Phylas’ Journal XVI
1st of Kythorn
Following a much-needed rest after our travails in the Grinding Gulf, we ventured back to Fort Gurzoth. With magic restored, I was able to level it using the Lyre of Building we acquired. I decided we ought to send a stronger message, so I kept playing, and we erected statues of the Stonelanders: six of them, facing outward. In the middle, I had the symbol of my religious order carved, surrounded by the words, “THE PRICE OF HIGHMOON’S FREEDOM SHALL BE PAID WITH THE BLOOD OF THE BLACK NETWORK”.
That ought to get their attention.
We ventured into town after that to try to enlist the help of the major temples for the rebellion. On the way, we witnessed a number of sham trials, putting people away for treason. Gorstag’s mother was among those condemned as guilty. It remains imperative that we continue to weaken the rule of the Zhentarim here, and quickly.
Our mission to enlist the help of the temples of Oghma and Tymora was successful. Though the high priest at the temple of Oghma does not have many resources with which to help us, he introduced us to Dejhara, a priestess of Deneir and, I hope, a potential addition to the rebellion. She also seems interested in my Order, so perhaps we will see her even after we leave here…
The high priestess at the temple of Tymora was expecting us; she is a very clever lady, and has instituted a scheme to scam the Zhentish troops out of their money, and thereby get leverage to extract information from them. Not to mention setting her temple up as a gambling hall to keep as many troops occupied as possible. She has offered us her assistance, and I am grateful to have such an ally.
After that we decided that we needed to eliminate the air support the Zhentarim enjoyed. We managed to lure two of their four sky mages into traps, and we killed them. One of them appeared to be their leader, so that is good news. After that, we were able to fly back into the city and dump their bodies. We also dropped a score of notices that I have been copying in my spare time.
It occurred to me that we needed to make overt threats to the Zhentarim and announce our intention to overthrow their rule if we were to start a real rebellion. I have therefore issued a Decree in the name of my Order. I have attached a copy here:
From the Order of the Constellation
Let it be known: that the illegal occupation of the city of highmoon by the Black Network is hereby condemned.
Let it be known: that crimes against the people of the Dalelands shall be avenged sevenfold.
Let it be known: that we have pierced the veil of time and seen the future of the Zhentarim here.
And let it be known: That any of the Black Network who wish to avoid their fate may leave now, unharried, but all who do not leave shall meet the fate that has been foreseen.
Given on this day, the first of Kythorn
In the Year of the Worm
By Phylas, High Prophet of the Constellation
In the company of His Most Noble Allies, the Stonelanders
It is, perhaps, a bit disingenuous: I have not seen the future here, but they don’t need to know that. Plus, my Order mostly just consists of me right now, so there is that, too… I am staking my reputation on our success here, but it seemed to me that, well, that it might sound more menacing than a rag-tag group of adventurers telling the Black Network to shove off.
We do not yet know what, if any, effect my Degree will have, but I hope it will at least shake the morale of the lower-level Zhentish troops, or perhaps of the mercenaries they have with them.
After our successes against the sky mages we ventured into the forest to look for Alazar, to see if he had had any luck with his fey allies. We were unable to do this, but we did manage to find the Shrine of Sehanine Moonbow that I was looking for. I contacted the goddess, and she answered a number of questions for us.
Before she left us for good, Sylune mentioned something about the “false lord of Highmoon”. Lord Ulath is still nominally in charge, so I do not know what she meant by this, but the goddess has confirmed that he does not have the real Scepter of Aglauntarus, a symbol of the rightful ruler of Highmoon. Perhaps there is a greater deception here? Has Lord Ulath been replaced?
We have, I think, weakened the allies of the Zhentarim, but their Drow allies still remain. I think they are our last significant obstacle before we can hope to free prisoners and begin an uprising.
Unfortunately, that means a descent into the Underdark.
That is going to suck.