Phandelver + Storm King and beyond

Caging the Shark

Quin decided to sell the wine. Not as fun as I was expecting. Oh, well. Everyone's decided to waste an hour arguing about whether or not to go into the fucking whirlpool and do the job we'll be paid for. I'm so frustrated, I have half a mind to go myself, but Siobhan keeps cautioning me about how alone we – our group, she means – are. Rowan needs protecting. Edric needs teaching. Valorn needs peace. Qui

Edric has decided that he will use a spell – imagine that – to send his eyes into the whirlpool and see what's down there. Is it this Umberlee he's terrified of? Is it his father again? Is it my sister, half-drowned after

There are two tens of sahgs and a very, very large shark. Why would you domesticate a shark beneath the surface? The poor thing is surely blind with rage, we've been discussing ideas for how to deal with the shark but of course, Edric has a fucking plan. He calls it, ugh, Plan Shark. He also says there's tons and tons of treasure down there, probably stolen from Yartar but hey, there's bound to be some spoils for us worth keeping. Gotta remember to update our inventory.

Plan Shark was a resounding success. I gaze now upon the body of a slain monster with teeth the size of my arm and skin as tough as, well, sharkskin. What I wasn't expecting to follow was fucking Plan Erys. He would be so easy to hate.

We dunk on through the whirlpool into the sahghole below, and we've managed to remain hidden despite all the ragdolling Valorn saw fit to do. Thanks to Edric - I want to spit at the very words now – and his morning rituals, we're able to breathe underwater. Plan Shark has two major components: the Shark, which will be caged via some kind of spell while we slaughter what is surely the only family it's ever known – that's on Edric - and Plan, which is Rowan snakes her way towards the shark's immediate sahg escort.

It was her idea, not Edric's, that we grab on to her. I'd never moved so fast underwater before, and neither had Quin or Valorn. About halfway down the chamber, Valorn saw fit to take midfield and swam for a sahg in prime position to report on the entire battle. Rowan swam us up to the shark's cage and we went about the wetwork. At one point, the sahgs called for reinforcements, which only drew the entire dungeon's sahaugins down a one-wide hallway, at the mercy of Edric's lightning magic. Hard to pay attention, but I'm pretty sure he got more than we did. Not important enough to count. 

Of course, the eastern front's true hero was Valorn, who saved Edric from Plan Get Paralyzed and then in a stroke of genius caused a giant whirlpool to form in the tunnel. All the while, Quin and I are lashing out from Rowan, the love of Sune surrounding us as Quin's daggers flew through the ai— water, and Rowan's own strikes repeatedly setting us up for simply brutal annihilations. 

One of my favorite blessings my Truelove has given me to serve in Her name is a spell which calls fae butterflies from a magical plane, and they reach into my heart and they pour it out in radiant light, protecting me and fucking up my enemies. Bigass reinforcements arrive on the western end, but we down them without much more additional difficulty. They were definitely spellcasters of some kind. They've got backup healing their wounds almost as fast as we inflict them, but Rowan and Quin see to that shit pretty quick. I soar off of the giant snake just long enough to eliminate two sahgs trying to rescue their shark, but a third gets me in the side with his trident. Valorn had the wound patched within a few seconds, but it stung like a bitch. Rowan kept taking spears and spells as well, but perservered until she was forced out of her snake form by one of the bigger red sahgs.

Quinys parted the sahg and its arm and ended its suffering a moment later. It was finally time to fight the shark. I'd been thinking on this challenge for several minutes, and I knew just what to do. Through Lady Firehair's grace, I exploded with holy energy, channeling it into my butterflies, into every strike, into each new target area. While Rowan engaged the beast and the beast itself wrongly believed her the bigger threat, I ripped it to shreds.

It was then, I have since been told by Rowan, that she asked us to stop. The apex predator had apparently decided to flee. From a room too big for it to leave from. Even had I heard, my attack had already started and there was no reason to hesitate – it was fighting Rowan, Edric believed it had to be contained at considerable cost, Valorn abstained but clearly saw the danger, and Quin well, she's Quin, she does what she wants. I'm not sure if she stayed her blade in time, but I didn't. I killed her.

What followed was perhaps the most irritating exchange I have experienced in my time with this company. Lover or no, Edric saw fit to harass me about meaningless looting word and then – Plan Erys - cage me for five minutes in the same fucking spell.

He ended up being right about their being a lot of treasure. Hauling it has been taking a while, we could all use some proper rest. There was an enchanted longsword which I quickly claimed, Edric tried to translate the runes to me, but I wasn't able to understand. I find myself fuming.

