The Rise of Dragonspear Castle

Proposed Layout for Istishia's Tears
Excavating the realms

Here is a propsed layout for our new water way to the realm. Something to consider or discuss during our next session. Digger is getting anxious to start digging.

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A Vision of the Future
Istishia's Plan for Miekkavalas

The cries of the gulls and the sound of waves slapping against the boat snapped Miekkavalas from his meditation. He scanned the pre-dawn skies looking for the birds, knowing that they weren't there. The same could be said for the sound of the waves lapping against the boat. Yet the cries of the gulls and the smell of a large body of water lingered in the back of his mind as he looked out over the land around him. With a smile he knew what must be done….

Since the group had reclaimed Dragonspear Castle and renamed it to Misthelm, Miekkavalas has taken to holding his morning prayers and meditations in the Southwest tower of the inner keep. He liked the view from up here and on a clear day one could see for miles in all directions. But today, like most days, the mists rolling in off of the moors tended to limit the distance from which he could scan the horizon.

The sun's rays would be cresting the horizon soon but it would still take a few hours before the mists would burn away. Below, he could hear the sounds of the dwarven labourers begin to gather their tools and form into their work details. On the grounds outside of the castle he could hear the troops of the Red Sash engaged in their shift changes and the whining of their horses as they shrugged off the chilled, damp air of the night.

The visions have been coming on stronger and more vivid as of late. He has had visions before, and often they came at key turning points in his life. The last time he had had visions this strong was just before he received a summons to meet with Ebinezer Castius, a merchant and uncle to Jansyn. Back then a vision of a man, clad in shimmering armour the color of the deepest blue oceans, had approached Miekkavalas, telling him that his desinty was tied to the offer that Ebinezer was going to propose to him and the band of strangers. The man in the vision told him that Miekkavalas was to join with this group and with the strength and bond that would develop, he would be able to help spread the word of Istishia to the masses.

Now, with the castle secured under their control and reconstruction was in full swing, Miekkavalas begin to contemplate if his work here was done with the group and if it was time for him to move on. Then the visions started. At first they were small and enigmatic. The earliest came during his morning contemplations where he would hear the sound of waves lapping against a shore. Other times he would feel the wet spray of water against his face as if he were aboard a large vessel plying a vast sea, only to open his eyes and see the lands around Misthelm. But in these last few days they became more detailed and realistic. Yesterday he had a vision that he was standing on a large dock, looking out over a vast inland sea. In the background stood Misthelm in all its resplendant glory. The waves lapped over the dock and got his feet wet and when he came out of his meditation, he was surprised to find that his feet were wet and the smell of a body of fresh water lingered in the air.

This morning was different. As he sank into a medataive state, he began to hear the cries of the gulls, circling overhead as Miekkavalas saw himself sitting inside a boat set upon a vast body of water. A slight wind blew a cool breeze across his face as he enhaled the crisp air. Then the water near the bow of the craft begain to churn and bubble up, taking the shape of a beautiful woman clad in a shimmering coat of mail comprised of seashells. The vision of the woman rose up out of the water and stepped across the surface of the lake until she stepped into the sailing vessel and sat down across from him. She spoke to him that his work was far from finished here and now that the land was reclaimed, it was time for Miekkavalas to spread the word of Istishia to the masses that would soon be coming to Misthelm. With a sweeping gesture of her arm she said that this body water must be made real. Then with another sweep of her arm, the vision of the lake changed. In the middle of the lake now appeared an outcropping of rock, upon which was a gleeming temple made of the finest turquoise and marble rose majestically from the waters. A vast bridge connected the island temple to the main land and people could be seen crossing the bridge as they made their pilgramage to the temple. Behind him was a large port city with ships flying the flags of many nations as they came to the realm of Misthelm to conduct trade. And far off to the north, the white spires of Misthelm glistened in the sun.

The vision told him that this was his purpose, that Istishia has ordanined that he, along with his friends and companions would work to bring this vision to fruition. Then, as the vision began to fade, Miekkavalas smiled, for now he knew that he was meant to stay here and perform great deeds. But how would he construct something like a large inland lake? Even if he were to summon the bulk of workers from Baulders Gate and Waterdeep, it would still take several lifetimes just to dig out such a vast reservior. But the vision had told him to look for help from unexpected places. Miekkavalas' brow furrowed as he contemplated this. Then suddenly, from down below, the dwarves working in the southern tower began talking excitedly about a earthen statute that they just uncovered in a section of ruins. A smile slowly crept across Miekkavalas' face as he made his way down the stairs. Off in the distance, a lone gull cried out in the morning air.

