Rumours and Information 5

The less experienced Protectors of Elventree adventuring group travelled north west of Hillsfar and broke up another Red Plume operation – one where Red Plumes were capturing non-humans and selling them to Underdark Slavers. They killed the Red Plumes and a couple of the duergar slavers, but one of the duergar, a fellow named Grit, managed to talk his way out of being killed i n exchange for information. He was heard to grumble that this was the second time surface adventurers had disrupted his business.

The Protectors of Elventree were also present when farms around The Stop, a small hamlet between Hillsfar and Yulash, were raided by goblins who emerged from a nearby entrance to the Underdark. The goblins were led by a goblin with demonic blood and the Protectors had to foray into the Underdark to deal with him. They also rescued people kidnapped by the goblins.

Grit stated that things in the Underdark had gotten worse. Szith Morcane, the closest Underdark settlement to the surface lands, has been overrun by fire giants. Many of the fire giants appear to have demonic blood. The leader of the fire giants, Hledh, is said to have the blood of Graz’zt himself running through her veins. Other demonic blooded fire giants are among those in her entourage and are even more evil and vicious than normal fire giants, which are bad enough. The madness of Graz’zt is spreading to all areas, particularly those infused with faerzress – the magical radiation present in many areas of the Underdark.

Haedirn’s notes indicate that a fungus called braincap can act as a preventative for the Underdark madness – which he noted he observed in others, but was unable to understand that he himself was affected. Haedirn was not familiar with braincap but heard that it could be found in the myconid Underdark community of Sporedome.

A scrawny, malnourished girl named Elisande has come to Elventree. She has a blind goat who follows her around. She speaks oddly, and seems quite mad although not in a harmful way. Folk have taken to giving her food when they see her, out of pity. She seems harmless. The Protectors of Elventree have met her and her goat and think she may have some kind of prophetic ability. When tracking the goblins from a farm to the Underdark entrance, she gave them a quarterstaff telling them – they think, her words are so strange – that they would need it. It turned out the quarterstaff was needed to deal with rust monsters that the party encountered.

Marie’s younger brother Dorian has arrived in Hillsfar. He is disgusted at how Hillsfar is degenerating and fled the city. He joined the Order of the Gauntlet to protect people from evil and has also joined the adventuring group Protectors of Elventree. Dorian has trained as a soldier, intending at one point to become a Red Plume until the Great Law of Humanity was enacted, which he opposes on moral grounds.

The Red Plumes have begun patrolling the Moonsea Ride – the road leading through the Cormanthor Forest to Sembia and The Dalelands – in groups of a dozen or more after many attacks on their six man patrols. In some cases the patrols have completely disappeared. Also the madness affecting many of the people around Hillsfar has affected the Red Plumes as well, with desertions rife and some Red Plumes unable and unwilling to do their duties. As bad as they are in some regards, without the Red Plumes there is fear that monsters and bandits will take over the roads.

Rumours and Information 5

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