Yuria's Log: Day 8
by Margaret Krohn on February 6th, 2012

12/19/2011
Day 8
     Ah, Neverwinter. It's been like a second home to most of us these days. Trouble seems to surround the poor city. Hopefully, we can do something about it. We dropped off our mule at our normal meet up "The Staggering Lion's Alehouse". Master Sampson was glad to see us back so safe and sound, but we had little time to rest and gossip. There were things that needed to be done and people who needed talking to.
     I was intent on going to the Church of Pelor. I had quite a round of business to attend to while the rest of our party did some snooping and mingling of their own. They needed to figure out if anyone heard word of our missing dwarf friend from the journal.
     I reached the entrance of the church with plenty of time to spare. It was quite the sight. It's exterior made of marble; a landmark to any traveler within the city, especially at night. The temple would glow so brightly, it would illuminate the whole street. Built with only one spire and four smaller spires at its base, it was quite simple in design. What topped it off was what was above the main spire, the familiar statue of Pelor himself.
     "She's a beaut ain't she?" asked a beggar sitting along the wall across the brick street.
     "Indeed. We worked very hard to make sure the temple was perfect when we rebuilt it," I said as I tossed a gold coin to the beggar. He grinned and waved at me as I ran up the stairs. The inside of the church was even more beautiful. Its stained glass windows brought colors that danced across the altar and pews.
     Alzariah, one of the priests, greeted me. "Good to see you again, Yuria. Is there anything we can help you with or have you come to do some praying?"
    "Both. I have some questions to ask if you have the time to answer," I said.
    "We had a feeling that would be the case. Follow me if you will," she said while making her way to a side room and motioning me in.
     Priest Juddah and the Head of the Order were already awaiting me. "I knew you'd be here within the hour," he said with a grin on his face. "You look healthy. I'm glad to find you well, Yuria."
     "And so are you, good friend. I have some things for you," I said as I pulled out the vial of residuum I had taken from the tree. "I thought this might be of use to you. Is there anything you can tell me about it?" I asked.
     He took the vial from me, shaking it slightly as he looked into it. The silver liquid moving from the top to bottom slowly. "It's used to maintain undead outside of the Shadowfell. You see. Usually, undead won't stay outside of the Shadowfell unless they are mindless, controlled by something much more powerful than themselves, or of course, the normal consumption of human brains," he said.
     "Would this be used by someone like...," I leaned close to him and whispered, "Alspeth," into his ear.
     "Her? Never. She is their queen. Her power is beyond something like this. Plus, she needs not of vials or potions, she brings a bit of the Shadowfell with her like a stormy cloud above a sad soul," he said.
     "Can you tell me who she was when she was alive?" I asked.
     "Sure. She was one of the Princesses of the Noble House of Neverwinter. It fell about a hundred and twenty years or so ago, during one of the original Spellplagues. She was raised in Neverwinter her whole life. She was extremely power hungry and planned on running Neverwinter. Well, that was until her death. Every once in awhile, we see her in the undead area of town. They often keep to themselves other than the fights that break out between them and the Abyssals. Although we do fear that the war may spread further, we are trying to keep optimistic. It's hard to predict something like that though. We just keep to ourselves, you know? Tending to our daily tasks and what nots. Oh, sorry...Now I'm just rambling. There's just been a lot happening over the years. Hard to keep at peace with it all," he said.
      "I understand," I said calmly. "I appreciate the information. It's quite helpful.
      "I do what I can. I do what I can," he said.
      "I had a final thing to ask of you before I head out," I began to say, while taking out the amulet from my pouch, but as soon as it was in full view Juddah, Alzariah and the Head of the Order began speaking loudly and trying to rush me away. "Wait! Wait! What's going on?" I tried to stop them before we got completely out of the room. I don't want to cause any unneeded attention.
      "Do you not know what this is?" Alzariah asked sternly.
      "Get this out of here, you are desecrating the very essence of our church," said the Head of the Order.
      "It's an evil artifact of death and unlife," said Juddah. "There's no telling what can look through it or in it." It hits me. This must be how the dark elf was able to find us so quickly, sending his undead friends to attack us throughout the night when Drogo had it latched to his belt. Not until I placed it in my pouch had the attacks ceased.
     "I'm very sorry," I said slightly bowing my head. "I will leave immediately. You know I meant no harm." I began placing the amulet back into my pouch, heading towards the door and leaving as quickly as possible.
