Do you Fear Death?

Ungus walked despondently through the streets of Tasselpeak, his mind a storm of emotions.  He had barely survived the first day of the siege, yet it felt like he had done next to nothing.  He understood the importance of his role in the battle, but it didn’t mean he had to approve of it.  The plan was sound; As Arosea provided ranged support from atop the keep Lasslyn would defend the front gate, thinning out their numbers and forcing them towards the market, which had been laced with explosives.  Jessie would then give the signal for Arosea to light the fuse, leaving any stragglers for Ungus to finish off at the last line of defense in front of the castle.  By all accounts, the plan went flawlessly.  But seeing the bodies by the sides of the streets left Ungus wondering if it was truly the right course of action.  Would it really have been so terrible to just give the fort over to Cormyr?  Would less blood have been shed if Ungus had held the front gate with Lasslyn?
In front of the Infirmary, Ungus saw Sabine up ahead kneeling over a fallen soldier.  This area was set ablaze by Lasslyn once the market had been revealed as a trap, and this poor soul was one of those caught in the flames.  Sabine appeared to be deep in prayer, her hand resting on the man’s shoulder as he cried in pain.  A moment later a soft light emerged from her hand, and the man’s body fell lifeless.  Sabine stood and for the first time Ungus saw her without her faint smile, wearing instead an expression of what seemed almost like disgust.
‘Sabine…? Is that you?’ Ungus inquired, taken aback by such a change in her demeanour.
‘Oh Ungus!’ cried Sabine, her smile quickly returning to her face, ‘Sorry you had to see that.  It’s the darker side of being a cleric’.
‘I thought you eased suffering’ the dwarf said suspiciously.  Sabine continued to smile, though it was an empty one.
‘I did.  He would suffer more had he lived, as opposed to a quick merciful death.  Cure Light Wounds can only do so much, and in some cases Inflict Light Wounds does so much more.  I see you are still unconvinced, dwarf.  Perhaps you should join me and see this practise in action, and maybe tell me a bit about your troubles on the way.’
Ungus nodded.

The pair headed towards the front gate where the highest concentration of bodies lay.  The area was busy with people carrying away the dead from both sides, as well as clerics performing their last rites.
‘By Clangeddin’s silver beard… How did Lasslyn survive this with nary a scratch on her?’
‘She’s a competent warrior.  Word has already spread of her lack of fear.  Apparently when Cormyr tried to intimidate us with that boulder her response was to insult the captain’s manhood’.
‘Hah!  Good on her,’ Ungus chuckled, ‘When I heard the boulder hit I expected half the town to flee, I can’t imagine how her comrades on the front lines must have felt.’
‘It was a wise decision to have her at the front.  I know I wouldn’t want to be greeted by a bloodthirsty barbarian, let alone a female dwarf.  Anyway, lets move on.  It looks like this area’s covered by my brethren.’

On the path to the market, the bodies were more sparse.  It was clear less fighting occurred here, instead the invaders were trying to rush past to get to the market.
‘There’s one,’ said Sabine, indicating a soldier almost imperceptibly still breathing.  She hurried over to him, checking whether he was conscious.  Unfortunately he wasn’t.
‘First, they must be conscious for me to give a suitable diagnosis.  I am only blessed with a certain amount of spells per day, so I will use a simple Cure Minor Wounds to wake him’.  With a single word a spark came from Sabine’s finger, causing the man’s eyes to suddenly open and he gave a splutter, coughing up a small amount of blood.  Sabine rest her hand on his shoulder, gently trying to reassure him.
‘Shh… Please, try to focus.  Look at me, I want to help you.  Can you talk?’
The man gulped.  He opened his mouth to speak and coughed some more.  Eventually he managed to say the word ‘…yes’.
‘Good.  Tell me, do you fear death?’
The man’s eye’s opened wide, as did Ungus’.  Sabine kept a perfectly straight face, giving no indication of where she was going with this question.
‘Ye… Yes! Of course! I don’t want to die!  I have a family!’
‘Then I shall ease your suffering.’
As before, Sabine closed her eyes, muttered a few words of prayer, and a light came from her hand.  Within seconds the man coughed again but this time there was no blood.  Looking at his own hands like they were alien, he propped himself up and managed to stand.  Sabine smiled.
‘You are well enough to walk, but still require further healing.  Please go to the infirmary to rest up.’
The man nodded, and Ungus looked on in awe as he quickly hobbled away.
‘I have but one spell left, and it’s getting dark.  Lets head back to the castle and find your friends.’

