she wouldn’t come with us instead, as eventually we would be heading out to see what we could do about the stone giants and the tales we had heard of them tearing settlements stone from stone. Ultimately we can to the compromise that if we can find her after dealing with the Zhentarrim, she will join us. I noticed Halani and Harriana were paying a lot of attention to each other, and as Harriana turned to leave, Halani gave her a token to wear. We took the children to Nightstone, finally recovered Umbero’s horse Night Wind, and are having a rest indoors for the night.
Day 134) 22 Eleint, 1490 DR
I write this in a brief break we are having on the road. A day out of Daggerford we were attacked by bandits. The poor fools never saw Harshnag coming. From their stash we recovered some magical glasses of minute-seeing and light. They look as if they belong to an ancient order of lawful mages. Yesterday we got into Daggerford and went straight to the Happy Cow. There we met Lily Hardcheese, the sister of Oren. We told her he was with Yarglithimax, and she wasn’t very surprised. She also asked if we could be hired to go and scare off Nelkin the Snail, a local Zhentarrim loan shark. We told her we would be very happy to do so. We didn’t add ‘for free’, but the intention was there.
Also in the Happy Cow, there waited our contact Zira. She had a plan for us to stage a coup so that she could emerge on top and lead the Zhentarrim in a moral way, rather than the evil road she saw them going down. To be honest, I was about to turn her down, when she could sense that and she then offered to hand all the information over that Laeral would need to take down the evil side of the organisation. With a quick consultation with my party, I assented to the plan. The first stage would be threefold: kidnap and bring to Laeral these three people: Nelkin the Snail here in Daggerford, Nalaskur the Bat in the Bargewright Inn, and Lafarus the Shadowcat, who was the man holding ‘my father’ in Llorkh. Two birds with one stone in the first and the last cases, and for the second it would be sweet to get revenge on the backers of the original Womford Bat. The point of this first stage was to draw out Tazen, the real leader, who had a hidden fortress somewhere unknown. We agreed and that evening set out to start the first part of the plan.
We found the Snail with only one bodyguard. I say we, but it was Ninya, Umbero and Halani, being the sneakiest of our team. They managed to take them out, though not before they could cry out. Halani polymorphed the Snail into a snail and took him away, and they all managed to return to us before the other agents could catch them.
That was last night. We have four more days ride to Waterdeep. Nelkin is talking tough, though he has gone silent for a bit now, so hopefully he gets the idea that we just don’t care. We’re just the couriers.
Day 143) Highharvesttide, 1490 DR
Immediately after dropping the Snail off with Laeral, we teleported into Loudwater, the closest we could get to Llorkh. It was going to be a tight one, but it looked as if we would make Llorkh by the meeting day. The teleportation circle was inside the Singing Satyr inn, and the wizard who should have been manning it was out whoring. Loudwater is one of the few places out east that is still standing. It is filled with refugees from surrounding towns. As we crossed the bridge to leave town, a trout jumped up and slapped Ninya in the face. Luckily the locals threw it back in the water before she could eat it. Apparently this is a common side effect of the magic shielding on the bridge.
A day out of Loudwater we met some refugees escaping stone giants. A couple of days later we met those same stone giants ripping some ruined buildings apart. I asked as many questions as I could of them before they got angry and attacked me until I left. I found out that their leader is called Thane Kayalithica and they want to take off all the stones misplaced on Mother Earth and place them back where they belong. They seem spiritual and not all that much threatening, unless annoyed. I wonder how we can come to a peaceful settlement with them?
Tonight to celebrate the Highharvesttide we said some prayers to Chauntea and all felt a little sad that we weren’t in town… the feasts would have been good… Oh well. Next year let’s aim to be at Goldenfields!
Day 144) 1 Marpenoth, 1490 DR
It’s hard to believe this, but I write to you again, the very next day, back safe in Waterdeep. Let me start from the beginning.
We reached the ruins of Llorkh. No sign of Zira, so we supposed we may have been sold out or she just didn’t make it in time. We walked in and almost couldn’t believe how few men Lafarus had brought with him. Something was disguised in the shape of my father – turns out it was a bearded demon. They dropped the ambush immediately, but we were ready. You should have seen the looks on their faces when Harshnag took his hat off.
The fight was going fine, but then it swung our way even further when Zira showed up in her true form – that of a bronze dragon. Halani managed to polymorph Lafarus into a kitten, but then she got hit and the spell failed. No matter, because Zira clawed at him and Halani was able to turn him again into a kitten and scoop him up. It was looking very good for us, when suddenly out of nowhere stone giants turned up and, seeing a dragon, started indscriminately attacking. They downed Zira so I ran to her aid. While the others took out the remaining agents, Harshnag covered our retreat, and we all made it out alive.
We camped and nursed our wounds. Having a quick drink and a chat, Halani and I realised we had both come to new realisations about the teleportation circles. She discussed the magical priniciples behind it, and we thought, why not? We both gave it a go, and guess what? Here we all are safe in Waterdeep again, and from now on we can teleport back to any existing teleportation circles we know of. Laeral has the Shadowcat now. One more to go.
