Excerpt from the Journal of Arranis Amakiir:
Early Dawn, 18 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)
After our feather fall down with the aid of my arcane energies, the party ran into the central tower once the drakes guarding it were distracted by Dancer. With no time to waste, since we did not know when the guards would come, the group quickly sized up the situation. The room we were in was empty, with an adjoining room and a stairwell upstairs. I made some of the party invisible while I hid myself and they traveled upstairs to scout out the situation.
In the upstairs room there was an elf and several lizardmen. Dancer gave Snapjaw the signal to begin his attack on the bullywugs and soon enough we heard war drums signaling the beginning of battle. At that point, Bloom ran upstairs disguised as SnapJaw and tried to convince the lizardmen that the Cult was killing them all. A battle ensued in which several lizardmen joined us but those loyal to the elf did not.
While the battle raged upstairs, I noticed a man in red robes with tattoos on his head come out of the adjoining room and make his way out of the tower. I was unsure if this was important or not but I did end up reporting it to my comrades later. Gabriel confirmed my thoughts that this was a Red Wizard of Thay.
After the battle had been won, Bloom (as Snapjaw) sent the surviving lizardfolk out to fight.
We recovered the elf’s magical shield that did not require hands to use and although as a wizard I was fascinated and eager to wield it, I was ultimately overruled on the usefulness of using it. Instead, Ruisar now has two shields. If nothing else, it should at least cause confusion in any combatants he would face in the future. That being said I will have to study the enchantments in greater detail when I have a chance.
I was surprised however to learn that the elf was a member of Eldreth Veluuthra, a group of elves dedicated to the removal of all humans from Faerûn. I suppose the Cult has ammased not only treasure, but allies, too.
When we explored the rest of the tower, we discovered the Farseer of Illusk, but were set upon by gargoyles defending it. We were broken and bloody but not defeated as we finally used the Farseer to discover that Voaraghamanthar was actually two dragons! A wondrous discovery that needs to be propagated before the knowledge can be quelled. This made it clear to me why he had not killed us outright. With the Cult in the castle, he couldn’t attack and destroy the contraption himself and thus appear to betray the Cult of the Dragon if Tiamat were to return, but instead used us for his dirty work. I wonder if he’ll claim ignorance about the lizardfolk’s plans to overturn the bullywugs. Snapjaw informed us later that he sent a few lizardfolk to tell him of the bullywugs’ demise and of the cult’s retreat from the castle.
But I get ahead of myself. We also discovered a cave of unknown import that the Farseer was also looking at. Perhaps another one of the passages the cult uses to bring their treasures here. At that point Bloom obliterated the Farseer!!! Then Ruisar helped him! A destruction that left my heart aquiver. Such a powerful artifact for gaining knowledge destroyed in front of me… in an instant…. I almost couldn’t handle it.
Until I remembered the bookshelves downstairs.
I quickly descended to go back and scan the bookshelves and discover the secrets of the Tower. The books weren’t particularly useful – none that I haven’t read already. But there was a chest that drew my attention. Unfortunately, the conniving red mage had trapped his items and I triggered them… twice.
Once I was brought back to consciousness by Robbie (or perhaps Gabriel, I cannot remember), the group was truly in dire straits. Our spells for the day were gone, and we all looked one foot in the grave. Ruisar had set the bookshelves on fire, but I was too exhausted and confused to admonish him for it!
Somehow we managed to escape the tower and the battle that was raging all around us in the castle. Bullywugs were being slaughtered by the angry lizardfolk in every direction. Arrows were flying at us, weapons were seconds away from impact with our heads before we ducked… It is all a blur, really and not at all dissimilar to the fight in the Wide where I first met Ruisar and Bloom.
Before I could truly collapse from exhaustion and my wounds, we reached the safety of the Lizardfolk huts. It is in one of them that we rested while I identified the treasures we had discovered. Eight hours later, we were mended, healed, rested and ready to continue.
Afternoon, 18 Marpenoth 1489 (Year of the Warrior Princess)
The Red Wizard’s journal held a lot of important information which put the cult’s plans into perspective, and now that Snapjaw told us the castle is secured, we must find more information about Rezmir, Agrivaine and of course, we need to kill Pharblex Splattergoo, the leader of the Bullywugs!