(translated from the Rashemi)
I, Flint, Ethran Wychlaran of senior degree, keep this journal. While my Common is a fine jest in the ears of barbarians, I decline to write in such an uncouth and vile tongue.
During my investigations of odd phenomena in Cormyr obedient to the bidding of Ochlor Tasha, shadowy lizardfolk overwhelmed and took me captive. I was tormented, then bundled off to the Plane of Shadow and placed into a pit with two lizardfolk. Not long after I arose from whatever hexes and drugs were administered me, beslimed in muck and stripped facially naked. After masking with a sleeve torn from my clothing, however foul, I soon heard the sounds of warfare nearby. I still felt the spirits’ favor within me, plans made for escape when the time might be right, but needed the assistance of the lizardfolk. Working together, we freed one another and I burst us from our prison.
My rescuers, if I may call them that, were in heated battle with shadow lizards. They could not be worse captors than my erstwhile jailers, so guided by spirit I threw in with the new arrivals. In justice I must pardon them for their shock and nervousness at my appearance, but by summoning spirit magics on their behalf they saw common cause with me. With the captors vanquished, I simply waited, expecting a kind greeting and, at the least, hesitant but hopeful fellowship to those to whom I was prepared to offer my service. Instead, a goblin began to interrogate me like a common thief. He seemed insane, and the insolent vermin was tolerated and condoned, so I realized I would desire to owe this group no service beyond having compensated them for my rescue. They were a woodland daughter of considerable blade skill, another goblin in halfling form, a rather courteous and considerate human man who makes up for the rest, another human man of martial arts talent but rare utterances. Overall I found them humane but unfriendly. They did assist me in retrieving my gear and tarried whilst I replaced my tattered near-nudity with my proper mask.
After a rest and some spirit communion, which I had to explain to them as mundanes out of touch with the hidden existence, we forged on to battle with some electric lizards. My endurance and durability came under test when a ceiling fell on me and insects bit my flesh, but we prevailed. It became evident that the well-mannered human knows eldritch magics of a sort often bargained for with devils and Thayvians (but I repeat myself). So long as this David does not misuse them, only a fool casts away a weapon to fight barehanded—I surely will not. Leaving this area, an evil-omened tree began to abuse us. Summoning the power, I blinded then entangled it for an easy slaying. Soon over me came a sense of blessing and power, almost erotic, and I shivered but kept my dignity as I queried my guide for a listing of the new strengths coursing through my soul. I knew that in truth I would soon, if I survived, become precisely what was meant by an Elder Sister, known otherwise as a Hathran Wychlaran of novice degree.
The smaller of our goblins had enslaved a child of the wild, slain in earlier battle (predictably, he cared little for his slave). He desired to leave the Shadow Plane in order to enslave another and more powerful child of the wild. I forced back my offense, knowing I owed no duty to most of these since they offered me little. Although the larger goblin did share with me a ring from a hoard, so evidently I am better than a common mercenary in their eyes.
Next we came to a dock in the shadow plane, at which was moored a boat. Evidently we needed this boat, ‘manned’ by undead oarsmen. We needed to appropriate it, and after some moments of stress and combat, we did so. We must now proceed somewhere for some reason, where, I care not. I have called unto the spirits, during our brief enslavement sojourn back to Toril, to send me aid. What kind, I leave up to them, but it will feel luxuriant to speak again the true language, to drink in the honorable adoration of civilized persons.
Of course, the spirits’ sense of comedy is unpredictable. One sups with them using the long spoon in matters of bargains.