The Adventures of The Stonelanders

Phylas' Journal XVIII

Further Entries from Phylas' Journal

4th of Kythorn

Death.

The last of the Stonelanders died today.

I, of course, was the last original member. And yes, I died.

And yet, here I am, writing. It seems… unfair. Could we have saved Milo, or Grim, or Henry? We did not have the money to raise them from the dead. That seems so… vulgar.

My death and resurrection—my redemption—have coincided with a dramatic expansion of my powers, of my command over the forces of the heavens. This has manifested itself quite clearly in my physical appearance; I am told it began slowly, and has increased to its present intensity: a halo of constellations of tiny, twinkling stars surrounds me, denoting the favor I have with the good-aligned gods of the cosmos.

You will forgive, dear readers (if there are any? This is a personal journal, after all…), if the levity is dropped from my tone. Having confronted (in a way) my own mortality, I am now recalled to the memories of my dead companions. It is not a particularly enjoyable time. I hope Danath is well.

Back to the here and now, I suppose. This is supposed to be a record of deeds, after all, for posterity, or whomever.

We led the slaves out of the Underdark using some maps we’d discovered of the tunnels and paths and Drow encampments. It was, in fact, this very act that led to my death. Regrettably, the circumstances were not so noble as that may sound. We encountered a beholder, a terrible eye tyrant, those monstrous beings of legend that you hope never to see, guarding the passage out.

I cannot, frankly, give my own account of what happened next, and so must piece it together from my companions, as, shortly after we encountered it, it turned its terrible gaze upon me and I was turned to stone. I am told that Deneal was greatly heroic in the encounter and turned the tide in our favor; eventually the beholder was brought low and destroyed. My companions attempted to lift the petrification, but unfortunately the transformation back from stone killed me.

And so (I am told), it was determined that I needed to be resurrected. The slaves were led out to the surface and a small camp erected, and Septimus, carrying my body, and Gorstag, teleported back to the Temple of Lathander in Suzail. It was, apparently, very dramatic: it was pouring down rain in the capital, and Septimus, tall and glittering in his armor, carrying my (quite lifeless) body, kicked in the temple door (I told him later they are usually open during the day, but I suppose that would have spoiled the effect) and bellowed for Gerard, my mentor.

Mercifully, Gerard was able to resurrect me and restore me to, well, to myself. All told, I wasn’t dead for very long. We filled Gerard in on the goings-on in Deepingdale, and Gorstag took the opportunity to do the same with the War Wizards.

It seems I owe them my life, a debt I am curiously comfortable with. I shall not, I suspect, be able to repay it—not truly—but I shall try.

We had work to finish, so we teleported back to Deepingdale amid Gerard’s insistence that we owed him no recompense for my resurrection. We will, of course, repay him, one way or another.

We re-gathered our strength and headed back into the Underdark, to take a passage up into the lower levels of the Tower of the Risen Moon to free the prisoners there. We were successful in this endeavor, and freed quite a few people that had been wrongly imprisoned, including Gorstag’s parents. Most of the prisoners seem largely unharmed, just neglected and malnourished, but nothing that cannot be healed with time. That, at least, is a relief.

We discovered, upon returning to the surface, that the rebellion had apparently begun without us. Sporadic fighting appeared to have broken out, and it seemed we were out of time. Alas, we had not yet finished all we needed to. Fortunately, Azalar contacted us, and we rushed to meet him.

It seems there is a Fey portal network around the area, one that had been sealed off because of an enormous spider (naturally) that had been loosed in it, the Sussurus. Azalar informed us (I kind of drifted off at points—he’s a bit dreamy) that if we were to kill it, it would secure to our cause the portal network and his Fey allies.

Inevitably, this was going to be necessary, and so that is what we did. It was a rather protracted battle, but eventually we were successful. And so, we have Azalar and his army on our side. He told us to seek out the druids who watch over the forests of Deepingdale, and so we set off in earnest to do that, too.

It was then we discovered that the druids had been scattered by the wolves of the forest, who, normally under the leadership of a wolf named Cooteu, were instead under new leadership, a giant winter wolf by the name of Frostbite. Cooteu approached us and suggested that, if one of us could defeat Frostbite in single combat, we could pass leadership of the pack back to him. This would allow for the wolves and the druids to have their normal balance restored, and bring them onto our side in the conflict with the Zhentish army.

Deneal offered his services in this regard, and I was happy to accept. I had assumed Septimus would be taking on the challenge, but I was much happier to risk Deneal. As it turned out, Frostbite didn’t stand a chance against our little sorcerer of the winter.

With the balance of the forest restored and the wolves and druids brought to our side, we decided to make a last hour strike at the remaining leaders of the Drow House Dhuurniv, so we went back into the Underdark.

With their maps in our hands, it was not a huge problem to find the remaining two leaders. The first had concocted some horrifying fire-spider abominations, but was otherwise easily dealt with. The second… I did not go into the room with the second. Apparently the room was coated in spiders, and there was some sort of fountain spraying spiders in all directions. You know, I thought the ocean spiders were bad, but I cannot imagine anything worse than that. So, I waited outside.

And so, here we are, back at camp. We have exhausted our strength for now. The rebellion began today, without us, but tomorrow we shall rise with it.

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