Captain’s Log: 9 Firstfall 930
It is with mixed feelings that we leave Highever behind, after many a harrowing day we are pleased to have survived both bodily and as a group. It is, however, with a heavy heart but a lightness of spirit that we leave my sister Avenisa, and her followers to a fate of their own design.
After the first night in Highever the crew and myself scattered throughout the city to seek supplies and information. As the doctor paid a visit to the market place in search of arms and armor for our quickly growing crew mate, Rosalin, I traveled to the canal sector located in the shadow of the great keep, my former home, in search of information pertaining to my lost family. Fif scoured the docks for raw materials and crew but encountered a bit more than he bargained for; after a serious bout of drinking we were all surprised, not least of all Fif himself, that he had secured the services of Sigmund, a master artillerist of fierce appearance and worrisome appetite. For a “slightly” inflated fee he has fixed our ballista and promised to serve as a sergeant-of-arms on our travels.
Our other efforts proved fruitful as well, if not very disconcerting. By questioning a variety of the denizens of Highever we learned that not only was my sister still alive, but returned and playing a major role in the hierarchy of the Arimathros. Unfortunately her situation was dire indeed, having been poisoned in a failed mission against the Arl and on deaths door. With Fif, and a harlot, acting as my go-betweens we were able to meet with Celanawe to learn the extent of the crisis. With time of the essence we three quickly procured horses and made all haste to the King’s Forest in search of a sprig of Maker’s Mist, an herb rumored to have potent healing power.
While our steeds served us well they were taken from us on the edge of the King’s Forest, along with our weapons, by band of Dalish outlaws. Rather than killing us out of hand they offered us a chance; to complete the rites of passage all of them go through and returning to them alive. Bereft of our weapons and steeds as well as under the threat of Avenisa succumbing to the poison at any minute it seemed an unlikely prospect, but one we would endeavor to overcome.
Over the next three days we not only battled the elements but blighted wolves as well. We finally came to our destination, a cave and burial chamber high in the mountains. Makers Mist was found growing around the entrance but we were forced to delve deeper to find the true herb, known to shimmer when exposed to moonlight. While we found much of it inside we also encountered its guardian, an elven shade that proved immune to our mundane weapons. Powerless to fight it Fif and myself did our best to gather the herbs while Sun pit his magical power against that of the ancient sentinel. If not for his help we would have surely succumbed to this evil, as its touch breached not only my armor but tore at my very soul.
Seeking a short cut home we ventured into a secret passage and through the very heart of the mountains. The other side did not prove to be any faster but did reveal the ruins of a lost city, known as Dal Riata, which had a palatable air of power. Forgoing any further exploration we hurried as best we could towards where we thought the Dalish camp was; poor weather and violent terrain proved our better and separated me from my companions, I bade them continue with the mission and did my best to find my own way back. Through pure grit, and not a little luck, we were able to convene back at The Standing Stones, an inn that served as a front for the resistance, and administer the herb to save poor Avenisa. Yet at that moment, finally reunited with my family and my home which I had long sought I found I was yet unfulfilled. If truth be told it was that moment of choice that has given me true purpose and vision, that my family is indeed those aboard the Tidehammer and our mission to fight the blight takes precedence over any petty squabbles of who’s sigil flies on a castle wall.
Before Avisa could awaken I gave up any claim to the throne that should have once been mine and we all returned to our ship, the only haven I have known in these dark times. We sail for Ostwick at Talia’s bequest, once Fif returns from his mission regarding something he calls a “Bannhammer,” perhaps it is a weapon to use against the darkspawn when at sea?