Zintiel's Journal, Day 1
I must simply notate this first entry that way, as I have no way to know the current date. In fact, I know very little of anything. I am hoping that this journal will bring back some of my memories.
This is the journal of Zintiel bar-Eskelda of Silverymoon. There are secrets contained within that are worth your life. If you do not wish to incur the wrath of those far more powerful than you, read no further. There are magical protections upon this text which will mark your body and soul for all time.
We awoke this morning, stretched out upon marble slabs. We each had a disturbing death shroud lain across our face. Upon noting each other, we also rapidly discovered that none of us had any memories. Having no idea who these people were, I was cautious. Fortunately, they never left any silence that needed to be filled.
We each know our names. We seem to have some hazy memories of our childhood. And, mysteriously enough, we seem to retain our skills and general knowledge. But we have nothing concrete to draw on.
A quick survey of the area turned up more mysteries. Near each of our slabs was a pile of equipment. Peculiarly, we could each recognize our gear. I had my chain shirt, my bow, and my pack. Most importantly, I had my precious viol. I spent several minutes checking it for damage. Blessedly, it was in perfect condition. I am sure that it has a name, but for the life of me I cannot think of it. This troubles me deeply.
There is a further mystery here. Of all my companions, I alone found myself with no coin purse. There is also this journal itself. It is completely virgin. I would guess, indeed, that I am the first person to open this book since it was bound. Did I just happen to fall prey to this mysterious ailment just after purchasing a new journal? Or, did our captors replace my journal, specifically to prevent us from knowing its contents?
While I busied myself with these thoughts, my companions made two discoveries. The first was a corpse, burned beyond recognition. I can't say why for sure, but I feel that this person died when some ritual involving us went terribly wrong. Without knowing more though, I cannot even speculate on whether he was friend or foe.
The second was noticed solely by Alpin, an elven archer. He saw the shape of a woman walk away, and then into a tree. No one else saw it. Did he hallucinate? My instincts say no. But I cannot offer a more plausible explanation.
Tojon, a woodsman by trade and Rashimi by birth, confirmed that we were in Rashemen. In fact, he happened to know roughly where we were. There is a city not far away. With nothing else to do, we decided to make our way there.
Along the way, we met up with another local woodsman, by the name of Old Dell. Naturally, he knew nothing of the clearing where we woke, nor did he recognize any of us. Having nothing in the way of provisions, we were very happy to follow him and his pet wolf back to his cabin. He fed us, and we spent the evening pumping him for every morsel of information he possessed. Which wasn't much, more's the pity.
I should record what details I know of my companions:
Hung Lo is a strange man. He is from lands far to the east. I am surprised by this, as I thought that Rashemen was nearly the edge of the world itself. He speaks Common, but with a thick accent and peculiar habit. He clearly has spent very little time in Faerun proper. I do not know what profession he practices, but he wears little armor, so perhaps some kind of wizard.
Also from the lands to the east is Cong. He is much younger than Hung Lo, I think (I have difficulty telling these things among humans). He says that he is "wu jen" but I can't tell if that is part of his name or a title or a profession. Clearly, I will need to try to learn their strange language. He also seems to go without armor.
We have a cleric of The Red Knight with us. He appears to have been affected more seriously than the rest of us, and cannot yet recall his name.
As I mentioned before, there is another elf among us. Alpin is an archer, that much is clear. He does not appear to be much of a woodsman. A soldier, perhaps? I do not know.
We do have one woodsman, Tojon. As I mentioned, he is from Rashemen. Listening to his conversation with Old Dell, he appears to have quite a grievance with goblins (or, at least, I believe that is what his epithets refer to).
The smallest of our number is the gnome, Adyn. I am not sure why, exactly, but I think him to be a whisper gnome, specifically. He seems to be a light-hearted, and possibly light-fingered, fellow. I do not know why I trust him. Have we traveled together before? It is impossible to know.
The strangest of our number, without a doubt, is Tien Long. His accent is undeniably of Cormyr, and he claims that land for his birth. However, his skin tone is unusual, as is his sense of fashion. Moreover, he seems to have no knowledge of magic at all. I know that there are reclusive monasteries of fighting men hidden away in various corners of Faerun. Perhaps he is such a monk. I find that possibility peculiar, though, as I thought that monks eschewed the use of weapons. Tien Long carries more weapons than the rest of us put together. He also may be partially deaf, as he appears to be incapable of speaking in anything other than a shout.
I suppose that leaves only me, gentle reader. For completeness' sake, should I lose my mind again, I shall record what little I know. My name is Zintiel bar-Eskelda. I am a bastard child of the Eskelda noble house of Silverymoon. Given my courtly lineage and exceptional musical talent, training as a bard was inevitable. And yet, strangely, I can remember nothing of that training. At least, not in specific details. When I think of Cormyr, I picture an elderly elf, who I know was my tutor. I can see him, every grey hair on his head and the fine embroidery on his robes. His name, though, is a complete mystery.
The one other memory I have is linked to Rashemen itself. When I first heard the name of that country, I had a brief vision surface. I was assembling this very pack that I now wear. I was in some sort of inn room, that I somehow know was in Waterdeep. And, I knew that going to Rashemen was my duty. But I cannot recall who that duty is owed to. Am I an ambassador of my father? Was I coming here to teach? Am I some sort of spy, or, worse yet, assassin? And, how long has it been since I was given that duty? I cannot even tell how old I was in that memory.
The one other I remember is that I have a secret. A secret that I dare not trust to my companions, and dare not even trust to these pages.