D&D 2E: Answering the Call

Session 1 - Player Session Notes

The adventures are traveling south along the coast towards Dragondown, answering the ”Call to Arms” posted in nearly every township in the kingdom.  Lord Rair, Ward of Northern Nerath has called upon every able bodied sailor, adventure and skilled worker.  A large force of demihumans have gathered on the Winterskull Islands and are planning to attack Nerath in force.  The adventures plan to join the main force which will set sail from Dragondown in hopes to strike the enemy in a huge offensive.

 

Before reaching Dragondown, the adventures stop in a small fishing village named Seeheim.  Dragondown being still a week away, the adventures decide to resupply and rest in Seeheim.  There is some discussion about selling the horses in Seeheim where they are in demand instead of Dragondown where everyone will be trying to sell them before boarding the ships. 

 

Upon entering the village the party notices and The Salty Sorrow Inn, a blacksmith, stable and a few boatwrights and wainwrights.  The fishing village is mostly comprised of fisherman and simple tradesmen.  Although they are approached by the stable master offering cheap boarding, the adventures decide to check out the Inn first.  They quickly earn free drinks by helping the Inn keeper clean up a broken keg mishandled by a couple of drunken dwarves named Fig and Biggs.  They are greeted by a friendly three legged, one eyed dog and meet a wayward wizard named Ollen the Dreamer and his pet hummingbird.   It seems Ollen feel overboard and is waiting for the crew to notice his absence and return for him.  Several toasts “to the dreamer” where heard that night.   

 

Later in the evening they find out that the Innkeepers' husband and son are late returning from their morning fishing trip.  They offer their assistance and head out to the docks to see if they can locate them.  First they stop at the blacksmith to purchase new horseshoes for one of their horses and met the half Orc blacksmith named Little Jed. 

 

After speaking to some locals they are able to rent a boat and head up the coast to search for the men.   “Q” discovered he had been the victim of a pick pocket as he is missing his coin pouch.  Half the party takes the boat and half follow on land.  Both groups keep within eyesight on each other as they travel north up the coast.

 

As they approached a wooded area next to the seaside cliffs they see something in the woods.  Upon further inspection they find two tethered horses.  The party members in the boat locate the Salty Sorrow fishing boat tied to rock formations about 60' off the coast.  The party gathered on land and after a very detailed search found tracks leading to the edge of the cliff.  They are where successful in finding a buried rope under a large bush.  They descended down the cliff to a cave entrance about 20' above the beachhead.  They entered cautiously and found two unlit and unused sconces and a tinderbox.  The party decides to proceed using their own light sources.  The cave passage opened up to a large interior room.  Hundreds of bats could be seen above and large deposits of guano where apparent on the cave floor.

 

Exploring the cave revealed several pit traps.  One was located by a successful “find traps” roll, another the hard way and more from a “detect traps” spell.  The spell also revealed a cave fisher attached high on an interior wall above a salt water pool.  Another cave fisher was found dead in one of the pit traps.  The valuable fibers where taken by the thief and the party set their focus on the living cave fisher.  They attacked the cave fisher with range weapons but many of the initial attacks feel short and the weapons fell into the pool.  The cave fisher after being threatened attacked the party’s druid and pulled him within melee range along the cave wall suspended above the cave floor.  The party acted quickly and the second round of attacks dispatched the cave fisher.  The druid and cave fisher fell into the water and where quickly recovered by the other party members.

 

As the party recovers from the skirmish and searches the pool one of the party members is shot from behind with an arrow.  Several humanoid creatures have entered the cave and surprised the party.  The party is able to overcome the threat and once again regains their composure.  Symbols on the attacker’s armor match the armor that they saw earlier in the blacksmith shop.  A concealed door to the west side of the cave was discovered and they decide to investigate but before they do they hear loud rumblings from behind the door.

 

The party made their way through another long passage and into another large cave interior room.  This time the room held several bedding areas, an open pit and a fire pit.  No other threats were found in the area but a tunnel to the south was collapsed, most likely from someone ensuring they were not followed.  The party finds the two missing men in the open pit, several leg shackles, two half empty barrels of ale, dry rations and a chest buried underneath the cave floor.  The chest contained a large amount of coins (69pp, 420gp, 13ep, 400sp, 1111cp) a magical broad sword (2), magical dagger (3), a gem encrusted platinum ring, writing materials and several well-oiled and well-crafted scroll tubes which contents have yet to be examined closely.

 

They return to Seeheim with the two men and make their way back to the inn.  They decide to camp outside of town for the night before deciding what to do next.  

 

How long have the orcs been here and why?

Who or what escaped out the back tunnel?

Why does the blacksmith have armor matching that of the kidnappers? 

Who are the kidnappers and why are they taking villagers? 

Who lifted the coin pouch while the party was in town? 

Who stole horses from the Stable?

Will Ollen's ride ever return for him? 

Will “Q” find out who stole his coin purse?

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Session 2 - Draylia's Journal Entry

Well, my day started off the way you would expect the day of an adventurer to start; by being woken up from a warm sleep by the sound of an angry dwarf leaving the camp with all haste.  I opened my eyes to barely see Quoorin and Thoben heading off at a brisk pace towards the wood line.  Who knows what they're up to, but if Q has his head set on something or someone, I feel sorry for them once he gets there!  At least he has Thoben along with him, maybe he can keep him from making enemies of all he runs across.  HA! 

