I guess it is appropriate that we began our journey on a new moon. New moons are for new beginnings, and new journeys. It may not be a Fool’s moon, but we have fools enough along the journey. We rest now after our intrepid leader was galled into a brawl outside the Dickon Hold’s gates. One of the loutish, not to mention racist, gate guards didn’t like Cillean’s look. Whats worse, the Caelt fell for the provocation. I am sure he can handle himself, but by the gods we don’t need to battle every loose tongue along the roadway.
Earlier in the day, we though we’d have to leave the wizard Tavis behind. He went out yesterday, saying he was getting a horse. It turns out he didn’t have a horse, and was too arrogant to simply purchase one. He may have been too broke, but who knows. In any case, he went to the livery claiming that the Baron’s war-wizard (Tavis’ boss) ordered him to acquire a steed for his journey. The man’s got balls, thats for sure. He was taken away by force, and spent the night in a cell until everything got worked out. He must have some brains about him, because when we finally met up with him this morning, he had a steed. It was a stout looking roan gelding, a fine horse indeed. While we were at the stables, I helped Cillean buy a horse. He didn’t have the cash (if he was going to pay us to help him rescue his cousin. This person we are going after is not his cousin, or if she is, she is the kissing kind. It is obvious the man has deep feelings for the girl.
Speaking of deceptions… our other companion, who goes by the name of Jacob, is not the boy he claims to be. She… has a nice pair of tits on her, as plain as any might want to fondle. But I respect her wishes to go unnoticed. I think, however, she knows little about the fine art of concealment and disguise, where her ‘girls’ are concerned. She is boyish enough to pull it off in other respects. I think I may give her a gentle offer of help, to help her with her deception. And who knows, perhaps while we are binding those breasts…
The night is well upon us, and my companions have settled in for the evening. I am itching to find some excitement, but morning promises to come earlier than I would wish. Nicola, the blacksmith’s daughter (from Ferrett Hold) is along with us as well, a very comely lass (if not quiet and reserved). She’s been at the Grog many a time, and I have yet to hear her say more than three or four words at a time. I guess when she discovers that Jake’s a girl, it will give her some comfort to have a female companion to converse with.
Kwyrthday, 12 Vexulin, 2530
I’d never stayed in the Stone Inn before this evening. It is an interesting place. From the street it looks like a one-story inn, but we immediately descended a flight of stairs that looked more like they belonged in a dungeon than an inn. The place is fancy, though. Decorated with lots of goo-gaws and expensive looking trinkets and furniture. Our room is cramped and cold, but the bed is comfortable. I keep thinking about the ‘boy’ Jacob, and how I’d love to snuggle up with her for warmth… yes, warmth and perhaps a little more. OK, a lot more.
The day’s journey was quite uneventful. The road passes by two small communities, and more than a few farms along the way, all preparing for the harvest. We passed a roadside stand and purchased some corn and squash. I am not sure when I’ll be able to fix them, we keep staying at inns and eating fare prepared by others. I hope Cillean comes through on our payment. I can’t afford to keep eating like a prince, paying for rich foods and luxuriant inns. I tried to ply my trade for room and board tonight, but even my tamest joke was passing offensive. I was lucky not to get a boot in my arse and feel the mud of the street on my face.
I probably should have gone over to the shrine in town to do penance for the week, but I have forgotten how tiresome traveling is. It is funny how just sitting a horse can wear you out. I’ll make sure that I give a few coppers next week. Or maybe a few silvers once we get back home. I doubt that my companions will want to spend tomorrow at worship. We haven’t discussed it, but it seems as though none of them are very pious. I should fit right in. Cillean worries me a bit. He is obviously not a pantheist, and he may even be a Caelic cultist. I don’t really care, but I need to be careful to disassociate myself from him should we run into any of the Red Cross.
Attday, 13 Vexulin, 2530
By the gods I forgot how wretched, and lovely, Dawn Keep was. We barely made it here before they closed the gates. More rumors of Brutes amassing themselves rabbited through the bazaar this evening. The Inn here is as cramped as everything else, but it is clean (and cheap) and the bed is a welcome relief for my saddle-sore ass. Cillean left us once we hit town. He was going to sell some of his crafts, so he could pay me back for the piebald mare I bought him back in Fallowdown. His carvings are really pretty good, and I hope he gets a good deal for them.
This day was like the two previous. Little excitement and plenty of pretty country. Just at lunch, Nicola noticed her knife was missing. After being worried that someone had been stealing from the party (and I noticed how Jake was looking very defensive), Nicci decided that she must have left it behind at the inn. There was no going back for it. Cillean’s cuz is in trouble, or may be in trouble, and we don’t have time to spare to return for an eating knife. I think Nic picked another one up here at Dawn Keep.
So tomorrow is the big day. We will reach Shepherd’s Rest by mid-morning, and we are hoping to be able to track the brutes who supposedly kidnapped Cillean’s girl, er.. cousin. I am afraid, after all this time, it is too late for her. Brutes are not known for their gentle treatment of captives. In fact, they have probably had their way with her already, killed and eaten her. That is my fear, and I pray to Allin Hopebringer, and the rest of the gods, that I am wrong, and we find the girl safe and sound.
Ahh, tomorrow is The Festival of the Smalls, and we are going to miss it. I do love to play with the children, the face painting, watching them play and sing. I regret we will miss the festivities. I’ll have to remember to pick up a braided wheat sheaf in the morning to pin to my cloak. Perhaps I will have time to find some inexpensive toys and give them to the church.
Vexday, 14 Vexulin, 2530
We were out of town before I had a chance to do anything but buy a simple wheat charm. Cillean is driving us hard, and for good reason. We found the trail of the brutes, and after talking with a new companion we picked up in the destroyed village of Shepherd’s Rest, we do have reason to worry about his cousin’s safety.
Brother Calumbias is an interesting fellow. He is rebuilding a shrine and hostel in the destroyed village. He has a pet, one of the most enormous dogs I have ever seen. He calls it Titan, and for good reason. Brother Cal has offered to help us in exchange for our assistance in rebuilding a shrine. It seemed an easy compromise. He knew of the brute attack on the Brothers of the Inquisition, and had heard of a wildling lass taken prisoner by them. After just a brief discussion, we settled our horses out of sight, by Brother Cal’s encampment, and began tracking the brutes into what the locals call Goblin Wood.
Following what turned out to be the wrong trail, we discovered an ancient site, still not sure its purpose. We descended into the cavern, for we were following what we thought might be Cillean’s cousin, but which turned out to be a missing wizard Brother Cal had heard about. There is a reward for information about him, because he went missing a week or so ago. We fought off some flying blood-sucking creatures, called stirges. Nicola was pretty injured by one of them, but she will be ok, I think. We explored the cavern and found a plaque with some ancient writing on it. Jacob is currently deciphering the language, Barutheran, so I thought I’d pen an update.
We found the corpse of the missing wizard next to a hole that lead deeper into the ground. I am not sure if we will be going down it, or leaving. We are all pretty certain that the brutes have not been down here, and neither has the missing girl. Haste is in order, if we are to save her. It is afternoon now, with no more than five or six hours of sunlight left to this day. Less because we are in the shadow of Varnor Ithas, the Longarms of the Dwarven Mountains.