May 12, 2012

Alturiak – 27 – 1479 D.R. – Main Page

We eat a light breakfast. As we’re about to head out to see the “bearded one” Andraste announces she’s not going with us. Instead she has business in town that she needs to take care of. We argue against this course of action but she is steadfast as she needs to meet her organization’s contact. We make arrangements to meet her up top and she heads out.

The rest of us follow Doopgoliog. Several hours later we come to a passage that has a smell of brimstone. In the distance we see a figure huddled over some rocks and appears to be eating. As we approach the robed figures looks at us. “Who goes there?” comes a raspy voice.

Doopgoliog speaks up, “It is I, Doopgoliog o’ Bearded One. Here are the ones I told you about.” Closer still we see bits of charred rat in the creature’s beard.

The bearded one briskly asks about our group as he makes disparaging remarks about the svirfneblin. When Adrian introduces himself the bearded one gets a brief far away look. “I knew a Quinn once, any relation?” Adrian suspects it was his father and says so. The bearded one asks about his father but Adrian says he has not seen his father in a long time. Curiously he also inquires if we’re here to do battle with him. He looks hard at Evon, and inquires upon his nature.

The Bearded One does not offer any other name but suggests he may have more information if we share a bottle of wine. He conjures a bottle and pulls the cork while Elantris finds some break to snack on.

When asked how long he has been in the tunnels he nonchalantly states 10,000 years. And before that he was in “the other tunnel”, but apparently the rats there were terrible.

When Elantris brings up the possibility of an entrance to a magic tower. The bearded one’s demeanor turns dark at this. “You’re looking for the Septarch’s Tower then.” He asks what we know of the tower, specifically it’s architecture. It’s the only structure to survive the Bloodspear Wars. After some bantering it seems to be implied that the bearded one is the Septarch.

Nimrozan the mage sealed the place, he claims. Suddenly he claims he wants a bath, and some real wine. Just as suddenly he decides he’s a prisoner down here now and wishes for us, heroes all, to rescue him. He continues to rant, “I was once a great man before these small creatures, the svirfneblin, captured me and beat me down.”

We offer him to come with us to Elantris’ estate. Doopgoliog says, “I told you he was crazy.” The bearded one overhears and scoffs.

We go back to the svirfneblin’s area to retrieve our belongings then head out to town. As we emerge from the caverns the sky is already darkening and dusk is upon us. We avoid town and head towards Elantris’ estate.

Elantris, Evon, and Adrian notice that there are no lights on in the homesteads as they pass – something unusual since it’s not that late. Elantris knocks on a door and no one answers. He tries the door and it is unlocked so he carefully goes in. All he finds inside a grey tabby cat. The pantries are empty as well but there is still livestock penned up outside which doesn’t make sense. He continues upstairs to the sleep quarters which are empty, including clothing. With no answers he closes the house back up and catches up to the others.

As we approach the caretaker’s house his lights are off as well. All of the livestock is gone and it appears the place was abandoned several days ago. We press on to the estate. At the estate we find the root cellar’s stores have been emptied; the cart and horse are also gone. Elantris finds the pen his groundskeeper built for the hook horror babies but it’s empty. However, there are bones of various animals inside so it appears they were in there and fed in the recent past.

Inside the house there is a note:
“Master Galandinn. Gone to the city. Trouble afoot. Armies on the march. Come quickly. Do not delay, it is not safe.”

The bearded one is distressed that he is not going to get a bath or food. He claims if he does not get his bath then he will not go with us and will turn the house into a crater. We draw him a bath, which he magically heats. We retreat while he bathes.

When he’s done we convince him a hot meal is waiting for him in [Fallcrest] and we must leave. Elantris finds him some clean clothes to wear instead of his filthy robes.

We quickly ride to town and head for the north gate – the Knight’s Gate. The city is lit up with torches. Abandoned carts litter the areas outside the gate. The walls have an unusual amount of guards as do the gates. We cautiously approach and are queried. Captain Quinn announces his presence and the gates are opened. We enter the city.

Sergeant Murgeddin pushes his way through the throng too us. He greets us leads us to Lord Markelhay.

As we make our way Adrian notices Margo in the crowd. They share a smile but Adrian has to continue on with us. We see many other faces from The Harkenwold. We ask the sargent if he’s seen Andraste but as far as he knows she has not entered the city.

At the Moonstone Keep the chamberlain meets us once again. We ask him to get the bearded one a hot meal. We’re shown to the study to wait for the lord and food. When the food arrives the bearded one eats in earnest.

Lord Markelhay joins us. He motions to the bearded one – “who is this?” We ask the bearded one to introduce himself. The bearded one instead says, “Ah you must be Lord Markelhay, I can see it in your jaw. I knew your mother,” and returns to eating. Lord Markelhay looks closely and his eyes widen in surprise. “It’s Nimrozan the mage. Where ever did you find him? He disappeared nearly 100 years ago.” We briefly tell of The Catacombs and him living down there. However, Lord Markelhay says there are more pressing matters. Lady Markelhay agrees to help him as much as she can.