 

After I get up I notice Ollen off in the distance a ways, it looks like he's picking up something from the ground here and there, most likely either reagents for his spells or maybe a breakfast for his pet.  Looks like a different pet than when last we met, I wonder if he has one for each day of the week?  Wouldn't surprise me, it's not uncommon of eccentric old wizards to act strange like that.  You wonder if the constant interaction with magic is what causes them to become that way, or do they become that way to maybe make themselves seem less threatening to those they meet who fear that which they don't understand?  Something to ponder for sure…

 

Markain, Foxy and I were standing around for a few moments and decided to see if we could talk to Ollen a bit.  He seems receptive and pretty easy to talk to, once you can get anything coherent from him!  We asked him what he was gathering, and it was pretty much as I expected.  Being a mage myself I know how it is to have to hunt for your reagents, and much better if you can find them in the forest instead of paying some overpriced vendor for them!  Seems his pet is the same pet (or so he tells us) but it looks different.  I'm not sure what kind of creature it is, I wish I could get more out of him about it but it's no accident he's being mis-directive with his comments.  Again, something to keep an eye on…who's to know what we're dealing with there.  Within the realm of magic it's never in your best interest to judge a book by its cover.  Ollen does mention his brother's ship again, but seems to not know much else about it as far as when it'll be here. 

 

A bit later we see a half-elf, maybe a ranger or druid, riding her horse along the edge of camp, seeming to be on her own and not taking much note of us, but we do notice her turn quickly in the direction of where Q and Thoben went.  Hmm.  We figured it can't hurt to send someone down to check it out so Foxy heads down there, but before she gets there we see Q and Thoben coming back out of the woods, with none other than Eric in tow!  He looks like he's had better days, he's naked and bound, and looks like he may have been on the losing side of a battle axe.  I can see his shoulder wound clearly from here!  Turns out he was indeed the thief that took Q's gold, and you know how dwarves are about somebody stealing their gold or drink…the short little dirt diggers are always bristling for a fight, looking for any excuse it seems!  We got Eric patched up a bit so he's in better shape, but aren't quite sure what to do with him…he says he can lead us to a bigger cache of loot, and that he has access to a Thieves Guild in Dragondown, but how much can you really trust someone like that?  I'd be tempted to just let him lead us to his loot, then be rid of him.  There'll be two more like him to take his place anyway.  I'm all  for helping out someone who needs a hand, but for those rats around our feet…it seems as soon as you do the nice thing by not stepping on them, they turn around and bite you as repayment.  We left Ollen to deal with our current issue.  Seems we at least got some loot from this little ordeal, and Q got his gold back!  Upon inspecting Eric (it was quite easy with him being naked in the morning light) we do notice a mark on the back of his neck and head…3 small lines.  We're not sure if it signifies a guild of some sort or if this is some other mark of honor or even ownership.

 

We ended up giving him his clothes back, Thoben healed him a bit and we're heading off to see this "stash" of his…I have my doubts though… but one thing I know for sure, his dog sure is devoted!  He's happily following us as if he had nothing else better to do…and in fact I suppose he doesn't!  Oh the life of a 3-legged dog…

 

Well, we've been on the road for a couple days, that's where I've had the opportunity to write these journal entries, but looks like we're coming to where Eric says his stash is…time to put this book away and get my real book out in case of a problem!

 

……..

 

Ok, a bit more to catch back up on in the Journal…my hand is cramping as I've spent nearly the last 24 hours copying spells – but I digress, I'm getting ahead of myself…  Back where I left off.

 

We came across Eric's stash just where he said we would, although we found naught but a few paltry coins, hardly worth our troubles and no surprise the rat ended up being a rat after all in my opinion!  We question him and of course he answers with a promise for even better rewards…if we go back the way we have come.  Seems to me a lousy diversion tactic, and I say we cut our losses here and now!  Just for good measure Thoben casts a Detect Evil spell to see if we can find anything in our presence, and what do you know but that Eric glows from it.  Not sure what's going on there…if he himself is evil or if maybe he is being controlled by an evil spirit or demon.  That could help explain the markings on his neck as well…possibly a mark of possession or control from a more powerful entity, one that is using Eric as a conduit of sorts.  He doesn't seemed to be put out too much by his stash being gone, but maybe I'm just being cynical, it's hard to think good of people like this when you see them squander away what short lives they have. 

 

While hanging around the area trying to decide what to do, we hear a "clang" sound, as if something metal hit the big rock near where we are.  We investigate and find a sextant.  Where a sextant could have fallen from was a mystery (but we know now!) but we look around and see nothing.  However we do hear hoofbeats off in the distance, sounds like a handful of people coming our way…not at a charge but definitely in a hurry.  Better to be cautious and get our backs to a wall and be prepared for them.  They come upon us, actually somewhat passing us by as we're behind the big rock when one spots us.  They all reign their horses in and turn to face us, fanning out in a battle position.  Definitely not their first time doing this, you can tell by how they move and coordinate with one another…and they look quite rough.  The type of people who might charge a road tax "for your benefit".  More scum… 

 

Their leader attempts to bully his way into us, asking what our intentions are but as expected Q responds just as aggressively.  Sometimes I feel adventuring with a dwarf is more trouble than its worth, but in times like this I feel they hit it right on the spot.  A battle ensues as expected and we quickly dispatch a couple of their riders, counting the leader which helps to break up their merry little band.  I have been itching to try out my new wand but have been hesitant because  of it's chaotic nature.  Who knows if it'll shoot a fireball at the enemy or turn them into hill giants!?  So I just gave it a shot and what do you know…it summoned a whole group of dwarves to mine the rock we were around.  What??  After the battle, Q talked with them but they seemed a bit irritated, even more than a dwarf normally is, they seemed to only want to focus on mining for the good jewels within the rock. 

 

One thing we did notice while searching the bodies of the horseman was that the one near the rear had been shot with an arrow…and not from us.  Foxy noticed it as likely being a ranger arrow, since they are pretty particular about their bowcraft.  We were distracted all of the sudden by a voice overhead, hollering my name…turns out it was Ollen!  He was on an airship above us, we must have missed him when we looked up earlier because of all the cloud cover.  He was happy to get his sextant back I might add!  We spoke with him about hitching a ride as he said they were heading to Dragondown and could use a couple extra hands on deck as they were running a skeleton crew.  Luckily Q and I both know our way around a ship so it worked for everyone.   Before we climb up the ladder we get to meet our mystery bowman(woman).  Her name was Amallae and apparently she's been trailing us for awhile…one can understand why she held back and didn't approach us, we must have looked quite the site with what went down back at the camp where we picked Eric up!  Based on the fact she helped us when she didn't need to, even if it was for her own benefit of getting to Dragondown more quickly, we figure we can't hurt to party up with her.  Doesn't mean we trust her yet, but she doesn't seem so bad so far, for a half-elf. 