Passing the remains of the market, Ungus remembered the noise from when the explosion went off and the screams that followed.  That was the moment he realised the gravity of the situation.  It all seemed like a strategic training exercise until then, not helped by the fact Ungus was left alone to listen to the sounds of fighting in the distance.  When he saw those burned figures advancing toward him, still desperately trying to fight despite their injuries, to tell the truth Ungus was terrified.  So much so he broke from his position and dropped his shield to kill these barely distinguishable creatures, and even then he fumbled with his axe before he was able to deliver the final blow.  Thankfully he had turned his panic into pure anger by the time the commander arrived, and he managed to channel that rage into his attacks, delivering devastating blows one after the other until his foe eventually fell; though unfortunately in his rage he had let his guard down and suffered significant injuries of his own.  On the approach to the castle, the fear came flooding back to the dwarf as he saw, sitting up against the wall with a trail of blood leading to him, the very same commander he had engaged in battle.
‘After all that, he still lives?’
‘Barely.  He seems somewhat disoriented.  Let me handle this.’
Sabine approached the man, and once again laid her hand on his shoulder.
‘You would help me even though I am enemy?’
‘Ilmater would have me help all those who suffer, it is not my position to judge whether you are right or wrong.’
The man cackled.
‘Foolish girl, once I’m back on my feet I will ensure this keep falls!  Cormyr will prevail!’
Ungus prepared his axe, but Sabine motioned for him to stay back.  The cleric kept her usual calm smile.
‘Before I help you, tell me- Do you fear death?’
‘Hah of course not!  I am afraid of nothing!’
‘Very well.  Allow me to ease your suffering.’
One final time, light came from Sabine’s hand.  The commander laughed and attempted to stand during the prayer, only to fall back to the floor.  He looked at the cleric with pleading eyes, and in a moment his eyes lost all focus as he fell lifeless.  Ungus walked over and nudged him with his foot.
‘The bastard.  He deserved to die.’
Sabine gave Ungus a sideways glance, her head still bowed in front of the commander.
‘I wasn’t lying when I said it is not my place to judge.  I do my job.  If someone would find more peace in death then they would in life, so be it.  Had the two people you saw today’s answers been different, then a grieving mother would have to explain to her son why his father couldn’t come home, and Cormyr would have another commander rejoin their ranks,’ Sabine’s smile returned once more, ‘Unless of course someone was to cut him down before he could escape.  Regardless, I would be satisfied I had done my duty.’
Ungus frowned.
‘I know it is hard to comprehend, friend, but the gods have plans for us all.  Now tell me, dwarf; do you fear death?’

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Am I a Good Man?

After a night of drunken revelry, Ungus was even quieter than usual on the journey to the fort at Tasselpeak.  He had a difficult decision to make; to return home to his father, or to accompany the hundreds of refugees to ensure their safety.  He chose the latter, if only because he had grown attached to his companions and was not ready to leave them yet- and certainly not because he was terrified of the possibility of having to deal with both Alusair and his father.  The fact the refugees were vulnerable and in need of help had barely crossed his mind.
During the journey Ungus decided that he would go as far as Tasselpeak, but then he would work up the courage to go home.  He couldn’t keep running away from his problems.  However, as so often happens, fate intervened.  The governor of Tasselpeak was a loathsome individual who cared for little outside his own self-interest, and even when confronted with 500 refugees on his doorstep he refused to believe that Cormyr would be a problem to him.  What’s more, the party were given 24 hours to leave town never to return.  The group looked to Ungus to do something to help, but Ungus was at a loss for words.  Once again the decision to stay or go had been thrust upon him.  He decided he would head to the cathedral for some clarity of thought and spiritual guidance.  Ungus was barely aware that his companions had joined him, as had some old acquaintances, but an offhand comment about fire directed at him shook him from his thoughts.  Unable to deal with banter in his current state of mind, Ungus excused himself to pray in solitude.

