The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 15, Truth in Dreams

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.

Source: Wizards

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.

Source: Wizards

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.

The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 14, The Heart of the Vonendod

Day 106) 24 Elesias, 1490 DR Continued

This morning after gathering our things together we went over to the clifftop entrance to Ironslag. Aukanthi opened the portcullis, holding it open with his body as we all skipped past. Umbero kissed him as he went by, but Aukanthi tried to call his bluff. It was all very funny, considering the tension we all felt at entering enemy territory.

We found ourselves in a large room with a waterwheel working steadily away, regulating a large elevator down into the mines. We timed it, and got on.

After a long ride down it took us to a level of gantries above the central hall of Ironslag where we found all three of the targets we most wanted: Duke Zelto playing with his hell hounds, the adamantium forge we wanted to explode, and the scaffolded Vonendod in the centre. As the Duke was there we bunkered down and made our plans while we waited for him to leave. Umbero, flying invisibly, went inside the Vonendod and reported back to us that we could do one or two things: steal the giant ruby eye and take it back to Citadel Felbarr as proof, and/or destroy the giant heart of the Vonendod and make it permanently irreparable.

Source: Wizards

Our plans were as such, given our resources. We planned to destroy the heart using Halani’s spell of Leomund’s Secret Chest (note to self: can sorcerors learn this too? Room for extra pretty dresses on the road!)). In order to do this, we would have to smash the smaller replica chest, thus obliterating the bigger chest on the Ethereal Plane and making the heart so many pieces of irretrievable shrapnel. Then, using Tenser’s Floating Disc (another spell of Halani’s… should I be perhaps studying magic rather than relying on instinct?) we would knock out the one eye and float it along with us as we escaped. Then we would board the lift again and once we were all safe, Ninya could fly down, throw the explosives in the forge, and fly back up to us faster than any of us would be able to manage otherwise. We waited for Duke Zelto to leave.

Once he did, the plan of course did not go exactly to plan. We managed to get Aukanthi Umbero in the Vonendod, and Halani positioned her magical chest just beneath (she had used an Unseen Servant to rescue as many dresses as she could… again, should I be investing in a spell book?). Halani flew under her own power, Umbero under my spell, and Aukanthi from a spell scroll we luckily had in our possession! Also useful was the potion of stone giant strength we found yesterday, which Umbero took. Then, ruining both our crowbars and their melee weapons, the two in the Vonendod pried the heart out and let it drop. Halani, and to a lesser extent me, ready with my Mage Hand spell to nudge the falling heart, managed to get the heart to fall in, the chest to close, and then just in time, as space began to warp, she destroyed the miniature of the chest, exploding it into oblivion on the Ethereal Plane.

At that point everyone flew back up to the gantry to lie low and see if we had gotten away with it (Umbero told me later that he also placed a note in place of the heart saying we did it!). Unfortunately, this was the point where a giant poked his head out of a nearby archway and saw us. We started racing to achieve the rest of our goals. Ninya checked the progress of the lift and ordered us around. Aukanthi and Umbero leveraged the giant ruby eye from its socket and managed to get it to the gantry before it fell, and then rolled it towards the lift. I aided Halani with protective magics as she flew at the giant and polymorphed it into a tiny bug which then fell between the cracks in the gantry and presumably died. We ran back to the lift but not before another giant saw us.

We waited for the lift to reach the very bottom and return, hoping we had gotten away with it, but alas, when the lift reached the floor below us the giant and five ogres stepped on. We let rip with all the firepower we had, including the two golden lion statuettes. We were able to kill all the ogres before the lift was even level with us (not simply ranged attacks though, for Ninya, Aukanthi using my rapier, and the lions jumped down when the lift was halfway to us) and though the fight was very, very tough, and Aukanthi nearly died, we managed to fell the fire giant.

We all lay exhausted on the platform as it rose to the clifftop, but our troubles were not over. Suddenly the lift stalled and we looked down. Duke Zelto was trying to pull us back down! Halani and Aukanthi, still with the flying spell laid on them, flew the remaining distance up. I cast the flying spell on Umbero again, and he and Aukanthi lifted the giant ruby between them. Meanwhile Ninya, her eyes able to see purchase her claws could make where we would find none, began climbing the shaft faster than any spider. As I waited for Umbero to reach the top, the lift platform suddenly wobbled and toppled. I was falling, but as soon as I saw Umbero reach the lip of the shaft, I cast the spell on myself and shot back up, timing it to miss the falling platform.

We were all safe, but the plan was not complete. Halani cast her last flying spell on Ninya, who took the explosives and flew down. Narrowly dodging the chain of the lift which Duke Zelto kept whipping up at her, she flew down into the main hall, dropped the explosives and alchemical ice in the forge, and zipped back up to us. It hadn’t worked. It had broken the forge, but not blown up the whole place.

Disppointed, but in possession of not only the ruby but the knowledge that the Vonendod would never ever work without the heart, we had Aukanthi, greatly wounded, and Halani, concentrating on a spell to help us escape, rest for an hour. The other three of us stood by the elevator shaft and other vantage points, watching out for signs of pursuit. The giants did start amassing, below the cliff. We were worried, but Halani had not been meditating for nothing!

She had gathered up enough magical power to transform herself into a giant bird-like lizard thing (later she told me it’s called a quetzalcoatlus) and she flew us over the giants to Harshnag and the escaped slaves. We all fled back to Citadel Felbarr. We were still, for be honest, fairly disppointed despite our two successes, as not only had we not caved in the forge, but we hadn’t been able to rescue the remaining slaves in Ironslag either.

Source unknown (Pinterest)

 

Day 112) 30 Elesias, 1490 DR

We arrived in Citadel Felbarr two days ago. The dwarves were well pleased with us, though we still smarted from not achieving all our goals. Still, on reflection, I am just happy we made it out alive.

Speaking of which, the King of Citadel Adbar is also alive. The giant owl we sent managed to make it in time. So at least we succeeded there.

