The Neverwinter Knights

The Journal of Fawkes Hamelain #4
We investigate the town of Daggerford...

Mirtull 4, 1480 DR

Western Heartlands, Town of Daggerford

At the Dragonback Inn

Our cups run over with ale this night! Despite the initially gloomy reception we received upon our arrival in Daggerford, the Dragonback Inn has proved a welcoming oasis in this town. We are hosted by Thali Orespeaker, a red nosed bald headed dwarf who keeps a damned fine stock of ale. He has good reason to keep us happy. It seems that aside from the local drunk, we are the first customers poor Thali has had in quite some time.

The rumors of the blight cursing the town have turned out to be more than true. No citizens of Daggerford walk the common streets openly for fear of catching the disease. When our boat first made way past the town we feared the entire population had been killed. The only sign of life was the distinct stench of an active tannery at the western edge of Daggerford by the river. We disembarked and after I knocked a few times we were met by a man who introduced himself as Arvil.

He seemed shocked to see us – or anybody – coming to visit him. When we explained to him we were adventurers and here to help the town, he told us the nature of this blight which has come over Daggerford and the surrounding farmlands. They call it the burning plague. First a fever develops, the skin turns red, and finally the victim is covered in boils as the fever burns them up from the inside. It affects plants as well as men and beasts, killing much of the spring crop and cattle which was needed to feed the town. He assured us that all were not dead however, they merely sheltered in there homes only moving when absolutely necessary.

We thanked him for the information and brought our boat up river to the proper docks. It seems we had been spotted on our earlier scouting pass of the town as now a small man stood at the end of the docks waiting to greet us. At first I mistook the fellow for a halfling but upon closer inspection he was in matter of fact a gnome! His name is Raffin and he was hoping we might be traders with a boat of stocked goods ready to relieve the town. We told him what we had told Arvil: we are here to help.

He was disappointed at first, but we assured him that while we did not have food stuffs we did at least have gold to trade which he said would please the merchants in town who have not had customers since word of the blight first got out. We were able to discard our haphazard orc equipment for newly smithed gear. I am once again armored in scale and armed with my preferred weapon: the flail.

I offered to Raffin that perhaps we ought speak with the Duke of Daggerford and Raffin appeared hesitant to discuss the Duke who has barricaded himself inside and not left his manor since the burning plague began. Instead, he offered to take us to his friend Ariana Tungstan. While we walked through the quiet town to her house, Raffin explained that most of the day to day affairs of the town are not managed by the Duke but rather a council of Guild members who command prominent businesses in town. Mrs. Tungstan and her husband are heavily invested in the silver trade themselves.

Raffin also told us the sad account of the high priest of Lathander who's temple was the largest building in Daggerford. The priest had poured all of his divine magic into trying to cure the blighted men and women who came to him but no spell he could conjure could remove the burning plague. The priest himself eventually succumbed to the blight.

Speaking of the goodly gods, this town also houses a lovely temple to the great mother Chauntea. It reminded me of the shrine we keep in Goldshire, though nearly twice it's size, and before I came to rest here at the Dragonback I stopped into the temple to offer prayer and gold to the priestess there. Chauntea has always provided a bountiful and healthy harvest to the families under my protection in the dale and I mean to become the instrument of her will here to repay the debt. We must find the source of this blight and root it out.

Where was I? Ah, yes.

When we arrived at Ariana Tungstan's house she welcomed us inside once Raffin explained whom we were and why we had come. She did not know how we might help with the blight generally but her largest concern was for her husband. Mrs. Tungstan recounted how no communications have been heard from a new mine which Mr. Tungstan was scouting for their silver business. At the time he and his miners entered the tunnels they were not afflicted with blight and were regular in communication with the town via couriers until 15 days prior to our arrival.

After some deliberation it was decided among the party that our next course of action should be to investigate the mine. Not only had communication with Mr. Tungstan and his companions gone dark, we later heard from Thali that some of the first to be afflicted by the disease were in fact miners working the surrounding silver veins. I suspect we will learn the answers we seek in those dark tunnels.

For additional caution, I have commissioned an alchemist who resides in this town to silver my battle axe and flail with pure ore I obtained from Mrs. Tungstan. I once heard from a man who described himself as a monster hunter passing through the dale that a silvered blade was almost as good as a magic one for some supernatural beasts.