Nightal 8 Inventory
Three diamonds worth about 100g each, along with a bunch of gems that aren't as precious but might still fetch something. A pearl, a treasure map, a wooden pipe with platinum filligree, the stupid crystal from the demon, the elven wine, "Chainmail of Necrotic Resistance", and a warhammer made for Valorn. A mace, eight magically preserved books of history, the statue of an ancient elf that Edric calls "the augery".

That's not counting this new "Giantslayer Blade", which I've taken.

The Bankpurse:
120 platinum pieces, equivalent to 1,200 gold pieces.
1,934 gold pieces.
There's also 309 silver pieces, call that 31 gold pieces;
and 602 copper pieces, call that 6.

So we've got 3,171 gold pieces and a finished job soon to pay another 500.

Edric says they found an ancient ruin of some kind, too. Onys would've scoffed at the unnecessary danger, but I'm a little excited to see what's even up down here.

About 18 days.

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The Sahuagin of Yartar

6 Nightal 1481, Yartar.

After that nasty business with the giants, we really needed a proper pick-us-up, and who better to provide it: I can barely believe my blessings, Valorn Aenethal has come back to us! I had anticipated that he would find steady work as he had hoped, but he didn't go a tenday without us before his god brought him back. He clearly missed me m

7 Nightal 1481.

I have to keep writing.

The Heroes of Phandalin were together again for a single evening. I'd purchased a room for the evening and struggled against the urge to go out and celebrate, find some young thing and spend the night in prayer. I gave Valorn the key and went to the rooftop. Onys went home this morning. Her last words to me before departing were "I can't say I'm not disappointed." We said farewell, and I believe it. I've removed my ring, and if it doesn't serve us a use within the month I'll sell it. 

The morning is overcast. No one is partying, anyone desperate enough to enter the inn purchases a single drink and then departs. Think I remember a joke about a bear: it eats shoots and goes? It'll come to me.

The Waterbaron - what the fuck is a Waterbaron? asked us to visit. Nestra Ruthiol. Waterbaron Ruthiol? Waterbaroness? The town of Yartar is apparently plagued by sahuagin, which Rowan tells us are "fish-people" and Edric described as, well I forget. A lot of nasty things. A nest of the things is about ten miles away, and they keep harassing the townspeople. She's offering us 500 gold, Edric was about to take the job for free but Quinys — wow, really? Alright. Quinys. Quinys wanted to negotiate a bigger fee for our services. 

We're itching for battle, and that's never good for anyone.

Did she use the Augur before she left? I need to let it go and move on. Relationships end, no matter how close the bond or tight the love. I'll ask the party to drop even Moongem, now, and it'll be much easier to select my new name without nobility shitting all over it. I have something in mind. I'll save the surprise or take it with me when I die.

Rowan and Edric recognize the sahuagin nest by a specific formation of rock and a bubbling whirlpool. We don't even get near the water before the spears are flying – and I do mean flying, as in right past us. Rowan transformed into a giant snake ("just for fun") while we were on the road, allowing Quinys and Valorn snake and simple travel. It will disappoint her if she learns that her new form takes too much of her power; she's so excited to have learned her new skills. After what we've encountered defending her – not to wish woe upon us, of course – the sahuagin were no more difficult to cut down than wheat. Siobhan and I charged, Quinys stabbed, Edric pulled black goop out of the sand, and Valorn unleashed some kind of spell that just destroyed many of them.

I feel a peculiar guilt. They were clearly murderous, and attacked us first, but they were so outmatched that it felt wrong. It was good to swing my blade again. Oh, Rowan ate the last one. Head first, like a beast. It's easy to forget the danger she's in and is and has brought down upon us when she just follows her heart. I love her, my Lady, my Truelove, please: help me keep her safe.

Between Edric and Quinys scrounging around in the blood and muck while I've been writing, we've gained 16 gold pieces and a bottle of wine, probably garbage. There's the whirlpool to investigate – fortunately for us, Rowan is a giant snake. That's probably the nest and where the real trouble lies.

Valorn said a lot of things about this wine bottle and it's old, way old, like Myth Drannor or Cormanthyr old. He says it might be extremely valuable to a collector of ancient Elven history. I asked him to hand it over and the poor fool did. As soon as Quinys gets back, we're going to play a little game: I think I'll call it… 'Drink or Sell?'… 'Hey Quinn, Want Some?'… 'Let's Make a Deal' screw it. A fun game we'll play with Quinys. It might cheer us up a little before we swim into this fuckin' thing and murder some more helpless sahuagin. 

Since I've got a few minutes, I'd better update my notes on the shit we're carrying around:

134 gold pieces
9 silver pieces
and 2 copper.

Eight magically-preserved history books.
Seven gems of unknown value.
Three diamonds. (100g ea.?) 
A pearl.
A treasure map, a real one, as far as we can tell.
A wooden with a platinum filligree. (150g?)
A pair of magical boots that benefits none present.
A nonmagical mace, same. Ask Valorn?
The Dumbass Demon Crystal
The Sun Elf Augur (Nobody's used it yet. One lifetime use each?)
and this wine bottle, what Valorn called "Ancient Elven Vintage", and also swill. Both are true.