The last two days we spent nursing our wounds, planning our shopping when we get back to Waterdeep (not just magical items, but all the pretty dresses and weapons we sacrificed for the cause!), and wondering where we would put our dwarven fortress on the map (by the way, we’re going to house the ruby eye on top of our tower!).

 

It was while we convalesced that the strangest, most wonderful news came to us. So many threads of stories came together in one day. Today, a bunch of escaped slaves arrived from Ironslag. It has, after all, been ruined! How did this wondrous thing come to pass? Well, we were able to extrapolate the story from putting together what we knew with what the ex-slaves know.

Remember how in Nesme, we learned that the dark elf contacts of the Zhentarrim were fetching something for the fire giants? Turns out, it was a fire primordial from a volcano. Why, why, why would they do something so crazy? Because it turns out, the forge was not hot enough to reactivate the heart of the Vonendod, the heart we had destroyed.

So the dark elves bring the fire primordial in, and their transaction done, they leave. Turns out though, the fire giants have not prepared adequate magics to keep the primordial down. So as it starts to go beserk, the fire giants panic and try to activate the Vonendod. Why isn’t it working?

Oh yeah. We destroyed the heart.

So Ironslag and Duke Zelto are gone.

That’s another giant leader felled by their own arrogance and greed. Could it be possible that I can bring peace to the world by bringing them all to such poetic justice?

Source unknown (Pinterest)

The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 13, Wrong Castle, but here’s a princess anyway!

Day 105) 23 Elesias, 1490 DR, Continued

We started out trying to climb the steep stairs beside the shut gates into Ironslag. Harshnag of course stayed behind. After a few exhausting minutes we decided stuff this, and I cast a flying spell on Ninya. But this only caused a chimera to burst from a cave in the cliff and chase after her. She drew it to us and we soon had it down. In its cave, once we got there, we found its treasure trove, including a philter of Love, a scroll of counterspell, an electrum music box, an obsidian dagger, and a golden jeweled helm.

We got to the top of the cliff we found to our dismay two shut gates and a village of yakfolk. The King and Queen of Citadel Felbarr had warned us about these yakfolk. They told us that they had the ability to wear the skins of those they killed and impersonate them. To our horror, one spotted us and began running to the central hut of the village. We raced in to stop him, Aukanthi stopping to free four halfling slaves the yakman had been guarding. That particular yakman was downed, but another heard him and warned the central tent.

Source: Wizards

We got in there just as one of the priestesses within started to bang the warning gong. The chief and the other priestess moved to slaughter three enslaved moon elves within the tent, but we intercepted. It was a tough battle. One priestess managed to summon an earth elemental, and reinforcements kept turning up, but we managed to secure the central hut and the seven captives within.

Speaking to the people we’d rescued, one of the moon elves was named Halani Meliamne, and she is a princess of the Moonwood. She and the others warned us of the remaining numbers in the village, so we prepared to assault the remaining huts and rescue the slaves still alive (unfortunately we had already lost three dwarves, five humans and one half-orc).

Taking on the last four yakfolk in the village, we were able to also save three more moon elves, two humans and two rock gnomes. We also found a yakfolk child. The moon elves have decided they will take this child to their home and try to raise it to be good, unlike its parents. I will be most interested to see if that works out. In the loot of the village, we managed to recover clothes and weapons for all the freed people, as well as a potion of healing, a scroll of sending, a two-handed sword far too large for any of us, a pair of dwarven electrum bracers which Aukanthi immediately claimed, a potion of stone giant strength, a scroll of flaming sphere, and over 4300 gold. We shared 1400 out amongst those we rescued, 100 each, except for Halani, who has decided to come with us and free the slaves within Ironslag.

To that end we used the sending scroll and another we had earlier. Halani sent to her people in the Moonwood, telling them she was safe and to send a giant owl with her spellbook to the cliff above Ironslag. I meanwhile, has a warning to send. The freed captives mentioned that a bunch of yakfolk disguised in dwarf skins were heading off to kill the King of Citadel Adbar. So I sent this message to Felbarr, since I don’t know anyone in Adbar: “Yakfolk assassins wearing drawk scout skins on route to kill King of Adbar stop Please warn stop Plan goes well stop Love Laughing Company stop”. I hope it reaches them in time…

Now it’s time for a well-earned rest for us! Sent Rillix with a note to Harshnag letting him know we are okay. I hope he’s okay below the cliff…

Source: Wizards

Day 106) 24 Elesias, 1490 DR

The giant owl has arrived with the spell book for Halani, and she has graciously sent it on with a message of warning to Citadel Adbar just in case the dwarves of Citadel Felbarr cannot warn them in time. Meanwhile, we are ready to enter the gates of Ironslag, so we have sent the rest of the captives down the cliff path to meet Harshnag.

The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 12, To Ironslag

Day 90) 8 Elesias, 1490 DR, Continued

We interrogated the fire giantess, though I’m not sure how effective it was. We tried to find out why they were letting the Zhentarrim wheel and deal and call the shots. In the end we didn’t find out much, but we did realise that for some reason the fire giants are scared or intimidated by them. Weird. We also learned that the Storm King may have fallen, and that possibly the reason why the Ordning is down. The fire giant said it was because he meddled with humans. I don’t know about that.

Either way, in the end we bluffed and said we have a piece of the Vonendod, they will never get it, and in an ultimate show of cockiness, simply let her go and walked away. But of course, we are tracking her now.

Day 97) 15 Elesias, 1490 DR

It’s been a week since Nesme. We pushed ourselves hard on a forced march northeast to track the fire giantess, but unfortunately today we lost the trail as we had to hide from another frost giant (Harshnag insists it’s not worth me trying to make friends). So we’ve looked at our map and decided we should turn east to Citadel Felbarr, since we have been told we will have a friendly reception there (well, except for Harshnag, who will have to wait outside).

