The Beast Stirs

4th Day of The Melting, 1479
Rakkar Oakwood

Twentieth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

I’m not bitter, but keeping a man of my nature cooped up all the time lends for a disgruntled druid. So when I ask for a replacement, I don’t mean by way of death. This will be marked as a grim day in the history of the company. I think we’re all just moving on emotions right now, some of us more so than others – my campfire companion being the most heated of them. I’m keeping watch for us right now, not that I could sleep anyway. Captains dead, and I’m pissed.

As per Captain’s orders, I’ve been reading passages of the annals to our brothers once a week to invigorate our resolve and ground our sense of purpose. Not just within the company, but in this world. It’s worked to some degree, but I think that now, more than ever, we need to stick together – even if it means chasing after fledgling maniacs.

Tonight’s readings came from the year 1391, from the first recorded entry in these annals. The author was Corfer Bittlewold who, from what’s recorded, was a newer member fighting to survive. They were entrenched outside the mad wizard Ostegrath’s tower. It was during the years just following the Spellplague. They were trying to break through, but were being decimated by creatures of unknown origins. You could clearly see in his writing he was desperate, laying everything out there as if he knew he was going to die. Before I could finish my readings, an explosion fired off from outside our hall. Yorril’s alchemy lab blew. Seemed as if we had another Zook on our hands, except this time the suspected culprit was sitting within eye shot. But this was no accident. Soon after, so too did our forging and woodworking stations. That’s when we knew Easting, or more importantly, we were under attack.

The explosions were a decoy to lure us away from them breaking through the main gate. Soon some twenty or so men and these dragon-dog-like creatures came storming in. While most everyone took their damn time figuring out what the hell was going on or were putting out the fires, myself and the meathead known as Zombie took on the bulk of the horde. By the time we finally got some support, those sons-a-bitches blasted down the south wall and another few dozen of them attacked from our flank. Those that weren’t engaging us were looting anything they could find and shove in their packs.

With our forces split and more men spilling in through the gate, we made our retreat back to the hall. Ethalus and Khallid were knocked out in the process, so it slowed our progress. Captain fended them off in an impressive display of swordsmanship, but not well enough. As we all funneled into the hall, I failed our Captain – my Captain – in getting to his side to support. Before I could reach him, he took a solid blow to the head and fell. Taking to the spirit of the giant eagle, I grabbed hold of him and got him aloft, but those ants were relentless in taking him down. They cleaved his dangling left leg clear off above the kneecap and part of his left arm too.

Once we were out of reach, they seemed to completely forget about the rest of the company within the halls and continued pillaging the merchant stalls. It’s like they knew that the layout of the town and had to have known about us being here as well, otherwise why target our stations? They knew that’d serve as a sound distraction. Within minutes of looting, they were back out and marching off north in a hurry. Horse-drawn wagons carted away their plunders.

With the Captain lying dead before us, the lot of us were in utter shock and disbelief. All save for Zombie. I swear that devilspawn’s rage is eternal. Despite Oswith’s command to recover before mobilizing, he took off north chasing after them even with the threat of breaking his oath with the company. While I can’t say I don’t blame him, as acting Captain, Oswith was well within his right to make that statement.

After paying our respects to the Captain, we surveyed the damages and what was stolen, and more importantly looked for clues into who these attackers were. The only distinguishing marks were on the rods some of the men carried. They had the sigil of “Flamebrand” scribed onto their handles. I thought I had noticed some fire coming from them, but I was too busy mauling scores of them to death. Other than that, the dragon-dogs were notably from some fire breed. But as for who they were associated with or sent from, not a scant clue. That is until sleuth detective Ordonis managed to get his hands on the burnt remains of a piece of parchment beyond the wall. It took some time, but Oswith eventually mended the piece whole enough to recognize most of the text. Our suspicions were true: this was a planned attack and they knew full well we were here, though their intentions were only to harm us and not take us out. Simply loot and scoot. They poked their dicks at the wrong damn bees nest.

Also on the note, it made mention of the town of Greenest as the next target. Greenest is a two day trek west of Easting. We quickly set in motion a plan of action: Deelia would lead a group west to Easting to warn them of the impending attack. I would take to the air north to scout after those that attacked us to see where they were headed. I failed to mention to everyone that I would also make sure Zombie didn’t live up to his name. If these annals have taught me just one thing, it’s to look after your brethren. The rest of the company would remain in town to look after the wounded and keep a watchful eye.

