So much has happened in the past few days, I can hardly believe it. All four of us were able to get some much needed rest last night; I slept in the house proper just for the chance at a real bed. The cot in my lab certainly would not have been very comfortable last night. Even so I am still quite sore from our adventure. In the morning the four of us were summoned before the council to relate the entirety of our tale for them, and explain more about the fate of Belak and the Gulthias tree. Magda and I both spoke about our continued desire for the village to grow its own tree from the seeds of the red apple, but the council is leery about continuing anything to do with Belak’s experiments, despite the possible good. Thankfully, they also repaid my fifty gold from purchasing the apple in the first place. In the afternoon I undertook to sort through much of the plant samples I found in the castle. The glowing fungus died as soon as it was hit by sunlight, and most everything else is simply a more sickly version of an above-ground plant. I have discarded the vast majority of them as useless. One thing of note was a small bag of potent fertilizer that I believe will greatly increase the growing speed of a single plant. I have given it to Magda to give to a farming family she knows of who has maybe had a rough year so far. Additionally, Magda detected evil on a bark sample I managed to save from the Gulthias tree, and I now think it may be a bad idea to attempt to grow our own. If the tree itself radiates that much evil, even in the bark, perhaps the red apples are not worth the whole cost. I have told the council of this development, and it seemed to simply reinforce what they already believed.
Unfortunately, Magda and Dask have now both fallen ill themselves. Magda thinks it has something to do with the close contact they both had with the rats in the castle, though it is hard to know where her cleric professionalism ends and her bias against the rats begins. It is not life threatening, but they are both miserable, and Magda does not yet have the ability to simply cleanse away the disease. Though I am sure she has probably converted her family’s outhouse to a shrine to Chauntea by now, for all the praying that goes on out there.
It was quite a busy day otherwise as well. I read both the knock and spider climb scrolls we found, and read part of the draconic Tome of Dragon Lore as well. I created two everburning torches to sell when the caravan arrives here in a few days, and spent a good portion of the gold we found in the castle in order to identify the wand we found with Belak, the greataxe from the bugbear, and the longsword from Sir Braeford, which were all detected as being magical. I tried to get Dask to drink the goblin alcohol from the silver flask we found, but I am not sure he is going to go for it yet. I will have to give him a few days to work up his courage. For some reason he does not believe me when I say it will likely increase his strength. Finished up the night by drawing up a simple map of the castle’s interior halls and underground. We may want to return, and I would like to be prepared.