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January 5, 2005

Discovery and Recovery

Theona's Journal

Eleasis 2, 1373 DR, Silverymoon

I had such a surprising evening that I must confess I was totally useless the next day— I just couldn’t keep my mind focused on anything! Areon and I did remember to go to the Bright Blade and explain about the silver tiger to our friends. When we arrived, Beowulf introduced us to Tyan, a human sorcerer newly arrived in Silverymoon looking for work, and his very, very rude rat familiar Glitch. I tried to ignore the gestures the rat was making and focus on the conversation, but between my lack of meditation and that rodent (what was he pointing at?), I just let the conversation drift where it would.

We eventually decided we had several options on how to proceed with the tiger, and of course, we were still trying to help Deitricha decide what to do about the note from Tassar. Rosorc, we believe, was off talking to some dwarves that could take the news of Barannsar to the local Citadels— too bad he didn’t get the news about the Red Wizard to add to it!

So, we had to choose:

Go to the Dark Alley and see what we could find of Tassar.
Go talk to the City Guard (in particular, Deitricha’s brother) to find out what they know of Tassar.
Go to auction house (in hindsight, this would have probably been useful if we’d done it when it was closed) and look for records relating to buying/sale of tiger.
Go to Library (Deitricha’s mother is a librarian) and research any relationships between any/all of the above (what do the Red Wizards, Barannsar and the auction house have in common with the silver tiger, if anything?), and possibly on Uthgardt mating rituals.

We went to the library.

The Vault of the Sages was in the shape of a horseshoe and had five floors. Thankfully, we didn’t have to go through them— the librarians bring books and scrolls to the visitors (for a fee). I wouldn’t think that a druid would have much use for books, but Beowulf seemed to be having a grand time with researching. I found nothing about the Uthgardt that I was trying to look for, though Tyan kindly informed me that much had been written about that subject and elves (like I needed help with that). I see his rat familiar wears a little cape— it just makes what Glitch is doing seem all the more rude.

Deitricha spent a lot of time off talking to her mother, and then was planning to go looking for her brother. Areon seemed lost in thought, and Beowulf just kept sharing more and more info on the Anauroch desert and some long-dead archwizard who had trapped extraplanar creatures in staffs and other artifacts. Now that did sound interesting, and could possibly be what the Red Wizard and his sidekick were looking for, but did not help with the silver tiger at all, and I’d given Areon my word that I’d help with that first and foremost. Someone (was it the rat?) suggested that we have the fake statue scried upon so that we could discover the whereabouts of the real one. That sounded fine to me, so much so, that I completely forgot about going back to the auction house after dark to do my own research.

Another night passed, just as surprising as the last, though I got in some meditation as well.

In the morning we went to the Lady’s College and talked to a mage called Toombs, who (for a fee) studied the silver tiger and informed us that the one we seek is in a caravan heading southwest of Silverymoon, already 200 miles from us. Now we have to decide whether to pay to be teleported there, go to the auction house to look for the bill of sale tonight, or travel by some other method and risk losing the trail entirely.

Posted by Kristin at 20:03 | Theona’s Journal

My Journey Continues

Tyan's Journal

I have found Silverymoon to be both as beautiful and strange as I had been told. The mixture of races here amazes to me. The first hours in town were spent searching bulletin boards and bars for a way to make some quick money. Then Glitch convinced me that it was time to trust someone a little and join a party for a while.

As usual, Glitch got me in trouble. Oh, I found a group that seems perfect, but joining them may get me killed. This new group has some strength, but lacks direction. Glitch could probably lead them better than they lead themselves. Now Glitch also thinks this is a great chance to make some money and he doesn’t think they will notice me guiding them towards my goals.

The first day after meeting them we all went to a library to help the ranger figure out where to find a statue. After talking to a sage, and for some reason I have agreed to help them chase this item. To the point of telling them we can get there quicker if we teleport. Oh and the place they want to go is very near they last place I want to be. Glitch has been telling me I am an idiot for about two hours. Maybe backing the play of the quiet ranger will help me down the road.

