Alunys' Journal
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Alunys’ Bio

Alunys Glimmergaunt is a Khorvaire elf of some 130 years. As a newborn, she was found inside the Grand Cathedral in Thrane (in a small basket near the back of the narthex); no one had been seen leaving her there, and she could not have been more than a few hours old. Stranger still, the infant had no pigmentation to her hair, skin or eyes. Thankfully this was not regarded as some ill omen, and she was taken in by the clergy. It is even rumored that the Flame itself named her, but no one alive now can verify that.

Knowing no other life, Alunys was always fascinated by all the goings-on of the Cathedral, and when she was old enough, decided she would become a Templar Knight. The appearance of an ugly, red aberrant dragonmark in her early adulthood may have been considered another ill omen by some, but strangely, the mark allows her to produce a silver flame in the palm of her hand, and so is considered a blessing.

At 130 years old, she finally has achieved her dream of becoming a Templar Knight and left Flamekeep to travel, to combat evil wherever it may manifest. She finds herself traveling west to the Eldeen Reaches after hearing a voice, the Voice, whisper, “Evil falls from the stars at the mantle of moss.”

Alunys, image (c) Kristin Johnson

Character sheet: Alunys Glimmergaunt [Elven Paladin of the Silver Flame (Aberrant Dragonmark of Produce Flame)]

Posted by Kristin on January 26, 2007, 01:07


Nymm 2, 998 YK
near Mossmantle in the Eldeen Reaches

Well, I didn’t exactly find “evil” in Mossmantle, but I did find a cause to champion. I had just entered the local tavern of this tiny village, with a warforged named Defender in tow (I’d found him by a signpost at the edge of town— to all appearances he was waiting for instructions that the sign wasn’t providing), in my normal travel attire and Templar tabard, when the town council (who evidently has their meetings there), came up to us and expressed concern over bandits hitting caravans on the 200-mile road between Varna and Mossmantle. While I don’t think for a minute that the bandits are the Evil falling from the stars, it is good to know that they felt they could trust me with this task. Defender volunteered to go readily, as did a local shifter woman named Alayi. The council also “provided” us with Tomas, one of their wayward youth, who needed to do some “community service.” Apparently they felt his could best serve them by leaving town for a bit.

I suggested we travel by night, both for the sake of my eyesight and the better opportunity to come across any evil keeping late hours. The others readily agreed (well, Alayi and Defender agreed, anyway), so we rested up and headed out at nightfall.

This proved to be useful; several hours into our walk, for we weren’t provided with mounts, we saw a glow over a hill. Alayi, with her wolf companion Fang, and I decided to head towards it, and soon we heard shouting as well. A barn was a blaze, and a bucket brigade of local farmers was doing its best to put the fire out. An old man from the next farm over told me it was “Mevin’s farm” and that there were no apparent survivors in the nearby farmhouse (also ablaze, and we could not get close enough to enter). He indicated that about a dozen humanoids had been seen leaving the scene heading north. There was little left to salvage at the farm, so we opted to track down the arsonists.

Fang and Alayi were able to easily track the group. We followed their path for four hours, through forest, eventually arriving at a low hill with a cave entrance. Entering this, we found the way forked left and right— we headed right first, soon coming to a cavern with water pooling in it, faint voices coming from an exit at the far side. Alayi crept over and determined that it would be unwise to pass through the cavern beyond, as it was filled with purple shriekers (mushroom sentinels). We backtracked and went to the left fork, hoping to avoid having the fungi announce our presence.

Defender insisted on leading at this point (he was “protecting” us), and he accidentally stepped on a tripwire. With an ominous sound, a gate came down at the far end of the hall, and right between Tomas and the rest of us! Worse, a large, growling blue creature with tentacles came skulking towards us, blurring and shifting with each step— a displacer beast! I attempted to smite it but my attack seemed to go right through it. Frustrated, I wanted to get closer but Defender insisted on “protecting” me from getting around him in the narrow hallway. I tried hitting the creature with an arrow and managed to hit the warforged in the back instead. A few more arrows and none were managing to hit, though the shifter and warforged had a least wounded it. Unfortunately, it was holding its own and wounding them as well.