In the quietest corner he could find, Ungus propped up his battleaxe against the wall and lit a small pool of oil at its base as a makeshift shrine to Clangeddin.  He knelt in reverence in front of it before starting his prayer.
‘Father of Battle, hear my words.  Your primary teaching is that above all else we should defend our kin; this is why I refused to join the Purple Dragons as they spoke of conquest more than protection.  But now I need to know, in your eyes what is kin?  Are family kin? Then I should return to my father, as I foolishly mentioned him to Alusair.  Are my friends kin? I may not have known them long but Jessie and Arosea are very dear to me, and although they have grown more competent since we first met I still feel they need my help.  Lasslin too- though she is a more than capable fighter, I still feel she is too reckless…’
A tear falls down Ungus’ cheek as he falls into silence, unsure how to continue.  After a moment a woman puts her hand on Ungus’ shoulder.
‘I am very sorry friend, but I couldn’t help but overhear some of your dilemma.  I may not know much of Clangeddin, but Ilmater would have me ease the pain of those in need.’
Ungus looked at the cleric with red eyes before composing himself with a half-hearted chuckle.
‘I wouldn’t expect a god to talk to me directly, and frankly I would probably feel like I was going insane.  But perhaps he has sent you to speak with me in his stead.  I would be grateful for the conversation’.
With that, the two retreated to the cleric’s cloister, to speak in more comfort.

The cleric introduced herself as Sabine, a cleric from Highdale that travels where her heart takes her, helping those in need along the way; it is her belief that Ilmater guides her to wherever she is needed most, and lo she has ended up in Tasselpeak just as an exodus of refugees arrive.  They spoke a while of Ungus’ adventures thus far; of the Naga’s Fang, the antics his friends had gotten up to, and of Cormyr’s treachery.
‘I should have been a better man.  They were talking about a crusade when I tried to join them, but I was too busy thinking of my own honour and dignity to consider the implications of that.’
‘Don’t beat yourself up, Ungus.  None of us knew what Cormyr was planning.  They’ve convinced the whole realms that they fight for good and justice, so why would you think their crusade was a bad thing?’
‘When are crusades ever a good thing?’ Ungus snapped, ‘All they do is lead to more deaths of innocent people’.
‘But sometimes that is necessary for the greater good,’ Sabine retorted, ‘Ilmater teaches that suffering is both inevitable and necessary.  Thousands more would suffer if kingdoms were left under despotic rule.  The fact they’re crusading against Sembia is troubling, but we can’t dwell on what we could have done without knowing the facts.  We can only act on the things we know; if we don’t know what’s coming then how can we prepare for it, right?’
Sabine gave a slight smile, and after a moment Ungus’ looked at her with widened eyes as if coming to a realisation.
‘I should go’.
‘Yes, you should’.

Unthar’s Origins

Ungus was too drunk and passed out to write a journal entry last session (surprisingly uncharacteristic for him despite being a dwarf), so instead here’s a bit of background about Ungus’ motivation for adventuring; his father.


The Hullack forest was the picture of serenity in the early morning, as the mist rolled in.  One of the most ancient forests of Faerun, it had gained a reputation for being abundant with game and monster alike- rumours abound of lost tombs inhabited with ghosts, and hidden vales where centaurs and satyrs lived oblivious to the outside world.
A sudden chitter from a blackbird escaping the undergrowth caused an almost imperceptible shift in the leaves of the trees and a sound not unlike the creaking of a branch despite the stillness of the air.  Moments later came the sounds of a chase on the forest floor, leaves rustling as they were crunched underfoot and the unmistakable sound of a goblin screaming after someone.  As soon as the goblin and its prey were in sight, the elf that had remained expertly hidden in the trees let loose his arrow- a powerful shot that whistled through the air, and narrowly missed the goblin’s head.  Damn, he whispered under his breath as he swung down to the ground, taking up a running pace beside his companion.  The human was careful not to slow down, but gave a sideways glance to the elf with a smirk.
‘I expected better from an elf!’
‘I’m not the one who got spotted by a goblin’ The elf replied, matter of factly, ‘Come on.  We’re nearly between the stag’s lights.’
Sure enough, as the forest thinned all that could be seen through the mist was a light in the distance.  With that as their only waypoint, they headed straight for it, the goblin still in hot pursuit.
‘Hey! Little help here!’ the human cried out, moments later followed by a whistle and the sound of someone running towards them.  A sudden figure appeared, axe raised, but they continued to run towards the light until they heard a guttural grunt behind them followed by the pained shrieking of a goblin being cleaved, then silence once more.
The source of the light was a lantern atop an ornate stone bridge, known affectionately by locals as the Stag Skull bridge.  Once there, a man dressed in armour with a purple cloak greeted them with a smile.  The hunters knew they had reached safety and stopped to catch their breath and thank their saviour.  Able to get a closer look at him as he reemerged from the mist, the figure was that of a dwarf also clad in armour with the signature cloak of a Purple Dragon.
‘Thank you Unthar.  We are in your debt’ said the elf, bowing with respect.  The dwarf simply nodded in response before walking to the edge of the bridge, setting up a stake, and impaling the head of the goblin upon it.

