Willowford

Welcome to your Adventure Log!
A blog for your campaign

Every campaign gets an Adventure Log, a blog for your adventures!

While the wiki is great for organizing your campaign world, it’s not the best way to chronicle your adventures. For that purpose, you need a blog!

The Adventure Log will allow you to chronologically order the happenings of your campaign. It serves as the record of what has passed. After each gaming session, come to the Adventure Log and write up what happened. In time, it will grow into a great story!

Best of all, each Adventure Log post is also a wiki page! You can link back and forth with your wiki, characters, and so forth as you wish.

One final tip: Before you jump in and try to write up the entire history for your campaign, take a deep breath. Rather than spending days writing and getting exhausted, I would suggest writing a quick “Story So Far” with only a summary. Then, get back to gaming! Grow your Adventure Log over time, rather than all at once.

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Jim's Journal
The Gravity of Choice

Jim
It’s never easy to make a life changing decision. To the stubborn, it eventually takes extreme circumstances to force it on you. Such was my decision to travel North and East out of Lonn. My deep seated hatred was now all consuming, but something I was absolutely unwilling to die for.
It started with the sheriff. He was cleaning up the town with deadly force. He was doing his best to impress the nobles by cracking down on every possible divergence from the law. I’ve never seen so many petty and not-so-petty criminals jailed. Women and children were readily prosecuted alongside the hardened career criminals. Those who didn’t fit into jails were then pressed into forced labor under unbearable conditions.
There were executions: some deserving, some not. My associates were dwindling and those who remained were cowering in fear, yet utterly unwilling to leave behind the niche they had carved for themselves. The roads were watched. Known establishments were regularly patrolled. The town was small enough that you couldn’t move anyone or anything without stirring up dust.
It was as if a coin had been flipped by fate, telling me that the end was near. I finally decided to leave when my fence, Feddy, was stabbed in the chest. An overzealous guard broke his meaty wrists while forcing them into irons. Feddy wailed, striking out against the guard, and was immediately run through. I watched at a distance, as he flailed on the ground, gasping and sputtering insults, as crimson spewed from his mouth. The guards dispassionately looked on while he shuddered and eventually went limp. After dragging him to the outskirts of town, they pulled him into a charred pit of other remains and lit him on fire. Feddy was the last person I respected in this life and I really didn’t respect him all that much. He was simply more reliable than the rest. Seeing his life end so unceremoniously made me realize that the more time I spent here, the less time I’d spend alive.
It was then and there, under the glare of the sun and scrutiny of many, that I cautiously picked up my few possessions stashed throughout the town and pressed them into an oil cloth. I then spent a small fortune in gold to have Tess, an unscrupulous local scribe, to forge some impeccable craftsman guild paperwork. I only chose a cover I knew well enough to quickly lie through: journeyman locksmithing.
In actuality, it was almost legitimate. Though I had never undergone official guild training, I was far better than others who were of my same skills. My primary intent was to try my hand at Willowford. There were enough pilgrims to blend in and I could easily display my wares to land a job. Who knows, I could sell duplicate keys at nearly six times the price of the lock themselves. Willowford had great potential; there was money to be made being a craftsman. I had spent so much time tooling and retooling equipment while working on the barges moving up and down the Sabine that I had become something of a professional.
I stood at the head of the road, staring into the forest at the edge of town. The oil treated sack with all the possessions I dared leave town with was roped to my back. It contained a mere trace of what I had started with in Lonn. And, by leaving Lonn, I hoped to be leaving all of this ancient history behind me.
I waited at the roadside for a cluster of travelers to move by, pretending as if to prepare for the road ahead. I wasn’t keen on sharing the road, but also wasn’t willing to meet a band of brigands utterly alone. The hills and forests were dense with bandits who would just as soon kill you as look at you. They were little better than the roving boars of Carson Flats, but had far less meat on them.
I quietly shuffled near the back of the pack. It was difficult to not get involved in the social glad-handing of the trip. Men would take turns talking; each spoke in turn, moving through the band like an organized procession of introductions. I made no effort to interject. I felt as much an outcast as ever, but looking from one to the next, they were dressed similarly to what I wore, if not somewhat poorer condition.