 

Once on the ship (after nearly losing our chest of loot!) we notice an albino minotaur at the helm.  We're assuming this is the first mate who Ollen named "Bilge".  We are told we can lock Eric up in a cell and do so quickly.  We are then introduced to Marcus finally (apparently Ollen isn't totally crazy after all) and he has an interesting proposition for us.  He tells us his story of being imprisoned in the Abyss and how he has lost touch with his God.  He apparently used to be a Paladin but has since lost his connection because of the demon who held him prisoner.  He hasn't named his deity but I believe him to be a disciple of Lathander.  If not for Ollen's help he would not have gotten out of his predicament, and now he's on a quest to re-find his faith and his communion with his God.  We agree to help him out, it sounds as if this may be a mighty adventure that could be very rewarding, especially since a big part is being able to spend time in the great Sage Library in Dragondown.  Oh the things I could learn if I could spend a few years there!  But first, we must get a rare tome as our entry fee…

 

After we leave Marcus' room, Ollen and I spend the rest of the time going over spells.  I'm ready for the next part of our adventure to begin….I have new spells and a new direction, who knows what tomorrow might bring, but here's to hoping it's full of magic, adventure and fine elven wine! 

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Session 3 - Draylia's Journal Entry

Well, we're back on the ship  now, headed for the new location of Winterskull.  It's been only a day since I have  written my thoughts down, but plenty has transpired to note! 

 

On the last night of our journey to Dragondown I was visited quite unexpectedly by Correllon.  I can't even believe I just wrote that down, just hearing myself say it seems surreal…  I've always known of Correllon of course, but never really found myself drawn towards anything divine; my interests have always been in the arcane.  But obviously no matter my thoughts, Correllon had thoughts of her own.  She visited me and offered me a grand adventure indeed.  She tasked me (if I were up for it) with pledging myself to her and Marcus' cause.  I accepted of course, and with my acceptance came a blessing from Correllon; I now have one more spell to use in our adventure to help us through.

 

Early morning we set the ship down into the water near Dragondown, it seemed like a good idea to sail in like all of the other ships, seems like that would  draw less attention.  We slowly sailed up to the dock and were tied off fairly easily.  I noticed on our right there was a boat hustling and  bustling around, seemed they were preparing for a grand adventure as well, but then again who isn't in this town?  The crew all seems like what you'd expect except this one guy…he seems a bit flamboyant, wearing a fancy shirt and looking somewhat classier than the rest of the dirty looking crew.  I figure he may be the coin behind the trip, but who  knows. 

 

Once we're tied off, Marcus goes out to meet the dock masters for a bit.  I can see a coin purse exchange hands, the typical "don't look , don't tell" policy like every town has.  Everybody seems to have a price.  The deckhands bring a big trunk out, it's pretty plain but judging by the grunting I'd say it's quite heavy.  We're told it's a payment of sorts to the sage for his help and knowledge.  I am highly  curious what is in there…i assume it's books of some sort as that seems to be what a sage would be most interested in!

 

Marcus came back onto the ship and informed us that he'd be visiting  with the sage sometime early afteroon and that he'd like to leave as soon as he could after that.  Until then we're free to roam around and get any supplies we need.  I know i need to get a couple spell components and would  like to visit the two shops Ollen mentioned.  We still have a couple items to sell and in a big town  like this, there are bound to be some good items to purchase that may help us on our trip!

 

Thoeben mentioned  to me that he was feeling a bit of a connection while we were in the air, and even more so now that we're on the ground.  He feels it back the way we came, and he instinctively knows it is from his horse he released before we boarded the air ship.  He seems pretty distracted with the sensation and is itching to go investigate, but we need to deal with our stuff in town as well so we're going to head out and do that.  He mentions his visit from Mielikki as well, seems she has chosen him as Correllon has asked for my assistance.  This really has me wondering what is going on…there's something much bigger than us afoot.  For two Gods to come to us like that, both beseeching us to help Marcus…it just reinforces to me that whatever his path is, I will stay with him and do everything within my power to help him regain communion with his god.

 

On the way off  the ship we notice one of the sehands onboard is acting strange…which  doesn't surprise me, I thought that  was pretty much  normal behavior for the less civilized humans.  Markain said that she noticed Lucky was not happy with this person…and since I know that animals can sometime sense a persons nature better than we can, maybe it's something worth checking into.  At the very least we should keep our eyes on him.  I'm a bit wary that there is something demonic going on since we detected evil on Eric…it annoys me that we haven't been able to figure out what it is yet.  We asked Ollen  about the strange acting crew member, he said he'd look  into it but later on when we spoke to him again, he didn't seem to think anything was amiss.

 

We went to Niserie's shop, there was an overly exuberant gnome working the counter, as well as another in the shop working with him.  He seemed very friendly and excited as gnomes typically are, especially when there's coin to be made!  I notice he has a decent selection of stuff  on the walls as well…a shame i don't have more gold on me, I'm sure i could find something of use!  He lowballs us on the weapons we want to sell so we went next door to the Naga's Quill.  This place is  fantastic, tons of scrolls and such.  We ask the friendly  human female proprietor about buying  the weapons, she calls a young girl out front (her daughter i assume?) and this girl laid her hands on the weapons for a bit with her eyes closed, then whispered to her mom something.  I'm not sure exactly what the child  did or what she is, but she apparently has a gift of some sort that has come in quite handy working in a merchant shop!  Her mom offered us a decent deal for the weapons so we took it.  We headed back over to see the gnome to see if he had any gear that would be helpful for us heading to a colder clime.  At the Naga's Quill the woman said he was the best shop in town for gear, so we're headed back!  We talked to him for a bit and tried to get a good deal on a couple of fur cloaks, but he was wanting 4000gp for one, which was a bit out of our price range, but he was quite interested in our captive on board.  He has us go in the back room to discuss Eric, and i can't believe how much stuff he has stored there…nearly everything in there appeared to be of a magical nature!  Niserie seemed very interested in Eric…he said he'd be willing to make it worth our while.  He said simply for bringing him there for him to see he'd give  us one of the cloaks we were eyeing, so we figured it was at least worth that.

