» Forgotten Realms Calendar / Campaign Timeline     » Amassed Loot     » Monster Roster     » Current Party Stats    

Look on the Bright Side

Theona’s Journal

Flamerule 3, 1373, Spine of the World

For the first time since we encountered the earth elemental, I had the strength to assert myself. I said that I was going to go read the tablets the Red Wizard was studying, and then I was going to go back to the place the portal from Sigil had dropped us, and open the double doors to what I was sure would be fresh air and sunshine. I believe that Rosorc was the only one truly against leaving, though of course Tassar argued with me for the sake of arguing, then ran ahead of us all to the library and began to study the dwarven writings.

We ended up sitting for several hours, during which time we were, thankfully, not interrupted. The first tablet we looked at was the one the Thayan was making a rubbing of. It depicted a map from a dragon’s eye view of the North as it looked 3200 years ago. The only thing that looked really strange about the map was the Anauroch desert— it was depicted with lush greenery and trees. Also, burial tombs of the Arch Mages were indicated on the map. We of course made a rubbing of the map. Other tablets detailed precise locations of tombs— we noticed that the Red Wizard had been apparently researching on in particular called “Trellzoun.”

Deitricha, who surprised me with her scholarly knowledge of this history of this region, gave us a rough timeline of important events relating to our findings:

-3900 DR: Delzoun was established
-3859 DR: Several fishing villages allied to form Netheril, soon after learning magic from the Elves
-3533 DR: Adventurers discovered the Nether Scrolls and began to use magic more powerful than that of the elves; at least one scroll was stolen and lost
-3419 DR: Netheril and the dwarves of Delzoun established a trade route
-2954 DR: First floating city ose above Netheril
-339 DR: Netheril fell, while the Anauroch desert expanded
-100 DR: Delzoun Kingdom fell

I listened avidly to her descriptions— perhaps she can tell me more about the fall of Ascalhorn. Most of my friends were listening too, though when she was done and I looked around, I saw that Tassar had wandered over to the dead beholder and removed the eyestalks, which he was alternately waving over his head and trying to fashion some sort of belt. At least he hadn’t strayed too far. Still, when Tassar gets restless, it’s best to pack up and move on.

We headed to the spot where we had first arrived in Barannsar, and I checked the doors for any sort of trap. We carefully opened them, and I was fully expecting to feel the warmth of the sun on my face. Instead, we found a 30’ by 30’ room, with many little holes in the ceiling. Hoping it was just the foyer to the real outside doors, I was about to proceed carefully when Tassar slipped past me and strolled across the room to the other set of doors. I wondered aloud about the holes in the ceiling, for I feared a trap, but Rosorc believes that the dwarves used them to pour boiling oil on trespassers. Makes sense!

Tassar opened the latest pair of doors before I could check them, but when I saw sunlight pouring through into the antechamber I didn’t care— I just ran outside. Reveling in the light of day, I realized there were no trees— we were on a 15’-wide rocky ledge, though there was a road leading off to the right into what we believe to be the Moonwood. We are guessing that we’re at least 150 miles from Silverymoon, and without horses, but at least we are out under the open sky again! Areon quickly decided to range ahead of the rest of us, and though that was an excellent idea as he is so much quieter than half of our party, I had a momentary twinge of panic. A little bit of teasing from Tassar reminded me that I was needed more with the rest of the party at the moment, and I have to agree. I reminded myself that I would know if Areon had trouble within a moment of him knowing it himself. I think a lot of my inner turmoil this past week centers around this whole extra set of emotions; despite his calm demeanor, Areon seems to be in constant struggle with his feelings.

He had only been gone for a few minutes when he reappeared in front of us with the news of an orcish war party heading towards the doors of Barannsar. I was glad that we’d left when we had, lest we get stuck fighting them inside the stronghold and attracting more denizens from the Underdark. The party coming towards us numbered twenty, and we were in no shape for a protracted battle, so we agreed to hide behind the rocks and rubble lining the 20’ wide path down from the mountains and let the orcs pass. Areon and I hid quite easily, as did Deitricha and Tassar, but unfortunately, again, the spikes on Rosorc’s armor were quite obvious from my vantage point on the opposite side of the road, and this time I had no potion of invisibility to toss to him, nor could I signal him to hide further back from the road! William too, was making enough commotion from behind his boulder that a blind and deaf orc could have found him easily.

And they did. The orcs, suspicious, turned to investigate the disturbance on the far side of the road. Rosorc jumped out to attack them and William let fly a magic missile of some sort. I elected to use the drow bolts I’d picked up, both for the fact that they had been dipped in some sort of toxin that caused sleep, and because anyone that came upon an orc corpse with drow fletching sticking from it would rightfully assume that drow were close by.

In addition to the eighteen orcs, there were two dire boars in the war band. One was attempting to tear Tassar apart, but I got out the wand of enfeeblement and started wearing the creature’s strength down. By the time Tassar went unconscious, the boar was quite weak itself. I could no longer see what was happening on the other side of the road, but I could hear Rosorc bellowing something dwarven at his assailants. Suddenly, Deitricha flew upward out of a group of surprised orcs towards Tassar, so Areon and I tried to finish off the orcs while she rescued the halfling. I alternated between the poisoned arrows and the wand, feeling a brief moment of panic when Areon fell, but thankfully he remained conscious long enough to heal himself. By this time I was too busy being amazed at Deitricha’s new trick. In fact, Areon had to remind me to finish killing the dire boar that had fallen asleep at my feet.

Unfortunately, when we gathered ourselves together, we discovered that William had fallen in battle. I never really got to know him, but I feel bad that he died so soon after joining up with us. Magic-rich area though this is, I think the average mage is just too fragile to travel with this party.

Before leaving the battle scene, I did still have the presence of mind to loot the bodies. These orcs were hauling over 8500 silver pieces amongst them, plus the normal stuff you’d expect to find on orcs. There also was a pretty silver ring with a very ornate motif of a mermaid on it. I have so far resisted putting it on, nor will I suggest anyone else do so until we are in better shape, on the off chance it has some unfavorable magic qualities. We also stacked the orcs in the middle of the road and left some more drow weapons and armor strewn about— hopefully that will warn anyone else from going into Barannsar before we contact the dwarves about it.

We are in a sorry state, so we’ll have to find a safe place to rest. At least I finally feel like we are “home” now that we are outside of that horrible place.

Posted by Kristin on May 25, 2004, 14:13 | Theona’s Journal