Campaign Logs

Moonshine's Journals

By Bryant Alexander

Here There Be Dragons

Having thoroughly thrashed the dozen or so orcs occupying the chamber, we looked around a bit.  Oddly enough, the room smelled like cooking.  There were various devices in the room, but they didn’t look much like cooking implements.  A combination torture chamber/kitchen?  How… efficient.  There had to be a passage from here to somewhere else…

“There must be someone in charge around here somewhere,” I muttered.  “I can’t believe orcs are running this operation.”

“Got something against orcs?” Grolsch asked.


“No,” I said.  “But it looked like she died from having her throat slit.  If it was orcs that killed her, I would’ve expected her to have been battered to death.”

Grolsch accepted that.  We continued searching for a secret passage.  We found a chest in a corner.  Much to my surprise, it not only wasn’t trapped, it wasn’t even locked.  It contained three hundred silver pieces, forty platinum pieces, a silver chalice, a silver holy symbol, and a golden vestment marred by bloodstains.

“I’ll take these,” I said.

No one argued with me.  By now, the party recognized the holy symbols of Sehanine Moonbow.  We did finally find a trap door, hidden under a pile of debris.  Unfortunately, lifting the door released a smell like a cesspool.  There were iron rungs leading down into the darkness, but they looked… slippery.  At a guess, the orcs had been squatting over the hole and letting loose.  Either that or they were holding Nanoc captive down there.

Armand tied a sun rod to a Rope of Climbing.  He lowered it a good fifty feet and by its light, we could see muck, slime, and assorted trash.

“I’m so looking forward to this,” I muttered.

“What are you complaining about?” Armand asked.  “You can fly.  I have to step in it with my new boots.”

Aeryn would probably have been the first one down if she only hadn’t inhaled at the wrong time.  While she was wretchedly retching, Armand climbed down.

“Heads up,” Armand said.  “Something’s moving down here.”

With head up and nose closed, I climbed down.  Something was indeed moving under the mounds of garbage.  I reluctantly got off of the rope just as a tentacle lashed out and wrapped itself around my waist.  I changed into bat form, partly out of surprise, and partly because if some monster wanted to get physical with me, I’d get physical right back.

Armand gave the tentacle a whack and it retreated.

“No grabbing the girls!” he said.  “I’m the only one allowed to do that.”

A big ugly thing crawled out from under a trash pile.  It certainly looked like something that lived under a garbage pile.  I just wished it would’ve stayed there.  Since it insisted on coming out to greet us, I tried biting it.  I chewed, but my teeth weren’t penetrating.  Then a second ugly crawled out of another pile.

Armand took another swing at the first ugly.  I took a bite out of it.  It actually fell down.  I wasn’t sure if it was dead or not, but we turned our attention to its friend.  Dreya was still making her way down the rope, with Grolsch above her.

Another pair of uglies popped up.  Armand give the second one such a whack that it popped like a giant pimple, spraying the room with goo.

“Where’s Lobelia with the prestidigitation?” Armand complained.

He was slightly more soaked than the rest of us, having been closer to the source of the blast.  The remaining two uglies reached for Armand and Dreya.  I snapped at the tentacles, but they missed and I missed.  Grolsch switched to bear form.  He couldn’t exactly charge in this mess, but he tried.  Poor Dreya was really in over her head.  There wasn’t much chance of her hitting anything when the garbage was piled higher than she was.

Grolsch splattered the third monster.  I caught a tentacle and bit it off.  Armand softened the fourth beast up and Grolsch splattered it.  We waited… but the remaining trash heaps weren’t moving.  Hopefully, the creatures were all dead.

Aeryn reluctantly joined us.

“I landed in what?” she shrieked.

Armand spotted something glinting in a trash heap.  It turned out to be an hourglass.  A non-magical hourglass, but it might be worth something.