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Attunement

Amon collapsed near a tree a short distance away from the fire and the others, his body succumbing to the exhaustion the fight at the mansion had induced.  He and his companions had barely survived the encounter with the cursed doll, but to have to fight a corrupted evil bitch had nearly been the doom of them all…

Amon’s hand brushed over his pocket where the sickly green gem lay.  He didn’t believe anyone in his party had seen him retrieve it as the house collapsed in on itself.  The fools had been too busy trying to make a hasty exit than to retrieve the gem.   The fact that Grushnak and that elf had actually tried to destroy it was appalling!  This entire trip was to recover an item of power that could help them in their struggles to re-forge Dragonspear in their own image; considering everything they had to go through to retieve the gem it must be the item of power!  To think they thought to destroy it because they feared or didn’t understand its power was beyond frustrating.  Grushnak he could understand, but Kaylith?!

No matter.  He would spend time with the gem later when he could be assured of privacy.  If the party wasn’t interested in what it could bring to them than they were fools.  Amon took his hand away from his pocket, and began to rifle through his pack.   The book they had discovered in the ruined housesit of Dragonspear had been an unexpected boon, certainly another tomb he would spend time with.  Nehara!  He could only imagine what could be uncovered there should he find the cities location.   That too, however, would need to wait.

Amon’s hands settled on the 2nd tomb in his pack.  The binding of the book was made of snake scales and color a vibrant purple, the same purple that his eyes were.   This book too had been discovered as he searched through the rubble of Dragonspear Castle.  The visions his patron had granted him led him directly to the book and it was only now that he was alone could he start to delve into its contents.  He took the book out of his pack cautiously, looking to ensure the others had allowed sleep to take them.  It was for this purpose he had volunteered to take first guard.  Though he was exhausted, the thrill of leafing through that first page gave him enough strength to deny his body’s need for rest a bit longer.

Amon began to read the opening pages, curiosity taking hold where caution would have been a more prudent decision.   After only a few moments of reading his eyes began to itch and slightly burn, clearly the result of trying to read while so overwhelmingly exhausted.  However, after the sensation got worse Amon realized he had made a horrible mistake.  He dropped the tomb and clutched at his eyes, the burning sensation now overwhelming his other senses.  It took all of his self-control to not cry out in pain for he did not want to awaken the others. For what seemed like ages Amon endured the pain until, as if magically, it stopped.

Hesitantly, Amon opened his eyes and was shocked by what he saw.  Where before he had seen a forest in darkness now he saw the ghostly outlines of vegetation.  He stood up and walked up to a large oak near him, amazed that he could see directly through the tree.  He moved toward the fire and the sleeping forms of his comrades, each now appearing to be no more than apparitions asleep on the ground.  Amon was amazed at this new found power; he had scorned the idea of delving deeper into the power of his patron for so long he cursed himself for a fool.   Power was power, it was simply a matter of controlling it.

Amon made his way back to his area and sat down quietly.  He closed his eyes and concentrated on his normal vision returning.  Once complete he put the book back into his pack… clearly he needed to find more pages to his book, more power was sure to be within their pages.  
 

Reinvigorated, Amon decided that perhaps tonight was the night to discover what power the crystal held, especially since everyone was asleep.   He grasped the crystal in his hands and began to concentrate…

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Jansyn responds to his friends

I thank those who have made their sentiments known as to our direction with regards to Dragonspear.  There are a few items on the agenda that we need to agree upon and then a course of action decided upon.

As for the first- it would appear that we are all in agreement several amongst you are ill suited for rulership.  However, I think we also all agree, that there must be a form of government, an entity that establishes and enforces the laws of Dragonspear  (whatever we decide that they are).   I propose the following: we form a counsel with each taking a role that plays to their strength and area(s) of expertise.  I think logically there should be a "leader", one to whom the people will turn and ultimately make decisions, much like the Lords of Waterdeep. It would appear that role will fall to me, for a number of reasons. 

As for the second- I think we should rename Dragonspear.  It has a blackened reputation, one that will deter people from coming to settle here.  I think we need a fresh start, a name change will perhaps set us on new path.  I propose – Castle Mist.  Please chime in with suggestions.

As to the third- we need to establish a charter of laws, aside from "Grushnak stopping killing things" or "Grushnak stop drinking everything in sight" .  Who wants to think about this?

