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October 3, 2006

Error and Trial

Roywyn's Journal

Kythorn 4, Skullport

The last few days fairly flew by, but they weren’t fast enough! At first, Seren and I were waving to get the ship’s attention. But, then we got a good look at that ship, and the crew— Githyanki! Evil creatures that hate most other species— I didn’t want to risk that we were part of the list of “other species.” We decided to get out of their way as quickly as possible. Seren, flying creature that she is, had a good idea, and we took advantage of the ability to move in three dimensions and moved our makeshift raft under the ship. We caught another glimpse of the people on board and noticed a halfling, a gnome, and what looked like a very small upright dragon. We decided to risk showing ourselves and were invited on board.

When we boarded, we were greeted by a very exuberant halfling and the more easy-going “dragonborn” (he said he was born an elf and became a dragon by choice!). We also met a 12’ tall blue man— a mercane! He introduced himself (telepathically, that was weird!) as a merchant who had hired the ship Gaath and its crew; and asked if we needed assistance. Upon saying we needed passage to (we hoped) Waterdeep, we were amazed to learn that the mercane, who called himself Jrun, would be headed that way after he picked up a shipment of goods, and would hire us as “guards” for the trip. The only drawback was that we would be stopping in Tu’narath, a githyanki town used as a trading port, before the last leg of the trip back home.

But back to our new companions, all of whom apparently had arrived in the astral plane from our area of Toril by similarly weird means. The dragon-elf, called “Soveliss” is very focused on fighting the spawn of Tiamat and wants to get back to it as soon as possible. The halfling, well, it was hard to say if he was just a bit more eccentric than other halflings I’ve met, or if the strain of being sucked into the astral plane did something to his mind. I heard him call himself “Flin” all of one time; after that, everyone was simply “Bob.” We were using the very patient Soveliss as a means of practicing magic— I assumed. Flin would levitate the dragon-elf, so I added some pretty lights, which seemed to please the halfling. He determined he could levitate himself due to the nature of the plane, and began to spin around and do fancy maneuvers, eventually appearing on my shoulders. All the while, he kept whispering to Seren “They’re trying to kill me!” and “I’m going to wake up soon!” and “Bob.”

I guess the gnome didn’t take too kindly to Flin’s overly-friendly nature— he shot him in the back of the head with an arrow! Seren healed Flin quickly, but the very law-loving githyanki had seen the encounter and took both the attacker and victim away in chains. The mercane whispered that they would get a “fair trial before their execution”! I begged audience with the captain of the ship, but he was unwavering on the matter. I still had hope that we could convince the judge at the “trial” that no real harm had been done.

We arrived in Tu’narath in a day, and were each provided with a green armband to signify our “legal” guest status. It was a horrible town though, and we chose not to wander.

The trial was a brief affair— Flin simply didn’t say anything intelligible (he seemed to be firmly convinced that he was dreaming), and the whisper gnome was characteristically quiet. We had no chance to speak on their behalf, and the last time we saw them, they were being led away in shackles, though Flin was spinning in his chains— for amusement, or to test the strength of them, I was unsure. I can tell that Seren feels the same way I do about the whole affair. Actually, Soveliss probably does too, but he’s unnervingly practical about the matter, and suggested we keep a low profile while in town.

It was difficult to continue ignoring the mounting injustices we saw in this “lawful” city! Jrun took us to a warehouse next, where he was to obtain his cargo for the trip to Waterdeep. We arrived and met with a winged female with red eyes, through which he obtained three crates of wares— as he inspected them, I couldn’t help but notice that the crates contained weapons, all made of a green metal. I had not seen such weapons before, but had heard of the metal: Baatorian Green steel. That gave me a bad feeling! Seeing about twenty chained slaves be escorted in by some githyanki as “payment,” and subsequently be escorted through a portal with the female devil, well, let’s say it’s a good thing that Soveliss had said to keep a low profile, or I probably would have gotten myself killed. Instead, the three of us stood by meekly until the mercane was done with his negotiations, at which point we returned to the Gaath.

The three-day trip was uneventful, for which I was grateful. The few times I slept I had the weird flying dream again, and woke each time feeling like I had forgotten something. Eventually we came to a large gray portal hanging in the astral plane. The ship passed through, and we were home, or at least, in the right neighborhood. We were in an area near Waterdeep called Skullport, part of the seedy underbelly of the city that I’ve never actually spent time in. We followed Jrun to a squalid tavern called the Iron Tankard and were let in through a back door. He delivered his merchandise, and handed us each 100 gold coins— our business with him was, mercifully, complete. We headed out through the bar, gave a few coins to the barkeep, and were provided with information for the safest route back to the City of Splendors. Right before we were about to step through a portal that was to take us to the city, a fruit bat flapped up in front of me and squeaked that was about time I showed up.

Posted by Kristin at 00:00 | Roywyn’s Journal

Welcome to my nightmare...

Flin's Journal

Now I find myself in chains about to face execution and trying to put together the pieces of what happened. Now let me see… I remember coming through the portal after the wizard. Once I realized I was through, I tried to gather my senses just to find I could not put my feet down, nor could I even figure what side was up. I thought I saw a ship leaving in the distance; this only convinced me I was under water. I tried to swim, just to realize that my desperate movements where getting me nowhere, and that I was not drowning.

I tried to figure things out, this was all a bit much for me, then the body floated by. It appeared to be some large form of Orc, and it looked quite dead. I was lucky enough to grab hold of it, and I found myself being pulled along with it. I thought this good, until I saw the small creatures, half the size of Totem. I was trying to push them away from me when one of them spoke. It begged me not to kill it, and stated that they found the rock fair and square, and had full rights to build upon it. I asked the little fellow his name and where in the nine hells I was. He explained his name was Bob, and he was their leader.

I greeted Bob with the best bow I could create in this environment. In response the entire lot of them responded hello. Bob then explained that they are all named Bob. He then brought forth a few dozen and introduced them to me. And informed me that they are building the city of Bob. I watched them closely for a while and discovered that they could all talk to each other by name, (Bob) and they all knew who was talking to who.