Each was a man of the land not casting their eyes from one to the next, comparing each other’s garments and possessions as I had done. Some spoke of horses, but each agreed that saving the horses for work was more important than used for travel. It was unusual to feel so much in common, yet be expected to be shunned if there was ever a glimmer of suspicion of what I was. What you say could be taken completely at face value. More so, people were more likely to believe you in this setting. It didn’t impact them if you were who you said or not and people loved a good story. This was the thought that put me at ease.
As we traveled, the numbers were dwindling as each man respectively moved into the trees toward their outlying farms. In some cases, the roads were little more than game trails moving through the woods. Because the majority of the menagerie had traveled only as quickly as they needed to and had left the road earlier in the trip, they had slowed us enough that it would be dark before we reached town. The shadows were stretching out long behind us at this point and only three of us remained and we were increasingly aware of the night looming ahead.
With so little people traveling it was hard to remain close without engaging in some conversation. I sparked off some chatter with Dawson about where he was going. His farm was up ahead, high on the saddle of valley to the South of the mountain range. The other who was with us, Michael, wore different garb and had a small workman’s hammer slung to his side. Michael was traveling to Willowford proper; his accent was a rich baroque from what seemed like a native of the Cobham riverside.
Michael spoke thickly, “The rest of the others slow’d us some. We still ‘ave a few good leagues ahead of us.”
I nodded, not knowing anything about the distance. I hadn’t planned much at all before leaving which was uncharacteristic of what I would normally do. I really didn’t care, though. I planned to get there when I got there, nothing more. During the dialog between Michael and Dawson, we ran across the corpse of a sheep. Its throat had been torn out and Dawson immediately said, “Wolves! We ‘aven’t seen wolves since the war! Someone needs ta know about this!”
The fawning over the sheep was incredible. It took some time for me to recognize less as a dead animal instead of a lost livelihood. One sheep could mean life and death for some of these shepherds. It was then that I realized that my lifestyle, as despicable as it had been, was almost living in the lap of luxury when these poor sods could lose everything in a moment; just how this sheep had lost its life to a wolf.
To these men, I could have been that wolf. Swindling a few coins would be a devastating blow. The thought hurt my heart a bit. Perhaps that was why all of my days of thievery were done with the rich and moderately wealthy in mind.
My ears twitched, hearing something that I didn’t rightly recognize until I stopped and shushed my companions. “There’s something in those trees.” I pointed to the North and West. “Let’s pick up the pace.” We stepped quickly down the path, my compatriots now warily quiet and uncertain. Fear fluttered at the edges of my consciousness. I felt like this a lot, but usually felt that I could reason with whatever may lay on the other side. This time, I was unsure.
Dawson spoke, “My ‘ouse is just up the way. Wait. I ‘ear it too!” He was pointing when he suddenly ducked, like he tripped on something. I flagged them to the side of the road and crouched. Since I seemed to know how to act defensively, they followed my lead without question.
If it was an animal, which was likely, or even if it was a bandit lying in wait my first thought was to charge it to take away its advantage of surprise. An animal would be flushed out and run away, and we might be on top of any brigands before they could properly ready themselves.
“Here’s my plan. Take out any weapons you have. Let’s run at the sound and see if we can frighten it off. You’ve got to yell your loudest when you’re running.” I spoke with a low whisper, gesturing in the direction of the sounds. I hadn’t heard it that time, but both were nervously glancing in that direction now.
“One, two, three!”
We burst from our huddled positions and ran in the direction of the noise. A large black wolf burst from cover and moved away from us then took up a menacing position again, facing us. It stood a stone’s throw from our position and continued to growl and snarl at us from a distance.
I hefted a few stones and threw them at the animal to keep it at a distance. Michael spoke up, “I ‘aven’t seen wolves as large ‘ere! Watchers would drag wolf corpses back to town years ago, but nothing this size. Nothing!”
“Why isn’t it leaving?” I mused.
There was a black flash, then a thrashing to our sides, Dawson had been toppled by a wolf and was clutching at his neck, beads of blood were forming between his fingers as he was holding his blood back. Michael and myself were dumbfounded. I turned to try and pry the humongous black wolf off of our compatriot, while Dawson took his knife with his free hand and stabbed the back of the beast. Michael was as white as a sheet as he heard the other wolf begin to close. I tried to strike at the wolf again and took Dawson’s blade from the side of the wolf and stabbed at it again. I noticed that Dawson’s face was ghostly pale and his grip slackened and the blood flowed readily from his neck.
“No… “ I let out a panicked whisper just as I was slammed from the side by the wolf we had chased off. It snipped at my neck leave a gash and a number of punctures behind. Blood started to flow and I was in no position to fight off two wolves.
