Baldur's Gate II:
Siege of Dragonspear
Baldur's Gate II:
Siege of Dragonspear
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The Journal of Linn Rhett of Candlekeep, Skald
Hey everyone! I hope y'all don't mind, but I'm casting Raise Dead on this thread.
So after several years I picked the playthrough back up, heavily edited my journal up to the point where I'd stopped playing, and started posting it as a fanfic on fanfiction.net. I've been doing that for quite a while now, like nearly a year i think, and I thought maybe I should post it here, especially since it looks like Photobucket killed the old entries.
Also, looking back on my previous posts here back in 2013 I can't believe I never mentioned this, but this playthrough is a soft no-reloads run. By which I mean, I can reload for convenience, but I can't reload because a party member dies or gets chunked. If I am unable to get a character brought back within three in-game days, they are permadead. These were the rules I was playing by.
I've started playing the game again and gotten a lot farther, though I now keep the journal in a separate word document. This is because when I tried to start playing again the game kept crashing. I found out this was because I had written so much in the in-game journal that the game just couldn't handle it. Took me like a week to transfer the entire journal to a text document.
Anyways, let's start again, from the beginning, shall we? It's...a lot of text, so I'm not going to post it all in one post. This post will cover the beginning of the story up to the fight with Mulahey.
Day 0, Hour 7
I wonder what Gorion could be thinking. Here I am, about to buy supplies and leave on a journey, but he won't tell me why. Not even a hint or something. I'd spend more time writing, but I've only got time for a quick note. I'll tell you more when we get on the road, okay, Mr. Journal?
Day 1, Hour 7
Gorion is dead. Killed by someone who was after me. A big scary man in armor, he was. Gorion told me to run, and I did, but I'm. I'm not sure if it was right, Mr. Journal. I don't know what's going on, and I don't like it, not one bit. I managed to escape with my life, but I'm pretty sure those guys'll be back. Why is all this happening?
I woke up this morning with Immy all up in my face. Turns out she snuck out and followed us. Should've expected as much. I'm real glad she's here though. Said something about a letter, and
how Gorion might still have it on him. We should probably go to the place he fell last night anyway. He deserves a proper burial and all, at least. After that, we'll head to the Friendly Arm Inn. Gorion said he had friends there. I'll write again later, Journal, if I'm still alive by then. Can't be too sure of that, what with all these big scary armor guys and assassins hiding in buildings and all.
Day 1, Hour 16
It's raining something fierce. We're stuck under this outcropping of rock that overhangs the road until the storm passes. I might as well tell you what's happened so far, though I might be kinda hurried and sloppy in my writing 'cause I'm dead tired. Didn't get very good sleep last night and I've just about used up all my energy even though it's only afternoon.
We're traveling with two new guys now. Couple of creepy fellas what's named Xzar and Montaron. They helped Immy and me out earlier by giving us some healing potions, then said it'd only be right for us to help them in return and go to Nashkel with them to investigate something or somewhat. I dunno, they were kinda vague about that. I told them we were already going to meet some folks in the Friendly Arm Inn, and they said they'd go with us if we went to Nashkel after. I don't much like it and I can't shake the feeling I'm being used, but at the same time, it'd be real dangerous to try and go anywhere alone, just me and Immy.
We got some directions from a strange old man in red on the way, just after lunch. Nice to know there are strangers out there willing to help out and all. Had to go offroad to look for shelter when the rain started, though. Found a caravan what had been overturned by bandits, but no shelter. We gave up after a wolf attacked us, seeing that it'd probably be dangerous to wander in the wilderness much longer after that. Luckily, we found this place right by the road. Might as well rest here a while, the storm’s only getting worse.
Day 2, Hour 8
We were attacked by a wolf last night! Luckily, Xzar had it under control and blasted it with some spells. I was surprised to find out he was a mage, but really, looking back, that's kind of a dumb thing to be. Surprised, I mean, considering he's wearing robes and all that. I mean what kind of guy runs around in big flowy wizardy robes if he's not a wizard? Then again, I wouldn't put it past Xzar to go running' around in big flowy wizardy robes even if he wasn't one. He's not really...all there.
You know, earlier when we were fighting a gibberling, he just laughed all weird like and said something about being death. I gave him a look. Montaron told me it is best just not to question these things, and that Xzar is just being his 'usual annoying self'. I still don't get it though.
Anyways, even after the rain stopped, we decided to just set up camp and stay there for the night, since it was dark and hard to see and all that. We're about to set off again, right after we get some breakfast in us. I hope we make it to the Friendly Arm soon.
Day 2, Hour 17
We've made it! We've finally made it! And here's the best part – Gorion's friends were planning on going to Nashkel too! So, we're gonna travel as one big group! Isn't that great?
Khalid and Jaheira both seem real nice. They said Gorion would've wanted them looking after me, and to be honest, Mr. Journal, I'm perfectly fine with that. Me and Immy, we've spent all our lives in Candlekeep. I don't know the first thing about what it's like out here, except that there're apparently assassins. Lots of assassins. Too many assassins. We've had it real tough just trying to get here. Having someone who knows how stuff works out here, and isn't all creepy and suspicious like Xzar and Montaron are … well, let's just say I'm glad for it, Mr. Journal.
Speaking of assassins, we ran into another one just outside the inn what tried to kill me! Would've been a goner but for Xzar and Montaron's help. There may be something off about them, but they sure are useful to have around. We found out from a note we got off the guy's body that some asshole's gone and put a price on my head. I'm not sure what anyone would want with me, though, Mr. Journal. I've done nothing. This is my first time ever outside Candlekeep's walls, and all I ever did in there was read stories, write songs, imagine what it'd be like to be one of them great bards what made those epics about all the old heroes. Oh, and chores. I did those too. Old Winthrop and Reevor always made me do those. But, I seriously doubt all this is about those rats I killed, Mr. Journal. Even if their relatives wanted revenge or something, they couldn't hire assassins. I mean, they're rats. They only speak Rat. Ain't ever met anyone what could speak Rat. Except maybe a wererat, but I've never met one of those.
But anyways, I've met with up with Gorion's old friends, just like he said to do if something bad happened, so things should be fine for now, I think. Jaheira says we're leaving first thing in the morning tomorrow, and that I should get a good night's sleep tonight so I'll be all fresh for the road and whatnot. We've all rented out rooms for the night, and they're all real nice. Even nicer than my room back in Candlekeep!
I did have a bit of trouble finding my room, though. Accidentally walked in on a couple of people before finding the right one. The first time, I barged in on some poor lady what called herself Unshey, says she's a writer. She wasn't happy with me at first, but we ended up talking for a while. She told me about some ogre what had stolen her Girdle of Piercing. I said I'd keep an eye out for it when I left tomorrow, but that my group had somewhere to go so we probably wouldn't have time to go off looking for it or anything. I know I might be a bad person for thinking this, Mr. Journal, but I really hope we don't find the ogre what took her girdle. I don't think I can handle myself against an ogre. I've seen them in pictures before, and they're just so big! He'd probably crush me to goo before I could hit him even once! I think Unshey understood our situation, though.
The second guy I accidentally walked in on thought I was the cleaning lady, of all things, and he went and tried to shove a pair of gold pants right in my face. It was real awkward, Mr. Journal. He didn't even apologize, you know. Just 'thanked' me for not running off with his ridiculous pants and stealing them. Who the heck would even want such garish things!?
Anyways, I'm in my room for the night now, and I've been studying these scrolls we got off that wizard. They really don't make much sense to me right now, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it someday. Me, casting magic. Could you even imagine, Mr. Journal?
I would so make the coolest wizard.
Day 3, Hour 10
So this morning I came downstairs to get some breakfast, and this total jerk of a half-orc mistook me for a barmaid, then acted like it was all my fault when he found out I wasn't! Rude. Anyway, it took a while for Khalid and Jaheira to come downstairs, so I talked with the others for a while. Well, to Immy, at least. Xzar and Montaron went off to talk in private. Kept shooting weird looks back at us, though. There's something that ain't right about those two, Mr. Journal. I just don't know what.
When Khalid and Jaheira showed up, they told us more about what's going on in Nashkel, at least what they've heard. Apparently, Nashkel's where a lot of our iron comes from up here on the Sword Coast, and a lot of that iron's been going bad. Swords breaking a touch, cups crumbling to dust with the drink still in them, that sort of thing. It's wild. I'd heard something about iron problems from a few travelers, back when I was in Candlekeep, but I never really knew what it was about. Didn't seem to be a problem that reached there. So, anyway, that's why Khalid and Jaheira are going to Nashkel. Something sinister's going on there, and some group they're part of sent them to go investigate. I asked them what group, but they wouldn't tell me. Xzar and Montaron came over during about the middle of the explanation to listen. Montaron says that he and Xzar are going for the same reason. But, he won't tell me who they work for, either. All I know, Mr. Journal, is that it sounds like something real big is going on, and I don't got much of a choice but to end up all involved with it. I mean, what else am I gonna do? Stay behind and wait for more assassins to find me? I don't much like that option.
After the meal, I treated everyone to a rousing epic performance of one of my very most favorite poems, because I am just the best bard. I don't think they appreciated it though. Except maybe Xzar, he seemed to like it. Then again, he could've been giggling and clapping about something else entirely. I won't even pretend to know what goes on in that man's head.
Jaheira's off right now to leave a small donation at the temple, says she does it every time she visits because she knows the head priestess or something. We'll be heading off once we get back.
Day 4, Hour 0
We've been traveling all day, and we made it to Beregost tonight. I think that means we're halfway to Nashkel or something like that. Wasn't anything that eventful on the way in, just a couple gibberlings and some bandits what attacked us, but it was nothing we couldn't handle. I'm still not used to this whole 'fighting' thing, though, Mr. Journal. When we got to the inn tonight, some drunk guy attacked us for being adventurers. Montaron. Um. Montaron stabbed him. There. There was so much blood, Mr. Journal. It was all on the floor and on Montaron's hands and everything. He didn't have to stab him. I don't see why we couldn't have just tried to talk it out. Then again, I guess maybe that's not really a good idea when the drunk guy has a knife and stuff. I'm still upset it came to that, though. I don't like it when people get hurt. Not at all.
Oh! Something exciting happened back this morning, though. We weren't five minutes out of the Friendly Arm Inn when Immy saw something sparkling under a tree! It was a ring of some sort, half buried in the dirt. We think it's magic, but we haven't had time to get it identified yet. Jaheira says we can do that tomorrow. We're probably going to stay a day or so in Beregost, to rest up and restock and whatnot. Jaheira says that the stretch from Beregost to Nashkel is way more dangerous than the more northerly part of the road, so we gotta be prepared and stuff. But we don't have to worry about that until tomorrow, okay? Now it is very late, and it is time for sleeping. Nothing more.
Good night, Mr. Journal.
Day 4, Hour 10
As it turns out, restocking and preparing ourselves for the road took a lot less time than I thought it would. I always thought that sort of thing would take a few days, but I guess a morning is enough. Jaheira made us all get up real early so we could get going before it got too late in the day. We'll be back on the road right after lunch. Jaheira says we shouldn't waste any time. And Xzar and Montaron agree with her too. That's weird, because they usually don't agree with each other. There was a lot of shouting between them back on the road to Beregost, and Monty got in an argument with Khalid last night over the whole stabbing thing. It was loud. Anyway, we're just about done stocking up. We found the temple and the smithy easy enough, and got most of what we need there.
Also – I'd better write this down in case I need to remember it later – I heard from a priest at the temple that there's some crazy evil cleric with a price on his head running loose and killing people. So, we should keep an eye out and be careful and stuff. I don't wanna run into that guy.
P.S. Immy got the ring identified at the smithy while Jaheira was haggling for arrows. She only told me about it though, pretended she lost it on the way there. She says it's a ring what can double the spells a mage can cast! She's worried, though, that if she went and told the group, then Xzar would've ended up with it, and she doesn't trust Xzar with something like that. That's why she lied. Can't say I blame her.
Day 4, Hour 16
I'm scared, Mr. Journal.
On our way here, we ran into the most horrible creatures – Jaheira called them 'ogrillons', half ogres or something – and they. They killed Montaron! I can't say I was all that fond of the little jerk, or that I trusted him any farther than I could throw him, but that doesn't mean I wanted him to die! That's too much! I mean, one second he was there, being a jerk to all of us, and the next, he's smeared all over the ground, can't even recognize him. It's just. It's too much. None of my adventure stories ever said anything about this part.
Just now, I've been thinking about how easy it is to, well, lose someone, you know? Why do people have to die, Mr. Journal? I don't like it. Not at all. No more. Just. No more. We have to protect each other. We gotta survive. All of us. We just gotta.
Xzar … doesn't seem too cut-up about his friend's death. Actually, he's in a pretty good mood about it. It is the weirdest thing ever and I don't see how he can take this so light. He is so unnerving, Mr. Journal. He's singing right now. About rabbits. Montaron just died!
We buried what was left of Montaron before moving on. Least we can do is make sure the wild animals don't get at him. Gods, Mr. Journal, I think I'm gonna throw up.
We've stopped a bit further down the road for a quick dinner, can't travel if we don't eat. After that we're moving on to Nashkel. Jaheira says if we hurry we can make it there tonight. I can smell the food cooking from here.
It smells terrible. I knew it was a mistake to let Immy cook.
Day 5, Hour 7
I'm sorry, Mr. Journal, I was so damn tired after the crap we had to put up with after reaching Nashkel that I just fell in my bed without writing. Here's what you missed.
We got into Nashkel real late at night, and the guards stopped us at the town entrance, had to check us out first, make sure we weren't bandits or anything. Apparently, there've been lots of suspicious guys around recently. On our way to the inn, we met a nice monk all the way from Calimshan named Rasaad who agreed to help us out after hearing about why we'd come here to Nashkel. He serves Selune, and has a real beautiful philosophy on how to live life. I feel like things are already a lot calmer with him around. Khalid seems to be glad to have a fellow Calishite in the party, too. It's so nice when people get along.
Of course, soon as we set food in the inn, another one of them damn assassins showed up. Looks like the price on my head has gone up by about 400 gold, by the way. Anyway, she caused a lot of trouble, and ruined the evening for several bar patrons just trying to have a drink in peace. Seriously, who casts an Entangle spell indoors!? The fight was tough, but we managed to pull through. No thanks to me, though. I got hit with a Hold Person spell early on, so I didn't help much. One second I'm trying to get my quarterstaff out and the next, wham! Can't move. Was real scary. Also, a bit embarrassing. Couldn't do much but watch the whole fight.
Today, we're going to talk to Berrun Ghastkill, the mayor of Nashkel. We're leaving to go see him right after breakfast. Don't know what comes after that, though.
Day 5, Hour 12
So, turns out we're supposed to go investigate the Nashkel Mines. We talked to Berrun Ghastkill, and he gave us the lowdown on the situation. There's been tainted iron what's been coming up from its depths, and that's why metal stuff in these parts has been crumbling and breaking recently. Got everyone on edge, it does. And it's our job to get to the bottom of what's going on. We've come all the way out here, but that jerk of a foreman won't let us in to investigate. Says it's too dangerous down there. Apparently the last guy what went down there to investigate a couple months ago never came back, and on top of that, for the last few weeks the miners have been going on about demon sightings. Sounds scary down there, Mr. Journal. It's really got me thinking. If it's too dangerous in the mines for adventurers and sellswords and the like, then why in the Hells are they still making the miners go down there and risk themselves just to pull up more bad iron!? Doesn't make a lick of sense, if you ask me.
Anyways, Jaheira's talking to the foreman right now, trying to negotiate. Hopefully she'll get somewhere. In the meantime, I'm just gonna sit here and keep writing. Not much else to do in this pit.
Oh! We stopped to have a conversation with a really nice friendly guy who had a lot to say while we were on our way out of Nashkel. He was very excited to hear about our adventures and things. For some reason, though, everyone else looked annoyed. Can't for the life of me imagine why. Things got weird after that though, when the guy got all nervous and started asking if we were gonna throw rocks at him. Over and over. I wonder what made him think that.
Oh, also, also, we stopped at the store to stock up on provisions and whatnot, and I got me a real weapon! No more glorified stick! It's a warhammer, and I can't wait to learn to use it good!
Once we left town, we got held up by a group of bandits on our way to the mines. They already had archers trained on us and everything! I was almost sure we were dead meat there, Mr. Journal, but then we were saved by the timely arrival of . . . the same guy what thought I was a serving wench at the Friendly Arm Inn! I'm for sure it was him! Turns out he's out for revenge, and for some reason he's heard of me and thinks it might be helpful for us to work together. But we were all busy and on the way to the mines, so I told him some other time maybe. We ain't got time to be going chasing after some stranger's revenge fantasies. He says he'll be at the Friendly Arm if we change our minds. Fat chance I'm ever gonna help him, though, Mr. Journal. He still rubs me the wrong way. Call me a serving wench. Pah!
Looks like Jaheira's convinced the foreman to let us in the mines. Gotta go for now. I'll write you later, Mr. Journal!
Day 5, Hour 16
We've lost Xzar. If only we'd been more prepared-! The damn mine is full of stinkin' kobolds. I can only hope the rest of us make it out alive.
Gods. This is all my fault, isn't it. If I'd gone and made Immy give Xzar that ring, then maybe he'd . . . No. No, I can't go down that road now. For now I've gotta concentrate on helping the other, or else we'll all end up the same way. Why's everything got to be so damn dark, Mr. Journal? It's not supposed to be this way. It's not. I won't believe it.
We can't go no further today. I'm hurt real bad and need to rest, and Jaheira's all out of spells. She says she'll heal me as soon as she has them prepared again.
So many damn kobolds down here...
Day 6, Hour 8?
I'm feeling a lot better now that I've been healed and all. Man, am I glad Jaheira's with us, if she weren't we'd all be done for by now. I still feel like there's a weight in my chest though. I keep seeing Xzar die over and over when I close my eyes. I've been trying to block it out, but it's hard, Mr. Journal. I. I want to make sure this never happens again. But, I'm not quite sure how to go about that. I mean, I know a little about how to fight, and I do what I can to help Khalid and Jaheira and all, but when it comes to protecting others, I don't know. I just feel so damn helpless. Maybe I'm not cut out for this.
But it's not like I've got much of a choice. What else am I gonna do? Stay behind in town and wait patiently for more of them assassins to find me? Cut out for it or not, this is my life now. Can only keep pushing on.
Anyways, this morning at breakfast, or at least I think it's morning, kind of hard to tell what with us being underground and all. But, this morning, Rasaad noticed that I was a little bothered by recent events and all. Okay, well, a lot bothered. We spent some time talking, and it really helped. A lot. Probably the only reason I only complained to you for a few sentences instead of for a few pages, Mr. Journal. He ended up telling me about how he became a monk, and what he was doing all the way up here in the North. It sounds like he's had a tough time of it. Almost enough to make me feel ashamed of all the whining I've been doing, Mr. Journal. I'm not the only one who's got it bad, after all.
We should probably get going. We've gotta get to the bottom of what's going on in these mines, so we can get the Hells out of here already!
Day 6, Hour 9?
It's only been an hour but we have to stop again already! Jaheira's used all her healing spells again, and the kobolds put several arrows through Immy! Oh, are we ever getting out of here!?
Day 7, Hour ???
We're finally ready to get on the move again. Took even longer than it should have since more kobolds found us while we were resting, and we had to take them out all while protecting Immy, who was still hurt from the last fight. Thank Tymora she's all right.
At least there've been no more deaths since Xzar's. I don't think I could stand anyone else dying. It's just too much. You know, Mr. Journal, I don't even know what time it is right now. Day, night, it all gets all jumbled up and smooshed together when there's no sun to help you keep track.
Still Day 7.
Between kobolds and giant spiders with nasty poison, we're out of resources again. We're down to our last potion, Jaheira's used up all her spells, and she and Khalid are in awful shape. It's like we spend more time hiding away and trying to heal ourselves than we do actually moving forward. It's starting to feel awful repetitive.
It's enough to make a girl's morale just sink down into the mud.
Day 7? 8? Probably 8 by now, we've been stopped a long time.
