12 Mirtul 1368
After saving a child from a baby wyvern in Nashkel, we tried to find him to make sure he was still alive. Our search was fruitless, until we returned to Nashkel’s main street and found the kid talking to a few local soldiers.
Arnim: Erm… yes! That’s him!
Lady von Undenzieht: Soldier! Arrest this person!
Amnian Soldier: You, wait! You are accused of threatening the son of Lord and Lady von Undenzieht with your weapons and killing his little pet animal. Do you confess?
Aegon: His pet animals? Since when do little boys have baby wyvern as pets?
Lord von Undenzieht: What is this about? You threatened my son!
Aegon: I swear I killed a baby wyvern that was chasing your son.
Lady von Undenzieht: What… what is this person talking about?
Aegon: Ask your son. A baby wyvern chased him.
Amnian Soldier: What is this talk about a baby wyvern! You are accused of threatening young Lord von Undezieht and killing his pet snake!
Aegon: His pet “grass snake”? I repeat: it was a baby wyvern that was chasing him!
Lord von Undenzieht: Why does there have to be so much talking? Arrest this person!
Amnian Soldier: Under the circumstances I have to give him the right to explain himself. I am beginning to feel annoyed though!
Lady von Undenzieht: Arrest this person! Our son nearly got killed!
Lord von Undenzieht: And the little grass snake! That egg cost 500 gp with an exclusive delivery from Waterdeep! I want compensation for the costs!
Aegon: “Grass snake”? Arnim, don’t you think it’s time to tell your parents the truth?
Lord von Undenzieht: How dare you talk to my son?! Soldier, I *demand* that you arrest this person right now!
Aegon: Did you ever wonder about the size and shape of that egg?
Lord von Undenzieht: What do you know about the egg?!
Aegon: Nothing, but I saw the “pet” that was inside, and it definitely wasn’t a grass snake, but a baby wyvern.
Lord von Undenzieht: Stop talking about a wyvern! Well, that egg *did* look kind of… big… But the animal dealer said it was a special breed…
Arnim: I… I…
Papa, Mama, I am really sorry! It is true! It was a baby wyvern that came out of that egg! I was so frightened! It tried to eat me!
Lady von Undenzieht: Arnim! Poor baby! Why didn’t you tell us?
Lord von Undenzieht: Because he knew he would feel my beating, that is why! So you lost your pet animal and you accused innocent… well, maybe not innocent, but anyway, a stranger of it! Boy, you wait until you get home!
Lady von Undenzieht: Dearest, please! He is innocent!
The soldier coughs.
Amnian Soldier: As is the person you accused of threatening your son. Am I right the complaint will be withdrawn?
Lord von Undenzieht: What? Yes, yes of course.
Amnian Soldier: Would you like to say some words to the saviour of your son?
Lady von Undenzieht: We are thankful dear stranger…
Lord von Undenzieht: No we are not! You killed an exotic animal worth 1000 gp that was in my possession! Better leave quickly and never return!
Amnian Soldier: *Lord* von Undenzieht! Be careful with your manner of speech! Aegon, our apologies for the false accusations. We thank you for the courage you displayed by saving a child in our city.
Aegon: Next time, ask before you try to arrest me.
Amnian Soldier: There is only one more thing. Lord von Undenzieht, I arrest you under the charge of possessing dangerous exotic animals inside the city area! Come with me now!
Lord von Undenzieht: What? This… this is… I am Lord von Undenzieht! I protest! Take your hands off me you *idiots*!
Amnian Soldier: You can be assured that we will not let this matter rest. A wyvern was loose within the city! We will sort this out. A messenger will go as far as Waterdeep today, to prevent such a occurrence again.
The soldiers take the Lord away and Lady von Undenzieht grabs Arnim by his hand and almost drags him away. We quickly move on down the street.
We find the Belching Tavern, probably Nashkel’s most famous watering hole.
Outside a woman asking passers-by for help stops our troupe.
Aegon: You don’t need to shout any more, my lady. I will help you.
Mrs. Brunnstein: Oh, thank you, good man.
My son, my beloved Aaron is gone! Please, you must find him, he means everything to me!
Aegon: What happened?
Mrs. Brunnstein: He left for a mountain trip with his fiancée a few days ago. They were going to have a picnic… and I think he wanted to propose to her.
But they never came back, so Barin gathered a company of farmers and searched the mountains. They have… oh no, its’s too awful!
She starts sobbing.
Aegon: Can you tell us anything else?
Mrs. Brunnstein: If you want to know more then talk to Barin. He is probably in the temple right now.
Aegon: Alright, we are going to look for your son.
Mrs. Brunnstein: Oh, you make me so happy, sir. Please hurry, Aaron’s such a sensitive and emotional boy. He surely will be dreadfully scared!
And talk to Barin in the temple, for he can certainly tell you further details.
We met Barin in the temple. This must be the Mrs. Brunnstein he was praying for. We go back to talk to him. On our way Minsc talks with Helga.
Helga: Heh. Throw me at any battle and I will see the enemy devastated.
Minsc: Minsc is wondering though, have you considered a pet hamster?