I heard Tomas manage to get past the gate behind us and was running towards the beast. Worried, I yelled, “Get back!” and produced a flame from my hand, intent on hitting the beast. Instead, Tomas tumbled past the beast, coming up behind it. I lobbed the flame at the creature, and it went right through without harming it. Worse, Tomas thought I was trying to hit him!

Thankfully Alayi managed to strike the beast a fatal blow. While Tomas ranted about our situation (and my method of attack), we searched through the creature’s den, finding some gold, a potion and a gem, plus the bones of its untold victims.

Posted by Kristin on February 3, 2007, 15:13


Nymm 3, 998 YK
near Mossmantle in the Eldeen Reaches

I healed Defender as best as I could, and Alayi healed Tomas. Before we could plan our next actions, we heard voices behind us in the corridor. Someone had seen our torchlight and mentioned it to his companion, who said “Go tell Darvin” and “The beast is dead.” Not wanting a bigger fight than we were about to get, we charged down the corridor, coming to four somewhat startled bandits. We made quick work of them, making sure no one could go back and alert any more thugs to our presence.

We decided to go in the opposite direction from where the bandits had come; and soon heard more voices and saw lights. Creeping forward, we found ourselves looking over a cavern with torches, tables, benches and dozens of male humans gathered; at the far end, a wooden pen was filled with what appeared to be captive farmers. There were two more passages leading out of the cavern. As much as we wanted to rescue the prisoners, there was no way we could fight our way to them— we needed to encounter those bandits a few at a time.

Deciding we could wait for another patrol to come looking for the first, we went back to the displacer beast’s lair and moved the bodies of the dead bandits and closed the gate. It wasn’t long before we heard voices from beyond it: “Damn gate is closed; where the hell are they?” and “Tell Nature Boy his beast is loose.”

While they obtained keys and fumbled with the gate, we had prepared to ambush them, and though the ambush didn’t go quite as intended, we killed two of them. Unfortunately, “Nature Boy” was an Ashbound druid who sicced at least seven wolves on us, so he and another of the men made an escape while we dealt with the summoned creatures.

After the battle, we noticed that Defender wasn’t moving. We were not capable of healing him, but somehow Tomas new that the warforged had a “repair kit” with him, so we dragged his 300-pound mass out into the forest and set about trying to repair him. Well, Tomas and I did, Alayi had to care for her wolf companion who had not fared so well against the summoned wolves.

repairing a warforged is not a quiet affair— it took hours, but eventually he was able to move and talk again, which also meant he could handle further repairs on his own— but only at the expense of the rest of us getting any useful rest.

One of the retired priests in the Cathedral uses a small device to quiet his snoring during services— perhaps we could get something like that for Defender when he’s “fixing” himself. Though, a potion of some sort to restore his body the way a healing draught restores a flesh-and-blood creature may be more effective for now— it would certainly be quieter and quicker.

Posted by Kristin on February 9, 2007, 00:26


Nymm 8, 998 YK
Mossmantle in the Eldeen Reaches

After declaring ourselves more or less rested, we decided to watch the bandit cave for a while to learn more about their comings and goings. We were quickly rewarded by seeing four bandits, apparently coming back from patrolling, enter the cave. Defender was quite sure that there would be a replacement patrol emerging soon….

Three hours later, the cave entrance was completely undisturbed by comings and goings. We needed to get those farmers out of there! Recalling the other doors from the great cavern inside, Alayi circled around to where she thought those might lead if they led to the outside; soon she came back with news of a crevasse fifteen or twenty minutes’ walk away.

The crevasse led 45’ down at a sharp angle, into water. Defender, who did not need to worry about drowning, went in and discovered that it was only a short “walk” under the water till he emerged in a cave with a small beach with buckets lining the edge. The bandits knew about the cave, but perhaps not about the opening to the outside, as there were no guards. While the shifter and I were willing to let Defender lead us the fifteen or so feet under water to the cave, Tomas said there was no way he was going in that way. Alayi didn’t think her wolf would do well underwater either, so the human and the wolf went around to the front entrance, planning to provide some sort of distraction for us, though of course it would take a while for them to get back to that entrance.

