What follows is a collection of accounts I have assembled to more accurately detail what I suspect is an event we shall see the effects of for years to come. Whether our actions were foolhardy, craven, or noble, and the moral implications surrounding such matters, I will leave for you to decide. Hindsight offers a perspective more keen than any crystal or lens.
- Gilvaldellin, Wizard
Log For the Sailing Vessel Skithblathnir
Captain Stor Lingo in Command
Date: 6th of the month Gozran
Departed Mariner’s Landing early morning with 10 crew, 4 passengers, and 2 birds. No cargo. Mission to explore a lighthouse off the eastern peninsula and then hit and run attack on the alleged Ghoul Empire in the North. Crew well equipped and morale excellent. 1 gold bonus provided per man.
Passengers: Mac Woodfleet, Peren, Gilvaldellin, and Aiden Montyouc (crew warned to secure valuables),
Good to see Wizard Gilvaldellin again after so long an absence. Showed him crossbow and how the mending is still holding up.
No issues at sea.
Date: 7th of month Gozran
Date: 8th of month Gozran
Fog setting in; hard to see coast line. Compass keeping us off the shoreline. 90 degrees East and Steady
Date: 9th of month Gozran
The fog is thick on the coast. Depressing land.
Date: 10 of month Gozran
Crew bored but doing well. Saw lighthouse on the coastline. Continuing Eastward.
Date: 11 of month Gozran
Lighthouse spotted. Old stone cut pier in good condition. Docking executed well by crew. Structure is unique and not like other lighthouses seen before. Strange reflections near the top of structure. Stairs leading up the Cliffside. Crew ordered to remain with ship. Passengers disembarking to investigate.
Date: 12 of month Gozran
Close call yesterday for Master Gilvaldellin and myself. A water trap sent him falling back into the sea and we had to pull him up. I was trapped by some sort of lizard statue holding a trident. Had to jump onto Aiden to survive. Mac attacked by seagulls. Sailing west to land in Ghoul territory.
Date: 13 of month Gozran
Landed near lighthouse in the fog. Command turned over to First Mate Fimak. Crew promised 2 GP bonus upon safely returning in 4 days time to extract landing party. Captain Stor Lingo out.
Captain departed to shore. Rowed back to lighthouse.
Message via bird. Signed Captain Lingo with orders to delay by four more days. Sent note affirmative via bird. Food supply dwindling.
Caught some fish.
Crew member feared lost at sea. Found in Captain’s quarters. 10 lashes administered.
Sailed for pick up. Out of smoke.
Date: 21st?? of Gozran
Command returned to Captain Stor Lingo. Crew did well. Commendation to First Mate for keeping crew mostly out of trouble. Bonus paid. They say we stink pretty bad. Heading back to Mariner’s Landing at full speed. Low on food. Translation of Ghoul books going slowly due to hunger and thirst..
Date: 24th?? of Gozran
Returned Mariner’s Landing and heading to bathhouse and then Driftwood for large meal. Almost had to eat the birds. Passengers disembarked with gems, captured armor, and some books.
No casualties. No damage to Skithblathnir.
From the journal of Gilvaldellin, wizard.
III Gozran, MMXVIII
Mac has been talking for days about getting “the sneakiest people” in Mariner’s Landing to go, in her own words, “cause chaos” in the Derakul capitol. Firstly, I don’t know what she could possibly mean by that, is she implying I’m some ruffian? Those days are well behind me! Secondly, chaos is a horrible plan, basically by definition. I really think we need something more refined for our modus operandi.
IV Gozran, MMXVIII
Captain Stor agreed that we needed more of a plan, and since we’re taking his ship, I think his vote counts more than mine. We’ve gone through several maps, the plan is to hit the island off the coast of the hills first and see about that third lighthouse. Securing that gives us a staging point, and possibly funds in the form of a bowl of elemental command to help pay for the expedition. From there, we’ll venture across the channel and land at the bay by the second lighthouse. From there, we’ll venture into the dutchy of Duke Nerond and see what can be done from there, I believe the focus is on reconnaissance.
V Gozran, MMXVIII
Everything is in motion, we depart tomorrow.
VI Gozran, MMXVIII
Looks like we are supposed to stow our valuables. I have asked Saila to fiercely peck at anyone who touches my books or alchemy supplies! Captain Stor showed me his crossbow, the string I mended seems to be holding up well. That spell has gotten me through some rough days.