As to the fourth- we need money, and a lot of it, therefore I think I must go to Baldur's Gate and secure the dowery.  I think I also shall seek out my uncle to see if he has additional funds to allocate to this project.

As to the fifth- how do we want to recruit people, how are we enticing them to come settle and work?  The castle is not going to be built by ten men or fifty men, how are we going to take care of them and keep them working?

As to the sixth- we need to decide what everyone's role will be within the counsel.  I suggest we adjourn and continue this conversation after our evening meal.  And someone wake up Grushnak!

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Concerning Dragonspear

We have come to the topic that we all seem to have been all-too-comfortable continually shoving to the bottom of the sack, never letting it float to the top: our actions have this purpose, this objective, at the end of them. We have a nagging achievement that must be met. But we have forgotten that this gives us opportunity. A type of opportunity borne from freedom of choice and of undetermined fate! We are the sculptors, we are the architects, we have the power. And we have been ordained as the wielders! So let us wield.

We should sculpt Dragonspear into three things: a center of knowledge, and a center of power, and a center of influence. We should work to attract scholars and patrons, to establish a university to rival the Lady's College and a library to rival the Vault of the Sages. We must create a power base to protect those that chose to settle here and provide. A strong militia, smart and capable and well led is imperative to the survival of Dragonspear as a kingdom. We must be willing to assert our influence in the region. We must export our goods, our culture, and our people. We musdt embed them into the fabric of life on the Sword Coast. We must be able to influence our friends as well as our enemies.

As for rulership, I am uninterested. I would prefer to work behind the scenes. There is much to be done and my interests lie far beyond the day to day drag of ruling. There is coin to be counted, resources to control, research to be done. This work is best done behind the throne and curtains.

Above all, let us never forget what this will afford us: the power to assert ourselves on the world. We must take full advantage.

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Amon's Musing

The creation of a new nation is never something that can be undertaken with a light heart.  Along the road many sacrifices must be made and challenges overcome. Jansyn, I am glad to see that it was you that brought up the hard questions that our party has avoided… I always had a feeling you'd become strong of character when I first met you as an orphan, nd you've certian ly not disappointed.

Dragonspear has a long and checkered past, and it will take much effort to erase that memories that surround our new home.  Although the vampire is gone (though even that not without its own strings thanks to the Elf) there is much of our home that remains a mystery.  We must work hard to clear any lingering evil so we can truely begin making it our own.

I envision a nation that accepts all within its borders in the hope of creating something positive in the world.  Look at our own group for example… No one would have chosen us to become a band that would watch out for one another.  An elf, a half elf, a half ork, two humans, and a tiefling.   We have embraced out diverstiy and have come out stronger because of it. I sincerely hope the same can eventually be said of the nation we plan to build.  

In terms of my role within this kingdom… I have no ambitions to rule if that's what anyone is worried about.  I am far too meloncholy to make a good ruler anyways.  that said, while I may not see myself as a good ruler, I know I have much to offer a ruler.  Much of my life over the last 15 years has been learning how to gather information that people dont' admit exists.  All Iask for my help in creating this nation is that I be allowed to advise our ruler with information I continute to gather.   I am no book smart elf and harbor no ambition beyond being an advisori.

 

 

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Response to Jansyn.
Building a new kingdom

Jansyn,

You bring up many valid points and I have contemplated on this subject for some time myself. As a priest of Istihsea, we are taught from an early age that nothing remains static. Like the cycle of water, kingdoms of men, dwarves, elves, and other races throughout history have risen and fallen, as will be the fate of our kingdom over time as well.

Just as the rains beat down upon the earth and slowly erode mountains, flood towns and villages, and drown our livestock, the same rains bring nourishment to the crops we eat, provide us with life giving water to drink, and carves pathways through the landscape that allows us to connect with other kingdoms and provide avenues of transport for our goods. The peoples of our world are no different than the rains. Our history is rife with examples that show peoples of all races are capable of great deeds, leadership, and honor as well as exhibiting extreme malice and destruction to their own kind and others. As is the cycle of water, so it is with the peoples of our realm.

So the question becomes how do we see ourselves in relation to the cycle of rain. Are we to be a kingdom that rises up like a mighty tsunami that washes away all that is good around us and subverts others to our will? Or do we liken ourselves to the life giving rains that feeds and nourishes all that we come into contact with, promoting growth and change and developing a kingdom that provides hope and prosperity over time. I, for one, would like to see us as the latter. This castle has a history of good and evil and unfortunately it seems that evil has won out. But I feel that, like the spring rains, we can be a force of change that can retake this castle and its lands and turn it into a beacon of hope not only for the peoples in the lands surrounding us but to lands far and wide across the realm. I am willing to sacrifice myself to this cause and… die for it if need be.

