In an attempt to discontinue the practice of talking to myself, I have decided to start writing my thoughts down here. So I bring quill to parchment in an attempt at perceived sanity for what it’s worth in this semblance of existence I have discovered.
As you my dear self does undoubtedly recall, (no one loves me like me) I have been “recruited” into the highly secretive organization known as the Harpers. Truly I had thought them a myth but in this case that’s what I get for thinking. Far better to remain ignorant in this case I think, however here I am wearing a pin and a tracker. The tracker was a nice touch as well, we want you in our ranks because you can go where we can’t but trust, and well that’s a dish that certainly isn’t free, like me.
So I get back to the hole I had rented in Silvery moon, a dear little Inn known as the Saucy Wench’s Secret, I thought it strangely amusing to say the least. There I find a missive from my superior in the chorus of those who harp, Lord Wonstin Vasil. No apology for entering my quarters and mussing my bed, did they sleep there before they left? Perhaps fancy a quick roll on the ole lad’s bed with the serving wench before I drop this note my love? Well it’s just rude is what it is but well I suppose that’s what you get for joining a group of secret do gooders. Manners! It’s all I ask for!
The missive calls me to a meeting with at the Moongleam tower in Everlund. A meeting and not a mention of why or even a copper coin to assist in the traveling expenses, again…rude! So I suppose my meager wallet shall have to bear the burden of this travel. Well it was not the easiest of notions to be sure. The cost of this mansion of a room had cost me nearly a gold in the ten-day I had been its occupant, on reflection I should have asked the rats and other vermin for assistance with costs as they too were frequent occupants of that palatial space. But alas I had not the foresight to ask for assistance with the expenses and again looked at my bare coin purse and considered my dilemma.
As Tymora would have it, I happened on a caravan leaving within the time allotted for the travel to the meeting place that needed assistance in the magical guard duty department. They were within my pay scale (free travel to the meeting and food and shelter along the way) so I signed my name on the line and entered a new career as a caravan guard.
The time on the road went largely as expected. I met with the caravan master and the leader of his guards the next morning. My duties were largely to ride in a wagon and be the ace in the hole should the caravan be attacked by some unknown force of banditry or monster seemingly without the common sense to attack an obviously well-armed caravan full of goods. Of course I had to check the manifest of the merchandise and discovered to my dismay that we were transporting wine of a good vintage from the city of Silverymoon to some sort of wine tasting ceremony for the nobles of Everlund. As it was my duty to guard the wine in question and ensure its safety, where better than my stomach was a portion of the cargo to go? The trip was mostly uneventful (or what I recall of it was) and in less than a ten-day, on schedule we arrived in Everlund.
I thought the caravan master quite rude for taking the wine out of my wages (which caused me not to be paid at all and only quick work kept me from owing coin) but alas it was a good vintage and I recall tossing a friendly salute towards the palace in approval for their choice as I departed, hung over but no worse for wear.
I wandered through the city and even dropped my hat near a tavern to make a few coins with some simple prestidigitation. It always amuses me to gain a silver or two with a quick story punctuated with parlor tricks and the occasional flare of magic. The time was passed easily and I was able to quickly collect my offerings before being rushed off at the point of a broom by a foul mouthed tavern keeper. Call me spiteful but I thought she deserved the burns she received when I ignited her broom and set her skirts alight with a quick cantrip. She had struck me after all and well, as it did no real damage had ruffled my feathers as it were.
So to the Moongleam tower I went, the travel through the city was quick and after a close call and question by a local constable, I changed my appearance for the majority of the trip. A quick wave of a hand, a moment of concentration and I am as unremarkable as a prostitute’s maidenhead. With my new face and attitude I slid along back streets to the tower and took up residence outside the main entrance to watch who entered before me.
Eventually the time came and I went up to the door. There with me at the door was an Elven mage, a Tiefling and a Xeph. No it’s not a joke; we went into a tower not a bar. Once the door opened we were joined by an two Aasimar, we were going all united races of Faerun up in this camp. For being the most populous race in the realms, I was suddenly feeling very much like the minority in this group, then again that meant more female companionship for me. It’s never a bad thing to have less competition for the farer sex. I heard that somewhere…
Up into the tower I went with my multiracial super friends and we eventually arrived in a small room near the center. Vasil was there as was his errand boy Joroth. What a tool Joroth is, supposedly a spy and hunter. Joroth wouldn’t know his harp from a hole in his hairless half-human rear end. There is one stupid stupid head I would truly love to singe. Did I mention that I don’t care for him?
