Kevin Vastavel & Cathy Naulaerts
Chapter 3 - Journey to the Evermoors
The celebration, that was held to honor Grace, Emnarii, Guormundr, Evaryan and Iskar (he did not attend), was a big success. Grace and Emnarii looked stunning in their long robes and even the bad smelling Guormundr managed to look grand. Especially Emnarii felt like the guest of honor, as she had just joined the Harpers during a private ceremony and she thought this was a big honor. Therefore she decided to entertain the guests with an exclusive performance. People were eating and dancing and having a lot of fun when Guormundr shocked some noble women by devouring a large piece of pork. He helped himself of extensive amounts of beer and people were only just able to stop him dancing half-naked on the tables. Among the guests were some notable people, including:
Kayl Moorwalker: High Captain, commander of Everlund’s army. He’s a haughty nobleman who possesses an uncanny head for tactics and strategy. When he asked Grace to dance she started blushing spontaneously.
Malvin Draga: The keeper of the Bridges. He is charged with overseeing the city watch and the conduct of commerce in the city. He is also the Randolph’s superior.
Vaeril Rhuidhen: A sun elf mage who is known as the High Sorcerer. He is the most powerful elf mage willing to take on the duties of the council. Evaryan had a long conversation with this man, mainly about travelling between planes. Vaeril warned Evaryan about the dangers of travelling to other planes. He also offered to identify some of the groups items free of charge.
Moonlord Eaerlraun Shadowlyn: the master of the Moongleam Tower.
The day after the successful celebration the party went to the High Sorcerer to have their items identified. They decided to pay no attention to Guormundrs moaning about his hangover. The man was able to identify some of the objects they owned and after their visit the group went for a drink in a tavern on the Bell Market. They had to decide what to do next. Guormundr wanted to go home as soon as possible so he could protect his people from the goblinoids threat. Grace wanted to travel to Luskan because she was convinced that in this city she would be able to find more clues about the whereabouts of her nephew and his “friends”. Evaryan tried, without success, to convince his friends to search for a mage that could teleport them to Baator. Fortunately the others could convince him that an act like that would be suicide. Emnarii did not really care where they went to. As long she was famous and worshipped she was happy. At last they decided. The party would travel to Luskan and make a short stop in Guormundrs place of birth. They managed to get a map of the area from one of the people they met on the celebration the day before and decided they would travel to Silverymoon first. From Silverymoon they would travel through the Evermoors. It would be a dangerous journey. But according to Guormundr and Evaryan it was the shortest route. They all packed their possessions and prepared for the journey.
Just outside the city walls they met a rather eccentric merchant who was on his way to Silverymoon. The man’s name was Jean-Jacques and he was a famous fashion designer. He did not make clothes for everyone but had his own label for an exclusive public only. Most of his possessions were long robes with some extravagant details and fabrics. Jean-Jacques persuaded the party to protect his precious clothes on the way to Silverymoon. Each of them would be paid 5 gold pieces. The party agreed with this arrangement. They were able to travel with a caravan and it would save them a long walk in the cold and wild north.
Between Everlund and Silverymoon, which is also known as the Gem of the North, lays the wildest stretch of the Rauvin Vale. Travelling in this stretch of the Rauvin was very difficult. The Everlund Pass proved to be a rough trail snaking along the Nether foothills above the Rauvin River. In some places it marched along clifftops hundreds of feet above the river, and in others the path roamed far inland to climb saddles between otherwise impassable hills closer to the River. Still the journey went remarkably well. They only had to fight once. On a foggy morning they were startled by the sound of a horn. The caravan stopped and the carts started forming a circle around the cart with the most expensive goods. About 10 shapes emerged from the fog. They were red-skinned Goblins who were riding big, demonic wolves, better known as Worgs. The attackers fired several arrows before getting ready for the man to man fight but they were no match against the defenders of the caravan. Soon the marauders had to flee from the scene. Although everyone in the caravan survived the attack some of the travellers were injured. Fortunately Grace was still carrying some healing potions so she was able to help the wounded.
On 28 Tarsakh, the caravan reached Silverymoon, the most wealthy and important surface city of the North next to Waterdeep itself. They were stopped by some heavily armed men who were all wearing the city crest, the knight-errants of Silverymoon. Kindly but strongly, they searched the carts and questioned the members of the caravan. Apparently they were looking for a criminal who was hiding in the area. The party soon understood that the criminal was Malark, the evil priest of Cyric, who fled Everlund after they had stopped his vicious plan. They told the guards what they knew about Malark and were allowed to continue their journey into the city. Once they arrived at their destination they said goodbye to the merchants and headed of to purchase some supplies. They did not want to linger around too long.