I envision our kingdom as one ruled by many with a common goal. A drop of water, by itself is relatively ineffectual. A drop of water cannot even quench the thirst of a man but many drops of water can fill a well, water a field, or carry a boat across the seas. Such as it is with men. A single ruler may be able to affect those around him but put a group of people together and they can influence entire regions.

I liken our group of adventurers as a trickle of water running down the side of a mountain. There are many obstacles in our path that may alter our course or cause us to become divided. I trust most within this group with my life and many times my very life was saved by the actions of those within our group. But there are many obstacles and hidden roles within our group that make me question the overall cohesion of our party. Both warlocks still seem to harbor hidden agendas that have me worried. Are we to build a kingdom with these men who may have secret pacts with other patrons or beings from other dimensions with goals that differ from ours? As for  Keyleth… I have no doubt that one day she will become a powerful and wise mage but she still has yet to prove that she has the groups best interests at heart. As with many of her kind, she looks out for herself first rather than the common interests of our group. I only pray that we can impress upon her that the importance of working together towards a common goal would be in her best interest, as well as ours.

As for Grushnak and yourself, I feel that there is a commonality and bond that brings us together. I can see you becoming a popular and a well-beloved figurehead to the people of our kingdom. Your virtues and honesty are worn upon your sleeve for all to see and I can't help but see you becoming a beloved figurehead and ruler in our kingdom. Grushnak has proven his loyalty towards this group time and again and I believe that over time he will become a mighty warrior that will gain the respect of all that flock under his banner. With the right tutelage in military tactics and paring back on his alcohol consumption, he could become a great leader and general.

As for myself, I don't know where I would fit within the grand scheme of our kingdom. Just as it is with any body of water that stays in one place for too long without moving about, it becomes stagnant and lifeless. It is in the nature of our sect to wander the world, teach the lessons of our religion, and help those in need. Thus far in life I have followed life on a path much like a meandering river. I never know what will be around the next bend and I am always curious to see where my path in life leads me. Just know this… that no matter where life takes us or what roads we follow, I will always be there for you and our kingdom.

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Jansyn Calls a Meeting

The camp was a bit disheveled after our last battle.  I think we were reeling a bit from confrontation with the vampire and the harpies.  I know I was stunned by the priest's sacrifice to power the protection spells that lay over the gates and portals the ravage Dragonspear. 

As I looked around, i realized for better or worse – this was the basis of the kingdom we were brought here to found.  All these months, all the dangers faced, all that we had endured, had been leading us to this moment.  Perhaps we did not all see it for what it was, but it was in fact time to face facts, this ruin was to be our home, and we were the ones people would look to, for guidance, and for help.  We were the ones people would come to, we could not longer look to others, we had to find it in ourselves, and become leaders.

I had been coming to this for a long while.  I know my betrothed deserves an answer as to when she might expect to be married.  Her father has the money we need to rebuild this place, but I need a place suitable to bring a wife.  I pledged to the Duke that I would marry his daughter and I am honor-bound to fulfill that promise.  Sooner, rather than later, I suspect.

I mentally square my shoulders for the skirmish that is about to commence, but it needs to be done. I look about at my companions, sigh and say…

My lords and Lady (with a nod to Keylieth), we need to discuss somethings that we have perhaps been avoiding, but the time is here.  Our kingdom (such as it is) needs some attention and we need to decide from here on out, what this place is going to be.  I know we all hope to found a kingdom, based here – but what/who are we?  What kind of kingdom do we wish this to be? 

Are a free state, where all are welcome?  There are a few kingdoms where many walk free- like Waterdeep and Silverymoon, and all races are welcomed.  Is this what we want?  With our racial makeup, it would be hard to suggest otherwise, but we need to decide.

Who is going to be the ruler or the face of the kingdom?  Will we rule as a council or will one person rule? Waterdeep has a counsel of Lords, with one man as the face. 

What roles would other people fill?  Is there someone amongst us, who is more suited to diplomacy or running the military? What are you willing to do?

We must have some laws or a charter for the kingdom.  Chaos cannot reign here, people will not come to settle here, if there is not some form of order. 

