From the Journal of Thenric Blackthorne
I awaken to the voice of Magnus’ booming voice and the jolt of priestly healing magic entering my body. Cursing myself for not running when I had the chance, I fell victim to an Orc scimitar. I could feel the mental smack on the back of my head from my friend and mentor, Brynd Tyndall for staying to fight. “If it’s a fair fight, RUN!” he growled in my face, over and over through the years. “Thieves aren‘t fighters! We are assassins, skulkers in the shadows. Fair fights are for nobility and fools!” Looking at the new scar on my chest, there was no denying the wisdom of his words.
Chazz was nowhere to be found. Stephanos Brandhoft found a healing potion to bring Magnus to consciousness, and he cast mass healing to bring Jacob and me around. This spell did not stir Barton or Rank, so we knew they were beyond the Door. Stephanos let us know that our crazy half-orc comrade Chazz had left to harry any trackers and keep the enemy from us. In our weakened condition, we realized we would be of no help to Chazz, so after a brief rest, we got on our horses and headed north to Eltruel, hoping he would follow if he could.
Spending the last seven years in Baldur’s Gate, I knew of Elturel; the two cities connected by the River Chionthar. But never had I looked upon the luminous walled city until this day. A brilliant magical light hovered over the buildings and walls. Awe-inspiring to be sure, but the burglar’s heart in me smiled at the thought of the wonderful shadows the light would create in the twilight.
Arrival in Elturel
After a ferry over the Chionthar, we arrived in Elturel proper. The city teemed with citizens and visitors alike, here for the Penance of Duty festival starting on the morrow in the town. After a failed attempt for assistance for our fallen comrades at the House of Coins, we joined most of the visitors to the city in a tent town outside Elturel‘ walls. Most were laughing and drinking, although I had no heart for revelry after our long muddy journey; I needed rest. I learned that Jacob’s idea of rest involved gambling, drinking and whoring. When I saw him the next afternoon, his attire looked like something from a Waterdeep “boy” tavern. Jacob boasted of a fantastic night of partying that ended in the arms of Solara, a beautiful priestess of Sune. Initially, I took his stories to be drunken hyperbole, but as we left the tent to head to the House of Coins, I heard many people stop and whisper, “Look, that’s Jacob!” Besides, only a beautiful woman could make a man wear the silken thong he was sporting.
I met with Jacob in the afternoon. I spent the morning escorting Stephanos and the horses (bearing the bodies of Rank and Barton) to the House of Coins. Stephanos traded the mounts to the temple in return for a spell to bring Barton back to this side of the Door. Rank did not wish to return, and I silently toasted to his good fortune in the Afterworld.
Magnus left to work the forge at the temple of Moradin, while I attempted to find some means to find the local Thieves Guild. As a lawful city, Elturel’s thieves lived in the shadows. By a strange coincidence, I happened upon my old comrade Joe, leg breaker and world’s worst burglar, who was wearing the city guard livery. Joe and I swapped tall tales for a while, and he helped me get into the Guild. I was looking for a way to meet with either Ontharr or Leosin, but the Guild had no love for either, and no desire to help a strange thief with no recommendations. I can’t say I blame them.
With Jacob in tow, we meet with Magnus and Barton, whose hatred for the Dragon Cultists fueled his return from the other side of the Door. Together we head to the Helm Deep Hall to talk to Ontharr. As we suspected, there was no way to alert Ontharr or Leosin about the Dragon Cultists’ attack on Greenest and the strange hatchery we encountered in their camp. We were able to meet Kale Hampton, a steward to Lord Delpht, the ruler of Elturel. Hampton seemed keen to get us to the Lords keep, and I sense deception in his words and actions. I alerted my comrades, but we didn’t move fast enough; Kale ordered the city guards to arrest us. I learned my lesson from the day before and bolted into the crowd of festival attendees to escape. Jacob, Magnus, and Barton were not so lucky; they were arrested and locked in a cell. I slipped the guards chasing me and slowly made my way back towards the jail.