 

We headed back to the ship to talk with Eric, to tell him what we were thinking about doing.  He acted tough as usual until we mentioned Niserie's name and the fact that he was wanting to trade for him.  Eric turned as white as a ghost…obviously he knew what was in store for him.  We were somewhat torn as to what to do…we didn't want to just turn Eric over to the wolves since we didn't know much about Niserie or what he wanted with him, but at the same time we didn't feel we could trust Eric either.  Thoeben came up with the idea to use his divine powers to augary for an answer.  After his spell was cast, it led us to believe that turning him over to Niserie was the best path before us.  So Q, happily i might add, sat on Eric and forced him to swallow a few drops of a liquid we got from the gnome.  He passed out right  away and we carried  him in a sack off of the boat to a cart-boy.  We paid him to cart the "bag" near the  gnome's shop but not quite there.  Q carried the package the rest of teh way to the shop.  Once inside the gnomes ushered everyone else from the store and locked the doors.  We turned  him over in exchange for several items that will help us on our trip to Winterskull and  beyond.  I received a very nice Cloak of Elvenkind, Thoeben acquired some nice new leathers and Markain and Q both received the wonder Cloaks they had been eyeing.  Markain also sold her cave fisher spinnerets for a nice profit and picked up a useful halfling pipe that will heal her when needed!  I attempted to find some nice cold resistant gear but had no luck, i guess my new clothing will have to suffice!  If all else fails, I could use my spells to keep us heated. 

 

We went back to the ship and met Marcus, the travelled with him to the Sage's shop.  He explained to us that in order to help Marcus out we'd first need to get these books.  And, this may mean we'll have to find an archwizard in Winterskull, and possibly a dragon as one was there last he knew.  I'm excited of course as i'd love to rummage around an archwizards tower or dragon lair, imagine all of the stuff you could find that has been hoarded away for centuries!  Although it  will be quite dangerous, the most dangerous adventure i've ever been on… After this, our path will lead us to somehow travel through the Astral plane into my home plane of Abeir-Toril the sage says.  He doesn't  know of my paths to get here, nor do the others in my company, but listening to him speak of Candlekeep has kindled a fire in me, an excitement i've been looking for.  Apparently the knowledge that may help marcus could be found in Candlekeep.  I plan to tell my tale to my fellow adventurers as we sail these next few days to Winterskull.  I've always been hesitant to speak of this to anyone for fear of being cast out, but i feel this is an integreal part of our quest and withholding this information will only hurt our chances.  This may help me figure out how to get home…whether or not i want to stay home is another matter, but it'll be nice knowing either way.

 

We left the sage's library and went back to the boat, Ollen wasn't there and Marcus was about ready to leave, but he was short handed and needed us to help sail out.  We were about ready but needed to tend to Thoeben's growing feelings in his chest…his horse was out there somewhere and he needed to find him.  We went to the edge of town and found locals trying to round him up, unsuccessfully…he ran over to greet Thoeben and both of them looked relieved  to find one another.  We all left and went back to the boat quickly after that as we knew Marcus was wanting  to get going, boarded and headed to Winterskull.

 

I have just sat down to right this journal entry and i plan to use the rest of the time to read up on Winterskull from a book i picked up from the Sage before leaving, as well as hoping i can talk Ollen into letting me copy a couple more spells from his book, now that i have a few more gold to spare. 

 

 

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Session 4 - Draylia's Journal Entry

Well, everybody is making reading for bed so I figure it’s as good of a time as any to make a few quick entries in my journal. For starters, I hate the cold! Don’t get me wrong, cold-based spells are quite effective, but the cold in general just puts me in a sour mood. But anyway, I digress…

We left from the ship yesterday morning, right at dawn. We thought we were going to have a fight on our hands because Marcus seemed intent on going, but looked as if a strong breeze might fell him. Luckily we convinced him that he would only slow us down, as much as we would love to have him with ut. Whatever is going on with him needs resolution soon, else I’m afraid he won’t live to see too many more dawns (ironic I suppose). I will do everything in my power, and with Corellon’s blessing, to help him in his journey, I just hope it’s enough… Bilge stayed with the ship as is his normal routine, so at least Marcus is somewhat protected.

We headed out from the ship and trekked pretty much due east, slightly northeast. Thoben found a set of obviously human footprints that were hours old heading in the same direction we were traveling, so we figured we’d keep with them to see what we found. All we knew for sure was that we wanted to be quick and keep under cover when possible, we saw the great white wyrm in the sky as we flew in, there’s no need to draw the attention of that beast until absolutely necessary! As we made our way forward throughout the day, we came across another set of footprints, heavier footprints but not as fresh as the ones we were following. Those prints, both sets seemed to lead us to a small cave entrance, or hollow, something that would be handy to use to get out of the blasted winds! We saw upon approaching several dwarves frozen and somewhat broken…they look to have encountered a quick and frozen demise, probably from the breath of the dragon if I had to guess. Our fresh footprints led us to a human inside the cave, attempting to stay warm and getting ready to survive the upcoming frigid night. We spoke with him and seems he is a native of these lands. His family has been here forever and living happily until the recent invasion. It seems scores of ships with all manner of creatures have recently landed on the island…for what purpose we’ll see, but what we do know (a lesson our new friend found the hard way) is that they’re not friendly. An army of Bugbears eventually destroyed his village and everyone in it; he barely escaped with his life. His name is Zurn and we decided to take him on with us as well…he knows the land and seems like a decent enough person, although a bit too hairy in my opinion. I loaned him my saddle blanket to help keep him warm.

