Alseera’s Journal, 10th Entry
We decided, after much discussion, to go to Trobridge. This followed Kethra telling us of a revelation/dream. She was in a camp in the woods with all of us, and saw some creatures near the camp. She tried to wake us but we were inert. Then she found the creatures to be the Master of the Hunt, and two of his larger hounds. Her conversation elicited from him a gesture pointing first south, and then up. When she looked up, she saw her moon, Selene, much larger and brighter than normal, and sending out a ray that pointed the same way: south. Somehow she knew that the dream-campsite was east of Seville, and consulting a map the next morning showed Trobridge to be due south of where she felt the campsite was. We took the hint.
On Guerny’s advice, we went by road, walking as usual, rather than by river. During the first night, Dane had a brass dragon visit on his watch; he did not wake us, as the dragon did not present any threat but actually cautioned us against dangerous creatures (not described) in the woods around the road. Oh, if only I had been awake then! To talk to a dragon!!! And maybe find out more about what the Drak-esk Ork is and did to me!
Next morning, we went on. About noon we cleared the forest and came upon a campsite of a wagon, two horses, and some typical camping stuff about, but no people. Whurel went to investigate, and it turned out that Mick Clovis was in the wagon. Whurel pretended to be interested in talking merchant business, but got nowhere with that, and Mick started acting scared. I didn’t follow all of their conversation, being some distance away.
Eventually, multiple giant rats came out of the cart, setting off a general melee. Most of the party went after the wererat (Mick was one, after all), or his giant rat pets. I was off to the side, and started using Breath of Frost on giant rats; several of them came at me. I got one mild bite before I killed two of them with Icicles. By that time, the other 4 had largely subdued Mick and killed two more of his rats. A lot of confused shouting followed from the other side of the wagon (I could not see what was going on) but it seemed as if there was an argument on how Mick was to be treated. After protecting myself with Sorcerous Ward, I went after the last two giant rats. By then, the others were fighting again, so I blasted Mick with a dead-center Breath of Frost that took him down. He wasn’t dead, merely unconscious. The last two giant rats were destroyed by Kethra (as a big wolf) and Bernard.
Shortly after, we tried untying Mick as a gesture of goodwill, but he immediately attempted to escape. Kethra (as a lion) and Whurel brought him down just after I hit him with a Breath of Frost that slowed him down. He was tied up again.
We found some magic in his cart, three potions (later tentatively identified by Dane as one for gaining strength, one for gaining physical vigor, and the third for making one more persuasive(?). We also found some gems, and a false-bottomed chest with 500 gold hidden in it, plus two pouches on Mick, one with coins and one with gems, His short sword and a protective amulet were both magical.
A great deal of discussion followed about what to do with Mick. He lied through his teeth several times (for example, claiming not to know who Bella Nightshade was, though witnesses in town say otherwise, plus Bella later called him her friend), making me not trust him at all. The two sides of the discussion were either to treat him nicely and reason with him (largely championed by Dane) or to treat him as a captured criminal and take him back to Seville for judgement (championed mostly by Whurel and myself). Eventually the latter course was decided upon and taken, especially after he tried to escape again.
We set out, and not long after ran into Bella Nightshade and five kobolds. She tried to tell us to release her friend Mick (thus confirming again the lies in Mick’s statements), that the evil stalking the land was none other than the Headmaster of the University of Seville, that that The Avery was taking orders from the Headmaster, and that the fate of the land was out of balance because the Headmaster was secretly making an army (the students!) to take over all the four kingdoms and the Azerian empire as well. She believed she was opposing that plot, and tried to convince us to join her cause. Dane was sort of interested in what she was saying, even made a case of sorts of looking into what she was saying, but he eventually came around to the majority position that we were taking Mick back to Seville, no matter her threats. To me, everything she said, especially after that tripe about The Avery, was blatant
lies designed to bamboozle us into believing her ridiculous story.
By the time I got to the edge of the fog, all I saw was four dead kobolds in the road, but I heard shouts up ahead and off to the right of the road. I headed that way, following the sounds of fighting and — now and again — Whurel, Bernard, and Dane shouting to each other. It was thick woods, hard to move in and hard to see through for any distance. By the time I reached the fighting, skirting a very steep hill I had no chance of climbing, I found that the three of them had subdued Bella.
She was then tied and gagged, and Detect Magic found on her another magical protective amulet very similar to the one Mick had. She also had two pouches, one with gems, one with coins. Her scimitar and staff were not magical, nor was anything else besides the amulet.
While all that was going on, Mick evidently tried to escape, but Kethra thwarted that. When we came back with Bella, she had encased Mick in webs under the cart (he had tried to escape out a trap door). We set off again and will travel all night at full alert, lest any more of her minions attempt a rescue.
I suggested that perhaps the gold in his chest could pay for a clerical removal of the curse of lycanthropy, after which he might be more cooperative once freed of that bane. In any case, the plan is to take both of them to the proper authorities in Seville, after which who knows what will happen. Bella is certainly a wanted felon, and Mick at the very least, is her accomplice and sheltered a fugitive from justice.
With any luck, we will obtain information from them that may shed light on the major evil that must still be out there.