May-29-11

Praamador

 

We left Tradefree today bound for Avilton and Emmery Dock with full packs and ten gold sovereigns in each of our pockets, and a promise of ten more upon successful delivery of the writs within three weeks. That should be easy enough. Praamador is not that large a place and if we walk three miles each hour for seven hours a day, we can make an easy twenty miles per day and make it  in fourteen or fifteen days if this map is accurate. No matter, after seven years indentured to Mog the not-quite-so-Magnificent, I would happily do the job for free and forgoe the bonus just to get as far away from his bad breath and pompous pontificating as possible. If I never see the windy gasbag again, it will be too soon. I have taken the moniker “Ebuldev” as my arcanist’speligram. Much better than Mog by any standard. We only made fourteen miles but we’re just getting our “road legs” about us and should get better in time.

Okay, help me understand. People actually do this–“walking” routinely, even when not under the threat of death? Insane. Today was worse than yesterday and we barely made it to Baroontok in spite of pushing past dark. Nathanial, that’s our sword swinger and self-appointed moral guidepost, says this is the easy part. Ha! Easy my aching feet! He thinks because his father is a farmer that he has some kind of corner on home-grown wisdom or something. This is going to be a long trip. My other companions are Rachel, a rather attractive sneak thief, Glom, a “dwarf from da norf” and every bit the sour-puss his kind are reputed to be, and one Friar Magden of Bogwood, a fat old man who drinks.

It started raining today, only a drizzle, but the road turned to mud in less than an hour. A lot of traders come and go here, no surprise, but they tear up the road something fierce. They should take a holiday when it rains and let decent folk go about their business without having to tiptoe around the blasted ruts!! If I never have another boot sucked off my foot, it will have been a dozen too many. We made maybe nine miles today, and that was brutal. I can’t see how adventuring ever got a good reputation.

Saints protect me! This was the most horrible day of my life! We made it to the Lake Road cross just as the rain picked up and got cold. Four road bandits came out from behind trees as if from nowhere and held crossbows pointed at us. They weren’t like just some guys from around town. They were dirty and mangy and mean, and you could look in their eyes and see that they just wanted to rob us and slit our throats. You hear stories about Baynard of Habscow and how he steals gold from wealthy travelers and gives it to the needy, but these men weren’t like that. They kill for a living and you could tell they were good at it. The meanest looking one told us to put our purses and weapons on the ground and they would let us go. I prayed the others would do it, but they didn’t. Glomsaid some foul things and threw  his shield in thief faces. Bolts went flying and Rachel took one in the side and went down screaming like I have never heard anyone scream. I wet myself but I stood my ground and fought. I shot the leader with a dart and he was on me faster than anything I have ever seen. I thought I was going to die, but Glom was there of a sudden and his axe cut the man’s belly open. His guts were blue and they spilled on my feet. I threw up. I couldn’t even smell anything but they were blue. Blue? 

A silver mark to stay at the inn in Blue Lake. Outrageious, but I would have paid a gold after walking through the cold rain all day. We did pass a merchant headed to Tradefree but I’m feeling a lot better about our great victory against the bandits yesterday. I have to learn to take care of myself and avoid getting killed. I’m going to find a shield in this town and start carrying it around in case someone comes at me again. That and I am going to stand further back. 

The merchants at the inn told us that Broke Axel Road was impossible. We didn’t really believe them, but after an hour in that direction, we turned around. We saw a horse up to his whithers. Went south to River’s Edge instead. Nice place if a bit rowdy. They have some rooms here but they were taken so we slept in the loft and paid a silver to sleep away from the rain. Rachel was able to find two canoes for sale and we decided to paddle up the river through Wyrlyr’n Forest. Should be able to portage from the Lothendelle to the Erinwadle in a day and then down-stream to the Chessing.

We are perhaps three miles into the wood. The map makes it look fairly open but the truth is the trees crowd the river and are thick as fleas on a porch dog. The no-see-ums and bite-mes are driving me mad, but it is better than walking and we are covering distance at least. If I just knew a spell to ward myself from pests I would be having a fine time. Friar Magden has been praising Pelor non-stop for over twelve hours now, and in that time he probably put paid to a skin of whatever foul liquor he drinks. Still, he paddled the whole time without relief and even Nathaniel and Glom rested every so often. At this pace we may make it to Emmery Dock without mishap.

Another long day of rowing. My arms are tired and I didn’t even do any of it! They let Rachel the girl row but not me. Stupid. They told me to keep my eyes open for anything unusual but after the tenth unusual tree I pointed out, they all told me to shut up or else. Everyone picks on the wizard until he gets powerful.


Fell into a trap today. Well Glom did. We saw smoke near the north shore. We thought we’d say hello but it was a band of orcs and they had a pit-and-stake trap set to catch passers-by. Orcs eat people. They’re also very big. Not as good with a sword as Nathaniel though. I think he killed three and Rachel one. Two came for me and I blinded them with my blazing lights. Fryer cracked their eggs with his mace and that was that. Glom had three stakes in his leg. No crying.

We picked up the deep forest path today after two more days of rowing. My research of the slippery spell finally paid off and I added the successful formula to my book. It is almost a relief to set out on solid ground for a while, carrying the boats.

Five, maybe six days in the wood. We have been set upon three times. First was a tribe of Akonni Orcs with a shaman. Rachel nearly died again. She took a spear through the liver. Friar saved her with rituals and ungents. He may be fat and old but we’ll not let him go any time soon. Slippery put two of them down and Glom did for them with his axe. The third night we were attacked by two ogres. They are bigger than a draft horse and so fast! Glom kept one busy running about making the monster mad with rage. Nathanial and Rachel both cut the other one down but Glom’s was dead. Last day we were stopped by the elves. They were hostile until they learned we had killed the ogres. They gave us bread. 

Went downstream to Two Rivers Inn. It is a lovely place but there were some unsavory fellows there, who followed us when we left in the morning, going upstream on the Chessing. We were some days in when they came near and put a bolt in my canoe. I was able to mend it easily enough, but not before I put a cloud of shining dust in their hair, blinding them, at least the first boat full. The others fell out as well. They were very angry and there was much shaking of fists. I hope we got away from them but Friar says he heard something or someone going up-river during the night.

Our triumphant arrival in Avilton, much anticipated by us if by no other, is accompanied not by a shout, but by a whisper. Nathanial is dead, and though at times I hated him, I loved him at the end when I understood findally what he meant when he said that it doesn’t matter who the Gods chose to accompany you in life… if you will but love them, you will learn that they are worthy of your love. He took that arrow for me. I wish despearately that I could start over with him.

Emmery Dock is a busy place though as muddy as Broke Axle Road back in the Woodmarch. It is a good place to lose yourself and to start forgetting the things you need to forget. I found a ship’s captain in a place called Gabri’s Looms by the water and he’s looking for “tough fellers what kin fight off boarders”. Not sure about tough, but tough enough I expect.

  1. Merchant of Lokistan Said,

    Great start. The presentation! I thought you just put a book with scribbles on the page, but no. I read it all in the book and then eased my eyes on the below part. Well crafted, sir.

  2. Torgash Said,

    I enjoyed that Mr. Holmes.  Seems trouble follows this fellow a bit…good for a quest!  The book is hard to read I agree with that.

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