Wrote this up for the game, it turned out pretty good, thought I'd post it here, too.
From the journal of Whystlir d'Deneith:
Sar 14, Eyre 998YK
Well, that was an obnoxious party. It always happens, the research burecrats need to pat themselves on the back for how brave they are to send us out on an expedition, and the people putting up the dosh need to feel superior to those who aren't. At least this time there was a good vintage poured, shame I wasted so much of it on plantlife.
This is our first gig since getting back together as a private concern, and I'm sure that there are going to be some kinks to iron out. I'm still not sure that I'm cut out for civilian life, but we must as we do. We're heading out to the Demon Wastes this time, fortunatly nowhere NEAR The Labrinth (I don't think anyone wants a repeat of Stumpy and Ghaash'kala going at each other), to help a gnome, one Irieaga Littleknight, from The Library of Korranberg. Evidently, someone found a huge chunk of rock sticking out of a sand dune, and there's enough evidence that it's not naturally occuring that someone wants to look at it. Once we get out there, we'll do our thing, protecting the archeologist and helping out with what we know, setting up, digging slowly, etc. Should be fun, actually, and Cin is here, so I can pass changling blame off on her! (Cin, when you read this, I'm just kidding. And please don't lose my place, and relock the chest when you're done. Thanks, WD)
Lord Marcus Avlamin is our patron this run, having put up the dragon's share of the cost for this expedition. Managed to talk him into airship transit for us from Sharn to Zarash'ak, where we can hook up with a House Tharashk resupply caravan to Blood Crescent, then it's about two days of travel through the desert sort of nnw until we get to the site, which means that, all in all, it shouldn't be too rough of a trip. During the party, however, Lord Half-Elf himself took us aside for a little 'chat'. His viewpoint is that, being as he's supplied the cash, he should get anything we find. Now, I've got no real moral objection to this, but it leads me to wonder if he's mentioned this little tidbit to good professor Littleknight. If he hasn't, this trip could get interesting.
During this lovely little fete, when Aegan was shmoozing in his own particularly dry, clinical fashion with the other Minds (hah!) (err, not at you, Aegan, when Cin tells you about this, and you read it. Now, please make me not a newt anymore?) a couple of them mentioned that they were hoping that our find was Ashtakala, or at least would lead us to it. From what I can remember out of the ancient history courses, I'm certainly hoping that it isn't. I'm good, but a Rashkasha is better.
Also odd, while we were loading up onto this airship, I noticed that we had a shadow. I only caught a glimpse, but Cannith swears that he was wearing a Karannthian officers uniform, and the halfling swears that it was a zombie. I'm kicking myself because I noticed that it was a perfect hiding spot, with multiple exit corridors, but did I stake it out? No. Obviously, I've gotten soft. Also, I wish we'd had enough time to run it to ground. I know we're all supposed to be getting along now, but zombies just creep me out, and I really want to know why Karnnath is interested in our expedition. But the Captain was already upset by the time it took to load Carriage's Carriage (I slay myself), and I didn't feel like delaying him any longer.
All in all, a profitable trip back to Sharn, and if nothing else, it was nice to see baby sister Lilly again (when did she turn 16? She was 6 yesterday, I swear! And who bought her a bodice that low-cut? Dad's gonna KILL someone when he finds out. Hopefully I'll be on the other side of Khorvaire when it happens. Or maybe I'll take a trip to Xen'drik. I hear the drow are nice...) even if her stupid dorm rules meant that her 'sister' visited, much to her amusement. (Note to self: Next time either remember a bodice, or less busty. Back is KILLING me today)