Day 101) 19 Elesias, 1490 DR

Today we finally reached Citadel Felbarr after a much more relaxed journey over the last four days. The dwarven fortress is impressive, and shows signs of orc incursions. After a while we were granted an audience with King Morin and Queen Tythnal on the strength of our letter of recommendation from Ghelryn of Triboar. They knew many things we did not – for example, that the fire giants lived in Ironslag, four days northeast! Once we shared what we knew, and the story of the Vonendod, they asked that we go and destroy Ironslag and bring back proof of our victory. They will reward us with a fort of our own should we return. Well, I suppose we will have to give it a go!

To aid us, they have given us two wondrous figurines of golden lions that will come to life and fight for us. Also they have given us blasting powder and alchemical ice for our sabotage of Ironslag.

I didn’t mean to be taking on the fire giants so soon, but it would seem this is where life is taking me…

Image result for dwarf 5e

Source: Wizards

Day 105) 23 Elesias, 1490 DR

We have marched for four days and found ourselves outside of Ironslag, the terrible, great city of the fire giants. I write now before we infiltrate, should I not survive.

On the first day out from Citadel Felbarr we fought a band of orcs before we met up with Harshnag. On the third day out we narrowly missed running into a trio of fire giants. But earlier today, we could not avoid the band of primitive Northmen, warriors of the Black Lion Clan. We fought them, until their shaman bowed before Ninya and declared her their god incarnate. We quickly exploited their naivete and pretended she was, and tried to convey to them that they should attack Ironslag today. I don’t know if it has worked, but we didn’t stick around to find out, just in case the god facade doesn’t hold up.

Well. We’re going to plan now and head in. Wish me luck. Hope I don’t have the bad luck this time that I had in Triboar…

The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 11, On top of the S***-list

Day 65) 14 Flamerule, 1490 DR

Set off from Yartar this morning. Had brief encounter with bandits, though I did try to warn them off before they attacked…

Day 68) 17 Flamerule, 1490 DR

Before we arrived in Calling Horn, we ran into some merchants on the road. As we navigated our two wagons past each other, I realised they were Zhentarrim merchants. Nevertheless, we still exchanged gossip. It seems a lot of fire giants are out east, the way we’re headed. Can’t say I’m pleased. Also they’ve heard a rumour that up in Nesme, they saw a flying castle!

When we arrived in Calling Horn a short time later, we met Tamalyn Zoa the unofficial mayor and official innkeeper. She offered us free board if we could take care of a nearby orc warband for her. We managed to find their hideout and get the jump on them, but even with all that advantage, they still had us on the ropes! It’s a worry. Also it’s a worry that there were so many of them, and so many skilled ones. When we came back we warned Tamalyn of this unusual sign.

Day 69) 18 Flamerule, 1490 DR

Last night we were attacked by trolls. Thankfully due to our plans and arrangements in case of ambushes and emergencies, we were ableto dispatch them quickly. Tamalyn was alarmed and has told us she will reward us if we investigate further. We have told her we will return after visiting Noanar’s Hold and giving up the cargo of saddles. We set out this morning.

Day 70) 19 Flamerule, 1490 DR

The road over the last two days was easy and we arrived at Noanar’s Hold. To be honest I can’t wait to leave, and we will do so this morning. I suspect the lords of the hold have some kind of unholy alliance going on, and the villagers seem to almost like the bondage they are kept in. Perhaps this place needs a social change, but I don’t feel I have the power right now to change anything, especially while we are bound to return and help Tamalyn. Perhaps sometime later we will return and investigate further. But for now, we have delivered the saddles.

 

Day 75) 24 Flamerule, 1490 DR

I write to you once again feeling grateful for my life! Three days ago we returned by Calling Horns and left Boris and the wagon there while we went tramping up into the Evermoors. Over the last few days we spotted a flying castle in the north. I don’t think it looks like Count Nimbolo’s or Zephyros’s, so perhaps this is Sansiri, another cloud giant Nimbolo mentioned?

Anyway, the thing that nearly killed us all was when we crested a hill this afternoon and found ourselves facing four trolls. We tried to best them. It was going badly very quickly, and we hadn’t downed a single one, so we started to run. Aukanthi stayed behind to let us run, and fell. I flew above and tried to heal him, panicking, thinking I would surely lose my friend and bodyguard, when suddenly from out of the mist burst a frost giant, bellowing and singing a saga. Cheerfully he tore the trolls limb from limb. After healing Aukanthi, I aided the troll by incinerating the troll corpses.

He introduced himself as Harshnag! We rejoiced at finding him, and at such a desperate moment. He said he had been looking for us too, as he had heard there was a person called Genora Amcathra who was trying to solve the giant crisis. We set up camp for the night and tried to recover from our terrible wounds, though I sat up most of the night and talked with him about many things. Such as, what was it like to be in Force Gray all those years ago? Where have the griffons gone? Why weren’t the storm giants stepping in? Where are the stone giants? (in the south east). Why won’t the fire giants speak to us? (they are big meanies!). What are the fire giants after? (pieces of the Vonendod, some great big construct of destruction?!). Also, how was he intending to help us? He said he would travel with us, and that we should set our sights on the Eye of the All Father, a giant oracle in the mountains to the north. I told him we would get there in time, though we had somethings to sort out first.

Source: Wizards

Day 76) 25 Flamerule, 1490 DR

Last night I had a dream. I think I was a storm giant in my dream, because I came out of the ocean and saw a tiny island of little people. Anyway. I thought it was interesting. The rest of the day was uneventful, though Harshnag and I spoke of many things. We are headed towards Everlund now, to fulfill the promise we gave Darathra of Triboar.

Day 78) 27 Flamerule, 1490 DR

Unexpected help was found in Everlund! When we gave the symbol of Triboar to Darathra’s contact, Drell Thelor, he quickly gave us some wine. What we didn’t expect is that the wine would transport us immediately to the tower of the Harpers in Everlund. We were a little unwary at first, but then we were grateful because they promised us aid. That aid was the use of the Harpers’ teleportation circles in Everlund, Yartar, Neverwinter, Waterdeep, and many other places. As such they have deputised us temporarily to the Harpers and given us secret badges. We were sorely tempted to use the circles immediately, but we had left Boris and the cart in Calling Horns, and we hadn’t told Tamalyn that we had dealt with her troll problem yet, so we decided to return there and then use the teleportation circle in Yartar.