Later that day the two hunters stopped by The Furniture’s Fate; a tavern of some notoriety in Thunderstone for its frequent brawls, often instigated by the gnomish proprietor Boffo himself who seemed to revel in the thrill of being able to fight without ever being in any real danger of death.  Things were unusually peaceful when the hunters arrived.  Stig, the bouncer of immense proportions, noticed their confusion and simply said ‘Unthar’s in’.  Sure enough, inside were the regulars all looking restless, none more so than Boffo who kept glancing nervously at Unthar who was keeping to himself in the corner, still wearing his armour though now clean of goblin blood.  The dwarf locked eyes with the pair as they entered, and seemingly satisfied went back to quietly sipping his drink.  The human raised two fingers at the gnome who hurriedly got to pouring pints.
‘I thought he’d be at the Dragon’s Den,’ said the human, giving a nod towards Unthar.
‘No, He doesn’t like socialising with the other dragons.  Can’t say I blame him, the ones here aren’t your typical Purple Dragons.’
The human slid a couple of copper pieces across the bar as Boffo passed over the ales.
‘How so?’
‘Well they’re supposed to be champions of law and justice right? Don’t get me wrong, they’re doing a great service to Cormyr, but Laheralson’s too soft on them.  Thinks their morale’s more important than discipline, and he may have a point but that shouldn’t give them free reign to do whatever they want.  They’ll arrest you just for setting foot in ‘their’ pub’.
‘I can see why that would upset a dwarf.  Poor guy.  But why stay in Thunderstone if he doesn’t agree with Laheralson? Why not go somewhere like Wheloon?’
The elf shook his head.
‘He’s got too much investment here.  If it weren’t for him there might not even be a Thunderstone.  It was before you got here, but this town used to be under constant siege by an ettin and his orc and goblin army.  It’s said that Alusair herself requested the dwarves’ assistance, as they have experience fighting giants and orcs and she felt she was owed a favour after her adventuring with them.  Unthar was part of the group that was sent, and the only one to take up permanent residence here.  Only he knows why he ultimately stayed, though I suspect it’s a sense of duty towards one deserving of such respect as the Steel Regent.’
The hunters both looked over at Unthar, who seemed to be lost in thought.  As if reaching a decision, he finished the rest of his drink in a single gulp then stood up and left silently, all eyes on him.
A few minutes later Boffo used Mage Hand to knock over someone’s pint, blaming it on the elf, and yet another fight broke out.

Back at the bridge there was another purple dragon on guard, looking incredibly bored.  He noticed Unthar approach and gave a lazy salute, but Unthar continued in ignorance, still lost in thought.  He walked down the river a little way before finding a rocky outcrop that had a small cave entrance in the side, once used as a hiding spot for goblin scouts.  Inside was another dwarf, kneeling next to a small pile of rocks in prayer.  A singular lotus flower lay at the base of the monument.
‘It’s time, Ungus.’ said Unthar.

Recap

Property of Ungus Kinglygauntlet.

Eleint, day unknown.  1369DR.
I find myself with a new journal, as my previous was lost along with all my other possessions.  As such I shall lead into this one with some brief notes of our adventures thus far.

Primary concerns:
– The Purple Dragons of Cormyr are on a self-proclaimed ‘crusade’ against Sembia, and they are carving a path through the Dalelands.  This is evidenced by Highmoon being razed to the ground and Alusair herself arresting me, during which she accused me of being a Sembian spy.  I cannot allow this to continue, so am sending out a proclamation in an attempt to warn the Dalelands and potential allies.
– My father could be in danger.  I dropped his name during interrogation, and as I find myself an escaped fugitive I would not be surprised if she has sent people there to either coax me out or interrogate him.  I am hoping my proclamation will convince them my father had nothing to do with this, however I intend on going to Thunderstone myself to be certain.
– Thus far, no news has come from Sembia.  If Cormyr are on the move I have no doubt that Sembia are too, but where Cormyr are happy to bring swathes of destruction with an army, Sembia are more likely to be manipulating things from the shadows.  We should be on our guard.