Why I agreed to go so close to Luskan, so close to the power of the judges, and the families who blame my friends and me for the death of Lord Geltron. Not that he was a powerful or well-loved man, just a pawn in a larger game. A pawn used to eliminate another pawn, my party. I don’t know who is behind it, or why. But when I find that halfling, I will get some answers.

Posted by Jim at 21:22 | Tyan’s Journal

January 8, 2005

What Did I Miss?

Deitricha's Journal

The morning after Midsummer’s Night came far too soon for my aching head. I really should have thought about how long it’s been since I really indulged in ale! Much less trying out new kinds of alcohol...

No one else was in the room, but at least I was IN a room, and so was all of my stuff! I pulled myself together as best I could (was I trying to head for Dark Alley Way last night?!), and headed downstairs to see what my bill was going to be.

Rosorc, bless him, had paid in full. I’ll have to find and thank him, soon. First, however, the sight of Beowulf eating breakfast and chatting with a stranger caught my attention. I ordered breakfast of my own, with a big mug of ale to go along, and settled down by the druid and his wolf. And the new guy’s rat, which drinks ale too!

Beowulf introduced Tyan, who is apparently interested in seeing what trouble and treasure our little group can get into. He also said that no one went to find Tassar last night. He commented on Tassar in somewhat unmentionable terms, and got some of my breakfast chucked at him in return. I am trying to keep an open mind in regards to the halfling!

Theona and Areon soon dropped by. Instead of partying last night, they tracked down their silver tiger statue some more. What was most interesting is that they recognized the Red Wizard’s library assistant from the ancient dwarven hall, making a midnight run to the same auction house that’s disposing of the fake tiger statues. Is it related?

The tiger statue itself has a history of the tribe inscribed on it but not much else. Therefore, we headed for the library my mother works at to do some research of our own. The map I’d copied after the Red Wizard and assistant left, described the kingdom before the Anauroch Desert was formed. So, we asked for and paid to read books about that, about the Mage Tombs, and about the Red Tiger tribe. Tyan, however, read a book about the anatomy of the red dragon, despite our first-hand experience. I hope he doesn’t think he can learn everything from a book!

Mom works in a restricted area, but I sent her a note, and she soon came out to give me a hug and kiss. When I asked her about the rest of the family, she said everyone was fine, but my oldest brother is acting a little oddly. I guess I’d better go talk to him; perhaps he can give me more details about Tassar. Maybe he had more reason than I thought to attack the guy, or maybe he knows something now that would clear things up?

Posted by Kate at 21:14 | Deitricha’s Journal

January 10, 2005

Latet Anguis in Herba

Theona's Journal

Eleasis 2, 1373 DR, the Evermoors

Areon and I went with Tyan and Beowulf to the Bright Blade Brandished to “regroup.” Deitricha arrived shortly and hadn’t managed to find her brother, nor had she gone looking in dark alleys, and Rosorc made an appearance as well, so we got everyone caught up with our discoveries that morning at the College. We agreed to grab some supplies and head back there to have the mage teleport us to the town the caravan was heading towards, planning to meet them from that direction rather than suddenly appearing by their wagons. Areon had made me enough bolts to last for quite some time, so all I needed to do was fill a few flasks with ale for the trip. I noticed Rosorc purchased what he called a “bag of snakes” but I didn’t think anything of it at the time.

Moments after meeting with Toombs again, he had safely delivered us all to Yartar, a small town (more of a small keep or trading post, really!) on the Evermoor Way. I was in favor of letting the caravan come to us while we waited in whatever passed as a tavern, but my comrades were impatient to get moving, so we started walking back east along the road. Beowulf decided to fly ahead to see how far away they were.

A large bird soon came swooping down in front of us on the road, turning back into our druid companion. He said the ten-wagon caravan was a few hours’ walk ahead of us, and was about to be attacked by ten trolls when he left (but not to worry, he’d swooped down and warned them). He couldn’t know that caravans were prepared for such encounters, as the Evermoor Way is constantly harassed by bands of marauding trolls, but I did wonder why he didn’t offer to help them!

