25 Kythorn 1481
Met back up with my companions at the Sunken Flagon. Felt good to be getting back out on another adventure. Basaujan suggested we start with the ooze problem in Blacklake, which he believes is connected to the “infestation” the animals there told him about. Hory wanted to make sure we had a witness so that we could collect the reward, and it was suggested that we recruit some of the Red Bridge to accompany us. Hrast, these people are going to be the death of me. Fortunately, it turned out that we did not need their help in any case. According to the troops we spoke to, the quest had been posted largely to appease an apothecary named Hazel who had been raising concerns about the matter. They did not seem to think there was much to her claims and referred us to her.
Hazel had apparently been studying the oozes around the lake for some time. She said that they were somehow changing it. Asterion looked at Hazel’s research and determined that the oozes were turning the lake into one giant ooze. Hazel said it had been spreading from the old boathouse, so we set out for there. When we got there, we found a drow cultist—apparently a follower of Ghaunadar—performing some sort of ritual. We killed him, but not before he was able to complete the ritual. The whole lake started to rise and form into the giant ooze we had come to stop.
I did what I could to slow the ooze down with rays of frost while the others ran back to Hazel to see what could be done. Finally they returned, Basaujan in bear form carrying Hazel upon his back. As we circled the giant ooze, Hazel threw some kind of alchemical mixtures into the thing, causing it to weaken. After a few rounds of that, the life seemed to go out of the ooze, and it melted back into the lake.
Among the remains, Hory found an insignia belonging to a drow house—House Auvrymtor.
Back at the Flagon, we received letters from Kyprios. One, addressed to the group, warned of an impending attack upon Neverwinter from Evernight. The other, addressed to me specifically, was about my research into this “Softwing” that Silverwing speaks of in his journal. From his accounts, it sounds as though Softwing often accompanied Silverwing and Valamaradace, but I have never been able to find mention of him in any other historical texts. I asked Kyprios about it. In his letter, he writes that he believes that Softwing is not the name of a person, but rather a location. Clever.
Hory told us that he met with First Secretary Auvrymtor last night. Apparently, she’s interested in recruiting us as agents. Well, it’s nice to have options.
We went to One Eyed Jack’s II to look into the anti-drow rallies that Helder Stormcrow has been holding. According to the bartender there, Helder had once been held by the drow as a slave. Basaujan suggested that we need to convince the drow who were involved in the raid on Helder’s home to apologize to him. While I appreciate his idealism, I tried to suggest that there may be more intermediate compromises we could get them to agree to in the interim, as settling a decades-old blood feud may take some time. But he was very insistent. Tluining teenagers.
We went to see Helder and got his side of the story. He believes he is doing the city a service by ridding it of a potential threat. I tried talking to the man to see if I could get a sense of what he might be willing to accept as compromise, but my fellows cut the conversation short before I had the opportunity. Afterward we tracked down Arlon Bladeshaper. The Brightwoods say they don’t have any leaders for some reason, but really, Arlon is their leader. We found him handing out food to people, and we decided to lend a hand until he had time to speak with us. He mostly confirmed what Rizzen and Helder already told us and doesn’t seem to have any ideas on what to do about it. Basaujan decided that we should go on patrol with one of the Bregan D’aerthe patrols tonight with the idea that the drow warriors will bond with people who have fought beside them in battle. We also have to look into the Evernight situation anyway, so I suppose it’s worth a kell.
After meeting with Arlon, we tracked down a Waterclock reporter named Tura Oakenheart who had been investigating the recent ghoul attacks. She was looking to hire some protection to take her into Evernight, so we offered to go along with her.
For now, we’re waiting until nightfall to meet up with a Bregan D’aerthe patrol and try to persuade them to follow us into Evernight.
Last night was certainly interesting. We found a Bregan D’aerthe patrol willing to go into Evernight with us and crossed over to the Shadowfell. Tura only had one of the amulets that the denizens of Evernight use to indicate who not to kill and/or eat, so the rest of us posed as her slaves. The place was crawling with Netherese soldiers. Clearly they had been planning something big. We spent some time listening around for what’s been going on. Word around town was that the governor had shut down imports coming into the city. Which was why the ghouls had been attacking Neverwinter. The governor cut off their other supplies of food, forcing the ghouls to raid the material plane and giving the Netherese another force with which to attack Neverwinter. And apparently, this governor is none other than Clariburnus Tanthul, one of the Princes of Shade. Which would mean that this is a major Netherese operation we’ve walked into.
We started to discuss how we could turn the ghouls against the Netherese, but it turns out we didn’t need to do much. The ghouls were already on the verge of becoming a mob after the Netherese tried to close down the market, and Hory was able to provoke the situation into becoming a full-blown riot. We escaped before things got too heated and returned to Neverwinter. Hopefully, that will at least slow the Netherese down.
Had a few drinks with the Bregan D’aerthe afterward. Basaujan talked to them about making amends with Helder. I tried to convince them that it would be in the best interest of their company to make the effort to get along with the surfacers. Though they didn’t seem to need much persuading. Apparently they had a conversation with Helder today, where they worked out their differences, and Helder agreed to stop the rallies. Which would be a remarkable feat of diplomacy even without the cultural differences between them. I guess the drow are a lot friendlier than everyone is always saying. Anyway, I’m glad they were able to work things out. Seems like the best outcome.
Went to the Hall of Justice to inquire about the reward for finding Brander Waderivver. We officially registered our company as the Copper Crusaders while we there. One of Kyprios’ suggestions. Amafrey wasn’t too enthused about the name, but I think it has a certain ring to it. In any case, we were told to see Kira Stavinger about Waderivver’s disappearance. She was Brander’s girlfriend. When we spoke with her, she said she suspected that Brander’s father, Dornan, was involved. Apparently, this is not the first person who has disappeared from Fisher’s Float either. She said that someone goes missing there every year on the 15th of Kythorn—around the same time that Brander went missing. Clearly too much of a pattern to be a coincidence. Kira believed that Dornan was somehow involved with the Abolethic Sovereignty. I suppose it was too much to hope that the aboleths had been driven off for good.
We took the portal to Fisher’s Float and split up to ask around town about what has been going on. Most of the fishermen were out working, so I spoke to some of the children who were playing nearby. One of them said they had gone into Dornan’s basement when their ball accidentally went into his house, and they saw strange equipment inside before Dornan yelled at them to get out. And he didn’t even give them their ball back!
I went to Dornan’s house, where the others had already started to gather when we heard the sound of battle from inside. Apparently, Hory had gone in alone and was attacked by Dornan and some other cultists in the basement. This was obviously where those who had gone missing were killed, as they had the body parts hanging inside. I helped Hory to his feet while the others took down the cultists.
Gave the children back their ball. That’s one small victory at least.