Let us hope that is true! We set off for the mines at the break of dawn.

~Fawkes Hamelain~

The Journal of Fawkes Hamelain #3
In which we make our escape from the doomed isle!

Mirtull (?), 1480 DR
Off The Eastern Coast Of The Moonshae Isles

Nearly 24 hours have passed since I last wrote. The night did not conclude peacefully after my encounter with Selûne. It seems that our bard, Thunderfist, dozed off when he was supposed to be keeping watch. The next thing I know I was being roused into action – Barendd was missing.

Not soon after we took up the search within the temple was Elias ambushed from behind by some wretched undead creature. What had been a man was now a beast of claw, teeth, and pallid grey flesh. When the surprise of the sudden assault had worn off, Genos and I were able to dispatch the creature easily in combat. Several of the creatures we discovered roaming what had once been the food stores of the temple until we came upon a gristly sight.


map of the island

Barendd, still alive thank Ilmater – but impaled upon one of the meat hooks meant for cattle, a fresh meal for the ghouls. Genos and I tried to remove him as painlessly as possible from his torment on the hooks and Genos was able to stabilize his wounds. By morning, he had healed. While I do not doubt Genos' ability to field dress a wound the seriousness of Barendd's injuries cannot be understated. I have no doubt that the lady Selûne sped along his healing that his good Dwarvish soul could escape this doomed island. Were it not for her help, Thunderfist's carelessness may have gotten Barendd killed. There is no time to brook the subject now but his irresponsibility will need to be addressed by Adventurer's Anonymous. I never tolerated such laziness as falling asleep during a watch in the Goldshire militia and I will not tolerate such laziness in my adventuring team.

The approach to the Sea King's manor was treacherous. Not due to any terrain, but simply the constant patrols of both orc and goblin pirates that had come to raid the manor made approaching it without being filled with black goblin arrows difficult. Something I've managed to avoid so far in life. We spotted a natural trench in the earth that ran east to west approaching the manor. Our party was able to quickly and quietly make our way almost entirely to the manor wall without being spotted.

I say "almost" because even as Elias used his illusory rocks (I really must get him to teach me that trick) to hide us from the closest orc patrols Thunderfist felt it necessary to 'distract' them and 'lure them away'. What he really meant was he intended to leap out of the trench and get himself spotted like a damned fool. Yet another dangerous display of the lack of discipline in that half-man.

Once our furry footed friend was spotted by the orc patrollers Genos leaped into action. I saw the man run along the wall of a trench as if it was the very floor we stood on (another trick I wouldn't mind learning) before landing a kick square into the orc's face. In contrast to Thunderfist, I would take this strange warrior Genos on any campaign. I saw him trade blows with the orc until Elias saw an opening and roasted the bastard with a bolt of fire produced from thin air. As for me, I was never so happy to have a crossbow as that moment. The second orc patrolman was well on his way back to camp sprinting to warn his allies before I was able to cut him down with a bolt at a distance of near 30 yards.

After the commotion with the patrolling orcs I was glad when Elias was able to scurry up to the windows and help pull the rest of us inside. Of course, we were still charged with protecting the Lady Melisana and Keestake. Poor Keestake, the fellow nearly went into shock when he saw the state the interior of the manor was in. It had been his job for who can say how many years to keep the place tidy, a task the orcs and goblins made quick work of undoing. We managed to console him and rather than try to quietly move over half a dozen people through the halls, it was decided that Elias and Thunderfist scout out the manor while we secured the entry room.

Of course by now I should have learned my lesson.

They were apparently successful in locating one of the magic artifacts Selûne told us about. They were apparently also located a pack of hounds bred for war and their goblin masters. Not a moment longer than I had finally begun to enjoy the peace and quiet afforded by the half-man's absence did I hear the fast footfalls of our companions sprinting past the room we were in – followed by a pack of hounds baying for their blood whipped on by a goblin pack master. Fortunately for us, in their frenzy they paid us no heed as they chased our would be scouts. With our fleeing friends on one end and myself, Barendd, and Genos hitting them from the rear we made swift work of the pirates.

When the blood was done spilling we got a look at the prize the goblins were after. A strange rod clutched in Thunderfist's hand which glows with a magic of divination (or so Barendd said upon examining it), seemingly pointing the way to other sources of magic on the island. We followed that magical glow deeper into the manor. It lead us first to Viledal's room where we found some old potions and a magical dagger engraved with dwarven runes.