19 days. 

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Season 2, Episode 1: Giant Problems

The Heroes of Phandalin remain in Phandalin to assist with rebuilding efforts. Edric discovers that the High Paladin of Ilmater Garrod Midland is his father and spends the month drinking heavily, attempting to learn more about Sune with limited success, and most importantly doing all possible to avoid his father. The sisters Kiirnodel do everything they can to help the people of Phandalin in their efforts: Onys assists with the physical labors, the healing of body and mind; Erys assists with morale, building connections and friendships with the people of Phandalin. Rowan does as she's able, but also wanders excitedly through everything – her outward expression covering up her constant fear of her past and heritage catching up with all of them.  At the Feast of the Moon, the town works especially hard to throw the heroes a special celebration, and they humbly accept. It is here that Valorn, tired and having fully invested in a go of adventuring, announced to his companions that he'd be returning to Citadel Adbar. The feast therefore also became a farewell party.

News of a giant attack in nearby Triboar gets the paladins of Ilmater moving, and the heroes – some with more dedication than others – prepare to join the counterattack. The heroes break away from Phandalin first, heading down the road and eventually encountering a small pack. They fight together for the first time in ages, and the development of their bonds with one another shows. Garrod and his paladins join the fray, flying over a Giant Ape'd Catbird to strike a giant mightily – but it is his son who delivers the killing blast of magic.

The assembled charge forward towards Triboar to discover it utterly surrounded and deeply besieged. Far too many giants, far too many ruined cities – Triboar is lost without doubt. The Heroes of Phandalin ride past Garrod's forces as the latter punches a hole through the giant lines for the former to access the city. While the majority of the heroes engage a group of orcs and a frost giant, Erys and Catbird spirit away from the fray to separately seek survivors. Despite a single barricaded stronghold, the search is fruitless, and the battle in the streets rages on. Edric learns that Hekaton, King of All Giants and leader of the Storm Giants, is the one behind the recent giant attacks. Victorious, the Heroes of Phandalin return to the barricaded building and discover several survivors, among them:

Darathra Shendrel
Narth Tezrin
Othovir
Ghelryn Foehammer
and Urgala Meltimer.

Garrod approaches Edric under the guise of an apology to let him know that Tristan is in Yartar, in his last days, and that should a visit wish to be made, it had best be made soon.

[Started in: Phandalin, Feast of the Moon (Uktar "31").
The following morning, Nightal 1, Paladins and Heroes go to Triboar (234km, 4.5 days at 51.5km/h 32 miles/day), arriving Nightal 5.
The following morning, Nightal 6, the Heroes go to Yartar. (~80km, ~1.5 days).
They arrive the evening of Nightal 7. SARA: Season 2 E1 has dating practices w/ canonical festival. 1491 is "2011", November is Uktar, December is Nightal.
That makes October (and journey start?) Marpenoth.

Use STARTING DATES, not ENDING DATES.]

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Two for One
EXTRAVAGANZA

The Heroes left the Barrow and went back to Shad Dunbar and were waylaid by Fredegar the dwarf, he demanded the evidence that the PC's retrieved against him and said he would allow Barass to die from his curse if this wasn't done, and informed them that should he die, the curse would never be lifted.

Apparently not caring about this at all , The "heroes" attacked him. He turned out to be a very powerful cleric and dropped half of them with a powerful Fire Storm. Erys and Rowan, avoiding that fate thought better of it and gave him the evidence and he scampered off.

 

Inside the PC's discovered that he was true to his word and Barass had the curse lifted and was improving. Erys vouched for the greenhammers and explained her role in their fall from grace and the King restored the honor of The Greenhammers and Barass stayed behind at Shad Dunbar to restore his clan.

The Heroes made their way back to Phandalin and met with Nundro. They explored the town a bit more and recievd several tasks. They decided to go after the Orcs in Wyvern Tor as provided by a wanted poster outside the Townmaster's Hall, They also agreed to Help Sister Garaele, a priestess of Tymora, who needed the answer to a question that only a banshee named Agatha near the ruined city of Conybery could answer. They were given a fine silver brush to barter with. Finally, they were asked by Daran Edermath to investigate undead sightings at the Old owl Well.

 

They set off and spoke with the Banshee, getting her help and the answer to the Priestesses question. They ventured to Wyvern Tor and dispatched a banc of orcs and ogres that had made their home there, then they found out that a Red Wizard was exploring some ruins at Old Owl Well and had recently gotten rid of his malfunctioning zombies and he promised not to summon any more if they told the townspeople of Phandalin to stay away, The party agreed.