Helga: I’ve got three big grown up hamsters already, Minsc. Nay wishing to have a fourth.
Minsc: Minsc did not know that the priestess had *three* hamsters.
Helga: Aye, me children. Dwarves. Metaphor.
Minsc: You made a hamster? Minsc did not… know such a thing was possible.
Helga: Nay did I. Nay did I.
I make a mental note to be careful with metaphors around the berserker.
At the temple we talk with Barin.
Aegon: We have talked to Mrs. Brunnstein.
Barin: Oh, that good woman. I have led the search for her son.
Aegon: I will continue the search. Can you give me some hints?
Barin: Aaron and Marina were ambushed near the waterfall in the Cloudpeaks, we know that. And according to the tracks we suspect it was the Gnolls.
They pushed Marina down the waterfall, she may have fought back too much. Aaron was taken to the west, as far as I could read from the tracks.
Aegon: Did you notice anything strange?
Barin: Listen carefully now, my friends. I’m not in the Temple of Helm for nothing. I’m here because I saw something out there.
At night you can see a figure by the waterfall. A bright white shape! I do not know how you treat with something like that, but I choose to pray for divine help before confronting ghosts and undead.
Aegon: Why did you stop the search?
Barin: The mountains are large and I only had a handful of farmers with me. Most of them had no experience in the wilderness and wanted to return to their fields. You can imagine how much help they would have been in a fight.
Aegon: Thank you. That’s all I need to know.
Barin: Go with the blessing of the gods.
Could Aaron be with the same gnolls that kidnapped Minsc’s charge? The Cloudpeaks are to the west, and the gnolls are to the west of that. We should find the ghost on the way – if it’s Marina’s ghost we may be able to get more information from it.
We return to the Belching Dragon for a drink and to see who we can meet. We find none other than Volothamp Geddarm! I must have read all of his guides when I was in Candlekeep!
Aegon: The tale of the guard sounds interesting. Please, do tell.
Volo: I hear that Commander Brage of the Amnian guard has been missing for some weeks now following a strange alteration in his behavior. Where once he was a well-thought-of family man, he has turned to senseless mayhem, effecting a rampage the likes of which I have never heard. His fellow soldiers noted nothing out of sorts that could trigger such a transformation, but one notable item seems relevant. If not for the iron shortage it would have gone unnoticed but, prior to his mad rage, the commander procured a new sword. The Importance of this information, I have no way of verifying.
Aegon: Would you consent to another tale? I also have an interest in the mines.
Volo: Just let me finish my drink, and then we can carry on through the wee hours with our tales.
As much as I would like to stay and listen to his tales all night, Dynaheir and Aaron may not have much time. We finish our drinks and leave the tavern. Outside we meet a mother with her two children.
Aegon: You look as if something is troubling you. Can I help you in any way?
Mrs. Blackwood: Ah, don’t you worry. I… Sarah! Leave Tom alone! No, I already said you can’t have it! …well, it’s children, you know. They always… Tom! Don’t *you* start it now. For heaven’s sake!
Mrs. Blackwood: Thank you very much, but I don’t want to waste your time.
She obviously needs to be left to take care of her kids so we leave them alone. I am surprised to see a Red Wizard crossing over a bridge into Nashkel. Lucky that Neera isn’t with us right now.
Minsc: You want to kill Minsc’s witch?!
Edwin: Your witch?! (Of all the adventure groups in Faerun, I had to ask *these* particular baboons.)
Minsc: Yes, MY witch! Begone, sleazy Red Wizard, lest Boo have your eyes!
Edwin: Sleazy?! I bathed this morn! (Which is more than I can say about this gorilla.)
Minsc: Yes, sleazy! Now go, before I set my hamster on you!
Edwin: It’s not your call, you overfed… overfed… monkey! (Yes, that will do.)
Aegon: Why would you have this woman dead? Am I to kill her without knowing?
Edwin: Frankly, yes. It is no concern of yours. You need but perform the act with no questions. What is your answer?
Aegon: I am not willing to kill without sufficient reason. Come with us, and if we find your ‘Dynaheir’ we will decide how to proceed.
Edwin: A wise decision. One can never be too cautious dealing with… her kind. (Yes, I shall watch for her carefully.)
Minsc: Boo and I will watch you, wizard…
Edwin: Keep that stinking rodent away from me. And the little smelly creature he carries, too.
I want to keep him around. The Red Wizards seem to have a thing against female spellcasters and I’m curious to know why. Minsc is obviously not happy with my decision.
Aegon: Minsc, I haven’t promised anything to anyone. We’ll go save Dynaheir. You watch Edwin, he watches you.
Minsc: I do not understand, Aegon, but Dynaheir must be saved. I will watch the wizard, and Boo will watch you.
Edwin: Relatively cunning, for such as you. (Suffer these idiots for now, and both Rashemi shall fall under my power.)
Minsc: Wizard, no one here wants your kind around. Now begone before Boo can no longer contain himself and shows you the might of his warrior spirit!
I wonder if he realises we can all hear him when he talks to himself? I don’t trust the Red Wizard. Thankfully, Minsc is the perfect person to keep him in line.