Day 149) 6 Marpenoth, 1490 DR
What an eventful day! We teleported back into Waterdeep just after midnight, with Nalaskur the Bat in our custody. It had been a pretty uneventful four days journey up to the Bargewright Inn, and we heard from a boat on the river that there has been a mighty bellowing heard up on the Evermoors. What’s happening in Sansuri’s cloud castle up there?
All it took was Halani and Umbero to sneak into the Bat’s office, Umbero to kosh the guy, and Halani to polymorph the guy and teleport out. Once we got the word the mission was successful, we teleported out too.
After a long sleep we teleported to Yartar next. We bribed our contact in the Hand to tell us where Harthal Zymorven was. For this service, we gave her the love potion we had but didn’t want to use. Perhaps I should feel bad for giving such a weapon to female thieves… but anyway, she came back with the news that he was long dead, hanged for murder, and that the sword was in the possession of the corrupt guard captain. Rather than speak directly to him, we are seeking audience with the mayor instead. But she is very paranoid about a potential coup and has refused to see us.
Day 150) 7 Marpenoth, 1490 DR
This morning managed to speak to the mayor by letting her know that I had been asked by Khaspere Drylund, the man with the pet octopus, to back his coup when I was in his Golden Goose casino. She granted me audience and as a reward for the information gave us the giant slaying sword of Harthos Zymorven. Aukanthi has wrapped it carefully and will only bring it out when needed.
Note to self: octopus = tentacles, and golden goose. I dreamed about these things. Is Khaspere Drylund significant to me, or my dreams?
After that we teleported to Neverwinter, and now we are on a ship. It’s two days to Luskan, where we will disembark and start the long journey to the Eye of the All Father.
Day 157) 14 Marpenoth, 1490 DR
We reached Luskan five days ago and saw that the harbour had been recently attacked by frost giants. We booked a place on a free caravan up to Bryn Shander. Today we are in Hundelstone. Only siginificant encounter was an ancient white dragon with a humanoid skeleton on her back. I cast a spell of comprehending languages so I could understand that all she wanted was for us to cower and show deference. So I had all the caravan do this, and she was pleased and flew off. I hear they called her old Ice Claws. I’ll try and tell others so in the future she is less of a hazard.
Day 160) 17 Marpenoth, 1490 DR
Finally reached Bryn Shander earlier today. What a day! The journey itself had two more events since Hundelstone: we spotted old Ice Claws again, and we were attacked by a remorhaz, and we found a huge stash of money from all of the people it has killed over the years.
Coming into Bryn Shander we were greeted by Augrek, a sweet female dwarf guard. When we asked her about Markham, the man we needed to see, she said he was the sheriff and she blushed when she spoke of him. In town we noticed a temple and some rather sad shops. We met someone we thought was a homeless person at the time, Beldara, who offered to maintain our camp fire. We meanwhile stocked up, found four mountain ponies for our joruney to the Eye, and drank some local brew. We found Markham Southwell and told him the bad news: his sister Semele was dead in the attack on Nightstone. He thanked us for bringing the news such a long way.
As the evening started to set in, suddenly we heard frost giants coming towards the town! They yelled out that they wanted Artus Cimber, and Markham and the mayor, Duvessa, came out and said they didn’t know who that was. The front giants attacked, we rushed to stop them. We took down their wolves quickly, and then the three giants attacking the front gate. Once we got the leader down, the others fled.
In the confusion, one person had hidden with Halani, and we met him now. His name was Sirac and he confessed that his father was Artus Cimber, known as the Immortal Harper. It was said Artus was in possession of the Ring of Winter, an item the frost giants would surely use to plunge the world into an everlasting winter. Sirac said he didn’t know his father, but that the Roaringhorns in Waterdeep might know more. That should be good – they owe me one for saving Tylander Roaringhorn in Amphail. Sirac begged us to escort him to Luskan so he could get on a ship and get far away from the frost giants. We did him one better, and teleported him straight to Waterdeep.
There was good will for us in the town, and we were asked a lot of favours. Augrek asked us to go down the road to Ironmaster to her people and ask for reinforcements. Duvessa gave a us a letter to her aunt which would grant us free passage on her ship the Dancing Wave, in Waterdeep. Markham said he would give us free food and board if we would patrol the area for frost giants. Beldara it turns out was a Harper, and suggested we visit Thwip Ironbottom, a Harper in Hundelstone. We also spoke to a paladin, Sir Baric, who asked us to let his superior, Sir Lanaver Strail, know where he was if we were ever in Neverwinter.
Time for a well earned sleep!
Day 161) 18 Marpenoth, 1490 DR
It finally makes sense. Last night my dream was clearer than ever and I saw the truth. I was the storm queen again… and I was attacked by humans. Seven of them. They killed me. The Seven Snakes.
Umbero went as pale as his dark skin could go when I told him I knew. He said he had put the pieces together recently after I told him about one of my dreams, and that he was too scared to admit that he may well have been part of the fall of the Ordning. It was a long time ago he said, and he was young and didn’t understand that it would have such long-reaching consequences. He offered to leave, but I said no. He’s coming with us and he’s going to set things right. Somehow, we’ll fix this.