Michael, at a distance was yelling, “Run! Run man, run!”
I was dizzy, but found my feet and pushed off over the ground as quickly as I could. I heard the wolves thrashing through the grass behind me. I made it to the road, leaving a bloodied trail behind me.
“Michael, we can’t run away from them, they’ll eat us alive. We need to stand and fight!” I said with a pinched voice. I caught sight of him nodding, the color had returned to his face, but fear was written all over it, too. Yet, he steeled himself, sweat beading at his forehead.
Both wolves, likely smelling blood, closed on me. Michael moved in and dashed his hammer on the head of the wolf that attacked Dawson. It was a gristly sight, blood frothing around its jaws as the impact of the hammer instantly swelled part of the beast’s face, closing up one eye. He yelped and swung its head around, trying to shake off the blow.
I continued to dance with the first creature. The second bite went true for the throat again and I could feel its jaws crushing the wind out of me. Michael gasped as he saw what happened, but he persisted. I could feel life seeping from me, but managed to cling to consciousness just long enough to weasel the blade between the beasts ribs. Its eyes were wild as the blade stuck deep. Blackness rolled over me and I felt brief weightlessness as I crumbled to the ground with the flailing wolf landing on top of me then rolling off.
In partial consciousness, I recognized the sounds of battle, but couldn’t bring myself around to do anything about it. Then, it was quiet and I waited for the bladed teeth of the wolf to finish the job.
“You… man.” A blooded hand shook me. The peacefulness subsided, replaced with pain and the persistent tackiness of drying blood covering every inch of me.
“Michael?” I breathed.
“I swore I lost ya, boy!” He whispered heatedly. “We need to get off this road.”
“Dawson?” I spoke weakly.
“He’s gone, boy. We need to get a watchman out here. We’ll be dead meat on this road soon enough.” Michael was lying next to me, looking at the moonlight pressing through the trees. I chanced a look around. The wolves were down, one with a crushed skull and the other still bore the blade that landed its killing blow. Michael himself was well bloodied, too, wearing a number of punctures from the encounter. It was a wonder that either of us were alive. I was curious, how I looked after all of this, but I dare say I would be horrified. I never was too fond of the sight of my own blood.
He propped himself up and lent me a hand. We acted as each other’s crutch as we braced each other as we limped down the road.
We hobbled through the woods for hours, just waiting for the next attack, but none came. It was just us two ragged corpses walking to town. I was haunted by the fact that Dawson, whose family was just around the corner, still lay in that field. It isn’t often that you find people who would be willing to stand by you in life threatening circumstances. It was one of those moments where I was proud of those companions I was with.
We heard the rushing of a stream. Michael spoke excitedly, “We’re almost there, by Imoedae, we’ve just about made it.” I glanced around, it was usually at those moments were something would come to finish the job, but nothing stirred in the trees around us. We waded through the water and pressed on. I dared not drink the water as I didn’t think I could have gotten up again. We stopped by a house at the outskirts of town that tried to care for our wounds. Michael was bandaged, but they flinched as they looked at my wounds and said they were unable to do anything for me. The farmer readily offered a handcart to carry me to town in. Both Michael and he manned the cart and pressed forward speaking of visiting “Ironsides” with our tale.
He rapped on the door a number of times. There was stirring in the house, something sounding akin to an angry bear rattling around in armor moved toward the door. The door swung open to a bright lantern bathing us in light.
“What’s the meaning of this?” He boomed with a voice that echoed through his barreled chest.
The farmer spoke quickly, he was paranoid about this man, but took some enjoyment in being able to rouse him at such an early hour. “These men were accost’ by wolves! Big black ones. It took Dawsonwho lives up the way.” He said, gesturing back down the road. Everyone knew each other here, the thought was a little disconcerting.
“Dawson? Hummm…” He scratched at himself, still shaking off sleep.
Michael spoke quickly, “My man here,” he pointed to me, “took a battering and he needs some attention.”
“Jim. My name’s Jim.” My voice rasped with the words.
“Well, Jim, my name is Maurice. Let’s take a look at ye.” The big man peered over my wounds and stood back, “I dare not try else I make it worse. I might have something, though.”
Maurice’s large frame briefly filled the door again and he returned bearing a little blood red vial.
“Drink. A little something from the war.” He popped the cork and unceremoniously dumped it into my mouth. There was a sudden heat and delirium, but I felt immensely better.
I nodded vigorously, the heat from the potion was slowly building and it made me feel almost giddy.
“Take him to the inn, I’ll come to talk to you there.” He spoke somberly and disappeared back into his home.
I gingerly slid from the handcart and I thanked the farmer adding, “I can use my feet from here.” Michael and I walked to the inn in our bloody tatters. Thankfully my possessions were still strapped to me during this whole ordeal.