Khalid and Jaheira are as good as new now, Finally, we can keep moving. I feel as if I've been sitting around on the nasty damp floor forever. At least I made some more progress trying to figure out these darn scrolls, so I'm that much closer to maybe learning magic! Tiny silver linings, Mr. Journal, tiny silver linings.
Damn kobolds and their stupid flaming arrows stupid kobolds suck stupid stupid kobolds I hate them and they need to stop having flaming arrows stupid damn kobolds stupid stupid stupid--
I just bumped into Khalid 'cause I wasn't watching where I was going. I'm sorry, Mr. Journal. I can't write in you while I'm walking no more.
Yeah I'm pretty sure it's Day 8 now.
Whew! It's over, Mr. Journal! We finally found the guy responsible for all of this! Some half-orc cleric of Cyric called Mulahey, hiding out on this cave on an island in the middle of an underground lake. Hell of a secret base, huh? Who'd have thunk something like this would even be down here? It's wild!
Anyway, we made him pay for what he'd done to the iron in the mines, and for making us go through all that grief to find him. I mean, of course we tried to talk to him first, do this the peaceful way, but he was having none of that. And then, when we nearly had him beat, he changed his tune and said we could stop fighting and talk like civilized people. But it was a trick! He used it to distract us and call more of his goons to surround us! Messed us up but good! Now it may be wrong of me, Mr. Journal, but I took real pleasure introducing him to my warhammer after that bullshit, let me tell you. My warhammer is boss. It hammers the boss. It's a bosshammer.
We found some letters and from looking at them it's clear Mulahey was just a lackey of some guy with a bigger plan. I guess I'll ask Jaheira what that all means for us sometime after we get back to Nashkel and all. Right now, though, our main concern should be getting out of here. Just gonna stop in long enough for Jaheira to cast some healing spells and then it's back to Nashkel. Nothing keeping us in this dung heap anymore.
We found lots of loot in Mulahey's lair, though. Some cool boots, and a magic shortsword, which is good, since Immy's broke in the battle. There's another sword in there too, real pretty and all, but we can't pick it up. Immy tried and it straight up wouldn't budge. Best to just leave it there. Found some potions and a lot of scrolls too. They'll come in handy.
...Hold on, Mr. Journal. Noises. In the other room. Gonna go check it out. If I'm not back in ten minutes, avenge my death. I know you can. Just. Give them papercuts or something, okay?
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This chunk will cover from Xan joining the party to after the Prism quest. Would've been longer but I went way over the character limit.
I should probably say again that when I picked the playthrough back up I heavily edited this, and a lot of the entries have new passages that they didn't back then. Still, I hope you like this new. improved version.
Oh, also, I got rid of a lot of the intentional misspellings and transcribed accent stuff.
Day 8, Hour ???
(The following scrawl is barely legible.)
Back. Still alive. No need to avenge death. Will write later. Stuff going on.
Day 8, Hour 5
Finally, we're out! Looks to be just before daybreak. To think, in a couple of hours there'll be the sun and all, and things'll be all bright and good again.
Right, right, I know, you probably wanna know what happened, right, Mr. Journal? Well, turns out some of the kobold goons Mulahey called during the fight had run off to the next room once they realized they were outnumbered and all, and they were tormenting some poor elf guy what was all tied up. So we beat the kobolds and freed the guy, right? He says his name is Xan. He's a wizard and he's been held prisoner here for more than two months. Poor guy, no wonder he looks so damn haggard. Oh, and that weird sword from before, the one what Immy couldn't even pick up? That's his. Called a 'moonblade' or something, and only he can use it. Kinda strange, though. Wizard with a sword.
Anyways, he was hurt pretty bad but Jaheira was out of spells after the fight, so all she could do was to bind his wounds real good so he weren't bleeding no more. Lucky for us, Xan knew about a back exit, real close to where we were. He'd overhead Mulahey talking about it. So we followed him out. Had to fight a couple of oozes on the way though. And the damn tunnel collapsed behind us. We barely made it out okay. But, we're fine now. We can rest, and Jaheira can prepare her spells, and then we can go back to Nashkel and figure out to do next.
Xan's coming with us. Turns out he was sent here all the way from his elfy city of Ever-Something-or-Other to investigate the iron crisis, just like what we're doing. So, we've decided to band together for now. There's safety in numbers, after all, though Xan says that no matter how many of us there are, it's a futile endeavor and it's doomed from the start. He really doesn't have a very good attitude about things, Mr. Journal. Then again, the man's been stuck down in those mines for two and a half months, so I guess I can't blame him for being in a bad mood. I mean, I'd be too, if I were him.
Day 8, Hour 21
We've been resting here for a while. I've been studying some of these scrolls some more, and I actually got one figured out, I think! I'm pretty sure I can cast Magic Missile now. Can't wait to try it out. The others are still a little confusing, though. Maybe I'll ask Xan for help once we get back to Nashkel and he's had some time to recover and all. I mean, he's a wizard, he probably knows all about this kind of stuff, right?
Oh, speaking of Xan. He. He actually cried when the sun came up, you know. He hadn't seen it for so long. I'm pretty sure they were tears of joy but it still kind of made my chest hurt a little to watch him, and I don't know why. Maybe because I feel kind of bad for him. I can't even begin to imagine what it must have been like, being trapped down there for so long. I mean, I was in those mines for all of two days and I thought I was about to go mad!
Anyways, I really didn't do much today. I went and had a quick nap around noon while we were waiting for Jaheira to finish preparing her spells. Like, I just lay down on the ground and napped. Was real nice. Got dust in my hair, though. That was a bit less nice. After that, I talked to Rasaad for a bit. He told me something about how we're all connected through the light or something. Real deep stuff. I get the feeling most of it went right over my head, though I tried to keep up, Mr. Journal, I really did. He said something about my inner light too – something about my 'allure' drawing others to me. I gotta admit, I blushed a little at that, Mr. Journal. I think he was trying to say I was charming or something, but I can't be all the way sure, since a lot of the time those sophisticated, pretty kind of words he uses slip right by me before I can figure out what they mean. It's a bit upsetting. I'm a damn bard, I should be better with words than this.
Though, you know what, Mr. Journal? I'm pretty sure that when it comes to inner light, he's got me beat.
Anyway, I think everyone's about ready to go back to Nashkel, if we can find where that is. Everything around here looks way unfamiliar. The ground is dry and cracked, and there's big spiky plants everywhere. I've never seen anything like it before. I guess we'll just take our best guess, pick a direction, and start walking. I sure hope we can see our way around all right. The sun's already down, and it's only like to get darker from here. Jaheira says we've already lost enough time, though, and we're less likely to run into bandits at night besides. Wish us luck, Mr. Journal!
Day 9, Hour 18.
We spent all last night walking through the wilderness. We stopped beneath some trees somewhere to rest for an hour or so right before sunrise, but kept going after that. Jaheira was right about the whole no bandits thing, we didn't get attacked by anything at all during the whole trip! This morning, we made it back to Nashkel, or, the carnival outside of Nashkel, anyway.
We decided to look around a bit and do some shopping before going back to town, since it was early and there was so much there to see. There was one man reciting poetry, and another who mimicked our every word. There was even a wizard who told us he could show us the world's only exploding ogre! I admit I was a little curious, Mr. Journal, but in the end I told him I didn't want to see it. Making an ogre explode just for fun sounds like a pretty mean thing to do, after all. I think I'd end up feeling sorry for the ogre. From the others' reactions, I don't think they much wanted to see an ogre explode either. Except Immy, she seemed pretty interested in the exploding ogre, but I talked to her and she agreed that it did seem kind of mean. Like kicking a puppy. A really big ugly puppy that could probably smash you into a puddle of goo, but still.
We did find some pretty cool stuff for sale in the tents, though. We're going to have to come back sometime when we've got more coin to spread around. But, in one of the tents, there was a crazy wizard trying to kill a lady for being a witch, which already makes no sense. He thought she was going to use her magic to kill all the cows and seduce all the young men, which, honestly, sounds like something a villain out of a children's storybook would do, not someone in real life. I tried to tell him he had probably read one too many stories for his own good and that maybe he shouldn't go around trying to kill random shopkeepers. I mean, this lady was terrified and not even fighting back, I'm pretty sure if she'd been some powerful evil witch she would've used her magic to defend herself.
Of course, the crazy wizard didn't listen to reason. He just got mad at us for questioning whether the lady was really an evil witch and attacked us. He knew a lot of really scary spells. Next thing we knew, half of us had been hit with acid arrows, and it wouldn't stop burning. I heard some of the other screaming. I was lucky, I didn't get hit, but then he cast a spell at me, and I just got real scared all of a sudden. I couldn't help but run around and scream and try to get as far away from him as I could. Turns out most of the others got hit by the same fear spell, and it was just Xan and Rasaad left to take him down. Somehow they managed to win, but they were both near-dead at the end of it all. They probably would've been done for if Jaheira hadn't healed them after. Was a real relief that she could help them. I don't think I could handle any more death.
Those two are real brave, though, Mr. Journal, protecting all of us like that. Especially Rasaad, he was getting all up in that guy's face, up close and personal, even when he was fixing to just fall over right there! Oh, and the lady was real grateful for the help, too.
After we were sure Rasaad and Xan weren't going to keel over or anything, we went back to Nashkel and reported back to the mayor, who gave us a really big cash reward. I don't think I've ever seen so much money in my life, Mr. Journal. Of course, Jaheira's holding on to it for safekeeping for now. She is the leader, after all.
There was another assassin waiting for us outside the inn. This time it was a mage who threw axes. I'm not even joking. I wish I was. We beat him up good though. The town guards helped. Turns out they don't take kindly to assassins attacking people in the streets in broad daylight. We're inside the inn now. Xan's still kind of freaking out over what happened. I . . . may have forgotten to tell him about the whole assassins being after me thing, and all. What with all the goings on, it just plain slipped my mind. I really hope he stops shouting about it sometime soon. People are starting to stare at us.
Anyway, Mr. Journal, I am dead tired and I think I'm just going to go to bed now. I really hope the walls are thick enough that if Xan keeps carrying on out here in the main room, I won't hear it.
Day 10, Hour 8
I had a real bad dream last night. I kept seeing Gorion die, over and over, the same scene from last week, and it just wouldn't stop. I woke up screaming. Immy must have heard me from the next room over, because she showed up pretty soon after I woke up saying it'd sounded like someone was being murdered. And, well, I guess someone was, in my dreams at least, and -
I don't want to write about this anymore, Mr. Journal. I'll just move on, if that's okay.
I was fooling around with another scroll this morning while I was waiting for the others to get up and come into the main room, and somehow I managed to summon a familiar! I thought that was only for real wizards, but I guess my studying's gone and made me just magic enough for it. Oh, he's the best familiar, Mr. Journal. He's just like a little mini-dragon, with his little wings, and his little snout, and little tiny spikes on his head. He is the most adorable and I am going to take the best care of him ever. He's asleep in my pack right now. He likes it in there since it's all warm and whatnot.
Anyways, we discussed what to do next over breakfast this morning, and Jaheira says we need to keep a low profile and not go to Beregost right away to investigate this “Tranzig” guy what's referenced in Mulahey's letters. She says we might draw too much attention to ourselves if we act all rashly and go where the letters say he is right away, and he might get wind of our coming there or something.
And, I think she has a point. We can't afford to bungle this up. See, we found a letter on the assassin what attacked us last night, Mr. Journal. Another bounty notice. And apparently they're not just out for my blood anymore. They've put a bounty on all our heads now. And, well, Tranzig was mentioned in that note too. Signed by someone called Tazok. Mulahey said that name too, just before we fought him. Thought at first he'd been the ones what sent us. Must be his boss or something.
So basically, Mr. Journal, I'm more caught up in this than I thought. And, if the guys what're messing with the iron are the same ones what've been tracking me down and trying to get me killed, then that means they know who we are. Not only that, since it's pretty clear from this bounty notice they know about Khalid and Jaheira and the others, they've probably got spies watching us. So we can't act too rashly.
Xan mentioned he'd overheard some things about Tranzig while he was being held captive down in the mines. Says he's some sort of middleman, relayed messages between Mulahey and his superiors. Mulahey apparently didn't like him much. Xan also said he'd heard Mulahey was fixing to send word to Tranzig about something important, status update on his iron-sabotaging plan or something, about a week from now. He suggested we wait until then and then go there in disguise and pretend to be sent by Mulahey, messengers and whatnot, and that if we did it that way there'd be slightly less chance of our being caught and killed. He made a pretty big effort to emphasize the “slightly” part of that, though.
The others thought it was a good idea, so we're going to stay around Nashkel for a few days, check in town to see if anyone has any odd jobs what we could help with, maybe explore a bit, get a feel for the surrounding area. Feels nice to have things not be so hurried for a bit.
Day 10, Hour 21
So some guy mistook me for a famous bounty hunter this morning, Greywolf or somesuch, but I told him he'd made a mistake. Turns out the guy is the town bounty man, name of Oublek, and he's looking for Greywolf because he's got some money waiting to be collected for the last job he did. After that, he told us about all the bounties what hadn't been collected yet, and we ended up going on a bounty hunt ourselves. Kind of funny when you think about it, considering last night we were the hunted. By lawless assassins, sure, but still, it makes me chuckle a little. I guess all this crap what's been going on since I left Candlekeep has mucked with my sense of humor a bit, had it take a turn for the morbid, that sort of thing.
Anyways, where was I? Right, we took on a job from the bounty man. Basically, this artist guy, Prism, stole some emeralds a few days back, and our job was to bring him to justice and get the stones back. First thing we did was go down to the tavern, try to dig up some rumors about where Prism might've run off to. And of course, to get anything out of anyone, you got to buy some drinks, share some drinks, drink with folks! All sorts of drinking! So, we were all drinking, and talking, and I may have sung a song or two somewhere in there, but at first, we didn't hear nothing on this Prism guy. But, we did find out some interesting info about stuff in the area – a big waterfall to the west, bandit activity going crazy on the roads, Mayor Ghastkill's impressive hat collection, that sort of thing. Eventually, though, we talked to one man what'd seen him heading south, so south we went. Xan was acting real strange on the way out of town. Walking a little wobbly, talking weird, stuff like that. I. I think he might've been tipsy. Gods, but he's a lightweight!
It turns out the info we got was good, because we actually did find Prism. It turns out he was trying to complete this sculpture of this pretty elf lady, been carving it into this big cliff for ages, and he'd stole the emeralds to use for her eyes. He begged us to at least let him finish his sculpting before doing our work, as he was almost done and he'd been at it for so very long. Looked right pitiful, he did. I don't think anyone could've said no to that face. So, we decided we'd watch over him and make sure he finished before deciding what to do with him, and that's when the famous bounty hunter Oublek had mistaken me for showed up. And let me say, that guy looked absolutely nothing like me! Bounty man must've been hitting the sauce, I say! So, old Greywolf attacked us because he was a huge jerk what wanted us out of the way so he could take the bounty for himself even though we were the ones what accepted the job. So, we had to defend ourselves, obviously.
Oh, and speaking of hitting the sauce, I count three spells Xan tried to cast at the guy during that fight what ended up hitting the ground and doing nothing. I'm telling you, Mr. Journal, the man was drunk! After only three drinks, too! Gods!
We managed to fend the guy off though, Xan's . . . issues aside. You should have seen that big scary bounty hunter's face when he realized he was beat and ran off to go lick his wounds. Soon after he left, Prism finished his sculpture. He looked at us, smiled the oddest smile, and then just . . . dropped dead on the spot. The man literally worked himself to death. That was some scary obsession he must have had with that elf lady. I may be a bard, but sometimes I don't think I'll ever understand artists.
So, after taking back the emeralds, we dug him a grave and gave him what short burial we could. He deserved at least that much. After that, with a real heavy feeling inside, we went back to town to hand the emeralds over to Oublek and collect the bounty. I can't help but feel sad about the whole episode, Mr. Journal. These last couple weeks, it feels like death follows me wherever I go. I don't think there's been even one day since I left Candlekeep that I haven't seen someone or something die. It really wears on a girl.
So when we got to Nashkel, we reported in to Oublek and got our pay. Whether the whole ordeal was worth it, I can't really say. After that, we headed back to the inn to rest. On the way there, Xan shouted loud enough for the whole damn town to hear that he felt insignificant. Gods. This is ridiculous. AFTER ONLY THREE DRINKS.
We should probably get our info some other way from now on, Mr. Journal.
Day 11, Hour 4
Damn nightmares. I had another one last night. This time it was about the mines. I saw Mulahey's ghost there. He looked scared. Pleading, almost. And then, there was a dagger made of bone. When I saw it, I knew that if I stabbed him with it, even his ghost would be gone forever, and there'd be no trace of him left. Anywhere. Not anywhere on all the Planes. I picked it up, and I pointed it at him, and he looked at me with these big, wide, pitiful eyes. I almost did it, Mr. Journal. But when I got ready to, I felt my hands start to shake, and I knew I just couldn't. It was too much. So I dropped the dagger, and the ghost faded away. Moving on to whatever afterlife Cyric's followers go to, I guess. And then, the dagger rose up and ran me clean through. It was all scary, and weird, and there was this voice shouting at me that I would learn.
I woke up in a cold sweat, and something felt . . . different, but I can't quite put my finger on what. These dreams are the worst., Mr. Journal. I hope I can get a better sleep tonight. But right now, it's daytime, and I've got other things to think about.
Breakfast was . . . interesting, for want of a better word. Xan had a splitting headache, and he was moaning about it the whole time. Hangover, most likely. Told you he was drunk yesterday. I think he's pretty embarrassed about it, too – when Immy brought it up, he got all red and sputtery. Blushed right up to the tips of his ears, he did. It was actually kind of adorable, though I'd never say that to his face.
Oh! I got to sit next to Rasaad this morning. He was real quiet, but he looked like he was in a good mood.
I'm in a good mood too.
Wonder what we're gonna do today? It's nice to play things by ear for a bit, isn't it. We've been pretty lazy so far, though. It's past lunchtime, and we haven't even left the inn yet. We've mostly just been sitting in the common room chatting. Well, except Xan, he went back to his room right after breakfast to go lie down. You know, because of the hangover. We should probably get going as soon as he comes back out here.
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This chunk covers the unsuccessful search for Captain Brage up to right before the fight with Tranzig.
Day 11, Hour 22
So, we talked to the bounty man again, and this time we're after the murderous captain of the guard, Brage. Definitely someone what needs to be brought to justice. Apparently he went mad and killed a bunch of folk, then ran off into the wilderness with nary a word! From what I've heard, there are already other mercenaries after him, so we might not be the first ones what find him, but a criminal this bad calls for force in numbers. We've still got plenty of time before we have to head up to Beregost, so while we're here, we might as well do what we can to help with the search. We stopped by the carnival on our way out of town and used the reward we got yesterday to buy this necklace of missiles we were looking at the other day but didn't have the cash for at the time. It is the coolest thing ever. Rasaad's wearing it now. We all agreed he could make the best use of it, since Immy's gotta fight long ranged, Khalid's got his hands full, Jaheira and Xan already have their own spells they can use, and I got one spell I can use, plus my bard stuff and my bosshammer. Rasaad's mostly just got his fists.
Anyways, we're checking the surrounding area, as we've heard he's probably still somewhere in the wilderness surrounding Nashkel. So far, we've found nothing. Xan is convinced that this whole thing is a terrible idea and we're just begging to get ourselves killed, but what're we supposed to do, just let the guy keep wandering around killing people?
And speaking of killing, just thought you might like to know we've run into nothing what tried to kill us today. No fighting, no death. It's like a breath of fresh air.
It's gotten dark now, so we've set up camp. It's my turn to cook tonight, so I've got to leave you for now, Mr. Journal.
Day 12, Hour 6
We're getting an early start this morning so we can cover as much ground as possible before nightfall. We got less than a week to try bringing this guy to justice, after all, so we can't waste any time. Gotta get to Beregost by the end of the week, after all. Khalid's making breakfast right now. Soon as we eat, we'll get going.