     While I was at the church, the rest of the gang was on a mission to mingle. Lament convinced the rest of them to let him find someone on the street who might know of a missing dwarf. First try, he was directed to some Simon fellow who hangs out in an unusually shady part of town.
     "Now, what?" Asked Loogan. "We found the area, but it could take hours to find this Simon guy!"
     Lament took one look around the main street. "Have faith, friend. I know just the place," he said as he walked towards the only well lit bar on the street. Loogan, Sir Thoran and Drogo followed closely behind. Lament sat down at the bar and motioned the rest of them to follow. They all ordered a mug and hung out for a bit before Lament was certain that some of the bar maidens called the bartender 'Joey' a few times over.
     "Hey Joey!" Beckoned Lament. 
     Joey walked over to Lament, "Do I know you?" He's a bit surprised. He probably doesn't know many tieflings or doesn't want to that is.
     "Probably not, but you may know where I can find a fellow named Simon," said Lament.
     "Who wants to know?" Asked Joey. "Simon's been really sick. I can't just tell anyone where he is, unless you're a friend of his. Otherwise, I'd...I'd be in some big trouble," said Joey.
     "Oh, well, I'm in luck! Aren't I? Simon and I are old pals! I'm just concerned. He hasn't spoken with me or any of us in months, so we came to his part of town," said Lament so convincingly that Joey believed him.
     "Well, in that case," he lowered his voice. "Simon is staying at the corner of Hunter's Way and Treble Road. Take luck."
     After they finished off their drinks, they headed to the corner of Treble Road and Hunter's Way. The house was old and had a tinge of creepy to it. It looked as though the yard hadn't been tended to in months.
     "Simon? You there?" Asked Lament as he pushed the unlocked door open a tid bit. The room looked pitch black even with the mid evening's light shining through.
     "There's a lamp about ten feet in front of you. Why don't you come in and turn it on. Yes, turn it on. Turn it on," said a voice from within the house. They assumed it was Simon.
     "Thank you, but I have my own light," said Lament. Making a tiny bit of flame in his palm. The figure jumped away and rushed into the dark part of the rafters so quickly that he seemed almost catlike.
     "I see him up in the rafters. He doesn't look so good," said Drogo. The figure kept moving from one side to the next. "How long did you hang out with the dwarf?" Asked Drogo.
     "Too long, too long. Any time was too long," said Simon.
     "Can you tell us anything else about the dwarf?" Asked Lament.
     "He was all too insane. Yes, insane," said Simon.
     Drogo notices there's a huge hole right through Simon's midsection. "What's wrong with your stomach?"
     "Oh, that? It's healed. Yes, yes...It was healed!" Exclaimed Simon.
     "Sure...Sure it did," said Drogo sarcastically.
     "I'll be better once I finish my chore. Yes, yes, my chore," said Simon.
     "Anything we can help you with?" Asked Lament.
     "Oh, oh! I'm sure you can," said Simon grinning.
     The room goes pitch black. Loogan hears something behind him, manages to see a slim wire at his feet and jumps over it.
     "Watch out, there's a trip wire!" Yells Loogan.
     They all run out of the house and the door slams shut behind them.
     "After that, I need a beer!" Said Sir Thoran.
     "I think we all do," Loogan said agreeably. "But...Let's not go to our usual hang out. You kind of knocked another guys tooth out last time. Plus, trying out a new place could be fun!"
       On their way to the bar, I run into them.
      "Hey, I was just off to do some more research. Any of you want to join me?" I asked.
      "I'll pass. Need drink," said Sir Thoran.
      "I'll go with you, Yuria," said Lament.
      "Well, the two of you should follow Sir Thoran then. Keep him out of trouble if you can," I said with a bit of a giggle. Sir Thoran was already a few paces away and Loogan and Drogo were hot on his trail.
       "Well, I guess it's just you and me. Think you could see if anyone on the street knows where the dark elves' guild is?" I asked Lament.
       "You know me too well. I'll be back in a flash," said Lament.
       Lament returns with not only the location, but the guild name, Brigand Darth. I've heard of them, so it might not be as hard of a task as I had imagined. They are known for their assassination skills, training with them can be fatal, but those who make it through are showered with rewards and known for their righteousness. Well, at least, among the other dark elves, the Brigand Darth are the most commendable. On our way to their guild hall, Lament tells me all about their Simon meet up. I'm thinking Simon is either a ghoul or a gahast, but I say nothing. I tell him of my church mishaps with the amulet.
