A Friend in Need
Kuhl looked around the Yawning Portal taproom for his companions. The place was massive, noisy, and crowded. Not a good combination for finding people. The noise of the place had washed over him from the moment he'd entered, accompanied by the smell of fried food and ale. Occupants of the crowded sturdy tables all strove to hear each other over the collective din, creating a cacophony of boisterous groups. Tankards clinked as drinks were filled at the bar and delivered with plates of food by the scurrying wait staff.
Because of the size of the tap room, the oversized bar of polished wood tucked in a corner of the far wall seemed small in comparison. Near the bar, in a fireplace designed to look like the head of a goblinoid creature, logs burned, setting its wide-open maw ablaze with a flickering orange glow.
But it was the well at the center of the floor, the namesake of the place, that drew the attention. A thick, waist high wall of mortared stones surrounded a gaping circular hole in the middle of the tap room. At a width of 40 feet, and reportedly having a dry and sandy bottom, it really wasn't much of a well. But the low wall around it, and the hanging hoist rigged over it, made the term fit. At least descriptively.
A clatter sounded as a nearby barmaid dropped a thankfully empty platter. No one even looked up to give her an admonishing stare or even a look of sympathy. She glanced towards the dark haired, burly, mustached, proprietor behind the bar, then breathed a sigh discovering he was too busy to notice. It was so noisy, Kuhl wondered why the bard on the corner stage even bothered to play and sing. Yet play he did - on a battered lute with only three strings while sitting on a high stool, brown hair a tangled mop and purple cloak a puddle near his feet. The half-elf could hear none of his music over the noise of the crowd, but a few near the stage seemed to be listening and some coins glittered from where they'd been thrown on his cloak in appreciation.
"Do you think they are on one of the upper levels?" Aleina asked.
The aasimar craned her neck, searching the second and third floor balconies overlooking the well. Their friends, however, would have to be right next to a railing to spy them up there. He noticed a dark skinned woman in a headdress and robe of white standing with her hands on the railing on the second floor. She gazed down over the common room with watchful eyes and gave Kuhl and Aleina a thoughtful look, then looked away. He'd seen her before when they'd eaten breakfast here. She, like them, was a current guest of the Yawning Portal.
The half-elf had just resolved to climb the stairs to search the upper balconies more closely when Aleina touched his arm.
"There they are. On the other side of the well," she said, pointing. "Near the fireplace."
Kuhl caught a glimpse of Sky's fur. Between the crowd and the low wall of the well, his group had been mostly obscured. Together he and the aasimar wove their way through the tables.
"Well, Kuhl," the aasimar yelled in his ear. "We made it to Waterdeep."
The half-elf nodded.
"How many times is she going to say that?" Dawnbringer, his sentient sword said in his head. "We've been in the city for over a day now. You even have rooms reserved on the third floor of this very establishment. And yet she keeps saying you finally made it to Waterdeep, like you just arrived."
Kuhl smiled. "I think she is still trying to convince herself she is actually here. You have to understand, our caravan was on the way here when we were abducted to the Underdark. It was a bit of a detour."
"Well, I for one am glad of that detour," the sword mentally said. "Otherwise, I'd still be in that tomb."
They made it to their table and the warmth of the nearby fire was welcome. It was not long after Green Grass and a bit of a chill still persisted in the evening. Normally the journey between the High Forest and Waterdeep would have taken much longer, but their traveling companions of Arclath and Amarune gave them access to a series of teleportation circles that shortened the journey considerably.
"Kuhl, Aleina," Jhelnae called out when she caught sight of them.
The half-drow and Sky, their tabaxi cat-woman companion, waved them over - even though they were already on their way. Jhelnae scooted to make room and Aleina squeezed in between the half-drow and the halfling, Fargas. Kuhl took the empty spot between the orc, Ront, and the alchemist, Surash.
"Where are Amarune and Arclath?" Aleina asked as she settled in. "Did we take their seats?"
"She is meeting with her editor," Fargas said, waving towards a corner of the taproom.
Following the halfling's gesture, Kuhl spied the dark haired couple sitting in deep conversation at a table with a man with an impressively long waxed mustache and wearing a floppy hat.
On a whim, Amarune was working on a series of almanacs about the wild places of Faerun. Her research had taken her to the High Forest, where she'd met the companions. Arclath, her nobly born lover, was forced to join her for the journeys to woodlands, swamps, mountains, and grasslands with planned future travels to the jungles of Chult, the glacial north, and even the Underdark.
