Gavin has been given another task by Lathander. This time he is to hunt the mad mage Mutamin, who is attempting to tame basilisks. Equipped with special potions and scrolls, Aegon and the Troupe travels to the east of Beregost in search of another evil wizard.
22 Kythorn 1368
As we travel eastward, Rose and I talk about dreams.
Aegon: I like my life as it is. I have many dreams, but none so that important. What about you instead?
Rose: Oh, I’d just love to become an actress. That would be wonderful.
Aegon: An actress? You’re a pretty good singer, I think it could be easy for you to find a role. Or is it that where you lived there weren’t playhouses?
Rose: I used to live in Athkatla, there is a playhouse in the bridge district but my parents never allowed me to give it a try.
Aegon: I’m sure you will have plenty of occasions to obtain a role sooner or later. Just keep trying!
Rose: I already had that intention, but… Thanks for your support, Aegon. It makes me glad!
After travelling for half a day we come to a place known as the Sharp Teeth Plain. To our surprise we see an elf with rotting flesh lumber toward us. Gavin shouts that it is a ghoul and we reach for our weapons. Before we can draw them, the ghoul starts talking.
Aegon: You can be our friend, but you better not do anything that’ll make us mad.
Korax the Ghoul: Me will be good boy, me promise. Me will help you with anything you need.
As he finishes talking gnolls start bearing down on us. Time to see if the ghoul is true to his word.
Emily strikes one of the gnolls in the face.
Korax charges the remaining gnolls and paralyses one of them.
Only for him to be almost cut in half by the other gnoll.
The last slasher is seriously hurt and turns his attention to us. I ready my Hammer of Corrosion.
Korax catches up to the beast and rips it open from behind.
We deal with the paralysed gnoll. Korax is badly hurt now, but we cannot heal it. The power bestowed on us by the gods only harm the undead. We decide to trust it for now, but we fear it may become hungry again soon.
In the distance we hear an insectlike scuttling sound. I’ve read that basilisks can sound like this. We might be getting close to the mad mage.
We hear owls in the nigh as we move. Our way is blocked by a heavily armed woman. She has a challenge for us.
Aegon: Sure, what are the rules and reward for winning?
Shar-Teel: I win, and you give me 20 gold. In the unlikely event that one of you bests me, I’ll pledge my sword to your cause.
Aegon: Sounds good to us.
Shar-Teel: Will your champion step forward? I only fight men, so your women will have to be satisfied with just watching. Don’t entertain any thoughts about cheating. If any of the rest of you try to interfere in this fight, I’ll kill them outright.
The warrior woman starts swinging her weapons at me. I push back against her with my Hammer.
I hit her hard, and she reels backward almost dropping her weapons. Before I can strike her again she yields.
Aegon: Good, you had better prove your worth.
Shar-Teel: Of course I’ll prove my worth! It won’t be too hard in this group.
The warrior woman tells us her name is Shar-Teel.
She is a duelist, as she demonstrated by challenging me to a fight.
We tell her we have better weapons she can use. Emily gives her the Sword of Flame, and she takes the Heart of the Golem from our Bag of Holding. We tell her we are hunting a basilisk trainer. She says she will hold the front, so we give her some Potions of Mirrored Eyes.
As we introduce ourselves to our new travelling companion, Shar-Teel decides to take a shot at Finch.
Finch: All your hate and fury… that is what seems a waste of time to me. Books and their study offer me only contentment, not your malice. I have no regrets in following Deneir.
Shar-Teel: You enslave yourself, praying to manhood, depending on a male to empower you with magic! If you swung your flail without mercy and stood alone, for yourself, maybe I’d have a crumb of respect for you.
Finch: Perhaps I believe in my own gifts enough to not feel threatened by men as you do, Shar-Teel.
Shar-Teel: Threatened? The only threat I face is your runtish attempts at being funny making me ill!
We have adopted a ghoul and a man-hater into our group. This mission isn’t going to go well…
Since it’s dark and we are low on blessings, we set up camp for the night. Unfortunately, Korax is hungry the next morning, and Rose is forced to feed him a crossbow bolt.
I equip my Mage Armor before we leave the campsite.
As we move through the plains we encounter lifelike statues. This feels like basilisk territory. Shar-Teel drinks one of her potions.
It isn’t long before we spot the first lizard.
Two of them, in fact.
Shar-Teel’s blades deal with the first basilisk.
With protection from their gaze, the second is just as easily killed. Finch says that studying how to fight these beasts has brought her closer to Deneir.
She tells me that Deneir has granted her access to abilities similar to the spells Corellon gifts me.
Most of the statues here are broken in some way, weathered with the effects of time. One of them is undamaged, and seems new.