I'm going to stop here for now, Mr. Journal. Now seems as good a time as any to ask Xan for help with these confusing as hell scrolls.
Day 12, Hour 19
Today was just full of adventure!
Right before breakfast, I showed Xan some of those scrolls, and asked him to help me figure them out. Well, soon as I started asking him about magical theory and whatnot, he just couldn't shut up! If I didn't know better, I'd say he was enjoying himself, even! Good to know there's something he really likes talking about other than, you know, death and doom and all.
Anyways, with his help, I learned a few new spells, and I can't wait to try using them! There were a couple of the scrolls even he couldn't muddle out though – turns out he knows next to nothing about the Evocation school. Can't even manage a Magic Missile. But, you know, that don't make him any less of a good mage, I think. Sure as hell still knows more spells than I ever will. I'm real glad I've got someone like him to help me out with learning magic and all, Mr. Journal, else I'd still be stuck on the basics!
Almost as soon as we actually got going, we ran into a farmer whose cow was being attacked by xvarts – these nasty little blue things what got the shrillest voices you've ever heard. So we jumped in to help him out. It was real easy after Xan dropped a sleep spell on them. It feels good to help people. Also cows. I'm real glad the cow is okay.
Aside from that little skirmish, though, it was a real pretty morning to be walking around in the wilderness, and pretty soon everyone was in high spirits. Immy was humming a bit and skipping, and Jaheira was less bossy than usual. It was great. Hells, even Xan was in a good mood. I caught him smiling a little, and I even pointed it out. Was half expecting him to just frown and deny it, then say something about doom, I mean that seems to be a thing he does, but he didn't. Instead he just said that around us, he almost felt like we had a chance. I just. Wow. You know, Mr. Journal, he actually has a real nice smile. It's a shame he doesn't do it more often. He'd probably have less wrinkles if he did.
Unfortunately, all of this was pretty short-lived, because right around that time we were attacked by a group of kobolds, and then Xan went all pale and just froze up. Wouldn't even fight. Never realized how terrified he was of them, not that I blame him, after what he's been through. Was a pretty easy fight even without his help, though. But it had the most dire of consequences – my poor, poor bosshammer gave up the ghost. My faithful bosshammer, which has journeyed steadfast beside me since we first marched to the Nashkel Mines. A moment of silence please, Mr. Journal, for my bosshammer. I think I'm starting to tear up a little, here. Damn this iron crisis. My bosshammer will be avenged!
No, but seriously, Mr. Journal, now I'm gonna have to spring for a new one once we get back to town. I was saving my portion of the gold, dammit. And after we all chipped in to get that necklace, I've got precious little left.
After that, we got attacked by a whole bunch of things while we traveled around. A lot of them were ogres. So many damn ogres. Oh! That reminds me, the weirdest thing happened today. While we were fighting one of the ogres, Rasaad got hurt real bad, I remember seeing him drop to his knees, and then I remember crying out and going toward him. And then, something surged up inside me and there was this blinding flash of light. Next thing I knew, Rasaad wasn't hurt anymore. I still don't know how I did it, or how I knew I could, but I'm for sure now. I can heal people! I think it has something to do with the dreams. I always feel like something's different after I wake up from there, like something new is there what wasn't before. If that makes any sense. Either way, I'm not like to complain. Not often that I'm the one what saves the day. Usually I just hang back and sing rousing tales of heroics to make everyone else fight better. What I'm trying to say is, magic battle songs are more my speed. That and hitting things with my bosshammer, and trying out these new spells. But I can only cast once a day, and my bosshammer – my bosshammer will be missed.
Oh! Can we talk about what a badass Khalid is? Because Khalid was a total badass today.! This one time we got attacked by at least three ogres, an ogrillon, and a whole bunch of hobgoblins, all at once! We were all surrounded, and I got hit with a poisoned arrow, and things were all blurry, but Khalid took out like two of them all by himself and made it possible to win. Made it look easy. It was amazing. You know, Mr. Journal, Khalid may be all stammery and jumpy all the time, but I ain't never seen a man what fights as bravely as he does. He is a very easy person to look up to, I'll say that much.
Being poisoned was no fun though. We didn't have any antidote, so I had to wait it out, and it hurt. A lot. Thought I was done for there. Rasaad looked after me while I recovered, and the others finished off the ogres. He is so very kind, Mr. Journal. So very kind.
We stopped for lunch around noon, when the sun was right overhead, but ate quick as possible before moving on. Afternoon was mostly uneventful, except for a holdup by some bandits what were so incompetent they were all nearly dropping their own bows. Those guys couldn't hit anything to save their lives. Our victory felt almost unfair.
We still haven't found Brage, though. We're stopping for the night now. Good thing, too. Me and Jaheira, we're both kind of beat up, and everyone is all but out of spells. We're starting to run low on supplies too. If we still haven't found him in a couple more days, we may have to go back to Nashkel to restock.
Day 13, Hour 11
Aw, sod, looks like we overslept, Mr. Journal. Jaheira says that to make up for lost time, we won't even stop to eat breakfast while moving on, and we'll just eat bread while we walk.
At least I didn't have any nightmares last night. I had a good sleep, which makes me real happy. Anyways, Mr. Journal, I'll wait until later to write any more. Wouldn't want to hold up the group and make Jaheira cross. She's kind of scary when she's cross.
Day 13, Hour 23
Today's been pretty easy going. Aside from a couple xvarts, we didn't run into anything what wanted to kill us. Mostly, it was just walking through some real pretty woods and stuff, and it was a real nice day, too.
Had a nice, long talk with Rasaad on the road. He told me a lot about his training at the monastery, and about his mission in Athkatla. And, about how his brother died. That part was definitely a lot less nice. I can tell it's really eating at him. Seems convinced if he'd done something his brother'd still be alive. Seems to me though that he did what he could and tried his hardest to follow the tenets of his faith. I wish I could say something to make him feel better, but when I try the words in my mouth just come out all jumbled and awkward. At more than one point today I just really wanted to give him a big hug and tell him things'd work out and that he did nothing wrong, but I didn't, because that would have been even more awkward. I just hope I can help, just by being there to listen. Maybe that's enough.
Either way, it's late, and it's best if I sleep for now. Everyone else has already turned in for the night.
Day 14, Hour 7
Getting up bright and early, as usual. I really hope we manage to track down Brage today. If we don't, we're heading back to Nashkel tonight to restock. We're already going in that direction, but maybe we'll run into him on the way? Would be nice to get this finished and see justice done.
We're just about to leave. I'll write you again tonight, Mr. Journal, and let you know how things went.
Day 15, Hour 12
Sorry for not writing earlier than this. After a long, fruitless search, we got into Nashkel so late at night that I just about dropped into bed once we got to the inn. And of course, we're off again, now that we've restocked and all. We're just stopping back at the inn for a quick lunch, then continuing our search. We'll be out for two more days, and if we don't find him by then, well then, we're just going to have to give up. I don't like it one bit, but by that time we'll be needing to head toward Beregost.
Here goes nothing, Mr. Journal.
Day 16, Hour 1
Gods, Mr. Journal, I'm so tired. We've been traveling all day and into the night, following the river south. Xan's hurt real bad – took several darts to the chest when we were fighting some creepy undead skeletons. It's a wonder they didn't hit anything vital. Jaheira's doing what she can to help him, but he's convinced this is the end – I'm really hoping this is just more of his doom and gloom thing – I want him to be okay, Mr. Journal, I really do. Khalid told me not to worry though, because Jaheira is a top-notch healer and all. But I can't help it, Mr. Journal. I just can't stand the thought of losing anyone else.
I want to sleep right now, but I can't. I'm too damn worried. Maybe after everything is for sure taken care of.
Day 16, Hour 9
Good morning, Mr. Journal. I didn't get much sleep last night at all, maybe a couple hours, tops. But, I'm still feeling like I'm ready to go and continue our search, even if by now, it looks like it might not come to anything.
Xan's okay. He's back on his feet and complaining just as loudly as ever. Gods, but I never thought I'd be glad to hear him shouting about how we're all going to meet our untimely ends out here. Anyways, we're going to go just a little farther, but then we've got to start heading back to Nashkel. How disappointing.
Day 16, Hour 21
Well, we're back in Nashkel, and with nothing to show for it. I guess maybe someone else'll have to find Brage and put an end to his evil deeds, because we sure didn't and we're right out of time.
. . .Okay, so maybe I'm exaggerating. We don't exactly have nothing to show for it. We did get an autograph from a rather monstrous trio what called themselves Larry, his brother Darryl, and his other brother Darryl. That's something. I've never hear of them, myself, but by the way they were going on, I think they might be a bit famous or something? I'd have loved to stay and talk with them more, Mr. Journal, but one of them was a kobold and Xan was starting to get antsy. Kind of a pain. Anyways, we're headed for Beregost tomorrow
Khalid and Jaheira have dropped some real bad news on us, though. They think we should split up. I mean, I get why. The enemy knows our group, and we'll be harder to identify if we don't go waltzing into town all together. And since Xan and Rasaad both joined more recently, there's a chance the folks what're after us don't know they're with us yet. Also, Jaheira says she's got a contact she and Khalid need to go see and ask a few questions of. I tried to get more details out of her, but she wouldn't say anything more. Apparently, it's some sort of secret stuff. Not sure if I like that.
We're to meet back in Nashkel after we make contact with Tranzig disguised as Mulahey's goons. After that, we'll plot our next move. Jaheira says this may be a good time for me to learn some leadership skills, and she's sure I can handle myself for the short time we'll be apart. Dinner tonight'll be the last meal we're going to have together as a team . . . well, at least for a few days. It's kind of sad, but I guess it makes sense. Still, I'm a bit nervous about traveling around without those two to help me. I'm so used to Jaheira being the leader, Mr. Journal, and I'm not sure I can lead near as well. Oh, I do hope I handle this party in a way that'll do her proud.
Day 17, Hour 5
Well. This is it. It's our first day without Khalid and Jaheira to look after us, and already I'm so damn nervous I'm like to throw up. My stomach's all full of jumps and twisty turns. Not even sure if I can eat breakfast this morning, not in this state.
I've decided we should stop by the carnival to get some supplies from the merchants there, and then we'll be on our way to Beregost.
Gods, Mr. Journal, it feels like everyone's looking at me different this morning. Sure, it's probably just my nerves playing tricks on me, and nothing's changed, really, but I don't like it, not one bit.
Day 17, Hour 14
When we were at the carnival this morning, we rescued a lady what'd been turned to stone. The halfling what was hocking stone to flesh scrolls next to her was price gouging, for sure, but I mean, we couldn't just leave her there, Mr. Journal.
Anyway, her name's Branwen and she's a cleric of Tempus. She uses warhammers too. We're just like bosshammer buddies. I went and bought two new ones, one for me and one for her. Oh, and it turns out that Tranzig was the one what turned her to stone. What're the odds of that, huh?
Since she had a bone to pick with Tranzig, she insisted on joining us once she found out we were after him too. There goes the disguise plan, huh? I thought Xan would be a voice of reason in all this, considering he's the one what came up with the plan in the first place, but as it turns out, he's got no objection to using force, aside from his usual complaints that we're clearly going to lose. All he wants is to talk to the guy first before Branwen goes all battlemaiden rage on his ass, as he's got a few “choice words” for any and all of Mulahey's superiors. I don't think I've ever heard Xan sound so angry before. This plan's going way off the rails, Mr. Journal, and I don't want anyone losing their heads over this, either figuratively or literally. I wish Jaheira were here. Jaheira would know what to do.
Oh, on a lighter note, there was a performance of Nosferatu going on at the carnival what we caught the last half of on our way back from stocking up. Dreadfully morbid show, sure, but I've always wanted to see it for real. Didn't get many traveling performers in Candlekeep, after all. Must've read the script for that one in the main library at least a hundred times. Though I've got to say, Mr. Journal, it was a bit less . . . impactful than I'd imagined.
Anyway, we're in Beregost now. Turns out it takes a whole lot less time to go to Beregost from Nashkel than the other way around, since it's mostly downhill. We're in Feldepost's Inn, discussing just how we're going to go about it. If Xan's info is good, then Tranzig's right upstairs as we speak. Gods, I hope nothing goes wrong.
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edited November 2017
This chunk covers the aftermath of the fight with Tranzig, and Linn and Immy's GIRLS' DAY OUT.
Day 17, Hour 14
everything went wrong everything oh gods
Day 17, Hour 15
I . . . I'm sorry if I seem a bit frazzled, Mr, Journal, but this last hour's been about the most emotionally exhausting time I've had in weeks. We went up to confront Tranzig, and things went sour fast. He knew we were coming, Mr. Journal. He was expecting us. Barely got in a word edgewise before he was trying to kill us.
What's worse, turns out he was a real powerful mage. I remember seeing him casting all those spells so damn fast I couldn't keep up with what was what, and then, and then Xan letting out this terrible scream, and falling to the ground all cold and lifeless – I don't know what came over me after that, Mr. Journal. Something inside just snapped. I remember crying, and shouting, and I went after Tranzig with my hammer over and over, and I didn't stop, not even after he weren't moving anymore. Not even after that, Mr. Journal. I think at some point, he cried for mercy, but I didn't listen. I just kept swinging and swinging, until you couldn't even recognize what was left of him for a person. Immy had to pull me off of him, and there was so much, so much blood.
I messed up bad, Mr. Journal. I know we were supposed to get information from him, but before we could interrogate him, I, I . . . Gods. I couldn't stop myself though, not after I'd watched him kill Xan like that. It was terrifying all the same – I didn't think I was even capable of ever doing something like that. And after, everything was all swimming and blurry in front of my eyes, and I couldn't stop crying and everything burned inside.
That was when Immy put her hand on my shoulder and told me things could have been worse. She pointed out that Xan was still all in one piece, and that made it different from when Xzar and Montaron died. She said we might be able to take him back to the temple, bring him back. I . . . I'd never thought of that, Mr. Journal. I mean, I'd seen the priests of Oghma back in Candlekeep raise the dead once or twice, but I guess I always thought that was only for super important people what had lots and lots of money to spare, and not some rag-tag band of shiftless wanderers.
We dragged Xan down to the temple on the edge of town, and it took half our savings, but Immy was right. The priests were able to raise him, and he's going to be okay. On our way down there, we were stopped though, by the same old man who'd given us directions to the Friendly Arm Inn weeks before. Turns out he's actually the famous Elminster, and that he knew Gorion. I imagine I'd have been more awestruck were it not for the situation. Wish I could tell you what he said in more detail, Mr. Journal, but I can't remember most of it. I was still real out of sorts when he stopped us, and I tried to rush the encounter along. Was really in no mood to talk, and I wanted to get to the temple soon as possible.
We're back at the inn now, and we're going to stay here and rest for the night. We're probably going to spend a couple more days in Beregost before going back to report to Khalid and Jaheira, to give Xan some time to recover. He's in pretty poor shape right now, and he's not entirely coherent. May take a bit of time for him to bounce back from this. I guess it's not surprising that getting killed would take a lot out of a person, even if he does get brought back and all. I still can't believe he's actually alive, Mr. Journal. I thought for sure I'd lost another friend today. I feel all numb inside, like my mind's still trying to get a grip on what happened. And, thinking back on what I did, how I reacted . . . I'm not quite sure if I know myself anymore.
Day 18, Hour7
Good morning, Mr. Journal. I'm a bit embarrassed and a lot ashamed. We just looked through the stuff we got off Tranzig's corpse yesterday, and we found a note what revealed the rise in bandit raids was the work of the same folks what were messing with the iron, and that the bandits are being led by this Tazok guy we've been hearing about recently. The note also said where Tazok had moved his main camp, and where he planned on striking next, but that part was all but blotted out with stains from Tranzig's blood. This is all my fault. I went off the handle and did something violent and horrible, and now we're back at square one because of it. In a few days we'll have to go down to Nashkel and break the news to Khalid and Jaheira. I'm not looking forward to it.
Xan's still a little out of it, so he's probably going to stay here at the inn most of the day. Branwen's going to be looking after him, since she's the one what's got the healing spells and all. Rasaad says he's going to spend the day in quiet meditation and stuff. Immy wants to see more of Beregost, so me and her are going to go out and explore. You know, have a bit of a girls' day out. We haven't gotten to have any good old sister time since we left Candlekeep, so this should be a nice break for the both of us, and might be just what I need to get my mind off things. I'm actually kind of excited, Mr. Journal. This should be a great adventure!
Day 18, Hour 17
Immy and me had a day what was considerably more exciting than what we'd planned for. Sure, it started our all nice and carefree, but stuff started happening soon enough.
Early on it started raining, so first thing we did was duck into the nearest tavern to wait it out. Place called the Burning Wizard. We had a couple of drinks, and talked about things, like what we think about the people we've been traveling with, that sort of thing. Immy asked me lots of questions about what I thought of the others, and she kept getting more and more specific. Oddly so. So finally, I asks her, Immy, what're you getting on about?
And get this, Mr. Journal – she thinks I have, you know, a THING for Rasaad. I. I just. What? I'm sorry, Mr. Journal, don't get me wrong or anything. I like Rasaad. I like being around him and all, and sure, I get all fluttery and nervous inside when I think about him sometimes, but I don't, you know, like him that way. I think. I mean, when I go and fall in love, and get in a relationship and all, I'd know right away I'd found the one. I mean, Rasaad? I can't even talk to him. Listen to him, yeah. I can listen to him real good. I could probably listen to him speak all the livelong day and be content. But when it comes time for me to actually say something, I just get all frozen up and everything what comes out of my mouth sounds downright stupid. I'm not sure if I can really get into that kind of relationship with someone what I have trouble even talking to, can I? Um, anyways, I told Immy she was full of beans, and she was just all laughing and stuff. I don't think she believed me.
There was some guy what lifted some gold off of us while we were drinking and then had the gall to start complaining to us about his missing boots once we caught him. I get the feeling the only way we're going to get our money back from him is to find his boots. I figure it's too much of a hassle to go out looking for them just to get back fifteen gold, but if we run into the ones what stole them later, it sure wouldn't hurt to bring them back to him.
After the rain stopped, me and Immy went outside and just wandered around town for a while. Beregost has a lot of pretty gardens. They're real nice and peaceful. We also talked to folk here and there. Seems like word of our deeds in the Nashkel Mines have already reached here, and now we're actually pretty famous, though most folk what met us were right surprised to find out we weren't ten feet tall with great manly beards. Apparently that was a rather large part of the rumors by the time they made it this far north. There were still several people what stopped us and thanked us, calling us heroes and all. Felt real good.
Oh! Also, we ran into old Firebead! Turns out he lives in Beregost! Never thought we'd see anyone we knew from Candlekeep here, even if it was just a frequent visitor. We caught up on old times and helped him track down a book he was trying to find before going our separate ways again.
We hadn't left Firebead's house but a few minutes before when some little girl flagged us down and told us there was an officer looking for us. Over at the Jovial Juggler, on the south side of town. So, we went there, not knowing what to expect, really. But, we figured it would be better to get it over with, whatever it was. That was where we met Officer Vai. She was a real stern-looking lady, with real short hair and real shiny armor. She says she''ll pay us to hunt bandits in the area. 50 gold per head. That's a lot of gold, Mr. Journal. I don't much like the idea of hunting down folks with the intent of killing them, but I mean, they are notorious criminals, we do need the gold, and we're definitely looking for a group of bandits ourselves. At the very least, me and Immy should tell the others about this. For all we know, a job like this could very well lead us straight to Tazok's goons.
We didn't stay in the Jovial Juggler for long after that, but we did meet a couple folks, including a paladin who'd had a bad run-in with some half-ogres, and a dwarf what had his cloak stolen in the Cloakwood. He gave me a dirty look when I laughed at that. Couldn't help it, though. I mean, he lost his cloak. In the Cloakwood. Ahahahaha.
Well, okay, maybe it's not that funny, but still.
Anyway. After that little detour we walked around some more. Was a real nice day, and starting to get close to lunchtime. Course, we weren't done having random run-ins and whatnot. Not by a long shot. Some twitchy girl grabbed us and started asking us for help 'cause there were some wizard bandits or something like that after her. She wasn't real clear on the details, and before we could ask her anything more they showed up and we ended up having to fight them.
