Did manage to get Gwenelle’s sword to her yesterday, before we headed north to try get Cainam back. Managed it, in the end, but I guess I’ll get onto that in a minute. She seemed pretty happy with it. Said it was perfect, in actual fact. Couldn’t take all the credit considering I’d help on the sheath and the chasing on the hilt, not to mention the enchantment on the blade and to make the embossing a little more sturdy, but guess the design at least is mine. Wonder if I could see about getting more into that sort of weapon business in future. This sword and the one for Sarah are definitely some of my favourite projects I’ve ever worked on. Definitely more interesting than making standard issue falchions and longswords and that to go to weapon stores. Actually, speaking of Sarah, turns out she and Matthes’re back from some kind of vacation they were on. He was on the mission. Good to see him again. Should hopefully get the chance to catch up with her again soon enough. Anyway, back on track, do quite like the amount of customisation that goes into making a weapon like that. Bound to be a few wealthy people in the city who wouldn’t mind having something along those lines. Guess it’d be tough to get a similar result without knowing them as well as I do Gwenelle, but something to maybe think about.

Anyway, the mission. Headed down and met people on the docks after I’d arranged some last minute supplies to get sent up to Menethil, just in case we needed an emergency supply run. Didn’t need them, so figure I’ll maybe head up that way Sunday, get them back from Burt and pay him what I owe him for asking around, keeping his boat in port for the day in case we needed it. Had a fairly big group of us. More than a dozen in total. Like I said, Matthes was there, then there was also Rosalinde, Stehl, Iadric, Balderos, Gwenelle, Lumenar, Mitta, Sinafay and Balderos. This Corlo guy tagged along as well, guess he’d been a guard for the Haethons or something at some stage, then Eunie showed up as well just after we’d gone through the portal. She’d dropped Gloria off with a sitter for the evening. Didn’t want to miss the mission, seeing as it was Cainam we were heading out there for. Really good to see her in action again. Never seen her fight quite like that before…some of the cat stuff I’ve seen once or twice, but not sure I’ve ever seen her do much fighting as a bird before. Really good for hit and run tactics. Kept swooping down, slashing at things with her talons and then getting out of there before they got a chance to hit her back. Pretty handy having her on our side, and that’s without getting into all the scouting she was able to do from overhead, and her magic with roots. Wore her out, so probably for the best if we don’t want up in any more situations like that any time soon. Still, if I do wind up having to fight again before too long, idea that I could be doing it beside her’s not a bad one.

Portal Gwen was able to get set up for us took us to that crater up in Hillsbrad, place where Dalaran used to be. Took us a minute or two to find the right path out of there heading north, but no major issues at that stage. Took a little while to decide on a plan when we got to the shore of the lake, had to pick between this rickety-looking path and a few rowboats. Ended up deciding on the latter. Couple of people must’ve gotten off-balance, got a little wet, but no issues as a result, ‘part from the smell. Ran into murlocs when we got to the far shore, but they weren’t all that hard to take down, many of us as there were. After that, headed through Ambermill, along the road down into this town near the swamps. Think it was Pyrewood, but don’t know if there might be some other smaller settlements dotted around there. All ruins, anyway. Wasn’t until we got there that we ran into any trouble, at least aside from the weather. Don’t know whether it was the residents or the Forsaken trying to hold of the Liberation Front, but somebody’d heaped up all this stuff, made a barricade blocking the road. Started trying to take it apart, but we were only part of the way through before somebody or something from the Forsaken camp up the road took notice. Guessing it was an abomination, but couldn’t see for certain, heavy as the rain was. Wound up having to take refuge in the one place in town that wasn’t falling apart, this manor off to one side of the square. Something about the gates on that place…almost got the feeling I’d seen them somewhere before. Not a nice place…residence of some kind of warlock, from the journals people were finding. There were runes drawn all over the place. Sort of stuff you’d use for blood magic. Creepy place…didn’t have to stay in there too long, thankfully. One well-placed lightning strike later and we were free to carry on. Weather picked up after that. Not necessarily a good thing. Smell might not’ve been so bad if it’d kept raining…