Secondary concerns:
– The Naga’s Fang.  A thieves guild I angered in Highmoon.  If I’d let them be then they would have been wiped out by Cormyr’s attack, however my own actions may have sent them fleeing to neighbouring towns which may cause more problems.  In a time of war we cannot afford for there to be threats inside the cities as well as out.
– My companions.  I am very grateful for their help, though I am increasingly worried that I may be bringing them too much trouble and attention.  Jessie was a simple happy-go-lucky traveller when I met him, and although he’s proved to be competent enough in battle it is by sheer luck that he wasn’t murdered when we were arrested; an arrest only made possible by my inability to hide myself.  Arosea clearly has skill and talent, but also a clear desire to remain inconspicuous, which is not something I excel at.  She has a tendency to fumble her words as well; not a desirable trait when being accused as a spy.  I understand my reasons for travelling to Thunderstone are selfish and quite possibly futile.  I will be leading them straight into a Purple Dragon encampment, but I can’t abandon my father… Perhaps they would be better off if I went alone.
The new girl, Lasslyn, seems a more than competent fighter.  She lacks my restraint in battle, but I have to remind myself that we’re dealing with the Steel Regent.  Alusair lacks mercy, and so should we.  But I am not yet strong enough for that.


Eleint, day unknown. 1369DR.
When we left Highmoon the forest had been set ablaze.  We do not know why.  We set up camp near a passing caravan, who accused us of being bandits.  In my frustration I asked what if we were, to which the accuser was left speechless.  We encountered bandits further down the road.  I had hoped to intimidate them to leave us alone, but a fight was unavoidable.  Lasslyn ensured at least a couple of them won’t be bothering anyone again.

 

(Players note: don’t worry, I’m not leaving- Ungus is just having a bit of a crisis as his world’s been turned somewhat upside down.  He’s not used to having people to look after, and the people he once idolised have been revealed to be dishonourable murderers which is causing him to wonder if he’s perhaps too soft.  Ironically this could very well bring more trouble, but that remains to be seen…)
(Pretentious author’s note: Ungus’ old armour was a rookie handout from the militia, and his disillusion caused him to not take an awful lot of care of it but he still wore it as a symbol of hope.  Now those same people are scum where he’s concerned, he’s ditched that armour all together in favour of full plate- a symbol of how he’s withdrawing into himself even further)

A Message

Scribbled on a note, left in the hideout as if a draft for publication, is the following message.


This is a proclamation to all who will listen, be they Cormyran, Sembian, Dalefolk, Elves of Cormanthor, or the dwarves of Earthfast.  I am Ungus Kinglygauntlet, the dwarf who gained a reputation as vigilante of Highmoon and son of Unthar Kinglygauntlet, who served in the Purple Dragons.  Previously I would describe myself as proud citizen of Cormyr, however I cannot condone their recent actions.

After dealing with the Naga’s Fang, I was confident that Highmoon was free from any threat and therefore left for a couple of tenday.  On my return, I discovered that Highmoon is no more.  The town was attacked by outside forces, and has now been razed to the ground.  The perpetrators were none other than those so-called warriors of justice, the Purple Dragons of Cormyr.  How do I know they weren’t in disguise? Because I had the ‘honour’ of meeting the steel regent herself, Alusair Obarskyr.  I was captured and accused of being a spy of Sembia, leading me to believe that tensions have reached breaking point between those two nations and Cormyr are willing to destroy anything in their way, namely the Dalelands.  I would wager that Sembia are willing to do the same.

To the people of the Dales; I know you have had your differences and internal conflicts, but together you are known as a proud people.  The Dalelands are some of the most beautiful, untouched parts of the Realms.  Some of you may be tempted to make those treaties that Cormyr and Sembia have long sought, but as a resident of Thunderstone I know that that will mean an end to your peaceful lives as your towns will become yet another military outpost under martial law.

To Cormanthor; I know elves have little concern for the affairs of men, but if you should stand idly by then you will face an incredible threat on your southern border.  Conquerors are seldom satisfied with the land they have and will be seeking to expand, and I imagine their sights will be set on the abundance of resources your forest could provide.

To my kin at Earthfast; I know this news will be most shocking to you.  You placed deep trust in the Mithril Princess, and indeed she gave you hope for non-dwarf kind, so I accept that my words may fall on deaf ears.  All I can ask is that you investigate this report, and cease trade with Cormyr should my words prove true.  By Clangeddin’s Silver beard, you cannot support such dirty, dishonourable warfare.

Finally to both Cormyr and Sembia, I have the same message.  Do not underestimate those you think of as ‘little people’.  Should your war escalate, I will personally see to it that the world will turn against you.  And should I fail, I guarantee another will take my place.