I changed back to elf form.  Trying to wipe the goo off of me might be fairly useless, but I had to try.  I suppose I could have shaken my wings out, but that would’ve splattered my companions.  Grolsch wasn’t so concerned about not spraying everyone else.  He did move to the edge of the room before he shook himself, but still…  It splattered.

“Thank you,” I said.

Grolsch grunted and it looked like he was trying to point.  He’d found a passage out of this sewer.

The rest of us found various treasures amidst the trash, like a muck covered scarab on a chain that held some sort of divination magic, a leather pouch containing forty silver pieces, a skeleton holding a well crafted lute, a small breastplate, a suit of studded elven leathers, and a spyglass.

“If Grolsch has found a passage out of here,” I remarked, “I suggest we take it.”

Even with head well bandaged in scented handkerchiefs, my nose could only stand so much of this.

As it turned out, there were three possible exits, plus the way we’d come in.  There was a set of stairs in one corner, a passage leading to stairs in another, and a wide passage sloping upwards.  Grolsch, naturally, favored the widest route.  The rest of us had no preference, so that was the way we went.

The passage led to an opening in the hillside that overlooked our camp.  It figured.  We’d left the animals in camp for fear of not being able to get them back out, and here was an easy access.  Although…  Muffle had followed us down the stairs, but I hadn’t seen him since.

We headed back down to the trash to try another passage.  This one led to a large room with dim light coming from an opening in the ceiling that looked to be about twelve feet across.  Roots hung from the ceiling, in among the stalactites.  Across the room from us, a glittering mass obscured by a covering of tapestries or carpets was piled against a wall in a slope the looked to be around seven feet high at its top.  A statue was facing the door, a green man whose left arm ended in a bow.

“It’s magic,” Armand said.

Aeryn’s sword didn’t detect anything evil about it.  Aeryn was still feeling fairly sick, though.  She might have swallowed some of the sprayed goo.  So Armand crept around the perimeter of the room.  He found eight barrels near the pile.  Hopefully, they were rothé sausages.  He didn’t have a chance to check because the statue animated and began drawing back on its bow.

I tried firing my wand of Searing Light at it.  It might’ve been stone, but it might still be cookable.  Armand shot off a lightning bolt at it.  It twanged a couple arrows at him.  Grolsch charged.  An arrow thunked into his hide, but he had momentum on his side.  I moved around so I could shoot the statue again without toasting Grolsch.  It wasn’t easy.  Grolsch was gnawing chunks off the statue while Armand whacked bits off of it.  It still sunk another two arrows into the bear before I could shoot it again.  Then it crumbled apart into a pile of rocks.

Dreya provided Grolsch with some healing.  We found fourteen magical arrows piled at the statue’s feet, plus another fifty non-magical arrows.  It could’ve kept plinking away at us for quite a while.  Grolsch could’ve ended up looking like a porcupine.

There was a shiny white rod sticking up from near the top of the pile of carpeted coins.  Given that my clerical staff is called a Moonshaft, I’d been guessing that Moonshaft’s Daughter was probably a rod or a wand of some sort.  The head mounted on top of the pole was almost certainly from the deceased mail deliverer.

I climbed up the pile to check it out for myself.  The pile of coins turned out to be less of a pile than it appeared to be.  There was only a thin layer of coins here, spread out over a wooden scaffolding.

“Why would someone put carpets here?” Armand wondered.  “Unless this is a place where a dragon likes to sleep.”

We looked at the big hole in the ceiling.

“We better grab things before something comes back,” Armand said.

There were still thousands of coins here, even if the pile wasn’t really a pile.  And the carpets, while they were awfully heavy, looked valuable.  But my goal was the white staff with the silver tips.

“I think you found your daughter,” Armand said.  “Do you want to save the head?”

The head was going to join the rest of her body.  Moonshaft’s Daughter was going to need a cleansing.  It was streaked with blood and my hands weren’t exactly clean.  But it still felt good holding it.  It belonged in my hands.

