8th day, 2nd ride, April, 1372 DR
Talking to Thorim about the problems of the Lycans wasn’t easy. As expected, he had very little sympathy for their position. All he could think about was revenge, recompense and retribution for his cousin’s death. Understandable. Dwarves, it seemed, are the same the world over. From Ironspur to Dagger Falls. He did, however, understood the need to investigate this “Gwath,” and was eager to help us out in that regard.
As an aside, the gold bars we had found had been sold to the Brightblade clan, who gaves us platinum pieces in return. I immediately decided to by Stygos off the stable master at the garrison. While I didn’t realise it at first, Abel was helping me negotiate a better price for Stygos. Fifteen platinum pieces later and I was his owner and the stable master had thrown in two rides of lodgings and grooming as well.
The rest of the day we spent investigating “Gwath” at various sources. What we found was that Gwath was a drow elf who arrived in Daggerdale when it was still called Merridale in 769, DR. She summoned fifteen vampire lords who proceeded to the terrorise the dale in her name. They took up residence at Castle Highstone, which was promptly renamed to Castle Bloodstone. (I had secretly harboured some hope that the name “Bloodstone” had something to do with my homeland, but alas.) They were banished in 802, DR by priests of Lathander. Nobody had heard anything from Gwath since, until Lord Morn got kidnapped by Gwath’s daughter when he was young and held in the Spiderhaunt woods until a group of adventurers freed him and slew Gwath’s daughter. It is believed Gwath is a lich.
I admit freely that when I heard that last word… “Lich…” that I felt sick to my stomach. What a strange thing something so terrible does to the mind and body of a man. You’d think I’d be used to it by now, having lived all of my life under the bane of a creature as vile as Gwath. Flashbacks to the hordes of orks and undead made my head spin, and for a moment I wanted nothing more than to mount Stygos and ride further south and west. Away from Gwath. Away from Zhengyi. Away from the death and despair that followed in his wake.
We learned that more information could be found in Shadowdale, which was a two day ride away. Supposedly, a man named Elminster resides there, a sage of great renown, who could tell us more. We decided that the first step would be for us to ride for the ruins of Castle Bloodstone, which was a day’s ride away, to see what was happening there, if anything. No dalesman would go near the place for rumours of it being haunted were abound. Rumours I tended to believe.
We rode for Castle Bloodstone and reached the small town of Cold Springs by dusk. We decided to spend an uneventful night there.