Day 88 – Early Morning
Remcar Hall/Raven Queen Temple
Tears of Salt (“Somewhere warm”at the other end of a portal)
I sit here in a circle with the rest of the party and in the center of this circle sits what Myrrdin has affectionately referred to as “Rock Boy”. As we figure out what to do about this statue before us, I can’t but think how avoidable this incident really was.
Poor Altair, he has a restless night, and in less than 24 hours he becomes the Trooper’s pet rock. We woke up in Remcar Hall and due to the darts that hit 4 of us yesterday, only Myrrdin and Hammer got a full rest. Altair and the rest of us would have to deal with exhaustion. After dividing up the treasure found in the temple of the Raven Queen we focused our attention on the cure for the lack of sleep Altair, Embiir, Paegus and I enjoyed during the night. With each share being just over 100 gp, the bit of annoyance this Sleepless Terror caused when all was said and done was well worth the treasure we gained.
We never did determine exactly what we were dealing with. Was it a disease or poison? All we knew for sure was that 2/3rds of the party had become afflicted with it and as Myrrdin strategized the curing of us one by one, a much simpler issue was being discussed: Where do we set up camp as the party deals with this sleepless situation? Do we go to the teleporter, or stay here in Remcar Hall? We were divided on this trivial question and debated throughout the morning. By Noon we had still not come to an agreeable decision. The debate then continued as the sun moved across the sky and by late afternoon there was still no consensus. From dawn to dusk we pondered, contemplated and debated this dilemma on where to camp even though we had the token/key to work the portal. With no clear plan anywhere in sight we found ourselves poking and prodding around out of sheer boredom and when that wore thin we found ourselves sitting in a circle watching Embiir fool with the gorgon card he found at the portal.
To make a long and completely avoidable story short, Embiir flicked the card at Altair and as it fell before him the card changed shape and color into a hologram of an aqua-green half snake and half humanoid with tits included. As Altair sat there in front of this image, their gazes meet. Altair instantly became what can best be describe as stone-like although he wasn’t stone, nor was he petrified; he was frozen in time. I suspect that it was my gazing upon the tatas that saved me.
Altair’s paralysis made him dead weight and that ain’t no pun for Paegus and Hammer tried to lift him to see if they could carry him back to the portal. They guessed that he weighed 500 lbs. Although we hold the key to the portal, we still don’t know if it will work for us. Thus time is of the essence if actually need that 700 gp trip home.
Feeling that he needs to be rid of the card Embiir wanted to discard it. Normally I would have agreed with him, but with Altair still up shits creek, I thought the card could help provide insight on how to restore him to his flesh and blood self.
As we all spend the evening brainstorming ways to undo what has been done to Altair, Peagus develops a “What if?” methodology and has taken his massive hammer to Altair. From the sound of it, the wood elf was like solid stone. I don’t think Peagus even put a scratch on him
Altair has suddenly come back to normal now. With magic as creepy as it is and its users equally creepy, I’m not going to question Altair’s return but just be thankful that all is about normal now. The only remaining issue is that I’m still inflicted with Sleepless Terror and expect to be awake all night as the rest of the Troopers get a full 8 hours of rest.
I think a lesson could be learned here from Altair’s misfortune. It seems that sitting around all day while waiting for someone or something to show you the way can lead to rather difficult problems. For the sake of posterity, let this lesson be known simply as Idle Hands. My conclusion: Had we not been wasting the day away, the god of rules and time wouldn’t have found the need to slap us all upside the head for wasting any. Needless to say, Altair was pissed at Embiir, but the whole party including Altair is responsible for wasting the day away in the first place. Our warning from the almighty was the sinking sun and had we bothered to pay attention to it, this whole mess could have been avoided.
Myrrdin is accompanying me on watch this hour as I ramble with pen and paper in my tired state.
Myrrdin says he hears something…
Those elven ears are something. What Myrrdin heard were a bunch of carnivorus apes closing in. We could see their dark shapes in the moonlight and they were all moving towards us. As I grabbed my bow and advanced behind a tree, I yelled to wake everyone up and just as we all started to defend ourselves more apes appeared behind us; 15 carnivorous apes in all. Although they were chucking rocks, they seemed to be more intelligent than most of the creatures were have encountered thus far. The way they fought, they reminded me of the kobolds we encountered in Myr Leilon, because they both would flank their opposition. Hammer was the only one to hit the ground with his life quickly starting to drain away and with so many apes it looked like it was going to be a long night of fighting, but after at least 3 kills the bulk of them ran off in the dim light.