The remaining three of us went through the watery entrance and soon found ourselves going through a cavern lined with lanterns, crates and boxes, all no doubt stolen from the local caravans. We went a little ways down a tunnel and came to a door— a door apparently bolted from the inside, and Defender could not open it. Alayi and I peeked under with a torch and saw… boots. Before we could react to that though, Tomas found the perfect distraction to provide.

The shrieking mushrooms were announcing his arrival beyond the bandits’ main cavern. Defender and I ran towards the sound and found that we were at the opposite end— bandits were grabbing weapons and running towards the shrieking, past the imprisoned farmers, so I started firing arrows into them as they went to attack Tomas. Defender waded in beside me and started to cleave a swath through them, and I was glad he did, for they seemed to have a particular dislike for me!

I was wounded so severely in the first few seconds of the fight that I had to retreat a bit to heal myself. I could hear Alayi fighting someone behind me. I kept my back to her, as it sounded as though she had the upper hand, and continued to shoot arrows into the bandits. Finally all that could be heard was the shrieking mushrooms— I ran out to check on the farmers while Defender and Alayi went to find Tomas and Fang. Moments later, the four of them returned, the mushrooms having been silenced by Tomas.

Tomas went to the room Alayi indicated to search what we assumed was the jailor (Darvin) for keys. He returned and let the farmers out, then went back to search Darvin’s room more thoroughly. He found a good bit of gold, a nice longsword (which I now carry), some potions, and a tabard of the Emerald Claw. I am sorry to see the Order’s influence beyond the Five Nations. Or anywhere.

The farmers, it turns out, are Mevin, his wife, and two sons— not lost in the fire as we feared. Mevin believes that Darvin was planning on selling the family into slavery. He wants to rebuild where his barn and home stood, and though his neighbors will pitch in to help, we gave them a good portion of the gold we found, hoping it will pay for anything else that needs replaced.

Now came the matter of returning Mevin’s family to their land, and getting all the stolen goods back to Mossmantle. We figured Alayi could make it back faster on her own than with us in tow, so she took off on foot while we waited in the caves. The night was uneventful, and she returned a few hours after sunrise with half the village and as many wagons as they could provide.

After our return, the people of Mossmantle held a feast in our honor! We spent a few days just healing and recuperating from our time fighting the bandits, but soon everyone was restless again. My companions were considering heading to Varnar, or helping Mevin rebuild, but I told them about the reason I’d come to Mossmantle in the first place; I was reluctant to leave again now that there were not such urgent matters of evil to attend to elsewhere.

When the “Evil falls from the stars at the mantle of moss” arrived, it was not subtle. A large galley ship with with a ring of fire driving it— a Lyrandar airship— came into view just east of the hamlet. I don’t believe Alayi or Tomas had ever seen one. I’ve seen plenty, but never this far from the normal travel routes. And, this one was clearly in distress as it passed over us; it shuddered, smoke pouring from it, and with a lurch and the sound of some explosions, began an alarming descent to the west. It was going to crash….

Posted by Kristin on February 16, 2007, 23:56


Nymm 13, 998 YK
Towering Wood in the Eldeen Reaches

We arrived in a field about two miles from town to find a horrific scene. The broken bodies of the Lyrandar ship’s crew and passengers were scattered in a wide swath, among fragments of the broken and smoldering Silver Star. The fire elemental that powered the ship was gone, and it seemed no one could have survived. Knowing I’d find evil, I attempted to search the field for it, and was rewarded with a faint aura near the edge of the wreckage. I went to find Defender for help clearing away debris, and found that he had found the only survivor of the crash, a gnome with horribly crushed legs. He got the gnome out and Alayi provided some stabilizing healing for him. While she did that, I turned back to where I’d sensed the evil, and found a huge stone arm. A farmer told me that he’d seen a one-armed stone man walking towards the northwest, away from the crash site. The gnome, Roland Bramble of Morgrave University (Sharn), was going in and out of consciousness, but said he knew stone man; it was supposed to be his protector on his journey. Something had caused it to go berserk and smash up the ship, causing the crash, but it had not been “evil” as far as he knew. He handed me a ring that would prevent it from harming the bearer, and asked that we find it. The gnome passed out again and was being carried back to Mossmantle to rest; we agreed to leave immediately, as there was nothing we could do for the dead other than bring their killer to justice, if possible. Defender decided to bring the stone arm along, though I doubted we’d have any trouble recognizing an evil, one-armed stone man!