Armand stepped onto the ‘pile’.  The pile creaked.  It obviously wasn’t meant to be dragon-bedding, since it didn’t sound like it would hold Armand.  He was heavy, but dragons were heavier.  Then the coins and carpeting shifted under my feet and I plunged down into darkness.  I landed on something that was not comfortable.  Better, perhaps, than having Grolsch’s nose up my butt, but still not comfy.

It turned out to be a chest.  I threw caution to the wind and opened it.  It contained four very nice looking stones, a lapis lazuli, a piece of amber, an alexandrite, and a fire opal.  I pocketed them for later addition to the party treasury and climbed out of the broken scaffolding.

I spotted Dreya at the base of the ‘pile’ sitting on a small shield.  She’d apparently sledded down.  A sheepish looking bear was at the bottom of the pile, too, with a carpet in his mouth.  Suddenly, it all became clear why the pile had suddenly become unstable.

“Brilliant,” I said.

Grolsch shrugged.  I decided to climb down before he tugged on anything else.  I had the only truly important thing here already.

I recognized the sound of wings flapping in our direction, mainly because my wings sounded a lot like that.  Somehow, I didn’t think it was one of my relatives out looking for me.

“Something’s coming home!” I announced.  “It’s… a brown dragon.  Or a wyvern.”

“They come in brown?” Aeryn said.

Whatever exactly it was, it was coming in, all right.  I fired off my wand of Searing Light.  The light fizzled out a few feet in front of the dragon.  Or wyvern.  Aeryn figured that it was a fang dragon, a legendary creature from Myth Drannor.  Whatever exactly it was… it wasn’t something I wanted any closer.

My hands were shaking, but I tried firing at it again.  Again, the spell fizzled out.  The dragon boomed out something in Draconic.

“Gr…  Greetings… in the name… of Sehanine Moonbow!” I stammered.

I’m sure that really impressed it.  Grolsch charged it.  Aeryn bounced over it and tickled it from the rear with a lightning bolt.  It knocked Grolsch over.  I did want to hit the murderer of my clerical sister with Moonshaft’s Daughter…  I didn’t want to move in close to something that swatted bears.  I moved forward, shakily, and prayed loudly.  This was a mission of divine vengeance, after all.

Grolsch clawed at the dragon.  Armand threw magic missiles at it.  Apparently, he wanted to keep his distance, too.  Aeryn did her best to stay behind it.  The dragon didn’t seem to like her attempts to fire lightning up its butt, because it turned around.  Of course, that gave Grolsch the opportunity to maul its tail.

I had the strangest urge to tap Grolsch with Moonshaft’s Daughter.  It was an artifact of my Goddess, and I trusted my Goddess.  So I tapped him and I felt the healing spell go off on him.  This was a good staff.  I couldn’t wait to see what it would do when I hit the dragon with it.

Grolsch switched back to half-orc form and tried a Flamestrike.  It fizzled just like my spells had.  Aeryn, meantime, was trying to get back around the dragon again.  Her lightning bolt hit it, at least.  The dragon flew up above us and threw a Mass Dispel.  I didn’t have any spells active, but Aeryn and Armand usually did.

I gave my wand one more try.  It fizzled again.  Armand threw a snowball.  Aeryn actually went flying after it.  Her lightning was hitting it, but she was really making a target of herself.  She probably figured that out when the dragon swatted her.  I should’ve taken her example to heart, but I still wanted to hit this thing with Moonshaft’s Daughter.  I cast Fly on myself.

The others were having a difficult time of it.  Dreya’s sling wasn’t accomplishing anything.  Armand’s lightning was fizzling and Grolsch’s Flamestrikes were fizzling.  Aeryn flew around behind the dragon… which left me as the most obvious target.  It snapped at me.  I swung at it.  I missed, but I would’ve missed by a mile instead of by an inch if I’d used my old, ordinary Moonshaft.  If my hands would just stop shaking…

Aeryn got the dragon in the back with lightning.  Once again, the dragon turned around.  I missed it again.

“Help!” Aeryn cried.

