Phylas’ Journal XII
27th of Mirtul
More bad news, everyone.
We arrived at Highmoon late this evening and are now staying with Gorstag’s mother. Will recap.
On the ride here from Oakwood Knoll, Gorstag noticed that the Weave felt… well, he didn’t know how to describe it, aside from, “thin”. I agree with him; this is incredibly troubling news.
We encountered a flying patrol on the way to Highmoon, and I hastily gave our name as that of the Nightblades, and said we were mercenaries, looking for work. This seems to have worked, as they’ve allowed us to pass into the city.
We met Gorstag’s mother, who seems very nice, though she had the misfortune of having to recount to us what has happened here. It appears that the Zhentarim showed up around a tenday ago and laid siege to the city. The same day, there was an attack on the tower of Rhauntides, the powerful wizard who watched over the city, and his tower was destroyed.
A few days later, a skeletal dragon burst out of the Tower of the Risen Moon in the center of town. Another dracolich, perhaps? The presence of the Cult of the Dragon here would be hugely regrettable.
Not long after that, a large contingent of drow came up through the Tower and helped to overrun the city. It seems Gorstag’s father, himself a drow, was implicated in this and thrown into prison. Shortly thereafter, the Lord of Highmoon announced an alliance with the Zhentarim.
The city is now being occupied, and the people seem well and thoroughly oppressed. Apparently there are informers everywhere.
Joy has been out in an attempt to get a clearer picture of what is going on, and has reported that the city seems to be being occupied by about a thousand troops, and that the Church of Bane also has a considerable presence here. The news just gets worse and worse…
28th of Mirtul
You know, I’ve seen a lot of strange things in my time, and recorded more than a few of them here in this journal, but… I just… I’ve got no clue.
Teddy bears. We just… How does this even happen? Perhaps I should explain.
We set out this morning to go to the caravan camp on the other side of Highmoon to see what the other mercenary groups were up to. It is clear that we need to intervene here, but even inciting a rebellion (which will be necessary, given the overwhelming force) seems hugely difficult, so we weren’t sure where to start.
While on our way, Azouth’s holy symbol appeared before us and then we heard a loud, booming voice (presumably Azouth’s). He gave us some cryptic instructions.
Now, look, I appreciate that the gods work in their own ways and whatnot, but we don’t have time for any of this blah blah blah.
Blah blah blah blah!
I mean, why not just tell us what you want? Okay, I’m done. Anyway, it seems that the situation here is quite serious, if Azouth himself is intervening. The Weave has felt weaker here in Highmoon, so something is clearly wrong.
His instructions seemed to indicate that we needed to go to Watcher’s Knoll and find the ashes of Sylune, one of the Seven Sisters. (PS What is it with these people and all these Knolls?)
So, we set off to do that. There wasn’t much there, just a granite slab, a toppled-over plinth, and an enormous dead tree.
In related news, said dead tree was, in fact, a gargantuan skeleton of an ancient red dragon. After some INTENSE MOMENTS OF PANIC we settled in to attempt to destroy the thing.
And then… well, then all its claws and teeth turned to teddy bears.
I have no idea what is going on sometimes. I have a feeling Gorstag and Joy know, but they aren’t telling me if they do.
What on earth would turn a dragon’s teeth into teddy bears? And why would you want to?
Actually, scratch that, it was quite useful, as it almost certainly kept us from being totally destroyed. I had quite a bit to do with bringing this dragon down, but it nearly cost me my life. We prevailed in the end, and now we, um, are in possession of a bunch of teddy bears.
Joy has kept 47 of them for herself. I haven’t the faintest clue what she is going to do with them.
On the upside, this appears to have been the dragon that burst out of the Tower of the Risen Moon, which is good news. I mean, you know, it nearly killed us (thank goodness… for the teddy bears… honestly you know writing about it doesn’t make it any less weird), but it was a dragon skeleton, not a dracolich, which means we aren’t dealing with the Cult of the Dragon (probably?), so that’s good.
Anyway, we went down into the tomb and, after dealing with a nishruu (because I guess a dragon skeleton with teddy bear teeth wasn’t weird enough), Sylune appeared to us.
We freed her (or what’s left of her, at least), and she has given each of us a boon. Beyond that, she’s instructed us to free the Dalelands from the Zhentarim, and given us some instructions as to where we should go next. It sounds like Shar is behind what is happening to the Weave, which is just… you know the news just gets worse and worse here.
Sylune has instructed us to take her husband’s staff and cloak, though, and to use them to help free the land.
Also, she said we should look into the “realms below” for a way into the Tower of the Risen Moon. This means… this means heading to the Underdark, I think. Godsdammit but I am not looking forward to that, not in the bloody least.
Teddy bears. _Has the world gone mad? _