The inn was a warm and inviting. A cherubic woman stood behind the counter with a fearful look on her face when we walked through the door.
“What ‘appened to ye?” She said excitedly. Her eyes were darting to the door expecting more.
“We were attacked by wolves.” I said matter-of-factly. With a slight pause and watching the customer gaping at our state, I said as nonchalantly as I could, “Could I get an ale?”
I limped to the counter and took a seat. Michael remained silent, but moved to sit next to me at the counter.
“Wolves!? I canna remember the last I heard of wolves.” She looked more intently as the two of us. “I swore ya was a vision of the days of the war. More than a few bloodied lads walked through that door just that way.”
“They took Dawson. He was attacked from behind. They would have had a feast of all of us if Michael here hadn’t struck true with his hammer.” I nodded in his direction and he gave a pained half-smile. The cherubic woman placed the ale at my hands. I reached up to grab the ale to toast Michael, but she laid a firm but gentle hand on my wrist while she spoke directly, “That’ll be 2 copper.”
I didn’t react outwardly, but I was impressed. This was a business and this woman had it well in hand. Handouts, there were not, even for the beaten souls who show up on her doorstep. The days of the war likely numbed her to running a business instead of running a hospice.
I nimbly opened my sack of goods and chased down a few loose copper that had sloughed to the bottom. I slapped them on the counter and nodded politely, “My lady.”
Without a moment’s hesitation she spoke again, “It’s a shame to hear about Dawson. Salt of the earth, he was. It’s good to see that ye survived then, lads. It’s a bad omen to have wolves so close to town.” She looked up, “You sure you don’t need me to look at that?” She looked up and down the two of us, gashed and soaked with blood.
It was only moments before the life breathed back into the Inn. There were a few rowdy patrons near the lower fireplace, calling out and cheering on the woman who was serving them. Her face was flushed, but it seemed to be more about the heat from the fire and from her duties more than the jeering and groping that she was enduring. She seemed to beam as she moved from table to table.
“I’m Justine, by the way.” She leaned forward as if to formally introduce herself showing ample cleavage, but then she put a cloth to the counter in front of her and wiped over the well used counter. “Either of you in town for long?”
Michael shook his head, “No, Miss Justine, just a delivery.”
She looked to me; I fumbled with some words around my ale. I really hadn’t practiced a dialog here. One of the preparations when moving into a new place was to establish a story and stick to it. It took practice and I hadn’t even tried. “I came looking for work. I’m a craftsman.” I started the dialog loosely, knowing it could change from here.
“There’s work to be had, lad, if that’s what yer ‘ere for,” She said slightly distracted while she glanced around at the outlying tables.
“Could my friend and I get something to eat? Is there a place I could stay, Justine?” She was instantly attentive. “We ‘ave a beef and vegetable stew with fresh bread, if that’s what you’re interested in?” I nodded. “And one for my friend, too.” She raised an eyebrow, “Very good.” Michael simpered, but didn’t decline.
“You saved my life, friend,” I spoke honestly, noting his dismay.
“If I ‘adn’t run off like that, we might well ‘ave fared better,” his initial flight had put everything in jeopardy, but he did stand with me at the end. That’s what mattered.
The feeling of heat from the elixir that Maurice gave me was subsiding and was slowly being replaced by the ale’s numbness.
“Think no more of it, Michael,” through the numbness I nodded slightly, “You are a hero.”
Nodding must have opened up some of the wounds again and new traces of blood ran down from my neck. Justine’s eyes widened again at the fresh blood. “Goodness, son! We need to do something about that!” She looked again at the wounds as if for the first time.
“Jillette! Clear a space for these men here!” The serving woman who was making a fair bit of silver for herself, immediately set about shooing the men from the table nearest the fire and enlisting a few of them to move tables to the edges of the room.
“Ye said y’re looking for a place to sleep, dear? We do have private rooms at the cost of a couple gold, but the common room here is just a couple silver.” She said, the sight of fresh blood seemed to make her a bit more accommodating.
“Here in the common room is fine and here’s the cost of the meal when it is ready for us.” I rifled again through the bag I had at hand and produced 3 silver to cover the costs of everything. She looked at the coins, noting that they were from dramatically different locations.
“Are ya well travelled, then?” She said with raised eyebrows.
“Not so much. I worked with sailors and barge captains travelling to and from Cobham. They get coin from all over.” I lied.
She nodded considering it and then pocketed the coin.
“Jilly, dear, can you get some rags and hot water?” The serving girl had only barely completed her last task before then moving on to the next. She seemed well in hand for it, though. Likely had worked here for a very long time and made more than a decent living at it, besides.