We were certainly trying.  Magical attacks were failing more often than not, though.  We needed to hit this thing more often.  Wait a minute.  It probably had magical defenses up just like most of our party used to before it cast Mass Dispel.  I tried casting my own Dispel Magic.  Naturally, my attempt fizzled.

Aeryn flew back towards the party, spraying the dragon with lightning as she went.  The dragon finally collapsed.  It fell slowly and we all met it when it landed.  We stabbed and battered it until we were sure it wasn’t getting up again.

“Well, we recovered Moonshaft’s Daughter,” I said.

“Don’t take this the wrong way,” Aeryn said, “but that’s not so thrilling for the rest of us.”

We did get to plunder a dragon’s hoard now, such as it was.  The trick pile did contain about eight thousand silver pieces and a thousand gold pieces.  Of course, we couldn’t actually carry that many silver pieces.  There were a couple scrolls in the pile, too.  They might prove useful.

We returned to camp.  For most of us, our first priority was getting clean.  But once we were done scrubbing and actually entered camp again, we found Muffle sitting there with three carpets.  I’d been wondering where he’d gotten to.  Somehow, it didn’t entire surprise me that he’d somehow gotten three carpets out here.

“We could load up the bags of holding,” Aeryn said.

“I could use one as a saddle blanket,” Armand said.  “I think we should skip Shadowdale and just go straight on to Cormyr.”

“First, we need money,” Aeryn said.  “And we need to stop and alert…”

“Elminster knows,” Grolsch interrupted.

Grolsch was probably right.  On the other hand, if Elminster was all-knowing, he wouldn’t have sent us in to investigate Szith Morcane.  And there was the problem of Armand’s broken anti-scrying ball.

“What am I gonna do?” Armand asked.  “Go to Elminster every time is burns out?”

“We can use the carpets to buy one that lasts longer,” Aeryn suggested.

“Let’s load the bags of holding,” Armand said.

“I can fly,” Aeryn offered.  “Put four on my horse and one on everyone else’s.”

Muffle seemed oddly attached to the three he’d brought out.

“We could roll Dessa up in a carpet,” I suggested.

“She can’t spell cast,” Aeryn nodded in approval.  “And she’ll be hidden.”

Dessa didn’t react to my suggestion.  She was staring at Muffle.  It was strange that a wolf cub wanted to collect carpets…  I cast Speak With Animals on myself.

“How did you get those out here?” I asked.

“I carried them up,” Muffle said.

“How?” I asked.

“I picked them up in my mouth,” he said.

Sure he did.  A close examination of the carpets showed tooth imprints on them, but the mouths were much larger than Muffle’s.  At a guess, he’d conned Pain and Suffering into carrying the carpets out for him.

“He’s getting them to behave,” Aeryn marveled.  “He’s better at it than he is!”

“Don’t look at me like that,” Grolsch said.

“The dire wolves could each carry a carpet,” I said.  “No!  Cover the bear with carpets!”

“It’s just ‘til the next town,” Aeryn said.  “Your share of the treasure comes out of it.”

“And?” Grolsch asked.  “I am not a pack animal.”

I could just imagine strolling into the next town with a carpeted bear in tow.  It would work, but even the bards would never believe it.  We eventually managed to arrange things so we could transport ten carpets with us.  The barrels turned out to be either fine wine or ale.  They were fine for quenching our thirst here and now, but not so good for transport to the next town.  We needed to come back here some day with a caravan.

Back at camp, Armand took Dessa into his tent.  Not for that, he insisted.  He just wanted to question her about Szith Morcane.  At least Dessa couldn’t stare at Muffle if she was inside a tent.

What?” Armand shouted from in the tent.

Me and Aeryn looked at each other.

“Either she bites…,” Aeryn said.  “Or…”

I decided that it’d be better if I checked than if Aeryn checked.

“Armand, you okay?” I asked.

Meantime, Muffle went running into the dungeon, closely followed by Suffering, followed by Pain, followed by Grolsch.

“Armand, Moonshine, keep watch!” Aeryn said.  “He just took off!”