Surprisingly, they weren't much trouble, even though we didn't have the others with us. After we beat them up enough they just turned tail and ran. The girl thanked us for our help and introduced herself as Neera. She said she was sorry for dragging us into her troubles, but she was desperate and all. Then she asked if she could travel with us, safety in numbers and whatnot. I told her sure, why not, but warned her we were going to meet someone in Nashkel in a couple few days, and what they said might determine whether she could stay with us longer or not. After all, even if I'm in charge for now, at the end of the day Jaheira is still the leader. Neera said that was fine by her.
So, we went and checked out some more gardens, with Neera in tow, and her talking our ears off the whole way. Apparently, she's a wild mage what had to run away from home after a nasty accident hurt some of her fellow apprentices. I've got to admit, it was not very encouraging, but I'm sure everything will be fine. What's the worst that could happen?
About a half hour after that, we were approached by a man what called himself Garrick, and he wanted to know if we could help his boss, who had some thugs after her. Well, it was about around lunchtime then, Mr. Journal, but we figured it wouldn't take too long to hear this lady out, and we could always eat after. So, Garrick took us to her, this lady called Silke what was supposed to be some real famous actor. But, really, Mr. Journal, she was so overblown and melodramatic I'd be surprised if she could act herself out of a paper bag.
Anyway, Silke asked us to take care of some thugs for her, but when they showed up, they weren't thugs at all! In fact, the way they were acting, it sounded more like Silke had hired them to get something for her and she just wanted to get out of paying. We refused to hurt the men, since they were clearly innocent, and Silke got real steamed at us for it. She straight up attacked us, Mr. Journal. She went down real quickly because when Neera cast a magic missile at her, it suddenly turned into a whole barrage of them and they all hit her at once. Mr. Journal, I have learned today that wild magic is abso-freaking-lutely awesome. A bit overkill and a little disturbing, but awesome nonetheless.
Garrick was real upset when he realized Silke had been playing him for a fool, and asked if he could come along with us instead. Unfortunately for him, we couldn't take him up on that offer, because being the party bard is my job. But since it was already past lunchtime and me and Immy were starving, we invited him to come eat with us and offered to treat him to a meal. I was pretty keen on talking to him, after all. Not very often I get to chat with another bard.
We nipped into the Red Sheaf Inn to get a late lunch, since it was real close-by. Garrick's a pretty interesting fellow, but he mostly since lyrical ballads and love songs and whatnot. That's different from what I do. I just don't understand why he'd settle for that though. I mean, any old sod can sing the popular songs of the day, but what we do? It's an art. Don't see what the point of barding if you're not telling tales of grand heroes and epic battles. Or at the very least, writing a few of your own songs.
Our lunch was rudely interrupted, though, when another thrice-dratted rat-faced assassin showed up. The seediest dwarf you ever did see, Mr. Journal. Garrick freaked out and ran off once the battle started. Haven't seen him since. This assassin was a lot tougher than the others. Me, Immy and Neera were barely able to take him down. Somehow, we survived, though. I guess splitting up was maybe a dumb idea, but I think the day we had was worth it.
After seeing our combat prowess, one of the guys at the par asked if we could get back his sword what was stolen by gnolls. I told him we already had a lot on our plate and couldn’t go out looking for his sword, but if we actually ran into the gnolls what took it, we'd give them what for.
After lunch, we went to the Thunderhammer smithy to do some shopping, because sod diamonds, proper weapons are a girl's real best friend. We got a nice quarterstaff for Neera, an off-hand sword for Immy, and backup bosshammers for me and Branwen, because hell if I'm going without one again. This one I have now was made before we solved the crap in the Nashkel mines, even if I bought it after, and I don't want to deal with it if the damn thing breaks again. I also bought a real nice sling and some bullets what I'm planning on giving to Xan so he doesn't have to go rushing the enemy line with that sword of his all the time.
When we got back to the inn, we introduced Neera to everyone else. They all seem to get along pretty well so far, which is good. It's nice to have new friends, especially when they get along with current ones. Xan's a little leery of her though, he says that exposing ourselves to the dangers of wild magic through her is just like begging to get ourselves killed. But I'm not too worried, as he says that kind of thing about pretty much everyone we meet and everything we do. In fact, Mr. Journal, it's actually kind of a relief to see him acting like himself again, instead of, I don't know, some half-coherent sleepy zombie man or something.
I'm up in my room right now, writing and organizing my things. I'm going to go downstairs for dinner with everyone soon, where me and Immy will tell the others about stuff we learned today, and we'll all discuss what's best for us to do next.
P.S. Forgot to add this in earlier, but on our way back we also talked to this one lady what was waiting on news from her husband. Turns out we actually had a letter from him with us. Got it on our way up to Beregost, off an ogrillon what had killed the halfling courier who'd been carrying it. She was real grateful and gave us a neat magic ring.
P.P. S. After hearing what the townsfolk had to say about us, Immy thinks she should choose a name more befitting of a hero and she's now calling herself “Imoen the Quick”. I'm still calling her Immy though. It's easier.
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This chunk covers from the group going back to Nashkel to meet up again with Khalid and Jaheira up to the aftermath of Neera's quest.
Day 19, Hour 9
Morning, Mr. Journal. So, here's the deal. We've agreed that the best course of action is to hunt down all the bandits we can. We'll make the roads safer, get some coin in our pockets from Officer Vai, and, most importantly, sooner or later we're like to have a run in with at least one group of bandits what are connected to this Tazok fellow. It may not be the most efficient way of going about things, but thanks to me and my rash behavior, it's now just about the best option we've got.
Of course, first we've got to go to Nashkel and inform Khalid and Jaheira of the situation. I'm not exactly looking forward to telling them about my failure, but I guess it can't be avoided and that I'd best get it over with. We're leaving this morning, soon as we get some breakfast in our bellies.
Day 19, Hour 22
The trip to Nashkel was long and real uneventful. Just lots of boring walking. Immy tried to liven things up a little by telling some really terrible jokes, but they just made everyone groan. I talked with Neera a bit, and she told me more about some of the crazy stuff her wild magic's done in the past. Some of it was pretty funny, but most of it was a bit worrying. I sure hope we don't get ourselves on the wrong end of one of her mishaps, and they just keep messing up our enemies instead. Fingers crossed, Mr. Journal.
We're here in Nashkel now, and we've spoken with Khalid and Jaheira. Jaheira thinks my actions were real foolish, just like I was afraid of. Honestly, thinking about what happened still scares me a little. I don't like to think of myself as someone who's like to fly off the handle like that, even given those circumstances. Fighting in self defense is one thing, but this was something different, Mr. Journal, Revenge, I think. Does that make me bad? I. I think it might.
Anyways, in light of things, Khalid and Jaheira think we should stay as two separate groups. There's a lot of ground to cover if we're going to go hunting bandits, and there's more likelihood we'll actually move forward if we've got more than one group searching. Every ten days or so, we'll meet up at the Friendly Arm Inn to share anything we've found out. Hopefully it'll only take a tenday to find out what's going on. Our group leaves again tomorrow morning, this time to go out into the wilderness in search of bandits.
P.S. Jaheira has no problem with Neera staying with us. She says, long as I'm leading this group, I'm the one what makes the decisions. It feels weird, Mr. Journal. Jaheira still feels like the leader to me. Especially since, you know, I've done a pretty bad job of leading so far. I'm glad Neera can stay, though. She's fun to have around.
Day 20, Hour 6
We're setting off today to find us some bandits! Neera's requested that we start our search near the Firewine Bridge, as she's heard there's an old wild mage around there, and she'd like to talk to him. Says she wants to see if she can get some pointers on how to reduce the chance of bad stuff happening during her wild surges. It's nice to know she'd like to take precautions so she doesn't accidentally set us all on fire or something. I feel so loved right now.
Maybe if she finds this guy and he tells her what she wants to know, things will be even more smooth sailing. I mean, I've never seen any bad stuff what her wild magic can do, but she's certainly told enough stories about it to make a girl a mite nervous. I figure it might be a good idea to find this guy. And if we can take down some bandits in the process, all the better!
Day 20, Hour 22
We've been traveling all day. This area looks kind of familiar. I think we're near the place where we got out of the Nashkel Mines. I'm pretty sure that means that the Firewine Bridge is direct north of here., but I've never had the best sense of direction.
We've found no signs of bandits so far. In fact, nothing much of note happened today at all, Mr. Journal, so I don't have anything exciting to write you about, not unless you want to listen to me complain about how much my damn feet hurt after all that walking. Sorry about that.
I mean, I guess I have one thing, but it's pretty boring. Immy and me talked near the whole way here. She's been helping me think up some ideas for a song. It's been a hell of a long time since I've been able to sit down and write one, and I'm like to get rusty if I don't soon. I hope you don't mind, Mr. Journal, but since you're a ready source of paper, I might just use you to write my songs in. They might not be the epic tales I'm used to, those take a lot of time and thought to sit down and write, but I haven't created anything in a while and I am just getting. Really antsy. I'll have to use what time I can find.
Anyways, if the Firewine Bridge is to the north, then if we head in that direction we might just run into that wild mage Neera told us about on the way there. But for now, it's starting to get dark, and we need to set up camp. Branwen says she'll teach me a few techniques for using my bosshammer real good after dinner tonight. I'm excited, because she's a good warrior. I'll write you again tomorrow, Mr. Journal. Well, actually, maybe tonight, after we're done setting up camp, while I'm waiting for dinner. Might work on that song then.
Day 20, Hour 22
Oh, wandering, meandering
Up and down the hills
Twixt Beregost and Nashkel
Can find you many thrills
If your soul's set for adventure
And your heart is full of song
It just might be the perfect place
For wandering along.
All right, this here I think is a pretty good chorus. I'll have to think up the rest of it some other time, as dinner looks to be ready.
Day 21, Hour 6
Last night, a big group of ogrillons attacked us while we were asleep. Luckily for us, Xan was on watch at the time, and he cast a sleep spell on them before they had a chance to get in a hit on anyone. He managed to shake us all awake before the spell wore off, and he bought us enough time to get our weapons ready and get the edge in the battle. We're real lucky Xan can think on his feet like that, Mr. Journal.
Anyways, Neera's making breakfast now. This is her first time cooking for the group, and I don't know how it's going to be. Hopefully she's better at it than Immy. Honestly, I'm starting to think that our cooking rotation should exclude the people who are bad at it. Immy and Xan both can't cook to save their damn lives, and I dread the times they're supposed to make food for us. I mean, I know it's all good and fair and equal if we all take turns, and that we need to split up our work evenly so no one person's got everything on their shoulders at once, but it also makes for nasty meals about a third of the time.
P.S. Bosshammer practice last night was awesome. I had no idea you could use this thing to block attacks if you positioned it right.
Day 21, Hour 12
We ran into a goblin encampment this morning, and the only way forward was right through it. They were pretty civilized for goblins, though, so we tried to diplomatize and all that. While trying to negotiate our way through we found out they were keeping some guy captive and calling him a god. Something weird like that.
Either way, one of the goblins ended up leading us right to the cave where their leader was, so we went in to negotiate safe passage through their territory. But the goblins inside attacked us! We beat them and their leader, but now we're all out of spells and tired out. We're going to try to rest in here for at least enough time to get our spells back before going back out, because those goblins out there aren't going to be friendly when they find out we killed their leader. Oh, what have we gotten ourselves into.
At least we're getting close to this wild mage Neera's looking for. After all, we ran into a squirrel what cawed like a crow. If that's not the result of wild magic, what is?
Day 21, Hour 21
Stinking Red Wizards showed up, they're after Neera and stuff. Killed her in the battle, but it looks like she can still be brought back. We've got to get her back to the temple as soon as possible if we want to save her, though.
I've got some time to tell you what happened, at least, since Branwen still has to heal some of the others, and Xan needs to get over . . . whatever kind of panic attack it is that he's having right now. Last I saw him he was running around the cave screaming like a little girl. I'm sure now that the danger's over he'll calm down. At least, I hope so, because this is ridiculous.
So, here's how we got into this mess. Before we left the cave, Neera noticed there was one cavern we hadn't been in yet. Since we'd heard outside the goblins were keeping some guy captive down here so they could worship him, we decided to check it out, see if maybe we could find him and help him get out. Anyways, it turned out this “goblin god” was actually the wild mage Neera was looking for, man by the name of Adoy. The goblins saw him wild surge and thought it was divine power, then the goblin leader locked him up and used him to control the goblins.
While we were talking to him, the same guys what attacked Neera in Beregost showed up out of nowhere. Or, at least, from the same group. It turned out they were Red Wizards, and they knew Neera would seek out Adoy so they were lying in wait. They were a bit vague about what they wanted Neera for, but it's clearly nothing good, and has something to do with her wild magic. When we said we wouldn't hand her over, they attacked.
I'm surprised any of us survived the fight, it was so tough. Neera got killed right near the beginning, though, so I guess whatever they need her for, they don't need her alive. That's why we're going to have to high tail it to the temple. Xan nearly got himself killed trying to draw the attention of two of the Red Wizards away from us while we dealt with their leader. One of them gave him a real nasty wound with some attack spell I didn't even full recognize. Once he realized how badly he'd been hurt, he panicked and tried to run away, but we were trapped in the room by some sort of shimmery wall what one of the wizards threw up around the door, so he couldn't. We had to cover for him so the wizards couldn’t get at him while he'd let his guard down like that. After the fight was over, the magic barrier blocking the doorway went away, and Xan just ran out screaming. I really hope he doesn't get himself into any danger, he's already hurt and the rest of us are already in hot water as it is.
Adoy gave me a belt for Neera to wear once we raise her at the temple, says it will help her with her wild magic problems. I can't for the life of me figure out what it does, though. I probably won't write again for a while, Mr. Journal, at least not until we get Neera brought back and this mess sorted out. We're likely going to be marching straight to the nearest temple without breaks, after all. Anyways, Branwen's doing her part to get us ready to go, so I should help too. I'm going to go find Xan and see if I can calm him down. His being hysterical and all isn't going to help things any.
Day 23, Hour 2
We've been traveling for more than a day straight to get to the nearest temple – the one in Beregost, to be exact. Luckily, we weren't too late. Neera's alive and mostly well now, though we're going to spend the rest of tonight and tomorrow resting at the inn. She needs it.
So, I'll tell you real quick how things went on the way here. I left off when I went after Xan to try and calm him down, right? Okay then. I...I actually don't think I should write about that. Once he stopped panicking and all, he was real embarrassed over the whole thing. Made me promise not to tell anyone the details. I think that probably includes you, Mr. Journal.
Oh, don't worry, though – it's not like anything bad happened. Nothing dangerous or scandalous, nothing like that. Just real awkward and embarrassing, on Xan's part. If the others heard about it, they probably wouldn't let him live it down.
I will say this, though. It hurt to see him that frightened, that upset, that vulnerable. I don't think I ever want to see someone hurting like that ever again, Mr. Journal. I didn't know what to do, I didn't know how to help. I. I just.
I really want to drop this now and not talk about it no more.
Um. Anyways. After me and Xan rejoined the others, Branwen patched up his injuries and we headed out quick as we could. Surprisingly enough, the goblins outside let us walk right out of their encampment without a fight. The walk to the temple was quiet, tense, and dead serious. It was absolutely exhausting. That's really all there is to tell, Mr. Journal.
Now, I've had no sleep for a day and a half , so I'd best go get some now. Write you later, Mr. Journal.
Day 23, Hour 18
Good evening, Mr. Journal. We've just been staying in Feldepost's Inn all day. I slept in past lunching. Was nice. I don't get many chances to be lazy these days. Neera seems to be a bit more coherent now too. Talked with her just a few minutes ago in fact. She was wandering downstairs to grab a bite to eat, had just woken up and all.
For most of the afternoon, Xan's been teaching me a little more about magic. I think I'm starting to really get the hang of this stuff, Mr. Journal. Just before Neera showed up, though, he excused himself to go prepare his spells. I'm pretty sure that takes several hours, Mr. Journal. He's not planning on skipping dinner, is he? That's not healthy. Still, I don't think I should bug him any. I'm sure he knows what he's doing. Me, though? I'm sure as Hells ready to get something to eat.
Day 23, Hour 19
Hold on, Just got an idea for a song. Loosely based on the last few days. Let me write down what I have.
Run, run, run
Till the night is done
Do not stop
Till the rising sun
The journey's long
And the road is far
And the time is drawing near
No time to rest
And no time to sing
And no time to stop
Until morning comes
With he rising sun
We will run,
Run through the night
So we run, run, run
Till the night is done
And the place we seek in sight
Day 24, Hour 3
We're all up extra early today, probably because we all went to bed so early last night. Anyway, we're about to go out looking for bandits again. Xan prepared an identification spell last night, so we now know what that belt what Adoy gave us to give Neera is. Turns out it's supposed to protect the wearer from polymorphing themselves or turning themselves to stone. That's real helpful for Neera, of course, but it really doesn't offer much protection to the rest of us. Still, even if it's not something what controls her magic, at least it's better than nothing.
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This chunk covers some very unsuccessful bandit hunting.
Day 24. Hour 18
We've put in a good long day of honest work, Mr. Journal, though we don't have much to show for it.
So, as you probably guessed from how early I wrote you this morning, we started our search before the sun even came up. We'd heard at the inn last night that some bandits had been hanging out near the temple on the city's outskirts, so we figured that was the best place to start. After all, the worst kind of bandits have got to be the kind what prey on pilgrims and people who are injured and looking for healing. Almost right away, we ran into a guy who demanded we hand over all our money, but it turned out he wasn't a bandit. He was just really drunk and smelled like someone had dunked him into a barrel of dwarven ale. After he finished the whole “your money or your life” routine, he tried to convince us he was a lich, then passed out on the ground. It was real pathetic. We ended up dragging him to the temple doorstep and leaving him there for the priests to look after.
For the next few hours, we searched a lot, but we didn't find any bandits. Just lots of wolves and wild dogs what attacked us. Oh, and some guy looking up at the stars, too. Said he was an “astronomer,” whatever that is, and that he saw some kind of disturbing things up there. I wonder what that's all about. Hopefully nothing too bad.
Anyways, after a while, I was starting to wonder if there were bandits around the temple at all. Neera suggested that maybe the people in Beregost were just kind of stupid and thought the drunk guy was a bandit, and maybe also a lich. But, soon after, we were both proven wrong, because it turns out there actually were bandits. Soon as we were just about ready to turn around and go back to Beregost, we got held up by a group of them. But they weren't just any bandits, they were hobgoblin bandits. All of the bandits we've seen so far have been human, so this was a bit unexpected. These guys said they were part of a group called the Chill. Might be worth looking into.
After that, we headed back to Beregost to talk with Officer Vai. As we got into town , the sun rose on the horizon behind the temple in the distance, and we stopped and turned around for a bit to watch it. Was real pretty and inspiring and whatnot. You know, the proper thing to do when watching a sunrise is to comment on its beauty or to look on in awed silence. We mostly went for the second one.
Xan clearly does not get the point of watching a sunrise.
He loudly announced to re rest of us that he was amazed we'd survived through the wee hours and lived to see another day. And that, Mr. Journal, was how Xan ruined the moment for all of us. Take note.
Oh, and you know what? We didn't even get paid for our hard work, because apparently, Officer Vai is only interested in stopping human bandits. Maybe halfling, dwarf or elf bandits too. But apparently hobgoblin bandits are not a concern. She is such a … a … smelly butt face! We worked hard to stop those bandits, and we even did it before dawn! Didn't even have breakfast yet!
There was nothing much we could do about it, though, so after we grabbed us some breakfast at the Jovial Juggler Inn, we left to the south to patrol the road from Beregost to Nashkel. Seems like a pretty normal place to find bandits, right?
