1 Longday 508
Today we have arrived in Crownport and have, once again, taken up rooms in the Ebon Hound. As we entered the city, we turned over our belligerent guest to the city watch and supplied them a statement of his crimes. We have been advised not to leave the city as the magistrate may need to ask us further questions.
Taril Kent welcomed once again to the “the Hound” and assures us that the happy couple, Tessa and Bron, are doing well.
We spent the day re-provisioning. Azuredee must be tired because tonight was not her best performance. I certainly can’t blame her though—we’ve had a arduous journey and there is more to come. Our hope is that this [Northron]] is still in Kalimsport and that we can persuade him to part with that egg. In order to protect people from the ravages of that dragon, I am willing to do nearly anything—including taking it by force, if necessary. I hope it doesn’t come that, though.
2 Longday 508
Today we left for Kalimsport, but not before stopping by the Watchtower to inquire about the magistrate’s need to speak with us. Fortunately, the said magistrate, a Joneth Slakin, was in the tower, questioning the prisoner, and took a few moments to take our statements. These he corroborated with those left with the guards and had us sign them all. We concluded our business with the city, and were invited to attended the execution of the brigand. We politely declined. I’m not afraid to see justice carried out, but we are on a time schedule to get this egg and the Jossian has quite a head start on us.
Now we are on the road, once again, to Kalimsport, largest city in the known world.
5 Longday 508
Today we arrived in Kalimsport. As we waited our turn at the gate, with what seemed like thousands of others, a pompous Knight of the Cockatrice and his tiny entourage made their way past us, and everyone else. He had his wench shouting for people to “make way” and as he passed, he had the audacity to look at me and banner as if it were covered in shit. I gave him one of my best glares as the tiny group made their way into the city. Azuredee apparently has an amusing song about a cockatrice and offered to sing it, but thought better of causing trouble before we have a chance to secure the egg.
Once inside the city, we decided to stay at The Enchanted Staff, in the market district. Our belongings secured, we ventured out to make inquiries about the Jossian. A man who steals a dragon egg tends to want to brag about it, especially boisterous Northrons. Sure enough, we were right. We discovered that a northerner that calls himself “Dragonsbane” is staying at a dockside inn called “The Shattered Club”. It is apparently a mean place, but cheap.
The Shattered Club was everything it was promised to be. It is a ramshackle, two-storied affair desperately in need of paint and care. The interior didn’t get much better. I’ve never seen so many half-orcs gathered in one place. One, a large one-eyed fellow, tended bar. There were also rough-looking sailors and longshoremen. And in the back corner sat a large Northron entertaining three other people. A large, green, leathery orb sat on the table in front of him. We approached as the four laughed raucously at some joke told by the Northron.
Azuredee asked if he was the one they call Dragonsbane and he allowed that he was—and offered let her sit on his lap. My cousin persevered, conversing in a friendly manner with the man despite is often crude inquiries as to a “pinch and tumble”—which elicited guffaws from his gathered friends, two men and rough-looking woman. She finally got his undivided attention by stating that we had been to see the dragon and intended to return the egg. He didn’t believe her at first but she persuaded him by detailing some of the dangers found there. Then he sobered and said that the egg was not for sale, that it was his proof of his adventures, else men call him a liar. Azuredee pooh-poohed this idea, saying that if his fame grew and people told the tale, that he wouldn’t need such crude evidence of his claims. Finally she persuaded him to come to a price—5000 gold pieces.
I grew worried as I didn’t know if we had it. I knew we had a series of gems collected from the monastery and from the caves of the dragon’s lair, but I didn’t know if we had that much. My cousin was much more confident. She shook on the deal and asked if they wanted to make their exchange in a less unsavory place. Burandir proposed the temple of Hathras in the temple district. The two agreed to meet there in two hours.
We made our way back to the Enchanted Staff and collected our gems. According to Azuredee, our emeralds should cover that cost almost exactly. We quickly made our way to a jeweler, who cashed in the gems for a slight fee. We then had to return to the inn to make up the difference with our coin and then proceeded to the temple of Hathras.
We hailed a carriage to take us there quickly, as the time for our rendezvous was approaching quickly. As we boarded the cab, Azuredee pointed out a man with a long cloak and large hat who was quickly approaching us. I moved to intercept and he changed direction, blending in the crowd. On our guard against thieves, we made our way to the temple district.