Shortly after we left for the Thunderspire Mountains a contingent from The Harkenwold arrived. The Iron Circle, led by the human Lord Vennyk, invaded with a massive force and Baron Stockmer abandoned the keep and got as many of the people to Fallcrest. The Iron Circle also destroyed a clan of wood elves. They’ve made it clear they intend to march on Fallcrest next. The dwarves of Hammerfast, despite being “allies”, have locked their doors and refuse to come.

In addition, Lord Padraig received a dispatch from the Bloodspear Orcs in the form of a ranger’s severed head. Lord Padraig currently is planning on trying to defend his city instead of abandoning the area and coming to Fallcrest to help fortify.

Ninaran is also still in jail but with all that’s happened we decide she should be set free. We’re hoping she can help us determine more information about the Iron Circle such as numbers, ETA, etc.

As far as Andraste goes, she was able to sneak into town unnoticed despite the heightened security. At her drop location was a note: “Mean me in Shark Alley at dawn. You’ll know me by the sparrow tattoo upon my hand.” She’s overheard much of what is going on with The Harkenwold and the Iron Circle. She remains disguised and heads for inn to stay for the night.

Alturiak – 28 – 1479 D.R.

Meanwhile Evon heads to see Grundelmar and ultimately sleep for the night. The place is packed with refugees and Grundelmar’s snores can be heard a block away. Still, an awake acolyte finds an empty space for Evon to rest.

Elantris and Adrian go down to free Ninaran. She’s haughty as always and obviously not happy with them but takes her belongings. Elantris and Ninaran head off to get a drink while Adrian goes to prepare for the battle.

Ninaran suggests they go get drunk. The Nentir Inn is still open, despite being outside the walls, but additional fortifications are in place. They get to the inn where Andraste happens to be but she’s in disguise still. She does not take any action and instead watches Elantris and Ninaran.

Ninaran checks to ensure her room has not been re-rented. The innkeep, suddenly nervous, “Of course, you paid well in advance with good coin. Let me just go tidy it up real quick.” He quickly scampers upstairs. A moment later he shuttles an elderly couple downstairs. Ninaran knows what is going on but doesn’t care, she wants her room. Elantris secures a couple bottles of wine and follows Ninaran upstairs. Andraste takes note of all of this.

In another area of the city Adrian is researching what has been done so far to fortify the city. He also looks into reports about the Gravelstokes as well as if there are any new guards that recently joined the force – the Iron Circle had spies in the Harkenwold forces before invading so it’s probably there are some there.

Back at the Nentir Inn Andraste sends some food to Ninaran’s room with a note, “Enjoy”. The handwriting is not lost on Elantris. They eat the food. Ninaran says she’s getting tired and offers Elantris a bed for the night. He declines and leaves.

In the common room the mistral plays when a nearby patron remarks to Andraste, “This place has good bards.” Seeing her look of confusion, “I’m Jacob from the Harkenwold.” They small talk a bit.

Elantris comes downstairs and returns the empty food tray. Andraste bids Jacob farewell, purposely bumps into Elantris and heads out. He follows her. She thinks she gave him the slip but suddenly Elantris appears in front of her. They greet each other and exchange a few works about Ninaran.

Andraste mentions she has a room at the blacksmiths and he can stay there. They find the room empty and sleep.

Just before dawn Andraste wakes up to go meet her contact at Shark Alley. A crumpled figured in a pool of blood lays in just inside the alley. Looking around she sees no one else. She kneels down to the gasping figure and checks his hand – he has the tattoo. “Andraste,” the man rasps, “they’re here,” and he expires before she can even get the healing potion to his lips.

“Murderer,” a screen comes from behind her, “get the guards!” Andraste does a quick search of the body finding a sealed scroll, a few weapons, and some gold. A guard rounds the corner, “Halt.” Andraste runs and melds into the crowd, losing the guard with ease. She heads back to the blacksmith’s house to see if Elantris is still there.

Over breakfast Adrian receives reports back from his inquiries. One that stands out is about a new minstrel in town named Balthazar. No one seems to know where he came from – he’s not from the Harkenwold or Fallcrest though no one has talked to him directly either. Adrian instructs one of his guards to casually talk with him and try to find out where he’s from.

Just as Adrian is about to finish his meal a report comes in of a murder in the Lower Quays. The victim was a male sun elf, stabbed in the belly. There are no records of the elf entering the city. Adrian asks the guards to keep it under wraps as much as possible – we don’t want panic in the city especially with it this crowded. Also in the report is that a woman was bent over the body taking his possessions and fleeing into the crowd. It was too dark for further identification. Adrian instructs the guards to get Grundelmar to handle the body and to bring Evon if he’s there.

At the House of the Sun a guard arrives midmorning with the missive from Adrian. Grundelmar wakes the still sleeping Evon and greets him. “Wake up me boy, the guards need us to go see a body.” Evon grudgining gets up and accommanies Grundlmar to the Lower Quays, catching up on recent events on the way.

Andraste returns to the blacksmith bearing breakfast for Elantris who has been up for a bit. She tells Elantris of her dead contact and his dying words as well as the issue of her being a suspect in killing him. Finally she shows him the sealed scroll case. Elantris notices the seal belongs to an elf clan in the south who has gone rogue. This clan now blames all other races for the evils that befallen the Forgotten Realms over the last hundred years including the spell plague. They’ve taken it upon themselves to fight all other races.