Shar-Teel approaches to make sure it is safe. I throw her a Stone-to-Flesh scroll.
The statue turns back into flesh, a human woman.
Aegon: Rest yourself, you have likely been petrified for some time now.
Tamah: Petri…? How… I remember fighting some gnolls and… and one turned to stone right before my eyes! I turned around and there was this mage and a lizard-thing… and then… and then you. I was turned to stone? For how long?
Aegon: I do not know. All that is important is that you are free now.
Tamah: I… I thank you! You have rescued a perfect stranger and… and asked for nothing in return. Certainly a selfless act if ever I have heard of one. I shall speak well of you to anyone that asks. Thank you once again!
I shall be at Feldepost’s Inn in Beregost. If you wish, I can at least buy you a drink.
Gavin: A charitable deed.
She tells us her name is Tamah before she leaves. I know that name. Could she be Camryn’s lover? Is this why they lost touch with each other?
There isn’t time for that now. We continue across the plains and find another basilisk.
Shar-Teel slices it into a mound of burned flesh.
We find a scroll on the lizard. it’s a spell I can use. I manage to copy it into my spellbook.
Bears wander the plains. Somehow the basilisks haven’t turned them into statues. Perhaps the lizards don’t fear them.
We wander deeper into a wood and I start to see visions. A gnomish mage. Powerful basilisks, women who’s gaze turns men to stone. And death. Over and over I see the party poisoned, or burnt to death by arcs of lightning. This isn’t the first time I’ve had visions like this. Should we turn back?
I shake it off and press on. This is when we find the gnome at the heart of these lizards.
Gavin: Mornmaster Kelddath was right to set us on this quest. If this is madness, then it is rooted in evil, and beyond the cure of this world. Aegon, let us help him into the next to seek it there!
Mutamin: If you feel lucky!
Shar-Teel: Do you expect me to start screaming at the top of my lungs, because of your stupid lizards? I killed two yesterday, see this belt? Bring them on, I can use more! And I’ll let you keep the eyes, heh.
Aegon: Is it just me, or is the world filled with wackos? Okay, My. Psycho Gnome, I hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but we’re really not interested in your rock garden.
Mutamin: You will go nowhere! You will join the beautiful work of art that standssss before you. You will become a piece of the art… forever.
Shar-Teel drinks a Potion of Defense. I attempt to create a zone of Silence. Gavin and Finch cast some protection spells, while Rose and Emily start launching quarrels at the mage.
Mutamin creates some Mirror Images of himself. 4 illusionary gnomes appear around him. Gavin summons his Magical Stones, while Shar-Teel drinks a Potion of Invulnerability.
Finch Blesses us, and Rose’s gibberlings appear.
My Silence fails, so I switch to some Magic Missiles.
Rose attempts to see through Mutamin’s illusions, but his magic is too powerful.
Gavin starts launching his Magical Stones at the mad mage.
I hit Mutamin with some more Magic Missiles. Most of his Mirror Images have disappeared now.
Mutamin is joined by a medusa and a larger basilisk than the ones we’ve encountered so far. Could he actually have tamed them?
I charm a medusa using my Ring of Human Influence.
Shar-Teel closes in on Mutamin. I cast a Battering Ram at the mage.
Mutamin is knocked unconscious and poisoned. This is our opportunity to strike!
And the mad wizard falls. Shar-Teel’s potion wears off and she is turned to stone.
I use a scroll to inspire fear into our remaining enemies, but it has no effect. We focus our attacks on the other medusa.
Our charmed medusa is held in place. I Curse the lizards and the medusa.
Emily gets the kill on the medusa. We turn our attention to the large basilisk.
I hit the beast with a white Chromatic Orb.
One of the basilisks turns its gaze toward me so I drink my Mirrored Eyes.
But it is too late, and I feel my body stiffen as it turns to stone.
Emily attempts to Cure Paralysis with her Wing Necklace, but it has no effect on the stares of the basilisk.
Emily summons some weasels with her Cloak.
They prove a good distraction.
They don’t stay around for long, however.
Emily takes the beast down before it can reorientate itself.
My Charm wears off the medusa so we kill it before it recovers from its hold.
Rose kills the last basilisk.
We use some of our Stone to Flesh scrolls to recover myself and Shar-Teel.
Rose, Gavin, and Emily have all learned a lot from this fight.
We search the gnome’s corpse. He carries a staff and some darts. He has 2 Potions of Healing and a Potion of Invisibility, which Shar-Teel takes. He also has scrolls of Mage Armor and Chromatic Orb. I give them to Rose and she writes them into her spellbook. For myself I find a scroll of Stinking Cloud to add to my arsenal.