The aura of evil was easy enough to track, as was the trail the construct left through the fields and forest. Our only real problem was that it was outpacing us, and did not need to stop for rest. If only we’d had some horses! We attempted to pay to borrow some from a local farm as we passed, but they needed their animals to bring in their crops. Still, we covered at least two dozen miles before I noticed that Tomas looked like he was going to pass out from exhaustion, so we made camp. While Defender took watch, I found some berries and asked Alayi to use her druid magic to fortify them; they’d have to last us if the journey took more than another day.

We did the same thing the next day, and the next, thought that night our camp was attacked by a wraith. I smote poor Defender again in the ensuing combat, but he just shrugged it off and went back to watching over us.

After another day of travel, we found ourselves deeper in the Towering Wood. Soon we heard the sound of stone hitting stone, and followed a trail to some overgrown ruins.

We entered the clearing and found the one-armed man pushing rocks away from a stone well cover. Whatever its reason, I felt that we shouldn’t let it finish the task. I ordered it to stop and help up the ring, and it hesitated. I attempted to detect for evil again; the results provided me with such a sensory overload that I actually had the wind knocked out of me— I don’t recall ever sensing such evil in my life! Perhaps noticing my distress, the construct decided to attack and hit me so hard I thought its fist had gone through my torso. I dropped the ring in Tomas’ hands as I staggered back to heal myself; he attempted to get its attention while Alayi tried to pull the well cover back over; Defender waded in and just started pummeling the other construct. When I felt I could stand, I attempted to smite the thing (and didn’t hit Defender this time!), and then cast fire at it. This helped wear it down, but I think Defender’s strength is what really did the evil thing in. After it crumbled to the ground, a disc of adamantine was found in the debris; it had a ruby placed in the center, and a map of what looked like this clearing engraved on it.

With the demise of the golem, the evil aura was gone— and I didn’t sense any in the well. Alayi thought it should be closed while we rest anyway, and I agreed— I didn’t want to deal with any surprises for a few hours at least! Defender helped put the heavy stone cover on and then began repairs on himself while Alayi foraged for us. Tomas identified the ring we had attempted to use on the golem as a “Shield of Faith.” Too bad it hadn’t worked!

After a blissfully uneventful night, we pushed the stone cover off the well and Alayi put a rope down the opening, a magical torch suspended from the end. It revealed a floor about 40’ down. We all climbed down (with the exception of Fang) and found ourselves in a 30’ by 30’ chamber with three exits….

Posted by Kristin on February 28, 2007, 16:56


Nymm 14, 998 YK
Towering Wood in the Eldeen Reaches

We headed through the north exit first, and found it branched off— there was a collapse in the tunnel one way, and a chamber (also filled with debris from what had been the ceiling) in the other. We probably would have left that right away to check the other two exits from the main room, but I heard some rocks clatter, and after I scanned the room, found a trace of evil. Defender saw movement, and quickly found himself being attacked by horrid bony-plated rats, acid dripping from their mouths! Alayi, Defender and I killed over a dozen of them, while Tomas wandered off to look elsewhere. Alayi and Defender both got splashed by the acid and required some healing. That done, we did a quick survey of the room and found nothing of interest, though there was speculation that these unusual creatures had been left there to guard something. Anyway, we needed to find our wayward young human.

At least we could tell he wasn’t deliberately hiding from us— a chalk arrow pointed us to the east tunnel. We found him standing beside a large freshly-killed spider and a rather large body of water. Defender waded in and declared it would be about up to our waists if we wished to cross it; we opted to check out the third tunnel first.

The west tunnel contained a nasty surprise. Defender and I were walking ahead of the group and managed to find a pit trap— neither of us was able to jump away in time as the floor fell out from beneath us. We fell about 40’— I was surprised I hadn’t at least broken an ankle, nor was Defender badly hurt; glory to the Flame! We took about 15 to 20 minutes to climb out of the pit, since we had no rope. By then, Tomas and Alayi had hopped across the 10’ hole in the floor to investigate what lay beyond— a hall festooned with webs— big webs! Alayi healed me a bit, and Tomas handed me a lit torch— do we continue forward through the webs?