 

Returning to Phandalin they advised everyone of their successes and then set out for Wave Echo Cave.

 

Inside they discovered that Mind Flayers had set up shop.

They slew one and some ogres and also slew a Clay Golem guarding the Forge of Spells but were soon overwhelmed as they alerted the mind flayers to their presence and an alarm sounded they made a harrowing escape promising to return with help to finish the job.

They noticed , however, that Fredegar was there in Wave echo cave somehow aligned with these mindflayers!! The black spider, as it turns out, was a strange hulking Mindflayer of extrodinary power.

 

Returning to Phandalin they discovered that Hill Giants were attacking!!! The heroes helped fight and arrived just as a large contingent of Paladins of Ilmater were riding up from the opposite direction.

The High Paladin of Ilmater introduced himself after the fight as Garrod Midland.

Upon hearing this name Edric uttered "You gotta be fucking kidding me…"

 

End Season One

 

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A BARROWing encounter.
an ADONISing event.

The Heroes awoke in Shad Dunbar to discover Barass cursed and incapacitated in his bed.

They appealed to the king to help them.

The heroes were assigned some dwarven warriors to assist with their search and they followed the footprints to an old Barrow in the hills.

There they found that there was some magical force preventing Catbird from entering.

The group trudged onward avoiding magical traps and disvoered some kind of necromantic setup where zombies and skeletons of famous crafters were raised as a special new type of undead, tirelessly working with the same skill they found in life. Never needing rest or breaks.

The heroes ended this plot by mercykilling  any undead crafters they found, on of which was Valorns Mentor, Oolwrend the armorer, and , as they discovered later, Quinys's parents.

After fighting many mummy guardians they finally found none other than Adonis!

The heroes interrupted his plans by coming to the barrow much earlier than expected and a fight broke out and Adonis was finally slain. 

It was after this that quinys discovered her parent were among the undead crafters.

They discovered evidence incriminating a dwarf living in Shad Dunbar and a plot to make money from giants purchasing their finely crafted wares produced in large amounts ready to be shipped to anywhere, there was more to Adonis's plan but what that was died with him. Or did it?

The heroes gathered themselves to go back to Shad Dunbar and deal with this traitor dwarf… this Fredegar.

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Waterdeep

We'd gotten so much of one another's company, we were wine from a spigot once we'd gotten back to Waterdeep. The usual situating of accomodations and the like took an hour or so and then we were gone. We were fortunate not to run into anything on the road to Waterdeep, so we've all arrived in good health and better spirits.

I think I might be seeing the first little embers of a flame in my sister's eyes. I'll write more about that later, I'm sure.

Waterdeep as a whole is an enormous city, totally unlike Evereska in every imaginable way. The buildings are cobblestone, the streets are defined by their traffic of the day, and the sky has taken on a dingy color as it's become full of the smoke from furnaces that never stop. The city has a thrumming heart, nobles for days, and enough secrets between them to suit any novelist. I can't even imagine what the lords of Waterdeep do to exchange influence with one another, but it seems ridiculous.

Nundro is extremely chill, even for a dwarf. He took the bodies of his brothers from us and saw to their burial. Iva— Edric is made to look a fool again by a half-baked plan in a half-baking pan. (What?) With the letter concerning this 'black spider' and Wave Echo cave, Nundro wants to head back with us and delve into that sonuvabitch, recover his family's stuff and the like.

Another tenday on the road. Back the way we came. Woo… 

But before that, we've got some time to rest apart from one another for a damn day or two. Frankly, I want to see whether Dagge—- Quin, the Forgedawn girl — likes the little pastry shop below the hostel from a few months ago. She's got such a sweet tooth, so it's bewildering why she and

Rowan is missing.

Scratch that, Rowan is terrified and running away from everything at once.

Truelove please help this fucking girl steel her fucking nerves before something horrible happens thank you

What is an "Azmodean" tiefling? Apparently it's what Rowan isn't. It sounds gross, so of course it's not what Rowan is, because Rowan is gentle and pretty and friends with everyone. And also very fast. And kind of a bitch for running away for so long. The boys are out shopping, too, so we didn't even have Ivaric's help to find her. Nothing but raw Kiirnodel spirit and Forgedawn brutality. There's this gorgeous tiefling named Talia who's taken something of a liking to Rowan, so we're going to give her a hand with something and see if she knows anything further about Rowan. Onys says she had to beat up some dudes at the docks for Talia, and I'll bet she was grateful for the opportunity to have something to hit.

oh I guess she didn't actually hi

Edric, if you're reading this after we've been taken by the Thieves' Guild and fucking murdered or whatever, I want you to know that you might be a good kisser but you're a LOUSY PLANNER AND ALSO FUCK YOU FOR NOT BEING HERE???

