The Office of External Solutioning
Solution Squad Journal, T'Inco Lussa
Journal Entry #2,742 1491 DR
I had a strange encounter today. I was making the most of the year-long access I earned to the Library in Castle Waterdeep, working in the Geography section when a strange man approached my table. I assumed he just wanted to check some of the books I had pulled from the stacks, as this has happened here before. He asked that I meet him at a local pub (a rather nice one I had not even known was there!) shortly after the dinner hour.
There I sat, in the pub sipping my wine, when promptly at the top of the hour (I could hear the bells ringing at the temple of Denier, next to the library) the man walked in. Without introduction, he said something about a resume having been submitted. When I looked at him inquisitively, he pulled out a folder and read off information about me; some things I had forgotten, and in some cases, it seems he had more information about what had been going on at the time than I did! Amazing! This man might be my first solid connection to information about my past prior to arriving at Tower Reilloch in Evermeet. I could not let this lead get away!
Anyway, back to the pub… After acknowledging that the report he had seems to have been about me, he thanked me and said I would be contacted. As he got up top leave, I felt a burning sensation. It felt like I had a hot pan pressed against my right forearm, but by the time I looked the feeling had passed and a strange mark, like a tattoo, had appeared. I now have this rather interesting design featuring the phases of the moon on my arm and the man disappeared in my moment of distraction.
I will have to look into this further when I return to the library. Who was he, where did he come from, what was with the strange clothing, HOW DID HE KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT ME!?! Especially when nobody else knows more than that I exist…
Journal Entry #2,743 1491 DR
It’s been almost a week since the encounter with the strange man, and I have not found anything on him, on the style of his clothing, where he came from, nothing. I still have the marking on my arm, so I do not think I imagined the entire event…
Journal Entry #2,744 1491 DR
OK, I now know that the man is real. I was reading a history about the elven people on Faerun (so many inaccuracies! How do the humans get anything done with such short lifespans?!) when the world went silent and everything I saw started fading to white…like the reverse of passing out. Reality quickly reasserted itself, but I was translocated to what appears to have been a pocket dimension. There were a few other individuals there and we were immediately set upon by a number of giant rats! We quickly dispatched them (it seems this was some kind of test or introduction set up by The Office of External Solvents or whoever it was that is…hiring? us) and then were pulled from the pocket dimension into what appears to have been the mythical city Sigil. I can confirm that this city is not a legend or a myth, but a real place on another plane of existence. I will need to look into this more as well, since most of Faerun thinks it a traveler’s tale.
Journal Entry #2,745 1491 DR
I have been grouped up with the strangers from the pocket dimension, who are mostly competent. I guess The External Solutioners could not drum up any more elves…I will just have to show them their folly. We were sent back to the Prime Material, back to Faerun not far from where I had been ABDUCTED! (but my grievance here seems irrelevant) with a mission. We are commissioned with locating “an object”, told we will “know it when we see it”. We were immediately greeted by Gundren Rockseeker and Silar Highwinter, who are supposed to be our local contacts…but they asked us to guard a caravan (which was their job?) and they set off…only to be quickly captured. And by goblins! We must now track them down if we are ever to find this mysterious object.
Journal Entry #2,746 1491 DR
We have defeated the band of goblin bandits and their bugbear leader. After subduing Klarg (the bugbear), we got him and his remaining goblins to leave the area…we told them to vacate immediately and that if we heard of them again we’d be less compassionate next time. Between questioning our opponents and Silar, who was still a prisoner of the bandits, we determined that Gundren seems to have been moved to a Cragmaw Castle, but nobody seems to have even heard of it, much less know where it is. It seems we’ll have our work cut out for us, at least for the foreseeable future.
Journal Entry #2,747 1491 DR
Just arrived in Phandalin. Overall a quiet town, but it seems that a band of thugs have recently started accosting people on the streets, running a protection racket, and similar felonious activities. Both because they are impeding our own efforts and because it seems they might have information on the Cragmaw, they are now our current focus. We’ll have to see how this pans out to see if it’s worth our efforts.
Journal Entry #2,748 1491 DR
The life of an adventurer is not what I thought it would be. It’s very dirty, disorganized, and does not leave much time for study. And all the killing! It seems that most of the time, someone or something is trying to kill me and most of my effort has to go into keeping my skin intact. I sure hope we can wrap up this whole “find the thing and bring it back” rubbish, so I can get back to my research.
Anyway, we dealt with the Redbrands, raiding their base, killing their monstrous creatures and killing or scattering their foot soldiers. We seem to have scared off their leadership, as well…though I would have preferred capturing at least some of the higher ups. We could use the information they could have provided, as well as more surely ending the threat these thugs pose.
Journal Entry #2,749 1491 DR
Humans! Mensch! These short-lived peasants are a bunch of ungrateful peons! My party and I were wrapping up our preparations to leave town and continue our search for Gundren Rockseeker and the Object of Great Mystery, these farmers accosted us in the streets like we are petty dirt-grubbing green-grocers as well. They claimed that by not capturing this “GlassStaff” fellow, we’ve set the town up to be even further predated by the Redbrands. They were ready to lynch us, as if that would stop the thugs.
The leader of the mob, this elderly human named Daran Edermath, told us that there were Redbrands harassing Halia Thornton, owner of the Phandalin Miner’s Exchange, while the mob was harassing us. We offered to investigate, but the crusty old man grabbed Nodel, saying he was holding her against our promise to resolve the matter. I informed this man that his behavior was reprehensible, and that should any harm come to our companion he would rue the day he first breathed the air of Toril.
Upon arriving at the Miner’s Exchange, we saw the shoppe had been ransacked and the bandits had left, though we were not sure the fate of Halia. We went to check her home, and found that ransacked as well. Following a fresh trail we found outside her back door, we headed for the woods as the weather started to turn rainy on us. We crossed paths with an ogre that apparently also crossed paths with our quarry. We dispatched the ogre with the utmost haste, saw that the ogre had killed (and was eating!) one of the thugs…confirming our hunch that we were following the right trail. A short, but intense, chase through the wet forest allowed us close on our target. We found the Redbrands and Halia. And the GlassStaff! We quickly killed or ran off most of the thugs and managed to capture GlassStaff himself! I have some suspicions about Halia and Rolan, who seem to have some ulterior motives, but I will let things be for now. Who knows what these shorter-lived races get up to before their brief existences begin to fade!