The temple of Hathras is a pleasant, open-air affair with many priests in attendance. The Lord of the Winds is also the patron of travelers, so many sailors and other travelers were there to receive blessings. Also there was Burandir and his three friends. We made the exchange, 500 platinum pieces for the egg. The Northron seemed impressed that we were able to gather that much coin, but parted with the egg amicably. He and his friends made their way from the temple in one direction and we went another.
Egg in hand, we went to hail another carriage when Azuredee heard the sounds of battle in a nearby alley. Sure enough, Burandir and his friends were surrounded by thieves. They were probably followed from the Shattered Club by someone who overheard our conversation. As the alley was narrow, there was only so much we could do. I rushed forward to help and Azuredee began casting spells. Eventually, one of the thieves ran away while the four others were either rendered unconscious or slain. The Northron thanked us for the help and he and his friends made their way out of the alley. We did the same and took a carriage back to the inn.
We are taking dinner in our rooms this evening, mostly to protect the egg against any further unpleasantness. Tomorrow, we will conduct business at a bank. Azuredee has decided, and I agree, that we will become a target for thieves if we continue to carry around so much wealth. Then, we will head back to Crownport and then on to Luften and the dragon’s lair.
6 Longday 508
We are now deposit holders in the Bank of Kalimsport. We deposited much of our excess coin and gemstones, against the worth of which we can write notes to be drawn at any of their various counting houses in Ornis, Leilior, Yulania, and The Jirran Freeholds.
The conducting of business took a good part of the day so we will leave town in the morning. In the meantime, we enjoyed the storytelling and music of a troupe of performers that have been in residence here at the Enchanted Staff. I think my cousin is enjoying the performance, but I also know that she would rather be the performer, herself. I can understand—I enjoy watching jousts but nothing beats the excitement of actually participating.
Time to get a good night’s sleep before heading out on the road to Crownport.
10 Longday 508
Our journey has been largely uneventful. We arrived in Crownport this morning and were welcomed, once again, by Master Kent to the Ebon Hound. Much to Azuredee’s disappointment, they have a singer in residence here. Kent did offer to allow her to sing for the lunch crowd. She is considering the offer.
Today we visited the Temple of Hathras and said hello to Laurent Thornhaven. He is doing well and enjoying his time in Crownport.
We also visited our old acquaintance Kronar Battleflame, the purveyor of magical goods. He seemed a bit nervous to see us—one can hardly blame him after what happened last time we visited. Nevertheless, we were able to get fair prices for our magical scrolls and wands.
Tomorrow, we leave once again for Luften.
12 Longday 508
Tonight we were assaulted by gnolls!
On my watch, I heard movement in the underbrush. I moved to check it out and was attacked by a the spear of one of the foul creatures. Three more emerged from the darkness and surrounded me. I called for Azuredee, attempting to rouse her from sleep. It worked and the two of us managed to dispatch the creatures. We dragged their bodies out of our camp and spent the rest of the night on heightened alert.
15 Longday 508
Today is apparently the summer solstice and a market day, as the village of Luften is being decorated for celebration. Normally, we probably would have participated in the festivities, but we wanted to get this egg back to the Scraelaterix as quickly as possible. So we secured our rooms at the Swiftarrow Arms, consolidated our gear, stabled our cart and horse, and started immediately on our way up the mountain. We passed the cabin of Findran Yew and continued on to the crevice that marked the entrance into the caverns. Azuredee put out food for the mounts and proceeded inside.
Fortunately, no further creatures at rushed in to fill in the gaps of their vanquished predecessors. We came across the marks that Azuredee had made to mark our path and followed them religiously through the twist, turn-filled caverns. Eventually, we found ourselves in that huge cavern that housed the gargantuan dragon.
“DO YOU HAVE WHAT YOU PROMISED ME, LITTLE BARD?” The creature’s voice echoed ominously throughout the cavern.
“Yes, great one, we do.”
It then extended a ginormous, sharp-taloned hand toward us and pointed at the ground before it. “PLACE IT HERE, THEN.”
My cousin slowly drew forward and placed the egg before the beast. As she scampered back away from the orb, the dragon took it in hand and brought it up to her enormous head and seemed to listen to it. She set the egg down and took a deep breath.
“YOU ARE FORTUNATE, LITTLE BARD. IT IS UNHARMED.”
We both let out a collective breath of relief.
“I WILL COMPLETE THE BOON I GRANTED TO THE SWORDSWOMAN SO LONG AGO.”
Then the great beast shifted, causing coins and other goods to scatter across the floor. Finally she turned and faced us again and extended her enormous claw towards Azuredee. On it were another of the pitch pipes and a rolled piece of parchment. My cousin quickly took the proffered goods.