VIII Gozran, MMXVIII
These last few days have been fantastic. I’ve had so much time to read and practice my primordial. Saila has been a little bit restless though. Apparently a side benefit of a folding ship is that it doesn’t tend to accumulate rats, I imagine they’d just pop out whenever you folded up the boat. Unfortunately, that’s largely what she does to pass the time when sailing. I offered to change her into an octopus and let her swim around, but she seemed very offended by the suggestion. She still hasn’t quite forgiven me for the spider incident. She’s trying her hand at hunting seagulls.
X Gozran, MMXVIII
Saila has learned the difference between an albatross and a gull. Apparently the sailors believe that an albatross will ward away “bad magic” and such. They were rather cross at Saila chasing one. Ridiculous. We saw the lighthouse, and should be landing tomorrow. I am eager to have a reprieve.
XI Gozran, MMXVIII
This lighthouse is very different from the other two. Firstly, it was trapped, and I was subjected to a most undignified fall. Thankfully, the water didn’t damage my tome or any of my scrolls. Secondly, there is a complex structure at the top, which I believe amplifies the powers of an enchanted trident, guarded by an animated statue of some kind of sea dragon. I should tell Kau about this.
XIII Gozran, MMXVIII
We crossed the channel and landed today, I forgot how quiet the grey hills could be. Truly this is a cursed land. Perhaps it just needs a few albatross to fix it.
XIV Gozran, MMXVIII
We had a chance to closely observe the black dragon obelisk today. It is clearly magical in nature, though I was able to confirm that with a basic divination. The obelisk itself is about sixty feet square at the base and possibly a little more than one hundred feet tall, though difficult to say for certain. More interestingly however, it is surrounded by a ring of stones I advised the party not to break. In the arcane arts, a circle serves two purposes, keeping something out, or keeping something in, and I am definitely not interested in trying to break such an ancient construction without some more information.
XV Gozran, MMXVIII
We found Abel’s farm. I am glad to see he is still doing well, though he seems more paranoid than last time. I think my associates unnerved him somewhat. We sent Saila off with a letter to the crew of Skithblathnir to delay four more days.
Addendum: We were beset by what seems to be a courtier in the court of Duke Nerond. The subsequent interview with the ghoul Nadar, now deceased, was quite enlightening. We now know that the family Liadom rules the Derakul empire, and that they are served by grand dukes, who are served by dukes. There is a grand duke Carric, served by dukes Nerond and Olsten. We also learned that Nerond’s dutchy, Wyrmroost, is short on personnel due to the baybridge conflict, and that Arjhan is the captain of the Wyrmroost guard. It would seem we picked an ideal location for some scouting. The Derakul seems to be either in or under the mountains, there’s definitely more to be learned, but unfortunately Nadar came down with a severe case of out existing his usefulness. None will mourn his passing.
XVII Gozran, MMXVIII,
I don’t know what I expected to happen, but tyrannicide wasn’t on the list. Duke Nerond is dead. We entered Wyrmroost in disguise, using garb we took from Nadar and his retainers. A little makeup and some cantrips, and we were easily able to enter the city with no provocation of the guards, all of whom seemed to be human. Wyrmroost is crumbling in more ways than one. There’s barely any people there, and its north border seems to be slowly eroding into the sea. We entered the keep, met Nerond in his library, and slew him and his guards. Mac left some books containing teachings of an old faith to some of the remaining humans. We grabbed a few books from Nerond’s library (and a really neat wand) and fled.
XXI Gozran, MMXVIII
I don’t know how to describe what it feels like to be back on the sea. I have left the grey hills behind, yet a part of it is carried with me. I try to remind myself that my first priority is my own survival. The world is not a forgiving place, it rewards violence and greed, and if anything my recent success in life is proof of that. Still, the conditions those people live in, the Derakul are predators, keeping the humans there for cattle, making them covet undeath as the only escape from their suffering. Nadar mentioned that this “order of ascendant elves” might be involved somehow. Is this why the dwarves of Bruckschloss were so afraid of me? What would the ancestors judge of me if I did not face this corruption? I have become very good at surviving, perhaps it’s time to start doing a little more.