Day 82) Midsummer, 1490 DR

On the road, so no festivals… but Umbero chose tonight to make his move. About time!

Day 87) 5 Elesias, 1490 DR

Four days ago we went through Calling Horns and picked up Boris and the cart again, and told Tamalyn that we had dealt with the trolls. She gave us a letter and told us to take that to Yartar to meet her contacts there. So we arrived in Yartar again last night and gave the letter to Kolbaz, a Harper mage here. He told us to wait one night and we would get our meeting.

This morning we met with the contact. Turns out she was a member of the Hand of Yartar, an all female gang of thieves. To be honest I was a little disppointed that this was Tamalyn’s contact, and I thought for a moment about how I could use an illegal contact to do something good. So I asked her to find some way to help Kaelen’s theatre which was starting in Triboar. She was willing to do so. I wonder what help she might give… Perhaps we will see when we go through Triboar next.

After the meeting with the contact Kolbaz came back to see us and told us that he had heard there would be a covert meeting of the Zhentarrim in the ruins of Nesme, and it would happen soon. Perhaps too soon for us to reach them. But it turns out Harshnag is as motivated to end the Zhentarrim as I am (though I didn’t tell him that since his days, they are less Evil, only lower-case evil these days) so he said if I cast Haste on him he would pull us in our boat up the river and he would run for as long as it took. We agreed, it was worth a try. So I am writing this from a sickeningly fast boat, in the evening light. Harshnag’s pace has not let up for hours. Here’s hoping we make it in time!

Day 90) 8 Elesias, 1490 DR

Yesterday, on the river north of the Evermoors, we spotted the flying castle to the south again. So we know now that the castle is floating near the middle of the Evermoors, surely.

Today, we reached Nesme. We left Harshnag and Aukanthi back and the sneakier three of us crept up into the ruins and overheard the conference between a Zhentarrim priest and… a fire giant? What could they possibly have to gain by working together? We started to get an idea as we listened. We learnt that Duke Zelto has some Zhetarrim kept as pirsoners (the fire giants bother to take prisoners?), and that if they allied themselves, the Zhentarrim would help them assemble the Vonendod (it would seem that there are some places where even Zhentarrim and fire giants fear to tread? It’s possible they might be enlisting dark elves to help with some special mission… either way, this is an unholy alliance!). They also said they would like to be able to talk to the fire giants about the targets they had once the Vonendod was assembled… including the tower of the Harpers in Everlund!

Source: Wizards

The priest sent up his flying snake to deliver a message to his superiors. Umbero sent up a crossbow bolt, but it missed, so I cast a flying spell on Ninya and she rocketed up and slashed the snake to shreds. She landed amongst the ruins and hid with the letter in her possession. The priest and the giant sent their minions to search for her. We sent Rillix off to fetch the others, and laid low, hoping Ninya would not be found before Harshnag arrived. He soon did, and bellowing, let fly a great boulder which smashed the fire giant in the face. Ninya flew back to us and we let loose. The four of us smaller people focussed on taking out the priest first with him being a spellcaster, and we managed to do so. The giants fought, and the fire giant started to run away. I cast Haste on Harshnag and he waded through the smaller thugs and hobgoblins in order to chase down the giant. He all waded with him, and once he was free of the smaller fighters dragging him down, he took off, fast catching up with the fire giant. He caught up but the fire giant managed to smack him down. I flew quickly above the hobgoblin crowd and cast a spiritual weapon spell as a last ditch attempt to down the fire giant… and it worked! I knocked her out!

Now in the ruins of Nesme, we sit, Harshnag healed, and Aukanthi and Umbero are currently tying up the fire giant for an interrogation. I need to think of what our questions will be…

The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 10, Party on the Golden Goose

Day 61) 10 Flamerule, 1490 DR, Continued

When I was feeling stronger that afternoon we decided we would warm up before our journey by taking out that oni on the outskirts of town. In order to do this we decided to gather around those same allies who had visited, in order to surround and trap the oni. Before we set out though, we had thought it best to see a priest. Turns out there was one at the Talking Troll, a drunken wretch called Silvarren Loomshank who had been ignoring his duties in Red Larch and come up to Triboar instead.

After talking to him and the Troll’s barkeep Kaelen Sarssir, we had a plan. You see, Kaelen, amongst complaints to us about the 5 gold debt owed by the priest, told us he wished he could turn the Troll into a theatre instead of a bar. I told him I would potentially back this scheme of his if he came up with a business plan and found some business partners (Aukanthi suggested Narth and Alistra from the Lionshield Coster could sponsor him). The priest was too drunk to come with us, and we bitterly came up with a plan to foil him too. We gave Narth and Kaelen 25 gold and sent them off to do the business of the gods… but I’ll get to that part in good time.

As it got dark, I went out into the woods in disguise as a lone ranger to ‘sleep’. Rillix parked herself up in the trees to warn the others once I was attacked, while they watched from a nearby boarding house. It didn’t take long for me to hear a creeping footstep, and suddenly a spell of charming was laid on me, but it didn’t take, luckily! I dropped a spell of haste and flew into action. Because of this, and Rillix making the others aware, it only took myself and Ninya, with a little bit of luck, to take the oni down.

Source: Wizards

Feeling mighty proud of ourselves, we went back into town and got into costume. Only Darx stayed with us, joining Narth and Kaelen, and we went into the staged area we had set up to look like the wall of the faithless. We all played bricks in the wall and as the drunken and drugged priest woke, we bemoaned our faithlessness and despair. He was terrified, and we knocked him out again. But later that night when he awoke, and we had cleaned away all the props and costumes, he was most miserable and declared he would set out to Red Larch in the morning to do his duty.

Day 63) 12 Flamerule, 1490 DR

Two days later, we have reached Yartar. We set out early yesterday morning, but the priest Silvarren set out even earlier than us.

Not much happening today, except that now we have been invited onto the Golden Goose, a casino boat! Exciting!