We decided to force ourselves to pick up the pace (poor Rosorc was practically running in his heavy armor) and about an hour later we met three wagons barreling towards Yartar. Areon and I would have liked to stop them to see if they had any wounded to tend to, for it was quite obvious that they were all that was left of the attacked caravan. Rosorc offered to stop them, and then threw his “bag of snakes” into the first wagon. Turns out his bag of snakes, was in fact, a bag with snakes in it! The men from that wagon all jumped out and grabbed on to the next wagon as it raced past; the first wagon continued on without a driver.

We were left standing in the road, no silver tiger, and possibly wanted by the law for terrorizing a caravan. Or part of one, at least, for the remaining seven wagons never appeared. We continued to hurry east, soon seeing a plume of black smoke rising from the road. We found the remains of the other seven wagons, blood-spattered and clawed apart; nothing left alive anywhere. The bodies of two burnt trolls were all that was left to show us what had happened.

It seemed odd to me that the skirmish had gone so badly for the caravan. After all, Beowulf insisted that he gave them some extra early warning, and usually each wagon would be driven and protected by two people. And, although it appeared all of value had been stripped from the wagons, I found a secret cache of alchemist’s fire, longswords, crossbows and nearly 100 bolts. Areon put the alchemist’s fire vials in his pack and we followed a swath of prints leading into the Evermoors, hoping to find some survivors to help.

We did soon find two trolls! I was able to hit one with a bolt, but it immediately healed around the projectile. I fired again, and poor Shadow, jumping up to bite the throat of the same troll, got hit instead. Areon and Rosorc were making short work of that troll with just massive amounts of damage. I saw Tyan fall in front of the other troll, which he must have used a fire spell on, as it had char marks that were not regenerating. Beowulf and Deitricha were trying to keep Tyan safe from a killing blow while fighting the troll, so I grabbed the vials of alchemist’s fire from Areon’s pack and threw one. It landed perfectly on top of the troll’s head, breaking and spilling the fiery liquid over its skin. Enraged, the burning troll ran straight at me, but I was fortunate that it had been so badly burned that it just fell over dead before it reached me. We used that troll to light the other troll, which Rosorc and Areon had brought down.

We continued to follow that same path of destruction through the moor, until we came to a cave entrance….

Posted by Kristin at 15:38 | Theona’s Journal

January 16, 2005

Descent to the depths...

Areon's Journal

Theona and I returned to the Bright Blade Brandished. We found that everyone had had congregated there, so we got our last-minute supplies and headed back to the mage college to be teleported to Yartar, which we believed the caravan had not yet passed through.
After we teleported we headed out of town, because I wanted to meet the caravan outside of town, so that hopefully we wouldn’t attract to much attention.
Beowulf turned himself into an eagle and headed out to scout ahead. I stayed with the party; I did not think that I would need to range ahead on a main road.
After a couple hours Beowulf returned, saying that he had just warned a caravan of a troll attack. We quickened our pace so that maybe we would be able to help. About an hour later, three wagons came into view moving at a full clip. As they passed by Rosorc threw a bag filled with snakes into the wagon! The two riders jumped out, yelling “Bandits,” and Rosorc issued a battle challenge to them. They grabbed onto the next wagon, letting its momentum pull them into it. Had Theona not been there to stop me, I probably put an arrow in him on the spot.
I have no idea what he was thinking. The only thing that did was get us on a wanted list for bandits. Now on top of trying to find the Red Tiger’s Statue, there is a possibility of us having to deal with bounty hunters on top of everything we encounter in the wilderness. Not to mention we won’t be allowed in a town.
We continued on, hoping that maybe we could help the wagons that had not made it away from the troll attack. We did come upon the wagons, thought there was not much to find. Theona did find some crossbows, bolts and a few bottles of alchemists’ fire, which I took.
Tyan headed out after the path the trolls had taken away from the path. I followed, knowing that we wouldn’t be getting back into civilization without proof of us being well-meaning.
We did encounter to two trolls, which we were able to kill without to much trouble, though it did really hurt Tyan. If not for Beowulf’s healing spells, he surely would have died. Fortunately Beowulf was able to heal him so that he had no major wounds. We traveled on and the path led to a troll cave…..