I've developed something of a knack for taking prisoners. Talia revealed herself to be an agent of the Thieves' Guild, which was just wonderful news for Onys and myself with our gargantuan bounties. I think we'd plain forgotten about them in all the comfort of our journey west. We got hit with a fireball out of nowhere (RIP cart #2) and Talia did the whole billowing cape mastermind thing. We killed more of her people than I would've liked, but Onys and I managed to get her prisoner in time for Valorn to see to Quin's wounds.

Talia says the bounty on our heads originated from Tarish Finale, a lesser Lord of Waterdeep. Which means the entire ordeal is – surprise, surprise – my fault. Putting a bounty on my head makes a little sense, I did fuck his wife an' all, but on Onys'? That's got me in such a whitehot rage that I'm impressed this handwriting is legible and the quill hasn't burst through the page.

 

Original events of Waterdeep:

The heroes set out to pay Lord Tarish Finale a visit and end this charade, but along the way they were attacked by two people leading a group of ruffians still intent on getting the bounty on the heads of Onys and Erys.

A dwarf by the name of Duenor Greenhammer, a protege of Valorn and the son of a dwarf that Erys had been blamed for wronging in the past. He had devoted himself to Hoar and pledged vengeance on Erys and came very close to killing her.

And an Elven woman named Mia who had troubles with Onys in the past.

After a tense battle , one in which Mia ran away, Duenor saw the error of his ways on his deathbed and begged Valorn to take him to the Greenhammer family crypt for his final rest, and to inform his brother of that he was sorry and to please forgive him.

After the battle the party, angrier than ever, stormed to the mansion estate of Lord Tarish Finale.

They enacted a plan in which Quinys , while invisible, skulked about the mansion setting fires and in the chaos the rest of the group snuck around to the back and began a battle with Lord Tarish and his hired mercenary guards.

Tarish, however, quickly ran away with the aid of a dimension door spell.

Seeing their boss run away and a party of well-armed adventurers bearing down on them, most all of the mercenaries ran away and the party put out the fires and searched the mansion, discovering a corpse of a young woman, lots of logbooks and financial records hinting at fraud and corruption, and a basement full of female slaves chained up.

They pieced things together to find out that Lord Finale was involved in some sort of slavery ring.

The party decided to bring this to the local magistrate who brought it to Lady Silverhand.

The party was sent back to their Inn to recover and get cleaned up for a wagon that would come for them.

They did so and the wagon took them to meet Lady Silverhand and Lord Arunsun of Waterdeep, who thanked them for their service and granted named them Deputies of Waterdeep for their service and action.

The party returned to the inn.

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On to Shad Dunbar

The heroes set out the following day to neverwinter to present Barass Greenhammer the corpse of his brother Duenor. Valorn refused to have wind walk cast on him so he and Erys took the teleportation circle.

After they arrived Barass was understandably angry, upon learning who Erys was, but took it much better than Duenor.

With Barass in tow the party headed off to Shad Dunbar to set Duenor to his final resting place in the greenhammer crypts.

They decided to head through nerverwinter woods and then north past longsaddle.

In the woods they were attacked by more demons that were after Rowan, after defeating them they arrived without any more trouble.

 

At Shad Dunbar Barass laid his brothers corpse to rest but Valorn noticed that the crypts had been disturbed and it was learned that all of the bodies were gone from the crypts and a justifiably angry Barass demanded to know what happened. The King said he would look into it and gave the party sanctuary until this was resolved.

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The Lamentations of Gundren Rockseeker

This isn't really the place for it, but… well, last night was perfect. For both of us. Yesterday we were apprentices, today we've risen: Paladins in our own rite. All of us? Ona mentioned that Rowan managed to get herself a piece of the moonlight overnight, too. We're about to set off on our way to Cragmaw to rescue Roxie and get on with our lives, go our separate ways maybe. I don't know, though. This party seems to have something worthwhile in it (and plenty of interesting shipping opportunities!!) and… it's hard not to feel the call to something else, something greater. We'll see what happens once we're paid.

Thank you, my love, for watching over us in that horrendous endeavor. We're just a ways away from Cragmaw Castle, already talking about our plan of attack. Some Thieves' Guild twerps come diving out of the treeline with the fortuitous news that our bounty had gone up. I don't know much about thievery and these shadowy types, but Quin has some stuff to say about this guild and what they might be after. So far it's still just Ona — sorry, Onys and me; it's only a matter of time before the rest of the crew gets roped in.

Valorn catches sight of that little shit quasit that got away from us a few days ago, and the palatwins reach out with our divine senses just in time for them to be absolutely worthless. Edric is calling the thing a fucking "hezrou". The bounty hunting little shits took off pretty fucking quick once this fucker, big and stinky and nasty, came roiling up from the bog.

