The Journal of Fawkes Hamelain #2
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.