       When we arrive at the Brigand Darth guild hall, Lament urges me to stand aside while he speaks to one of the guards. Silly Lament, he thinks that because they are dark elves that they would rather speak to him than me, but I know he does not know as much about the Brigand Darth as me, so I let him do his honorable duty or so he thinks.
       "No one is allowed to pass this gate," said the guard.
       "We are here to speak to your captain. Can you get him?" Asked Lament.
       "What is your business?" Asked the guard forcefully.
       "We need to speak to him. Just get him," Said Lament.
       "If you cannot tell me of your business. I will not be wasting my captain's time. Are you with this...," the guard began to say, but changed his question, "Is there something I can help you with?" He questioned, looking in my direction.
       "Have no fear. We are not here to waste anyone's time. Time is a valuable thing. We have some information that could be useful to your captain. Will you show us the way to him?" I asked.
Lament is a bit confused, but quickly regains his poise. The guard directs us to the training yard and we head in immediately. As we enter the training grounds, the veterans are relaxed, but their hands are not far from their weapons. The area is about a fifty by fifty feet room with training dummies and three to four seasoned mercenaries. The captain is barking orders at them and recruits are training various weapons and magics.
       The captain begins walking towards us. "How can I help you?" Asked the captain, directing the question to me.
       "My comrade here is interested in training with your mercenaries," I said. "Also, you may have some information that is useful for me. In return, I will provide you with some as well."
        "Oh, really?" Said the captain, motioning Lament in the right direction. "Go on. I'm sure you'll have some fun," He smiled.
       Lament goes off to train, exactly what I needed him to do - be a distraction.
       "Now, what information can I provide you with?" He asked.
       "I was wondering if you happened to know a specific dark elf, one with a scar across his face," I said.
       "Ah, yes. He used to be one of ours. Long story short, he betrayed our code. Any information you may have about him and his whereabouts will be greatly rewarded," said the captain. "No!" Said the captain to one of the veterans. He was going to intercede Lament chasing one of the recruits around with fire balls.
        "Well, I can tell you where I last saw him in the Neverwinter Woods," I responded.
        "If I provide you with a map, could you point out the location?"
        "Of course," I said.
        He pulls out a map from his pouch. Scrolling it open, he waves his hand over a specific region of the map, it becomes visible, unlike the other portions of the map. He grins, "We know these areas quite well. Point it out for me, will you?"
       "I'm curious. How did he break your code?" I asked. "I wouldn't want to be sending an innocent to his death."
      "Perfectly understandable. He was with our company for three years. Until one day he broke into warehouse 2 and stole all the magic items, disappearing. We haven't seen him since. He was one of our finest," said the captain.
      "If I provide you with the location, is there a chance you can get me a map such as this? Also, we would be willing to help you find him if you wanted our allegiance," I offered.
      "Fair enough. This map took much research and many days to make, but I can point you in the right direction. As far as allegiance, anyone who brings this dark elf to us, will be handsomely rewarded. Subdue him though, he's worth more alive, but...I suppose we would take him dead or alive," he said with a wink.
       I point out the location we last saw him on the map. The captain's face looked weary. "Is there something wrong?" I asked.
       "That area is...Well, we try to avoid it. The undead have been behaving strangely, not obeying the mistress of Shadowfell. There's an active entrance to the Under Dark there. We try not to patrol in that area if we can avoid it," he said a bit frightened and off put. "Here's the cartographer's information," he hands me a card. "He's in the North Quarter, near the undead area. He's a bit of a strange fellow. Just a forewarning."
        "It seems that our allegiance might be something of use even more so now than ever before,"  I said.
       "You make a point. We'll have to ramp up our patrols in order to cover that area which we normally try to avoid," he said. "What did you have in mind?"
       "I was thinking of a contract. Perhaps, we help you and in return you provide us with some gear."
       "You are quite the bargainer. We can write up the contract right now if you have time to spare," said the captain. Motioning me to another room in the guild hall.
       "I wonder. Would you rather loan us gear, equal to our current talents of course, and when we return with the mission complete, we give you back the gear and you pay us in gold. This way we still get a reward, and you still have gear for your men," I stated.
       "Just when I think your bargaining has been complete. This sounds even better. Let's write up that contract and get you on your way."
       When the contract is complete and signed, we make our final hand shake. Oddly, I have no vision at all. Usually, something as simple as a handshake can provide me with some insight as to who a person is. Strangely, this doesn't worry me. Having no vision is better than a bad vision.