"So," Jhelnae said, looking to Aleina after Kuhl and the aasimar had settled in their places on the benches. "How did it go? Did you get the treasure all transferred to your family?"
"I did," Aleina said, nodding. "And my uncle thanked you, Kuhl, and Sky for contributing your shares as well. Thank you so much."
The tabaxi perked up hearing her name, pulling her attention away from staring at the gaping hole at the center of the tap room.
"What?" Sky asked.
"I said my Uncle Norold thanks you," the aasimar said, voice rising to be heard over the ambient noise of the common room.
"Oh," Sky said, shrugging and lashing her tail.
Obviously bored with the conversation about the small fortune she'd willingly given away, the tabaxi went back to looking at the well.
"So, you finally got your family the money they need," Jhelnae said. "Why do you seem more tense than relieved?"
"Because she is poor now," Fargas said. "All of you are. But not us."
He lifted his tankard and bumped it with Ront's and Surash's, and they all took a drink.
Kuhl looked in surprise at Surash. The orc and halfling would still have their portion of the treasure from the Underdark, having chosen not to give it to Aleina's family. The alchemist, however, had joined them later. After the Underdark. After they'd found the treasure from Sloobludop. After finding more treasure in the tomb of Brysis of Khaem. And after the reward of gems they'd received from the deep gnomes of Blingdenstone.
Fargas noticed his look. "Surash has received a sudden influx of coin from the investments of his partners. You all are looking at the owners of a new venture. Surash's Enchanted Enhancement."
"I've spent most of that coin buying the needed ingredients for our potion," Surash said. "So not really awash in coin."
"But," the halfling said. "We're going to make a fortune selling that potion. So, awash in coin you soon shall be."
"Surash's Enchanted Enhancement?" Aleina asked, brow wrinkling in confusion. "Wait…your male potency potion? You perfected it?"
"The potency potion," the halfling said, considering. "That actually isn't a bad name either. We should think about it."
"I did," the sallow skinned young alchemist said, answering the aasimar. "The secret ingredient turns out to be the dried bigwig mushroom Sky brought back from the Underdark. While it loses its magical properties of growth soon after harvesting, some small efficacy remains. And when combined with other alchemical ingredients…"
Fargas sighed and shook his head. "The secret to your formula is not going to stay secret very long if you tell everyone all about it, Surash. How many times do I have to tell you that?"
"So, the key ingredient you need for your fortune making formula," Kuhl said. "Is in the tunnels under Gracklstugh? In the Underdark?"
"We'll hire some adventurers," Fargas said, waving dismissively. "I see four short of coin sitting at this very table."
Ront snorted a laugh at that and he and the halfling shared another bump of their tankards.
"Whatever," Jhelnae said. "You would miss us too much if we went to the Underdark. Just like the last time we parted ways."
The half-drow gave a pointed look at Ront.
"I didn't miss you," the orc said. "I was bored. Not the same thing."
"Yeah," Jhelnae said. "Bored because you missed us."
Ront gave another derisive snort and took a pull from his drink, but Kuhl knew there was at least some truth to what the half-drow said. From the little he'd been able to get out of the orc, Ront had not been able to slip easily back into life with his clan and quickly decided to seek out the companions again.
"And only a miniscule portion of the mushroom is needed for a very focused temporary growth to occur," Surash said, still adopting a scholarly tone. "With just the amount Sky gathered as a sample, we have enough for say a hundred doses. Enough for my business partners and myself to turn a tidy profit."
"So shouldn't Sky get a share?" Aleina asked. "She did provide the necessary ingredient after all."
"Why?" Fargas asked. "So she can turn around and give it to you? So you can then pass it on to your ungrateful family? I don't think so."
"Fine, whatever," the aasimar said.
Meanwhile, the tabaxi in question, seemed oblivious they were discussing her and continued to stare at the well. As if expecting something to happen.
"But we got off subject," Jhelnae said, focusing again on Aleina. "As Fargas reminds me, you got the money to your family. But you don't seem all that happy or relieved about it."
The aasimar sighed. "When you transfer the money, you get a free sending spell along with it. My uncle was overjoyed, but he also reminded me it takes a lot of coin to be a patriar family in Baldur's Gate."
"Do you mean to tell me," the half-drow said. "That after everything you went through to send him that, he made you feel guilty and encouraged you to send more?"
