This is written after the fact and I do apologize, while I am accustomed to working my passage aboard sailing ships, I seem to have fallen in with a rougher than average crew, and the disappearance of several items, most regrettably, though not solely, my journal. And I arrived in town nearly penniless.
Lost were certain notes on myths I had collected, that had been my intent to follow up on while here. Operating on memory, and under an extreme lack of funds, I did encourage several of the town’s local adventurers to take up a scouting expedition to the monastery hills near town.
The people of this town inhabit a very small space, one can travel a very short distance from town and suddenly be in a place where none have gone before. Even in my youth in the wild coast the lands surrounding a major settlement were less troubled.
We made our way along the road, and then as we diverged from the road along the river. The local guide was able to convince the goblins to find something better to do in exchange for a small portion of dried meat. We did turn inland as we neared what was believed to be that path towards our destination.
We had set out with the intent of making camp near the site, to investigate it in the morning, as the locals were quite adamant in the area being to dangerous to be near in the night. We did find such a campsite, so good in fact it was regularly used by the raiders who inhabited the area.
We did explore a bit from the camp, following a path and finding rotting corpses that the priest (or at least extremely devout warrior) identified as the slain remains of zombies. Realizing that we were headed in the wrong direction we made our way back and camped atop the smaller hill. That night we did see what appears to be a fiery disk burning across the way near where we had seen remnants of the monastery across the valley.
We were assaulted in the night by the raiders who used the camp, and slew or drove them off, but not before we had a chance to parley with their leader, a hobgoblin who carried a rather exotic shield, patterned I believe upon an older stylization of Pelor, he told us that his tribe worshiped the sun face, apparently both the mark on his shield and the flaming disk we had seen, and battled the local forces of the undead. We did later find this same fellow dead to a nest of stirges that we wiped out. A sketch of the shield is included on the overleaf. The shield appears to carry a lesser enchantment that makes it glow (and possibly repel undead) when it is fueled by holy water.
His directions led us up to the remains of the fortress itself, while I had heard it described as a monastery, and it does appear to contain ancient overgrown orchards within it’s wall, it is simply immense in scope. The size truly boggled my mind. The walls were manned, from the outside, yes from the outside, by hobgoblins and their ilk. We did not approach closer.
I am uncertain if this was our destination. And without my notes it is hard to piece together whether this place is worth the effort. While I had originally thought clues to the swordless scabbard may be found here, it appears that there is something else going on. I have also discovered that there is another place in the area that the locals refer to as a monastery, which of course further confuses the matter.