       While Lament and I are gathering information about the young dark elf we have encountered throughout Neverwinter Woods, Drogo, Sir Thoran and Loogan are getting sloshy. Sir Thoran begins arm wrestling with a Minotaur for beer. Sir Thoran loses twice. People begin betting, cheering and getting rowdy. In the background, a few are yelling, "DRINK! DRINK!" The barmaid is stressed out and trying to keep everyone calm.
       "You're going down horns!" Yells Sir Thoran as they begin their third round of arm wrestling.
One of the observers in the crowd exclaims, "The dwarf is in cahoots with him!" Sir Thoran defeats the Minotaur and breaks the table.
       "I think you used magic!" yells the Minotaur, staggering as he tries to take a sip of his ale.
       "Two each. We need a tie breaker," said Sir Thoran to the barmaid.
       People in the crowd are yelling, "Tie breaker! Tie breaker!" The bar is getting even more disorderly. The barmaid has been trying to get people to leave after the table was broken. Sir Thoran and the Minotaur go off to find a new table.
       "One more round, c'mon slllady...Here," Sir Thoran hands the bar maiden some gold.
       "And for the table?" She asked, giving him a harsh look.
       "No worrieeths," he said, handing her some more gold.
       They do their final round. It's almost as though the Minotaur is going to take him down, but then Sir Thoran makes a come back and slams the Minotaur's arm down. "Victory!" Yells Sir Thoran. People are getting angry and begin fighting over who owes them money and who bet on who.
        "It was fixed!" Yells someone.
        "Test the dwarf!" Yells another.
        "It's time for halfling tossing," said the Minotaur.
        "I know a halfling," said Sir Thoran. Loogan hides under a table after stealing a beer. Drogo is trying to grab Sir Thoran and Loogan in order to exit the bar while a full on brawl is breaking out.
As they leave the bar, Drogo sees a shady street urchin kid. As soon as the kid notices that he's been spotted, he books it down the street. Drogo goes chasing after him. Loogan and Sir Thoran are completely confused and begin laughing at the sight of Drogo flailing his arms, breathing heavily, and drunkenly running and tripping over himself after some strange little kid. Drogo casts Entangling Roots and catches up with the kid, grabs him by the scuff and yells, "Oh, stealing from me!?"
       By now Sir Thoran and Loogan have made their way over to him. Sir Thoran is glowering at  the kid.
       "Where ya headed, kiddo?" Asked Drogo.
       "Out," said the kid beginning to quiver.
       "If you say anything to anyone, I will take you out!" Yells Drogo. Sir Thoran makes an intimidating face at the poor kid.
       "He...He paid me! He paid me five copper to tell...To tell him when you get out of the bar! I swear!" Said the kid, shaking in his boots.
       "Who?" Asked Drogo.
       "The...The scary dark elf," said the kid.
       "Where? I'll give you one silver" Asked Drogo.
       "Really!? One WHOLE silver? Just...Just for me?" Drogo nodded. "He said he'd meet me at the entrance of the sewer," said the kid.
       Drogo handed him the silver. "I'll giff you thwee more ssilfver if you hide in the alley behind the bar. Iff he shows up, tell him we went to the Brigand Darfth. Got that? I will giff you the ssilffver when I return," said Drogo. Some of his words slurring.
       "Got it!" Said the kid, running off to the alley. They are all certain he'll do what they want. Although, they are pretty drunk at this point.
       Just as Lament and I are leaving the guild hall, we run into the rest of our party...The rest of our very DRUNK party. They are running towards us. All at the same time they are telling us about the dark elf and the kid. Half their words slurring into one another. Lament and I finally get all the information to some what make sense. I go back into the guild hall and the veterans approach me.
       "Get your captain! I have some information for him," I said.
       "Back so soon?" Asked the captain.
       "I have some information you'll be wanting to hear," I said, telling him about the sewer and the kid.
       "I'm impressed. I'll send two of my men with you, since some of your party seem rather...Well, not so 'here'," he said winking. That's the second time he's winked at me. I think to myself. "You should move quickly. He probably won't stay there for too long," said the captain.

---
Next week, we will proceed with the possible battle. Hopefully, get everyone's gear up to date. Note that we haven't met with the mage cartographer (He might be good to ask some questions about the red wizards and amulet). Also, we still need to do some merchant trading and what nots while in town.


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