28th of Flamerule 1482 DR
My Dearest E.B.
We took a short rest and then continued our exploration. Opening one of the doors we discovered, we found Yarno’s Lab with his connected Study/Bedroom. He was not at home when we first entered, but after a few minutes of poking around in his things, he came walking in. I’m not sure who was more surprised, Yarno or us. Yarno however, recovered first and quickly turned tail and fled. We gave pursuit with Gregori in the lead, following him through the cavern and into a passageway. Gregori finally caught up to Yarno in the old well room, where Yarno called for help and then cast a Hold Person upon the poor radäg, leaving him prey for the Red Brands who answered Yarno’s call. The Red Brands quickly converged upon Gregori, one of them managing to strike him. Eldon rushed forward and eviscerated the one who injured Gregori, while Xenya ran into them and cast a ThunderWave, bowling the remainder back away from Gregori. I conjured a Chromatic Orb and scored a hit on one, watching with some satisfaction as it burrowed into his chest, bursting it from within. Yarno had by this time scampered off, most likely to whine to his foul master over how his plans were upset. The last of the Red Brands, seeing how quickly his comrades had been dispatched, ran off after Yarno. Eldon was quick to give chase and quickly caught up to him. The Red Brand shortly came tumbling down the stairs and dashed his brains out on the stone landing. I found out later that Eldon had hamstrung him and he slipped and fell down the stairs. Eldon decided not to chase after the wizard alone and rejoined us. By this time the brothers had come up and Hazadad healed Gregori’s injury. We decided not to pursue the wizard as by this time, his lead was quite great, if only we had one of the 3/7th, we might have had a chance of tracking the scoundrel down.
We searched the bodies and the room they made their ‘barracks’, discovering 62 Lions, two potions, which later I identified one as a Healing and the other Invisibility, various foodstuffs, two Garnets which Eldon thought would bring 10 lions each, 15 BlueEyes, and 28 Falcons. Some of these were found in a oilskin bag suspended inside the well. We backtracked and ransacked Yarno’s rooms, finding several interesting items. It seems that Yarno has been attempting to brew potions of Invisibility, but thankfully without any success. I was unable to find the villain’s spellbook, but did find a Dwarfish journal, which detailed a magical mace, Er Mong, commissioned by a temple of Lathander. This divine weapon, was lost when the mines were collapsed as a possibly deliberate attempt to deny the mine and Er Mong from the evil hordes invading the Dwarven hold. I was able to secure a store of some reagents from Yarno’s lab, notably Dragon bile, powdered NightsBlade and some Mercury. We also found Yarno’s personal stash in his chest. This consisted of 130 lions, 180 Falcons, a silk pouch containing 5 Carnelians, 2 Peridots, and a Pearl. Eldon estimated the gems to be worth 180 Lions in total. Exploring the last of the doorways, we found the Red Brand’s ‘armory’, a pitiful store of substandard weapons and cloaks. We did discover a sealed door, Hazadad and Thran believed the runes to indicate undead sealed off within, so we bypassed it, only to discover that we later looped around and found the room behind it. This was the family crypt, which had several sarcophagus and a few skeletal guards. Upon entering the room, the guards animated and attacked us. We were able to put them down without any further injury to ourselves. Beyond that, we found a jail cell being guarded by two Red Brands, whom we quickly slew and released two human women and boy being held within. We found three platinum signet rings upon these, booty stolen from who knows where. I did not recognize the coat of arms on the signets. We decided to leave the ruins as there was naught left to fight or explore, except for the aberration living in the cavern. Eldon led the former prisoners out outside while the rest of us when back to the cavern, where Hazadad and Thran descended and dispatched the foul thing. Further study leads me to believe it was a Nothic, a foul devolution of a former wizard. Some of us E.B. delve into things best left unstudied. The Nothic had a treasure hoard, as its kind usually do, consisting of 120 Lions, 160 Falcons, two potions of Healing, a scroll with an Augury inscribed upon it, and a magical long sword. We were able to identify it as being called Talon, from the runes on the silver chased scabbard. The group eventually decided to give this to Gregori. He seemed pleased to bear the blade when I related it’s tale to him. Talon used to belong to Aldrich Tressendor, he who was known as the Black Hawk. The hawk fell while fighting Orcs below the manor and had been buried with his weapon. I suppose that the thing stole it from the crypt, as all know how their ilk covert magical items. There was also a handful of Alchemical grimores, and a faint necromantic aura about the crevasse. We left and soon joined with Eldon and the freed prisoners, one of whom was the missing herbalist’s wife (his son was the boy we freed). On the trip back she stated that she had nothing of value to offer. from where her family hailed from. She offered us a reward an emerald necklace, a family heirloom, located in the family herb and alchemy shop. That shop being in ThunderTree,a ruined city somewhat to the north.
Upon arriving back in town we reported to Sildar, who awarded us 200 lions for dispatching the Red Brands. We relaxed at the Inn while we split our loot and planned our next move. Between my research and Sildar’s information we found out that 500 years past, a group of Humans, Dwarves and Gnomes, banded together in the Phandelvers Pact, and created a forge, the Anvil of Spells, where mighty magical items could be crafted. We also found rumors that Agatha, the Ban Sidhe may have been connected to ConeyBerry at some point. We agreed to set off in the morning to clear the band of Orcs we had heard tell of.
During the relaxing and carousing we did after returning victorious, Thran approached his brother and me on behalf of a secret group, the Lords Alliance. Sildar had apparently spoken to Thran and Thran felt that the only members of our company worthy to join were his brother and I. We are now charged to seek out and combat evil where ever we may find it. We were each given code names, mine being Cloak and yes, a bit melodramatic I agree.
I shall write you further after we return from the foul radäg’s camp.