Of all the sins proscribed by the Triad, I must confess to the most grievous, that of sloth. I have neglected my duty and commitment to my friends, and the readers, to chronicle our quest. Azujhan has already updated his portion of this log, so this will be out of order, but it’s only fair that I seek to rectify the error that I have committed.
For my sloth, I can only plea my fascination with the sword. Though the name Hazirawn is etched along its blade, I have come to find myself secretly referring to the sword as “Delilah” after the temptress of long ago, mentioned in the book of an esoteric and alien religion. How I know this is beyond me. I don’t recall having read such a book. I can only attribute this to my previous life. I’m told that I was a bard of the college of lore; perhaps I read the book during one session of research or another.
Delilah was the downfall of an ancient king named Samson. While he slept, the enemy cut his hair, robbing him of his power. While I don’t claim royal blood, I can’t deny the allegory to my own story. The sword has fascinated me and my focused study of it has zealously absorbed my every waking moment. The reasons should become apparent as the reader continues through the entry.
Azujhan’s entry does a very good job of covering for my failure. In the interest of not boring the reader by repeating what he has already eloquently written, I will, instead, add my account as a supplement to his.
We were advised to fly to Waterdeep to attend a council designed to address the danger of the Cult of the Dragon and their attempt to raise Tiamat. En route, it occurred to us that we had not explored all parts of the castle. There was still one area we had avoided, the home of the vampire I had discovered in my search of the castle. The lower door was locked so Blagothkus was kind enough to lift each of us through the hole in the top of the tower. I readied myself as the vampire was already awake and ready for our arrival.
Again, Azujhan does justice to the pact we struck with Sandesyl. I’m not comfortable with the terms of the agreement; however, the loss of life should Tiamat come forth would be much greater than the blood of a few. The pragmatism burns at my soul, but I pray that Torm, Tyr and Ilmater will understand.
We were able to obtain the information we needed and a name to direct us.
Without delay, we asked Blagothkus to steer a course for the swamp. With no room to land the castle in the swamp, Blagothkus was forced to land outside the environs and it was up to us to make our way to the contact.
We faced multiple foes, shambling mounds and the like, but they were dispatched with relative ease. Only a few cuts and bruises were testaments to those encounters. The hag, herself, was a rather pleasant person, as Azujhan has already mentioned. She agreed to provide the information, provided we pass a test. She demanded rare mushrooms for her potions. A few mushrooms? Such an easy task for the reward of information. She guided us to the stagnant pool with enormous mushrooms and we began our task.
It should be noted at this time that we made a critical miscalculation in our expectations of these “mushrooms”. Nothing on this quest had been easy, so why we were under the impression that this task was easy is beyond my comprehension. As we began to gather the mushrooms, clouds of spores flooded the area. The hag merely looked upon our efforts and cackled from the porch of her house.
The replay of blow for blow, spore to spore action is both unnecessary and repetitive. Although there are two observations of note to be made of this encounter.
First, Myconids, as we learned the nature of these mushrooms, are difficult adversaries. Most noticeably, the spores emitted are quite potent. I found myself under the influence of these hallucinogenic spores multiple times, at times feeling euphoria, at others fear.
Second, and most relevant to me, the sword, Hizirawn showed its nature. I felt the failure of one of my clumsy blows and felt my body begin to stiffen, my blood sluggish through my veins. The effect only lasted a few seconds before I returned to my full functionality. I marked it down to simple misperceptions of battle. However, I felt it again after another wild swing far missed its mark. The effect was tougher to shake. Like before, I was able to shake the feeling, although with more difficulty.
And thus we turn to the reasons behind the new appellation I am secretly given the sword. A rational individual would immediately toss this sword into the nearest volcano and be done with it. I can’t. Delilah saps ration from my thoughts. Instead, I’m drawn into contemplation of this black blade. If only some time will let me unlock the secrets of this blade and give me the insight to safely use its gifts and minimize its curse.
I may give Delilah to the volcano one day. I’ve lost weight from not eating and my duties in updating this journal have faltered. Yet, I still feel the need to carry her into battle against Tiamat and whatever evil lies beyond.