I was very impressed until I heard a voice say “Help they are trying to kill me!” The Orc’s voice was weak and I still could see no life in his eyes, but there is no doubt it was from him. The Bobs just kept building. I pushed myself away from the rock-Orc-Bob, and floated in another direction.

In my endless floating I witnessed a ship that seemed to be on fire, as did its crew, yet they seemed not to be effected by it. I witnessed dozens and dozens of other strange sites, and the Bob’s again. And again the Orc cried for help. It was then that I realized that this was all a dream. So rather then stress out, I decided to enjoy the ride.

At one point a ship came near me and I yelled out hello to them. They took me aboard and asked where I was going. I let them know I was after a powerful wizard that killed my friends, and that the Bobs really made me laugh. After some strange looks I was welcomed aboard.

I do not know how long I was with them, but I did discover that I did not need to walk on the ship, I could fly. And not just that, my dream gave me the power to move objects with my mind. This was fun. Then someone shot me and I got put in chains. I didn’t mind, it was a dream.

Then I was informed that because someone attacked me, I was going to be put to death. Since I could still fly, while chained up, I realized it was still a dream. So I continued to have fun within the dream. Eventually I was taken from the ship and went to court. This was great fun. When I was informed that I could make a statement in my defense, I let them know that I had fun, and when I wake up in the tall grass of near my home, they won’t exist anymore.

As the people of the court continued to talk in a language I didn’t understand, I did hear something I could understand. A voice whispered in my ear. The voice said that a small black rock had been placed in my backpack, and that I should never loose it. I was also given a name, Tillian Greenmeadow. This is the name of a Halfling in Waterdeep that I need to report to. I told the voice that he was not real. It was then that a sharp pain in the palm of my hand startled me. I was bleeding, I could feel the blood.

Then the guards picked me up and my fellow prisoner and they began taking us away. I asked where we where going, one of the guards that I had named Bob, informed me that I was being taken to my execution. The voice was by my side again, and it informed me that death will not be an excuse, and it laughed.

Posted by Jim at 09:08 | Flin’s Journal

October 5, 2006

New Things

Seren's Journal

As the ship neared, we decided to take a chance and hail it. We waved our arms (and wings) and shouted for all we were worth. Soon, the ship turned onto a heading that would intersect our path. As we got closer, however, we spotted the crew - all humanoid, but yellowish skin, and Roywyn recognized them as Githyanki. When she told me that they were usually hostile to non-githyanki, I wished us away as fast as thought!

Although I’d turned us “down” compared to their heading, the ship gracefully heeled over and followed at a fast clip. ‘Wyn began a song, but we were startled by the “thunk” of an arrow embedding itself in the shield between us! It had a scrap of parchment wrapped around the shaft, on which a single word was written: HI.

Looking back at the ship, I saw that there were non-githyanki on board, after all. Now there was a gnome, a halfling, and a strange humanoid with wings waving at us. Realizing that we stood little chance of outrunning the ship (I’d hoped it would ignore us after we fled), I decided to stop. As the ship scooped us up, landing the shield on the deck, we met another non-Githyanki. ‘Wyn recognized the large blue figure as another planar dweller, whose race tended to be merchants.

Thank Shaundakul, the blue merchant was in fact the one who had hired the ship, the Gaath, and the crew was paid to ignore us. Jrun - for that was the merchant’s name - actually floated instead of walking, and “spoke” directly into our heads instead of talking! He was willing to take Kor’tac’s shield and battleaxe as payment for taking us on board, and even offered to hire us as guards, for he was trading between Tu-narath and Waterdeep. We were a little worried to discover that we were headed for a lich queen’s city, full of githyanki, but we’d be under his protection, and have Waterdeep for a final destination!

I was learning quickly that the githyanki may not like other races, but they were very lawful, and as long as we followed the rules, got visas, etc., we would not have trouble in their city. In fact, it’s a major trading port on this plane. Soveliss, Jrun, githyanki, and soon-to-be visiting the city of Tu-narath: I ended up being kind of excited about the trip. Completely new people and places; an adventure! I only wished that our former teammates were here to see it, too.

The gnome had disappeared to parts unknown before we were done “talking” to Jrun. The halfling, Flin, was rather odd. He was making very strange and paranoid comments, and using magic to lift things and float them about. Things like the blue dragonish humanoid, Soveliss, who was trying to look unconcerned while floating upside-down. Jrun had rescued all three, floating in the void - my guess being that Flin was out here the longest. When I took the time to look more closely at the githyanki and their ship, he showed me the whole place, while naming everyone and everything in it “Bob”.

Eventually, we made our way back on deck to talk to ‘Wyn. Flin was floating above ‘Wyn as if he were standing on her head, and chattering about Bobs, and explaining that none of this was real, and he must be sleeping in the forest “back home” when - out of nowhere, an arrow bounced off the back of his head! I grabbed him by an ankle, yanked him to the deck, and cast a healing spell on him, although he turned out to be bruised, not bleeding. When I looked up, I realized that the githyanki were all standing over the strange gnome, greatswords drawn!

He was quickly marched away, but then - the githyanki took Flin, too! I was confused, but when ‘Wyn and Jrun told me more about githyanki laws, I was very worried, indeed. Maintaining order is more important than who started what, especially when both parties are non-githyanki races. If they can’t explain themselves very well, they’ll both be put to death. Jrun was only a guest, with no authority, so ‘Wyn went to find the captain while I ran down to the brig to get the gnome’s and halfling’s stories.

Well, the gnome muttered something about having taken the head off the arrow, and Flin, of course, thought this was part of his dream. He was quite certain they - or Bob - were trying to kill him, but he seemed quite merry about it! I met up with ‘Wyn, and we tried to talk the captain of the ship out of turning the two offenders over for trial in the city. Explaining that the gnome thought he’d met the letter of the law by blunting the arrow didn’t work - it was still considered assault. Trying to talk of different interpretations of the law failed, and there were no options within the laws to prevent them seeing githyanki “justice”.

