Haven: The remainder of our journey to Haven was uneventful. We made good time and were able to secure lodging within the merchant’s district. We arranged to meet in the morning so we could travel to the palace and hear the Duchess’s offer. Idej, however, was missing again and Nilrem was quite upset. We are unsure where Idej went, but we were able to discover he was having a meeting with one of the nobility. Interesting… Idej never really seems comfortable in high society. What would a noble want with him. We ended up going to the palace without him. Only Nilrem was allowed to meet with the Duchess.
I was surprised to learn that the Duke’s new wife is in fact Naivara. I am impressed she convinced him to marry her given that less than a decade ago she plotted with his son to overthrow him. She has somehow managed to convince Duke Marc Bluthaven that a marriage was in both their interests. I suspect it has something to do with the increased power and prestige they have acquired by joining their lands together. Still, I am surprised that the Duke was so forgiving of her.
In any case, Naivara hired us to recover a circlet crown lost in her ancestral estates. The quest will require us to travel to a castle in the woods southeast of Haven and utilize a magic circle to enter the Feywild. I can not help but wonder if this task has anything to do with the disturbing dreams I have had of late. I dream of the feywild being encompassed by a withering darkness. Perhaps once we enter the Feywild, I will know more about what these dreams might portend.
That evening, Naivara was bold enough to ask me for an assignation. I travelled to the Silver Dragon Palace with every intention of denying her. I wanted to confront her about her cruel murder of Paelias. When I saw her, however, my anger melted into a very different kind of passion. My terrible Fey Lady was as beautiful and charming as ever. She offered me a place in her household, but my resolve was still strong enough to refuse. In the end, I agreed to contract with her for the night.
I think she was still angry at me for defying her because she was crueler than usual. Not since my time with Duke Marc have I ever experienced such torture of the flesh. After enduring her corporeal punishments, she sought to wither my resolve with her emotional lashings. She taunted me about how my defiance of her had accomplished nothing. She has, after all, managed to take control of Bluthaven in her own fashion. She offered that if I had simply done as she bid me to, Paelias might still be alive.
Persuasive as her cruel missives might be, I was not so overcome with passion that I forgot all the evil that would have come from her victory. Not the least of which would have been my continued indentured servitude to the Black Rose Guild. When the evening was over, I reminded Naivara that I am now a free woman. Whatever games we play by night, in the light of day I am free to make my own choices. Even this, however, Naivara had to taint. She simply noted how willing I was to sell her a piece of that Freedom for the lowly price of Platinum. The truth of her statements embarrassed me. How dangerously enticing is the Marquist of Rivenfell that I would give myself over to her so cheaply. In the future I must demand a patron price that is more seemly lest she suspect my resolve of weakening.
In the morning, I expected that we would set out for the castle. Zianna, however, was missing from breakfast. When she had not arrived back to the tavern by midmorning, we searched Haven looking for her. Our only leads were that she had visited a particular merchant’s shop and that she has been seen with an unusually large dullard named Andre. When we returned to the tavern for lunch. a doppleganger approached us pretending to be Zianna. Fortunately, we were able to see through the beast’s disguise and defeat him. It turned out, the shopkeeper was a doppleganger who had waylaid Zianna. Why he did so, however, remains a mystery. The important thing is that we were able to save my sister.
One day late, we departed for the castle. On the way, we dispatched some kind of giant and corrupted boar. A map acquired by Sylvania was very helpful and we had no other difficulties locating the ruined castle. Unfortunately, the ruins were overrun by kobolds. After defeating these beasts and their strange traps, we were finally able to locate the magic circle. In the morning, we depart for the fey wilds. I hope that will help me resolve the mystery of my troubling dreams…