Interestingly the logo of the Golden Goose is exactly like the golden goose in my dream a while ago. I have told the others about my dream, and several other dreams. They think it’s weird, but agree with me that it will be interesting to go and see what it means.

Day 64) 13 Flamerule, 1490 DR

Have decided to spend another day in Yartar as we are all exhausted from the long night on the ship. It was fun for Umbero and myself. Unfortunately Aukanthi and Ninya, as my staff, were below decks, where it was apparently pretty boring.

As for us up top, Umbero nearly slipped up and gave his lower breeding away, but recovered thankfully. We played blackjack and poker. The staff were from far and wide, and to be frank were more interesting than these provincial nobles who thought themselves so fancy. I’m afraid that the provincial political scene was my very reason for being there, for the owner of the ship, Khaspere Drylund, wanted my backing in his upcoming political coup. I made my excuses and left. The one interesting thing about him was his pet octopus on his shoulder!

Source: Wizards (Storm King’s Thunder Campaign Guide)

We spent the rest of the night having fun, and now it’s dawn and we are far too tired to travel today, so we will spend one more night in town. I wonder why the golden goose sign seemed to come to nothing. Was I supposed to say something different? Or maybe it really was just a coincidence.

The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 9, A Near Miss

Day 42) 21 Kythorn, 1490 DR

After our attack of the night before you would think we’d play it safe passing through Womford. But you’d be wrong. We got off the river yesterday as Ninya was having nightmares about drowning. As we passed through Womford we were recognised as the killers of the Womford Bat. I dimly remember at the time that Umbero was gloating and taking most of the credit. Serves him right that he’s the only one hungover today. After a free stay overnight in Womford, we’re back on the road today.

Day 48) 27 Kythorn, 1490 DR

We passed through Red Larch again three days ago, and today we are staying the night in Westbridge. Nothing of consequence has happened on the road, and I only write to report that the innkeeper where we’re staying is the brother of Keltar Dardragon! Small world (get it, he’s a halfling…).

Day 51) 30 Kythorn, 1490 DR

We arrived in Triboar today. It sits atop a hill and is a large market and crossroads town. It being the solstice today, there were a good few stalls around. Amongst other places, we stopped off at the Lionshield Coster to tell Alistra that her ex-husband (also an employee of the Lionshields) died in Nightstone. She, and her co-worker Narth, were on edge because their business was seen as outside competition and so they were victims of vandalism. We tried to give them ideas of how to become more a part of the community (e.g. sponsoring events at festivals) but I don’t think they really listened.

Source: Wizards (Storm King’s Thunder Campaign Guide)

 

We heard there was a grove outside of town where people received visions from the god of tracking, and sometimes even were taken away by the god himself. We found the idea entertaining so we sat out there. As we all bedded down though, Aukanthi saw him. He noticed the costume was wrong though, and that’s when the ‘god’ attacked. It was an oni! We fought fiercely, but he escaped into the night. We are going to track him in the morning and destroy him. But in the meantime, I am writing this from the safety of the Northstar Coster. The innkeeper, Urgala, was not impressed with our late arrival, but being an ex-adventurer herself, she understands.

Day 61) 10 Flamerule, 1490 DR

Well. I’m surprised to be writing here again. Let me explain.

The next day we woke up to a giant attack. This time it was fire giants, leading a sizeable army of ocrs riding axebeaks, magmins burning down the town, and orog bodyguards. The giants seemed to almost be dowsing, using a rod of some sort, as if they were looking for something. Ninya ran in first as we stormed up, getting in between the giants and the town square, into the caravan yard where they started to demolish next. Though I didn’t get to meet all these people properly until today, in the town square there was the Lord Protector of Triboar, Darathra, who bravely fought orcs until she fell, but we were able to stablise her. There was also Narth, who took potshots from the fence of the Lionshield Coster. With Ninya was Darz, the caravan park owner, and Orthovir, a sorcerer who had coming running from where the giants started their attack on the outskirts of town. Urgala joined us in the fight too, and eventually we also spotted a stout aged dwarf, Ghelryn, swinging wildly with his battleaxe to help us.

Source: Wizards (Storm King’s Thunder Campaign Guide)

We tried our best to protect people more than property, felling all but the giants, who were not attacking but digging up the caravan park. As we felled orog and orc, Ninya dodged fiery explosion after fiery explosion from magmins and took them out more effectively than any of us could, though getting quite scorched in the process. Soon the giants dug a massive lump of adamantium out of the ground and as we finished off the last of their army, they started to walk away. I checked that all our allies were stable, and, frustrated, I flew after the giants to demand to know why they had attacked. I overheard them saying how pleased Duke Zelto would be. I zoomed right in front of them. Caring not for the anger of a mosquito, I was batted out of the sky.

 

Apparently I was on the verge of death for the first five days of this last week, and only just started to regain my strength. But I do believe I died, for I heard two voices. There was a woman interceding on my part, saying that I’ve done so much and with so little help from… someone, the owner of the booming male voice which I heard next, which finally agreed and the next thing I know, I was back in my body and in a lot of pain. I’m almost too scared to tell Daddy, but I suppose I had better. Also I had best be careful in the future. I don’t think I get another chance.

I’ve had six visitors in today, besides my friends. Urgala of course came in to visit. She suggested if we ever go past Zymorven Hall to stop in, as Harthos Zymorven, an ex-adventurer, is said to have a giant slaying sword. Darz came to see me and suggested if we needed money, he knew where there was a wanted criminal a few towns over. Orthovir came too and said if we wanted repayment for saving his life, we could collect the Margasta family stash, which he gave us the location of (but Aukanthi seems to think that perhaps this is not a legitimate offer, he seemed pretty shifty when telling us this). Also Ghelryn visited and gave us a letter of recommendation to visit the royal family of Citadel Felbrand. Aukanthi is very keen to meet dwarven royalty.

Lord Protector Darathra and I were finally able to meet properly. She implored us to go to Everlund and find Drell Thelor and let him know what had happened in Triboar. We intend to do this next, as well as visiting Noanar’s Hold on the way to deliver a cartful of saddles that Narth needs delivered. He has paid us 100gp and given us a horse called Boris and a cart that we can keep afterwards. We will do these things in all haste.