Posted by Tim at 01:58 | Areon’s Journal

Not Trolls Again...

Deitricha's Journal

After searching a few hours for my brother, I gave up and returned to the tavern. Sure enough, the others had gathered there already! Rosorc didn’t say much about where he’d been, but the rest had gone to a scryer about the whereabouts of the silver tiger statue.

The statue was found, moving away from us as part of a caravan’s cargo. It was two hundred miles away already. So, we’re going to pay for a teleport to the next town the caravan should pass through. After that, we’d either try to barter for it, try to explain its significance and ask for it, or else just steal or take it. Hopefully in that order. Everyone picked up some last-minute supplies, and we were off.

The teleport landed us right in the middle of Yartar’s market. The place turned out to be a small fortified town, with a keep across the river. For some reason, Tyan made a point of pulling his hood up, and kept it that way the whole time we were there...

We started by finding the gate that the Silverymoon caravans would enter by, and I expected to wait there and speak to the traders when they were set up in town to trade like everyone else. The others wanted to go and meet the caravan; I guess Areon’s impatience infected them? Since the scryer said there were ten wagons in the caravan, Beowulf took the form of an eagle and scouted ahead.

We hadn’t walked for very long when Beowulf returned, saying that a ten-wagon caravan was a few hours away - being attacked by trolls! He had stopped to give them warning, but we hustled to reach them and perhaps help, anyway. A little while later, we saw three wagons bearing the marks of battle coming up the road at top speed.

While the rest of us either prudently got out of their way, or waved arms in an attempt to stop them and ask after their party, Rosorc suddenly went mad. On one of his trips into a shop, he’d found and purchased a real bag of snakes. He just smiled when I said it was cruel to keep them penned up like that, and said they might come in handy. He now flung them into the lead wagon in a vain attempt to slow or stop it!

As I turned to holler at the dwarf, two humans jumped out of the wagon, yelling about bandits. I was appalled. Tyan and Beowulf immediately took off running - that looked really bad! Rosorc took offense at being called a bandit, pulling down his helmet’s visor and grabbing his weapon. (He ignored me yelling “Idiot!!” at him, though). Since the snake-infested wagon kept going, the two humans grabbed ahold of the last wagon to pass by and made their escape.

In the silence that ensued, Areon pointed out that we might as well go on and check the other wagons for survivors. Theona had pulled out a bottle and was quietly getting very drunk, while I trudged along wishing I’d thought to bring a drink, too. We all look like criminals now! We were pretty well tired out by the time we reached the site of the battle.

It was awful. There were two charred troll bodies, burning wagons, blood everywhere. The wagons were well-looted, and no sign of any bodies at all - not human or horse. Without much hope, we set out along the trolls’ trail and into the Evermoors, praying that someone may still be alive. Perhaps the statue was among the loot taken from the wagons, but without knowing how many trolls we’ll encounter, it was low on my list of things to worry about!

I was remembering how we’d lost Antonio to a single troll, when two loomed up from each side of the trail and attacked! The battle was long and painful to many, but we did destroy them both in the end. Healed up, we followed the trail to its end; the mouth of a cave. Tymora bless us, we need all the luck we can get!

Posted by Kate at 09:11 | Deitricha’s Journal

January 18, 2005


Theona's Journal

Eleasis 2, 1373 DR, the Evermoors

We headed into the cave following the “drag” marks— Areon led and I brought up the rear of our group, with the intention of alerting the group to anything following us. Besides, if Areon ran in to trouble, I’d know about it immediately.

