Phylas’ Journal XIII
28th of Mirtul
I know, I know, I already had an entry for today.
After leaving Aumry’s tomb, we headed back to Highmoon. Sylune’s instructions about our next courses of action seemed to indicate that we needed to head to Fort Gurzoth and shut down a portal there that the Zhentarim were using.
Gorstag and I headed to the Temple of Oghma in town to do some research on the Fort and how to shut down portals. The short answer is that we don’t really know, but that maybe destroying the wall they’re affixed to will work.
It appears Fort Gurzoth was originally built as an outpost of the ancient Drow city of Maerimydra. Sylune also warned us to “Beware the remnants of Maerimydra”, so I assume this is bad news, everyone.
Joy and Septimus decided that the best use of their time was to get totally knackered at a tavern, so Gorstag and I arrived to find Septimus gaping at the sky while Joy was taken for a ride on what appeared to be a flying broomstick. Unclear as to where this flying broomstick came from.
We seem to have attracted the attention of an elven rogue named Elric. Though I remain skeptical, he appears to have a long-standing grudge against the Zhentarim and a desire to liberate Highmoon. Also, he totally knows stuff about Fort Gurzoth, so he seems useful.
Either way, I’ll be sleeping with one eye open.
I mean, not really. It’s a figure of speech.
29th of Mirtul
What a day!
It’s not every day you get to sack a fort. Which is probably good, because I imagine that would be exhausting.
We got up early to head off to meet Elric at Fort Gurzoth. It wasn’t actually that far away, so that was nice, at least. We managed to attract attention almost immediately, though mercifully we didn’t alert the entire complex to our presence all at once.
After some nasty entanglements with some horrible ettins, I attempted to free some slaves that they’d been forcing to do repair work on the fort. These hellhounds let out this dreadful howling and, well, we’ll just skip that part. Anyway, when we all got back, all the slaves had run off but one. He identified himself as Griezly, and appears to be a gnome with serious anger management issues.
We managed to clear out the rest of the ground floor of the keep, and then we headed down into the lower level. There was some combat with an enormous ogre; it was extremely worrisome, as Septimus took quite the beating. Fortunately, though the Weave is, admittedly, thin here, my healing spells haven’t failed us yet.
I should mention a poisonous trap that our new rogue-friend, Elric, nearly died from, but I suspect he would be embarrassed. Anyway, so there was this poison trap, and our rogue-friend, Elric, nearly died from it. It was alarming at the time, but I’m sure in the future we’ll all look back on it and laugh.
Anyway, after that we headed into a dungeon, which is either quite a bit of fun or definitely none at all, depending on how you use it, I suppose. There was a large illusion there being cast by some nasty monsters I didn’t recognize. They threw quite a few fireballs at us, which I rather didn’t appreciate. We dispatched them—okay, one of them disappeared—and then we opened up all the cells. Alas, they were all empty (well, I suppose that’s a good thing, and doesn’t warrant an alas) but one: one that contained Alazar Falconhand, the fellow that the mercenary companies had been looking for in that poor village of Oakwood Knoll.
We let him go, and he said he would try to raise some Fey allies to help throw off the shackles of the Zhentarim here in Deepingdale. That is good of him, as we could use the help.
After that it was into the Temple of Bane, for some rather difficult combat against a Dreadwraith and a priest (we think he was Malathon, the leader of the fort, but of course we have no way of verifying that, as he is quite dead). Combat has gotten quite harrowing of late, and involved a number of near-deaths. These are of course quite worrisome, as I do not wish to lose any more party members. Bad enough to have the lingering deaths of Milo, Henry, and Grim haunting me…
Anyway, we eventually prevailed, and, after a short tussle with some basilisks someone was apparently keeping as pets (really? I mean, pets? Who does that?), we sacked the place. Scoured it from top to bottom! And boy, good thing we did! We found the portal, and Gorstag contacted the War Wizards to let them know, and to request someone to come seal it.
Apparently, Tilver’s Gap is also under attack by the Zhentarim, so Cormyr isn’t going to be able to help us much here in Highmoon. Alas, alas, it looks like we’re on our own. I know I’m not from here (only Gorstag is, really), but we can’t let these people suffer under the rule of the Black Network…
We’ve discovered a fair amount of treasure as well, which is nice, plus plenty of weapons and armor which we should be able to distribute to people once we get this insurrection off the ground.
Septimus was kind enough to loan me his adamantine warhammer so that I could smash up the Temple of Bane. Boy howdy, I could do that all day. Well, maybe not ALL day, but it certainly is refreshing, desecrating a ghastly place like this. Lastly, and importantly, we also appear to have discovered the gem Fireblood. This is, of course, the third in the Four from Cormyr set of magical items that once belonged to the Crown of Cormyr. If we can recover the last one, the sword Silveredge, the reward would be… well, hopefully substantial.
And we can always use more money! Or at least, I can. My plans for the Order have gotten extensive, and the library is going to be expensive…
Anyway, Elric and I ventured back to Highmoon, discretely, to purchase a large bag of holding to put all these things in. I wandered off to meet some folks at a tavern, but I don’t think he much noticed. So here we are, back at the fort, waiting for Gorstag’s war wizard compatriot to teleport in and seal the portal for us.
In the meantime, we have to plan our next move. Next on Sylune’s list for us was something about the Grinding Gulf, which doesn’t sound particularly pleasant…