Sunday, April 16, 2017

Arrival in Nightstone - The Journal of Aisha Yethtai

Nightstone is representative of what many consider to be the average attitude of Waterdhavian Nobility. Which is to say that they are long on convenience and luxury but short on practical understanding of fortifications and strategy. To be fair, I had not expected that a great amount of such knowledge would be necessary so close to Waterdeep. Nor was the nature of the first attack one that could easily be predicted. Still, however, the events I have become wrapped up how dangerous it is to assume that one can ever ignore basic matters of strategy.

Nightstone is a small community with a primitive motte and bailey castle. The walls are constructed of thick logs surrounding a small village most noted for the quality of its inn, something I cannot attest to as several boulders had been dropped through the roof of the building in question before I arrived. It has been an outpost maintained as a hunting lodge by a small collection of Waterdhavian houses for, well, I am not certain how long. I imagine that their combined wealth could have easily funded proper stone walls and other defenses, though again, I doubt that would have been any help against the first assault that came upon the place.

I arrived alongside several others as a second assault was picking through the small community. As I had been coming up from the south at the end of my long journey from Suzail, I came upon the sight of the devastation of Nightstone and had been investigating the matter for tracks and the like when the others arrived. They are a curious bunch and I don't doubt that we'll be taken for a band of travelling mercenaries or adventurers in the coming days.

Gwenfys Nymani is a respectable elf who had been coming down in an effort to perhaps mediate on a conflicts between the local wild elves and the humans. She is a quiet and firmly capable archer. My own prowess with the bow quite firmly pales in comparison to her ability and she has a curious trick of summoning fire that allows her to hold enemies at bay while she places her shafts where they might have the most effect.

Filia Ulyaoth is a curious woman who has a rather disdainful and condescending attitude toward our "local gods". Her magic is quite effective. If I remember my lessons properly, I believe that she is a warlock of some kind drawing power from the Positive Material Plane if I am not mistaken. I rather suspect that she is not quite native to the Realms, but that is not unheard of. I suppose it is also possible that she is insane and not merely eccentric, but that seems to be the more unlikely situation. Filia is capable of summoning standing fires similar to Gwenfys, though while the ranger's blaze has the hot but comforting character of a large campfire, the strange woman's blaze is quite clearly of eldritch nature and burns far hotter than it looks like it should.

There was also an oddly naive half-orc that arrived at about the same time we all did. He appeared to be a druid of some kind and would provide quite a bit of aid to the rest of us in the coming encounter. I do not know where Stor, as his name was, has gone since our brief collaboration in this instance. I do hope that he will be able to find the peace that he is looking for.

Lastly, we were joined by the irrepressible Tarnish Bright, a dragonborn sorceress of infamous reputation. I must say that to date it has seemed as though she deserves every inch of her reputation for carousing and troublemaking. I don't doubt that the only reason she has not destroyed Nightstone's inn and tavern is that they had been already been rubble by the time we arrived. The woman shows some modicum of tactical ingenuity and skill, but her conversation is just so terribly vapid. There is no other word for it. Travelling with her is a never ending torrent of conversation on the misunderstandings she was caught up in or complaints about the horrible quality of the obviously recently destroyed inn.

It was no great task to identify that the village had been attacked. It was quite easy to see that the roofs of several buildings had been collapsed by great boulders. In addition, there was a great bell that was tolling constantly in an irregular and somewhat jovial rhythm. Rather like what might happen if one were to give over the task of ringing the bells to an over-enthusiastic child. Still, it did provide us some cover as we investigated matters.

In searching for tracks, I found no sign that any siegeworks had been built and deployed. What I did find were the tracks of goblins and the foul marks of worgs had entered the village and had not yet left. In discussing matters with the others, we put together a plan and set about carrying it out.

The plan was to block off access at a bottleneck using the bonfires summoned by Gwenys and Filia while we attacked the enemies that tried to reach us through them. I ended up casting the first arrow. At the time, I had thought that we were all prepared, but the matter is vague and distorted. I remember the worgs clearly, but most everything else is a blur until we were further into the village. The foul creatures were pacing about the courtyard searching for prey. Logically speaking we were too far away and it is unlikely that they spoke given only a handful of worgs do, but I still swear I could hear them chuckling and comparing notes on how they'd devour the prey when they found it.

In retrospect, I am not entirely certain that what I was hearing was real, especially since I should not have been able to hear it over the constant tolling of the bell. It reminded me very much of certain things that had occurred in Sundabar in dealing with the beasts and their Winter Wolf leader there. In fact, I am almost certain now. I think I sprang the plan early. Thankfully everything turned out all right and the worgs were dispatched. The events after that were a matter of carefully scouring the village for the goblins that had still been scrounging for things to loot.

We found some survivors both in the town and in the overlooking keep who informed us that most of the residents had fled for some nearby caves when the first attack came. By their word, giants had attacked the village, something that easily fit in with the lack of siegeworks despite the presence of boulders. More strangely, these giants had attacked from some sort of flying castle by dropping the boulders from above. Again, the physical evidence of the boulder's impact supported this claim, but it seemed incredible. As did the assertion that the giants simply arrived, dropped boulders, and then removed the strange, magical rock which had given Nightstone its name.

We've taken up quarters in the damaged keep and have a make-shift way to replace the destroyed bridge between the village and the tower. Tomorrow we plan to seek out the refugees and see if we can't get more information about what is going on.

Character Journal 

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