We had only made our way partially down the main passageway, following the sounds of cracking bones and guttural voices, when three trolls emerged from a cavern ahead of us. Areon and Rosorc met them head-on, while Beowulf and Tyan used fiery spells to damage the creatures. I grabbed a rope from Beowulf’s pack (I always repack everyone’s gear, so I know where everything is if we need something!) and threw it at one troll’s feet, then cast a spell from a scroll that would animate the rope. It worked well enough, but the troll ripped through the rope entangling his legs like it was made of thin parchment. Discouraged by that, I used the wand I’ve been carting around to shoot some rays of “enfeeblement” at it. That worked quite nicely, and Tyan was able to finish off two of the three with a spell. Deitricha spent some divine energy to heal the dwarf— apparently, trolls really hate dwarves. Good to know.

We’d bunched up in a small alcove while fighting the three attacking from deeper in the caverns, so two were able to come around from a different tunnel to attack us from behind. Deitricha was looking rather beat up at this point— nearly as bad as Rosorc. I enfeebled one of those newer assailants while Areon filled another with arrows and I saw that someone had lobbed fire at it as well; it went fleeing from the skirmish. I took out the last one with a well-placed bolt, and then had to stab it until someone could light it on fire to prevent it from regenerating.

A few dozen feet further up the passage brought us to a room with several exits, and the carcasses of several horses and humans. They were fairly recent kills, so we had to assume they were from the caravan. Much as I hated to loot the dead, I had to be practical— searching for any clues or bills of sale to show were their goods were to be delivered, or who they were. The trolls had stripped the bodies of anything valuable though, and as a result, anything to identify these people.

We decided to keep searching, and turned to a darkened area to our left. Areon and Rosorc went in first, though it was too dark for them to see much of anything. Areon held out his torch and saw that there was the outline of a door, partially ajar, at the back of the cavern, and smelly sleeping pallets scattered about the floor. Before the rest of us could get much further into the area, four trolls leapt down from ledges further up the shadowy walls and attacked. One was the troll that had escaped our last confrontation, mostly regenerated. Another wielded a greatsword using one hand, and seemed unafraid of fire.

We continued this combat in pretty much the same way as the last one, though we were leading the trolls back into an area where we could fight them one at a time. This time though, one of the trolls hit Areon hard enough that he went down. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to the feeling of doom I get when he’s that badly hurt! I screamed and barged my way through my friends to pull him to safety, though Beowulf was already stepping up to heal him. Moments after Areon fell, he was already standing up and shooting arrows back into the fray; I continued to try and drag him backwards while simultaneously attempting to activate the wand of healing that Dante had left us. By the time I’d managed to knock a few charges out of that into Areon, the battle was over— three trolls lay dead and smoldering, and the other had disappeared through the door at the back of the “sleeping” cave.

I hadn’t been wounded, but nearly all of my friends looked to be in bad shape, so we didn’t follow the escapee. We did take the greatsword from the troll that didn’t fear the fire, and Areon pulled a ring off the dead creature’s hand— likely ensorcelled to prevent fire damage. We then turned down the tunnel we hadn’t followed before, finding an amazing treasure hoard and two pits covered in grates in the floor. One pit contains a troll, and the other one appears to have two humans in it….

Posted by Kristin at 23:40 | Theona’s Journal

January 22, 2005

It's Just Part of a Game

Beowulf's Journal

I was rather intrigued by how people celebrated the Midsummer Festival in this city, and I wondered if it was similar in every city. People were intoxicated to the point of total inebriation. They were dancing on tables, fighting, passing out on the floor. I was debating with myself on whether or not I should go to bed when a human walked in. He appeared sober. Being as the place was full I offered him a seat at my table. We talked for a bit till he got drunk. I went to bed at this point, pondering the reason why people feel the need to totally lose themselves like that.

