Nashkel: A Hero’s Welcome

The Troupe have uncovered Mulahey’s plot and discovered it is linked to the bandits that plague the Sword Coast. Having left through the kobold tunnels beneath the mine, they make their way back to Nashke, to the Mayor, Berrun Ghastkill.

26 Kythorn 1368

On our way back to Nashkel, we travel past the mine entrance. Emerson should be the first to hear of what we discovered in the mines.

Of course the mayor needs to hear what we have found as well. We climb out of the quarry. Xan and I discuss what our next course of action should be.

Aegon: I want to solve the iron crisis. This is your task too, I believe?

Xan: Which is exactly my point.

I am asking because… can you tell me that by travelling with you, I accomplish the goals I have set out to do? Can you say what the result is going to be? When the result is going to be? Do you see it yourself?

Aegon: What do you mean? A signpost saying “war preparations end here”?

Xan: Oh. Seldarine, did I really sound thus?

Aegon… I am sorry. Look at me, asking a much younger person for reassurance and demanding to be told that everything is going to be all right.

I have started to look upon you as my leader, I suppose.

Aegon: Besides, you are forgetting that we are all doomed anyway!

Xan: And that, too. Thank you for listening.

The sun is setting as we arrive in Nashkel. We need to find the mayor, Berrun Ghastkill, but first we have a message to deliver. This isn’t going to be easy. I let Rose deliver the news.

Rose: We found his greenstone ring, but I’m afraid we think he’s dead.

Commoner: He’s… he’s dead. My Joseph is dead.

Xan: This woman’s poor tears make me think that nobody would mourn my passing. A wanderer, misunderstood by all and alien to all, I shall be down a cruel blade while the passionless world looks the other way.

Joseph’s wife wipes her tears with the edge of her apron.

Commoner: You poor soul.

Rose: We’re very sorry for your pain. Here, have his ring to remember him with.

Commoner: Thank you. Thank you for bringing me the news.

Timing Xan. This is not the time to make it about yourself.

Before we leave the Rose talks to the daughter.

Rose: Your dad will probably be coming back soon. Don’t worry.

Girl: I really hope so. I miss him so much.

We leave them to their grieving. I only wish we could have delivered better news.

We find the Mayor in his usual place, outside the Temple of Helm.

Xan: Allow me to introduce myself, Mayor. I would have done so earlier, but alas, I was rudely diverted from visiting your town by the kobolds. I am Xan of the Evereskan Greycloaks, sent by my people to investigate the iron shortage.

Berrun Ghastkill: We welcome Evereska’s help, Xan. Thank you for lending Aegon a hand with the re-opening of the mines.

Aegon: I also found this vial of liquid on one of the kobolds in the mines. I think it might have something to do with the iron.

Berrun Ghastkill: Hmm, I’m no master of metals, but you might want to show that to Thunderhammer, up in Beregost. He might know a little more.

Again, thank you for all you’ve done.

We enter the temple. A lot of our former companions are still recovering here.

Nalin charges us 400 gold to bring back Emily from the dead. Mur’Neth is surprisingly happy to see her return.

Aegon: We’ve not been doing as well as you think. We are tired, hungry, and have suffered terrible injuries in our trails.

Mur’Neth: Pain, fatigue and hunger are temporary discomforts… Does not our growing power as a result of our travels convince you of divine aid?

Aegon: I would not really consider them temporary discomforts, since they can prove fatal if untreated. And I don’t know about you, but I do not particularly enjoy suffering.

Mur’Neth: There is no sense in suffering for its own sake; such is the province of the cursed fool *Ilmater*! But pain from doing divine bidding, pain inflicted on others for their salvation or punishment, these are great blessings!

Aegon: Yes, this is true. Suffering is important to test our faith, and show heretics the error of their ways.

Mur’Neth: Yes! You are progressing well along the path to wisdom, Aegon.

Aegon: Perhaps, though I don’t agree it can only be Ghuanadaur who is involved with us. Come, we can talk of this more another time.

If the gods make us suffer as a test, are they responsible for the death of my father? No, Corellon would protect me. There is one man responsible for taking him away. And I will find him.

Emily stays here with the others to recover. She tells us that if she isn’t here in the future, she will be in Feldepost’s Inn.

We are tired and hungry and night is falling. So after emptying out Bag of Holding at the Nashkel Store, we go to the inn to rest. Unfortunately, someone is waiting for us outside the inn.

Xan: My death? You are late, then. I have been expecting our meeting every moment of every day since I left my beautiful Evereska for these barbaric lands. But I suppose my expectations in this matter never counted…

Aegon: What? I’m not surrendering to anything!

Nimbul: Struggle if you must, dead one, I do not mind working for my money.

Why NIMBUL has been hired to deal with the likes of you, I’ll never know.

We’re tired, weak, and still hungry. This is going to be a tough fight.