"Let's just change the subject," Aleina said. "How did the conversation with your parents go?"
"Next topic," Jhelnae said.
"What?" the aasimar said. "Why? What happened?"
Now it was the half-drow's turn to sigh.
"It started out well enough," she said. "They were very happy to hear from me. Even if it was by sending spell. But soon enough my mother and I got into it."
"You are in Waterdeep?" Jhelnae changed her voice to the shriller, higher pitched tone she always used when quoting her mother. "Good! You can help the priestesses there re-found the Promenade of the Dark Maiden."
She changed her voice back to normal.
"I kept paying for more sending spells, trying to get in the last word."
"But…" Fargas said. "In a sending, the recipient always gets a reply. So, you never would be able to get the last word."
"I know that," Jhelnae said with another sigh, a deep one. "Now."
"But you let them know you were alive and safe," Aleina said. "So, that is good."
"Alive," the half-drow said. "Safe. And free to do whatever I want. As long as whatever I want is to devote my life in service to Eilistraee."
"The solution to all these problems is right in front of us," Sky said, presenting the well at the center of the common room with a gesture. "Aleina needs more treasure for her family and Jhelnae's mom wants her to help with some temple thing called the Promenade. Which, according to what she told me earlier, is somewhere under the city. If we get ourselves lowered into Undermountain, we can do both!"
It was a chorus accompanied by the shaking of heads, with Kuhl joining his own voice in. Jhelnae spoke the general sentiment.
"By all that dances!" she said. "For the last time, Sky, we didn't work so hard to escape the Underdark to then go into a place called Undermountain."
"It's also called the Dungeon of the Mad Mage," the tabaxi said. "Who knows what clever traps he has set. What monstrous denizens he has gathered. Or what terrible curses he has laid."
"Okay," Aleina said. "Absolutely none of that sounded remotely enticing. If we get desperate and we need money, I'll work as a barmaid here first. Moon Maiden's mercy, they could use the help. What does it take to even order a drink around here?"
"If you are looking to make coin quickly," Arclath said, approaching their table with a self-assured smirk. "You might try Masked Dancing. I hear the tips are…owww!"
An elbow in the ribs from Amarune next to him, cut him off.
"Everyone squeeze closer," Jhelnae said. "We can make room for two more."
But the dark haired, dark eyed woman was already shaking her head.
"No need," she said, with a smile that showed regret. "I've met with Volo, my editor, so it's off to the palace to spend a few days with my aunt Laeral. I'd never hear the end of it if I came to Waterdeep and left without seeing her."
"Then to Chult by boat," the noble next to her said. "Because who wouldn't want to write about vomiting over the side from sea sickness followed by the riveting tale of saturating our clothes in sweat while we wander in a hot and humid jungle, giant mosquitos draining us dry of every drop of blood. But the good news is that a ravenous dinosaur will probably eat us first and spare us the misery."
"Isn't he just a rare gem of a catch?" Amarune asked, raising an eyebrow, but also with a half-smile on her lips. "Can I leave him with all of you? Or better yet, want to all come with? That way his endless complaints can be shared among more ears than just mine?"
"Nope," Sky said. "Born and raised in a jungle. No need to explore another one. Now if you wanted to write an almanac about the secrets of Undermountain…"
The dark eyed woman looked at the others. "Haven't I already had this conversation?"
"We all have," Jhelnae said. "Sky doesn't know the meaning of the word 'no'."
"Speak not of me leaving your side," Arclath said, with a twinkle of humor in his eyes. "For as fair as these companions are, not even the three of them can make up for the absence of my one Amarune."
"Well, that's not insulting," the half-drow said, rolling her eyes.
"But very sweetly and romantically said, so we forgive you," Aleina added. "Some sitting at this table could learn a thing or two from Lord Delcastle."
Kuhl opened his mouth to protest that neither he, nor any of his male companions, were romantically linked to the females of their group, and thus should be exempt from having to think up any sweet words. Then he thought better of it and shut his mouth.
"Wise choice," the noble said, giving the half-elf a conspiratorial wink, seeming to read his thoughts.
If any warning went off in the halfling's head, however, he ignored it.
"Of course he says sweet things to her," Fargas said. "She is sleeping with him. And by that I don't mean using him for a convenient pillow the way you do when you say it, Aleina."
"Just because you're not having sex with them," the aasimar said. "Doesn't mean you can't pay an occasional compliment to your companions."