In the morning the bar was in a shambles when I cam down for breakfast. Having to pick my way through sleeping bodies, I found a rather clear table and waited for my companions to arrive. They slowly showed up one by one and Areon had a bit of a story to tell. This silver tiger statue is definitely a wrong that must be righted, but I wonder if it would be better to go after the wizard first. That was about the time when that same human from last night appeared. He had mentioned something about adventuring, and the pack is always stronger with more members, so I invited him over and introduced him to everyone. He fit in rather well, and almost immediately was accepted as part of the group.

We ended up spending most of the day at a “library”; a wonderful place full of useful information. I have several pages of notes and a more up-to-date map of the desert place we must soon visit. With both maps I can rather easily locate the proper tomb. However, Areon is so intent on the statue that we must go retrieve it immediately.

After some discussion and another night’s rest we went and got some scrying done and teleported to a town just a few miles in front of the caravan the stolen statue is on. I immediately took to the air telling Shadow to stay with the group. It only took a few minutes for me to find the caravan, and I noticed that trolls were about to attack it, so I warned them and hurried back to tell the group. As we ran to the caravan about three wagons passed us.

Arriving at the place of the attack we found no sign of people anywhere. Following some tracks into the woods we were ambushed by two trolls. That took some time but we soon were off again. Finding a cave, we slowly entered and it didn’t take long to be attacked. It seemed we fought forever, but we were victorious.

We explored a little only to be attacked again. More trolls. Strangest thing though, One was standing on fire. These battles are starting to get weary. I’ve never had to fight so much before. Normally we attempt to avoid this kind of trouble, but the others seem to think it’s just part of game. Finally we defeated all but one; it ran away. Searching the cave we did not find the statue, which means it’s on one of the wagons that escaped the troll onslaught. We did however find a troll and humans locked up.

Posted by Fred at 15:58 | Beowulf’s Journal

January 30, 2005

a little luck

Deitricha's Journal

We decided to head right into the trolls’ cave, following the newest trail of blood around a complex of tunnels. Just as we were able to make out the sound of voices and cracking bones, the owners of the same made out the sound of our party! We had just a moment to prepare before three trolls shambled around the corner and attacked.

Areon and Rosorc stepped ahead, bravely facing the claws of the trolls as our people with fire prepared to attack. Theona pulled out her wand of enfeeblement, hoping it would help, and I waited to heal those who needed it. Fireballs and lightning spheres, plus the fighters’ weapons, soon had the trolls looking in bad shape, but as we moved forward to finish them off, two more trolls attacked us from behind!

Instead of healing Rosorc, who looked especially bad, I found myself being clawed horribly by one of the new and healthy creatures. We backed into the cavern full of three burning (stinking) troll corpses, and killed one more troll while its partner ran away. Finally, all the trolls in the cavern were dead and burned, but we knew there had to be at least two more around...

We found only corpses of men and horses in the cavern; we’d interrupted dinner. I healed everyone as best I could (myself included!), then we searched for any sign of prisoners. We also wondered what had happened to the stolen loot from the caravan, and if the tiger statue was with it? As we searched the trolls’ “bedroom”, the elves noticed a strange crack in one wall, but before they could check it out, four trolls dropped from ledges near the ceiling!

There was one burned one from our first battle, two healthy, and one very big troll with a sword. We fought them as best we could, backing to the doorway, killed one in the passage and set it on fire to block the others. But the biggest one stepped right onto the body - so much for fearing fire! Things got a little confusing; I was trying to keep the fighters on their feet with healing spells, then throwing a lit torch on an oil-soaked troll, then found myself at the front of the fight next to Rosorc and attacking a troll, which is the last place I wanted to be! Sure enough, I ended up hitting the floor - ouch!

Luckily, someone was able to heal me onto my feet, barely... in time to see the last troll disappearing through the strange crack in the wall. We healed up a little, and checked out the rest of the caves as fast as we could. To my pleasant surprise, we have found some pits with what look to be some survivors inside! Maybe we can explain Rosorc’s snake-throwing incident in some way as to not be branded bandits, after all...

Posted by Kate at 09:08 | Deitricha’s Journal