We decided to camp out in the cave last night as it was close to dark by the time we got there. We were trying to make it to the tower but after talking with Zurn it seems we were mistaken, the tower was several hours further than we expected. We decided to not risk it by night. The night was fairly uneventful and quite brief actually! We woke the next morning to the sounds of animals howling in the distance…Zurn informed us they sounded like Arctic Wolves (Winter Wolves?) and that we had better hurry, they were just like regular wolves only several times larger and much more vicious. We headed out in the direction he mentioned and eventually came across the tower. At first we didn’t see it as it has a persistent mirage spell covering the entire tower, but the closer we got the easier it was to see. Thankfully too as my feet were starting to get cold!! Behind us we could barely see the wolves, and suspected they were flanking and circling us, so we decided to head into the tower. The doors were broken open so it was no problem getting in. Into the first main room we found it in disarray and to our surprise, an Arctic Owlbear nested on the floor! He was a huge beast but we made fairly short work of him. We searched around the tower for the rest of the day, not finding much except for four bugbears that accidentally wandered into our path. They started out brave but after we dropped the first two, the other two took off running. We pursued and dispatched them quickly. Zurn was lucky to pick up a couple pieces of armor and a weapon, the native apparently has a resistance to the cold from living here his whole life and was wearing next to nothing!

We continued to look around the tower for the rest of the night and eventually came across the library, well, at least one library. I assume there are more than the one as this tower has been around longer than I’ve been alive, and knowing mages like I do, this wizard is bound to have a few well hidden but exciting secrets! In the library we found several books that had the dove symbol on them, indicating they belonged to the sage who hired us to retrieve his books. There are a few other book to note that are of interest, but the item that catches my eyes is the portal standing in the room. It’s obviously a better way in and out of this frozen wasteland than trekking though the snow and ice! Around the outer edge of this stone portal are symbols that look similar to the symbols I picked up from Ollen’s lockbox. Apparently the message writer knew they were for something but wasn’t’ sure what…now that I see an indented representation of the same items I have, carved into the stone archway…it all makes sense. We need to figure out how to divide the interwoven links into their own separate piece, then possibly use the other similar symbols on the table in the room, and put them all in their respective spots to hopefully open the portal. Or so I think…

So anyway, that’s where we’re at now…we have decided to camp the night in the library, it seems the most readily defensible place around, plus has many wondrous books on the wall and the portal we need to investigate further. I’m going to put my quill away now and work on the puzzle of disconnecting the symbols… if Corellon blesses me this night with patience and clear thought, I’ll have it done by the morrow.

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Session 5 - Draylia's Journal Entry

Well, I don’t have much time as we’re camping for the night in a small cave in the middle of this frozen wasteland, but I wanted to try and write down a bit of what has transpired this last day.

We camped in the library like I last noted, and a good night’s rest it was after trekking through that tower all day! I’m ashamed to say that I had no luck figuring out that daunting puzzle, but luckily Q worked on it during his watch and was able to get them apart! I feel somewhat embarrassed that a simple-minded dwarf bested me, but I’m sure I must have loosened it for him or something. We awoke the next morning to sounds from below and outside the chamber, but could see nothing. Later the sounds disappeared and we never really found out what it was. One odd thing I noticed was that all of the books we had taken down the night before had all been replaced onto the shelves. I assume there’s either an enchantment on the books to return (to keep the library tidy) or an invisible servant is responsible. Either way, I took the books back down and placed them securely into my backpack.

We decided to try the portal out. Three of us placed the symbols into their respective spots at the same time, and lo and behold the portal activated. We hesitantly tested it before actually going through, just in case. You can’t be too careful when dealing with portals, as I have found out the hard way! On the other side of the portal we found a secondary library, this one much cozier. It had a reading chair and automated light system as well. Thoben cast detect magic and we found several magical tomes on the shelf, as well as a few more books inlaid with the Dove that we took with us. There was also a broach with a depiction of a castle on it, it appears to be well made but has no magical properties we can see. I did not memorize a read magic spell so have no idea what the books (some of them spellbooks) entail, but I’ll be doing that as soon as I get a night or two of peace and quiet! We gathered up our stuff and headed back through the portal, and out through the room we camped in. Zurn and Q stayed on the outside and noted that something blocked out the light, so we thought it prudent to check out what was going on. Outside we could see a chariot with several unfriendly looking individuals coming towards the castle. One appeared to be a mage , there were a couple lizard creatures and a skeleton, as well as a lumbering frost giant. These looked like a group we should avoid if we plan to see another day.

We proceeded to make our way down through the rest of the tower with the intent to get out as carefully as possible, and pick Wilber up on the way. At one point we ran across a magically barred door that presented us with a riddle. After trying nearly every idea we had (Q even tried to use his thick skull), we finally figured out the riddle and it let us pass. Further down we went until we were one level from the bottom. We found a room with an Ion stone of which Thoben donned. We have no idea yet what it’s use it, but I assume it will present itself when needed! Q found a dwarven ring that looks to be of some special importance, but non-magical. Oh, and Q also ran across an old relative of his, long since desiccated but luckily for him still wearing a magnificent piece of platemail. Anyway, I digress. Back in the room we were presented with another riddle. It appeared that our challenge was to play a game of chess with an invisible or non-existent opponent. Not an uncommon trick for a wizard when they spend a lot of time alone, it seems less lonely this way I would assume. The twist here was that once you sat down, you got punished when you made a wrong move. After several hits of electricity through my already tired derriere, we finally solved the puzzle. Once solved a chest full of valuables appeared, more so than we have found yet. I could see the gleam in Q’s eyes as he eyed the shiny box of coin! But this wasn’t that easy to focus on as during the game, four gnolls apparently were planning on coming through the room. They picked the wrong door and my comrades made short work of them as I sat in the electric chair! We noticed that they appeared to be wearing red capes/trim just like the chariot of people that was coming near us. We assumed they were part of the same contingent, but once we went down another floor to gather Wilber, we could hear shouting outside hollering for the “traitors”. We then assumed they were deserters of some sort.