It's worth saying that while we've fought well with one another before, we reached a synergy together, a unity of purpose, once the hezrou clearly had its sights on Rowan. Bounty hunters? Nothing, Onys and I can probably take them alone. Hells, we might have to. But Rowan? Giant stinkbitch daemons? I'm not familiar with tiefling lifespans, but as far as her heart and mind are concerned, Rowan is so very young. We were not going to allow her to come to harm, none of us. 

It might be worth remembering that these hellspawn never seem to anticipate our capabilities, and never seem to realize that we intend to protect our girl, even if it means putting ourselves in harm's way. They focus their attention on Rowan, clearly anticipating that we would flee and leave her to their clutches.

We are all of us at last agreed upon one premise if nothing else: fuck that. They're making camp while I write and I'm gonna take my first watch with Quin.

4 Marpenoth

We made it back to Phandalin okay and someone else is handling valuing out the trinkets we managed to get from the goblins and selling them. Iv— Edric won't shut the fuck up about resurrecting Gundren. These wizards get what's possible in their craw and they simply refuse to let it go. It's going to get us hurt.

I'll start from the top. We break camp and make our way up to the castle all stealthy-like. Captain Catbird takes up the task of flittering about the exterior of the castle and doesn't see anything awry, so we make our way to the back of the place. Quin's really talented at this infiltration stuff. We pene— break through the castle's defenses, such as they were, and get to work dismantling the beasts what refuse to listen. Which is, uncomfortably, all of them. Catbird spotted an owlbear up on the second floor so we'd opted out of dealing with… that.

We finally come across a bigass bugbear calling himself King Grol, and he's not much interested in saying anything but "come and get me guys," and "please kill me and take over my castle". We've also gotta kill another domesticated direwolf. That's when Valorn finally peeps the bodies of our dwarven associates, decapitated and being feasted upon by the aforementioned beast.

I have Onys cut off the bastard's head and hop out to the front of the castle – goblin traditional practice – toss his head in front of me and start shouting insults. My Goblin tongue is pretty well practiced for reasons of my own, but I ran out of filth to use pretty quickly once I saw Gundred's head hanging from the parapets. Dead leader, angry firehaired elf familiar with their traditions, and a wizard just looking for a fucking excuse to level the place? They surrender and we just let them go. 

Now we're back and we feel pretty defeated. Edric won't shut up about future plans of his (never in my life have I had a more irritating lover, and I fucked the Miritar girl.) 

Sildar was the first of us smart enough to actually check Gundren's fucking pockets. Tucked between his beltloop and belt, a short final testament:

"If you are reading this note, The Black spider has the map. Deliver my body and this note to my brother Nundro in Waterdeep."

So we've got a heading now: Nundro Rockseeker, back home in Waterdeep, a tenday journey from Phandalin. And we'll be going together, so… that answers that. Sildar says that he's gonna hop up to Cragmaw Castle and reclaim it for the Lord's Alliance, so at least something good came of this nightmare.

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Quinys' Choice
"Happy Birthday, Cricket."

Truelove, I don't even know where to begin with last night. Edric may as well have been hopping on stones in a pond with the amount of conversations he decided to get up to, gesturing as he does and speaking loud enough surely for Yannock to overhear. It was pretty surprising to return from my meditation to the smell of… food? I forget what he prepared. We ate without much more talking (note to self: the secret to silencing the human is to shove food in his mouth). Yannock shook hands with everybody else but gave me a hug as we set off to the other side of town: Barthen's Provisions, with an entire cart of trade goods in tow.

The Barthen who has the provisions is named  Elmar. He's pleased we (finally) made it, but he's pretty upset that Roxie got kidnapped by the Cragmaw.

Edric took what we'd managed to grab from their hideout to the Lionshield Coster, and gave them directions so they could send some people over to get the rest of their shit. Watch your ass, Yeemick! The Coster's got a lot of weapons and armor and a super cutie named Linene, it might be worth perusing the shop.

I cannot believe we are going to do this. I'll start at the beginning. We met up with Sildar, he paid us, and promised us more gold if we got rid of the Redbrands, specifically by ousting their leader and saving this  Iarno guy. So far, so good, right? Edric has a coat. Inside is a bunch of magic crap. He can pull the magic stuff out of the coat, and then he can use it to do things. Magic things. Apparently already en route to collect protection money, eight – nine? A handful of these Redbrands thought they could beat us up, so we beat them up and take a captive. And then, Truelove please help me, and then Edric starts telling us about his brilliant plan.

He's going to use his magic to, as I understand it, open a pit into the lower level of the spooky house. In the hope that he could somehow use the intel we gathered from a captive to pinpoint the Redbrands' leader and we could – seriously – pull a ladder from his magical coat, "Robe of Useless Items", whatever, and simply… climb down.