The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 8, A Diplomatic Flub?

Day 31) 10 Kythorn, 1490 DR

Before leaving Red Larch we planted the last of our three magic beans. We got a clutch of eggs two times, and the final time we got another bulette to fight. Warmed up for the road, we started out towards Keltar’s old tower.

When we got there it was indeed very old and mostly ruined, though it didn’t seem like we could get in the front. Ninya climbed the tower swiftly, but before she could throw us down a secure rope, she was attacked first by birds (which we dispatched in the blink of an eye) and then by a mystery hand which flung her off the tower. As she landed, unhurt, with us below, we heard a bellow and a womanly wail. Inside the tower was a crying hill giantess. I talked her down and tried to ask what was the matter. She was sad because her partner Hrug had left her. I had a feeling, and it was confirmed when I worked it out of her: Guh had monopolised all the males in the tribe and kicked Moog and all the other females out.

I promised to help Moog get Hrug back and she was very happy, though she did not seem keen on trying to beat up Guh. She explained that she still believed in parts of the Ordning, and that while Guh was Hill Giant #1, Moog is only #10. Before we left we asked her to just wait so we could search for any sign of Keltar Dardragon. In the rubble, we only found two potions in a chest, I suppose they must have been his. One was a potion of greater healing, and the other a potion of growth. I suppose these will help us, though I was honestly hoping for more. I guess I’m just happy he wasn’t here to make a pass at me or any of my party. Though I do wonder what exactly he was using this potion of growth on…

And so now we’re on our way to Gruud Haug! An unexpected turn, I must say. A little worried, but we meant to come this way last month, so we may as well.

Day 35) 14 Kythorn, 1490 DR

Am I a bad person? I didn’t mean for things to turn out the way they did, but…

Let me start from the beginning. We arrived at Gruud Haug. It was actually a very pleasant looking place, a giant dam on the river. Orcs tended to the giants’ sheep herds, and we walked right past them, feeling confident with Moog’s escort. I scrounged around for a gift for Guh amongst our possessions, and hit upon what I thought at the time would be the perfect solution: the potion of growth! After all, Guh was trying to be the biggest of all giants. I had Ninya carry it on my velvet cloak, piled up like a cushion.

As we got further in, Moog pointed us in the direction of Guh’s throne room, and then seeing Hrug, ran up to him and punched him. I’ve never seen a male so happy at being punched, but she dragged the smiling buffoon out of the settlement and into the hills. We carried on.

As soon as we entered the great building, we were set upon by orcs. We declared we had a gift for Guh, so they escorted us through the curtain to the throne room. The sight was one I hope to never see the like of again. Guh was huge… horizontally. Unable to carry her own weight anymore, she sat on a wagon. We weren’t to know this til later, but a goblin was trapped in the folds of her capacious stomach. Speaking of which, she was attended by multiple goblin archers, orcs, ogres, and lesser giants. She bellowed at us, and I stepped forward to explain:

“Great Guh, we have heard far and wide of your immensity, and we have come to bring a gift!”

Little did I realise this was the wrong tactic. She yelled, “EAT!” and we were set upon. I had enough time to yell “Growth potion!” The clamour stopped and an attendant of hers picked up the potion and gave it to Guh. Before I had a chance to tell her its effect, or to entreat her to save it for the moment she chose to confront the other giants, she gulped it down, glass and all.

The room went silent. When after a few seconds nothing seemed to happen, she yelled “EAT!” again. Umbero tumbled away as fast as he could. “She’s gonna blow!” The rest of us ran for it through the press of enemies, Ninya running faster than I ever knew possible.

Source: Wizards, Guh figurine

Suddenly Guh let out a massive belch and began to grow exponentially. I managed to dodge quickly enough and cast a spell of Flying on myself, but Aukanthi was caught up as the very floor caved in, sending Guh and all her attendants into the river below. Aukanthi swam out of the ruins, and in the chaos, the four of us made a quick desicion. After all, Hill Giant #1 had just gone down.

We found Moog sitting down outside a cave looking very happy with herself. We told her what had past and explained that we had magical eggs that could make her the best hill giant so that she’d be able to lead her people. She ate all 9 of our magical eggs that we’d gained back in Red Larch, and suddenly she was much cleverer than before (for a hill giant, that is). We walked back with her to claim her seat of leadership, and meanwhile I tried to summarise for her, as I might for a small child, systems of good government, where the collective strength of the people strengthened the individual – basically, the opposite of Guh’s philosophy. Moog agreed that this sounded good, and together we hit on the idea that the best thing to do would be to gather as many giants as would be faithful to her, and make an alliance with Waterdeep and Goldenfields for the giants to live as part of that agricultural community. The giants could be used for their strengths (building, ploughing) and would be well fed without having to raid. Not to mention the defensive bonuses.

We promised Moog we would secure the alliance and set down the river posthaste for Goldenfields.

Day 39) 18 Kythorn, 1490 DR

Our journey downriver was uneventful except for one boat we passed, and the time when three aarakocra landed on the boat to ask what we had done to Gruud Haug. They were happy because the giants preyed on their people, but they laughed when we told them our plan of an alliance. A pity, I was hoping to potential enlist them, or at least get to know these elusive being better. We were fast running out of food after marching with Moog, so we had to fish and shoot river fowl to supplment our diet. We did fairly well most days, though I’m pretty sure Aukanthi went without food yesterday and just didn’t tell anyone. I think the magic of the dwarven boat is influencing him to be more stoic, and also I could swear he’s been injecting more dwarven jargon than usual into his speech lately.

aara

Source: Wizards

With relief, we reached Goldenfields this morning and I write this from the inn, where once again we are treated with extreme generosity and good will. I have written hurried letters. First, to Lady Laeral regarding the potential for an alliance with Moog. I spoke with Naxene and she seemed very receptive to the idea and believes it will go down well with Laeral, but we will be gone before we learn the aftermath unfortunately.

