From the journal of Eldarwen Aderyn and Haakon

This writing is decorated and gracefully written which indicates a female writer. The borders of the pages are adorned with silver curls and drawn leaves, which indicates that the writer is fond of decorations. It is written in Elvish, which indicates that the writer is obviously an elf. On some places the parchment is stained with small fox paws in mud or ink.

After a long day full of action, we arrived with the victim family back in Winterhaven. The sun was already disappearing below the horizon, thus we already knew what we would encounter first thing when we walked through the gates of the endangered city: Guards. It didn’t take long for them to find us and notify us of the obvious fact of the curfew. We would have to go to the inn as swiftly as we could. Shai brought the family to the inn first. David managed to flirtuously ask for the young woman’s name: Sarah. Was it the same Sarah Valthrun had informed about? Deciding that it did not matter at the moment, I went inside and found myself a room to sleep, generously given for only 4 silver pieces by the good lady Silvana. I told Haakon to find himself a place to sleep in the city’s stable, which he had gotten used to as a bed in Winterhaven by now. It is difficult for a dog-like creature like me to write a journal, therefore I will just share my thoughts with my good friend Semmy, the lizard. So Semmy, do you remember what happened when our good friends Eldarwen and Haian had peacefully gone to sleep? Oh, we could not sleep! The goliath and the human-dog had taken their human back to our sleeping place. It happens to humans sometimes, they go into a tavern, and when they come back out they have completely lost their balance, their common sense, and have a strange smiling expression on their face. Other than that: They can’t really talk like a normal person any more. This time it was … was his name Marc? It was him who came out like that. He mentioned a person with a yellow leather coat, the same colour as the note (“They are coming!”). Even though his common sense was not what it was supposed to be, his two friends believed him. Marc teleported and almost fell into a well, when finally a conversation started between the dog and the giant human. The dog, Roth… his name is too difficult. Roth said that he suspected the demonic-human Shai (his name is easy) to be a spy for the evil doers. Somehow the giant believed him, but Marc did not. I don’t know what exactly happened, but Marc returned to normal, and the lot of them left the stables and got back to the tavern. It was only a short period after that I had to come over to the tavern as well! They had caused trouble again..

I was awakened by a man I did not recognize. He did not state his name, but his face was covered in sweat, his eyes were wide and he smelled like fear. I recognize that look everywhere I see it, I have seen enough creatures sweat in fear when hunting. He didn’t have to say much, for I smelled blood mingling with the usual smell of beer and liquor coming from the lower floor. The smell of blood made me wide awake. I understood that either my friends had caused an uproar, or they were actually in danger. As I came downstairs at least five demonic hounds were present, their leader an elven lady who’s name I later learned to be Ninaran. Her skills and her control over her animals is something I definitely envy. She was a strong opponent, a follower of Orcus. As I came down the stairs, I decided to throw something at her. A glass half full of beer was what my hand reached first, though my attempt of an attack was a disaster. I’m not good at attacking someone at a distance. Haakon joined me quickly. I believe Marc had troubles this time, he was targeted so many times he couldn’t manage. David impressively turned into a walking tree. I like trees, so he should do that more often. I was happy to be quite far out of Rothyrn’s reach as he became a demonic creature once more. Though on his rage through the tavern he crushed Silvana with his claws and came to me once more. Am I always the target of his demonic rage? Is it because I am so motivated to make his fur look beautiful all the time? It was Shai though who gave the final blow. As his daggers pierced Ninaran, her animal companions all disappeared back into thin air, where they had apparently come from. Haian found a beautiful golden ring on the lady’s finger, but as apparently his opinion was that jewelry is not only for women, he regretfully wanted to keep it himself.

As faith always wants it, only after a battle the guards decide to show up. Why can’t they enter already when they hear the commotion when it’s still happening? Lucky for them, we are a strong group of fighters and are strong enough to defeat them. These guards, unwilling to listen to our reasoning, put us in the most smelly, dirty, disgusting prison I have ever seen, for in fact this was the first prison I have ever seen from the inside. I ended up in the same cell as Rothyrn, but he disinclined my offer of tidying up his fur once more. Even though the stench in the air was almost unbearable, I did get a good rest during the night. In the morning several soldiers set us free, where Marc Quin confessed knowing one of those people. Apparently he was a member of the house of Alquin, though he has run away to never go back.

As we were stripped of our weapons, we went to the Lord to request them back. Naturally our intentions of this visit were to inform this important, powerful man of Ninaran and the family we saved earlier yesterday. He chose for David to tell our tale, which was confirmed by a battered Ninaran who’s former glory and strength had disappeared as her hounds had too. We received our weapons and equipment. We heard that our animal friends had been sleeping in the stable quite peacefully. After retrieving them, Haian and I met with Shai and Marc at the local market, where lots of merchants were trying to sell their goods. Shai could sell the Amethyst we had found earlier for quite a good price. Finally Haian and I were persuaded in selling Ninaran’s precious ring as well, which brought in quite a lot of gold as well. Meanwhile, Rothyrn and David had gone to visit Valthrun on the Lord’s order. We met up with the both of them in front of the tower. David was boasting about his encounter with a Beholder that he had slapped in the eye, the same awful creature that had brutally killed Haakon and Semmy a few days ago. The fact that he had come back alive was quite impressive! David must be the strongest Goliath in the surrounding areas! Rothyrn though told a much more interesting story. Too bad he interpreted it with his stomach rather than his brains. Valthrun had told him about Kalarel and a rift to the Shadowfell. It is was supposed to be somewhere up a mountain, beneath Shadowfell Keep. Valthrun told us that the rift was closed in times ancient past, by the Nerath Empire, to prevent hordes of undead and demons to roam our world. The cult we were sent to track is situated there, and it is most obvious that the Rod of Ruin must also be there! Valthrun gave us the task to track them down and close the portable, thus saving Winterhaven. If we solve this issue, the respectable old man will grant us an egg of his griffin! An egg! Not for eating off course, but an egg which will bring forth a most cute version of its older parent worth raising into a strong companion. Naturally. we first have to defeat quite a lot of dangerous enemies up there.

Marc however, first wanted to find some ritual scrolls at the apothecary. Even if we suspected him of being a spy like Ninaran was, we trusted he would still treat us as normal costumers. We were wrong, naturally. Rothyrn heroically decided to follow the apothecary Barwen in his shadowform, in the man’s shadow. It took quite a long time for him to return to the shop, so long even that David got himself bored simply standing there. Shai (as usual) could not resist the temptation of stealing from the man we were trying to buy from. We decided to follow the man to the back of his store where we found a hidden hatch, which was open. Going down the winding stairs we found ourselves in the smallest church for Orcus one could ever imagine! Rothyrn had been caught and bound in a chair and Barwen had called for aid from his disgusting walking skeletons and some of his sickly looking human followers. I truly hate skeletons. they don’t have blood which means I can’t even bite them! The battle was hard, for both Rothyrn and David had fallen along the way. Haakon and I fought strong, striking and slaying one skeleton after another. I had contemplated biting one of those minion followers, but their faces looked so pale that it was unlikely they would have any fresh, tasteful blood in them. Therefore Haakon and I decided to strike the person and slay this one as well! The final blow came from Haian who so precisely aimed an arrow to Barwen’s person, which made him fall unconscious instantly. The difficult battle was over… for now.

What a chaotic day.