Inside the scroll is a letter that reads: “Dearest Sparrow, We know what you’re after. Your organization will be better served helping the true sons of elves and no the corrupt elders.” While they talk further and speculate on this, Elantris fills in Andraste in on the bearded one being the mage Nimrozan and the information discussed with Lord Markelhay.

Adrian gets to Shark Alley. The guard there has nothing futher to add. The body has nothing besides clothes on it at this point. Said clothes are the style popular in Cormyr. When Grundelmar and Evon arrive Adrian asks Evon to go look for Elantris and Andraste. Grundelmar performs the death rituals and wraps up the body to be transported outside the city to unmarked burial grounds.

Evon goes to look for the other 2. He starts at the Nentir Inn and runs into Ninaran. She teases Evon with sarcasm but Evon doesn’t really notice. A dark skinned minstrel finished playing and heads outside. When Evon bids Ninaran goodbye he heads outside. He briefly notices the minstrel is meeting with a figure in a dark red cloak trimmed in gold embroidery.

The dwarf woman Thurmina at the Five-Arch Bridge hails Evon. She mentions Elantris came over the bridge about 6 hours past. She noticed he was trying to follow some human male from her estimation. Once over the bridge he talks to guards continuing to look for them. One mentions he saw Elantris and Andraste. He also notes that Andraste has a room at the blacksmiths and gives directions.

Elantris and Andraste head out in separate directions. Elantris heads for Camroth’s house while Andraste heads for the Nentir Inn to find Ninaran.

Evon arrives at the blacksmith but place is empty. Finding another guard he learns both Elantris and Andraste were here recently but they left and went different directions. Evon desides to follow Elantris and the guard motions in the direction of the Wizard’s Gate.

Andraste finds Ninaran in the common room of the Nentir Inn drinking an ale. They don’t really say much and Andraste heads back to the House of the Sun.

Evon runs into Elantris knocking on a door. It turns out to be Camroth’s house. Evon tells Elantris that Adrian is looking for them. Elantris knows where Andraste is and says they’re planning to meet back up at Grundelmars. Not wanting Evon along he says to meet him and Andraste back at the House of the Sun. Evon heads back to where he started and finds Andraste there.

Elantris meets with Lord Kamroth who is in a nice red robe with gold embroidery. Lord Kamroth banters a bit with Elantris but does drop a question about how the trip to Thunderspire Mountains was – something he should not have known about. They discuss how the Iron Circle incursion affects their plans. Lord Kamroth decides it’s time for them to meet with Xander Gravelstoke, perhaps over a dinner at the Gravelstoke compound. Land deals should also be discussed. Lord Kamroth asks about including Captain Quinn and where his loyalties lie. Elantris claims Adrian is pragmatic and wants what is best for the citizens and should be at the meeting. As for Evon and Andraste he says they should not be included for various reasons. Lord Kamroth begs off further conversation as he needs to attend to a promise: helping repair the walls around the King’s Gate. Camroth says he will send word when the meeting is to take place. Lord Kamroth offers a room at his estate since the town is crowded but Elantris declines. Elantris heads out towards the House of the Sun where he meets back up with Evon and Andraste.

Meanwhile Captain Quinn is trying to keep up with reports around the city. He hears that his compantions have been seen at Grundelmars. “So Captain Quinn, how long are you going to avoid me,” Margo’s voice comes from behind. He apologizes that he hasn’t had time with his duties as captain but will try to come see her as soon as possible. She is slightly appeased and leaves him to his work. Adrian heads to the House of the Sun to find the others.

We all head to the catacombs for privacy. Elantris tells us of his conversation with Lord Kamroth and of including Adrian in the upcoming meeting with Xander. Elantris asks Andraste if she would like to be invited but she declines. Elantris believes they’re about to make a play, probably with the angle of Lord Markelhay being incompenent at leadership. Things like not repairing the southern wall and not maintaining an adequate militia.

By happenstance the dark skinned minstrel comes up. Evon mentions he saw the minstrel talking to the figure in the dark red robe. Elantris recognizes the reference and believes it was Lord Kamroth. Perhaps this information can be used in our plans. Adrian mentions the minstrel has been going to the brothel and seeing the same prostitute that was with the murdered councilman.

Adrian asks Andraste to accompany him and help with another issue – they leave The Catacombs. Evon, not sure how else to be useful, decides to go to the brothel to talk to that prostitute. Elantris heads out to the Nentir Inn to keep an eye out for Ninaran and the suspicious bard.

Adrian leads Andraste to the morgue and pulls back a cover. The dead elf from the Lower Quays is laying on a slab. “Have you ever seen this man?” Adrian asks. Andraste says, “No.” Adrian can’t shake his suspicions that she knows more than she’s telling but can’t get her to say anything obviously inconsistent. He ends his meeting with Andraste by asking her to re-interview the prostitute at the brothel about the minstrel this time.

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May 12, 2012

Forgotten Realms: The Fate of Tyela Neuma uberwiz