|Miguel de Cervantes|
If you are reading this journal, then I have fallen to the mighty foes that seek to conquer with dragonfire, devastating storms and the hobnailed boots of all manner of giants. Perhaps this will end as a trophy on some chief's shelf, perhaps stronger souls than I shall learn from the information herein.
Early spring, 4715 A.R., Trunau, Belkzen. Day 1.
My trusty steed Shadowmist and I arrive at the pile of rocks outside humble Trunau in the late afternoon. Originally assembled in Sandpoint, Varisia, the caravan makes it way southerly to Magnimar before turning east, finally arriving in Trunau.
Along the way we meet some new friends, always welcome in the frontier region of the Hold of Belkzen. Perhaps two years ago the bearers of the Sihedron slew Caldrikalsta, the blue wyrm that had terrorized the orcs of the Hold for several centuries until perhaps five years ago. Since then, something arose to fill that power vacuum - we just didn't know what. Not yet, not on the eve of a glorious day.
- Dramatis Personae
- 'Healbot', female human Life Oracle 1. We met about a month ago when the greater part of the caravan formed in Magnimar. Her parents are reputable Osiriontologists based out of Absolom. She followed in their footsteps, joining the Pathfinder Society, moved to Magnimar in wake of its recent ascension to prominence only to be sent to Trunau along with the most recent graduating class of Pathfinders to track down and report on the rumors of artifacts and other items of yore that recently surfaced in the Hold. Stunningly attractive with Garundi heritage and piercing green eyes, she is lightly armed and armored.
- Geoffrey Chaucer, male gnome arcane sorcerer 1. We came across this poor naked little cretin along the road to Turtleback Ferry. Severely delusional, he claims that none other than Nethys saved his life when he was an infant, blessing him as an Oracle of Nethys. Being quite the runt, he's the shortest male gnome ever heard of. Despite his indomitable beliefs, he is quite personable and an eloquent orator. I don't know yet if his forgery skills are as good as his speechcraft. His familiar is either a lizard or a scorpion, it's been hard to spot the little critter.
- Rudyard "Rude" Kipling, a towering male wyvaran barbarian 1 of reptilian rather than draconic heritage. His clutch of origin lies far to the east in a silver mine to the east of the Hooktongue Slough in the River Kingdoms. According to him, his father is one of the red wyrms from somewhere hereabouts. Given his druthers, he'll be fashioning matching luggage and accessories from his father's scaled hide.
- 'Skittles Emminnemm', female elf Unchained Rogue 1. Staggeringly intelligent and nimble of finger, she's been working as the greeter and counterpickpocket at the inn/tavern in Trunau, she won her hopeknife two years ago. Skittles knows more than a half-dozen languages, making her extremely popular when caravans arrive. To human eyes she's about 17 years of age. Interestingly, she has self-esteem issues despite her gifts and skills.
- Shadowmist, a 10 year old black charger from Sandpoint, equine smartass and always popular with the ladies and kids.
I've inherited a small cottage with an attached horse stall from my uncle here in Trunau, may he rest in peace. Chaucer sweet-talks his way into a hammock under the front overhang, but I manage to keep enough of my wits about me so that the little stomach doesn't eat Shadowmist out of hearth and home.
The rest of my new friends get accommodations at the main building in town.
Today is Ruby's hopeknife ceremony. After the ceremony, the girl-now-a-woman ropes me and the rest of us into a tug-of-war against her brothers and four of the burlier militiamen. Things don't begin well, especially with Chaucer barely able to hang onto the rope behind Ruby with his little legs churning the air. Despite the best efforts of 'Rude' and I, we are inexorably dragged closer and closer to the marker. Ruby's father joins in, yet the tide continues against us. Three farmers jump in, crying aloud "Ruby shall not fall! TRUNAU shall not fall!!". Yet we are still mere steps from Ruby being pulled across the marker. Sighing at our puny thews, Shadowmist grabs onto the rope - to much cheering and delight by the onlookers - and with a mighty heave Ruby's team tugs four men across the point of no return.
The town celebrates Ruby's triumph over her brothers, staying up until the wee hours. Ruby heaps apple-y accolades upon Shadowmist before he cuts my drinking short after guzzling what seems to be several gallons of hard cider. I take him home, hold his head, brush him down and lean him against the wall of his stall. Chaucer staggered to his hammock a couple of hours later. The pipsqueak can hold his liquor!
'Healbot' fetches us from the place they've been staying the past couple nights. Rodrick was found slain, his wrists slit with his own hopeknife! After his brother bade us investigate this horrible event as other than a suicide, we get to work.
Further investigation by 'Healbot', 'Skittles' and 'Rude' locate a receipt for the purchase of an engraved hopeknife by Roderick ... for Roderick?! The murder weapon - of this I am convinced - is unengraved.
After a quiet discussion, we collect our evidence, bade the guards refuse entry by anyone else and make our way to the smithy. En route a trio of not-right-in-the-head nearly-grown wolf cubs attack us. 'Skittles' whiffs mightily with a sling bullet whilst Chaucer begins the mysterious gestures and incantations of "invoking Nethys' blessing". One of the cubs nips Rude's heel and pulls her from her clawed feet whilst another gnaws bloodlessly on the tip of her tail. The third leaps up in an attempt to pull me from my saddle. 'Healbot' utters a true blessing upon us all that doesn't benefit the seemingly rabid cubs before Chaucer's entrancing magic sprinkles two of the cubs with glittering sand, sending them into a deep slumber. A moment later a patch of grease appears beneath the one cub that is gnawing on Rude's tail-tip before Shadowmist has had enough and smashes the gnawing nipping cub into the ground whilst the instincts drilled into me by my uncle found my warhammer whirling through the air to shatter the diseased cub's skull.
Finally recognizing that the cubs have been poisoned by parties unknown, Rude and I securely bind the surviving pair of cubs to detour to the 'animal shelter', wherein animals are being trained to aid in Trunau's defense.
Session concludes with 'Rude' having taken 2 hp at ~9 a.m. of Day 3.