Finch gives us the courage to fight.

Mur’Neth prepares his paralysing touch.

A glowing suit forms around Nimbul. He has mage armor to defend himself.

Xan manages to charm Nimbul.

It doesn’t last.

Rasaad, who happens to be nearby, joins us in the fight.

Xan attempts to charm him again, and he is once again under his spell.

I hit Nimbul with a Rattering Ram. It knocks the wind out of him.

Mur’Neth paralyzes him while he is unconscious.

Rose finishes the assassin with a well aimed crossbow bolt.

I mention in passing that this isn’t the first assassin to target me. This piques Xan’s curiosity.

Aegon: Every time I enter a tavern, I pay special attention to the patrons.

Xan: You are careful, but you need to drink, eat, bathe, sleep. And they only need to get lucky once.

I admit to being rather selfish in my inquiry: I am interested in my mission’s success. But I am also worried for you.

You know, we could turn the tables, so to speak: capture one of them and try to get his employer’s whereabouts. But they have likely never seen him – whoever has hired them must be working through a contact, perhaps even more than one…

So, it becomes a question of who finds who first. If I were you, I’d keep up this pretense of a blundering youth. The lower the price, the more incompetent the hunters are.

Aegon: Xan, but I am still a blundering youth.

Xan: You are. But therein may lie your salvation.

I thank Rasaad for his help while Rose searches Nimbul’s corpse. He has an enchanted short sword as well as 20 throwing axes. His robes are interesting. I recognise them as the Arcane Attire of the Weasel God. They are cursed, but Rose decides she wants to wear them anyway.

He is also wearing a ring, another one we can’t identify. He carries four potions. One of Extra Healing, one of Defense, and two of Invisibility.

He also carries a scroll of Slow and a scroll of Find Familiar. I store them in my scroll case.

Rose finds a note in his belt.

Tranzig, Tazok. The same names on the letters we found in Mulahey’s lair. Are the assassins being sent by the same people responsible for the mines? Are they linked to my father’s killer? How and why are they linked to me?

As the others head inside the inn, Rose stops to show me something.

Aegon: Mmh? Where?

Rose: Here, let me show you.

See that one? It’s weird. Plus it has really sweet colors. Love how the sunset paints the sky.

Aegon: I’m glad to have one such as you with me, watching you cheers me up. You know how to enjoy yourself, don’t you?

Rose: You always have to take the best from the life, that’s what I think. Don’t ya agree?

Aegon: I couldn’t agree more. Actually, I too think life is to be enjoyed.

Rose: I’m glad of that, Aegon.

She yawns.

Rose: Could we rest a bit, please?

Before we can settle down Rose realises she can’t remove Nimbul’s cursed armor.

Rose: And it’s a bit too tight on the chest, too…

Is she…? Was that flirting?

She organises some nice rooms for the party and we turn in. During the night I have a strange dream.

27 Kythorn 1368

It is early in the morning, so I get an early breakfast while I wait for the others. While they rest I ask the Weave to help me identify Nalin’s ring. It should help Mur’Neth lurk in the shadows as he enjoys.

Xan joins me and he tells me he can use his magic to identify one of the rings we found in the valley of tombs. This mithral ring isn’t actually enchanted, but could become powerful in the hands of the right sorcerer.

The other are awake now, so we finish eating and leave for the road. I tell the others I want to make a detour before we return to Beregost. There’s a certain paladin drowning himself in ale in the Friendly Arm Inn.

28 Kythorn 1368

Either the roads are less infested with bandits or we got lucky. We make it to the fort without any trouble. We find Drake at the bar, of course.

Aegon: Maybe another time. Right now, we have places to be.

Drake: Ha! Well said. You’re after some excitement on the road again? I’m in.

Drake has learned some things since the last time we talked to him.

We give him the Bag of Holding and he takes some enchanted splint mail. He says it offers him better protection, but allows him to move more than the plate mail he’s currently wearing.

Word of us slaying Bassilus has reached the paladin.

Aegon: I intend to do more than just that.

Drake: Oh, I’m certain. But you’d best not let that confidence get ahead of you… it tends to end badly if you don’t keep it under control.

Still, this is but the beginning of what I suspect will be quite an interesting bit of camaraderie. Perhaps you will continue to impress, or begin to disappoint me with mediocrity. Who knows?

Aegon: Just follow me. I’ll show you a thing or two to be impressed by.

Drake: Ha! You’re confident, good. I like that. Most of the kids as young as you that I’ve met would be quivering in their boots.

I’ll have plenty of time to see whether you’re a rising star or you’ll burn and fade, but we’ll make no progress standing around talking about it, hmm? Lead on, my young friend.

Well let’s see if we can impress him. It’s time for a hunt. We need to find the organisation behind the bandits. Behind the poisoning of the mines. Behind my assassins. Behind everything.

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