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Jak’s Journal

Sharn, Therendor 15, 998 YK

Dear Morghan—

Sorry I have not written in almost a month! I received your last letter just before boarding the Celestial Sylph to head back to Sharn. I see you finally got to travel on an airship— the Cerulean Sky? That one has an air elemental, doesn’t it? The Sylph does.

I actually had a chance to pilot it. I fear that I have developed one of those marks— I was sure I’d be lashed to the first ship leaving the harbor once word got out, but the Sylph’s captain told me to take a few weeks to adjust to it. And yes, my crewmates did start treating me a bit differently. Not badly, but I felt like valuable cargo the rest of the round trip to Valenar.

And speaking of Valenar, remember K’ehleyr from our last visit to Taer Valaestas? She finally took me up on that offer to travel on a ship, and came back all the way to Sharn with me! She brought a huge horse along. I had meant to learn to properly ride one while visiting, but with the mark showing up and all, I spent my time buying some clothing that covered more before heading back west. I assured her she could stay in our compound, as the Valenar we’ve met have always been so hospitable to us.

We arrived pretty late in the day yesterday, and were immediately met by Gib and Jin. It’s odd; Jin can look like pretty much anything so that he can fit in, but Gib somehow manages to blend in better. Perhaps that would be different in a different town. I’d told K’ehleyr about them, maybe too much, as she recognized them immediately and was soon attempting to instruct them on proper etiquette. This lesson was abruptly halted as we found a body while crossing a bridge in Upper Dura.

I quickly blew a whistle for the Watch as Gib winced and went through the body’s belongings, producing the ID of a provost at Morgrave University, identifying the elderly human’s remains as those of Bonal Geldam, professor of pre-Galifar history. Apparently there was more on the corpse, but at that moment I heard a scrape behind me and turned to see a cloaked form climbing over the side of the bridge. Yelling at it to identify itself produced an undesirable response, and we soon found ourselves fighting an axe-wielding warforged. I was knocked off my feet in time to see windows opening in the towers around us, and called again for someone to get the Watch.

I waved for the approaching Watch members as I heard a loud “clonk” sound behind me—K’ehleyr had finished off our assailant. A dwarf and two humans approached and asked us to drop our weapons and produce ID. We’d not yet registered K’ehleyr and I feared there would be trouble, but thankfully there were so many eye-witnesses to our stand against the professor’s killer that soon the dwarf, Sergeant Dolum, was congratulating us on a job well done and actually gave us a few gold coins as a reward. K’ehleyr, of course, promised to use her portion for purchasing ID first thing in the morning.

As we left the scene, another cloaked figure came towards us. I was about to call for the Watch again, fearing another warforged attacker, but the figure, a human, wore a signet ring of House Cannith, and asked only that we be at the Broken Anvil Inn at dawn.

We continued on towards the first tavern we found, and had a simple meal while we discussed the earlier events. Turns out that Gib had found more on the professor than he’d shown, the most interesting of which was a strange, mithril and leather bound book. The book’s pages appeared blank, but radiated strong magic.

Gib tucked the book away and we headed out into the rain. Did I mention it was raining again? I don’t understand why they don’t let the Raincallers fix that. Jin kept trying to get us to stay at his house, and Gib took him up on the offer, but I had no desire to go anywhere but our compound (not to mention, where would Jin have stowed K’ehleyr’s horse?).

We left the Valenar horse in the compound in the morning and went to meet at the Broken Anvil. We were seated by a halfling at a table with a human woman dressed in dark clothes— Elaydren d’Vown of House Cannith, with an offer to have a bit of adventure looking for one of their house artifacts left behind in the old city. A decent amount of coin was offered for what sounded like an easy bit of work. Of course, she needed a journal that had been in the possession of the Provost Geldam— luckily we still had that.

Lady d’Vown said the mark on the front was the old House symbol, and once she passed her signet ring over the book, words became visible on the pages. She looked through it while we ate breakfast, and then gave us a map and information on how to find the House Cannith’s lost foundry. Fifty-seven levels below the sewers, under Dorasharn Tower, we’d find an adamantine plate in the shape of a seven-pointed star. She also gave us a good portion of the promised coin to buy any supplies we might need. I have to confess, I’m not entirely sure what one would need to buy to go into the lower wards, so I just bought some rations.

We headed down into Lower Dura; it is definitely not a place to go dull-bladed or dull-witted! We were surrounded on all sides by poor goblins and shifters, and unwashed humans. I pulled my cloak around me so that my expensive clothing was not visible, and we made our way along the path marked on the map, until we came to a large gathering area. Our map was just marked “E213.” While we were sizing up a place called the “Rat’s Market,” trying to figure out who we could discreetly ask for directions, Jin walked up to a goblin peddling his wares to a large crowd and threatened him with bodily harm, and flashed gold at him! As all the eyes in the place became fixed on his location, Gib disappeared into the crowd in one direction, while K’ehleyr and I quickly turned and walked back the way we came.

Jin made matters worse by calling after us by name, telling us it was safe to come back, that he had the information we needed! I said something to the effect that he must have us confused with people who might know him and continued on.

He eventually caught up with us outside of that particular market, and I thought K’ehleyr was going to strangle him! While he was insisting that he had everything under control, Gib came back to tell us he had spotted two shifty looking shifters going down into the tunnel Jin had been told to use, no doubt waiting to ambush us. We had just suggested that Jin try to look like a shifter before Gib found us, figuring that in order to play the part, Jin would not have to converse with anyone down here. We headed back into the goblin’s market, through the indicated doorway, and down into the sewers where we had to trudge through water and the Host knows what else.

Of course, something was waiting for us! I used my whip dagger, thinking I’d surprise a shifter, but my blade hit metal— another warforged! As promised, there were two shifters there as well, but luck was with us and they were soon all lying at our feet, though Jin did not want to participate much lest he get his equipment wet. Gib handed me a crossbow and bolts found on one shifter’s corpse. We saw something detach from the warforged’s chest and flutter off— I was told the previous one had a similar thing happen when it was dispatched on the bridge last night.

We noticed that beyond us was a blue glow— it was a hatch on the ancient sewer wall, with the same symbol as had been on the Cannith journal. Unfortunately, it seems that it would be dangerous to pass without the proper signet; we should have asked to keep the journal as I suspect that symbol would allow us passage. As it was, we got blasted by an acid spell, resulting in our needing to take Jin back to the surface for healing and track down our Cannith patron.

Here’s hoping your current voyage is much less exciting (and dangerous!).


Posted by Kristin on August 21, 2005, 23:19 | Jak’s Journal