Two days passed before we reached the city... and my joy in seeing a new place was much muted by fear of what the arrival meant for our fellow travelers. Soveliss especially feared for his own safety; after learning all he could about githyanki society, he was now paranoid about so much as crossing one’s path! We were still impressed by the sight of the city; several miles long, vaguely humanoid-shaped, but with extra arms, and covered over with a multitude of buildings; there were even secure citadels floating nearby, attached only by chains to the “body”.

As we flew by the “feet” and “legs”, we spotted red dragons resting in caves. We were steered toward an “arm”, apparently the docks, while Soveliss asked Jrun about getting proper visas. On closer view, we could see many clean and well-ordered buildings and beings, and plenty of guards. When we docked, a female githyanki approached the captain of the ship. Each of us were asked our names and purpose for being there, and then Jrun passed over a sack of money. She gave green armbands to each of us, and ‘Wyn, Soveliss and I followed Jrun off the ship. As I looked back, I saw the prisoners being escorted in another direction...

Curious, I asked Jrun if we could see what happened to them. He agreed, which surprised me, but it turned out that githyanki justice is swift! We were quickly at the courts, and watching the gnome and the halfling being charged with assault and endangerment, and how do you plead? Flin answered, not guilty - his reason being that he was not even here, and Bob’s trying to kill him. The gnome refused to say anything at all. Jrun turned to us and asked if we wanted to stay for the execution - no! - and we were quickly back on the street. I wish there had been something we could do...

Sad circumstances behind us, we headed for the merchants’ district. Jrun led us straight to a warehouse full of boxes and crates. When we walked in, a human female stepped into view - human, except for glowing red eyes and feathered wings! They didn’t speak, but opened a crate and looked at several weapons inside. Jrun held up a greenish-colored dagger that looked very sharp, indeed. He replaced it, closed the crate, and levitated three crates together as he walked toward the door.

The door opened, and two githyanki guards entered - I must admit I had a moment of fear! But they simply led in a group of humanoids of various races, all chained together, and handed them over to the winged female (who was now smiling in a most unpleasant way). As we left, I saw her open a red portal, and they all passed through, probably to one of the nine hells. This place is no adventure: it’s full of sad happenings.

Back to the ship we walked, with the crates of strange weapons, and sailed off into the void.

Three more days of Soveliss being paranoid of githyanki (who ignored him, thank Shaundakul), and ‘Wyn worrying about evil. I asked Jrun about the weapons - if they were all spoken for, or maybe a dagger was available? No luck - he already had a buyer. Finally, we reached a grey swirling portal to the material plane, collected the crates, and disembarked.

We stepped out into a large port city, built inside a huge cavern. It was seedy, dirty, full of strange races - the opposite of what we’d just left. Whatever else I think of the githyanki, I didn’t feel it necessary to watch my haversacks while walking down the street! Soveliss asked what ‘Wyn had already guessed - we were below Waterdeep, in Skullport. Not quite home, but pretty close, and better than where we expected to be after all that had happened!

Our job with Jrun was not quite done: we escorted him to the rear of the Iron Tankard Tavern, where he knocked on the door. A slot opened, and an eye peered out - then the door opened, and a halfling led us and the crates to a back room. Three Red Wizards sat behind a table, watching Jrun bow to them! They looked over the crates of weapons, pronounced them acceptable, and said they looked forward to doing more business... then each took a crate, and disappeared.

Jrun handed each of us a pouch. Soveliss asked the quickest - no, safest - way to the surface. Jrun was not sure, and suggested asking the barkeeper. Then he was gone!

‘Wyn, Soveliss, and I made our way out to the main room of the tavern, and sat at the bar. A mostly-human looking bartender brought us ale while ‘Wyn asked if they needed a bard to entertain the customers. Apparently, it’s not that kind of bar. So, she asked directions elsewhere, but he feigned ignorance until Sobeliss put a gold coin on the counter. Roywyn was so embarrassed! When he said he knew a way, I added another gold coin, and we got directions to a portal in an alley just a few streets off.

So, out the door we go, hoping my knack for finding portals plus the barkeep’s directions get us back to Waterdeep!

Posted by Kate at 00:06 | Seren’s Journal

Back to Business

Soveliss's Journal

I awoke this morning, if you can call it morning in a place that has no day or night, on the ship that picked me up a couple of days ago. I call it a ship only because it is built like one however, there is no water, land, or even weight in this strange place. To be honest I’m not even sure if I’m actually breathing. I can’t open my backpack here— something about this realm won’t let me. I’ve been on this “ship” for about two days now. I only say that because I’ve slept twice, although I don’t know why, I don’t feel the need for sleep here. When they first picked me up I didn’t know what to make of the crew. I’ve since learned that they are Githyanki, a lawful race if nothing else.

There are three other people on board that aren’t Githyanki. Jrun— a blue extra planner humanoid— he hired the “ship” to take him to a Githyanki city so he could do some business, and return to Waterdeep. A Halfling whom I think is going a little insane being in this place, and a gnome who hasn’t said a word to me.

I felt the ship turn and decided to go top to see what was going on. What I saw would have been very strange if I wasn’t in this realm. What looked like a gnome and a gnome with wings were on a large object trying to outrun the “ship”. Then they stopped and turned to look at us. The “Ship” dipped under them and they stood up. Jrun talked to the in their minds as he has a tendency to do. I know this because they answered him openly. It’s strange seeing two people talk, but only hearing one actually say anything.

The Halfling was getting even worse calling everyone “Bob,” and floating anything he could. It got to the point where the silent gnome shot the Halfling with a blunted arrow. Both of them were hauled off in chains. I didn’t understand this, so I asked Jrun about it. I was then informed that any breaking of the law by non-Githyanki meant that both the accused and the accuser would be brought before a judge, given a fair trial and then put to death. I was stunned, but as I was on a Githyanki “ship” surrounded by hundreds of them, and on my way to one of their cities, there was nothing I could do. The two new people, Roywyn and Seren, attempted to help, but to no avail.