I was handed a thick felted wool blanket, which apparently had come from the local mill, and Justine directed were we could set up.
Jillette spoke as she got close with the bucket, rags and water. “I overheard that you were attacked by wolves?” her eyes were wide as she looked the pair of us over.
I nodded, “Just outside of town.”
She rinsed the rags and carefully worked and gingerly worked around the wounds. There were sharp pricks, but most of the edge was worn off with the potent ale Justine had given me earlier. She had a lot of charm, Jillette did, a wide smile and a certain winsomeness that made her a great fit for her job. She seemed imperturbable.
A rumbling approached the door and the sound of grinding metal and Maurice burst into the room bringing the smell of horses in with him.
“Where are the lads?” He spoke to Justine, but walked right to us without waiting for a reply.
“So you say Dawson is dead? Can you tell me where the wolves attacked?” He was voice was low, but his air around him was electrified with his intensity.
Michael spoke first, “We’re just before th’ saddle, mere moments before Dawson’s turnoff when we heard ‘em. The beast’s bodies’re in th’ road there.”
I looked up, “I saw Dawson go limp, but I don’t know if he was dead. He looked dead.”
Maurice stood, “I’m goin’ out there.”
“Be safe and,” I paused to take a breath, “please find Dawson. His wife deserves to know.”
He nodded curtly, it was reminiscent of a military salute. He turned on his heel and with that, the Inn felt vacant again. The eerie quiet that followed his exit needed to be filled quickly, but everyone retreated to their respective thoughts leaving me to my own painful thoughts for the moment.
It was my biggest regret. Leaving Dawson behind was gut-wrenching, and honestly, it had not fazed me before when I was living by the idea that the quickest runner was the one most likely to survive. Perhaps it was the fact that we were people trying to carve a niche for ourselves in a world that acted like it didn’t need us.
I was envious of Dawson: a family, property to call his own, but he, like everyone else, lost a hefty slice of what he made to the ruling class who didn’t seem to care about his condition and wouldn’t bat an eye at his demise. It hurt to think of because he could have been me. It would have been better if it was me who fell, since his widow will have nothing to assuage the pain of loss but the misery of starvation. I saw it time and time again as a kid wandering the streets of Cobham. The war took everything out of us and little came in to replace what was lost. It seemed that only the richer part of the world was on the up and up now-a-days. The rest of us were still crawling around in the dirt trying to find those portions of ourselves that we lost.
Jillette and I spoke at length about the town. She covered all of the basics about who’s who and where all of the different services are available; she was particularly emphatic about where the healers were in town. She was such a spritely character and her temperament was contagious. I found myself often smiling at her through the pain as she worked the reddening, waterlogged rags around all the while pressing her full bosoms together at moments. It could have been avoided by it was likely that this activity had become second nature or perhaps it was simply the cut of the blouse. I couldn’t have asked to be kept by better hands, regardless of how little expertise she had with tending to the wounds.
Michael seemed only a little interested, but he had decided to settle in and write in a tattered notepad with a grease pen. I asked him about it briefly, as not to distract him too much. Justine brought the stew and bread and dropped it off on a table nearby.
“I’ll be at the counter if you need anything else. We’ll be closing the cupboards soon, but there will still be some cheese and dried meats available for 2 copper a bit.” She said this to us, but her voice was raised in order to broadcast it to everyone closeby.
“This is my journal, I recount my daily events as best as I can remember.” He was matter of fact about it, he must have explained this a hundred times before.
“That’s something I should consider. There’d be a lot to write about today.” I grimaced and winced. Jillette apologized again.
“Th’ back room is gonna quiet down faster than ‘ere. That raucous bunch right there”, she rolled her eyes toward the group of upstarts that she was tending to earlier, “They’ll go on for another hour ‘er so.”
She paused for a moment, as if considering what to say next. What she said next was almost an apology. “They tip well, they do. But they’re a group to avoid here. You might ‘ave better luck on the work site. Adam there is the Mason Guildmaster’s son. If you can get ‘im to introduce ya, it’d be in your favor to ‘ave someone ya know. I might be good to chum up to him if ye can stomach it.”
“I appreciate you looking out for me. I will take your advice when I’m up for the challenge.” And I clasped her bloodstained hand. I wasn’t sure how much of that was wolf blood, and how much was my own. The thought left me with a pit in the stomach.
We moved to the other room, which was already set up with bedding and markedly more quiet then the main room. Jillette bid her farewells as Michael and I took up spots closest to the fire. The thick felted wool closed in around me and the crackling comfort of the fire lulled me into a dreamless sleep.