Posted by Kristin on March 21, 2007, 15:32


Nymm 15, 998 YK
Towering Wood in the Eldeen Reaches

I handed off the torch to Defender and decided to cast fire from my hand instead, as we saw movement in the webs. Spiders of many different sizes poured out of the webs as we cleared them, some were nearly as big as Alayi’s wolf companion! I was bitten at least seven times and felt my strength sapping by the time we cleared the hallway and subsequent chamber of the creatures— nearly two dozen of the very large bugs littered the area by then.

Now that the way was clear of spiders, we had a chance to examine our surroundings. The big chamber had murals and engravings of hobgoblin warriors on the walls, a well, and an altar. The altar had a “dragon motif” and was of interest to Tomas, who found a hidden compartment in the base. Inside, he found a box containing a mirror, a magically-lit torch, coins, a valuable blue spinnel, and a statue of the dragon Eberron cast in gold. It is all very nice, but not, I think, what the “evil” that sent the golem here was looking for.

As much as we wanted to check the well, there was no easy means of climbing down and we all needed a good long rest. We cast what healing we could on each other and let Defender get to hammering the dents out of his body, planning to check the well in the morning, or at least whatever was passing for morning since we couldn’t see the sun.

After a long respite, we felt recovered enough to continue. Defender offered to climb down into the well— though the original access to it either involved a now-rotting ladder or pulley system (now sans rope), we had to resort to carefully making our way down the rocks. It was a good 40’ down, with about 3’ of water at the bottom. He carried a torch down, and Tomas ran back to the corridor with the lakefront view to see if the glow of Defender’s torch was visible, but couldn’t see it. Defender did declare the well bottom to be fairly safe though, so the three of us climbed down.

We found ourselves in a hallway filled with niches containing bones and ossuaries. The bones we could see appeared to be hobgoblin. More halls of reliquaries branched off of this main corridor. We continued on and eventually came to pair of stone doors with a circular indentation where a lock would be. Tomas inserted the adamantine disk we’d found on the golem and the doors swung open. Inside, we found a 30’ by 30’ chamber with skeletal hobgoblin guards lining the walls, leading up to an altar. We walked between the guards, half expecting them to animate, and examined the altar. While there were no hidden compartments on this one, there was a clay tablet sitting on top of it— perhaps the item sought by the evil that sent the golem? While my friends tried to determine if it was safe to pick up, I lifted it from the altar— if it was the item sought, it was better to be in our hands than left alone guarded by dead hobgoblins. Flame be praised it wasn’t trapped in any visible manner. The tablet is in some language that none of us can read, so we carefully wrapped it and placed it in Defender’s pack for now.

We wandered some more then, mostly because none of us were looking forward to the long climb back up the well. We were fortunate that we came upon a stairwell and so climbed that. It lead to a mostly-dead end, but Alayi found there was a slight breeze and dim light above us, and climbing up on Defender’s shoulders and then carefully picking her way up the rest of the way, she found herself back on the forest floor. She returned with her rope so the rest of us would have an easier time of it. I admit it is good to be above ground again, though we will have to check that last tunnel with the lake in it just to be sure we have everything that needs retrieved.

Posted by Kristin on April 1, 2007, 12:01


Nymm 19, 998 YK
Mossmantle in the Eldeen Reaches

After a short break we decided to climb down the rope and check that last tunnel. I am unsure of what exactly transpired, being slightly preoccupied with the realization that the Flame had provided me with a companion (more on that later), but Tomas and Defender were having some sort of argument as they both went down into the ruins, resulting in both landing badly at the bottom of their descent. I was yelling down to them that the Flame would not want me to waste divine healing on tomfoolery, when I realized that Defender had landed on his back, his backpack under him. Alayi and I were down the rope in a flash, and in time to see Defender pull the broken remains of the clay tablet, carefully rapped in Alayi’s bedroll, from the crushed pack. I asked Tomas to just do a rubbing of the larger pieces and collect up the rest, but not all was lost; the tablet had contained a disc or key like the one that we’d found on the golem, though this one had a sapphire in it. Alayi said the map depicted on it looks like swampland in the Shadow Marches. This felt like it must be what we were looking for, but to be safe, and since we were already damp from our previous excursion, we opted to do a cursory search of the last unexplored area of the ruins.