Onward we went, down into the manor towards the crypts where Keestake said the old escape ship would be. Our luck at avoiding the majority of pirates roaming the manor ran out when a particularly vicious looking orc wielding a spiked chain was able to trap us in a pincer maneuver with orcs closing from front and back.

The final hall which approached the crypts became a bloody scene in seconds. I rushed forward to take the leading orc myself nearly splitting the beasts chest in two with a single axe blow. With the greatest threat removed I took defensive positions to protect Lady Melisana and Keestake holding the guard with Elias while Barendd and Genos took the offensive. It was the first close quarters combat our group has seen and I am proud to say everyone held together, even Thunderfist.

When we finally made it to the crypts we emerged into a large chamber with piles of crates, some marked as containing weapons and armor. Non-orcish armor and weapons? Praise Tempus.

As the crates toppled down on my head, triggered by the thin line of wire I nearly tripped over in my excitement at being properly armed and armored, I realized that the Sea King Viledel was a fan of traps. I clawed myself out and emerged to the sound of roaring laughter from both Keestake and Thunderfist.

"To the abyss with this cursed island!" I cried out kicking splintered planks aside and massaging my fresh bruises. The island held another twist of the knife for us before we could leave. Keestake's mental state seemed to be slipping the closer we got to actually reaching the boat. Even though he had acknowledged our necessity in acquiring the magical arms and equipment of the late Viledel, here at the final moment he reverted back to the loyal right hand man he had once been. He could not see us leave the island with Viledel's treasure. In truth, I believe he has been on this island for decades at least and I don't think his mind could take the idea of finally leaving. In a sudden betrayal he revealed that the hidden passage we had entered into the crypt by was now sealed.

Not only that, but the map he had drawn us of this floor was inaccurate. Unfortunately, we were forced to knock the pitiful old man unconscious and find the way out ourselves. I regret that he could not complete the journey with us as without him we truly could not have escaped with our lives. I know in my heart though that it could have been no other way, it is the destiny of older men to die carving a path for younger men since the beginning of the ages.


Not knowing the way and hoping the ship or something nearby it contained magic we continued to follow glow of the magic rod Thunderfist took from the upper manor. Thank all the gods – it worked. We saw the ship and though I have not seen many I knew right away this was a fine vessel, even for its age. But one final obstacle rested in the path between us and salvation. The final resting place of Viledal the Sea King and his family, still entombed in the stone coffins where they were meant to be loaded upon the beautiful funeral ship we were now escaping with.

They… did not stay resting. I do not wish to describe the horror of what they had become. It is not my place to tarnish the final moments of their lives and I will not recount it here.

Lady Melisana showed us how to take the ship out of the cove and to the open sea. We had barely reached the edge of the storm clouds covering the island when Selûne's wrath was made manifest. Never have I witnessed such a thing and never do I wish to again. The island cracked and sundered like clay, sloughing into the sea piece by piece until nothing but the ocean remained.

And now? Now I get to sleep in an actual bunk. For a few hours at least.

Fawkes Hamelain

The Journals of Fawkes Hamelain #2
Captured by pirates, shipwrecked...

Mirtull (?), 1480 DR

Somewhere in the Moonshae Isles

I write this now in the warm glow of a fire inside a temple devoted to Selûne. It has been some time since I was last able to write. Though I cannot recount the exact passage of days. It may not even matter given the information I just learned. This island is to be destroyed – tomorrow. My head is throbbing from this snoring halfling and the cold rain we have only just escaped from… I must recount from the beginning to straighten out my thoughts.

We had been only a few mere hours at sea when the scoundrels chartered to take us to Daggerford decided we would be more valuable as slaves. That night we found our ale poisoned and the next morning we awoke – gear stripped and arms shackled. We were watched over by the half-wit Hafkris, more often drunk on grog than keeping a watchful eye. Even so, I feared that my adventuring days had come to an end nearly as fast as they began. The Gods deemed that was not to be the case.

A storm the likes of which I have never seen came upon the ship. We were tossed so hard about in our chains I feared the shackles would rip my arms clean from their sockets – until an abrupt deafening crack of wood and rushing water signaled that the ship had crashed upon some forlorn rock or reef. Even yet, we may have been condemned to Umberlee's locker if not for the nimble halfling Thunderfist's escape from his bonds after the wreck.