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Cristobol's Journal
Keeping A Journal

Christobol
Cristobol quickly worked to get the events of the last day into record.
Keeping a journal could be important in one’s future endeavors. Surely, the discoveries of this day’s important events warranted such attention. I began this Saturday as every other since being hired on as a peacekeeper of the town of Willowford. Checking in with the Prior Bevin and getting last minute instructions relating to the following day’s market.

On my way to find Brother Finch and Byrn, I thought I saw a woman bolting between the trees. However, my eyes must have been playing tricks on me, fore upon investigation, not a leaf had been disturbed. Still, there is a nagging that I have missed something of import here…..

I stumbled onto Brother Finch and Byrn attending to the body of Farmer Dawson. It was here I learned of the attack last eve on the road from Lonn. The slight stench of death permeated over the more pleasant bread smells. Brother Finch and Byrn were treating and sewing up the body in preparation for burial. After some discussion and a harmless ruse of which Brother Finch was the victim, Byrn and I set off to the Hamadryad Inn to see about the two visitors that survived the attack. After all, I needed to assess whether or not the newcomers would be causing any trouble. It was our idea to find the ranger Cael, somewhere in town, to see if she would accompany us to the Dawson homestead. After all, the news of Farmer Dawson’s death might be better received by the widow from a woman.

Upon arriving at the inn, Justine was in her usual place behind the bar and Darla and Jillette bouncing around, tending to the needs of the customers. Scanning the room, we spot the two survivors. One is named Michael. He seemed well on his way to swill oblivion but the other, calling himself Jim seemed to be at death’s door. He was oozing blood from a bite wound to the neck. How this man had survived is still a marvel to me. Yet, there he sat. We discussed the wolf attack at length. Why would only two wolves attack? According to Jim, they were not gaunt. He also believed it was a coordinated attack. Odd behavior, I thought. At this time, the sprite ranger Cael, decided to make her presence known in her usual fashion; telling me I was wrong; this time about the behavior of wolves. Wolves coordinate attacks.

She seemed preoccupied with Jim’s wound and attempted to apply a poultice on his wound. It even started to bleed again. This would not do. Byrn suggested we find Brother Finch to see if he could do anything better than slap cloth onto his neck. Provided he had not died as a result of the little prank, I thought it couldn’t hurt. As a group, we made our way back to the Priory. Brother Finch was no worse for wear, though a bit further along into the mead, I think. He took a good look at the wound and grasped his necklace charm. Slowly, yet effectively the wound closed and the lines of pain from Jim’s eyes receded. Other than his pallor, likely a result of blood loss, he seemed stout and wished to accompany us to the farmstead while he waited to get well enough to seek employ with the Master Builder.

We gathered our things, expecting to make a day of the travels. In this, we counted on Cael. It was her expertise that afforded us a shorter route to the farm through the forest. You could tell she is experienced in the lore, though she seemed agitated to have to wait for us. Ah well. It will do her good to learn to tolerate “normal” folk.

When we came into the clearing that looked down to the Dawson farm house, something was amiss. No smoke from the chimney, the shutters closed, the animals still in their pens, all is as it would have been the evening prior. Now, we brought our guard up and proceeded cautiously. Cael moved silently off through the woods to come upon the house from the rear. The rest of us, guarded down, directly towards the front door. It was my thought that we do this to give the illusion that we were unaware of anything being wrong.

Upon noticing the door ajar, all pretense of stealth was gone. I drew my trusty blade, more to feel better than to prepare for anything specific. The newcomer, Jim, thought he would be best suited to investigate the interior. So, Byrn watched outward and I watched inward as Jim began to look around. Cael came up as well, saying that nothing had been found. However, she mentioned a wayward track near the stream she spotted on the way here. At the time, she thought nothing of it, but now believes it may have something to do with the current situation. She described it as “ranger-like”. I guess that means it was light-footed and made of something other than a boot.