We wandered through some halls with waist deep water, examining murals depicting hobgoblin warriors battling against denizens of Xariat (prior to the time the gates leading there were sealed). Some areas contained green stone benches and… something with tentacles! Defender was grabbed by something, but cut it in half before we got a good look at it. Not to worry though, as it had three companions! Gricks, with their sharp beaks and grasping tentacles were coming towards Tomas and I as Alayi’s weapon bounced off another. I was hit so hard by one I had to ask Tomas to please look for me if I slipped under the water. Defender killed two more, and I was able to hit one, but the warforged really did most of the damage to our assailants— he would make a fine addition to the holy warriors of the Silver Flame. I was pretty weak afterwards, but I would not summon my companion for our first meeting while in the dank hobgoblin ruins.

Fortunately no more of the gricks were to be found, and we came to a large pair of wooden doors, swelled shut from age and water. Once we broke through that, Defender took a step in and disappeared from view! He was back a few moments later, telling us he’d slid down a flight of steps. He suggested that he go down and explore alone, since he was the only one of us that didn’t require air, so armed with a magic torch he again disappeared down the steps.

He soon came back up, flailing a skeletal arm over his head and yelling that they were coming right behind him—and sure enough, ten and a half hobgoblin skeletons were following him up the steps and attempting to attack him. The three of us that had waited above the water backed quickly to the doors, planning to close them if the skeletons proved too much, but I had to try to turn them at least. Thank the Flame, the entire lot were turned to harmless dust.

Defender took another walk around the watery level, but found no more undead to put to rest, so we decided to leave.

When we got to the surface, I felt it was safe to call my new companion to me, and did so. I am doubly blessed by the Silver Flame, as not only is my companion a sturdy mount, but also a healer. A unicorn appeared as if just stepping out form the trees beyond us, introduced himself, and provided healing for those of us that needed it. This is apparently another creature that Tomas knew nothing of, but at least allowed Ravanquar to heal him. The unicorn stayed with me for about half the day each leg of the trip, departing to a higher plane in between times.

Four days of blissfully uneventful travel ensued, and we found ourselves safely back in Mossmantle, for we had agreed that we needed to speak to that gnome again. Professor Bramble, the poor thing, is still there, he needs some serious healing, more than I can provide certainly, if he ever hopes to walk again. After a few questions to be sure that he was truly not responsible for the golem’s behavior, we shared the disks we found with him— he had known about the first one, which had also been found in a tablet (which, translated, told some story about the demon wars) in the Morholds. It had been stolen from Morgrave University, and he had actually tracked the thief from Aundair to the ill-fated airship, not realizing the thief was under demonic influence.

We need to talk to someone from the Church, I think, as my knowledge of demonic possession or binding is far from complete, and the gnome needs proper healing that we’d only find in a bigger city. While I would be pleased to have my new friends in Thrane to celebrate First Dawn in a few days’ time, time may be of the essence. We’ll have to take the lightning rail to the nearest big city and perhaps, from there, go to the Demon Wastes.

Companion sheet: Ravanquar [Unicorn mount of Alunys]

Posted by Kristin on April 11, 2007, 16:23


Nymm 21, 998 YK
Between Mossmantle and Varna

Before we left Mossmantle, Defender insisted on buying horses for Tomas and Alayi (I have Ravanquar). Defender (and of course, Fang) will be able to keep up on foot. I received a letter from the gnomish professor to post at a Sivis message station. We hope to reach Varna in six days; I regret that I will miss the First Dawn celebration in Thrane, but am sure that the Flame still leads me on an important quest.

We traveled for a day, camped, traveled again, and were setting up camp near the forest the second evening when we were attacked. A large bony-plated wolf, acid dripping from its lips, charged us. Thankfully Defender and Ravanquar were able to dispatch that, as our arrows bounced harmlessly off its hide. We were busy enough fighting four other wolves that suddenly appeared, and I saw that Tomas had fallen as they surrounded him. I dropped my own guard to attempt to reach him, and was pulled down myself. Alayi and Fang had trouble of their own as three more wolves joined the fray. It took much effort to defeat them; it did not help matters that the grass we stood on suddenly grew to entangle us. We felt sure that our true assailant was hiding from view, but we could not detect evil (or anything, for that matter) in the woods; Ravanquar made a quick search when he was clear of the grass, but found nothing. For safety’s sake, we let him take the two adamantine map plates with him as he left us for the evening, hoping whatever attacked would not follow to his plane.