Edwin is clearly a Red Wizard of Thay. One who talks to himself too much.
He specialises in conjuring things from the Weave.
Through his magic he can conjure Grease to make the floor slippery. It seems like a silly spell, but Edwin assures us it is effective.
He says he is also studying a spell that will help him summon slimes eventually.
He can also cast Color Spray, Dimension Jump, Identify, and Larloch’s Minor Drain.
He wears a necklace that he tells us helps to improve his spellcasting.
We’re gearing up for an epic quest west to the west of Nashkel. Helga’s Ogre King, Minsc and Edwin fighting over Dynaheir, and the search for Aaron in the Gnoll Stronghold.
Before we cross the river we decide to visit the last house on this side. It’s locked, but that doesn’t stop Minsc from taking it off its hinges.
Inside we find a family taking a rest for the evening.
Aegon: Do you, uh, have any information on the mines?
Commoner: All I know about the mines are that men keep disappearing in their hellish depths. My husband is one of the miners, but he hasn’t been home for weeks.
Aegon: Maybe we could help you. We’re thinking of exploring the mines. Describe your husband for us. Maybe we’ll see him.
Commoner: He’s got black hair, blue eyes… Oh, damn, you’ll never find him from that description. His name is Joseph, and he wears his wedding ring on his left hand. It’s a greenstone ring.
I make a note and we leave. Valerie seems concerned about Minsc.
Minsc: I am a warrior of Rasheman! Warriors of Rasheman exist to fight evil, and evil exists to be chopped into tiny pieces for Boo to nibble on!
Valerie: Even so, wouldn’t you prefer a bow? You almost always end up taking a beating.
Minsc: Have no fear, Amnish witch. You may continue to take refuge behind me in battle.
Valerie: If you’re sure you’re okay with it.
Minsc: I fight evil with my sword arm and my boot! Boo fights evil with his sharp teeth! You fight evil with magic! It is all fine in the eyes of the Three!
I guess to Minsc, witch is a compliment. He is Rashemi, after all.
As we cross the bridge to the west side of town we meet a rather talkative man.
Is that Blackadder?!
He has a few questions…
We ignore him and move on. Unfortunately he follows us.
He’s a complainer. Ironically this upsets the red mage.
Edwin: It was only your brain, peasant.
He. Just. Won’t. Stop.
I think I’m starting to see why…
Time you went to bed and left us alone.
We manage to escape his pestering and meet one of the local farmers.
Aegon: How could anything be better than this pristine, pastoral setting?
Karp: Aye, we could have a crop, for starters. See those crusted mounds of earth? They’re all left over from last year’s harvest. The sun’s baked them firm and hard and the plow breaks at the very thought of trying to turn that tortured soil. My son is pushing the new seeds in between the cracks but I doubt anything will come of it. Come this time next year, we’ll all be living in the endless slums of Athkatla. So yes, I wish things were better in this here pristine and pastoral setting!
Ah. Touched a nerve there I think. We move on quickly enough.
We find a locked farmhouse. Minsc gets us inside.
The farmer living here is none to happy about a bunch of armed adventurers breaking into his home.
We turn ourselves around. And promptly break into the next farmhouse we see.
There are people inside here as well. They meet us with a similar reaction.
Farmer: What’s wrong, son? HEY! What are the buncha you doing in me home? Get out! Ya hear me, get out!
Okay, maybe we should stop breaking into homes for a while…
We go back to exploring the dry fields and find a hidden cache of items.
The armour is made out of some kind of green chitin. Ankheg hide maybe?
Valerie uses her magic to identify the cloak.
This must be Noober’s stash. Unfortunately we can’t tell what type of gem we found.
Minsc likes the cloak so he throws it over his shoulders and tucks Boo inside. Helga takes the ankheg armour since it’s lighter than her plate.
There isn’t much else to see in this town. We decide to go back to the store to re-equip.
I buy myself an enchanted sling.
I give my old one to Edwin, and we also stock up on bullets. I reach into my Bag of Holding and pull out the chain mail that Drake used to wear. I offer it to Minsc, and he replaces his leather armour with it. Helga also gives him her Watcher’s Helm, since “he’s going to need it more”.
We go to the inn to rest and make plans. Edwin and Minsc want to go west to the Gnoll Stronghold. Helga says the Ogre King is in that direction as well. I guess we are heading west. But first we rest.
We can’t afford luxury tonight…
We rest well, but in the early morning I am awoken by a red wizard’s ranting.
Aegon: Well, enlighten me, then. It is a sore thing not to know just how lucky I am.
Edwin: I will have you know, simian, that you have a Red Wizard of Thay gracing you with his presence. I have been groomed to rule. The only thing that stops me from seeking to conquer this wasteland is that it is utterly barbaric and unappealing to a sophisticated thinker of my caliber.
Aegon: Ah, well. I would not mind ruling Baldur’s Gate myself, but tastes differ.
Maybe keeping him around isn’t a good idea.
I get dressed and leave the room. Valerie tells me she has identified Noober’s gem. It is a pearl.
We go outside. It’s still dark. One last thing to do and then we leave for the Gnoll Strongholds.