A day passed, at least I think it was a day, and we could see the city coming closer. It was a sight to behold. Then I saw the red dragons. There were about six of them in some caves at the one end of this massive structure. I wanted to go in there and destroy all of them. I wanted it so badly I could taste it. Six dragons against me, and there could be more in there. I’m not stupid. I have my faults and I do make some bad choices from time to time, but that would be a suicide mission, and I can’t continue my quest if I die in this place. So I bit my tongue and waited for us to dock.

Jrun took care of our visas and we went to see how the “trial” went. It was just like we were told— both parties had a chance to say something. The Halfling didn’t make sense, and the gnome didn’t say a word. They were found guilty and would be executed. Thankfully enough we didn’t stay and watch this happen.

Jrun lead us to a large building in town where he did business with this winged woman. After inspecting weapons made of green steel, he took three crates and had slaves brought in for payment. I don’t like this at all, but in a city where justice is only for the Githyanki what could I do? I bit my tongue and quietly walked behind Jrun back to the “ship”.

Three days later we came to a portal. Jrun took his cargo and went through. I followed and so did the other two gnomes we picked up four days ago. We were underground, several miles under Waterdeep. This is where my job begins. We, myself and the two gnomes, escorted Jrun to the back of a tavern. After knocking and being looked at from the inside, we all walked in and met with what appeared to be three Red Wizards. The deal was done quickly, and we were informed that we could ask the barkeep for direction back to the surface. Seren tried, but the barkeep feigned not knowing anything until I discreetly placed a gold coin on the counter. Roywyn did the same and we were given directions to a near by portal. I can’t wait to be back on the surface, and on with my quest. Who knows, maybe these two would be willing to join me.

Posted by Fred at 04:41 | Soveliss’s Journal

October 11, 2006

A Little Batty

Roywyn's Journal

Kythorn 4, Waterdeep

The little bat barely had time to introduce himself to me as my familiar “Pratt”— I had summoned him while attempting to identify an item using a spell scroll from much further north (so that tower was on this world!) and then promptly got sucked into the astral plane before he could reach me. The poor thing had been flapping around for days, lost. Most gnomes get burrowing creatures for familiars, but then, most gnomes that get familiars are mages. I shall have to determine whether a bat can juggle or sing....

I would have asked right then, but we saw some unusual (though maybe not for Skullport) activity nearby. Four people across the street from us were lugging an unconscious, chained halfling into an alley— and the halfling was Flin! Almost as one, the three of us determined this was our way of redeeming ourselves for our inability to act at his trial. Seren, followed by Pratt, flew down the alley after them, in time to see them duck into a building. She came back with the information as Soveliss and I were already making our way towards the spot. Soveliss did a quick check of the door for traps and we hastily passed through the door ourselves. We were in a dimly-lit, decaying hallway with three doors. One door took us to a room with a collapsed ceiling— no footprints, so obviously not the route taken by Flin’s captors. Another door led us to a room with a table and chairs, but was otherwise empty and lacked any other exits. The remaining door opened into a room filled with crates and barrels, but Soveliss spotted a hidden door. He got it open and we found steps leading down. So far, this was easy! The dragon-elf started down the steps, followed by myself and Seren. Suddenly, there was a “click!” followed by an exclamation of dismay by Soveliss as the stair treads turned into a slide; we all shot downward another twenty feet, landing between and on spikes at the bottom. I quickly cast a healing spell on Seren, who had landed badly, while Soveliss tossed a grappling hook and rope up to the ledge of the pit. Pratt flitted up and helpfully declared it the best hooked-ropey thing he’d ever seen and was sure it was secure; Seren scrambled up that and found footing, so we followed.

We found ourselves at the door to a temple of sorts. There was a rather large room with pillars supporting the ceiling, and an altar at the far end, with the symbol of the evil god Cyric depicted above it. And on the altar— the unconscious halfling! Unfortunately, the four people we followed where there as well, and they weren’t human— at least, not anymore.

I had started to sing a song that would have struck fear into their hearts had they been beating, but dropped it in favor of a weapon. Seren called upon the power of her goddess to turn the zombies, but something about the unholiness of the place was making it difficult. So, she threw oil on the closest creature and I lit that. The undead thing went up in a blaze and was quickly destroyed. She was then able to successfully turn the other three, who went behind the altar to cower.

Getting into the room was difficult— it took several attempts for us to pass over the threshold. When we did, I cast a spell I knew could effect undead, knocking them off their feet long enough for Soveliss to run to the altar and grab Flin, after which we took off like bats out of the nine hells (sorry, Pratt!). We barreled down the alley to the portal and hopped through— arriving in... an alley.

This alley didn’t have the oppressive feel of the one in Skullport, and after a few moments, we were confident that we were, indeed, in Waterdeep. Soveliss felt a little odd carrying what appeared to be a lifeless halfling through the streets; I couldn’t tell what was wrong with Flin, but Seren looked him over and determined he’d been drugged and would sleep it off. So, we found our way to the Dripping Dagger Inn and got a pair of adjoining rooms.

Soveliss went off to find a place to bathe while Seren and I kept an eye on the halfling. We were prepared to see the fun-loving Flin we had met on the githyanki ship, so were surprised when he awoke that he did not remember us, or much of what he’d spoken of on the ship, or how he’d arrived in Waterdeep. Soveliss returned with dinner and also attempted to convince the somber halfling that we meant him no harm whatsoever, but eventually we had to just let him go out into the city on his own, with the suggestion that he come back to these rooms (Soveliss had procured them for a 10-day) when he was done roaming. Seren and I are going to sell some of our (and Kor’tac’s) gear we no longer need in the marketplace— perhaps we’ll find something good to buy, or something else to do. We’ve only been home for a few hours and I’m all ready to find our next adventure.

Posted by Kristin at 15:11 | Roywyn’s Journal

October 14, 2006

Sometimes they come back

Flin's Journal

I have awoken again, and this time it seems too real. Somehow I have found myself in the city of Waterdeep, and my life is in danger. Let me explain. I have found myself in the company of those I thought a dream, and they have claimed to save my life, this time.

