After clearing the Nashkel Mines of kobolds and discovering Mulahey, Aegon and his troupe make their way to Beregost. There they hope to find Tranzig, the man behind both the sabotage of the mines and the bandit troubles in the Coast.
28 Kythorn 1368
In the Friendly Arm, we ask Thorengrim Hammerfist to help us identify some of the items we found in the mines and the Valley of Tomes. The wand allows us to summon columns of ice. I hold on to this.
The necklace is just a plain pearl necklace. Ah well, we may be able to sell it for a good price.
The ring we found in the tomes is The Victor, enabling the bearer to fire energy blasts at their opponents. Given the sneaky history of the ring, Mur’Neth seems suited to be the new ringbearer.
After I am done, Xan shows some concern for my restless nights.
Aegon: I am.
Xan: I am sorry to hear it.
I am used to my nightmares. Which is why I reverie more often than not. But yours have started not long ago, have they?
Aegon: Not long after I arrived to Nashkel, come to think of it.
Xan: I wonder…
And there was something else, wasn’t there?
Aegon: Yes, I have started to receive abilities… gifts.
Xan: Exactly. This makes perfect sense.
I have heard of similar cases before, but… I wouldn’t like you to have the wrong idea.
The thing is, more than once, elves and men received visions or prophetic dreams, together with wondrous abilities, if they were… chosen by the gods to perform a great mission.
Xan: If so, we are in grave danger.
Aegon: Xan wouldn’t be Xan if he didn’t mention danger.
Xan: What else can I say? You’re doomed.
A strange conversation. Does he mean that Corellon Larethian has picked me for a great task? Is he granting me prophetic visions of my death as well as the power to heal?
I guess we’re all doomed either way.
During our conversation Drake purchased a new helmet for himself. He tells us it should help him resist the enchantments of enemy mages.
Mur’Neth hasn’t given up on a relationship with Finch.
Finch: You have a malicious tone and a nefarious touch, creature! I’ll not have you near my bookbag, so keep your contamination at bay!
Mur’Neth: As isss your fear invigorating when I am in your proximity.
Finch: Back! Stay back, you! Away with your ooze… before I… I…
Mur’Neth: Before what? You cannot hide your fears from me… know this. I await their familiar taste; I doubt I shall be waiting long.
This slime is getting creepy. Perhaps we shouldn’t be travelling with a companion so far from our own kin. As sickening as it is to say, even orcs have more in common with us than this creature.
We leave the inn and run into Ms. Godfrey outside. We buy a second ammo belt from her, since our first one is already full.
With our shopping complete we leave the fort and get back on the road. The road to Beregost.
We arrive in Beregost in the afternoon. We decide to go to the Thunderhammer Smithy first, to update them with news from the mines. On our way we see Ropar, the man whose child was kidnapped by a Shadow Druid.
Aegon: Garent was a Shadow Druid. They kidnapped children and sacrificed them in the hope of increasing their crops. But the crops died year after year, and then he realized that his path was fundamentally wrong. He realized his mistakes and lived as a hermit, helped nature and everyone whom fate brought to him. He was old and chose to die by his own hand just to avoid prison when we confronted him.
Ropar: If he paid the full price for his mistakes, then maybe it was for the best. I thank you and I hope now I can find peace. I’m leaving, it looks like a thunderstorm is approaching… Goodbye.
He gives us 50 gold for our trouble and leaves. We continue to the smithy, where a young girl rushes toward us shouting my name.
Aegon: Slow down, breathless child! Who is tossing money about in hopes of finding me?
Chloe: Her name’s Officer Vai and she’s with the Flaming Fist. And you needn’t worry, she’s real nice!
Drake: Been a while since the fair officer passed through Beregost last. Well it can’t hurt to see her.
Aegon: Thank you, child. You have earned your gold piece. I will go to the Jovial Juggler and meet with Officer Vai shortly.
Chloe: Goo! You folks are real nice. Momma says the Sword Coast needs some real heroes, these days… Tymora be with you, okay?
Xan: A wise man once said: pity the land in need of heroes. I pity the heroes…
A Flaming Fist officer could be a useful ally in our hunt for the bandits. We will go to the smithy first, we can see the officer later. Outside we find an old man waiting for us. I think I’ve seen him before. On our way to the Friendly Arm Inn for the first time.
Aegon: I was not aware my actions were common knowledge.
Elminster: Perhaps not common knowledge, but everything is plain for those that know where to look. As it is, I am aware of thine efforts and accomplishments. Thou art quite adept, as Gorion predicted. All that remains is to determine motive.
Aegon: Gorion? You knew him? But you said nothing before?
Elminster: ‘Twas neither the place nor the time for such things. As painful as the circumstances may have been, it was time for thee to forge thine own path. One of the most valuable lessons that life has taught me is when NOT to go sticking my pipe in other people’s affairs. Such is the case now as well.
Aegon: But you could tell me so much, about Gorion and myself alike. Please, stay a while.
Elminster: I fear I cannot. Self discovery is best left to the self, and all thy questions will be answered in time. I will offer a small tidbit of information, though thou hast likely heard the same from another source already. The bandits that thou dost seek make a habit of travelling in the northeast. A search in that direction will no doubt yield fruitful results. With this, I shall take my leave.
The old mage is gone before I can say anything else. That was Elminster. The most powerful wizard in all the realms. I’ve read more about him than any other. He was the reason I took on the Weave and why I became a patron of Corellon.
All this time he was a friend of my father’s? And he’s taking an interest in my path? What have I been chosen for?
Drake is now curious to know more about my path.
Aegon: He killed my foster father, Gorion.