While Aeryn took off after Grolsch, Armand stuck his head out of the tent.

“The puppy’s a dragon,” he said.

I put my hands over my face.  It made such horrible sense…  We knew he could shape change.  He fired off electricity.  He wouldn’t let go off that coin Aeryn tossed at him…  And I’d been riding around sharing my saddle with a dragon.

“…apparently, it’s friendly,” I managed.

“It’s not hostile,” Armand agreed.  “I guess he wants the carpets for his hoard.”

“Gotta start a hoard somewhere,” I reasoned.

From inside the hill, I heard Aeryn’s voice cry out, “Stinky!”

Armand retreated back into the tent.  Even if he didn’t learn anything else from Dessa tonight, he’d proven her worth.  Sometime later, Aeryn returned to camp.

“They’re tapping all the barrels,” she said.

I pulled Aeryn aside and whispered, just in case.

“The drunken puppy is a dragon,” I said.

“Are you serious?” she asked.  “How much wine have you sampled?”

“None,” I said.  “Armand told me.”

I’d tasted it, but it had been a while since then.

“How much wine did Armand sample?” Aeryn asked.

“None,” I said.  “He found out from Dessa.”

“The drow must’ve cast a spell on him,” Aeryn said.

“Think about it,” I said, realizing that it did sound absurd.  “It all fits.  We know he’s magical and he can change shape.  He’s apparently trying to start a hoard…”

“…damn,” Aeryn muttered as the pieces slid into place.  “How do we get rid of it?”

“Do we want to?” I asked.  “It’s friendly and it’s helped attack our enemies.”

“When?” Aeryn asked.

“With the phase spiders,” I reminded her.  “It was jumping on them and zapping them.”

She thought about it.  It would be nice to have a dragon on our side, even a yappy one.  Besides, how do you tell a dragon you don’t want it traveling with you anymore?  Especially one that looks at you with hurt puppy dog eyes.

Armand had some disgusting info for us in the morning when I cast my daily Restoration on Dessa.  The skinless things were once priestesses of Lolth.  Followers of Kiaransalee caught the rival priestesses, skinned them and resurrected them as those… things.  The giant humongous spider was named Cuddles.  They had an arrangement with it.  Anyone using the non-sticky lines that led directly to cave openings was allowed to go unmolested.  Everyone else got eaten.

“We could roll up the drow,” Aeryn suggested.  “We can roll out the carpet to present our credentials.”

“Charming,” Armand said frostily.

“I think it could work,” I said.

We passed through the mountainous region where we’d met that giant centipede.  Unfortunately, this time we didn’t have a troop of expendable dwarves with us.  Even if we did, we didn’t want to detour to Elminster’s to get a bunch of animals changed back into dwarves.  Of course, last time we didn’t have a dragon in the party.  Armand certainly seemed taken with Muffle now that he knew the puppy’s true nature.

“It’s a relative of mine,” Armand said.

“Are you going to ride off another cliff?” Aeryn asked.

“I don’t see any,” Armand said.

“You didn’t see the last one, either,” Aeryn said.

“That’s what my horse is for,” Armand said.

At least Muffle’s presence on the ground kept Armand from scanning the sky for pretty dragons.  We needed to keep our eyes front to watch for giant centipedes.  On the other hand…  A giant centipede could carry a lot of carpets.

“As our resident animal handler,” Aeryn told Grolsch, “you can train it and backtrack for the wine.”

“Avarice,” Armand muttered.

“Like she’s portable,” Aeryn said.

“She’s useful,” Armand said.

“What’ve you mapped?” Aeryn asked.

“So far, the barracks level,” Armand said.  “Tonight, the market level.”

“Is that above or below the waist?” Aeryn asked.

“Don’t you already know?” Armand asked.  “You spend so much time eavesdropping at my tent.”

“I do not,” Aeryn said.  “You have to get over this thing that everyone’s spying on you.”

