Start- 18 Flamerule, Early Morning , Dock Ward- The Warrens
An extract from the Diary of Silwe Torvalin Tarek my love; half of me doesn’t know why I still write this journal to you after so many years, yet even putting quill to parchment makes me smile and remember your face. Let my words here stand as a kind of prayer that we will one day be together again, if Sehanine wills it. I must also trust that you will understand why I decided to take ship so far over the ocean, placing ever more leagues betwixt us. I have written to you of Godrun before; the Abbot was once my only shield against the madness that came upon me after I escaped from Skullport and I would never abandon he to whom I owe so much. If I ever see you again, it will be because of this quiet man, who suffers unimaginable travails even as I write this. I told you before that Godrun is vampyre, as are all the monks of the Many Moons, yet they control their bloodlust with the Satient Fountain. I have seen this wonderous thing, but did not realise its purpose until the Abbot asked for my aid. An evil Lord, known as Serinwrath, has stolen the fountain and in doing so placed the whole of the Monastery of the Many Moons in hazard. This I cannot allow and so I have resolved to journey across the wide oceans; to the Moonshae Isles, and bring home my displeasure to him. Let us hope these isles are blessed to Sehanine, as their name implies! I have taken up with a band of adventurers; indeed they are the ones I wrote of before, that opposed the Shadowthieves and ended the vile reign of Olaskos. They are worthy men, as I know from watching them for months from my rooftop eyrie, yet I find it hard to talk to any after so long living in the shadows and haunting the rooftops of Waterdeep. How strange it is to think of the maiden I was when you met me; full of life and joy. I must hold fast to the fates and trust that one day I will be as I once was again. If you remember, I privately dubbed my new companions the ‘Company of the Silvertree’ because they serve that noblest of families. I joined them as they left The Warren and made for ‘The Maelstrom’; the stout ship of Hanna von Bastien. Yet even as we haunted the docks, waiting for the stevedores to finish loading her, there came a cry of alarm from the far end of the piers. Rushing forward, we saw that a ship had somehow caught ablaze belowdecks and as we stared in mute horror, a shrill cry gave voice to trapped people aboard. Wordlessly the Company did enter the bowels of the ship, though the flames and the smoke threatened us at every turn. Our avenue of escape was a wooden companionway and the noble Druid Olin began conjuring great gouts of water to protect the stairs, whilst Masters Winston, Owen, Oros, Walker and myself plunged into the murk, in a desperate race to find those who were trapped. It was a grim task and even as I ran I could feel my skin blister and my hair singe. Kyrai was held back by a blast of smoke and began coughing and gagging, but the rest of us were forced onward. Travis Walker smashed open a door at the end of a corridor and beyond we found a room and some respite from the smoke. There, huddling together, were a mother and two children; Sehanine be praised!! My heart almost burst as I saw them, but there was no time for talking, so I grabbed the girl and ran as the others followed with the boy and his mother in tow. The corridor had now become an image of hell, with Kyrai beaten back by a blast of flame that raged across said throughfare blocking our route and ended all hope of a simple escape. Indeed I could not even see him over the wall of fire and so tried a side door, opening it easily, Moon-goddess be praised. I crossed to another door, hoping it would also yield, for beyond it lay a way to the stairs; yet my hopes were dashed for the door was locked. I set the girl down calmly and was about to use the tools of my trade on the door, when Master Owen came barrelling out of the fug and planted a kick on the door, which spun off its hinges with a protesting scream. I was just summoning up my dignity when he disappeared through the open doorway. To add insult to injury, Master Walker came up from behind and took up the girl I had been carrying and bore her away to the stairs before I could so much as gasp. Truly, this was a day for brawn over brain I muttered! I must admit that it was now that my courage almost failed me; for so hot was it below-decks that I had little hope that the stairs could have survived. Yet wonder of wonders, Master Olin had conjured an elemental; a man of living water no less and it had saved the companionway! I must admit that I did not stop to thank him as I vaulted the stairs after the others; Kyrai, who had bravely stayed behind to ensure we all escaped, followed in my wake. Ah; the cool air above was like the Diamondraught brewed by my father, and I breathed deeply. Yet the fire threatened both dock and other ships still and so we quickly formed a plan to prevent further harm; I had once seen a ship scuttled in the harbour, when a merchant refused to pay his taxes and so the port authority sank his ship. They did so by opening the seacocks; strange plugs below the waterline that allow the hull to fill with water. Master Olin, upon hearing of this, transformed himself into a many armed sea-creature (I must ask him how he does that) and soon had said plug opened; with the aid of a rope and a heft by the rest of the company. In a minute the ship was resting on the bottom of the dock berth; her masts and main deck still well above the water but the fire now out. I have no doubt her owner can repair her with a few doughty carpenters and a full purse. The next few days are a blur; I was below-decks for the first day of our voyage, for my lungs were scarred and I felt sick with smoke, as did the others. I washed my clothes and my self, though I fear the smell of smoke is yet heavy upon both. I passed the next few days talking to Master Olin, whose magic had so impressed me. Indeed gave him the wand I took from Olasko’s lackey to examine, and he pronounced it a Wand of Shielding. This sounds a good thing for one such as myself to bear and so I will ask Master Walker to enspell me with it if we come to battle in the future. And mayhap others in the company can also profit from it? That night; three days after we had set sail, brought grim tidings. Kyrai Oros had been aiding the crew in their labours and had by his deeds gained their trust. So it was with some surprise that he reported to us over dinner that the crew planned a mutiny. We had been given a choice; join the fight against Hanna von Bastien, who the first mate described as cruel and greedy, or go into the hold to await the conclusion of the affair. The conspirators also mentioned a cargo of gems to Kyrai, perhaps to sweeten the plot. Yet still my heart misgave me. As the others debated what to do, one thought fixed in my mind; if the captain is so cruel, why did the crew take ship with her? Are they on this boat of their own free will or are they somehow in thrall? If they are here willingly, then this plot is pure piracy, harsh captain or no; for the choice to take this berth was theirs and they doubtless knew their captain’s reputation. Either way, what these men plan can only end badly and I fear for the Company in the next few hours. I myself am minded to side with the Captain; cruel or not, for it is she who has the ship pointed at the Moonshaes and if she is overthrown, will we still be borne there? I would not trust to the promises of a band of oathbreakers so we must be careful. Blessed Moon-maiden; guide my hand in the next few hours!
End- 19 Flamerule, Late Evening , The Maelstrom- The Sea of Swords