Silverymoon, a bustling city dominated by trees and beautiful stone buildings. Old oaks, shadowtops, and duskwoods compete with tall, thin spires to touch the sky, and blueleaf trees shade flagstone sidewalks along most of the cobbled streets. The prevailing style of stonework is flowing curves, as if the buildings grew rather than being erected block by block. Balconies and curving stairs are everywhere and windowsills, railings are all adorned with herbs and flowers growing in sculpted bowls. Grace, who had been here before led her friends to the famous Moonbridge, a magical construction of silvery force. It rises in a gentle arc to a mid-span height of 60 feet above the river below and Guormundr, Evaryan and Emnarii were even more impressed about the bridge than the many soaring spires of the city, slender and graceful towers. They decided to split up. While the ladies went to buy supplies the men would go for a beer in a local tavern. Grace suggested they should go to “The hammer and the helm”, a cheerful barn of dwarf revelry which also welcomes trusted sword-companions. The Strongbeard cider that Guormundr drank was delicious and tasted like more.
They had spent about an hour laughing and talking nonsense when a small, skinny 8 year old boy entered the bar. He had black, curly hair and a pair of over-sized glasses on his nose. He looked around timidly and approached Guormundr. The boy introduced himself as Timotheus and asked if the dwarf could help him. He was an apprentice in a nearby magic school and was told by his teacher to clean the rat cages in the basement. When he was doing this he accidentally let some of the rats escape. The rats belonged to his master and now the boy was afraid that he would be expelled if his master found out what hat happened. The rats were the result of a magical experiment. They were as big as a dog, balding and fed on their victim’s knowledge. Their left front-paw was more developed than the others and they were covered with pus-filled boils. Thimotheus promised Guormundr a magic scroll if he could catch or kill the rats. After lecturing the boy about his clumsiness Guormundr and Evaryan decided to help the boy. But before they went to get Grace and Emnarii, they agreed they would not tell them about the reward. They told the ladies about the little boy and they were so touched they agreed to help out so they boy would not get in trouble. Timotheus brought the heroes to the basement door but was too afraid to continue. Carefully the party descended the stairs. The basement was a dump, filled with wooden crates, bags and empty cages. The rats noticed the intruders and attacked. It was a difficult battle but with joined forces the party managed to finish off the rats. Grace had an ugly bite wound on the left side of her chest. They decided to help Timotheus with cleaning up de basement and leave afterwards. But when Emnarii found out about the reward the men received, she heaped abuse on Guormundr.
Once everyone had calmed down they decided to leave Silverymoon. They hiked for a few hours and found a small wooden cabin where they could spend the night safely. They traveled like this for a few days until the 30th of Tarsakh. When the 4 adventurers were setting up camp Guormundr started behaving very strangely. He sat on the floor, bent over, his face twisted in pain. Sweat was dripping from his head and he was growling softly. Grace, who was getting really worried about her friend’s well-being, started taking care of him.
Greengras 1372, the official beginning of spring, is a day of peace and rejoicing, but not for the 4 companions, because although Guormundr was feeling a lot better, it was now Grace’s turn to feel ill. She had a splitting headache and could not keep her meal down. She shivered with fever and could barely stand on her feet. Evaryan took care of her and examined her. He found the rat bite she had caught in Silverymoon and noticed it was spreading a horrible smell. “Mmmmm, I think you have filth-fever” he said with a worried look in his eyes. They all deliberated for a moment and decided to build a wooden stretcher so they could transport Grace. The plan worked and the party continued their journey. Guormundr and Evaryan carried Grace and Emnarii played a happy tune on her shaum. That night, when they had built their camp, Guormundr started feeling bad again. A full moon lit the sky while he was groaning on the ground.
Grace felt a bit better the following morning but she was still weak because of her disease. Guormundr was also feeling a lot better so the party continued their journey. That night Grace was entirely recovered from her illness. They slept in a vacant wooden cabin but Guormundr started feeling bad again, for the 3rd night in a row. Grace, Emnarii and Evaryan started to feel very worried about their dwarven companion but over the next few days he appeared to be entirely better. He was no longer suffering from his nighttime pains.
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