“As a matter of fact,” Armand said, “everyone is.  I don’t know what’s so fascinating about me…”

“That’s what I wanna know,” Aeryn said.

“Past behavior is an indication of current behavior,” Armand said.  “I know you’ve watched me before.”

“You obviously want to be watched!” Aeryn said.  “You did the green girl right out in the open.  Why didn’t you try finding a bed?”

“I don’t think she has a bed!” Armand said.  “Except maybe a river bed.  Did you have a good time watching?”

“What makes you think I wasn’t having a good time?” Aeryn asked.  “Just not with the green girl.”

“What did you have a good time with?” Armand asked.

“I got a manicure,” Aeryn said.  “And a pedicure and a basic spa treatment.”

They stopped then only because we spotted a pair of wood elves standing on the path.  If it wasn’t for the wood elves, they might’ve just kept it up until we reached Cormyr.

“We heard your conversation,” one remarked.  “We were wondering who was going through our woods.”

Their ears may’ve been pointing at Armand and Aeryn, but their eyes were on Dessa.

“Leave her alone,” Armand said.  “She has information.”

“We can help you extract it,” the wood elf offered.

“I told you to put her in a carpet,” I said.

“I like these guys already,” Aeryn said.

She offered the wood elves a drink.  They invited us to camp with them for the night.  We readily accepted.  A large elven lady named Parny took particular notice of Armand.  As we sat around the campfire, sharing wine and giggles, Aeryn and I encouraged her.  Someone had to prove to him that light elves were good, too.  The elves already knew about the green girl, and even knew which green girl was the likely lady.  They hadn’t heard the broken bed story yet, though.  We gave a telling worthy of a pair of bards, during the moments when we were capable of speech.

Armand spent the night in his tent, with Dessa.  In the morning, I cast Restoration on the drow and we all thanked the elves for their hospitality.

“The next time we bring a drow by,” I said, “hopefully you’ll be abler to properly dismember her.”

They warned us before we left that there were bands of goblin and orc raiders in the area.  We weren’t overly concerned, especially after having just taken care of one band of orcs.  In fact, the next group we encountered down the road was a patrol of five Purple Dragons.

“Don’t piss them off,” Aeryn warned as we approached.

“I’m not the one who pisses people off,” Armand said.

We stopped and, as expected, they asked us our business.

“We have information,” Armand said.

“For the Steel Princess,” Aeryn said.

“Oh,” the guard said.  “The runaway.  Your fiancé is waiting for you.”

“He can keep waiting,” Aeryn said.

Armand snickered.

“Who are you?” the guard asked.

“Armand,” Armand answered.

“You’re heading towards your fiancé and you’ve got…,” the guard started.  “I wish I could see this.  Go ahead.  The pass is clear.  We’re just cleaning up some orcs.”

I resisted the urge to do some snickering of my own.  Word of Aeryn and Armand’s very open and very vocal marriage had probably preceded us.

“Watch out for drow,” Aeryn warned them.

“Are you brining them in one at a time?” the guard asked.

They advised us to stick to the path, and keep out of Tilverton.  Given what Tilverton had looked like when we last passed by, we’d been planning on giving it a wide berth.  As for drow, they were considered rather unusual outside of Cormanthor.

“We left,” Aeryn said.  “And a house unattended acquires cockroaches.”

Personally, I would’ve preferred cockroaches.  We met more guards on our way around Tilverton.  They had a couple mages studying the phenomenon.  One day, they might even figure it out.

When we reached a bridge, we were rather surprised to find it guarded by an armored troll carrying a great axe.  I didn’t think there were troll bridges anywhere outside the stories my mother told me when I was a little girl.  Of course, those bedtime story trolls didn’t hum cheerfully.

“Who goes there?” the troll asked brightly.

“Information for the princess,” Aeryn said.

“She’s in the capitol,” the troll said.

“We know,” Aeryn said.

“Are you carrying any contraband?” the troll asked.