I became awake in a small room in a inn that seems to be wonderful, except for the remnents of my dreams now surrounded me. They have mentioned how they saved me from some sacrifice, to this I can only take their word. They have told me of plans to go in twenty directions for forty reasons, and no two of them agree.

I have taken a chance to separate myself from them, and now I seek to learn who they are before I can trust them, if I can trust them. I have found the stone, and I have found the place of the one I am to see. This above all has convinced me I am not dreaming and it has all been real. Now I must pull myself together, find my revenge, and find a way to return to my people. Above all else, I have learned that I am not strong enough to defeat this Red Wizard, or his kind. I must learn more and maybe make allies.

But when this next night falls, I must begin paying a debt. Tonight I have to see a thief, and tonight I must find what calling the voice has placed upon my soul. Then and only then can I begin my quest.

Posted by Jim at 20:42 | Flin’s Journal

October 15, 2006

Whose Plan is This?

Soveliss's Journal

I don’t know how to explain the past few hours. Everything that has happened seems to be more planned then random events. You see, as the three of us were on our way to a portal that would lead us to the surface, we saw Flin. Flin is the insane Halfling we meet in the astral plane. He was unconscious being carried by what looked like four humans in robes. The humans dragged him down an alleyway and we all followed without once questioning why.

Seren saw them take Flin into a door at the other end, so I quickly checked it for traps. Finding none, I opened the door into a small hallway.

I’m going to skip ahead a little. Suffice it to say that after a time of searching we found ourselves walking down a flight of stairs. I should have been more careful because I set off the trap. The stairs turned into a slide and a pit opened up at the bottom. We all fell in. Much to my surprise, we didn’t attract any attention. Using a rope and a grappling hook we were able to climb out of the pit into a small room with only one door. Opening the door revealed a rather ominous sight. Flin was on an altar to Cyric and the four humans were really zombies. That told me two things; first the zombies were probably only getting things ready for the ceremony. Second, we had a short time to get Flin and get out of here before the ones performing this ceremony could get here.

I tried to enter the room, but something kept me back so I thought, let the zombies come out here, and we’ll knock them into the pit. That didn’t work. After Seren did turn them, and Roywyn burned one to a second death, I was finally able to force my way into this altar room. I quickly pick up Flin. I noticed he had his belongings with him. It seemed odd at the time, but I wasn’t able to evaluate it at the moment. We quickly left the altar room, fearing it wouldn’t be much longer till others arrived. Roywyn and Seren kept the door closed while I both searched for the means to reset the trap and actually reset it. We then all ran as fast as we possibly could up the stairs, out the door, and through the portal we were first told about not half an hour ago.

The first thing I saw was light shining down on us from above. Sunlight. Seren checked Flin and decided that he would be fine after some rest. We got a couple of rooms at a place called the Dripping Dagger Inn. After a nice relaxing bath I met the ladies in the room and soon after Flin woke up. I had meals sent up to us, and we talked for a bit. Flin thought he was our prisoner, I think he only believed after he left and wasn’t followed. Now both Seren and Roywyn are in one room and I’m trying to make sense of this. Why was Flin at that exact place at that exact moment? Why were all his belongings with him? It might just be me, but that rescue seems to have been a little too easy. I’m not complaining, we may have just gotten lucky, but something about it all just seems too planned. It comes down to one of three possibilities:

It is all just coincidence. If that’s it I have nothing to worry about.

It’s part of Bahamut’s plan. If that’s it I still have nothing to worry about.

Someone it attempting to manipulate us. Now that is something to worry about and opens a new line of questions.

Posted by Fred at 08:27 | Soveliss’s Journal

October 19, 2006


Roywyn's Journal

Kythorn 5, Waterdeep

I had to talk Seren into buying some things for herself in the market place— I think I convinced her that the items she eventually bought would help anyone traveling with her. We found her a nice holy symbol that is supposed to be scarier to undead and a little silver figurine of a raven— that actually can turn into a raven. We also finally got the items we found identified (since when I tried to identify them, I got a bat familiar instead). I’m wearing a ring with powerful protection magic on it, and she’s carrying a largish dagger that is supposed to provide her with good fortune (I could have told her that much— it has Tymora’s symbol on it!). Seren tried to get the raven to find Flin, but of course, all halflings looked alike to the raven, so no luck there.

We eventually wandered back to the tavern and found Soveliss. A few bards were having a “lute off” but I didn’t feel like joining them (even though I’m sure I’d have won easily). Seren, her raven, and Pratt decided to sit in the rafters after a bit, so I spent my time practicing my listening-to-other-peoples’-conversations skills. I heard a lot:

  • The city’s navy is out on maneuvers for a mock battle.
  • There’s been a rash of “lower-class” human disappearances in the Dock Ward, between Net and Fish streets.
  • There are rumors of an underground war in the Dock Ward.
  • Gang violence is on the rise, and it’s been more organized than it used to be.
  • There was a recent competition in Undermountain. The group that won got a lucrative contract with a caravan. Three other groups (of those that made it out of Undermountain, that is) also got similar caravan contracts, though none of them have ever returned from those duties.
Flin eventually returned from wherever it was that he went, ate quite a bit (Soveliss was buying) and wandered off, presumably to sleep. I found a place to bathe, and then headed off to the room I was sharing with Seren.

After a night without any explosions, planeshifts, or other disasters, I met the group for breakfast and shared what I had overheard the night before. They seemed eager to check out the disappearances in the Dock Ward, even though none of us are human or really know any humans all that well. Soveliss decided he also wanted to look for a shop that catered to Those That Have Become Dragons. Seren has decided to flutter about spreading flower petals; I figured that would be a good time to practice listening to other people again. Flin did something in a shop— I could swear he traded a rock for a key with another halfling, but I was only half paying attention, and as I mentioned, it was with another halfling.

Now we are hiding in the Dock Ward. I think we are planning to either see someone disappear, or prevent it, or possibly try to get abducted. I’m a little unclear on the strategy behind it, but so far nothing bad has happened, at least!