With nightfall quickly upon us, it didn’t take long for the raiders to settle for the evening. Either downright stupid or unsuspecting that anyone would dare follow them, they lit up campfires without any attempt at camouflage. Unfortunately, the wagons and their horses were no where to be found. I flew around for a short while, but was unable to make out any sign of them. Either they took a very discrete passage within the mountains or knew of a cave entrance that led underground.

Seeing all of their men bunched up so closely to one another gave me the warm and fuzzies. Or the static and discharge. They needed to pay for what they did, and by the wrath of Tempus, they would feel pain. I found Zombie trailing them in the distance. He seemed eager to exact his revenge, so I allowed him the opportunity to share in their bloodshed.

Once they were good and asleep, I called down a storm of lightning inside their camp causing them to scurry about like little ants. I could have let them just completely fry within the storm, but it’s so much more fun to rip their throats out. I think Zombie was trying to keep up with me as he kept yelling out the number of them he sliced his great sword through. Serious mental case he is. Soon enough they were all dead save for two that managed to flee. We tracked down one of them. Conveniently, the little piss ant was a hired hand and knew nothing about the reason for the attacks other than their objective to loot, retreat, and then move on to Greenest to do the same damn thing. I think they’ll be in for a surprise in that Greenest is a little more fortified than our small town of Easting.

It’s about time for Zombie to take his turn at watch. I think I’ll have a bird shit on his head to wake him. For the Captain, of course.

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22nd Day of Deepwinter, 1478
Author: Rakkar Oakwood

Nineteenth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

A new mad scientist has joined our ranks. A Half-Elf by the name of Yorril Silvertread. His talents came highly recommended, but he has a dark past involving the death of his wife and son. Captain seems to think he’s a good man and believes his story that he was not to blame. I trust Captains judgement on people. For the most part, all of our men are good people with some sort of hazy past that led them to join us, seeking to get away from the more civilized – and ruley – city states of the Sword Coast.

Two days ago a creature of rare sight came into town seeking us out. A Dragonborn of all things. Not the sort of creature you see all that often. He seemed vindicated to prove his worth to us and right some wrongs from his past, or in the world. I don’t know. He’s one of them kooky servants of the Gods. You never know what the hell they’re going to do. Weirdest yet, he insists on being called Stormageddon. If it were up to me, I’d have him go bunk with Zombie. They’ll be a perfect match for each other – Devil meets Holy Beast.

Can someone else please take up this pen?

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15th Day of Leaffall, 1477
Author: Rakkar Oakwood

Eighteenth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

Sad to report that Zook lived up to his reputation. Not sure what that crazy gnome was up to, but he blew up his whole damn shop, himself included. The area around his shop is being cordoned off limits until the host of toxic vapors dissipates into the air and kills flocks of my feathered friends. Blasted Gnome.

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5th Day of The Highsun, 1477
Author: Rakkar Oakwood

Seventeenth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

Our company has fallen to its lowest headcount in recorded history of these annals. Captain asked me to make a written record of our companies’ current status, stating our brethren’s names, and notating what areas of expertise we are short on. We’re short on people that want to be cooped up inside writing down this nonsense!

Captain Sethrin – forty-something, Human – Master Bladesman
1st Lieutenant Oswith Tullin – 37, Human – Master of the Arcane and Prime Acolyte
2nd Lieutenant Deelia – 82, Elf – Master Hunter and Fletcher
Rakkar Oakwood – 41, Human – Self-Appointed Title of Grandmaster Druid and Reluctant Historian
Grenth Cobble – 26, Halfling – Quickfingers and Locksmith
Xavier Tunn – 28, Human – Servant of the Gods [which one(s), I care not]
Zombie – unknown, Goliath – Barbaric Man Child of the Devil
Zook Bogook – 91, Gnome – Master Apothecary Who Blows Everything Up
Ordonis – unknown, Gnome – Fruit Vendor and Mushroom Dealer
Khalid Rumnaheim – 38, Dwarf – The “Kid” Armorsmith
Ethalus Voltor – 20s, Elf – new recruit and Apprentice to Oswith
Lyr(a) – 20s, Half-Elf – new recruit and Keeper of the Shadows

Needs:

Someone else to take to the pen
A Druid who is doesn’t mind being cooped up indoors
More work taking us into the woodlands

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27th Day of The Melting, 1474
Author: Rakkar Oakwood

Sixteenth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

Leaving a druid to record your companies’ history is a pretty foolish. That’s all I have for now.

