Phylas’ Journal XI
18th of Mirtul
Daily Spider Count: Negligible.
We have decided to head east through the Hullack Forest, on to the Thunder Peaks, and then beyond, to investigate the rumors about the so-called Mad Witch of Archendale. As this will take us near Highmoon, I suspect we will be visiting Gorstag’s family as well.
As our plans will take us through the Hullack Forest, we have hired some additional help, another fighter and a rogue. The rogue has given us her name as Scouty McCupcakes; am unclear if she expects us to believe this, but whatever.
21st of Mirtul
Daily Spider Count: Seemed like a good idea at the time. Am getting tired of re-writing it all the time, though. Anyway, none.
Arrived back at the estate this morning. Had a most curious sighting on the way back, though. The estate is adjacent to the Immerflow River, which feeds into the Wyvernwater Lake, of course. The morning fog was especially thick today, and I could swear we saw a mist dragon and a castle in it. There are apparently rumors about there being a mist dragon that lives at the bottom of the Wyvernwater, but it is just a myth. Or… perhaps it isn’t? Curious.
We’ll be heading east into the Forest tomorrow.
23rd of Mirtul
DSC: None. (I should’ve abbreviated this months ago!)
We entered the Hullack Forest today. There is a road through it, but it’s not entirely safe. We are assaulted by some shambling mounds today. We have several half-elves in the group, and apparently they have an affinity for elf meat…
Anyway, we’re all fine now, though I would like to leave this forest behind as soon as possible.
25th of Mirtul
Nothing to report, as the rest of the journey through the Hullack Forest has been quiet. We aren’t far from the Thunder Pass, so we’ll be entering that soon. There’s a Cormyrean fortress there, and then after that we’ll be out of the Kingdom.
26th of Mirtul
Bad news, everyone. After exiting the Thunder Pass, we saw smoke from a serious conflagration down in the forest, by the river. Also, as soon as we did, Ms. McCupcakes departed from our company. Ah well, best of luck to her, and her baking-goods-themed aliases.
Anyway, we arrived in time to find two mercenary groups squabbling over the very few possessions they’d collected from this tiny village of (we later found out was) Oakwood Knoll. When we arrived, the villagers were all on the ground, dead and dying, the houses and the watermill were all aflame.
Boy, am I pissed. Ogres and men, teaming up to slaughter innocent villagers? Unacceptable. They picked the wrong adventuring company to mess with. Well, strictly speaking they didn’t pick us, we just saw them, but that is not the point. We captured a few and slaughtered the rest; they told us they were looking for Alazar (I think?) Falconhand.
And, apparently, having not found him, they torched the town. Bastards. We executed the rest of them, the filth.
I couldn’t save all of the villagers; many of them were already dead. I did manage to heal about half of them, though, so at least there were some survivors. The village was a total loss; though, curiously, the fires had actually been put out by a tremendous rainstorm during the fight, which seemed, weirdly, to be centered around Joy’s dog, Sir Barksalot.
I… I don’t know.
Anyway, the villagers told us an intensely troubling tale. Apparently, Highmoon has been occupied by the Zhentarim. After a brief siege, they capitulated, and are now publicly allied with Zhentil Keep. This is terrible, of course, and Gorstag is incredibly worried about his parents.
He wanted to leave straightaway, but I pointed out that we aren’t exactly an invading army, so we stayed to help bury the dead. I distributed some gold to the villagers to help them get to, well, to wherever they needed to go next.
I borrowed some shears from a villager, too, and cut my hair. If Highmoon has been occupied, the last thing we need is for a half-drow, two half-elves, and an Aasimar to stroll into the city. The Zhentarim aren’t exactly fond of Cormyreans, and here we are, with a War Wizard…