(Character notes, Session 1, June 3, 2018) [EXCERPTS from Journal of Tristavyrr Fäergwynn]
18th Kythorn 1489 DR
Travelling since last night. After what happened, I remain cautious, fearful even. It broke my heart to take my possessions and steal into the night, like a criminal, like I were ashamed. I am certainly not ashamed of anything in my family’s past, least of all him! But nor am I stupid. If they were willing to take such a chance as to confront me so close to the Conclave, who might I endanger by remaining? No, I am taking the wisest course. I seem to be making good time and I have met only a few other souls on the roads. No one seems to pay me the slightest attention. The roads and paths are in good repair and the summer air is comfortable. I have been enjoying some lovely vistas as I have rambled through the verdant countryside. The wildlife is plentiful and the general atmosphere is quite placid. Moreover, I do not see signs that I am being pursued. Still, I will be happy to reach Greenest, and my friend Cloisienne. Together we will sort out all of this recent madness and all will be well.
19th Kythorn 1489 DR
Today I made not one but three new travelling companions. The first gentleman, who I met on the path this morning, is an open-faced and good-natured dwarf by the name of Wenmuk. I was a little alarmed when first we met because he mentioned the Cult of the Dragon quite literally in the first moments of our acquaintance, but he seems a likeable fellow and has given me no reason to suspect that he is with THEM. I will certainly try to find out more about his connection to the cult. The second and third gentlemen, both humans, came as a pair, though my impression is that they have only started travelling together recently. I gather they have teamed up to make the journey easier, like Wenmuk and myself. They just turned up at our camp and made themselves at home. Mario is a tanned blur of smiles and genial ramblings, and appears to be an open book. His companion, the rheumatic D’handara, could not be any more different. The weathered gent is gruff, though not quite impolite, but I sense that his curmudgeonly and disjointed appearance may hide something of the shrewd schemer. In all, however, four make the journey more companionable– and certainly safer– than one.
20th Kythorn 1489 DR
This morning over breakfast and increasingly frequent outbursts from D’handara, a newcomer approached our camp. He was noticeably cagey and was at first unwilling to share in a cup of tea or even to tell us his name, least of all his reasons for travelling to Greenest. In fairness, this may be due to my esteemed companions drawing weapons at his approach. (In present circumstances, I do not begrudge them this, despite my general preference for tranquility.) The gentleman, rather to my surprise, agreed to join us in travelling toward Greenest and Mario, ever the loquacious butterfly, was able to prise a name from this new man during our (very long) last few miles of travel. Eltrix, as he calls himself, led us 90° off-course and lengthened a two-hour journey to eight hours! It was foolish of me not to consult the map before we broke camp. I will be certain not to make that error again. I felt particularly badly for old D’handara, who walks with a rather pronounced limp and has only the sight of one eye. Not to mention that eight hours of complaints about cheese and bad jokes from certain party members was making us all a little cross!
As we travelled and chatted amiably, I was able to subtly (I hope!) inquire from Wenmuk regarding the nature of his interest in the Cult of the Dragon. The poor man’s father was recently taken from him and his dying request to his son somehow relates to the cult. It appears Wenmuk’s father was a participant in that unspeakable organization, though apparently a penitent one. I had just reached my hand out to offer condolences to my new friend when we crested the final hill overlooking our destination.
The sunset over the dense woods to the west was particularly striking– rendered in shades of pink, red and gold. Unfortunately, these spectacular hues were created by the presence of fire and smoke over the village itself and, in any case, the luminous effect was rather spoiled by the shadow of an enormous dragon laying waste to the buildings and people below.
We barely had a moment to register the gruesome tableau when to my surprise, D’handara –the grouchy old geezer– unsheathed his weapon, cast a magical spell and, dispensing with his limp, galloped toward the beast without so much as a backwards glance for the rest of us.