Alas Lord Vasil informs us that Harpers are missing in Neverwinter and of course we have to go and find out what happened to them. Apparently someone known as Akula the Strong (Nice name, could mean smell or big muscles, as one leads to the other I’m betting on both) has gone undercover and probably gone all native on his lordship. Then as the harpers do, they sent Penelope and a group of mercenaries to see what happened to the smelly one. During the conversation there was some wonderful back and forth between the Teifling, now known as Vaedryn, and Joroth. Apparently she must know the little snake as well and called him out on his inability to keep his informants safe. She even went so far as to implicate Joroth indirectly in the disappearance. I almost fell off the rather comfy sofa I had occupied in mirth! Sadly the presence of Lord Vasil kept the altercation from going to blows, that was one little scuffle I would love to have dropped the fire on.
So through more conversation we determined that our contact in the city was known as Dalynda. Supposedly she was once some sort of Herald, and is willing to point us in a direction once we arrive. The rest of the conversation was full of this and that which amounted to nothing and we were escorted up higher in the tower to a feast prepared for us to get to know one another.
Vaedryn: Teifling, Quiet specialist. Needs to eat a sammich. I know you are all demon blood and all but damn take a damn smoke or something and get laid, you will feel better. She isn’t bad with a bow but it doesn’t make up for her mouth.
Dupree: Solid Aasimar warrior seems to have good ideas and takes direction well, all qualities I promote in those that travel with me.
Castien: Elven battle mage seems dependable. Stood in the back and directed but he is a slave to his pointy ears so that can be allowed.
Gabriel: Aasimar cleric of Torm. Yay. A follower of Torm. If I could find a way to fall on a fireball I would do it now and save myself the aggravation. Wears heavy armor, probably to hide her male parts.
Idrian: Xeph singer of songs. So far he appears to be the only one with a discernible sense of humor. Other than yours truly of course. Has quite the appetite and his recommendation that Vaedryn masquerade as a harlot was a stroke of genius; I care not what her high pointy tail thought.
Vasil: Holder of punk’s leash.
During dinner we were careful to keep our hands and other appendages away from Idrian who sat in the center of the table and consumed all that came near him. The conversation ran the gambit of simple introduction to planning for the trip to Neverwinter. Several plans were put forth, caravan guards, merchants hauling goods, servants escorting a member of clergy and guards escorting a highly paid prostitute. (My favorite was the prostitute, props to Idrian) We put things in motion, stole some food for the road as they neglected to provide per diem. (Note to self, Harpers are cheap suns a guns)
The next morning we discovered that all the caravans had departed recently and that we would have to wait over a ten-day for another. I again suggested with Idrian the whore cover story and was voted down by the vicious eye daggers of the fair Vaedryn mistress of dark clouds and all things wrong with the female of the species. We decided to go with the cover story of the traveling cleric and retinue, after we convinced the fair Gabriel that it wasn’t a lie if she intended to visit the city and stopped at a temple to Torm when we arrive. (Sigh really?) A quick stop at a market near the gate for last minute supplies and off we went.
The journey would have been uneventful and we were making great time. However the beautiful Vaedryn decided it was her time of the moon and a scented trail of brimstone led three wolf riding goblins to our back doorstep. Of course when they discovered the source of their odorous quest, they did the predictable thing and charged screaming. I will not bore you with the details of the fight. Needless to say, Dupree is a formidable fighter, Castien and I work well together in concert with our casting abilities, Vaedryn can shoot a bow (big whoop), Gabriel can take a hit and heal (surprise surprise, I still think it’s a man) and Idrian has a voice made to kill goblins. At the end of the fight, we triumphed and I only had to dance on the doorstep of death for it to happen. Go team Harper! And to add insult to injury, I owe my life to the he/she’s healing bringing me back from my tap dancing audition for Asmodeus. (He gave me a 6, said I lacked flames and needed more scars, screw him and his horns)
So the rest of the journey was uneventful and due to excellent planning on our part we arrived at the gates of Waterdeep one hour after they closed for the night, causing us to camp outside the walls for the night while we can hear the sounds of the city over the walls. Why would we think to get there before sundown? What city other than ALL OF THEM closes their doors at sundown and doesn’t open them again till daybreak. Ah well, here I sit, Vaedryn sits nearby probably thinking dirty thoughts about Jorath. Gabriel is snoring under a tree (It’s a man), Dupree is standing guard and Castien and Idrian are arguing about the best brothel in the city and which they should sell Vaedryn to once we get inside. All in all it’s a normal night in the life of a Harper.