"Oh yeah," the halfling said. "When was the last time you paid me a compliment?"
"Or me?" Ront asked.
Aleina's brow furrowed in thought for a time, then she threw up her hands.
"Oh, I'm sure I have at some point," she said.
"That's what I thought," Fargas said.
"Regardless," Arclath said. "The lady is right. You should be giving your fair companions some sweet words. Courtliness demands it. But as this is our leave taking, do you have my order ready?"
"Of course," the halfling said, holding up three fingers towards Surash. "Three vials. Make sure you tell your noble friends all about it."
"Oh, I will," the noble said, receiving the vials from the alchemist. "Provided it does everything you promise."
"It will," Fargas said, he looked at Amarune. "And feel free to mention it in your almanac."
"You want me to write about your potion in my almanac?" the dark eyed woman said. "An almanac about the wild places of Faerun."
"You can subtly insert it," the halfling said. "In the little text asides that add flavor. Like, for example, 'I awoke very satisfied in the steamy jungles of Chult - made more steamy and more satisfying last night by my companion, Lord Delcastle, imbibing a dose of Surash's Potion of Potency', something like that."
"Yeah," Jhelnae said, shaking her head. "So subtle."
'With that," Amarune said. "I think we'll be going."
"And who can blame you?" Aleina said.
She jumped up and gave the dark eyed woman a hug, then embraced the noble as well.
The rest of the companions followed her lead. Even Ront.
"I would say take care of each other," Arclath said, with a final wave. "But I know you all will."
They headed for the stairs to gather their things before heading out.
The exchange of goodbyes attracted enough attention to warrant a visit from their server. The red-haired barmaid, Bonnie, took orders of another round of Shadowdark ale and some plates of fried quippers and chips.
"So, Ront," Jhelnae said after their server left. "What in the Nine Hells was that all about?"
"What was what all about?" the orc asked, looking confused.
"We escaped from the Underdark together," the half-drow said. "Fought together. Yet when it was time to say goodbye, I had to force a hug out of you. But you just jump up and give one to Arclath and Amarune?"
"Good point," Aleina said.
"The way I remember it," Ront said. "You hadn't had a bath in over a ten day at the time. And he is a paying customer. Fargas says feigned friendship to our clients boosts profits. He did pay, right?"
This last part was directed at the halfling.
"He did," Fargas said, smiling and nodding. "But I have an idea. What we really need are female testimonials. What do you say, ladies, a free vial for a promise to give your feedback after a future partner drinks it?"
"Ewww, no," the aasimar said, wrinkling her nose. "Gross, Fargas. Just gross."
But the half-drow gave the halfling a speculative look.
"Does it really work?" she asked.
"Satisfaction guaranteed," Surash said.
"Don't encourage them, Jhelnae," Aleina said.
"Guaranteed how?" the half-drow asked, ignoring the aasimar.
"Guaranteed by…" the alchemist paused. "Well, no one has asked that before. Guaranteed by our promise to give you another vial to try again I suppose."
Jhelnae sighed. "A promise to try again and do better? Yeah, I've heard that one before. No thanks."
Both Fargas and Surash looked crestfallen, as if they personally had been rejected rather than their potion.
"Sorry for the interruption," a new gruff voice said. "I just have to ask - is this handsome hunk of a male spoken for, or can I offer to buy him a drink at the bar?"
Kuhl turned to see a very large, half-orc hovering over their table. She stood almost seven feet tall and had grey cast skin and a pair of long orc ears poked through her mussed, wavy dark hair. Tusks, smaller than those of a full-blooded orc's, protruded over her upper lip.
Jhelnae and Aleina shared a mischievous smirk.
"He isn't spoken for," the aasimar said. "So, you're free to ask. Well, how about it, Kuhl? She wants a drink, and if you're a gentleman, you'll pay."
"I…" the half-elf started, not sure if he was going to accept or refuse.
The look of confusion that crossed the half-orc's face cut him off.
"Ah…umm, I'm sure you are quite pretty to… someone," she said, reaching out and giving him a patronizing pat on the head in consolation. "But you're not really my type. That offer was for you."
She pointed at Ront, who gave a wide grin bearing his tusks.
"I don't know," the orc said. "Looks like you have a lot of human in you. Can you handle a bit of rough and tumble?"
"Look who's talking tiny," the half-orc glared, but there was a mischievous glint in her eyes. "I am Yagra Stonefist and I think you'll find me more orc than you can handle."