He wears a mage robe, a cloak, and a ring that I can’t identify. I can see he wears a Swordsman’s Belt, however. I give it to Shar-Teel, who renames it the Swordswoman’s Belt.
His also wears Bracers of Defense like mine, providing protection without armour. I give them to Rose.
Lastly he carries with him a letter. It looks to have come from a wizard in Baldur’s Gate. Is there a mad wizards league? I wonder if Xzar knows them…
The medusas carried scrolls with them as well. On one is written Minor Spell Deflection, the other has Spell Thrust. These are beyond our abilities right now, so I store them in my scroll case.
Apart from a few coins and a gem within the bellies of the basilisks, there isn’t anything left to loot. We are low on potions now, so we consider moving back to the temple.
Before we can decide, another medusa emerges from the treeline.
It is joined by a group of gibberlings.
I put them to sleep. Rose kills the medusa with her sling.
More gibberlings attack, but they are easily taken care of.
We are low on protections from petrification and scrolls, so we decide it best to journey back to the temple.
23 Kythorn 1368
We arrive at the Song of the Morning in the dead of night. Wolves still wander the plains here. I wonder how that drunken lich is doing?
After killing the dread wolf and get back to the temple without incident. Gavin approaches Mornmaster Kelddath.
Kelddath Ormlyr: Word has reached me of your success in defeating Mutamin. I wish to congratulate you on a difficult job done very well indeed. I have prepared a reward for you, which I hope will prove adequate.
He gives us 2000 gold as a reward.
Now that Gavin’s quest is finished, it’s time to do one of my own. Aegon, the Deliverer of Letters, has some messages to pass on.
We find Tamah in Feldepost’s right where she said she would be.
Tamah: I’ll have the waitress bring you an ale, if you like.
Aegon: Certainly. The name’s Aegon by the way.
Tamah: Yum! The ale is good, isn’t it? You build up a powerful thirst when you’ve been stone as long as I have!
So, Aegon, I again want to thank you for bringing me back to life. I’m still getting used to how much has changed. I’ve been stone for about twenty-five years, apparently. A lot changes. Thank heavens Feldepost’s Inn is still here… It’s a lot bigger than it used to be, though….
Aegon: So, Tamah from Candlekeep. Camryn told me about you.
Tamah: Ummm, yes, Camryn. He… He was a very special friend… at Candlekeep. We didn’t part on good terms, I thought. Hearing him mentioned so soon after awakening, I’m not sure what to think.
Her voice starts to sound bitter.
Tamah: With the kind of lifestyle he’s chosen, I imagine he must still be doing well these days.
Aegon: Tamah, he’s been writing love letters to you like this one for thirty years.
Tamah: You’d better let me have a look.
Aegon: There’s this one written in gold ink.
She takes the letter and reads it.
Tamah: And to think I used to worry about what my hair looked like in the mornings!
Do you have any other letters?
Aegon: There’s this one. It’s got some little drawings of cherubs on it.
Tamah: Yes… He was sweet about that. Camryn was the first man I’ve met who looked at my eyes rather than my chest…
Aegon: There’s this one printed on blue paper.
Tamah: I tried and tried to get him to leave that ‘Ivory Tower’ he lived in. I thought by taking him to dinner, sharing drinks, and walking in the garden, he’d gain confidence to leave Candlekeep entirely.
Aegon: There’s this one illuminated with gold leaf.
Tamah: Oh yes… The terrible trio: Ulruant, Tethtoril, and Gorion. You don’t know how many stories about ‘the old days’ I had to suffer through just to spend time with Camryn.
Aegon: There’s this one… He must have put perfume on the paper… It smells like sandalwood and jasmine.
Tamah blushes while reading this one, then tucks it into her bodice.
Tamah: After three hundred years, you wouldn’t think he would be as… erm… sprightly as he was. I mean, he looked ageless, but elves always do… Anyway, all I’ll say about this one is that Camryn has a good imagination and even better technique.
Aegon: This one feels a bit thicker than the rest.
Tamah: Oh, my heart! Children! He remembered that conversation after all. I thought it was just me wanting a family…
Aegon: This one has pictures of books on it.
Tamah: That would have worked… except that stupid me ran into a basilisk and got turned to stone only a few years after I left Candlekeep.
Aegon: That’s all I have.
Tamah: Thank you for bringing me this information. I guess I might as well admit that Camryn was more than a friend. It’s just I need to think about what this all means for me.
I need to stay here awhile and decide what to do. If you find any other letters, you can bring them here for me. Or… do you think I should make a decision now?
Aegon: Let me see if I can find more letters.
Tamah: Very well. I’ll just stay here. Thank you for your kindness, Aegon.
All this talk of the keep is bringing back memories. I realise now that I miss home.
I miss my father…