Road leading towards the city was covered in corpses. Ones that were still moving around seemed pretty occupied eating the ones that weren’t, so we didn’t have any issues slipping past. Things were even worse once we got into the city. You could barely breathe for the smell of rot…looked for a second there like we might’ve been able to sneak past the ones gathered up around the cathedral as well, barricades they’d put up between themselves and the gates, but no such luck. They broke through, came down on top of us. Held our own, but doubt we would’ve much longer if we hadn’t been able to fall back to the bridge as quickly as we did, slammed the gates shut. Think the worst injuries were from there. Would’ve gotten my face chewed off if Rosalinde hadn’t come to the rescue. From there, managed to find the tunnel that leads underneath the city, took that out towards the cemetery near Keel Harbour where we were meant to be finding Cainam. Good thing I’ve still got a few memories of the city’s layout from when I was there with the Scarlets. Light only knows what we would’ve come across if we’d had to carry on through the streets and then take the roads to get there. Tunnel was hidden behind a fake wall, so no way we would’ve found it just by luck.

Things weren’t much better once we got out of the city. Smell wasn’t, at least. Worse, if anything. Thankfully, didn’t take us all that long to find what we were looking for. That deathknight who set us on the trail was waiting outside the gates to some of the crypts, Cainam’s father. Wasn’t tough to fight on his own. We were ripping him apart before he used these magical tendril things to lift us up in the air, raised a whole lot of corpses, had them all come together into this sick-looking flesh golem. That wasn’t a fun thing to kill…still, we managed it. Didn’t wind up with too many injuries in the process. By the time we’d taken care of that, Balderos’d grabbed the deathknight’s attention, managed to put him down. Amount of effort people put into making certain he wasn’t gonna be getting up again, figure this means that we’ve seen the last of him. To his credit, didn’t sound like he was an entirely willing party in what was going on, but still, guess it’s not a bad thing to have one less threat to be concerning ourselves about.

Cainam wasn’t at the crypt the way we’d been told. What we did find was some kind of magical residue. Guess somebody’d used fel magic to open a portal out of there. Would’ve been the end of the road if we hadn’t had Lumenar and Gwenelle on hand to open up our own to follow them with. Wound up at this big sort of shrine, statues around like those ones at the Dark Portal. Looked like somewhere in the Twilight Highlands, but I didn’t hang around to make sure. Soon as we got there, there was this big eredar waiting for us, I guess a demon who’d been summoned by this warlock who must’ve been running the show. Just about did some serious damage, but it didn’t have all that good of a chance with as many of us as there were, even with everything we’d already been through that night. Once he was finished, warlock wasn’t too tricky. Tried to change into a demon, but Rosalinde, Sinafay and Miraneev managed to cut him down pretty quickly. Once that was done, all that was left was to take care of Cainam. He was in a pretty rough state. Could well’ve been killed by the drop from where warlock’d had him hanging if Sinafay hadn’t managed to catch him. Severely malnourished, few gashes, lot of bruises. Still, he was alive. Lassair, Sinafay and Miraneev were all taking a look at him last night, so figure they’ll be able to patch him up alright, even if it takes a long time before he recovers.

There was something the warlock said, something about how as long as Cainam was alive, there’d still be this portal to allow some nathrezim into the world. Don’t know whether to believe him or not. Even if I did, though, we weren’t gonna leave Cainam out there to die or anything. If some dreadlord wants to cause trouble, let him. We’ll deal with it, same way we deal with everything else. A friend’s death is too high a price to pay, no matter what sort of safety it’d give us.

