14th day, 2nd month, second age, 2,564
You know, I just realized how pretentious that letterhead sounds. I’ve had this journal book for almost half a year, since leaving the college, and I’ve never really paid attention to the top of each page. Oh well.
So the last couple days have been…interesting. Hewart led us to this village in Anatia that he’d been aiming for, basically since we met up with him on the road.
He’s an explorer, which sounds happily vague and could mean anything, but he met me and Hrok a couple of weeks’ travel from the eastern edge of Anatia, and Virgil and Alaine only like a day after that. Since we all carried weapons, he thought it would be a grand idea to do some sort of mutual-protection thing and accompany him. Hrok and I, we figured, why not? Virgil…well, I’m not sure exactly what part of Nurdheim he’s from, but I don’t think civilization was kind to wherever it is, since he seems at times to take everything literally. Or at least at face value. I have to watch my words. Alaine’s another story, that one; though she hails from the same land, obviously they’re from totally different parts.
Either that, or she’s just more worldly in general.
Back to the fun of the last couple days. So we showed up in this village that Hewart wanted to go to back on the 12th; I guess he thinks it’ll make a good base, of sorts, for his next expeditions. Hrok and Alaine made noises about wanting to talk to the guard, see if they had any bounties to collect; we were running a little low on coin. I figured, why not go talk to the locals, maybe they’ve got some other things we could do for a few gold. So I went to the tavern and spread the joy a little (amazing how far a gold piece will go when pints are a couple of coppers each). Virgil and Hewart showed up a little later, and after I slayed the crowd with another series of jokes I…adapted…from their less dirty counterparts back at the college, Hrok and Alaine came back, too. So we shared what we learned.
Me: Nutcase in Ilo who wants maps of the Dreadforged rails, silk-wearing secretive merchant with killer merc guards who wants to hire a few more, and three disappeared adventurers who went to some ruins south of here a while back and haven’t been seen since—hence “disappeared.”
Them: two nearby bounties, one for a missing merchant who’d fled after stabbing someone, one for a highwayman who’d been camped nearby for a few months.
We settled on the merchant first. Easy money, and all. So the next day, Virgil did his tracking thing, deduced in clever fashion which way this Darrel probably fled, and sure enough found relatively fresh tracks.
Into the woods we went.
As luck would have it, we found Darrel. As it was bad luck, he was dead, his torso opened and half-consumed by something that was, according to Virgil, no larger than a wolf.
Need to keep my hats on more tightly now.
I found Darrel’s goodies in a tree—some coins, a merchant scale, and some jerky. Clearly he panicked after killing whatever poor slob made him mad; he wasn’t fit even for a short journey, much less hiding out in the woods.
We went back after Hrok buried the body and took Darrel’s head as proof of his fate. The scale might work, but better safe than copperless.