It started raining soon after we started our patrol, and Xan was complaining about how we’d all catch our death of cold out there. Lasted for a couple of hours or so. We didn't find any bandits, but there were a lot of gibberlings, and some more hobgoblins. Not bandit hobgoblins, though. Just the normal kind what attacks you on sight without asking for all your gold or anything. One of them had an odd pair of boots on him. We'll have to get them identified later, because I can't tell for the life of me what kind of boots they are. We also saw this totally submerged house just off the road! Not real important or anything, it was just real interesting and odd to look at. I wonder what the story behind a place like that is. I mean, we're still several miles from the coast, and this house was just smack in the middle of this pond. It seems like a pretty unlikely thing to happen to a house.
In the real late morning we came to a cave what just screamed “bandit hideout”. But there was nothing inside. Just some bats and a couple of gold pieces on the ground. Immy noticed the remains of a campfire near the back of the cave, so we think someone might have been in here recently. But, whoever they were, they've clearly moved on. Those ashes had long since gone cold, probably a couple days, least from what Immy could tell. I'm not quite so good at that kind of thing, so I'll take her word for it.
I figured maybe the whole campfire thing might mean we were getting close, but we didn't see a single bandit all day. Got ambushed by a group of xvarts in one pass we went through, but they weren't bandits. They were xvarts.
It's starting to get dark, so we're camping right off the road tonight. We've built a nice campfire and all, and even if we haven't found anything yet, it's been a real big day for us. Good night, Mr. Journal. Here's hoping it doesn't start raining again like it was earlier.
Day 25, Hour 10
Good morning, Mr. Journal. We're just now preparing to leave and continue towards Nashkel looking for bandits along the road. I guess what Xan said about catching cold in the rain yesterday might hold some water after all, seeing as Immy's been sniffling all morning. I hope it doesn't get worse. Cure disease potions are right expensive.
Oh! We know what the boots we got off those hobgoblins yesterday are now. Xan prepared a spell to identify them while we were resting last night. They're Boots of Stealth. That pickpocket in Beregost was talking about Boots of Stealth, now that I think about it. Maybe these are the ones he's been missing. We'll find out the next time we're in Beregost, I guess.
Anyway, I'd best go help the others pack up the camping supplies so we can get on the road already.
Day 25, Hour 21
Soon after we got going this morning, we were attacked by a big group of hobgoblins! Xan fired off a sleep spell what put most of them snoring, which made it lots easier, but one of them wasn't affected and he charged right through our ranks. Would have been a real problem, but then Neera wild surged and the next thing you know, the hobgoblin's legs were invisible. Well, he started panicking right quick when he looked down and there weren't no legs there. It was pretty awesome. Xan used the opening as an opportunity to get behind him and take him down with Burning Hands. Mages are so cool, Mr. Journal. I can't wait until I'm good at magic.
We found several scrolls on the hobgoblins. Dunno where they got them. One of them, we couldn't make any sense of. Even Xan couldn't tell what it was, and I mean, reading magic wizardy stuff is like, part of his job. He said it looked like some sort of protection scroll but it used some unfamiliar runes or whatnot and he'd need some time to figure out exactly what they said.
Other than the hobgoblins, we didn't really encounter anything else on the way to Nashkel aside from some crazy old half-naked hermit who gave us some real cryptic advice what I couldn't understand. I've never been the best at understanding wise old guy advice, Mr. Journal. The monks at Candlekeep, they tried to give me a lot of that. Pretty sure more than half of it just went in one ear and out the other. I learned a lot more from the books.
We're at the inn in Nashkel now, and we're staying for the night. We still haven't found any bandits. I'm starting to get a little discouraged, Mr. Journal.
Day 26, Hour 6
Got some good news at breakfast this morning, Mr. Journal. Xan's figured the scroll out. He says it's got a spell what will protect us from fire on it, and that we should keep it on hand, as it might, and I quote, “slightly postpone our inevitable demise.”
We're headed sort of north-ish today. I remember hearing some rumors back in Beregost about there being a halfling town up around the Firewine area, and where there's a town, there's like to be bandits nearby, just waiting for some travelers to mug. So, we're going to go up there and see if the halflings are having any bandit troubles. And, hey, if they aren't, at least we'll be pretty close to Beregost again and getting back there will be easy.
Day 27, Hour 10
We walked for a long time yesterday. Nothing all that interesting happened on the road. Just, you know, talking and stuff, to pass the time. Branwen and me, we got to talking for quite a while, and I learned a whole bunch about Tempus and why he's pretty much the most badass god ever. He's all about epic battles, just, the stuff heroic tales are made of. I also learned about how everyone where Branwen comes from are a bunch of jerks what won't let women be priests. Which is really dumb because Branwen is the best at being a priest. The best. Just like I'm the best at being a bard. Their loss.
Anyways, by the time we stopped and set up camp I was real tired from all the walking, and I went to sleep right after dinner without writing. Sorry about that, Mr. Journal. Dinner sucked by the way. I am really getting tired of this. So this morning, I decided to ask for advice on how to handle this whole cooking rotation thing. Because seriously, some of us can't cook to save our lives.
At first I was going to ask Rasaad since he seems to be real wise and stuff, and everything he says just makes so much sense. And also because he is just amazing, that too, yes. But, I got real nervous when I thought about doing that, and I don't know why. So, I didn't. I could've asked Immy, since she's my sister and all, and we're real good at helping each other out, but that would mean I'd have to tell her to her face that her cooking is gross. I could've asked Xan, I guess, since I trust him and he's pretty much the easiest person here to talk to aside from Immy, but then I would've had to admit I think he cooks bad, too. And I'm pretty sure if I asked Neera for suggestions, things would just get real crazy, real fast.
So that's how I ended up talking to Branwen again. She says that maybe we should assign different tasks to the people what are best at them. So only the people who can cook are in the cooking rotation, only the people who are good at starting fires will take turns building the campfire, only the people who can put up a tent right will be in charge of setting up camp . . . you get the idea. I think it sounds like a real good idea what brings out the most in us all, makes use of our strengths, and covers our weaknesses. We'd have to work on it a bit before starting to use it though. I mean, we'd have to figure out who does what. Aside from Immy and Xan not cooking, that is. That much is already a given.
Anyways, we are about to get going, so I'll write more later.
Day 28, Hour 5
Gosh, I'm sorry, Mr. Journal. I've really got to stop going to sleep without writing. So. Here's what you missed.
On our way to the Firewine Bridge yesterday, we went through the same area where we'd met Adoy. We ran into a poor guy whose wife had been killed by the goblins a couple weeks back camped near there. He asked us for help, wanted us to go avenge her and also find her body and bring it back for a proper burial. We told him we'd already taken care of the hostile goblins last time we were through the area and the ones what were left were actually pretty friendly. He seemed a bit more at peace then, since the ones what killed his wife had gotten what for, and the ones what were left wouldn't hurt anyone else. But, he was still a bit nervous about going into their camp and asked us to find his wife's remains for him. So, we went into the caves behind the camp and found what was left of her. Didn't take too long. Then, we brought her back and helped the poor man bury her. A bit of a detour, I know, but it was the right thing to do, I think, and it helped put that poor guy's mind at peace. All I can really do now is pray for his wife and hope she makes it to the afterlife all right. These kinds of things are always sad, Mr. Journal. I never quite know exactly what to say about them.
We made it to the area near the Firewine Bridge late last night. I can see the bridge in the distance from here. There's a lot of cliffs and canyons in the area, though, so it's going to be a bit hard to navigate. We're actually near the edge of one right now. We're going to either have to find a way across or a way down to keep moving north. And I'm not talking about the obvious way down. That would just be an easy way to break all of our necks.
It was real cold last night and it was hard to sleep for long before you just woke up shivering. I think it might have even snowed for a bit. Horribly unseasonal for this time of year. It's nearly Kythorn, for gods' sakes! And I know it wasn't just me, neither! The others had trouble with it, too! Was just too damn cold.
I'm kind of tired, but as the sun's coming up, I think we should just move on, even if we barely got any rest at all.
Day 28, Hour 15
Mr. Journal, today I learned that the undead are total jerks. We ran into a ton of zombies and skeletons this morning, and almost all of them went straight for me and ganged up on me and stuff. Maybe they just really don't like bards. Died in a bard-related incident or something. Oh, and this one group of skeletons . . . they weren't just skeletons. They were skeletons . . . with warhammers.
Oh Hells no.
I am the only one allowed to rock a bosshammer.
. . . Okay, well, maybe Branwen too. But sure as Hells not a bunch of skeletons.
The rest of the group had to help me out since I was surrounded by the damn rat bastards. Xan took a nasty hit to the shoulder from one of their warhammers during the fight. I feel a mite bad about that, as I'm pretty sure that blow was meant for me. I think he might have gotten his arm knocked kind of out of place, as he's been moving real weird since then.
When we got closer to the bridge, some really messed up worshiper of Ilmater came up to us and asked us to convert. I read several books about the gods back in Candlekeep, and I'm pretty sure most of the stuff this guy said wouldn't be approved by Ilmater. Especially not the way he chewed Neera and Xan out just for being mages. Last time I checked, Ilmater's got nothing against wizards, and definitely doesn't think they're “vile” or “evil” or any of the other nasty words this guy was yelling. From what I remember, Ilmater is more about stuff like charity and mercy and bearing the pain of others so they dont have to be hurt anymore. Anyway, when we said we wouldn't convert, he called us all terrible sinners and stormed off. That man's a real disgrace to his own religion, he is.
Before moving on, we decided to check out the bridge itself, as it was a major landmark what's got a lot of stories attached to it. I'd also heard some stuff back in Beregost about the ruins near the bridge.
Day 29, Hour 3
So, we all woke up bright and early after our little detour to see the Firewine Bridge. Branwen healed us all up pretty good, so we were all ready to go. Xan's arm was still bothering him though. I know so because he was carrying on about it all morning. Loudly. At least until the ghouls showed up, anyway. They were pretty easy to take care of, though. Nothing to waste ink on, really.
One of them was carrying a scrap of paper, some sort of riddle or somesuch asking about why chairs had legs but couldn't walk. Which, honestly, makes no sense, Mr. Journal. Just because they're called legs doesn't mean they're the same kind we walk around on. Clearly, whoever wrote this had way too much time on their hands. Either that, or they just really liked being difficult.
After that was done with, we started heading up the hill, and of course, that's when a kobold just had to show up. Next thing I knew, Rasaad had a flaming arrow through his shoulder and everyone was rushing forward to attack. Was a quick fight, but right after it was over, we heard a scream from behind us. We looked back only to find that Xan had run off after seeing the kobold and now he was surrounded by more of those ghouls a little up the road. I ran over to help him, though I saw him go all rigid before I got there. Thought elves were immune to a ghoul's touch, but I guess I was wrong. Anyways, I should've been more careful, because after I rushed the ghouls, it weren't five minutes before I felt myself stiffening up too. I couldn't move, and the ghouls were attacking, and everything hurt. It was awful, Mr. Journal.
Luckily, Immy and Neera came to our rescue just in time. Branwen came over to heal Xan and me right after she was done tending to Rasaad's arrow wound. At least Rasaad's all right, Mr. Journal. I tell you, when I saw him falter back there, I felt everything stop for a second.
We didn't run into any more ghouls after that, but there was no shortage of wild animals attacking us in the woods. There was even one wolf what burst out of the bushes before we even knew what was happening and tried to use Xan as a chew toy. We managed to chase it off before it did too much harm, but it sure didn't stop him from telling us all about rabies. Really don't think that's something he needs to worry about. Pretty sure rabid wolves foam at the mouth and act all strange, and this one kind of . . . didn't.
We made it to the halfling village of Gullykin by late morning and met with the mayor, fellow by the name of Gandolar Luckyfoot. Directed us to the temple for some healing. We went there right away. It was a weird place. I've never seen a temple before what doubled as an alehouse. Immy and me decided to go exploring while the clerics patched the others up, and we found a secret door in the basement. I admit, we opened it up and took a peek inside, but inside was nothing but these dark, spooky tunnels. Something about them didn't feel right, Mr. Journal. Enough to make the hairs on the back of a girl's neck stand straight on end. Well, we closed that door right quick and headed straight back up those stairs. After all, we had better things to do than go snooping around in some unknown scary tunnel place.
By the time we left the temple, everyone in town had heard of us and wanted to know about our adventures. Guess word travels fast in a little village like this. We also met this one old man what told us a bit more about the ruins at the Firewine Bridge. Apparently, it used to be an elven trading post before it was destroyed, but that was a real long time ago.
Around lunchtime, we met with Gandolar Luckyfoot again to ask about bandits in the area and all. Turns out that they've had no troubles with bandits, and this trek out here was another dead end. He did mention, though, that he was worried about the kobolds in the Firewine Ruins, saying they posed a potential threat to the village. I wanted to help, but Xan immediately spoke out against it. At first, I told him that I knew he didn't like kobolds, but these people needed our help. But then it turned out it wasn't about that. He explained that in addition to the ruins being a “deathtrap”, the kobolds weren't an immediate threat, there was nothing to suggest they would attack the village in the near future, and that we had much more pressing matters on our hands – specifically, that it had been nearly a tenday since we'd begin our hunt and we'd have to hot-foot it back to the Friendly Arm in to make it there in time to report back to Khalid and Jaheira. After that, most everyone took his side in the argument, and we left town. I hope the kobolds don't hurt anyone and just keep to the ruins.
We got attacked by gnolls on our way north. We got out of it mostly unharmed, though one of them managed to nick Xan with a spear. He's not hurt that bad, but he's been making a pretty big fuss over it. He is convinced it will get infected, swell up, and kill him. Sometimes, I don't know how that man manages to function, what with how much he lets little things like this distress him so. All that worrying can't be good for his health. He's going to give himself so many wrinkles. Maybe that's why he wears a circlet all the time – to hide all the worry wrinkles on his forehead.
Anyway, we reached Beregost at an hour when no decent person would still be awake. We've managed to get a room at Feldepost's Inn for the rest of the night, and we're heading on to the Friendly Arm Inn once we've gotten some sleep.
Day 30, Hour 10
Just about to leave Beregost. Soon as we finish up breakfast, we'll be on our way. I'd write more, but I need to stuff all this food into my mouth fast as I can. I don't want to be the one what holds everyone up.
Day 30, Hour 23
The journey to the Friendly Arm was pretty uneventful. Ran into a couple gibberlings on the road and that was about it. Got there around late afternoon or so.
We met with Khalid and Jaheira earlier this evening. They've not found anything for certain yet, but they've heard reports of bandits to the north and east of here, some of them hobgoblins like the ones what we ran into near the temple. They suggested that we check to the east and they head north. I mentioned my worries about Gullykin, but everyone else says that this is a much more pressing matter, as the bandits could move on at any moment, and then all our hard work would be for nothing. Much as I don't like it, they've got a point, and I'm not really in a position to argue, seeing as it's my fault we're in this mess to begin with.
We're supposed to leave again tomorrow morning, Mr. Journal. I can only hope for the best.
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this chunk covers some slightly less unsuccessful bandit hunting and Neera leaving the party. It ends at the same place where I left off four years ago.
I will post one more update after this for now, so there will be at least SOME completely 100% new content here, and slowly add the rest later. Theres a lot of it and there's no way I'm gonna be able to post it all tonight.
Day 31, Hour 7
Good morning, Mr. Journal! Today, we head off to the east. Hopefully, we'll find something.
Rasaad has been unusually quiet this morning, even for Rasaad. I want to ask him if there's something what's wrong, but I'm really not sure if I should. I mean, it's probably nothing, right? If I get myself all worried and then it turns out he's just deep in thought or something, then that would just be embarrassing. Still, maybe I should try talking to him at least? I really don't know why the thought should make me so nervous, Mr. Journal. I mean, Rasaad is real nice and patient and stuff, and I know he wouldn't mind. Oh, I really do worry about stupid things sometimes, Mr. Journal.
Day 31, Hour 15
We're just south of the Friendly Arm Inn right now, stopping to catch our breaths. From what Jaheira and Khalid told us last night, our group's destination is a place called Larswood, just east of here.
Anyway, I did it. I asked Rasaad what was bothering him He told me he wasn't bothered at all, and he was just meditating on recent events. And, he also said not to worry myself on his account. Not exactly sure what that means, though. But, I talked to him, Mr. Journal. I talked to him all casual-like. And not even just the usual stuff, where one of us makes a comment or something and the other acknowledges it. Or when he's talking and I listen and try to add some insight but fail most of the time. No, I talked to him. I initiated it and everything. I don't know what I was ever so worried about. And, it's the strangest thing, Mr. Journal. Maybe it's just me, but when we're actually talking, and it's not quite so one sided, it almost seems that, well. Maybe, just maybe, for all his nice way of talking, he might be just as awkward with this as I am. That's the impression I got.
...Nah. It's just me. I'm imagining it. Gotta be.
Anyway, we are all in high spirits, probably owing to what a nice day it is today. The sun's shining, and the sky is this real pretty blue color, more bright-like than usual. Rasaad's still real quiet, but I saw him smile a few minutes ago. And even Xan seems less down than usual. He hasn't complained about anything for the last half hour. I got a good feeling about today, Mr. Journal. A real good feeling.
Day 31, Hour 23
So, we ran into an ogre soon after I last wrote. So much for my real good feeling about today, huh? At least there's a silver lining – turns out it was the same ogre the author lady at the Friendly Arm was telling me about a few weeks back, and the brute still had her missing belt. So, at least now we can get that back to her. Let me tell you, though, that ogre must have really liked belts. Was wearing too many of them to count. Most of the others were worn out old things on the verge of falling apart, but there was one that radiated some sort of magic aura. Immy thought it was real fashionable and went with her tunic, so she took it. Xan warned her against putting it on, because it could be cursed or something, but Immy just shrugged it off, saying, “well, what's the worst what can happen, right?”
Long story short, Xan was right, and Immy's a man now. That's right. It's a belt what turns men into women and women to men. Physically, at least. Didn't even know a magic belt could do that. We couldn't just turn around at that point, I mean, we'd lose around two days doing that, so Immy is just going to have to deal with it until we go back to the Friendly Arm and get Miss Gellana at the temple there to cast Remove Curse. Immy has been making a big deal of it and I can't say I blame her. Or is it him? Either way, I get why Immy's up in arms. Don't think I'd be too pleased if I suddenly had something between my legs either.
. . . You know what, Mr. Journal, I think I'll stick with “her”. Immy is a she, after all, even if she's got man parts at the moment.
Anyways, we continued on to Larswood, and right when we were almost there, we got ambushed by kobolds Xan was no help in this situation, as usual. We beat them, but in the middle of the fight, Neera wild surged, and none of us have been able to talk since. We're setting up camp now in silence, and it is really boring. I can only hope this has worn off by morning.
Day 32, Hour 8
I can talk again, Mr. Journal! That's a relief, isn't it? We are now on the outskirts of Larswood. There's a lot of general unhappiness going around this morning, though. Immy's complaining about her man parts, and Xan won't shut up about that wild surge from last night. He's convinced that next time it'll only be worse, and that we're endangering ourselves by traveling with Neera. I think it's starting to get to Neera, too, because she got into an argument with Xan over it around half an hour ago and now she's sitting around looking upset while he complains at the rest of us. I'm sure he'll calm down in a couple hours or so, and when he does, I think I'll have a talk with him. Far as I'm concerned, Neera hasn't done anything yet what could really put us in danger, and certainly nothing to warrant Xan shouting at her like that.
Day 32, Hour 23
We finally ran into some real bandits today! No sign of them being the ones we were looking for, though. Still, Vai will be happy to hear we got some. A group of them ambushed us this morning. Xan put most of them out of commission with a sleep spell, but it didn't work on their leader. He and Xan ended up crossing swords, and it looked like Xan was losing, but then Neera went and magic missiled the guy's face off with a spell what was amplified by a wild surge. Xan was not very happy about getting his ass saved by wild magic and refused to talk about it, or even thank Neera for helping out. He can be a bit of a stubborn ass, sometimes.
