18 Eleasis 1372
1832 days have passed
Tuck had managed to kill the fleeing hobgoblin and returned to us. We tied the sleeping hobgoblin up as well as the bleeding bugbear. Danjo woke the bugbear up and tried to communicate with it, to no avail. The bugbear did not understand us, and we could not collectively speak a language it did understand. Finding the wounded bugbear useless, Danjo quickly ended his life with a quick stroke of his blade. I was not familiar with the type of blade he used, but he certainly handled it with finesse.
The now-waking hobgoblin witnessed this execution and stayed very calm and compliant, even though he, too, did not understand our language. Danjo made some hand gestures to the hobgoblin indicating that if he fled, he would die. The hobgoblin seemed to understand. We took him with us to turn him over to authorities.
The following day, we came upon a truly horrific sight. Another caravan of wagons, circled, and clearly ravaged. The bodies had been tied up and defiled. I lost focus on my surroundings and continued to walk forward. I could not hear my companions call to me. Had bandits been waiting, they surely would’ve gotten the jump on me. Though after what I witnessed, I would have relished welcoming them appropriately.
I cut the bonds that kept the bodies bound and freed what remained of the corpses. Their bones at rest, I held one hand and made a plea to Hoar. Please, let me find the lawless monsters who would commit such a heinous act that I may reap the seeds of revenge sown here. These were people with families, with futures, and all of that had been stolen from them and worse, they lived their last moments in shame and agony. I begged Hoar to please guide me, please call upon me to right this injustice. I would make them regret being born.
I couldn’t take it any longer. I had managed to compose myself and approach the grisly scene, but the rush of emotions overwhelmed me. I drew my hammer and proceeded to smash the wooden sawhorses that the bodies were previously bound to. The physical release would have normally helped me to calm down, but I was still furious. I grabbed the hobgoblin and dragged him to the bodies. Drawing my blade, I made it clear to him that if he had anything to do with this, his life was forfeit. He obviously didn’t respond to my shouting, waving my blade around, or kicking him in the face. Still unsatisfied, I spit in his face and walked away. Danjo, meaning well, sought to calm me. He placed his hand on my shoulder and tried to speak to me. It took all of my willpower to just push his arm away and not outright break his wrist. We have only been together a few days, I do not trust you to touch me, stranger. Next time, I might not hold back.
We left the caravan wreckage and began back South. In the middle of the next night, Tuck released our hobgoblin prisoner in an effort to learn where he was camped at. Three of us had been told to chase him to the North and we did as we were told. We were instructed to go an hour North, then return South while Tuck, Sahil, and Danjo tried to follow the hobgoblin’s tracks. Shino and Enalda both realized after running for a short time, that splitting up in the desert like this was a suicidal idea and that we should regroup immediately. It was fortunate that we did, as Tuck and Sahil found the hobgoblin’s track headed East, not North.
We made our way further East until we came across the hobgoblin’s dead body. Though we didn’t learn the exact location of his encampment, we knew the general direction and marked our location on our map for future reference. Danjo and Tuck spoke of a magic spell that would force the hobgoblin’s head to answer questions even after it had died, so they severed the head and carried it with them.
We traveled back West to the main road when we were set upon by another monsoon rain, this time without the flash flood. Our supplies sufficiently protected and covered, we were able to make it through without losses.
The following night we traveled down the road, when out from the ground burst two large black creatures. Sandstone gargoyles, I came to learn. They were tough beasts with thick hides, sharp claws wings, and a horn that came to a point. I became familiar with the horn part quickly, as the creature near Enalda and I attempted to impale me and left a sizable wound. I called upon Hoar to heal my wounds before returning the attack with an impaler of my own: the pointed side of my hammer. I struck hard and true, but the beast’s flesh resisted more than I anticipated and my attack didn’t have the effect I had expected. Enalda shielded me with her divine protection and struck the creature, having the same problem I did. Seeing this, I channeled Hoar’s fury upon the creature, and he guided my next swing through the natural defenses of this chaotic creature and I struck it straight to its core. The creature looked at me almost as if it was in disbelief. After another strike from my hammer, the creature had enough and flew away. I made an attempt to strike it with one of my javelins, but it was much too high.
In the meantime, our four other companions had managed to put the other gargoyle to sleep and kill it that way. The threat was gone and we moved on.
Smoke plumed over the horizon the next day. A raiding party had just set another caravan of wagons on fire. At Tuck’s suggestion, we all hunkered down and simply observed them. They went East, just like the hobgoblin. Once they were completely out of sight, we went to the burning caravan. Danjo and Shino’s attempt to put out the fire ended in disaster, as the water the poured mixed with and alchemical solution on the wagons and exploded. Enalda and I helped the two of them away from the fire and explosions and we decided to leave towards Lastarr with our hides intact. On the way, we saw another raiding party, but made sure to pick up the pace until they were out of sight once more.
At the gates of Lastarr, we were met by a very intimidating welcoming party. They meant business. We were encircled, told to lay down our weapons and explain ourselves. After explaining our purpose, the old man who seemed to be the leader, explained the laws of Lastarr to us and welcomed us in.
Inside the gates, we were quickly set upon by a crowd of people. I grew nervous as more and more people stared at us, calling my sister and I out directly, demanding answers to why noone could travel the roads and how come we were the only ones who could. We did our best to make our way through with minimal panic, but it was very difficult. I could feel my heart racing.
We went to the temple of Lucha to discuss having the spell cast on the head. After much deliberation, it became clear that this temple had no clue about the other temple’s operations, and would not aid us without compensation. The temple of Waukeen was a very similar result, 600 gold pieces to have the spell cast right away. This was too much and I grew very impatient, pacing around the room.
Once the talks were finally over, Sahil and I made our way to the market for information. Information was the entire purpose of our trip, after all. We sought out an alchemist and paid him 5 gold pieces to help us identify the black ooze we had seen burning the caravan. He called it “phlogiston” and said that when the ingredients are mixed together and water is added, it creates a violent reaction that explodes and burns. He said it was a fairly difficult concoction to come by, but not impossible. Sahil seems like a very bright young man, taking this information in and pondering it carefully.
At the end of the day, we went to rest at the Eye, an inn with very exotic entertainment and even more exotic clientele. A beholder barkeep and a Drow maitre d. My sister and I rented a room together and left the others to figure out what they wanted. In the center of this giant arena, a goblin troupe played a war drum beat. They had very admirable drumming ability. This was follower by a necromancer, summoning undead to play music underwater. How strange, indeed.