Posted by Kristin on April 27, 2007, 15:12


Nymm 26, 998 YK

For some reason, I had assumed that whoever was following us was primary after Alayi or Tomas. Alayi, because she is a Gatekeeper druid, and Tomas, because he’s Tomas. Defender was worried about our pursuer as well, though I am uncertain he has thought through just who that pursuer might be. On the third night of our journey to Varna, our warforged friend was delighted that we had stopped under a tree, as he had some plan to “trap” it to thwart the one that might be following us. We are unsure exactly how the trap would work or even who would make it. Ravanquar snorted at the thought, pointing out that if the attacker was a druid, it was quite unlikely that we could trap him ourselves with just the aid of a tree. With that, he disappeared for the night, and Alayi and I climbed up in the tree to rest. Tomas and Fang were happier on the ground below, and Defender spent the night pacing around the outside. The night was peaceful. In fact, it was peaceful for the next two nights as well, right up till we reached Varna.

Varna is much bigger than Mossmantle. Neither Tomas nor Alayi had been to a city that size (and if Defender had, he was likely oblivious to it). We went to the marketplace to attempt to sell some of our “finds” such as the golden dragon statue, but Tomas couldn’t find a dealer willing to pay what it is worth. I felt eyes on us and realized that even in this somewhat larger town, Ravanquar and I were not “blending in” well (I will have to remember this feeling for when and if we make it to Thrane, as my friends will likely feel as conspicuous and I would spare them that). I started to worry that perhaps we were standing out too much in this crowd of merchants and traders and quietly suggested that we let Ravanquar take our most valued items with him to his celestial home plane, as it would be as safe as any Kundarak bank. Ironically, we found the Kundarak bank to be the best place to exchange our coins and gems for something easier to carry. We also made sure to get identification and travel papers for those that had not traveled through Khorvaire before, and dropped Professor Bramble’s message off at a House Sivis message station. We even found a representative of House Lyrandar to report about the disaster near Mossmantle and learned that they had dispatched a salvage team. Tomas believes that this is proof that they are “crashing and burning” ships all the time.

We obtained rooms at the High Saddle Inn; Alayi and I in one and Tomas next door. Defender opted to pace around the outside of the inn. Alayi took the bed and I pulled a rather comfortable chair over to near the window to meditate.

I’m not sure how long we had rested when I felt a sting of a small dart in the back of my neck. I shook it off and turned in time to see a tube being pulled out of our cracked-open door— a door that had been locked when we retired. “Assassin!” I cried to Alayi as I raced across the room and yanked the door open the rest of the way. I saw an open window at one and of the hall and ran towards it while Alayi banged on Tomas’ door and ran down the hall the other way. Neither of us found the attacker, but Tomas had not emerged from his room either. I yelled out the window, hoping Defender would be nearby and ran back towards our doors to help Alayi kick Tomas’ down, praying we weren’t too late to save him. He was fine, but had hidden when he heard the commotion until he woke up enough to realize it was us.

By now the innkeeper had arrived and moments later, some town guards were there as well. I had to sit down— I suddenly could not, even by force of will, stay upright any longer. I was able to weakly tell the guard what had happened and to please go find Defender while Alayi checked our room and discovered it had been ransacked, and now our room window was open as well! Nothing had been stolen, though the leader of the guard was mortified that Alayi had “tampered with a crime scene.” I am uncertain if I was the target, or if it was just a very dim-witted thief after the dragon statue (I say dim-witted because Tomas had been the one carrying it in the marketplace, not Alayi or I).

Defender was found and brought back to us, and was quick to tell me that my color was all wrong. In fact, he had never seen me with color! I assured him I’d be okay in the morning. We stayed all in one (new) room after that, with Defender standing by the door the rest of the night. Thankfully, we got adequate rest, and Alayi restored enough of my health with spells that I am able to travel today. We plan to leave for Fairhaven as soon as Ravanquar makes an appearance.

Posted by Kristin on May 1, 2007, 21:19