Taking Refuge in Tegal’s Mark

Eleint 19, 1369DR

We have found a travelling merchant whose destination is Tegal’s Mark, a town that’s not too far a detour from the road to Highmoon.  We have offered our services as escorts, as it never hurts to gain some coin, especially when he’s offering the princely sum of 500gp.  He’s a little eccentric, constantly complains and sleeps a lot, but as long as he honours his offer then it’s a small price to pay.  The journey is progressing swiftly, as there is little to worry about in these lands.  True, we passed a possible bandit camp, but I’m too concerned about Highmoon to stop and investigate.  If our worries are for naught then I may return to clear them out.

Eleint 23, 1369DR

We have arrived in Tegal’s Mark, and it seems the situation in Highmoon is worse than we had feared.  There are refugees everywhere, many suffering burns and other injuries.  Our employer took some convincing to hand over our pay, but after a gentle ‘reminder’ of his promise, we managed to get some of his healing supplies as well.  Poor Arosea has had her hands full tending to the wounded, whilst Jessie and I have been looking for information on what happened.  Unfortunately we’ve been getting all sorts of conflicting reports, from a drow raid to gang violence, to one person even claiming a dragon attacked.  The only consistent information is that the attack was sudden, and the whole town was set ablaze.  I found a soldier who informed me of a scout party that would be grateful for our assistance.  They should be being sent out in… actually they should be ready to go now.  It’s curious, something about this room we’re staying in has taken away all sense of urgency.  It was a fairly steep price, but we’ve been treated to a Heroes Feast, beds fit for a king, the biggest bathtub I’ve ever seen, and even a couple of rather odd serving staff.  I don’t trust it one bit.  There’s no way such a small building should be able to house such a huge room, but I’ve checked everything and it all seems structurally sound.  I’d heard that magic could do amazing things, but nothing like this.  In my experience magic is granted by the gods, used for curing wounds and blessing weapons.  To think it’s being used for something as trivial as making a room comfortable seems almost blasphemous… And apparently you can potentially access other cities from this room, which seems far too dangerous if this knowledge were to fall in the wrong hands.

I think we have exhausted all the benefits this room can provide, and I’m sure we’re already running late, so I’m not sure why I continue to write… Perhaps I’m just apprehensive at what awaits in Highmoon…

A New Life

After many long years, this blog has been revived!  Now begins the story of Ungus Kinglygauntlet, Dwarf Fighter, with this blog being a transcription of his journal.  A sealed envelope is tucked inside the front cover, the contents to be revealed should curious minds investigate.


Eleint 17, 1369DR

I am writing this journal as strange things have been happening to me recently, I believe in no small part due to my companions.  It started back in Highmoon, where I was looking for some work.  After deciding to chase a petty criminal, I have now become entangled in a plot involving an organised crime syndicate known as the Naga’s Fang, and an unknown third party that also appear to be at odds with them. A human, Jessie, who describes himself as a joke-teller accompanied me, for which I am grateful as I am still unaccustomed as to how to deal with humans and elves.  He has an unnatural gift for making people like him, despite his terrible jokes and tendency to overdrink.  During our investigations we encountered a druid, Ash, and a halfling, Arosea, who had their own encounter that led to them investigating the Naga’s Fang.  We decided to work together in pursuit of a common goal, however the halfling particularly piqued my interest as I’d had a dream a couple of nights before involving demonic sheep that she was a part of.  Curiously she appears to have had the same dream.  It is possible we spotted each other previously and incorporated each other into our dreams, as dwarfs and halflings in these parts are not a common sight, and it is mere coincidence they both involved sheep, however for reasons that will soon become clear I believe there may be a deeper connection.

Events led us to Blackfeather Bridge, but the most curious thing of all happened on the way.  I have little memory of the journey.  What I believed to be a tenday journey seems to have been over in half the time, and I swear we were supposed to pass through a village between here and White Ford but no such place appears on any map.  On arriving here I had another strange dream.  This time involving a fight with a demon obsessed with doors, of all things.  Arosea and Jessie were both involved, and upon awaking Arosea seemed distraught over having exactly the same dream, yet Jessie had no recollection.  I feigned ignorance so as not to alarm Arosea further, but having two shared dreams in as many tendays must be more than coincidence.  What could be the significance of mundane things made demonic?  And with Arosea’s message about communications from Highmoon ceasing, I fear the worst.  We will make haste there tomorrow, and hopefully soon I will discover what any of this means.  By Clangeddin’s beard I hope the Naga’s Fang haven’t taken advantage of our absence.

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