I have also written to Daddy to update him on the situation. I have also made two requests of him. First is to send the four magical eggs I had stashed away at home to Goldenfields via Lady Laeral, in order that they be given to Moog when she arrives in Goldenfields to lead the giants, if the alliance goes well. The second request comes after meeting with Zi Liang. It seems my voice has been too effective in her cause. The previous captain of the guard has been let go of, and Zi Liang has been put in charge of the defenses. When I saw her she seemed stressed and out of her depth. I have asked for Daddy to put on retainer a retired adventurer, to come and live here and be a secret advisor to Zi Liang without her knowing. I want her to have an ally, and to not feel looked down on. Hopefully my plan works.

We set off again tomorrow, heading back up the river to get back on the track we were on before the diversion to Gruud Haug. Oh, before I forget, last night I had another strange dream. I dreamt of a golden goose. It was golden paint though, on a wooden relief. What a strange and particular thing to dream of, but there you have it.

Day 41) 20 Kythorn, 1490 DR

Morning now of our second day on the river. Just writing to say I am grateful to be alive. Yesterday was uneventful, but then in the night we were attacked by four Zhentarrim assassins (I can only assume). They very nearly had us, through the cunning use of area magic, but we fought fiercely, since our lives were at stake. We won, though it was very close, and if not for a stroke of luck in three of the four of us rolling out of our bedrolls smoothly right at the beginning, well. I may not have been writing in this diary right now!

The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 7, Ally of Laeral

Day 22) 1 Kythorn, 1490 DR

My meeting with Lady Laeral was an interesting one. I had heard that she was the one who started that old Waterdhavian tradition of casting fly and throwing oneself from scented bath to the next. It turns out that was our afternoon’s occupation. Thankfully I have a few times before done this ritual so I knew what to expect, even though it has somewhat fallen out of fashion. It was odd but also endeared me to her, when I might otherwise have been fatally intimidated by her status.

She was unbelievably kind. I thought I was coming for a scolding, but instead she seemed happy with my adventures so far. She praised my handling of the situation with the giants above Waterdeep, and even gave me a lead to find more information about the giants. She said that once there was a company called Force Gray who protected Waterdeep, and they had amongst their number a frost giant called Harthnag. When the Force disbanded, he disappeared. She suggested I seek amongst the frost giants for his whereabouts.

She also obliquely mentioned that she was pleased that I was standing up to the Zhentarrim, and that is was a pity the Lord’s Alliance felt that they were currently a necessary evil. Perhaps, if one could get more evidence against them, she would be able to take proper action. To that end, to protect me from my newfound enemies, she gifted to me an amazing shirt of adamantium chain that assassins will find much harder to pierce with their poisoned weapons. I really could not thank her enough, and I left the castle feeling thoroughly confident that she was my ally.

Source: Wizards

We finally that afternoon legitimized our little adventuring band by purchasing a charter. We named ourselves the Laughing Company, after much debate. We decided it was ideal, because we wanted to bring joy to the innocent, but at the same time we were kind of rubbing it in the nose of the Zhentarrim. Come at me now, if you wish!

To fill in some time we experimented with more magical beans. These grew for us another bulette which we soon dispatched, a magical blue campfire, and two mean statues that looked exactly like me and said nasty things about me. We carried them back to my house, which led to us being fined for public disturbance.

Finally that evening we were able to pay a visit to Chazlauth Yarghorn, the dragon expert recommended to us by Naxene. When we told him of her plan to involve the dragons in the giant attacks, he laughed and said we were crazy. Instead, he suggested we see old Gnawbones in Kryptgarden Forest, a dragon who watches the world from her many crystal balls. We were eager, until he mentioned she was a green dragon. So he gave us four potions of poison resistance, and told us to make sure we interested her, and gave her something of interest, for example, information she otherwise could not get. A daunting prospect…

Tomorrow we will set off early in our northward journey to learn more about the giants. We need to eventually reach the Spine of the World, where we will find other front giants who we can inquire with regarding Harthnag. But on the way we may as well visit a few other places on the way that people have asked us to stop in at.

Day 24) 3 Kythorn, 1490 DR

After two days travel reached Rassalantar. A pleasant enough town. The journey has been fairly kind to us so far.

By the way, I forgot to mention, yesterday when we woke up before setting off, the magical statues had disintegrated. So much for magic beans then!

Day 25) 4 Kythorn, 1490 DR

Finally arrived in Amphail towards the end of the day and went straight to the tavern where we could find Arleosa Starhenge. She reminsced about Miros for a while, and we talked for a few hours over drinks. In the end, she liked me so much that she told me the story of an old lover of hers, a halfling called Keltar Dardragon. She gave me his magical wooden ring, and said if ever I needed his help, I should whisper his name three times into it. When we told her we were moving on the next day she insisted we stay another day for the party of Tylander Roaringhorn, a resident Waterdhavian noble. We said we would, and retired back to my family estate in Amphail. All was good there, so I wrote a letter to Daddy telling him so. Later, when we were all deep in our cups, we spoke into the ring and received an illusion of the halfling Keltar, telling us to come to his tower in the Sumber Hills to receive ‘what we need’. I don’t half wonder if this isn’t some magical booty call device…

Day 26) 5 Kythorn, 1490 DR

Well, isn’t it just the way? The party was going splendidly, until of course, it was interrupted by four hill giants. Everyone else fled while we stayed behind to fight. Funnily enough, if they hadn’t been so focused on the food, it could have been much worse, but as it was, we intimidated them into running away. We checked on everyone. Poor Tylander was most upset, but unhurt. I advised him against gathering large displays of food in the future. Arleosa was also all right. We tried to help with the clean-up effort and healing the hurt. Wrote a second letter to Daddy to tell him the latest.

Source: Wizards

Day 27) 6 Kythorn, 1490 DR

Last night I dreamt of being with someone else, someone close to me, and then suddenly we were swallowed up by black tentacles. I woke up in a cold sweat. Found it hard to sleep again after that. We restocked on supplies, made sure the people we knew in Amphail were all right, and set on the road for Red Larch. I wonder, but my dreams do seem to be linked to my encounters with giants perhaps?