“NOW BEGONE, LITTLE BARD.”
Nodding, the both of us backed our way out of the cavern and into the tunnels. Once we got sufficiently removed from the dragon’s chamber, Azuredee examined the parchment—it was blank. Setting that problem aside for later, we made our way out of the caverns.
Once we emerged from the caverns, we found that it was nightfall—and that our horses were under attack by another griffon!
I rushed forward to attack the beast and defend the mounts while Azuredee began to sing her encouragement. Suddenly, my beloved Brownie fell! Enraged, I doubled my efforts as my cousin rushed to my fallen mount’s side. The griffon now turned its attention to me. Its mistake. I felled in a mighty swing from my axe.
Azuredee managed to heal my mount back to consciousness and even decided to stabilize the fallen griffon. I really wonder if she’s trying to impress that ranger fellow. At any rate, we are now camping on the mountainside and will return to Luften tomorrow.
16 Longday 508
We reported to Findran Yew’s cabin on our way back to the village this morning. Fortunately, we found the fellow to be in residence. We told him of the yet-another fallen griffon that we left near the crevice. He seemed bemused but gathered his gear to go check it out while we continued on to Luften.
We arrived in the village about noon today.
Azuredee experimented with the parchment and even went so far as to cast a spell upon it to detect if it had magical properties—sure enough, it did. Apparently casting that spell revealed hidden writing on the parchment:
The piece of the next key,
Is at the peak of wizardry.
We’ve reasoned that the parchment refers to Wizard’s Peak, the home of the High Council of Mages. The last member of The Five was the wizard Athanasius of Sianae himself, founder of the High Council. It stands to reason that the last part of the key could be with other wizards.
In the meantime, we’ll get our laundry done and rest. I think we’ve earned a bit of respite in quiet village before venturing further north to Wizard’s Peak.
20 Longday 508
After re-provisioning and resting in Luften, we began our trek north to Wizard’s Peak. We traveled north through the foothills of the Slayt Mountains, hoping to avoid any entanglements along the way.
No such luck.
Today we were beset by four Orcs on horseback. The Urkahni warriors charged down at us from one of the hills. Azuredee stopped the cart while I drew my weapon and returned the charge. As my cousin sang to me of my courage and bravery, I put song to action and quickly dispatched my foes. I don’t mean to boast, but I think that the sight of me and Brownie charging into the fierce Orcish warriors must have been one to behold.
We left their bodies for the carrion birds to take, but took their horses with us. Perhaps we can sell them for a tidy profit.
21 Longday 508
Today was mostly uneventful. We simply traveled along the hills, enjoying the mountain view along the way.
Tonight we camp with a pair of travelers making their way toward Crownport. One is a wizard from Tower Duin named Kolovir. His companion is a paladin of Cereth called Lyra. According to Kolovir, there is a village at the base of Wizard’s Peak called Wycliff. The Tower at the Peak is not at the summit (thank the gods) but on one of the passes leading out of the village.
Tomorrow we will reach Tower Duin.
22 Longday 508
The wizards at Tower Duin are quite hospitable. For a small donation, we have been given food, a basin to wash in, and lodging in their common room. We do not have a bed, but at least we are not outdoors. The Tower’s chamberlain, Cernan of Duin, is a very friendly sort and eager to assist.
The “Tower” itself is actually a small complex of buildings—including a small tower—all perched upon a cliff on the outer rim of the mountains. We are told that the Tower at Wizard’s Peak will be different—it is an actual spire with multiple floors.
We will leave Duin tomorrow, refreshed, and ready to continue our journey.
25 Longday 508
Our journey has been delayed by a large battle. As we traveled today, we came upon a valley between two of the foothills that was filled with two warring contingents of Orcs. Each side only had about 50 warriors, but the fighting was fierce and not something that Azuredee and I wanted to get involved in. So we made a wide circle around the valley, a circle that took us most of the day to complete.
We are camping with a priestess of Celandian, an elf maiden by the name of Althraniel. Azuredee entertained her with Elvish songs, which seemed to make her happy. Althraniel warned us that she had happened upon a razed village along the way which we will probably meet as we travel north. Perhaps the village was the victim of one of those orcish factions we saw battling? There’s no way to tell.
27 Longday 508
Today, as Althraniel had said, we came upon the razed village. There were nothing but charred husks where the homes used to be. Ash still littered the ground and the smell of burning wood still filled the air. It was a sad sight, to be sure.
Journal Entries for Starfall 508