We got attacked by a big old wolf, too, and it bit me. Hurt like Hells, it did. That was nothing, though. Sometime around the afternoon, we came by this creepy rock what was covered in blood, I don't know what happened there, and I don't want to, but it looks like there was some sort of struggle. Immy, Neera, and Xan all speculated on what could've happened, each of them with completely different attitudes about it. Either way, there was this huge horde of gibberlings what came out of the trees and attacked us a few minutes later. They got me real good. Would've died if Neera hadn't covered my retreat. I was kind of useless for the second half of the battle, which felt real bad. All I could do was bolster the others through song, and even that took everything I had. Bit hard to concentrate on singing when you're bleeding in six different places. Branwen healed me up pretty good after, though, so at least there's that.
For the next few hours after, things were pretty peaceful. A simple walk through the woods. The forest was absolutely magnificent, which made us feel all nice and calm, and made Xan feel insignificant. I am honestly starting to think that there is not a thing out there what doesn't make Xan feel insignificant. It is getting to the point where it is almost comical.
That evening, we were attacked by two bandits what weren't your average garden-variety bandits. They were wearing this scary looking red and black armor and they fired these terrible arrows what made you freezing cold the second they hit you. Immy was a lot clumsier than usual, what with not being used to her new body and all, and nearly got killed, was hit with so many arrows. So, me and Branwen rushed in between Immy and the baddies and bosshammered it up. Xan came in with a glitterdust spell, blinding them before joining into the fray himself. Even blind, though, they hit hard. I mean, at least when they actually did hit. Branwen even had to bust out a Hold Person spell on one of them before it was over.
We've been here for the last couple hours, as Immy's in no condition to move and Branwen's out of healing spells. She and Rasaad are looking after Immy. I tried to help, but Branwen said I was just getting in the way and I should hang back for now.
I've been talking with Xan and Neera for most of the night. Xan's been trying to teach me a new spell, though he refused to start his lesson until he'd made absolutely sure I knew the scratches I got earlier would probably get infected or something if I didn't clean them up. He made me wash the cuts on my arms even though they were mostly closed up and healed by now thanks to Branwen's spells. So much for the emergency water in my extra waterskin. He really does worry too much, Mr. Journal.
Neera sat in on some of the lesson and seemed pretty amused by it all for some reason. Xan didn't seem to be all that comfortable with her being there, but he still let her stay. He wouldn't go right out and say it, but I think he does feel pretty bad for how he acted towards her earlier. I mean, Xan can be kind of an ass sometimes, but far as I can tell his heart's in the right place.
After the magic lesson was finished, I moved closer to the campfire so I could write. Neera hung back for a bit before coming over to the fire to start making dinner. I think she and Xan were talking about something. She seems to be in an all right mood, so maybe he apologized after all? I'd like to think he did. Not nosy enough to ask, though.
I can't help but wonder about those guys what attacked us earlier, Mr. Journal. Do you think maybe they're working for that Tazok guy we're after? I guess there's no point in worrying myself over it tonight, but I just can't get my mind off it. It just might be a real long night, Mr. Journal.
-Following this journal entry, two pages have been torn out, the jagged edges of the paper near the binding the only indication they were ever there in the first place.-
Day 33, Hour 15
Good afternoon, Mr. Journal! We're getting a bit of a late start, as Immy was hurt real bad and it took Branwen a while to finish with the healing. I tried to get some writing done, songs and poems and all, but I just couldn't concentrate. I was too damn worried about Immy. Everything I did write just turned out bad. Had to rip the pages out and everything. Sorry if that hurt you at all, Mr. Journal. It wasn't my intention.
Neera seemed to notice how worried I was and all, since she proposed a bit of a distraction this morning. Even convinced Xan to join us, though I'm pretty sure I heard him mutter about how pointless the whole thing was. Anyways, Neera introduced us to something what she called the “triangle game”. She would name three points that made a triangle and we had to find out whose triangle it was. Neera said the triangle could belong to anyone here. Turns out, doesn't even have to be someone playing the game, because one time, it was Branwen's. I kept guessing wrong, though. I still can't figure it out, Mr. Journal. I asked Neera how to do it but she said it would spoil the game if I didn't find out myself. I'm starting to think she's just making things up. But, that wouldn't explain why Xan started getting a lot of them right halfway through. Unless she was just saying he was right to mess with me. I don't know, Mr. Journal. Seems real weird to me. Anyway, we'll be heading out any minute now to continue our search, so I'll write you later, Mr. Journal.
Day 34, Hour 17
I'm sorry for not writing sooner, Mr. Journal, but it was another mad dash back to the temple at the Friendly Arm, and I just couldn't find time to write. We had to ask Neera to leave once we got back. I'm sad about it, and she made sure to make me feel all good and guilty about it, but after what happened, I had to.
I suppose I should start from the beginning, then. See, yesterday, we found an old stone circle in the middle of the woods, and while we were looking around, some half-mad druid jumped out of nowhere and attacked us. He thought we'd killed his friends or something, and he wouldn't listen to us when we said we had no idea what he was going on about. We were . . . forced to defend ourselves. Death . . . I can't get used to death, Mr. Journal. No matter how many damn times it happens. And this wasn't going to be the last time that day, neither.
After that, we heard shouting, so we went to investigate the noise. We found another druid being attacked by a cave bear. Looked like he was in a bad way so we jumped in to help him out. It turns out he was a friend of the druid from before. He apologized for his friend's actions, told us the poor guy had completely gone off his nut after a group of those nasty Chill bandits moved through the area and killed off most of the local druid circle. A real sad story. I still can't believe he wasn't mad at us, though. I'd sure be mad at us if I were him. Even if it was self-defense. Anyways, he went off to bury his friend and we were just left standing there feeling terrible about everything.
That's when a second cave bear came crashing out of the bushes nearby and attacked. Neera tried to slam it with a spell, but she caused a wild surge and made the bear super-strong and super-fast. It tore after Immy like a damned lightning bolt and she went down before she could even draw her shortsword. I remember crying out and rushing toward the bear, but then it charged straight in the other direction and started attacking Xan. Tried to turn myself around quick as I could and throw a Magic Missile its way, but by the time it hit, it was too late. Both Xan and Immy were dead. Hells, we all would have been if Branwen hadn't shown that thing who was boss with her bosshammer.
Gods, but I was a wreck most of the way back here. Couldn't stop crying. Gellana over at the temple was able to bring both of them back, thankfully, and get that cursed belt off of Immy, too, while she was at it. I hugged Immy so hard when she sat up and opened her eyes again, you have no idea. Ain't no one, not even death, what can take my sister from me.
Soon as Xan came to, he was . . . very upset to say the least. Kept going on and on all half-coherent about Neera and how she was too dangerous to keep around, sounding like he was about to fall over asleep the entire time. I guess it goes to show how strongly he felt about it. Hells, he even said he'd have to leave the group if she kept traveling with us, though I'm not sure if he'd have actually followed through with that once he was in a better state of mind.
Still, he was right. I'd been thinking about the same thing all the way back, but I wanted to get back to the Friendly Arm before making any decisions. Wouldn't do to leave a friend to fend for themselves alone in the wilderness, after all. That's just cruel. But, once we were back to civilization, I knew we had to part ways. Neera's my friend, and I like her lots, but no one puts my sister's life in danger. Or the life of the best friend I've made out here, for that matter. And I ain't about to let either of those things happen again.
The rest of us are getting rooms at the Friendly Arm now. We've been on the road since last afternoon and we're all very tired. Xan was muttering about how he's certain he'll “collapse from exhaustion before he falls on the battlefield.” Branwen pointed out he'd already fallen on the battlefield, and he shot her the dirtiest look before shutting up. Though, I mean, I can't blame him for his mood, I'm sure I'd be grumpy too if I'd just died for the second time this month. Or even the first. Either way, he and Immy are both pretty out of it right now. We'd best get them upstairs so they can rest, and then get some rest ourselves.
Day 35, Hour 18
We've been here all day letting Immy and Xan recover. I paid Miss Unshey a visit on the second floor today and returned her Girdle of Piercing. She got quite a laugh out of it when I told her about the other girdle the ogre had. Anyways, she was real grateful to have her belt back and gave me a book she'd written. I spent most of the day reading it, and I now know more than I ever wanted to about the history of Tethyr. It sounds like a perfectly awful place. I hope I never have to go there. If I'm ever curious about the place, I can just ask Jaheira the next time we meet. I think I remember her mentioning growing up there.
I have to go down to the ground floor and meet the others for dinner now, so I'll see you later, Mr. Journal. I really do hope Immy and Xan are starting to feel a little better.
Day 36, Hour 10
Good morning, Mr. Journal. It looks like Immy and Xan are feeling better now, so we'll be heading out right after breakfast. Our experiences in the woods have shown us that we're real ill-prepared for this search, so we're headed down to Beregost to do some shopping. Heard from one of the patrons here that there's a place just west of Beregost what's called High Hedge, and that a powerful wizard lives there. Rumor has it that sometimes he's willing to sell magic stuff. If Xan and I knew some more spells, things might be easier, so we're definitely going to try paying him a visit.
Day 36, Hour 23
We've been walking to Beregost all day. We just got here, and it's real late. Nothing that exciting happened on the journey. My familiar was really energetic this morning, though. Kept begging me for pie, but I didn't have any. Strange. Usually all he does is spend all his time sleeping and lazing around in my pack and only coming out during meals to scarf down some grub. Anyways, we're going to head to High Hedge tomorrow, so I'd best get some sleep.
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This chunk covers...well, you'll just have to find out. Now that we're into the new stuff, I'd rather not spoil stuff for you.
Day 37, Hour 7
Good morning, Mr. Journal! We're off to High Hedge today! We have an errand before we leave though. Immy reminded me this morning about that shady halfling what lost his boots, so we're going to go meet him and see if these boots we found are his. Maybe then he'll give us back the money what he stole from us a couple weeks back.
Day 38, Hour 0
Evening, Mr. Journal. It's a bit late, but I'll try to stay up long enough to give you the lowdown on today. Before leaving town for High Hedge this morning, we headed to the Burning Wizard to talk with that halfling. Turns out the boots were his, and he was real grateful. He gave us our money back and then some. Overall, a sound success!
We headed for High Hedge soon after that. On our way there, we ran into an elf what called himself Kivan who wanted our help dealing with some bandits. Of course, at the mention of bandits, I was all ears, and asked him for more details. As it turns out, he's after the same group of bandits that we are. He's looking to get revenge on Tazok for a personal matter. He wouldn't tell me exactly what that matter was, but seeing this is Tazok we're talking about it was probably something unforgivable. From his letters, and from the sods under his command, I can't imagine there's a single good thing about the man. We decided it would be a good idea to travel together, as we've both got a beef with Tazok, and there's more of a chance we'll find him and his bandits if we work as a group.
Kivan is a real quiet guy who seems to be very dark and intense. I can't really make him out, you know? It's like he's half a world away, and it's really freaking weird. Just, the way he stands there scowling and looking straight past everyone and probably thinking dark and revenge-y thoughts is . . . actually just the littlest bit scary, Mr. Journal.
Anyways, we made it to High Hedge, where the wizard's golems attacked us on sight as soon as we walked through the door. Luckily for us, he called them off when he realized we meant no harm. Turns out they were all in full attack mode because some idiot had just tied to pull off a heist there but a few minutes before we entered. Idiot wasn't around anymore, if you know what I mean. The wizard, Thalantyr, he calls himself, was kind of grumpy and grumbly at us at first, but he started acting a lot nicer when he realized we were there to buy things and had the gold to back it up. We ended up buying around a dozen spell scrolls before returning to Feldepost's Inn in Beregost.
Xan's been in his room all night figuring the scrolls out by candlelight. Sometimes I hear him muttering through the walls. I got a few simple scrolls for myself, too, and I've been trying to figure them out on my own. I'm doing better than I thought I would, probably because some of the basics what Xan's taught me so far have actually stuck. I've actually learned one of them all by myself and managed to scribe it to my spell book, but the other one still has me tripping up. I still don't quite understand the mechanics behind second circle spells, and the ones I've learned so far have been spell-by-spell, on an individual basis, and even then, only with a lot of help from Xan. I'll have to ask him about this one in the morning. I mean, he's busy now, and I'm pretty sure he wouldn't appreciate the intrusion. But still! I figured out one of these all by myself, in just one night! I'm getting better at this, Mr. Journal!
Anyways, it's getting late. I'd better go off to bed now, or else I won't be ready to go on time tomorrow morning.
Day 38, Hour 8
Morning, Mr. Journal. I'm just about to go downstairs for breakfast. We're probably going to stop by the Jovial Juggler before leaving town to collect the bounty on those bandits we fought the other day. After that, it's back to looking for Tazok and his group of baddies. Hopefully with a ranger like Kivan in the group, the search will go more smoothly from here on out.
Day 39, Hour 1
Well, we're finally in Larswood again, though it took most the whole day. Before I hit the sack for the night, I suppose I should tell you about it.
This morning, Xan was the only one what was already out of bed. Something about elves not needing as much rest as the rest of us. Dunno what Kivan's excuse was. Maybe he stayed up real late, thinking about revenge or something, and lost track of the time? Anyways, I told Xan about that spell I'd figured out, and about the scroll I was still having trouble with. He ended up taking me out to a field behind the inn for some practice. He showed me how to increase the effectiveness of the spell I'd learned. Said I've got good form, but I need to loosen my wrists a little. I was showing him the scroll I'd been trying to make sense of as we walked back to the inn, but when we got inside the others were waiting for us so he didn't get to give me any advice.
We talked over a lot of things at breakfast. Unfortunately, Kivan doesn't have any info about Tazok's whereabouts what we can actually use. Apparently, he's been tracking Tazok down, but he lost the trail a couple weeks ago. So much for that. We ended up deciding the best course of action would be to pick up where we'd left off and head back to Larswood, as that was our only lead.
I'm not going to bore you with the particulars of the journey, Mr. Journal. Was just a bunch of walking and idle chitchat. Only thing I can really think of off the top of my head what happened was that Xan helped me a bit with that scroll when we stopped for lunch. Other than that, just. Chitchat.
-After this, about a page or so of writing has been furiously scratched out. The only words that can still be somewhat made out underneath the hasty scribbles are “clouds” and “Rasaad.”-
Day 39, Hour 9
Hey there, Mr. Journal! It's a lovely morning today! I got a good feeling about today! We're going to find some bandits for sure!
Day 39, Hour 11
It's raining something fierce. We've had to take shelter in an old ruined tower. It's a little leaky, but it's a lot drier than it is out there. I'm all soaked, and I'm worrie--
-The ink has run all together here. Clearly some water has gotten onto the page despite Eibhilin's attempts to keep the journal safe from the rain.-
--says we're all going to catch our deaths of cold out here, and I'm starting to believe it.
We passed a marker a while back what says “Wood of Sharp Teeth.” I think we might be lost, as that's not a name I've heard before. Not that I'd know from looking around, though. I can barely even see outside, the rain's falling down so damn thick. Hope it lets up soon.
Day 39, Hour . . . something. Definitely nighttime.
The rain just now let up, though we've been having to walk around in it for a pretty long while. We had to clear out of that little old tower pretty quick – there was this loud cracking noise, and suddenly stones started falling all around us. We only just managed to get out of there before the whole thing collapsed on top of our heads. And, luckily, I managed to stuff you into my pack just in time to keep you from getting all wet and ruined. Silver linings, Mr. Journal, silver linings.
Anyways, everything around here looks real unfamiliar, and I'm afraid we might be completely lost. I've got no idea where we are, and it doesn't help things that it's so damn dark out here. It's still all cloudy and I can't see the moon or the stars. What time is it, anyway? The rain just completely threw me off. Oh well. Guess the only thing to do now is help set up camp and try to get some sleep. We can worry about where in the world we've ended up once it's morning.
Day 40, Hour 11
Morning, Mr. Journal. Yeah, this place is definitely unfamiliar. It's still woods and all, but there are lots of rocks sticking up all jagged out of the ground like some monster's fangs. I suppose that's where the place gets its name, huh? Either way, we are most definitely lost.
We discussed what to do over breakfast this morning. We all had different viewpoints on the situation. Immy sees it as an opportunity for adventure, and I'd be like to agree with her, if we didn't have more pressing matters at hand. Branwen's not too torn up over it, she says as long as we start walking in one direction, we're bound to end up somewhere eventually, and we can ask for directions once we get there. Until then, she says, “great warriors” like us should have no trouble braving a few days in the wilderness. I'm not sure which group she's been traveling with this whole time, but apparently, it's not ours. Rasaad believes this may be part of a bigger plan. Some sort of test or something. Xan is, as you'd expect, convinced that we're now doomed to die out here in the wilderness and there's nothing we can do about it but resign ourselves to our fate.
Kivan seems a little annoyed at being diverted off course but rather than talk about his opinions he just started going over the facts and trying to find some solutions. The rainstorm last night wiped away our tracks, so we can't just trace our path back. Because of this we'll have to find another way to get our bearings. He says he'll be on the lookout for any signs what could tell us more about where we are, but for the moment, we should try to move forward, as we're not getting any less lost sitting here, and we're definitely not getting any closer to Tazok and his merry band of cutthroats and brigands. Of course, he said it in a lot less words, but I'm pretty sure that's basically what he meant.
I guess we should hurry up and get going, then.
Day 40, Hour 22
These woods are a terrible place, Mr. Journal. They're full of ettercaps and all sorts of giant spiders. I don't like it. Not one bit. We've been stuck here resting for several hours, as we're in no shape to go on.
So, how did we get to this point? Boy, you are lucky I am a storyteller by trade, Mr. Journal. So, soon after we set off this morning, we ran into some weird priest guy what talked about karma and other stuff. We asked him for directions, but the only thing we could get him to tell us is that we were in the Wood of Sharp Teeth, just like the marker we passed yesterday said. Wouldn't tell us what direction we had to go in to get back. He said he might help us if we got his scroll back from some ettercaps, though.
They were real nasty little sods, they were. Somehow, we managed to get out without being too hurt or anything. But, when we brought the scroll back to the weird priest, he just told us to keep it and said that'd be his help to us. So, we were just as lost as before. And as if that weren't bad enough, it started raining again, too!
So, we went on, undeterred by the weird priest guy's weird priest shenanigans, but then we ran into a whole lot of spiders. Big spiders. Spiders around my size. Did I mention I hate spiders, Mr. Journal? We managed to hack our way through them, but one of them bit Kivan and its venom did a real number on him. He's real ill and weak, and he can barely move. We found a place what looked kind of safe on the sheltered side of one of these big old rocks all over the place. Some kind of overhang. Didn't keep the rain off perfect, but it was better than nothing.
Not but a few minutes ago, another one of them giant spiders – different kind from before – attacked us while we were stopped. We were barely able to fight them off, and now Xan's been poisoned too. He looks like he's in a lot of pain, but there's nothing what I can do to help. Branwen's doing what she can for both Xan and Kivan, but, like the rest of us, she's near out of spells. And, like a bunch of idiots, we forgot to restock on antidote when we were back in town. Now we're two men down and they're both just going to have to wait it out and it's terrible. I hope they're going to be all right, Mr. Journal. I'd feel right awful if something bad happened to them because I'm a bad leader what forgot to go get antidote before we left. At least the damn rain's stopped.
Day 41, Hour 6
Morning, Mr. Journal. We're all just about ready to get going again. Xan's made a full recovery. Kivan still seems a bit out of it, but he insists he's going to be all right and that we should focus on hunting down Tazok and his bandits. That would be a much easier task if we had any idea where we were. Of course, right now, we've got to find a way back to the Friendly Arm Inn. It's getting to be about time to report back to Khalid and Jaheira again, and by ”about time”, I mean we're already a day late. Hopefully, they've had more luck than us.
Luckily, the sky's not that overcast anymore, so we can use the position of the sun to tell what direction we're going. If we start heading west, we should hit the main road between Beregost and the Friendly Arm eventually.
Day 42, Hour 1
We set off west this morning in the hopes of finding our way back to the Friendly Arm Inn. On our way, we found some overgrown ruins where a bunch of Red Wizards were hiding out. They came out of the ruins and tried to kill us just for being in their line of sight. Red Wizards are butts, Mr. Journal. Butts, every one of them. Almost immediately, they set off a Stinking Cloud spell, and suddenly I couldn't breathe right and lost consciousness. When I came to, the cloud was gone, there was only one of them left, and Branwen was heading right for him with her BOSSHAMMER. She seems to be the one doing all of the bosshammering these days, Mr. Journal. I'd better pick up the pace. Can't let myself fall behind!