He calls this idea "Plan Pit". He thinks he's found the room so, here we go. This is easily the stupidest thing we've done since we've come together.

That was the stupidest thing I've ever been a part of, and I've fucked goblins.

Let's be perfectly clear: I was first down the ladder. Edric was supposed to be last. Which means I triggered the trap, Valorn fell down Edric's precious fucking ladder and slammed into my back – everyone else was already down, but Valorn and I look up and there's that smug asshole, looking surprised. He shouted something, reason says it was something like "Oh gods, oh gods, I'll go get help you beautiful elven queen." I think I dropped before Valorn did, but it doesn't really matter.

We wake up bound and caged, in nothing but our tunics. Excepting Dagger, sitting in a pretty little chair dead-center of the room with a bunch of little cakes and snacks in front of her. She'd told me a little about Adonis last night, but looking at him, I could tell he was one of those guys. We were bound and caged. Dagger— sorry, Quinys, gets this "Happy Birthday, Cricket" bullshit.

Adonis had slipped her some kind of paralytic, but it was going to wear off in just a little while. It's her birthday – cool – he's never forgotten it, and he was already planning on getting the fuck out of Phandalin anyway. Once she got here. After burning it down.

Rowan makes eye contact with Valorn and me, and the new plan is pretty obvious. A good plan. A plan that will actually work. I'm gonna call it… Plan Rowan Is A Fucking Druid. We'll get as low as we can, Rowan bursts free of the cage and I didn't know what she was going to do next but I was really hoping she was going to eat him. As soon as she'd sat up, Onys broke free of her bindings like they were leaves.

Quinys has a crossbow and some bolts, and this fuck tells her, hey, shoot these assholes you met a tenday ago and let's go get married or whatever, ha ha ha. Like a good assassin, she makes like she's totally on-board with this plan and I could see that at least a small part of her was actually, seriously considering it. She still had some manner of affection for this monster. I've dealt with men like Adonis before. There's no redemption for them.

We hear hoof-beats, Catbird's signature twinkle, and fucking Edric's voice and acting like some kind of hero. There's an explosion of some kind, and that's when the girls act. Quinys faces Adonis and demands we be let go. His expression drops. The asshole tries to charm her and I feel my heart beating in my ears. She resists the spell and comes all the way to her senses as a result of his fuckup. She fires, rolling out of Rowan's path. The girl turns into a fucking direwolf – like the one she saw in Cragmaw - and the cage could not hold her. Nor us. Onys had Valorn and me free in moments, and even without our kit, we had Adonis outnumbered.

I noticed fucking Iarno up against the back corner of the room, near death and gasping. Without my kit, I was more use to our efforts healing Iarno than chasing the motherfucker. Adonis' next spell slammed into her with much more effect, she fell to the ground and lost control of her laughter. Adonis flees, Rowan gives Rowan a lil' bite to snap her out of it, and the whole crew gives chase while I grab Iarno.

Noble Catbird, Brave Sildar, and Edric "Plan Pit" Crestrun are moving towards our position, effectively trapping Adonis between everyone. When Edric and Adonis came face-to-face for the first time, Adonis hit him with a color-spray spell and got past him. Onys, Rowan, and Valorn have to deal with some summoned skeletons. Adonis reaches Catbird, and our noble leader suffers the blast of a spell, returning to the Astral Plane. This is when Sildar rounds the corner just in time to see Adonis dash up a hidden set of stairs.

Edric kept trying to clear the spray from his eyes, firing fireball after fireball, but Quinys grabs his arm and tells him to let Adonis fucking go. Edric's managed to block Sildar from getting up the stairs, effectively – yes, dear reader – ensuring his escape. Don't cry just yet – it still gets worse. Before escaping, he left some crap behind for Quinys, a scrollcase and a rapier.

As we pulled ourselves out of the pit at long last, an argument begins. Tensions are high after our capture and losing Adonis, and fucking… Ona. She starts screaming at Edric, who basically rolls his eyes and rides away. She starts screaming at Quinys, accusing both of them of betraying us. When Quinys looks – justifiably – dismissive, and turns to walk away, Ona draws steel. 

I tackled my own beloved sister to stop her from making the second biggest mistake of her life. I grabbed hold of her did what I could to pin her down. She just kept struggling, kept reaching out for where her sword had fallen. I did everything else I could think of, but when there was nothing left, I hit her. I hit Princess Onys Kiirnodel in her perfect face in the hopes of knocking the rage out of her. It worked, but I've been crying since.

Sildar's going to take over as Phandalin's interim Townmaster until things quiet down and they can have a proper vote. 

Quinys checked out what Adonis left behind for her. The rapier, a locket with images of her parents, and a location where they might be buried. 