We had carpets.  We offered to unroll them all to prove there was nothing in them.  If we had rolled up Dessa, would it have looked like we were smuggling illegal immigrants?  Maybe.  But carrying her loosely, to the troll, looked like we were smuggling illegal hor d’oeuvres.

“She could spare a finger or two,” I suggested.

Armand gave me a look.

“We need her intact to answer questions,” he informed the troll.

“I like dark meat,” the troll complained.

“Don’t look at me,” Armand said.

The troll gave up, let us cross the bridge, and resumed humming to himself.  We traveled on, finally entering the outskirts of the capitol.

“We’ll have an inn tonight,” Aeryn said.

“He’ll have a bed to break,” I added.

“I’m not intending to do that tonight,” Armand said.  “I was going to get a room for me, her, and Dreya…”

Now there was an idea that would leave people talking if Aeryn was so recognizable in these parts.  Armand agreed that his plan might require modifications, lest people think he’s having a threesome, but he still wanted to question Dessa some more.  Tonight he wanted to map the commoner level of Szith Morcane.

“Is the commoner level above or below the waistline?” Aeryn wondered.

Grolsch elected to stay outside.  Me and Aeryn shared a room.  Aeryn warned the innkeeper to put some blocks under Armand’s bed.  Muffle, while being very endearing in that mischievous puppy sort of way, was being a very mischievous puppy.  At least the other guests were entertained when he charged through the common room with a stolen leg of mutton, darting under tables to avoid the outraged cook.

Muffle was apparently the most exciting thing to happen here in a while.  Things were returning to normal in Cormyr now that the orcs had been driven out.  Of course, we intended to upset that normality…

The morning thunderclap was not a good sign.  The puppy seemed to like the lightning, but the rest of us weren’t too thrilled.  We were even less thrilled after riding for barely half an hour and having the skies open up and release the Elemental Plane of Water on our heads.  We stopped at the next inn we passed, rather than press on and drown.

While we were essentially trapped, we considered just how and who was to be presented to the Steel Princess.  Armand actually had some court clothes for himself, but he wanted to dress up the drow, too.

“She’s being presented as a prisoner of war,” I said.  “Not as a party member!”

“You can leave me in a grove outside the city,” Grolsch suggested.

That wasn’t a bad idea, but having him scrubbed down occasionally wasn’t a bad idea, either, even if he didn’t come with us into the palace.  Granted, we could’ve left him outside during the rainstorm, but actual scrubbing was needed to get him really clean.  Aeryn found a burly woman and haggled her down to eight silver.  Then Aeryn handed her half a pound of rosemary soap.  There did seem to be some odd sparks flying between the woman’s eyes and Grolsch’s as she led him into a room…

“Do you think they’ll break the bed or the tub?” Aeryn wondered.

The resounding crash included an equally resounding splash.

“The tub,” we said in unison.

“…this might encourage him to bathe more often,” I noted.

I wouldn’t count on it, but we could hope.

“We weren’t spying on him,” Aeryn added.  “And we still found out!”

The woman might’ve enjoyed her work, but she still requested an addition four silver for damage to the tub.

“It was worth it,” I said.

“Yes, it was!” Aeryn agreed.

We entered the capitol city at last.  The guards recognized ‘Princess Escapee’ and enjoyed telling her that her family was in town.

“Great,” Aeryn muttered.

“If they hate drow like you do,” Armand said, “they might help us.”

I had a little side trip I had to go on.  I had a satchel full of mail to turn over to the temple, and perhaps a staff as well.  I’d… bonded with Moonshaft’s Daughter during the trip here.  I really didn’t want to give it up.  The High Priestess saw that for herself and said that it was the Goddess’ will that I carry it.  Who were we to debate what the Goddess had wrought?  I’d always known that I was blessed.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t leave on a happy note.  I had to inform her about the drow problem.  Ignorance is bliss.  There was much upsetness in the temple when I was finished.

The content of Moonshine's Journals is the property and copyright of Bryant Alexander, and are not to be published or redistributed without permission.

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