Anyways, I got the whole story from Immy after. Apparently, she, Kivan, and Xan all managed to make it out of the cloud before the poison gas got to them. She and Kivan circled 'round and fired off arrows while Xan dropped a bunch of sleep and charm spells on them. Branwen and Rasaad came to right before I did and joined the fight. And I missed every second of it. We did find a lot of neat magical items they'd stashed nearby, though. At least I was around for that bit.
We continued west and got attacked by an ankheg, but we ran away real fast and managed to escape. It just sort of lost interest in us after we'd gotten far away enough out of its territory. After we'd lost it, we stopped to rest our tired feet, but just as we'd started to get comfortable we got ambushed by kobolds! We were totally surrounded by the annoying little buggers. It was a pretty easy fight though, I mean, they were just kobolds.
You know, Mr. Journal, I think this is the best Xan's ever done in an encounter with kobolds. And by the best, I mean he didn't scream like a little girl, or faint, or try to run away like he seems to do every time the nasty critters show up. Part of me says I should congratulate him, but the other part of me says it'd just look like I were making fun of him if I did.
Anyways, we're all real tired, but we clearly can't rest here. It's too dangerous. At least the scenery is starting to look familiar now. I'm pretty sure we're just east of Beregost.
Day 42, Hour 7
We made it into Beregost just as the sun rose. We could rest at Feldepost's but we've all decided to just keep going soon as we've stopped for breakfast. We're already late going to the Friendly Arm Inn, and we can rest once we get there. Don't want to keep Khalid and Jaheira waiting. Besides, it's a wonder what the sun can do for your energy levels. It's morning, and it feels like morning, even if you never said good night. I mean, yeah, I guess I'm a little sleepy, and my eyes kind of sting, and my nose is a bit runny, but it doesn't seem to be anything major. I'm sure it'll be fine. We'll be on our way soon.
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Here's the next chunk of the journal!
Please feel free to comment on it, I would like to know what people think of how I'm doing.
Day 42, Hour 20
We've just made it to the Friendly Arm, and we're all EXHAUSTED. Just about to fall over on the floor. Except Xan, because he already did, about five minutes ago. He started lagging behind soon after we left Beregost. I keep forgetting what little stamina he's got. We really should've stopped to rest before this. You know, Mr. Journal, I used to think it was just an elf thing or something like that. Being all fragile and squishy and delicate and not able to travel too far without rest, I mean. But, Kivan doesn't have any of those problems, so I'm starting to think that maybe it's just a Xan thing.
Anyway, long story short, pushing on to the Friendly Arm Inn was a bad idea, sleep is good, and that's a thing what we need to do. Yeah.
Khalid and Jaheira aren't here, anyway. First I thought maybe they just got fed up of waiting and left since we were late and all, but old Bentley says they haven't been in for nearly two weeks. Something's real off about that, Mr. Journal. But, I'm just real sleepy right now, so I'll try thinking about it again in the morning, okay?
Day 43, Hour 6
Morning, Mr. Journal. Everyone's in a much better mood now that they've got some sleep. We all just finished a nice, early breakfast. Khalid and Jaheira still aren't here. I guess they're running a little late. Probably a good thing, as that means at least they won't know how late we were in getting here. We're going to stay here and wait for them until they show up. Right now, it's just me, Immy, Xan, and Rasaad. Kivan mentioned something about fighting bravely to Branwen and they went off to talk at another table. Presumably to swap battle tips or something? I don't know. Warrior stuff, I guess. Anyways, write you later, Mr. Journal.
Day 43, Hour 18
After breakfast this morning, Rasaad went up to his room to meditate and Xan went up to his room to study some of the scrolls we'd gotten off the Red Wizards on our way back to Beregost. He stopped and handed one of them to me before he went up the stairs. Said it was useless to him since it was an evocation spell, but maybe I might could find a use for it. Kivan and Branwen were still talking amongst themselves, and Kivan looked kind of upset about something. Since there was really nothing much else to do, Immy and I slipped out to have a morning walk around the inn grounds and enjoy the nice day. First we stopped by the temple to pick up some antidotes and healing potions, so we didn't run the risk of getting into another jam like the one what we'd found ourselves in a few days ago. Then, we just walked around inside the inn's walls. It was a real pretty day, and lots of folks were out and about, taking advantage of the nice weather.
We ran into an older woman what called herself Joia and she asked us for our help. Said she'd had her ring stolen from her by hobgoblins right outside the inn's walls! Didn't seem too tough or like it'd require us to stray too far from the Friendly Arm, so me and Immy agreed to help. Right as we were fixing to go through the front gate, we ran into Branwen and Kivan. Seems they'd finished talking and had decided to join us in our walk. We told them about the situation, and Branwen was more than happy to help. Kivan didn't really react at all, but he followed us out the gate, so I took that to mean he was going along with us on our little quest.
So, we went and walked around the outside of the Friendly Arm Inn, on the road what circles 'round the wall. The first group of hobgoblins we ran into didn't have it, but the second group did. Both were real easy fights though. Honestly, most of us didn't even fight at all. Branwen pretty much took them out all by herself. We didn't even get the time to run in and help. We found some other nice stuff on the hobgoblins, too, aside from the ring, including a scroll what I couldn't figure out.
We went back inside the walls and returned the ring to Joia, who was real grateful. As she walked off, Kivan actually smiled a little and said all quiet-like, “That was a noble deed.” It is nice to know he is capable of making a face other than that real “grrrrr” scowl of his. His smile is still near as scary-looking as his scowl, but I guess it's the effort that counts, Mr. Journal.
After that, we went back inside. I went straight to Bentley and sold off some of the stuff what we'd gotten off the hobgoblins. While I was over by the bar, Neera came over and tried to convince us to let her back on the team. Said no, of course, but man is she good at that guilt tripping stuff. Made me feel like a right horrible person, it did. It was all I could do to keep reminding myself why we'd let her go in the first place.
Anyway, after that, I went upstairs. Decided to visit Xan before going to my room. Figured he'd get more use out of the scroll I'd found than I would. I'm surprised he actually responded when I knocked on the door, though. Usually when he gets real caught up in his studying, he doesn't hear stuff like that. So, I gave him the scroll, and as he looked at it, I heard him mutter that perhaps we'd survive longer than he'd originally thought. Guess it was a good scroll.
Course, then he wanted to know where I'd found it, and then I had to tell him about the hobgoblins. I was full expecting to get a long lecture on how I could have gotten myself killed and that I was a huge fool and whatnot, but it never happened. Instead, he just got real quiet for a moment and then asked why we left without coming to get him. Sounded real disappointed, too. Made me feel just awful. I swear, today must just be “make Linn feel bad about stuff” day, and I wasn't told. All I could say to him was that I'd figured he wouldn't want to be disturbed while he was studying magic and all. After that, I just kind of left and went to my room, because things were awkward and uncomfortable, and, besides that, I think he probably wanted me to leave after that. I know I'd want me to leave after that. I hope he's not mad at me, Mr. Journal.
Spent the rest of the afternoon studying that one scroll what Xan gave me this morning. It's about time to go downstairs and meet the others for dinner. I'm a little nervous, Mr. Journal. What if Neera's still down there giving everyone ugly looks? And more important, what if Xan's still upset? And oh gods, what if Rasaad reacts anywhere near the same way Xan did once he finds out about the hobgoblins? I don't think I can handle any more people being disappointed in me, least of all him.
Day 43, Hour 19
Dear Mr. Journal:
Neera was at another table on the other side of the room, distracted by a large hunk of bread.
Xan is not mad at me.
Rasaad is being real cool about the whole thing.
I am so relieved, you've got no idea.
Day 44, Hour 11
Khalid and Jaheira still aren't here.
This morning when I went down for breakfast, there were a bunch of Neeras in the main room. Like, at least ten Neeras. Couldn't help but wonder if there'd been another wild surge in the middle of the night. During our meal, Neera (I assume the real one, as the other didn't seem to speak at all,) who seemed to be a little tipsy, came up to our table and boasted about how she didn't need us for protection no more, so the joke's on us.
I suppose the Neera army was intentional, then.
Still creeps me out a little, though, Bunch of the same person walking around. I hope Khalid and Jaheira make it here soon, because this stay at the Friendly Arm is just getting odder and odder.
Day 44, Hour 14
This song is dedicated to Neera. All ten of them.
The army's on the march
And they all have the same face
They're eating all the food
And they're crowding up the place
The army's on the march
And they're all one and the same
They've all got the same goal
And they've all got the same name
Red Wizards beware!
Now she's ten times stronger than before
Red Wizards take care!
She's gonna use you to mop up the floor
She doesn't even need us anymore...
P.S. Neera (the real one, maybe) started looking over my shoulder when I was about halfway done. She says she still hasn't totally forgiven us for leaving her here at the inn but that she would really like to use this as her theme song. I told her okay, since it is about her, after all. I'm even letting her pick the tune.
Day 44, Hour 19
Still no Khalid and Jaheira. We all spent most of the day inside. I talked with my familiar for a while. It's so rare when he's not sleeping in my pack these days. I asked him if maybe he could show his face around more often and whatnot. He said that if I got him some pie, then maybe he would think about it. It took quite some money to convince the inn's cooks to bake one, as it wasn't on the menu for the day, but it was worth it. He's real happy now. Course, he also asked me why I hadn't given him a name yet, and then I just felt real stupid. Couldn't think of one. I guess I just sort of assumed he already had one and was waiting for him to tell me what it was. I asked him what he'd like to be called, and he said he'd have to think about it.
Also, Immy came to me this evening and admitted she'd picked up a scroll off those hobgoblins yesterday too and hadn't told us. She'd meant to surprise us by figuring out what it was all on her own, but she couldn't tell a thing about it, so she asked me to take a look. It looks like some sort of protection scroll, but it's all . . . different. I wish I could say more than that, but I'm still not all that good at magic, Mr. Journal. About half of this thing looks like nonsense scribbles to my poor, untrained eyes. I gave it to Xan tonight at dinner, asked him to see if he could identify it. He says he'll look into it. Anyway, not much else to do but get ready for bed, even if it is early.
Day 45, Hour 5
Going to bed early means waking up early, and boy, I sure did, Mr. Journal. I was downstairs in the wee hours. Surprisingly enough, Xan was already down there too, and he looked real upset about something. I went over and asked him what was wrong, and he said he'd made a really bad mistake. Turns out he got up after a few hours of rest and decided to start studying Immy's scroll, but it was cursed, and he accidentally triggered it. He told me his head feels all foggy now and its really hard for him to remember big words or think too much. He's worried he won't be able to cast any spells like this. He then confided in me that he was for sure this was the day we were all going to die, and then he said he needed a drink and went up to the bar. I told him it probably wasn't a good idea to go drinking if his mind was already all jumbled and messed up from the scroll, especially since he's already such a lightweight, but he didn't listen to me.
The others came down soon after for a real early breakfast. We talked about what to do next. I've been getting real worried about Khalid and Jaheira, I mean, what if something happened to them? It turns out the others feel the same way. We've unanimously agreed that if they're not here by the end of the day then tomorrow morning we're going to go out and look for them. Well. Almost unanimously. Xan thinks we should try to summon them by calling out to them with our minds. I don't even know how to react to that. He's completely smashed, Mr. Journal, and it is the most ridiculous thing ever.
Day 45, Hour 23
Today has been interesting, to say the least, Mr. Journal. Right after breakfast Xan announced he was going for a walk to clear his head. Well, I was right worried that the way he was he'd do something stupid and get himself into trouble, and I said maybe it would be best if we all went on a walk. He wouldn't hear of it, though. Said he wanted to be alone with his thoughts. I kept insisting, though, and finally he agreed to at least let me go along with him. The others were perfectly content to stay inside anyway, to tell you the truth. But, I couldn't just let him go out there alone when he wasn't thinking straight. Sure enough, we ended up walking outside the walls, around the inn. He was all stumbling around and muttering half-nonsense about things he was worried about. Really couldn't tell what he was going on about for the most part. I think he was slipping in and out of, like, elf language or something.
After about half an hour of this he suddenly got real quiet and stopped in his tracks. Then he turned to look at me and he just said all serious-like, “Eibhilin.”
And I was all, “Yeah?”
And then he looked like he was all deep in thought and stuff, and then there was a pause, and then, “...I'm drunk.”
And I just said, “Yeah. Yeah, you are.”
I mean, he was being super serious about all of this. Like, ridiculously serious. I actually think it was around that time the curse wore off and he could think clearer, and all. It was just kind of hard to tell since he was hammered. He was kind of surprised to see we were outside the inn's walls. Must've not been aware of his surroundings at all before that. We were about halfway around by then, though, so we just kept moving on instead of turning back. I figured we'd get back to the entrance in about the same time that way. Xan didn't really have any opinion on it at all, save for telling me real loud that he didn't like being this drunk and if felt like he didn't have any control over himself. He was trying so very hard to stand up straight, Mr. Journal. It was kind of sad, really.
We got attacked by a hobgoblin on the way back, and I told Xan to let me handle it. Didn't want badly aimed spells flying all over the place. Luckily, I was able to take care of the hobgoblin before it hurt either of us. Found a scroll on it too. Xan got real panicky when he saw me holding it and said real forceful-like that he wasn't going to get anywhere near it. I told him not to worry, that I'd figure it out myself so if it was another cursed one he wouldn't have to deal with it.
After we got back to the inn, I helped Xan get back up the stairs to his room so he could sleep the booze off. Or, whatever that thing is that elves do instead of sleep. Reverie? Reverie. Man, that is just the kind of word that sounds real awkward in a sentence. What do you even call going into a reverie? Reverizing? Revering? Not-sleeping? Not-sleeping. Let's go with that.
So, Xan was not-sleeping for a few hours, and I was checking out that scroll I'd found. It wasn't cursed, and I learned a new spell! Hooray for me!
This evening around dinnertime, Xan had sobered up, though he was complaining the rest of the night about how much his head hurt. I mean seriously, I was downstairs confiding in Rasaad about my worries concerning Khalid and Jaheira when Xan came down into the main room and I swear we could both hear the moaning before we even saw him start to come down the stairs. I tried to be all nice and sociable-like to him and also talk real quiet so as not to make things worse, but he really didn't seem to appreciate my telling him about how the scroll we found this morning wasn't another cursed one like he'd been so scared it was. I decided to leave him alone for the rest of the night and just hung out with Immy after dinner and told her all about this morning. She thought it was funny. I really don't see it, though. I mean, I guess drunk people are funny sometimes, but if she'd seen just how distressed Xan had looked throughout the whole thing I don't think she'd think it was funny. It's kind of hard for things to be funny when people are sad. Anyway, Mr. Journal, it's late and I need to sleep, so I'll see you in the morning.
Day 46, Hour 7
Good morning, Mr. Journal. We've just finished discussing our course of action. While we searched in Larswood to the east, Khalid and Jaheira were supposed to have gone to Peldvale. As that's just north of where we were searching, we've decided to go back to Larswood and head northward from there. I really hope they haven't gotten into any trouble. We've told Bentley our report for the past tenday or so and told him that if Khalid and Jaheira showed up while we were gone, he should give them the report for us and tell them we'd gone off to Peldvale looking for them.
My familiar has decided that he wants me to call him Swiftwing, and he's going to be out traveling with us like a proper member of the group this time. Xan doesn't think it's a good idea for me to be letting my familiar out in the open like this when there are so many enemies what could hurt him, and he said as much. I think he's just worrying too much, though. Swiftwing's smarter than he looks, and it'll be nice for once to feel like he's actually there, you know? Besides, Immy's all for it. The two of them are already getting along real well. It should be a lot of fun. Of course, we can't go forgetting the serious nature of our quest. We've got to track down those bandits, and find Khalid and Jaheira, too!
And yes, the Neera army was in fact a thing that happened in-game. I don't know what kind of glitch caused it, but multiple Neeras spawned in the Friendly Arm. That was...certainly a thing.
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This chunk covers up until they find the bandit camp~
Day 46, Hour 23
We've been walking all day, but we finally made it to Peldvale! No sign of Khalid and Jaheira yet, but I'm sure we'll find them. We just gotta! Immy and me spent a lot of our time on the way playing “I Spy” with Swiftwing. Of course, that got boring after a couple of hours. Except when you run into interesting stuff, there's only so many things you could be looking at in the woods. After a while, it starts getting pretty easy to guess.
Couldn't really bother anyone else, neither. Kivan was too busy tracking and doing his ranger stuff to talk with me, and Branwen was helping him out. Rasaad looked like he was in quiet contemplation of something, and it seemed it would be awful rude to disturb him. And Xan was walking along with his face stuck right in his spellbook most the whole time. I'm surprised he even managed to stay with the group and not wander off or run into a tree or something. I mean, I sure as Hells can't read or write while I walk. I mean, I used to try but I stopped after it caused too much trouble. Remember that, Mr. Journal? That time I almost knocked Khalid over in the Nashkel Mines? Aw man, memories. So anyway, with Immy and me bored out of our minds and everyone else indisposed, everything just sunk into silence, and the next few hours before we reached Peldvale and set up camp were awful dull.
Xan helped me gather firewood for the campfire tonight, and he apologized to me all embarrassed-like for what'd happened yesterday. Thanked me for putting up with it and making sure he didn't do anything too stupid. I told him it was nothing, really, but he still seems to be beating himself up over it. It's not like it's his fault, though, he couldn't have known that scroll was cursed to make people stupid, right, Mr. Journal?
When the two of us got back, it turned out all our hard work had been for nothing. The others ended up changing their minds about building a campfire tonight, because if the bandits were nearby, they might see us. Kivan was going on about how stealth was crucial at this stage or something. I'm lucky the moon is so bright tonight, Mr. Journal, else I wouldn't even be able to write this.
It's real cold right now. It shouldn't still be cold right now. It's almost summer. I hate it when the weather gets all weird. Because now it is so cold.
I wish there were fire.
Day 47, Hour 7
It's much warmer this morning. Much more fitting for a day in the middle of Kythorn. I just don't know what was up with last night. That was just odd. Anyway, we've had a quick breakfast and we're about to get moving. Here's hoping we can find Khalid and Jaheira.
Day 48, Hour 11
Sorry for not writing last night, Mr. Journal, but everything just hurt too much. Damn spiders really did a number on me, they did.
Anyways. Yesterday. Right. We set off real early yesterday. We found this pond, and there was a rotting barrel half buried in mud on the shore. Immy's the one what spotted it, and all. We found some gold pieces inside and it was awesome. There were a lot of other ponds what we saw that day – this is a just a really pondy area – but none of them were as exciting as that one where we found the gold. They were mostly just wet and everywhere around them was mud. It got my boots all dirty and it sucked.
Oh, also, some gibberlings tried to ambush us while Immy was searching that barrel. The key word there is “tried”. One sleep spell from Xan made them all fall over right in their tracks, and then all we had to do was beat them before they could wake up and come after us again.
We headed north from there. We were just walking through the woods, minding our own business, when suddenly this drow lady ran up to us and asked for help. I'd never seen an honest to goodness drow before, Mr. Journal. I thought they all lived underground. Then again, from the stories, I also thought they were, you know, bad guys. This lady though, she just looked scared., So, I asked her what was wrong, but before she could answer, one of them Flaming Fist guys showed up and said he was going to kill her because she was a murderer. The drow lady said she hadn't done anything, though, so I asked the Flaming Fist guy what proof he had. He admitted that he didn't have any evidence she'd committed a crime, but that her being a drow and all was evidence enough. Well, I told him that kind of reasoning is just messed up. Just because the stories say that drow are the bad guys like nine out of ten times, that's no reason to accuse someone of a crime they didn't commit. Heck, I've heard rumors of one drow who goes around doing straight up hero stuff all the time. I bet folks wouldn't try to accuse him of crimes just because of what he looks like.