Drake: Ah. That’s quite a reason to be after him, all right. So what do you intend to do should you succeed in finding him, then?
Aegon: I want to know why he killed Gorion, and why he’s after me.
Drake: Ah, yes. I suppose you’ll see no rest so long as he’s after your blood.
Have you considered what kind of man this armoured foe of yours is? Do you know anything of him, outside of your desire for revenge?
Aegon: If you saw the black, twisted armor he wore, and the cruel eyes beneath his helmet, you’d know he’s pure evil.
Drake: Fair enough. I was only curious to see if you had considered if this enemy of yours truly deserves justice. It’s good to see you’ve thought this through, at least.
The world’s not so simple as to separate good and evil as your friends and enemies, Aegon… I just hope you realize that.
But I think I’ve poked at your intentions and personal matters enough this time. I’ll leave you to your thoughts… for now.
My thoughts? My thoughts are that the bastard murdered my father. He will die by my hand and my hand only.
We go into the inn and talk to Taerom Fuiruim. He notices the ankheg shell we have in our Bag.
Rose: Hardly a fair price for the trouble I went through to get it. Double your offer and consider it done.
Taerom Fuiruim: Whoa! Iron is not so scarce as to make me that desperate! 500 gold or nothing, and you can take it or leave it!
Rose: I suppose I will take it.
Taerom Fuiruim: Ah, this will make a fine suit of plate for a governor or better. Nobility like exotic materials and don’t care much about the price. Probably close to 20,000 gold for a tenday’s work when I’m finished. I may survive this iron shortage after all.
About that iron shortage…
Rose: I’ve just come from Nashkel. I found this vial on one of the kobolds lurking in the mines; I think it might be what’s causing the iron to break.
Taerom Fuiruim: You found it, just like that? Well that certainly does ‘illuminate’ things, doesn’t it?
Rose: I thought maybe you could use it to find a way to reverse the effects?
Taerom Fuiruim: I couldn’t, no. But I know someone who can. Give me a few day, and I should have some results.
Drake asks him to look at his new helmet.
Drake: Would you mind looking at this helmet for me? It grants me immunity from magics of influence but I was hoping you could enhance the protection it gives.
Taerom Fuiruim: Ah, yes, a Helm of Charm Protection, is it? Of quality smithing, too. You say you are looking to have it provide you more protection? That is possible, but I would need several more items to do so. A Ring of Princes, an opal, and, 5,000 gold to shoulder the costs. What do you say?
Drake: Sounds like a worthwhile offer, but I must reconsider, for now.
While Drake tries to make a better deal, Rose talks about home.
Rose: Dunno what I should do.
Aegon: Even it’s not properly an advice, you can confide in me if you want, if it can make you feel better.
Rose: Well, y’see… My parents and I used to live in Athkatla all together, even if my dad was almost never at home with us… Busy with the work and stuff. My mother had to care about me with the help of the nanny… Not that we were rich or important or anything, it’s just that since father had some money he thought it could be best for us to not be alone at home.
My father’s the one who always prevented me from trying to get a role in the playhouse… He’s the kind of person who just wants to see others follow his lead but, y’know, he was caring in his own way. More than once I woke up with him looking me sleeping, after he came back. He loves mother a lot, too, and she him.
She always supported his choices about everything, were those good or bad, so she agreed on what I should’ve done with my life… And that hurt since I hoped she would have understood how I felt. At first, in my childhood, she was always so near to me, so nice… But as soon as I grew up a bit, she started to grow colder and colder every year. Seemed a bit sad, like swallowed in her own world.
Oh, Aegon, I miss them so much… I don’t wanna end my adventuring life, but I’d really like to see them sometimes.
Aegon: I can’t promise much, but if we ever end up close enough to Athkatla we could pay them a visit… How does it look?
Rose: That would be really nice…
Thanks, Aegon. Both for the offer and for listening.
It seems I am taking on the role of confidant today, as Xan wants to vent as well.
Aegon: We’ve met a few friendly faces on the road, as I recall.
Xan: Really? Somehow, my memory seems fuzzy.
Just think about it. When we – that is, you – liberated the mines, the townsfolk’s reaction was only too predictable: a reward, a feast, a very pointed goodbye. Nobody cared if you were injured or exhausted, nobody asked us to stay – and the temple’s services were as costly as ever.
It is just the same with others. Nobody understands those who choose the Life as well as their fellows – but we attack them with equal ferociousness; sometimes with barely a few words exchanged. Will it remain like this forever? Or, perhaps, I am simply longing for home?
Aegon: People become suspicious in these troubled times; this is only natural.
Xan: Am I wrong in wishing for more? For… recognition?
Ah, but never mind me. True heroes need no reward – it’s just I am not a hero.
Aegon: You are a very doomed hero.
He sighs again.
Xan: Am I? Doomed, certainly… but a hero, no.
That sword he carries says otherwise, and he knows it. But I decide not to press the issue. Trying to give a pessimist hope is an exercise in futility.
While we are here we also deliver the good news to the angriest of dwarves.
Aegon: We have solved the mystery of the mines of Nashkel.
Braegar: And you survived? Did you… find some iron?
Aegon: We have indeed. Look!
Braegar: Changed your mind, Aegon? 100 gold!
Aegon: Fine, 100 gold it is.
Braegar: By Moradin’s hammer! You know how to take advantage of a good deal! Here, let’s shake on it!
I am busy, Aegon. Thank you for your help.
Almost immediately Braegar starts to work the untainted iron. I think he is actually excited for once. Or not angry, at least.
We leave him to it. We have other business in the town. Our next stop is the Jovial Juggler. Time to see what the Flaming Fist wants with us.