We desperately needed to get out of the tower, but upon looking outside we see the giant frost wyrm fighting the people on the chariot! Several lay dead but the wizard, his skeleton and the frost giant were still standing. That is, until the dragon used its breath weapon to freeze and completely devour the giant from his ankles up. Apparently the rest of the group lost their nerve after that, they left in a full retreat. Once they were gone we moved as quickly as we could back towards our ship, finally making it to this cave. Now we’re all getting ready to bed down and bundle up for the night, then head back to the ship tomorrow. I’m going to put my quill away as my fingers are nearly frozen!

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Session 6 - Draylia's Journal Entry

I don’t have much time to make note as my concentration is quite taxed at the moment, but I had to write down what has transpired since we left the cave. I don’t know exactly how our journey will go but in case we meet an untimely end, I will write my thoughts down for the next adventurer to find. We are currently aboard ship, aloft once again but this time in a much different sky than before…everywhere we look is grey…but I digress, I will start from where I left off.

We awoke in the cave after fleeing the castle (and dragon!) to find a calm and peaceful morning…but also with Thoeben nowhere to be seen. I had no idea where he had gone but he had taken his things and Wilbur and left before the rest of us woke for the day. Whatever he is up to I trust him to do the right thing, he seems like the sort that won’t leave you on your back with a chimera on top of you! The rest of us check out things and head out for the day. It’s a surprisingly nice day, not as cold as it has been, a clear sky…and no dragon to be seen. The bad part is with such nice weather it also makes us an easy target…which is why I continually keep a close eye on the skies! I had memorized several spells for the day but hoped that they would be of use. It is continually pulling at me, having these several highly magical spellsbooks so close to me but no time to go through them!! I was exhausted the night before and it was all I could do to get enough sleep to be able to work with the spells i already know.

Finally near the end of the day we came across the ship, but before we got there we could hear a commotion, kind of like a growling. Q snuck up there to get a better look but one of those white wolves from before came out of nowhere and pounced on him, pinning him to the ground. He fought as any dwarf would, all yelling and flailing about, but he did a decent job keeping the wolf distracted for the rest of us to attack. As you would expect there was more than one, and one nearly ripped my head off! I did receive a wound from one but it wasn’t until we got to the boat that I really thought my journey was over, for good. We made it to the ship and saw Bilge on the ground after fighting with a white wolf, we dispatched several of them but 2 had lost all heart to fight and attempted to flee. Markain wouldn’t allow that to happen as she used her sling to brain one of them as it ran away. Q threw his axe to stop the last one but it was too far out of reach and it barely escaped with it’s fur intact. On the ship we found Thoeben in the cabin with Marcus, who looked sicker than ever. He explained to us that he had scouted ahead that morning, and that he had sent Wilbur off to be safe because of the wolves. We had briefly seen him run by when approaching the ship and had no idea where he was going. We healed up a bit in the cabin and then went to tackle our last problem…there seemed to be one wolf left. Down in the hold was one more, it seemed preoccupied with something, we assumed Lucky who was stuck down there. I fail to see how one could name a 3 legged dog “lucky” but I haven’t always understood the humor the humans seem to have in abundance. We attempted to kill the wolf and that is when disaster struck. I was standing near the edge attempting to use my staff as I had exhausted all offensive spells…but the wolf got a lucky jump and made it up top with enough time to use it’s breath weapon on me. The elven cloak I picked up in town is good for hiding but not so good for repelling the elements…I took a full blast of cold that knocked me to the brink of death. If not for the healing abilities of my teammates I would not be here to write this entry.

After I was awoken I felt very tired but was happy to be alive. We skinned the wolves and took their eyes, teeth and claws in case they could be sold or used as a reagent for a spellcrafted item. We lifted off and were on our way heading back to deliver the books and had a bit of time to rest. I also had a chance to read through one of the less magical spellbooks and learned four new spells to add to my spellbook. There are more in there as well as in the few other books I have, but I will have to get a good solid week of sitting down with them to see if there are any I can scribe or memorize yet. I was happy to learn the ones I could though in such short time.

We landed back in town and went to deliver the books to the sage. On the way we found a wanted poster with our likeness, but we weren’t too worried as it was rough and we had no plans to hang around. We met the sage and he was excited to see the 7 Dove tomes. As our payment he gave us 7,000 worth of gems and jewels, at least we hope so. Honestly we didn’t count it, we were pretty set on getting out as quickly as possible. He also sent with us a guide named Abbot Vuloto, a disciple there at the temple. He sent with us a Scroll of Astral Translation as well to get us to the astral plane…and that brings us near where we are…

We took the ship up in the air after making haste to get back to it, I cast the spell and the entire ship was translocated into the Astral Plane. It’s strange in here, but somehow peaceful and…forever…it seems this is the secret passage to …everywhere. If one only knew the route, this place could take you where you want to go. The ship is powered more or less by willpower and focus, and the entrance we are looking for will look obvious to Vuloto and I as we are both from that realm originally.

I must stop writing now, we just spotted a ship pursuing us with what appears to be attack positions and intentions. We are going to make ready for battle and see if we can’t neutralize this threat before they overtake us too much. In case I don’t make it, whomever reads this, pick up the sword of Corellon…let her speak through you…

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Session 7 - Draylia's Journal Entry

Well, after many days of adventure, we are finally at a resting place safe enough for me to take a breath and write down a few thoughts. It’s evening now and I’m sitting on the aft of our newly acquired ship listening to the waves gently lap against the side, feeling the cool breeze blow against my cheeks. I can see the many lights up on the hill of Candlekeep, flickering in and out but ever constant. From here the great library looks like a castle, a castle of knowledge with many willing to lay down their lives to protect the knowledge they’ve worked so hard to collect…and one of our own hoping to FIND life with the knowledge inside those library walls. Marcus seems to be in good spirits that we’re this much closer to hopefully figuring out exactly what is ailing him, but his health looks worse as we go. I fear his time is running out and am hopeful that he can cling on a bit longer by sheer force of faith.