I ask for your opinions, as the hour grows late.  We are here and must start taking steps to become what we set out to be.  What say you?

 

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Mount Dworc!
by Grushnak

We arrived with help from the wood elves and Mama Booga to Mt. Illifuckedifiknow how to say that word!  We had it on good authority that the Red Wizards were about to stumble on a key that we been searchin for.

I'm ok at a sneakin when needs be, but not so much for the warlocks and cleric…plus im only half human.  We were going to have to get through a bunch of Orcs and Dworcs and so we asked Mama Booga if she could help. 

HHHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH them fuckers!!  Laugh at me will ya when I had to make dealings with Mama!?!  Mama agreed to disquise them as orcs so we could pass unbothered, but the ritual included Mama sayin and swayin and ended up with them all having to get tit hugged by Mama's massive sweaty Ogre testicle sized gords!!!!  HAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHHA, me be laughin about this for a good spell!!!!

Inside we worked our way through the maze to try to steal the key before the wizards could unlock the chest it was kept in.  We found a crypt which had a small secret hiding spot with a little gold statue.  Gods Jansen was having a right shit fit cause we wanted to take it.

We found the Dwarf kings room and went in to see if he could help.  That codger was right wacked out his head he was so we didnt hang around long.  We did find a small necklace sized chest that when opend magically revealed a war hammer that looked like it was made for smashin somethin heavy.  While they were busy I went out to scout a bit, and decided that the gold statue was worth another look, so went back to the crypt real quick like and grabbed the statue…………

FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!! 

The last thing I remembered was grabbin that gold statue!  It right rang my bell it did.  Shocked me with some kind of lightning and I was out cold! Luckily the gang found me, not those Orcs or Red Wizards.  We then proceeded to leave the upstairs part of the keep and tryed to make our way down to the alter, which we hoped to smash to reveal the key………then I ran face first into a Dworc.

We had some words.  Like "what ya doing up here" – "im looking for some good drink, come help me get some from the kings room" – "yer fuckin dumb, im not helpin ya do that" – THWOCK!!  Right in his fat fuckin dworc mouth!!!  That el teach ya cock sucker!!  I thought we were going to have a good scrap, but the pussy just ran away!

Time to go…we all ran down the stairs figurin that the dworc was going to sound the alarm.  We made our way into the alter room through a back door.  Found another dworc inside cryin about his pet somethin or other, rat i guess.  Smashed the alter, and got the key….but it all went sideways after that.

Red Wizards up the ass, only thing to do was run like we stole it!!  We made our way to the door, Jansen held the wizard off a bit while we made the escape, once out the door the wood elves had our cover fire waitin.

 

"And that was three days ago, all I remember lass. Now fetch me another ale cause im starten to feel sober again!!"  Grushnak smacks her ass as she walks away to fill his mug.  

 

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Up the River

Keeping the peace in Baldur’s Gate has taken an interesting turn. It looks as if we have gained a member to our small clan and perhaps also an enemy. What interests me most, though is an ally. Perhaps. Densar Melorian, the court wizard of Baldur’s Gate, is of great interest to me. Although I make of him no great wizard, he must be know something (arcane or otherwise) to be able to hold such a position. I have a great interest in learning what I can from him and from the libraries of Baldur’s Gate. I have recently gained the ability of some new spells, and my thirst to know more and grasp more lingers constantly in the back of my mind. I must seek out this Densar and seek his counsel.

Another development, or at least realization, is that the lot of us are now titled landholders, which will open doors to us within the nobility of Baldur’s Gate and elsewhere as we seek to prop up Dragonspear. Certainly friends in high places make for… uneasy fellowships, but we are without much of a place to start and passing ourselves off, however poorly, as nobility is as good a place as any.

But poor, poor Jansyn. I shudder to think of what he has done in the past that made saddling himself to a dullard the best option available. Certainly, though, it will help us. Perhaps hinder as well. It will nonetheless be interesting and amusing to see the fallout from this particular development. He is truly been sent up the river. However, her desire to learn magic may mean that I am set upon the boat as well.

I have also taken to studying the map of the Sword Coast I kept from the fated ship in the Moonshaes. The detail is phenomenal. There are so many places that hold intrigue to me. I am constantly drawn, though, to an area to the north that looks like it was rushed or drawn over on the map. The rest of the map is in such pristine condition, and this area is lacking. It is uncharacteristic.

I hope our time here will be fruitful. If nothing else, it is nice to see city again, however lacking it is in comparison to the splendor of home.

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