"Good enough for me," Ront said. "I'm Ront. Let's go."
Their companion stood up. Despite his bold words, he only came up to Yagra's chin. But neither seemed to be put off by this as they headed to the bar.
"This is perfect," Fargas said, rubbing his hands together. "Who needs the endorsements of a waif thin aasimar and another waif thin drow when we can have someone like her vouch for our product's efficacy."
"Pretty sure we were just insulted," Jhelnae said, looking at Aleina.
"I'm more worried about poor Kuhl," the aasimar said, her laugh showing she was not worried in the least. "I'm not sure whether to feel sorry for him or relieved. Is Ront even going to survive his date? But don't worry. Some of those who still find you 'quite pretty' might be sitting at this table."
"Might be?" the half-elf said, smiling and shaking his head. "You really know how to build someone's ego back up, don't you?"
"Why didn't she want a drink with you?" Dawnbringer said in his mind. "You're ruggedly built, stronger than Ront even, handsome too."
"You heard her," Kuhl mentally shrugged. "Not her type."
"I really liked her," his sword sent back.
"Really liked her?" Kuhl thought, then understood. "This is about your wanting children for future potential bearers, isn't it?"
"Did you see the size of her?" the sword sent back. "And well put together. That one is going to be the mother of many great warriors."
"Look!" Sky said, as cheers erupted all around the taproom and from the upper balconies as well. "I think someone is getting ready to go down."
Kuhl caught a brief glimpse of a party loading onto the platform attached to the hoist mechanism by the well, then the occupants of the tables closer surged to their feet and the view was lost. The half-elf leapt up as well and now he could see.
"What is happening?" Fargas asked.
"Stand on the bench," Jhelnae said.
Out of the corner of his eye, Kuhl saw the half-drow, the aasimar, and the alchemist were all already on the benches so they could get a view. Sky, who was tall and long limbed, apparently could see just fine by standing on her tiptoes."
"I am on the bench," the halfling said.
"Sky is right," the half-elf said for the benefit of his shorter companion. "It's an adventuring party, preparing to go into Undermountain. There is a big armored human warrior with a greatsword, a dwarf with an orange beard, a half-elf in robes, a cleric I think, a human woman in robes, again some sort of spell caster and a blue skinned woman with tattoos, err… not in robes. Or armor."
"By not in robes or armor," Aleina said. "He means wearing practically nothing at all."
"If she were a male, I'd say she was compensating," Jhelnae said. "Look at the size of that sword on her back."
It did seem oversized. She wore a greatsword the same size as the one wielded by her companion, but she was probably no larger than Jhelnae or Aleina.
"Wearing almost nothing at all?" the halfling said. "Boost me up Kuhl. You know what, forget it."
He hopped down from the bench and scurried forward through the crowd for a closer look.
Chatter started as wagers were exchanged with handshakes. Kuhl thought of poor Jimjar, killed soon after their escape from Velkynvelve in the Underdark. If only the little deep gnome had survived and was with them now. He'd feel as if he had made it to one of the heavenly planes and be calling out bets like a madman.
A song started among the watchers, at first only a few, but then more who knew it joined in and Kuhl could hear the words.
Down, down, down the well!
Strappen up and sharp thy blade!
Down, down, down the well!
Oh strapping lad or venturer maid!
Down, down, down the well!
And back again, once Durnan's paid!
The platform was swung out over the gaping hole of the well, then a clatter started as the winch mechanism lowered the occupants down into depths. A hush settled over the crowd as soon as the group disappeared into the darkness, singing falling off, and talking did not start again until the platform was cranked back up empty.
"That should have been us," Sky said, sitting heavily back down on the bench.
She noticed that, while they'd been watching the party descend, their order of food and ale had arrived. She scooped up a fried quipper and bit into it, chewing angrily.
"No, it shouldn't," Jhelnae said. "There are plenty of things to do in Waterdeep without us having to go underground."
"I'll drink to that," Fargas said, returning and scooping up his newly delivered tankard as he sat down.
"You'll drink to anything," Jhelnae said.
She picked up her own tankard of Shadowdark Ale but put it down again before she took a drink.
A figure approached. He stroked his mustache, adjusted his floppy hat, and tightened his scarf, then presented himself at their table.
"Volothamp Geddarm, chronicler, wizard, and celebrity, at your service," the man said. "Pleased to make your acquaintance."