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12th Day of Summertide, 1471
Author: Rakkar Oakwood

Fifteenth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

And so the pen changes hands once more. We can’t be certain, but we have reasonable suspicions that T’Lain betrayed us. The last caravan that left for Waterdeep has not returned and none of my feathered friends have seen any sign of them. He was acting far too pushy to get as much cargo loaded for the trek than seemed appropriate. Even if the team were to have run into trouble, we’ve found no trace of our distress globe released anywhere. Which means either they were set up, or something extremely foul got the best of them – and faster than any of them were able to move. I’m naturally suspicious of that.

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10th Day of The Claw of Storms, 1470
Author: T’Lain Dour

Fourteenth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

The allure of Easting has already begun to fade for the entrepreneurs of the Sword Coast. The last few years have been remarkably peaceful and we’ve been forced to suspend our recruiting efforts as work is minimal. Our craftsman continue to produce some of the finest wares you’ll find in the area, but with there being less people drawn to Easting, we’re forced to make the trek to Baldur’s Gate or Waterdeep to make any reasonable amount of coin from them. I plan on joining the next caravan out. It’s been a while since I’ve left these walls. The fresh air will do me well.

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13th Day of The Rotting, 1467
Author: T’Lain Dour

Thirteenth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

It’s been quite some time since I logged our companies’ activities. There’s been little to report for the last few years. Some odd jobs here and there, but largely we’ve been going through a transitionary period within the company. From reading through these chronicles, it seems we had lost our way somewhat. We used to house masters of each craft, to promote self-sufficiency. That got lost somewhere around the times of the Spine. No longer. Captain Sethrin has offered quite a sum of gold to bring craftsman in to Easting, if not to join the company, then to stimulate the this town into a more bustling trade hub. And it’s working.

You’d think we were in the heart of Waterdeep with all these fine artisan goods in one place. While there’s been an influx of tradesman here, very few have made the cut to get into our company. We need men who can not only create goods, but use them in the field. Either way, this has been a boon for Easting and for the company. Having a supplemental source of coin coming our way is absolute genius.

In other news, one of the Open Lords of Waterdeep, a man by the name of Dagult Neverember, has assumed the position of Lord Protector of Neverwinter. They’ve begun a massive rebuilding project. I can only hope good things for those people, they’ve been through far too long of troubles.

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1st Day of The Claw of Sunsets, 1464
Author: T’Lain Dour

Twelfth Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

That didn’t take long and all. Through calculated subterfuge, coordinated alongside a trio of Waterdeep’s artfully skilled masters of the shadow (as he calls them – they’re assassins, don’t believe for a second that these Lords don’t have those sorts on their payroll), we managed to put an end to Herzgo. His son took control of the city, but quickly lost favor. The people of Neverwinter loosely ruled themselves while a selection of Lords from Waterdeep rotated duties to keep peace – and collect taxes.

Waterdeep lived up to his promise – we were rewarded richly and will be living like kings. At least for a few years. I could use some time off.

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22nd Day of The Drawing Down, 1463
Author: T’Lain Dour

Eleventh Chronicle of the Order of the Phoenix, Free Company of the Sword Coast

Trouble in Neverwinter never ceases to end. Herzgo Alegni, a tiefling in command of a host of Shadovar and Netherese soldiers, took much credit for our work and gained the favor of the Neverwinter people. He quickly seized the opportunity of its rulership being weakened to grasp control of New Neverwinter. News quickly spread to Waterdeep, but with it’s political connections to the city, they failed to act. Shortly thereafter, we received a writ to aid the people of Neverwinter. While we are ruled by no one, the size of the bounty was unlike anything we’ve seen in these times and was impossible to pass up. Besides that, we’re always up for putting down dogs from the Shadowfell.

We’re on route now by sea and should arrive within a tenday.

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