Didn’t make it down to the ship yesterday, but Lassair gave us all some word on Cainam’s condition. Made it through the night, so that’s his biggest hurdle out of the way. ‘Part from that, he’s come of transfusions, just on nutrients now. There was enough tissue left over from where his fingers cut off that she was able to regrow them, so I guess that’s one less type of permanent damage he could wind up taking out of this. From here, guess it’s just a matter of making sure he’s eating right and then letting him rest, giving him the time he needs to make a proper recovery. Her guess was about a month, something like that, but I guess it could be shorter. He’s strong, little on the stubborn side, so guess that’ll mean he could be up and moving around again sooner rather than later. Like she said, guess that’s a description you could apply to a lot of people in the Sigil. Only really concerning thing was that the warlock was apparently draining him of natural magic, but from what she was saying, that’s not likely to have any kind of permanent effects, nothing like what Sinafay was going through before she got her magic back. Eunie needed to get her rest, tired as she was after her part in everything, but talked it over with her a little when she got in from the garden in the evening, told her what Lassair’d told me. Think the two of us should maybe wander down towards the ship whenever Cainam’s awake and up to talking, see about paying him a visit. She asked about what that warlock had said, something about a dreadlord and a portal. Don’t think either of us can really such much more about it than the other. Bad stuff, that’s for certain. Guessing you’d need somebody like Lav to take a look at him to find out for certain what’s going on. Guess that’s not the main concern right at the moment, though. Once his other health woes’ve been dealt with, then I guess we’ll be free to try figure out exactly what was going on with that ritual.

Everybody else seemed to be getting on okay yesterday, at least out of the ones I ran into. Sinafay’d recovered alright from that little tumble she took down the steps when we found the hidden door leading into the tunnel out of the city, so that’s good to see. Come to think of it, think she was the only person I saw who I know’d gotten any serious kind of injury during the whole thing. Danior was there when we were talking, looked a little tired, but he hadn’t been on the mission. Lumenar showed up as well, but can’t remember whether she wound up getting hurt at all. Actually, speaking of Lumenar, had the designs she’s been making for my tattoo ready to show me. We wound up scheduling to get it done tomorrow night, so guess I’ve got today to keep having a look through them, make sure I pick the one I like the most. That and find a book to read while she’s working on it. Like Eunie said, have to be careful not to pick one that’s gonna lull me off to sleep or anything like that. Wouldn’t be good to start drifting off and suddenly fall over while she’s working, wind up with something permanent where I’d much rather it wasn’t. Kind of looking forward to finally getting it done, amount of time we’ve been talking about it now. Trying to think when I first started thinking about it…might need to take a look through the journals tonight, find out for certain. Anyway, that’s a good thing.  ‘Part from that, headed off to that story circle behind the cathedral. Think I might’ve wandered past last week, but first time I’ve sat down and properly listened in a good while. It was pretty good. Couple of interesting stories. Might have to think about going back next week if I wind up having a bit of free time in the afternoon.

Lassair headed off to check on Cainam mid-way through, then Danior left afterwards with this girl, Rosie. Figure they’re related somehow, similar as they looked. Said they were going to go and get pie, got Gwenelle and me thinking we should wander off, go get ourselves something to eat. Wound up wandering over to the Golden Keg, getting ourselves a drink there. Pretty handy having that place so close to home. Better place to drink than either the Pig or the Recluse are nowadays. Good food, too. Anyway, wound up sitting there for an hour or so, talked about a few different things. Sarah apparently being back, for one. Gwenelle hasn’t seen her yet either, didn’t hear anything from her while she was away, but I think we’re both pretty glad to hear that she’s back, hopefully alive and well. Talked a little about relationships, apart from that. Wound up telling her a little about Catherine, how Eunie and I met, plus the story about how Beatrice looked like she’d died and then wound up coming back on top of that. She talked about Iadric as well. She didn’t know for certain, but think they’ve been together for somewhere between two and four months now. Getting to be a fair while, long enough that they’re comfortable talking about buying a house in Elwynn together, starting to discuss kids and marriage and that. Don’t know that the former’s necessarily a possibility, or that either of them’d be interested even if it was. As for the marriage thing, think they’ll be holding back a little on that. Good thing, really. Not the sort of thing you should rush. I mean, Eunie and I were pretty quick to get to the altar, but don’t know that’s the sort of timeframe that’d work for many people to get to know each other. Kinda get the feeling Gwenelle’s at the stage where she wouldn’t necessarily mind Iadric popping the question, but with as happy as they seem together, figure he’s got a fair while to go yet before she starts getting impatient.