We escaped the vessel only to find that drunken fool Hafkris Half-Orc draining an entire keg on the beach in the freezing rain. I had no time to waste with him though, when I saw our dwarven companion Barendd buried to his chin in the sand with the sea water rapidly approaching. I pulled the poor fellow from his sandy grave and by the time we came roaring up the beach to help defeat Hafkris our other companions had already disposed of him. When the battle was through we retrieved the scoundrels other prisoner, a young woman of some beauty named Melisana who had stayed aboard during the conflict.

With the crew of the ship drowned or scattered after the crash and alone on the beach with nothing but Hafkris' old leather and heavy crossbow, the newly freed Adventurer's Anonymous party prepared to move inland. Making for the hilliest area visible on the island it was not long before we heard the familiar ring of steel on steel that signals combat. Quietly, we approached the sound of battle and were able to observe the fight without being detected.

It was goblins and orcs. How I hate the wretched creatures. Goblins were a constant menace to the people of Goldshire and one of the only reasons I sought to join the militia in the first place. Orcs are just as cruel and twice as strong. I must admit, it did not distress me to see the two groups slaying each other wantonly. I could not enjoy the spectacle long however as my eye caught sight of an old man gagged and bound as a prisoner.

One of the party's two spellcasters, Elias, was able to produce the illusion of boulders and using the cover they provided was able to skirt the edges of the fight and free the man while the rest of us took positions ready to ambush. For my part, having the only long range weapon at hand, I took cover at the ridge which gave me the surest bead on our enemies own archers. By the time I had sent a quarrel through each of the archers' evil hearts my companions had let fly with fist and spell dropping the remaining combatants handily. Barendd had left one alive through his magical sleeping spell and we took the bastard prisoner, hoping to learn the goblin purpose on the island.

A handful of other goblins escaped into the woods but we had rescued this poor man from his fate and obtained our own prisoner who might prove valuable. The old man's name is Keestake and he assured us there was a safe place he knew of the orcs and goblins would not likely go – the temple of Selûne I am now writing in. As we fought through the biting cold rain he wove us a tale as wild as his unkempt beard.

He was once a personal attendant of a man called Viledel the Sea King. The Sea King was once known as a great pirate hunter and he brought order to the scallywags roaming the Moonshaes. This island had been the home of his operation until the pirates of the Moonshaes united in a revolt against the Sea King. The island was sacked and Viledel was slain. Keestake only barely managed to escape with his life. That was over 50 years ago by Keestake's reckoning. He has been trapped on this cursed island ever since. The man was kind enough to draw us a crude map of the important locales on the island including our destination.

At this point in the old man's story the magical sleep that had kept our goblin prisoner blissfully silent wore off and myself and Thunderfist (it is only through how useful this little halfling is that I am now able to bear his snores) took it upon ourselves to interrogate the scum. The coward quickly revealed the goblins and orcs purpose on the island. They seek the lost treasure of Viledel the Sea King. The majority of his vast hoard is said to be somewhere on the island and Keestake may be the last man alive who can say its location with surety. The goblins themselves are lead by a dog named Ardonak. When he had finished squealing on his friends, my companions wished to kill the pathetic creature bound as he was – but I had not the heart for it.

Instead, we put one of the creature's spears in his hands and I offered him his freedom in exchange for an honest fight. It was a fairer bargain than any of me or my new allies would have received had our positions been reversed. We squared off and I slew the creature in one swift merciful strike. He died on his feet with a weapon in his hand in open combat – a more honorable death for his kind is not possible.

With our prisoner dead we continued onward for only another hour or two before reaching the temple Keestake had told us of. By the Gods it felt good to be out of that freezing rain. We made camp in the common room and began to dry ourselves as Keestake finished his tale. This little known and little visited island does indeed have a boat that Keestake knows of. It is located in a hidden cove built underneath Viledel's manor. While the vessel is fully operational, Keestake is one man and cannot sail the vessel himself. Melisana, who had been quiet most of the journey thus far spoke up then. She is the daughter of a sailor merchant and familiar with the ways of ships. With her instruction and our assistance, Keestake and my companions will be able to escape the island.