Posted by Kristin at 00:09 | Roywyn’s Journal

October 20, 2006

Where we started

Seren's Journal

We stepped out of the tavern and onto the streets of Skullport, ready to find the alley and its portal. Roywyn and Soveliss, however, immediately spotted a strange sight: a chained and unconscious halfling being carried by four humanoid figures, who walked away down an alley across the street! When they told me he looked familiar, I quietly flew over for a closer look. I was followed by a bat, which seemed to take directions from ‘Wyn. That’s new...

As the figures opened a door and carried the halfling inside, I caught a glimpse of his face. It was Flin! So much for executing criminals - the githyanki sell them into slavery! I waited for the others to catch up, and told them what I’d seen. We found ourselves staring at the door of a dilapidated two-story tenement building.

(I kept glancing at the bat flapping around our heads until ‘Wyn explained that Pratt was her new familiar. She also told me that she may occasionally look different than her usual self. That trip to the astral plane certainly gave her some new tricks!)

Soveliss worked to get the door open, while ‘Wyn sang a quiet song to calm our nerves. He opened it to reveal a hallway with several doors on each side, and no lights at all. Soveliss checked each door, listening, and then I lay down on the floor to look through the crack at the bottom. Nothing in one, plaster and wood scraps behind the next, table legs behind the third. With no clues as to where the others might be, we started opening doors.

The first room held crates and boxes, nothing more. The second was a hallway, but the ceiling had collapsed into the pile of rubble I’d glimpsed. There was no sign that anything had been that way in a long time. The third room held the table and chairs - an old kitchen. The whole place was falling apart and seemed abandoned. Soveliss even asked me if I was sure this was the right building! I reassured him on that count, so he began to search for hidden rooms... and found something behind the crates.

Telling us to have our weapons ready, Soveliss swung a couple of the crates to one side on an invisible pivot, exposing a hole in the floor. Stairs led down into darkness, and we quietly stepped in. We went down a flight, then turned left. We were following Soveliss when - click! - and the steps dropped into a ramp, sending us on a slide before anyone could catch themself! Worse yet, there was a pit at the bottom, with spikes. I got the worst of that, but ‘Wyn quickly pulled me free and healed me up. I thanked her and finished healing myself, while Soveliss tied a grappling hook to a rope and tossed it up over the edge of the pit.

When it seemed to catch (and ‘Wyn’s bat said it looked OK), I climbed up, being the lightest of the three of us. I was very glad that all our noise had not yet brought someone to investigate! I looked over the edge of the pit very carefully, and saw nothing but a doorway across from the pit in a ten by fifteen foot room. I climbed out and checked the hook, then waited for the others to arrive before we tried the new door.

When Soveliss opened the door, we saw a glow of light. Inside was a long chamber with alcoves in the walls, and steps at the far end leading up to an altar. Behind the altar was the symbol of Cyric - a white jawless skull on a black sunburst, representing murder, lies, and worse. On the altar lay the body of our shipboard companion, Flic. Four humanoid figures were in front of the altar, and turned toward us - zombies!

The zombies crossed the room and attacked us, despite my holy symbol and attempt to turn them. Soveliss pulled his rapier and advanced to fight - but suddenly felt compelled to leave the chamber! The zombies followed, and outside the chamber, my holy symbol had more effect, driving three of them cowering all the way behind the altar. The fourth attacked ‘Wyn while being stabbed by Soveliss. I pulled out a flask of oil and smashed it at the thing’s feet, then pulled out a firestick - which went out halfway to the pool of oil.

‘Wyn saw what I was trying to do, however, and created a flame of her own while dodging the zombie’s blows. Whoosh! It went up in flames, and soon collapsed in a burning pile in front of the door. We were able to jump over the mess, however, and - wow! Now I was the one pushed out of the room by some invisible force! ‘Wyn made it inside, and cast spells at the zombies to make them fall down. I was shooting at them from the doorway, while Soveliss managed to force his way inside.

He quickly grabbed Flin off the altar and dashed past us into the room with the pit. ‘Wyn and I followed, slamming the door on the remaining zombies. Perhaps we should have stayed to destroy them, but we all seemed to think it better to get Flic to safety and find out if he was hurt, before something worse than zombies showed up! I tried to wedge the door shut, while Soveliss discovered a hidden winch and began to crank it in the hopes that it would reset the slide to stairs.

The zombies were thumping at the door, ‘Wyn wasn’t able to wake Flin, but Soveliss got the stairs back in working order and we were soon out of the building and running for the alley where the portal to Waterdeep hopefully was to be found. No one stopped us, and I “found” the portal by falling through it while running up and down the alley searching! The others quickly followed...

...a clear blue sky, the smell of salt water on the breeze, and another alley with people walking along the street outside met our eyes. It looked like Waterdeep to me! We stepped out onto the street and were about to start asking directions to the nearest temple when I realized that Flin was merely in a drugged stupor. It was a relief to know he just needed to sleep it off, and we went looking for a decent inn, instead. Soveliss was kind enough to rent a couple of rooms at the Dripping Dagger Inn near the dock ward for us all, and we took turns getting a bath and watching over Flin.

It took an hour or so for him to wake up, quite startled at the change in our circumstances! He refused at first to believe that we were real, and went searching through his pack while muttering to himself. No talk of Bob anymore, but requests for ale and lots of it. Soveliss ordered meals brought up, and we talked over whether to tell the guards about the Red Wizards and their weapons purchases. We had to let the idea drop, realizing that there was no crime committed, as far we could tell.

So, now what? Flin wanted to hunt Red Wizards, while Soveliss wanted to hunt spawn of Tiamat. I didn’t care where my path led next, but Flin walked off in the middle of the discussion, so ‘Wyn and I decided to sell our extra stuff while Soveliss also went sightseeing, and we’d hopefully meet later and come to an agreement. I waited until ‘Wyn and I were walking alone before telling her about the stash of black pearls Kor’tac had had in his pack...