Jim came back out of the house. The evening prior’s meal was still on the table. A chair had been knocked over and flies buzzed the spoiling food. Upon looking at the floor, we discovered what appeared to be drag marks leading out of the house and towards the pasture fence. I thought this was odd, since there were no marking on the other side of the fence. Byrn noticed some sand and rose petals at the door. He mentioned that such things are components to magicks. Though of what type, he did not know. Slowly, a sense of helplessness wormed its way into my psyche. Thoughts of slavers, bandits, murderous wolves and dark magicks plagued of my thoughts. Yet, I managed to push them down to continue our investigation. After checking the barn and ensuring the animals would not starve we began a discussion on the way back to town. Could it be that someone or something has targeted this family? Is it a coincidence that the wolf attack and the likely time of attack on this homestead were at the same time?

Byrn believed he would be able to find something about those strange components at the door step of the Dawson’s home in the library at the Priory. We got back to town, making a brief stop at Ironside’s place to make him aware of what has transpired. He suggested bringing the Prior into the loop. Of course, I did not wish to interrupt his vespers. So, we returned Jim to the inn and Cael set up camp in the woods near the inn. Byrn went to the library while I went to find the Prior.

It was on that walk to vespers that I smelled something strange on the air. As if lightening had struck in the area, recently. But, Justine said there had been no rain or thunder today. Yet, I could not get the smell out of my mind. Then, I noticed a form, not far off the path, towards the Great Willow. When I got within torch light, I hastily drew my sword at the gruesome sight. A charred form lay in a heap on the ground, smoking as if it had been blasted by the tree itself. I took a quick look around only seeing tracks leading up from the river towards the base of the tree. No longer could I put the urgency of the day’s events on a slow-burner. I hollered back towards the inn, getting the attention of Cael and Jim. Soon after, Bryn joined us. He informed us that the rose petals and sand are components to a sleep spell. That would explain the drag marks. It also gave me some hope that the children and wife were yet alive. Cael also indicated that the tracks from the river to the Great Willow were those of the dead figure, though not the same as those near the Dawson farm. Thankfully, the rest of the inn was not in a curious mood this eve, fore I daresay that such a sight would create quite a stir, something that would not be good for our market day on the morrow.

We did not recognize the man-like form. Nothing was found around the area. However, amongst the many initials and such scribed into the trunk of the Great Willow were many strange rune-like symbols. I had never noticed them before and would not have paid them any attention again had not one of the runes on the tree looked to be as blackened as the form on the ground. I decided that enough was enough. It was time to bring Prior Bevin into what we had discovered, vespers or not. I hastily headed towards vespers to find them finished. I had forgotten to sheath my sword, a point that Prior Bevin could not have ignored. He saw the concern and urgency in my countenance and asked of it.

Once I filled him in on the day’s events and findings, he hurriedly followed me to the Great Willow. It was here he looked upon the area with his far-seeing eyes. He believes that the man-like form is something from the “Old Lore”. A Shee he called it. It was nearly seven feet tall with the features of an elf, yet rounded ears. Old is right! Such beings were said to have passed the realm of the world with the advent of man! The Prior further explained the basis for believing they had passed. Apparently, Shee pass their lore verbally through the generations. It is said that the race decided to pass beyond the veil of the realm when their lore was lost with the pre-mature passing of the elder responsible for this great knowledge. Yet, here one lies. Given what the Prior said about such beings, the fact that it lay, dead by some fell sorcery, caused me great concern. Were not these beings creatures of magic themselves?

We discussed briefly what to do about the dead body. The Prior said he would handle it. It was deemed best to not bring up this particular incident immediately to the folk of the town. We did not want to jeopardize tomorrow’s market. During the morning services, the Prior will make mention of the disappearances in the north wood region as well as the wolf attack to the attendees. Least that way, people will be more on guard and less likely to become unwary victims.

I pleaded a case with the Prior to get leave to investigate this more, believing we had a chance to find the missing children and widow. But, it will have to wait until after the morning market events. Always aware of my duties to the Prior, I do not protest. He is very wise. Surely we will not lose anything more by resting this night and preparing ourselves tomorrow. We break for our various evening arrangements.