Well, anyways, the Flaming Fist guy got right mad at me for questioning his logic, and he attacked us! I thought these guys were supposed to keep order around here, not go around trying to chop up travelers with legitimate questions about justice and stuff. I think I'm starting to lose my faith in the establishment, Mr. Journal. He hit me, Immy, and Rasaad with a Hold Person spell pretty early on, so we were pretty much useless. The others managed without us, though. Also, it turns out that Swiftwing is a total badass. He kicked some serious butt in that fight, and in every fight after that. And on top of that, he's the only one who made it through the whole day without a scratch.
So, anyways, we defeated the Flaming Fist guy. I don't like having to resort to violence like that, especially with an officer of the law, but I guess it can't be helped when the law around here has a policy of “kill first, ask questions later.” I just hope we don't get in any trouble. If the rest of the Flaming Fist is anything like this guy, they probably won't care that we were fighting in self-defense.
The drow lady was real grateful to us for saving her, and she thanked us. Said that she was an outcast and had left the Underdark, but now she had nowhere to go and no one to give her a chance. She wanted to come along with us, but Kivan would have none of that. He says he refuses to travel with a drow. I told him it wasn't very nice to judge people before you get to know them, and I probably would have taken her along anyway to prove the point, but we had places to be and were going into danger. I couldn't ask her to stick her neck out like that when it wasn't her fight. She understood. The least I could do though was to give her a few of our healing potions and our extra potion of invisibility, just in case she got herself into trouble again. She thanked us for our kindness and we parted ways. Maybe we'll meet again one day.
We continued on our quest until we came to the gutted remains of an old wooden wagon. It was all sticking out of the ground and stuff, and it looked real weird and cool all silhouetted against the sky like that. Of course, the reason I remember the scene so vivid-like is because when I stopped to get a look at it some bandits jumped out from behind the trees and ambushed us. Xan had to use his last sleep spell to get us out of that one. One of them had a Charm Person scroll in his pack, and I took it and put it in my scroll case with the other one I already had.
It was right about then that it started pouring down rain. Of course, we were a team with a mission, and we kept going on, in spite of the storm. We ran into some weird guy on the way what told us a real morbid story about how his uncle bit the dust fighting monsters because he thought he was a good adventurer and wasn't. He seemed real enthusiastic about it, for someone who'd lost an uncle. It was really creepy. After that, he told us we could find exciting and dangerous adventures over in the Firewine Ruins, and left. I still feel bad about that halfling village, Mr. Journal. If we ever have time to go back there and take care of the kobold problem in the ruins, we should.
When the rain let up, we stopped for lunch. It was a real nice day, aside from the ground being so wet. Course, our meal got interrupted by another ambush, because dramatic timing can be a right bitch, it can. This time we ended up surrounded by a bunch of creatures what looked like gnolls, but meaner and bulkier. They had us in pretty dire straits. Branwen, Rasaad, and Xan were all hurt real bad in the fight, and it took all of Branwen's healing spells, and my abilities too, before we were ready to get moving again. By this time we were having to get a bit more creative in our fighting tactics with the spells we had left, as we were running out. Still, we moved on.
We ran into another group of bandits what gave us the usual options – our gold or our lives. It was then that I got a brilliant idea. I figured, if these bandits were operating so far from the road, they might be scouts from the group of bandits we were after. So, I started asking 'em about it, pretending I wanted to join them. Turns out I was right. So, I asked them to take us to Tazok as new recruits. Unfortunately, I don't think Kivan got the memo. He got all surprised and didn't realize it was a ruse. That reaction of his totally gave us away. The bandits got suspicious and attacked us. Luckily, with Xan's Charm Person spell and the two scrolls I had, we were able to turn half the group against each other, which made the fight a lot easier. Immy still ended up having to use the last charge on her wand of magic missiles, though.
Course, after the last bandit was dead, I found myself face to face with a very angry Kivan asking me just why I wanted to join Tazok and just what I was up to. I had to explain to him that I'd been trying to get them to take us to their camp and spare us the trouble. Perfect chance to take them apart from the inside. You know, kill two birds with one stone. Find the bandits, and, hopefully, find out what happened to Khalid and Jaheira. I mean, I can't imagine them getting into any sort of trouble what kept them from getting back to the Friendly Arm if it didn't have to do with the bandits. Honestly, they seem to be the only ones 'round here what're like to cause any real trouble. Course, I could just be naive about that, Mr, Journal, and there could be plenty of other real bad threats out here, but I figure that since they were looking for the bandits it's the most likely scenario.
Once I'd explained it, Kivan looked right sheepish about how he'd acted. Bet he felt really dumb when he realized he'd just ruined a rare chance to get at Tazok. But, at least one good thing came out of the encounter. One of the bandits had a real nice magic warhammer what I took for myself. BOSSHAMMER MARK TWO. Now with twenty percent more BOSS. Bosshammerrrrrrrr.
So, anyway, after that, we kept moving on. On the way we were attacked by a bunch of dogs, except they weren't wild dogs. They were trained war dogs. Probably belonged to the bandits, which means we're getting closer.
In the early evening, we came to another one of those ponds, and a few giant spiders came out from the bushes and attacked us. Gods, but I hate spiders. I got poisoned three times, Mr. Journal. Three. Times. Nearly used up all of our antidotes in that one battle! Suffice to say, they got me but good and by the end of the fight I was in such bad shape that I could barely move. What's worse, since Branwen was out of healing spells, I'd have to wait for her to prepare more in the morning. So, we set up camp there for the night. Well, the others set up camp. I mostly sat there leaning against a rock and being useless. Also miserable. And in a lot of pain. I'll say it again, Mr. Journal, I hate spiders. I hate them so much.
But, it's a new day, and I'm feeling a lot better now! We're about to leave soon. Still no sign of Khalid or Jaheira anywhere, but judging from the increase in run-ins with bandits, I'd say we're at least getting closer to their main camp.
Day 49, Hour 5
I had a real lucky morning yesterday, Mr. Journal. Soon after we set off, I found a couple gold pieces just lying on the ground. Tell me that isn't lucky!
Didn't stay lucky though. It rained for a few hours and then we got attacked by a giant spider. But not just a normal giant spider. This one just shrugged off all our spells and attacks like they were nothing! It bit Immy and then she just collapsed on the ground, trying real hard to move and stuff. Some sort of paralysis venom and whatnot. Things were looking real bad, and then I heard Xan shout at me to try to distract it a couple seconds. So, I did what I could. Mostly tried to make it mad. It was either that or sing at it, and spiders aren't exactly known for their taste in music. I looked over and saw that Xan was casting a couple spells on himself, and then suddenly he charged right at the damn thing with his Moonblade drawn, shouting that he was going to regret this later when he was lying dead on the ground covered in spider bites. Hacked it to bits, he did! Turns out the thing could only be hit by powerful magic weapons. I guess Bosshammer Mark Two wasn't good enough. That really is an impressive sword Xan's got. It's a good thing he noticed the spider's weakness when he did. Leave it to the wizard to figure out magicky things like that, I guess.
Anyways, Immy was in a real bad way after the fight so we had to stop and tend to her. Whatever kind of poison that spider had in its ...um. Nasty fangy things, made her real sick. Huge group of bandits ambushed us around sunset but luckily Xan still had a couple of sleep spells prepared. I swear, that is the most useful spell in the history of ever, and I really need to learn it, because it is made of awesome.
Anyways, most of us got some sleep already while we were stopped, so we're going to move on, even if the sun hasn't come up yet. Immy's feeling better now, and we've all agreed that it'll be much easier to do what we need to in the dark since we're less likely to get seen and attacked by bandits. We've got Kivan at the head of the group for now and Xan watching the rear, since elves can see real good in the dark, and the rest of us can't.
Day 49, Hour 17
We've done it, Mr. Journal! We've found the bandit camp! We're a safe ways away from it right now, but there it is! I can see it in the distance beyond those trees! Right now we're hiding out in some bushes discussing our plan of action. From the sound of it, we're going to wait until nightfall and then sneak in. That way, we'll have the element of surprise! I can't believe we've managed to come this far already. Khalid and Jaheira would be so proud of us!
… I hope they're okay.
Maybe they're down there right now.
again please leave feedback if you can. thanks.
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Finally, we get to the bandit camp. Also, seriously, please, anyone who is actually reading this, leave feedback, thanks. I need to know how I am doing.
Day 50, Hour 6
Gotta keep this nice and brief, Mr. Journal. We're at war here. We've made our base in some ruins just south of the bandit camp. Swiftwing is hanging out in my pack again, because even if he is a badass this is just too dangerous for him.
We had Immy and Kivan scout out the perimeter of the camp from the woods and snipe some of the bandits. The rest of us came in for a couple of precise strikes against two important guys in the camp. One of them was the leader of the Chill hobgoblins and the other was … well, I'm pretty sure he was real important, too. Immy said that when she and Kivan were scoping the place out they saw several of the bandits report into him.
Anyways, we're injured and out of spells, so we had to make a strategic retreat, but we really thinned out their numbers. Branwen says she doesn't approve of such unwarriorlike tactics, but after Immy and Kivan scouted the place, it was pretty clear there wasn't any other option. We're crazy outnumbered, even now, and it wouldn't be smart to just go charging in there. Not if we want to survive. We'll attack a second time this afternoon, before the other bandits have had a chance to regroup. Hopefully before they find the bodies and realize what's happened, but that may be asking for too much.
Day 50, Hour 19
Oh, gosh, Mr. Journal, so much has happened! We've done it! But, we also haven't done it! It's real complicated. I'd better start from the beginning.
Okay, so early this morning we were preparing to launch our final assault on the bandit camp, right? After he'd prepared his own spells, Xan spent most of that time teaching me how to do the sleep spell, which really did come in handy. I don't 100% have the hang of it yet, but it worked well enough to help. Anyways, while Xan was giving me last minute lessons, Immy snuck into the camp several times before the attack and stole a bunch of their supplies. Yeah, I know it sounds like a real dishonest thing to do, Mr. Journal, but any stuff we took from them was stuff they couldn't use to kill us anymore. Because, you know, we had it now. Not them. I felt kind of dirty going about it this way, but I just had to keep telling myself they were the bad guys what were trying to get me killed and mess stuff up all over the Sword Coast, and that they'd do the same to us, given the chance. Some of the stuff Immy got from them ended up being real useful later, too. Couple of firebreath potions and potions of fortitude.
So anyways, the time for the attack came, and we ambushed the remaining bandits from the woods. I think one of them ran off somewhere, and I haven't seen him since. Can only hope that won't come back to bite us in the arse later. So, we fought our way all the way up to Tazok's tent. After working out a quick strategy, we charged inside. There were four guys there what attacked us. There was some armored guy what mentioned the Iron Throne – That's a powerful organization in Baldur's Gate, I heard about it once in Candlekeep from one of the visitors. There was also a wizard, along with a mean old gnoll and a hobgoblin. They were like, Tazok's right hand men or something. Tazok himself wasn't there, unfortunately. Other than that, though, our strategy worked real well. We ran straight back out of the tent, and the four of them followed us. Once we were out, I aimed an Aganazzar's Scorcher right at the tent entrance while Xan drank one of the potions of fortitude. Branwen started her chant to bolster us, and Immy and Rasaad got into position and gulped down the firebreath potions. Xan cast Horror to make them panic – it worked on three of them – and then charged in with his Moonblade. Kivan's job was to keep them all near the entrance long enough for us to set the thing up. He got injured in the fight, but it weren't nothing Branwen's healing spells couldn't handle. So anyways, the three that got hit by Xan's spell ran straight into the net we'd created around the entrance with my Scorcher and the two firebreath streams from Immy and Rasaad. Xan and Kivan took care of the unaffected one.
After the fight, we went back to the tent to investigate, and there was a guy in there all tied up. We untied him, and he thanked us for helping him out. Said his name was Ender Sai and that he was a thief. Before leaving, he was able to give us some valuable information. The bandits were made up of both Chill agents and a group of human bandits called the Black Talon. He also said that rumor around the camp had been that Tazok was working for the Zhentarim, but he knew it was a lie. He said he'd only ever made enemies with one group – the Iron Throne – and look at that, Tazok had suddenly gone after him and tied him up to await his execution. So, it looks like this goes farther up than we thought. He also said that Tazok had been making regular visits to the Cloakwood forest, and that there'd been two other captives here what he'd dragged with him last time he went up. I sure hope it weren't Khalid and Jaheira, Mr. Journal. If they've been captured by that man, they're in worse trouble than we thought. Ender Sai also told us more about Mulahey and why he'd been sent down to the Nashkel Mines-apparently poisoning the mines was meant to take out Amn's main source of iron, both raising their suspicions and forcing them to look elsewhere for their iron needs. The guy seemed real happy when we told him Mulahey was dead. We thanked him for his help, and he thanked us for ours, and then he was on his way.
We searched the tent and we found some documents what showed that Tazok was reporting to someone named Davaeorn, and this Davaeorn fellow had been the one what instructed Tazok to have me killed. Along with some other stuff, of course. Most of which confirmed what Ender Sai had just told us. Looking at all this new information what's coming to light bothers me, Mr. Journal. Why, if I didn't know any better, I'd say these guys were trying to start a war! Gods, I hope that's not the case. Still got no idea why they think I'm important enough to need killing, though. I mean, they've been at this since before I got involved with this iron investigation, so it can't just be that I've made myself a thorn in their side by doing that.
Kivan seems way more upset than usual. I think he was really expecting this to be over by now, like, that we'd find Tazok here and he could get his revenge. But, Tazok isn't here, and I think that's really eating at him. I'd try talking to him about it, maybe offering some support, but he really doesn't seem like the type who'd want to talk about his feelings. It might be best to leave him be for now. Still, I do wonder just what happened that made him want revenge so bad.
Anyhow, it looks like the next logical course of action would be to go to Cloakwood. We're going to head back to the Friendly Arm Inn and figure out what to do about it. You know, go somewhere safe and make sure we've got our game plan all laid out.
...I really hope Khalid and Jaheira are all right. Do you think they're the prisoners Ender Sai was talking about, Mr. Journal? I know I shouldn't wish it upon anyone at all, but still, I really hope it was someone else, you know? I'm not a bad person for thinking that, am I?
Day 52, Hour 0
We just now made it to the Friendly Arm. We've been walking here pretty much nonstop since real early in the morning. We left first thing after resting for the night in the ruins south of the bandit camp. We're right exhausted, just like we were after storming the bandit camp last night, so the first thing for us to do is get some rest. Tomorrow, we're going to figure things out all proper-like.
Oh. But guess who we met when we were going up the inn steps? Elminster. Again. I can't imagine what someone like him would want with someone like me, but this is the third time we've run into each other, and I'm starting to think it may be more than just coincidence.
Anyways, Mr. Journal, I am much too tired to think on what exactly all this could mean tonight. Right now, I just want to sleep.
Day 52, Hour 8
Morning, Mr. Journal. Kivan seems a little less upset now than he has been for the last two days. I think that's a good sign, but then again, he could just have calmed down enough to hide it better. Um. Anyway. Here's what we've decided. Before going to Cloakwood, we're headed to Beregost to restock and stuff. Now we could just do that here, but we've agreed that Beregost's the best place to unload some of the loot we've got. And believe me, Mr. Journal, we have got a lot of loot. So much that I didn't even try writing it all down here. Those bandits were damn loaded. At this point, all of our packs are getting hard to carry with all the weight, and we'll probably get a better price for all this in a big town like Beregost. Besides, if we go there, we can collect the bounty from Officer Vai for all the bandits we took care of. I mean, not to sound all mercenary or anything, but a little gold is always nice. Helps us buy stuff that keeps us from getting killed.
Day 52, Hour 22
The road to Beregost was crazy busy today. Stopped to speak with a lot of travelers, ran into several xvart raiding parties, and even got attacked by a group of bandits! Guess some of them still haven't gotten the memo that we kick bandit arse. We're also soaking wet from a freak rainstorm what came out of nowhere. Xan has worked himself into a panic worrying he's going to catch cold. I swear this happens every time we get caught in the rain. Every. Damn. Time. Xan needs to take it down a notch before he straight up scares himself to death. Honestly, the only real danger from the rain as far as I can see is coming out of it looking like a half-drowned cat, which I do at the moment, by the way. Totally owning the half-drowned cat look right now. It's the new half-drowned fashion trend. Damn uncomfortable, though.
Anyway, we're staying at the Jovial Juggler tonight. We just spoke with Vai, who paid us real nice for taking care of those bandits. And now, we're having a late dinner. Branwen and Kivan are at their own table talking to each other about warrior stuff again, as these tables only seat four each. I mean, I assume they're talking about warrior stuff, them both being all warriory and all. But maybe they're talking about something else, like what happened at the bandit camp or Kivan's desire for revenge, or maybe Branwen is telling him about Tempus, who is the most badass god.
There's another bard playing real upbeat music in here right now, and it's great. Swiftwing is out and about, and he seems to enjoy the festive atmosphere, though he did steal some of my food, which makes me feel a bit put out. I was real hungry, after all, and I wanted to eat all of that food, Mr. Journal. If Swiftwing wanted to eat, he could have just told me so and I'd have ordered some pie for him. Apple pie, even, and that's his favorite!
It's getting a bit late though, so I should finish eating what little I have left on my plate after Swiftwing decimated it and get upstairs for some rest.
Day 53, Hour 6
Morning, Mr. Journal! We're just about to go sell off some stuff and get some supplies for our trip to Cloakwood. Kivan says he's been over in that area once in the past, and that there were a lot of wyverns and giant spiders around those parts, so we'd better stock up on antidote just in case. Gods, but I hope we don't run into more giant spiders. I think I've said as much before, Mr. Journal, but I hate giant spiders. I hate them so much.
We're just finishing up breakfast now. There's some paladin sitting at the other table right across from us, and he won't stop whining real loud about half-ogres. I think I remember him from the last time we were here, but I'm not sure. If I did meet him last time, then I wasn't exposed to his complaining for half as long, and he weren't half as annoying as he is right now. If he's so bent up over these half-ogres he keeps going on about, why doesn't he just do something about it? I mean, smiting evil is kind of what paladins do, and I don't think I've met a single half-ogre what wasn't evil. Either way, I hope we're going to leave soon. That man's voice is getting on my nerves.
Day 54, Hour 0
Today we went all around Beregost gathering up supplies. We sold off some weapons and armor and stocked up on ammo at the Thunderhammer Smithy, managed to sell some random stuff at Feldepost's inn – the innkeep there's got an eye for oddities – and, then we stopped by the Song of the Morning Temple to buy a bunch of antidote to protect us from the spiders that I hope we will never meet. After all that, we made the eight hour walk to High Hedge to buy other potions and magic stuff, and to sell some extra scrolls we had. Got attacked on our way back though, by a huge group of skeletons with throwing knives! They all aimed for poor Xan at once. Nearly killed him, too. Probably would have if he hadn't panicked and run off at that point. After the fight, Branwen and I had to track him down before he could bleed to death or get himself attacked by a wild animal or something. Lucky thing Branwen had Remove Fear prepared today. I swear, Xan can be a real handful sometimes. I mean, the man attracts trouble just like, um. A really attractive thing. To trouble, I mean. Um. I'm pretty sure that's not how the metaphor went. Point still stands though. Seems like every monster from here to Neverwinter can't wait to knock him one over the head.
Doesn't help things that he can be real hard to deal with sometimes. He questions all our plans, complains a lot, and seems to find a way to put a negative spin on most everything. Funny thing is, I really don't mind it near as much as I should. Not the part about every monster wanting to knock him over the head, I mean, I don't want to see him get hurt, but, the dealing with him part. He's grown on me, Mr. Journal. I like having him around. In fact, aside from Immy, the man's probably just about the best friend I've got out here. Funny how things turn out that way. Aw, listen to me rambling on, Mr. Journal, when all that's not even important. The important thing is we're all in one piece, and we're all stocked up and headed for Cloakwood first thing in the morning. Speaking of which, it's getting late, and unless I get to sleep right quick, I may have trouble getting up for that tomorrow. Good night, Mr. Journal.
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