I mentioned our new ship but have failed to say how we came by it. Let me back up a bit to my last entry and make note of how we came to be where we are.

When last I made note we were being (it seemed) pursued by a potential enemy ship in the Astral Plane. They were behind us and had the advantage of being above us, so Bilge raised the ship up to their level and put us sideways. This way we could get a better look at what we were up against were they to be hostile (but of course they were, lower species scum!). They appeared to be sizing us up but made no threatening moves…yet looking at their armor and the way they handled themselves, they appeared to be used to taking what they wanted. We wasted no time in showing initiative by attacking them, Q in the lead!

The battle is a bit of a blur, it all seemed to happen so fast…I can remember bits and pieces. I know we started off with releasing our balista into the nearest person on the prow of their ship, he must have taken at least two bolts before toppling over sideways! I couldn’t be sure but based on my studies I believe they are Githyanki, a race which inheritently is magical…so I was going to need to be on my game. I had Silmara fly up above their ship invisible and cast a dispel magic on the back end of their ship where we could see several of their fighters. I figured it prudent just in case they had a reflect on themselves or the ship itself. I then dropped a fireball right between them, burning a couple of them and killing two others. The back canopy burst into flame also, apparently this ship wasn’t treated to resist fire damage!
Our warriors exchanged blows back and forth, I got lost in the chaos when all of the sudden my world exploded. I saw the pea-sized ball just a second too late, then I got to experience the discomfort of a fireball erupting fully on me, blasting me back against the railing on the ship and setting my hair on fire. It hurt, I won’t lie…I was lucky it didn’t take me out entirely, but you don’t get to be a mage without some experience with fire, so I quickly crawled to the back side of the ship and floated down behind it to catch my breath. I couldn’t really see what was going on with my companions but I could hear the commotion up above me as Bilge apparently locked weapons with more than one Gith.

Once I caught my breath I snuck my head beneath the ship and cast an inaudibility spell on the one Gith who had fireballed me..take that! Then again a while later I carefully looked beneath the ship, I saw the first Gith we attacked with the bolt standing on his feet, flames on him and seeming not to care!! Apparently there was some magic at work so I cast a dispel to hopefully extinguish whatever was helping him stay on his feet. When next I looked he was down floating out in the air, apparently one of my people must have taken him out. I see in his spot there’s the Captain standing beside the one who was still silenced, I figured I wouldn’t get a better chance and cast Evard’s Black Tentacles. It’s a bit of a nasty spell to manage because it’s just as dangerous to friend versus foe…but figured it was worth the risk. I poked my head back again so as to not be seen. I could hear the screams from the Captain as he was grabbed by a tentacle but quickly went away, I assume he cut it free, then the groaning sound of the mast being squeezed and broken let me know another tentacle had found a mark…and not the one I was hoping for! Then, all of the sudden the ship I’m hiding behind lurches sideways near me, luckily I wasn’t hit by it! I quickly looked under the ship only to see the same two Gith up front and the front of their ship rammed into the side of ours! They appeared to be concentrating on breaking the hull of our ship…and successfully doing so. I could hear the wind and moan as the air elemental begins screaming out of the middle of the ship like an angry tornado, released by the broken magic of the ships tear. I was caught too close to the exit and was tossed around and into the ship enough that it roughed me up even more, making me seriously wonder if I would live to fight another battle! I reached out and grabbed on to the ship preventing myself from being thrown out into the air, but the damage was done. Eventually the screaming and gusting stopped and the ship was still.

I came back topside to see one Gith charmed by Thoebben, patting flames out as an apparent Web spell was being cut and burned away. He was looking as calm as one might expect under such an enchantment. I see we had one other on his feet still that was hostile, and I was pretty much out of spells for fighting, I cast Charm on him to calm him down. Honestly I don’t remember if it took or not as I slumped to the deck to catch my breath…the battle was catching up to me and I was needing a rest. The only thing left to do was get rid of those nasty tentacles so we could actually board the ship. Luckily our newly charmed friend had a dispel magic handy so we didn’t have to worry about spending too much time trying to kill them without getting grabbed ourselves!

Bilge wasn’t happy…the ship was broken nearly in half, the elemental was gone, it was in essence dead in the “water”. We had to abandon ship. We spent some time moving our stuff over and getting the newly acquired ship ready to sail, plus taking inventory of any items or gold we found on their ship. We did acquire a few nice items: a ring of fire resistance for Q, a wand of flame extinguishing for Markain, an amulet of planar travel that I’m wearing (which will definitely come in handy!) and a nice enchanted longsword for Zurn. Two other weapons were found also, enchanted, but don’t need them so will sell them once we get to a decent town. Plenty of gold and platinum in the chest also, along with some gems and artwork.

Thoebben passed out a few heals to those of us that needed it, and we were on our way. The thing is, it takes two people to make the ship move so it had to be Markain and I since we tend to be the more intelligent of the group. We wouldn’t want to tell them that, but we both know it to be true. We could only make it move a little bit at a time but at least it was something. It’s hard to know how long it took us, time is weird in the Astral Plane, but eventually we got to an area where we could see the shimmering…the spot where the fabric between the planes was weaker…and we pushed right through with the ship. We weren’t sure what to expect since the boat we have was meant for the Astral Plane. It seemed sea-worthy, but it obviously couldn’t fly. We had no idea if we’d come through in the air, water, land, what!? I had two fly
and a featherfall spell memorized just in case. The Gods smiled upon us this time, we came through onto the water but a bit low,
it lurched our ship up into the air a bit as everything got settled out…but we were through and floating!!