Myrrdin was finally able to cure me of my of restless nights, but I’m was still unable to move as fast as normal and normal for me is above humanoid par. With a party only as fast as it’s slowest man, it became necessary for Peagus to carry me on his shoulders the full 10 mile hike to the “fangs”.
Because it was dark, I couldn’t see by the time we reached the fangs, but I knew when we reached it because the air had the familiar smell of rotting bodies and the high seventies temperature in the Tears of Salt only made the smell of 5 day old death even more unbearable. We however had no plans on staying in that wonderful fresh air atmosphere since Embiir carried with him the key to get out of the jungle we had been in for 4 days. We wasted no time in crowding onto platform, and only a second later found ourselves in an overcrowded well. Although the sudden 25 degree drop in temperature was a warming clue, as I maneuvered up onto the shoulders of Peagus to climb out, I just kept hoping that this was the exact same well we entered the portal in; and as much as I hate Tyr Nag, I was thrilled to see that I had actually returned to it. On the other hand, the smell was pretty much what I remembered; not quite the match of 5 day old death, but close enough. It was only the thought of being outside the city walls riding back to Phandalin in the approaching dawn that made the aroma of Tyr Nag a bit more bearable.
We have just got rooms at the free booters hall and although Myrrdin, Altair and I have no desire to do anything other than crash, Peagus has followed The Hammer and Embiir to watch them perform in their new Taming the Dragon routine.
It was 52 degrees outside and inside we ate a warm breakfast. It sounds like Hammer and Embiir didn’t get a standing ovation last night, but with all the silver coins they collected, they certainly didn’t bomb either.
As we were finishing our meal, we were greeted by a stranger who referred to the Hammer as the “Hero of Myr Leilon”. It was because of these heroics that the stranger was sent to fetch us and lead us to the compound of the Erathnian Order. Upon agreeing to meet Sir Urthan Fruen, we made our way up the nasty ramp/tunnel littered with horse and humanoid shit. After the up close and personal 15 minute sightseeing tour of the living conditions in Try Nag’s Warring section, we finally made it up into the Knuckle where we tracked shit carried in on the bottoms of our boots.
Inside the Erathnian Order’s facility we found a familiar face meeting with Sir Urthan Fruen. It was the Half-elf Monk, Toesing; the same monk held captive with Embiir at the Melchori camp a little over a week ago. Sir Urthan and Toesing simply asked that we find out where the Melchori dragon cult are taking their ill gotten loot and suggested that we pose as caravan guards to let the Melchori lead us to the their central stash of booty. The real trick is in finding which caravan is the right one.
As the discussion continued, it uncovered something we never new about Altair. Altair isn’t “just” Altair; he actually has a title: Altair, the Just.
As Sir Urthan was finishing with his plea and looking for confirmation, Myrrdin bowed out. He’s was more interested in dealing with Venomfang in Thundertree and will be returning to Neverwinter. He’ll be terribly missed by the squad for he had proved to be invaluable time and time again. Luckily for us though, Toesing has a monk acquaintance of 50 years who will be joining the Winterstorm Troopers as we hunt down the location of the treasure. I just hope that this wood elf is as invaluable as the wood elf he is replacing.
With only two days to determine which caravan the Melchori are using to transport their stolen hord, we head on down the “ramp of shit” to Down Harbor and to the docks. Here we apply our various skills of deception and persuasion as well use our charisma to not only try to determine which of three caravans the Melchori are using hide their hord, but to also get a job escorting that caravan. With some luck we found the right caravan, by using the dragon mask as a decoy and both Peagus and I have been hired to help guard it. The caravan will be heading South to Kadar (or is it Myr Niramere) in two days.
It is now night time and I have finished composing a letter to Aunt Qelline. I end it by telling her that I’m thinking of giving up my life of crime. I continue to say “This is probably coming too late in this season of wither, but a new one approaches and I will be helping in the very noble quest of thwarting the evil Melchori Dragon Cult’s plans for involving Tiamat.” Personally, I’d rather hunt down Lord Iarno Albrect, but a hunt is a hunt and for once the cause is noble and not out of pride or vengeance.
Day 90 – 1270-1280d.e.
Down Harbor, Tyr Nag
Sword Coast of Ocrey