We had quite a shopping trip after selling everything we couldn’t use! I got a greater holy symbol, and a silver bird statue which turns into a raven that follows my commands. I just had to practice this right in the marketplace while we went to have the magic ring and dagger identified - but the raven wasn’t able to find Flin from my description. We did learn that the ring gave magical protection, and the dagger made its wearer extra lucky. Good for us both! Since the day was getting late, we then headed back to the inn.

We sat in the main room, watching travelers of all shapes and sizes mingle. I tried to get ‘Wyn to sing a song of caution about the githyanki laws, but she didn’t want to risk irritating them, even here! We ended up having dinner in the main room with Soveliss, but no sign of Flin yet. After I was done eating, I flew up to the rafters (along with Pratt and a bunch of other familiars) to watch over the bar, and finally caught sight of Flin across the room.

He came over to our table, said nothing about where he’d been all day, and ignored my raven when I sent it down to get a close look at him (why do I suspect that will come in handy, someday?). ‘Wyn wandered away to “learn things”, coming back with talk of gang wars, disappearances, competitions at bars, and something about Waterdeep’s naval maneuvers. Flin then walked over to a big board with messages stuck all over it, read several, returned to the table and announced that he was going to the dock ward in the morning. Sounded interesting!

I waited until the bar closed down, for a brawl that didn’t happen, then made my way upstairs to bed. The night passed quietly, and I woke, prayed, and went to breakfast, where I got to see a hungry halfling at work. Flin seemed preoccupied, though, so when we left for the dock ward, I bought a bunch of flowers from a vendor and spent the trip dropping flower petals in front of (and onto) the group as they walked. Flin talked to many halfling shopkeepers, but spent the longest time in a pawnshop with a perfect perch over the front door for me to sit on and scatter petals from.

‘Wyn entertained people inside the shop by juggling jingling bells, and Soveliss looked over the merchandise, while I tossed petals that occasionally floated back up to me, and finally Flin was off to wander the docks some more. We followed, talking over various subjects. I swung from Soveliss’ wing claws a bit, then stood on his shoulder, holding one of his horns for balance. Yet ‘Wyn and Flin were asking nosy questions about gloamings, instead of our unique companion!

Soveliss was most curious about the humans that were disappearing, since apparently most had vanished from a small area of the city. After eating dinner, we decided the best way to learn more for ourselves was to hide ourselves in the area, and watch to see what was after human prey. Soveliss wanted ‘Wyn to change her appearance to look human as bait, but that seemed awful risky! So, we waited until dark, found an intersection with lots of streets off of it, and hid ourselves all around. I’m up on a ledge right now, peering over the edge...

Posted by Kate at 00:10 | Seren’s Journal

October 21, 2006

Rushing to nowhere

Flin's Journal

This is an odd lot I have fallen into, and yet I wonder more and more every hour why I am with them. Well there is the free food and ale, but I keep thinking there should be something else. I will just have to hang out with them until they get interesting, or I figure out more about these wizards. I will find the one and kill him, as sure as a Dwarf’s beard smells like ale.

Well, we got to have some fun on the docks. I did get to find the Halfling I was looking for, and he did trade the rock for a pouch. I am not sure it was the thing I was looking for, and I am not sure my Hin friend even cared. On the bright side, we are going to go down to the docks tonight and try to watch the humans disappear. I just am not sure if we are supposed to stop it from happening, or if we are just watching to figure it out. Seems they are in a rush to get somewhere, anywhere, and it would make them happy for some strange danger to be there. Now if we could just figure out where the where is.

After this night, I have to go find this local guild, pay my dues and maybe I can find this opening to death my new companions feel they must find. Oh, did I mention the food here is great? And the big guy likes to buy me food.

Posted by Jim at 12:07 | Flin’s Journal

October 22, 2006

Disappearing in the Dock Ward

Soveliss's Journal

Today was rather uneventful so far. We ate, heard some rumors and did some looking around. We followed Flin for a while. I get the feeling he doesn’t trust us yet. Of course, all things considered, I’m not so sure I’d trust us either if I was in his shoes. However that is neither here nor there. The one thing that concerns me is the disappearances of humans in the dock ward. It may be nothing, but it’s worth checking out. So here we are after a long day of walking, and Seren tossing flowers petals at everyone and everything she saw. I kind of know where my companions are. As for myself I’m in a shadow behind some crates watching this large intersection of streets hoping it might help give a clue as to the whereabouts of the missing people.

Posted by Fred at 06:03 | Soveliss’s Journal

October 25, 2006


Roywyn's Journal

Kythorn 5, Waterdeep

Something happened pretty quickly! As we all watched from our respective hiding spots, a drunken man stumbled into the alley we’d set up in. Three small shadowy figures detached themselves from the sides of the alley and began to move towards him. He slurred out “Tymora bless the little people!” as they got closer. I didn’t feel good about the situation and had my crossbow ready, so when I saw three blades appear in creatures’ hands, I let a bolt fly towards one. Soveliss apparently had felt the same way, as I saw another shaft hit one at almost the same time as mine did.

The creatures screeched and howled, and as they thrashed at the bolts, their movement revealed long tails and snouts. Wererats? I had never seen one before, and wanted to unnerve them, so when one came close and attempted to harm me with a blade, I acted as if I too were a shapeshifter and altered my form into that of a larger rat person. I had only ever seen rats as familiars actually, so I turned myself into a large, white, bipedal rat. I’m not sure I got the reaction I was expecting— they all ran away. My companions and I went to pursue them, but saw the drunk being hauled off in a different direction after being grabbed by some greenish, foul-smelling creatures.

We pursued, and though Seren gave me some odd looks, it was easy enough to convince her that I had only used a spell, though speaking around those big teeth was momentarily unsettling.