He looked to be well into his cups, with a ruddy face, unfocused gaze, and slightly tipsy stance.
"You're Amarune's editor, right?" Kuhl said, remembering Arclath and Amarune sitting with him earlier.
"Ghostwriter more like," Volothamp said. "The woman has no gift for prose. I have to rewrite everything. But I agreed to help her publish her work as a favor for her grand sire. By which I mean he said he wouldn't polymorph me into a toad if I did."
On the journey from the High Forest, Kuhl had looked through Amarune's notes for her almanac. Her writing had seemed fine, but he decided not to press the point.
"Who is her grand sire?" Sky asked.
"Elminster Aumar," he said.
"The wizard in all those stories?" the tabaxi asked.
If there was one thing that could take Sky's mind off of going into Undermountain, it was a new distraction. Learning their friend was related to a legendary spell caster seemed to do the trick.
"The very same," Volothamp said.
The tabaxi patted the empty spot Ront had vacated, and the self-proclaimed celebrity sat.
"I know who you are," Aleina said. "My family has several volumes of your guidebooks in our library. But they are a bit out of date. Like over a hundred years out of date. So shouldn't you be a lot older?"
That was a bit of an understatement. Based on the span of human lives, if this was the author of those books written over a hundred years ago, the man should be dead.
"It's a long and complicated story," the mustached man said. "Involving an imprisonment spell."
"I'm guessing you got magically imprisoned over a hundred years ago," Surash said. "And only recently freed?"
"I suppose that is a short and simple rendition of the relevant facts," Volothamp said, nodding.
He'd brought his own tankard with him and took a drink.
"Arclath and Amarune said you were adventurers," the mustached man said. "And they vouched for your good character. As I sat there drinking, I got the idea you might be interested, newly arrived as you are, in being hired for some freelance work."
"Such as?" Jhelnae asked, not able to keep the suspicion out of her voice.
"The violence in our fair city these past ten days, has been terrible," Volothamp said. "I haven't seen so much blood since my last visit to Baldur's Gate! But now I fear I have misplaced a friend amid this odious malevolence."
Kuhl relaxed slightly. He had thought the offer was going to be as hired muscle. But the conversation didn't seem to be going that route.
"My friend's name is Floon Blagmaar," the mustached man continued. "He's got more beauty than brains, and I worry he took a bad way home a couple nights ago and was kidnapped - or worse. If you agree to track him down with all due haste, I can offer you ten dragons apiece now, and I can give you each ten times that when you find Floon. May I prevail upon you in my hour of need?"
"You'll give us ten gold each for just promising to look for your friend?" Aleina asked. "And a hundred gold each if we find him?"
"Yes," Volothamp said.
"That's a good deal," Fargas said. "Very tempting. But my alchemist friend and I are setting up a business where we can make far more. We shouldn't get distracted."
The halfling gestured to Surash, who nodded.
Aleina, Jhelnae, and Kuhl shared a look. In truth they needed the coin, especially if they were going to stay in Waterdeep for any length of time. But this felt like taking advantage of someone who was drunk.
"We'll do it," Sky said, tail lashing and a predatory look in her eye.
Knowing the tabaxi as he did, Kuhl knew her acceptance had nothing to do with the gold and everything to do about learning the truth behind this mysterious disappearance. In her mind, Sky was already on the hunt.
"Excellent," the man wearing the floppy hat said.
He stood and started counting out coins for Kuhl, Aleina, Jhelnae, and Sky.
"I last saw him two nights ago while we had drinks at Skewered Dragon in the Dock Ward," he said. "I suggest you start there."
Note song from: /Yawning_Portal
I am supposed to just be editing the Out of the Abyss fic...but I couldn't help myself. Sad, I know.
Those of you familiar with the campaign are probably screaming, "YOU RUINED IT!" since I took out the fighting in the first chapter. Sorry. I decided to go a little different route. Warning, the campaign will be heavily adjusted going forward as well. I personally really like the campaign, but I want to tweak some things for fun.
Oh, and the idea of having Amarune and Arclath working on a series of almanacs came from an actual dmsguild product (they are called Amarune's Almanac). It's very good (I have all of them) and I just thought, "I could use this pair as an introduction to Volo…"
Note: I don't know if this is official lore - but the song is from oakthrone dot net / wiki / index dot php / Yawning_Portal and I thought it was quite good.
Edit - 3-22-2022 - I noticed the italics didn't carry over.