Day 30) 9 Kythorn, 1490 DR

We arrived in  Red Larch after a few uneventful days travel. Since the Sumber Hills are to the north of us, I think we’ll detour to try and find Keltar Dardragon and see exactly what he can give us…

The Diary of Genora Amcathra: Storm King’s Thunder Part 6, Giants over Waterdeep

Day 20) 29 Mirtul, 1490 DR

After four days travel we made it back to Waterdeep without incident. It was after we entered that the incidents occurred!

Since we came in through the south we decided to go through the market first to restock our supplies before heading north to my house. It was there that I was pickpocketed. We gave chase after the person, and that lead us into an alley. I don’t really remember the rest very well, as the next thing I knew was… well nothing. I was taken out by a Zhentarrim assassin. The others were cornered by thugs, but Ninya used her amazing jumping ability to scale the wall and run after the fleeing assassin. Aukanthi got me back on my feet with a healing potion, but even then I missed the most interesting part of the battle. As we were cutting down thugs, Ninya and the assassin were going toe to toe inside the building. She was throwing his from landing to landing, or so she says. All I know is, as soon as I caught sight of her failing to push him through a window, I threw up a firebolt at him, and took him out.

Running home, we straight away told Daddy of all of this, as well as all our adventures for the last two weeks. He looked sad for a moment when I told him I was a sorcerer. I learned later at dinner why that was. I’m not his real daughter. Mummy and Daddy found me on their doorstep one night when there was a storm, and considered me a blessing from the gods, since they had failed to produce children. But so far as we both consider, we are still father and daughter. Probably I’m some poor woman’s child who hadn’t the money to keep me. I’ll probably never find her, but maybe this explains why I’ve always tried to make things better for the common people.

We were enjoying dinner, and Daddy was immensely supportive of my new goal to go on an adventure, seeing as he had been an adventurer too. Though unfortunately he doesn’t think we can bring any legal action against the Zhentarrim for the attack, as we have no proof. As we were talking a dark shadow crossed the moon, and we ran first to the window, then to the roof to see. Giants had come to Waterdeep. Another giant castle in the clouds hung above my head. I felt a lump rise in my throat and told Daddy to get to the basement. He seemed pleased to get a chance to run away. (Author’s note: Not that Genora will ever find this out, but his secret reason for leaving was that he is a closed lord of Waterdeep, so she isn’t even allowed to know that he is on the council)

I called the others to my side and we wondered the streets until very late at night. People were milling around, praying, panicking. But there were no stones being thrown from the cloud castle. We decided to sleep, but have our things ready in case we were summoned to action.

Image result for cloud giant castle

Source: Wizards

Day 21) 30 Mirtul, 1490 DR

We passed so peaceful a night I almost wondered if the castle had been a dream, but no, there it was through my window in the morning. We wandered the streets again to gauge the reaction of people. On our way through the city we detoured to House Thann, to hand the butler there Zi Liang’s black pearl pendant. In return he gave us two magic items: a bag of beans and some magical faerie horse shoes which will make my horse faster and never need to be reshod.

Meanwhile we heard that the Lady Laeral Silverhand was looking for adventurers to go up to the castle in the clouds. We felt sad for a moment that we hadn’t the ability to fly, and then we remembered, we have pixie dust! So we went to the roof of my house and tried the dust. Ninya and myself went up in the air straight away! Umbero went invisible first, but then on his second try started flying. Aukanthi unfortunately got magically confused first, then went invisible, and finally started flying. The confusion wore off quickly, which was good because he did try to take a swipe at me mid-air! But soon we were very, very high up, and landing on our second castle of clouds.

We were met by some stone giants who very slowly went to let the cloud giants in charge know that we were present. There was a young cloud giantess sent to escort us, and she had a griffon on her arm, much like I have Rillix with me. It occurred to me how useful it would be if the griffon guard in Waterdeep had not been disbanded! We could have had a much easier time riding up here on griffons. I will mention this to Daddy later. Anyway we got to speak to Count Nimbolo, a cloud giant. He was studying many maps of the areas and when we asked him why he was above Waterdeep, he said he was trying to chart the ancient land of Ostoria, a giant kingdom. We told him it was long gone by now, a subject only of myth to us. He asked if he could send surveyors down to the mountain to have a look for any ancient signs. I told him I did not have the authority to grant that, however I would happily escort a representative down to ask permission of the Lady Laeral.

As we explained to each other how each of our societies worked, I finally learned the answer to what has been happening in the giant world. There was a great system laid down by the giant gods, called the Ordning. It basically said to the giants that the hill giants are the lowest, the storm giants the best, and everyone has their own place in the hierarchy. Apparently now the Ordning has been declared as over, so giants are now competing to see how can be on top. Not every giant seems as interested in this though. Nimbolo seems pretty calm and above the whole thing.

Anyway we escorted his representative down, and as soon as we landed near the castle things got taken out of our hands and we were forgotten. We headed back home to await further news. To fill in the time, we tried planting one of the magical beans from Zi Liang’s inheritance. Within a minute it grew six eggs. We went to a magical animals merchant, but he quickly revealed they would never hatch. They were magical food in the shape of eggs, that would either boost our abilities or explode in our stomachs. Since Aukanthi and I boasted about having the toughest stomachs (Ninya and Umbero wisely deciding to not participate), we both down an egg each, and were rewarded with very sore stomachs for the rest of the night.

Day 22) 1 Kythorn, 1490 DR

Last night I had a dream about a giant throne, which had blue dragons skulls in place of legs. What can it mean?

In the morning we decided to try a bit more fun and planted another bean. Golly were we lucky to survive the bulette that emerged from the ground and very nearly ended it all for us!

Image result for bulette

Source: Wizards (Monster Manual 5e)

We got cleaned up and had lunch, and it was then that I received a letter summoning me to meet Lady Laeral. What can this mean? I hope I’m not due a scolding for anything that’s happened in the past two weeks…