We were catching up to the abductors in another dark alley, and as we did so, Flin and Soveliss became sickened by the stench that wafted off of them. The creatures split up; Flin and Seren chased after one while Soveliss and I dealt with the other. I pulled out a sunrod to aid me in casting a spell from a scroll, and cast a grease spell under the green creature. As I tumbled past it to provide a flanking advantage for Soveliss, I caught a whiff— I managed to keep composure, but I’m quite certain I’ve never smelled anything so bad in my life! We were able to defeat it— I kept pulling it over with my whip (and the aid of the grease) allowing Soveliss to attack it in melee. We could see that it was a ghast, an intelligent undead creature. The thing made a successful attack on Soveliss, knocking him out, so I cast a healing spell on it— that put it out of its misery! I cast what I had left to heal Soveliss and get him moving again.

Poor Pratt! He was doing his best to follow our companions, but when I gasped from the ghast’s stench he apparently opened his mouth— and a moth flew in. He was horrified (he eats fruit, not bugs!) and worse, I swear I could taste the moth too! Needless to say, he lost sight of our companions during his “ordeal.” I am still occasionally getting little mental glimpses from his bug invasion.

We lucked out though. After wandering past a street from which music was emanating, there was an open sewer grate in the direction we thought they’d headed. At this point, Soveliss asked me to go back to looking like a gnome, so I did, and had Pratt settle on my shoulders. We then proceeded down into the sewers ourselves, and found Seren’s “spare” holy symbol wedging a door open. We had to guess when we came to a “T” which way to go, and were about to commit to a direction when we saw Seren’s silver raven fly past (I knew the purchase of the new holy symbol and silver raven would be good investments for her!). We quickly followed it as it made its way back to the gloaming. While we were glad to find her, it turns out that the raven had come back to alert her that Flin was in trouble— so we all ran back in the direction from which the raven came. It brought us to an area that had some caltrops tossed around, and it was clear that someone or something had walked through the area, but the halfling was nowhere in sight.

Posted by Kristin at 23:39 | Roywyn’s Journal

October 31, 2006

Monster Mash

Roywyn's Journal

Kythorn 8, Waterdeep

Luckily, Seren is pretty good at tracking, especially when there is a blood trail to follow. Assuming we were on the trail of Flin, we followed droplets of blood, eventually having to go through 3’ high sewer tunnels (Soveliss had to crawl, and Pratt became a makeshift cape for me as he wrapped his little leathery wings around my shoulders). We stopped once to check our bearings and heard some very disturbing sounds— tearing flesh and lip-smacking?

We hurried ahead to find ourselves in a 20’ hexagonal room with a tunnel in each side. In the middle sat a ghoul eating... something. We hastily killed the foul undead and found its victim— a halfling. Flin! I quickly cast a healing spell on him. I think he’d been awake, just paralyzed, during the ordeal.

The four of us would have left the place then, but I heard a scream from one of the tunnels. We decided to investigate and headed down a sloping tunnel, following the sounds of a woman sobbing. Soon we arrived in an octagonal chamber with sixteen tunnels radiating from it. There were four stakes in the middle of the area, with four humans chained to them— one woman and three men. One man was dead, but Soveliss went to pick the locks on the remaining three. Seren and I had gone up to the stakes while Flin kept watch from our access tunnel. Suddenly, the chained corpse began to move! Seren and I fought it, but it managed to hit her, paralyzing her instantly (this was not the first time; poor Seren keeps getting paralyzed by these things— I think they are attracted to her glow, or her holy symbol). I re-killed it with a well-placed bolt and dragged her back to the tunnel entrance as Soveliss unlocked the final live human. We got the woman to stay with us; the two men ran off— one up a tunnel we’d not yet explored, and the other scrambled past Flin. We could hear creatures coming towards our position and began to move as quickly as we could back out. A scream cut short, emanated from the tunnel ahead of us; I had to threaten to put Pratt in the woman’s hair to get her to pull it together enough to keep moving.

The five of us came out in the hexagonal chamber, our other rescuee already slain by the ever-hungry ghouls. We continued through as quickly as we could, and intended to run straight out to the surface, getting the woman to a temple for healing, when we realized that Flin had stayed back in that room to fight the ghouls that had killed the male human. Soveliss agreed to take charge of getting the woman to safety while Seren and I headed back towards the hexagon chamber again. Suddenly, we felt an earth shattering rumble, and saw what looked to be a largish evergreen tree coming straight for us. It ended its “growth spurt” a few feet in front of us, and we could see halfling feet sticking out from the branches. We pulled Flin out of the branches and patched him up a bit, and I admonished him that we would not save his life a fourth time in the same 24-hour time period— I’m starting to think he enjoys that.

We got out of the sewers, and found ourselves in the quiet alley again. This time we followed the faint sound of music we’d all heard, and discovered that it came from a building called “3 Pearls Festhall.” We also found members of the Nightwatch and told them of the activities in the sewers. They escorted us to Helm’s Hall to make sure we’d not brought any ghoul diseases up with us. Seren was livid to be a “hostage” to the temple for two days. I was okay with it, since I wasn’t injured, but the silly clerics didn’t believe me and kept me there with them for two days as well!

Pratt was still very upset about the “bug incident” but he says he talked to a therapist weasel (whether on staff at the temple, or a figment of his imagination, he didn’t say) and is now just satisfied that the moth wasn’t the bigger party. Honestly! I’ve never heard of such problems with a familiar. I have a distant cousin who has a rather bossy rat, but at least the rat doesn’t drive her to distraction.

Miranda (the human woman) turned out to be rather ill from her ordeal, so it was lucky for her at least, that we wound up resting.

During our stay, the Watch came back and took statements from us all, and met us again as we were gathering up our gear to leave. They determined that we were better suited to handle the problem in the sewers than the local law enforcement! They are willing to pay us 2000 gold apiece for the effort and an additional 50 gold for each ghoul head we bring back as proof. We can have some of the money upfront for replenishing our gear. We also decided to take one evening off before going in, so we headed back to that Festhall. There was actually a line to get in, and a half-orc bouncer that eyed each person in line suspiciously before allowing entrance. I made sure to befriend that fellow on the way in!

The inside was huge, with many bards performing, large bouncers milling about, and secluded alcoves for seating. I’ll keep my eyes and ears open while we plan for tomorrow’s delve.

Posted by Kristin at 14:29 | Roywyn’s Journal