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On To Phandalin

We've gone over our understanding of the attack from last night a few times, and things still don't make a lot of sense. The important takeaway is that Rowan is the target of some daemonic entity or force called "Landiel". None of us are familiar with this name, which is extremely aggravating!! I wish our enemies would just come out and fight us, but alas alack. Please, Lady Firehair, keep her safe. She is so young and so full of wonder, she deserves to see more of the world.

Edric says they were "quasits", small daemonic creatures resembling imps from stories. They were nasty little shits – Onys split one in half with a ferocious strike that sprayed cursed blood really far across the field (it almost hit Rowan as she started running, but let's not share that. The experience was weird enough for her. After comparing the syllables we managed to hear – I had some, Valorn had others, Edric had the largest piece; the overlap was sheer luck – the wizard believes: Rowan is the target, Landiel is the daemonic purse, and the quasits were delighted that Rowan had so many "friends" (apparently the abyssal word for friend is usually an insult? Edric wagers it's 'friend' because 'skinslurp' doesn't really make sense in context. Also, ew?).

The moonlit night brought Rowan to something of a personal impasse just before the attack, and we likely would've suffered more had Rowan not experienced her first of many animal transformations to come. It was incredible watching her run as fast as she could while we grabbed our kits and ran at her as fast as we could. The quasits were loud and were faster than any of us, and we were yelling at one another as we tore down the field that they were clearly going to catch her first. She must have heard us.

She yelled in fright as tears started to well up in her eyes – how my heart ached for her, my love – and then something in her eyes went magical. A flash of light enveloped her as her voice faded away – I thought for sure she'd been taken, but in truth she exploded from the light at a tremendous pace. She passed us as she ran towards the safety of the camp, clearly still terrified, but we had work to do first.

Something about the form she took left her feral, wild, unable to control her power. While the wizard shrugged and Ona brooded, I held out my hand and a few of the berries I'd gathered for her as we returned. She stared at me, a literal doe gazing into bright lights, but I slowly, carefully approached, all the while saying the soothing words that came to mind. You were with me, My Lady, clearly, because it came so naturally to me – the poor de—- druid ate the berries from my hand and I caressed her cheek. Rowan returned a few moments later, and with a moment's concentration, she'd managed to return to her natural form. (I think?)

All the commotion has finally stirred Sildar, so it'll be time to let the others do the kind of talking they're good at. Rowan was exhausted, Onys had fresh wounds to tend to, and Edric had his nose stuck in a book. It falls to Valorn to lead the questioning.

As he tells it, Roxie's managed to recover something real important that belonged to the Rockseekers a long time ago. I got distracted while they were explaining but it sounds like it's something that could make Roxie a lot of gold!! If only he hadn't been taken by the Cragmaw dickholes.

Anyway.

Sildar led us to Phandalin and it finally seemed like something was going to go right for our pleasant little band (terminators… goblin-slayers… wolf-eaters…?) but we had to put up with some serious bullshit at the gate. Some Redbrands…? which are like pirates, I guess? Whatever. Some jerks who've occupied Phandalin for the time being (seriously? Who does that anymore?) but the Phandalin librarian… Phandalarian… [[: yannock -bookbinder | Yannock Bookbinder]] spoke up on our behalf, under the assumption that one favor would beget another. Yanno has like, skeletons or something in his basement. It'll be good practice.

Onys wants me to make sure I write down that while she was in the Townmaster's Hall with Sildar, he yelled a lot at Townmaster Harbin Wester about letting the ruffians and scoundrels (not us, the Redbrands) take over Phandalin in his absence. Like okay Sildar, good job getting nabbed by Yeemick, I wonder what's up at home?? Doofus. Adorable doofus if you ignore the way he dresses. Onys wants me to be certain that I write down the name "Iandro", a friend of Sildar's who ventured into the spooky house on the hill just west overlooking the town square and has yet to return. Onys pointed out that it might be a good little rescue operation.

Fifty gold pieces, he says! That's a lot of coin to go dig through some closets and beat up some goblins. I'm so bored with all of this politics and talking and nobody even wants to play around or spar or even come pray with me. 

Hopping down into the Basement of the Bookbinder to kick some tailbone was easily the simplest thing we've done together since joining one another on this thunderstorm of a gig. There was some treasure there – Da— I mean Quinys is digging through it looking for "shinies", and so I assume Edric's sniffing for "magics", and Valoirn is dig— shit, I already wrote that Quinys was digging. I guess Valorn is looking for booze. Whatever. Why am I the one writing this stuff down? Not that I mind the chance to sit and fluff my hair.

Yannock's insisted we stay the night – just one night, mind – and then in the morning we can head out to see what's the deal with Phandalin. Sildar should have his kit ready eventually, and I think I saw some oddjobs on offer at a job board? We'll see. Goodnight!

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