Finally, my thoughts now return to the dire news I have just been told. As I said, this island is to be destroyed tomorrow. This temple is not simply some forgotten or unused place of worship. Selûne watches over the island from this place. The pirates who rose against the Sea King were wise enough to leave the place untouched. The blundering orcs could not help themselves. Their cruel hearts smashed and rent the statues and frescoes that fill this holy place and it has invoked the wrath of Selûne. 

In the night, her voice whispered to me leading me away from camp and into a deeper chamber of the temple. It was there that I saw her, a vision of the Goddess herself speaking with me. She told me that my heart was noble and pure and that I and my companions need not be destroyed with the island. She had planned on washing it clean or the foul orcs and goblins beneath the sea the very night we had arrived but she has stayed her hand for one more day. Only a few tendays of adventuring and already I have spoken with a Goddess.

What other wondrous sights might the future hold for me? If it holds anything at all. Tomorrow we make for the Sea King's manor. May Ilmater watch over us all.

~Fawkes Hamelain~

The Journals of Fawkes Hamelain #1
The day we set off on our journey.

Tarsahk 18, 1480 DR

Neverwinter Docks


I can scarcely believe the change that has taken place in my life over these last few tendays. The largest city of Daggerdale seems nothing but a farming hovel when compared to the towering stone of Neverwinter. When I set forth from the Dale for Neverwinter I only sought to see the world and put my blade to use for the goodly folk of this realm. I prayed to Ilmater on the road nightly entreating him to lead me to where I might do the most good.

I could only assume my prayers had been answered when my request to join Adventurer's Anonymous was granted a few days after entering the city. Well, not fully granted. I have been assigned to a party of fellow hopefuls for a test of our resolve and skill. I welcome this challenge to prove that a commoner of Daggerdale can stand shoulder to shoulder with the finest Neverwinter has to offer.

We set off this very day to begin our quest, sailing south along the Sword Coast making for the Shining River and from there on to Daggerford. Adventurer's Anonymous has been receiving reports that a mysterious blight is afflicting the town and they see this as an opportunity both for us to prove our worth as well boost our reputation over that of the Waterdhavian guilds. While I cannot deny the anxious ache in my belly it is outpaced by the excitement I feel in my bones.

I have been less than a month out of Goldshire and it feels that Tymora's wind has been at my back every step. This will be my first time on the sea, but if recent experience is any indication our skies will be clear and our journey swift.

My companions for this journey are a stranger lot than most that passed through Goldshire. The smallest and most talkative of them is Thunderfist Greenbottle, a bard of some fame if his word is to be believed. He carries a strange stringed instrument not dissimilar to a lute he calls a yarting.

In the fellow Genos Desther I find a brother-in-arms. Though his means of fighting are strange to me I cannot deny the man carries himself like a warrior. He says that he comes from an order of monks who follow the god Helm. I know Helm to be a goodly god in the Dales and I welcome his strength on this quest.

The final two members of our fellowship are the most puzzling to me. Both of them are wielders of the Art. The human, Elias Rosecot, is younger than my son and possessed of a wild and uncontrolled type of power. I do not find this a wise combination. The other, Barendd Rumnahein, is a dwarf. He too worships Helm but is blessed in the arcane arts. He seems much more confident and in control of his abilities than the young Elias and I hope he can guide him in matters arcane.

I cannot help but feel the weight of my years in the presence of these young souls. Even Barendd, though likely similar in age to myself has centuries of life ahead of him if what I know of the dwarves is true. I have 43 winters behind me and less than that ahead in all probability. This old fighter still knows a thing or two about staying alive and keeping your wits when blood starts to spill, so ever onward to adventure. These old bones still have a job to do.

~Fawkes Hamelain~

The Annals of the Neverwinter Knights

Greetings to you, doughty members of the Neverwinter Knights!

Here together we shall create the chronicle of our adventuring guild, both for posterity and to serve as an inspiration for future members so that they may come to truly understand the principles and spirit on which the Knights were founded.

Regale us with your own accounting of your adventures throughout Faerûn and share your own viewpoint and reflection about the deeds accomplished while in service to our guild.

May all the goodly gods smile upon us as we issue forth to bring prosperity and harmony to the citizens of Neverwinter and the rest of the Sword Coast!

Burnam "Ol' Bones" Rockbane, Chief Chronicler of the Neverwinter Knights


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