We had no idea where we were. We could see a landmass in the distance, but other than that, nothing. I didn’t recognize anything, nor did Abbot, so we just sailed towards shore a bit. We then decided to go North because one way was as good as another. We ended up coming upon a massive city, towering walls down near the water and even out into the city. Many smaller fishing boats floating here and there and a big opening for us to sail right into the city. I remember from my studies and time before that this must be the famed city of Waterdeep. Not Candlekeep where we were hoping to find, but a good city nonetheless…and now that we know where we are, Abbot knows that we should have went south to Candlekeep, ha! No matter, we’re here, now is a good time to stretch our land-legs out a bit and get a drink (or 7 Q is saying)! We dock with strange looks from the wharfmaster but a couple of gold coins and he’s our best friend. Funny how that works. I can visibly see Q ready to explode at the loss of gold, to a dwarf gold means so much more than to a high elf. What have we of such shiny baubles except to further our own knowledge and enlightenment? There’s always more to be found somewhere.

We left Marcus, Bilge and Abbot onboard as they had little interest in leaving the safety and comfort of the ship.
From the directions our new “friend” give us, we head up into the city to find an apothecary and provisions. Oh, and a place to get those drinks Q continually grumbles into his beard… ha! We pick up some provisions for nearly a fortnight, then try to purchase some healing potions but they are way too rich for our blood. Orsabba’s Fine Imports might be fine, but they’re not cheap enough! We found a cartographer who also wanted way too much for a map of the Sword Coast and Candlekeep. Q and Zurn go grab some drinks while the rest of us wandered around the streets looking at shops. So many people and shops, one could spend a month just looking at the wares!! We eventually all meet back up at a shop known for having good weapons (at least from the locals) and find a nice new weapon for Markain. It is called Longtooth and can be either a dagger or short sword at will, a powerfull dweomer about it! We sell the shopkeep our two long swords we retrieved from our battle with the Gith and headed out. We find a different shop with cheaper maps and move long to our next
shop. I had heard that in order to buy scrolls you had to go through the local Mages guild, the Watchful Order of Mages and Protectors.
Asking around I find where to petition them and head that way. Upon entering the building it immediately feels comfortable, and I can
feel the tinkling of spells around me that are laid into the room, the door, and from the smiling mage standing in front of me.
I can tell they’re sniffing me out so to speak, but know that is normal and am not concerned about it. The person at the counter is the
Speaker of the Order and has a symbol of an upraised white fist on his robe. He tells me some details about their order and asks if I am interested in joining, and it sounds like an interesting idea, but it would take more time than I currently have. I thank him for the knowledge and we head back towards the dock. Of course, we have to stop on the way there to have yet another drink…can that dwarf ever drink enough?? And he still needs to grab his keg to head back with that!! <scoff>

I will say, begrudgingly, that I’m glad we stopped in. I was lucky enough to purchase a couple of healing potions from a wizard patron, I know they will come in handy at some point! I see Markain heading over to talk to a group of little people, they all seem to be jovially teasing her about getting caught trying to lift a coin from Q’s trousers, a hilarious task indeed since he’s so worried about losing it! Ha!

Eventually we head back out and back to the ship. We set sail and as we are backing out Silmara and I thought it’d be fun to play a trick on the wharfmaster…she ties his shoestrings together and he topples head over heals right into the water! Oh what a great day!

From there we spent about 9 days traveling south along the Sword Coast to Candlekeep. Here we had plenty of time to get everything in order, get plenty of rest to heal up from our battle, and plenty of time for me to copy any spells needing copied. I am continually studying the books I’ve picked up along the way, learning as much as I can in whatever spare time we find.

We got to Candlekeep but realized one big problem…we can’t dock! We have no anchor as this ship wasn’t designed to need one, and we can’t get near enough to swim over…and of course we have no dingy either. So Q was planning on going with Bilge back up the coast to Baldur’s Gate, according to the map we purchased it’s about a days travel back north. There he can pick up the stuff we need and meet us back down here once we’re done with the library. I am thinking that I have enough spells to get those of us interested in going to the library on the land, and it’s only a matter of a walk up to the top of the hill to be there. And that brings us full circle! I have memorized all of the spells necessary to transfer people to the shore and have all of my books ready to take with me in hopes that they’re interested in a couple of them at least. Not sure exactly who is coming with us but I’ll be ready to go when they are. I’m going to stop writing now, Silmara is looking at me with an annoyed expression, I think she’s getting bored…and we all know a bored pixie is a bad thing for all of those near one.

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End of Campaign
The Return

The party exits the temple, leaving what was once a standing shrine in utter ruin. The voice dissipates from your ears and you are able to think more clearly now. You make your way down the makeshift ladder, carefully lowering Draylia’s body to the ground below. You gather gear near the stream’s bridge and Thoben leads Wibur over to where Draylia’s body now rests. Zurn and Marcus lift Draylia’s body over Wiburs back and carefully bind her to keep her stable. Tethroril says a few words while resting his hand and her blood soaked head. Zurn notices that Draylia’s torso and legs bend in uncommon locations as most of her bones have been crushed under the weight of the oaken wood beams.

The party begins the short trek back down the pass towards Candlekeep. Sadebreth, Tethtoril and Marcus walk together and have lengthy discussions about past events as they plan for the return to Candlekeep.

Upon your return, the party is ushered into a western ward in which, until now, none of you have entered before. Tethtoril directs several avowed to attend to Draylia’s body. He then calls upon the party and Marcus to follow him into a small hall while directing another avowed to find Ulraunt, Keeper of the Tomes.

Ulraunt arrives with The Guide, The Gatewarden and Four Watchers. Over the next several hours, information is openly exchanged as the party and others begin to piece together past events. Ulraunt remains quiet for most of the conversation, only speaking to ask questions or bring the discussion back on subject. During the conversation, Tethtoril requests that Life’s Ritual be performed on Draylia in the Candlekeep temple. Ulraunt agrees but, in light of the new information, wishes to force another matter as soon as possible. They begin to plan the logistics for removing the current residents of Candlekeep Temple including the removal of Aboil, Council to Ulraunt and the rest of the Waterdeep clergy. This is a surprising turn of attitude in Ulraunt but you can see the relief upon Tethtoril’s face among others. Plans are made to escort the clergy from Candlekeep and the Gatewarden and watchers leave to prepare.

That evening you watch as the clergy are escorted out the main gates of Candlekeep along with a team of horses and wagon holding their belongings.

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