I sit here, heavy in heart and eyelid. Perhaps as I make my rounds through the market after services, I will be able to garner some information from the vendors that have traveled from out of town. It is with this hope I lay my pen down and rest…

(to be continued)

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Flint's Daughter

Cael
Cael crouched silently on a low branch overlooking the river some hundred yards from the willow tree that the small town of Willowford was named for. Looking down at the river below her Cael should have been soothed. Flowing water was normally a source of life and comfort. The moonlight sparkling on the water as it danced over submerged rocks was dazzling and pretty. Unless one recalled a dead body found adrift in the same river only that morning. The servant appeared to have knelt near the water, then simply appeared farther downstream, dead of unknown causes. The cause after the enlightening conversation with Joenns Wurst earlier in the eve had made it apparent that the death was likely due the impending conflict with the remaining Shee. The Shee were more then likely for the second “wolf” attack earlier that had nearly cost Prior Bevan his young life. Were it not for the keen eyes of Jim, none would have even seen the danger until after the Prior lay dead on the steps of his own church. Someone wanting Prior Bevan dead had also seemed an unsolvable mystery until Joenns story had come out.
A deep scowl marred Cael’s normally pleasant features as she thought back to their visit with Joenns. Deep shame seemed to emanate from him as he told his sorry tale, yet Cael had trouble believing the state of his emotions as the full tale had come to light. Apparently the now peaceful and prosperous little crossroad town had begun in conflict. The land Willowford sat upon had been home to the very hemadryad the inn was named for. She had not willingly given up her home. When she had refused to move, the founding Prior had enlisted Joenn’s help in imprisoning the hamadryad in her own tree. The very same willow tree they had found the dead Shee under just the night previous. The burned glyph was a result of the Shee sacrificing his life to help unbind the hamadryad.

Joenn’s claimed he had loved the hamadryad, yet been swayed by the Prior. That was one of the most infuriating things to young Cael. In all the stories she had read or heard of love, she had never heard of such a hurtful betrayal. How could you truly love someone, and then banish them so completely? Wound them so deeply? It was unfathomable; therefore, to her mind it must not be true.

The current dilemma facing their small group now was how to make things right? The Shee were doomed without their hemadryad. It was apparent now they would risk anything now to free her, including their lives. Not to mention the lives of anyone currently calling Willowford and the surrounding area home. Eventually they would free her. Cael’s sympathy lay with the wronged woman and her followers. Even so, Willowford was home, more or less, and the people within were friends. She would not see any of them harmed if she could help it. So how to accomplish both….the freeing of the hamadryad, and the safety of those now calling Willowford home?

Dropping lithely from the branch Cael wandered a bit closer to the willow tree. Pulling two pouches from her backpack she began to sift through them pulling out various seeds and roots. She began by separating several small iris rhizomes. Starting close to the water’s edge she loosened the moist soil into small holes and planted the roots. Moving back from the river she poked a dozen holes within a four inch space for the tiny Yellow Bell seeds as they preferred to grow in clusters. Under the shade of a large spreading mountain pine she planted a few fairy bells. The last flower seeds she planted were lavender. They were one of her personal favorites. They were fragrant in tea and particularly useful as a healing herb. Finally she glanced around at the spacing and decided two slender birch trees would add a bit of interest to the area. They were fast growers especially with such an abundance of water.

Settling cross legged onto the grass she drew a few deep breaths, closing her eyes and willing herself to relax. Her anger had diminished and drifted away by the time she finished her planting. She hoped the peace brought to her by the new growth would translate itself to the hamadryad as well. Tomorrow was a new day, sure to be as chaotic and fraught with trouble as today had been. Still, like today there were pleasures to be had as well. She had competent enjoyable companionship. There would be good ale to be had at the end of the day, good food, and even better cheese. She smiled softly to herself and decided to return to her camp to ready for tomorrow’s travels.

Before she had a chance to rise she heard noise to the left, something or someone coming through the bushes. She quickly rose into a crouch prepared to face whatever new danger might face her. To her surprised a bedraggled old man stepped through the bushes. He looked around in apparent confusion for a moment. Then he noticed her. “Well met sir.” She spoke relaxing a bit. “May I help you find something?”

“Hmm, are you Flint’s daughter?” he asked much to her surprise.

“I am, have we met before?” she asked studying him again trying to place his face. Nothing came to mind.

‘No, we have not, though I know your father. I am Caddoc of Second Meadow.” He walked over to her and looked at the ground next to her where she had planted her last tree. “What are you planting?”

“This is a birch tree, I also planted a few flowers. I had hoped they might make the hamadryad happy.” She replied with a soft sigh.

“Ah.” He smiled and began rummaging through a sack. “I have something for you then.” He pulled out a jumbled mess of dirt, hair, seeds and various other items and began pawing through them. At last he drew out a palm sized seed and handed it to her.

She accepted the seed from his vary dirty, very wrinkled hand. “What is it?”

“It is a tree the hamadryad will like.” He replied.

She planted the seed about three feet away from the birch near to Caddoc. After the seed was covered Caddoc waved a hand gracefully over the dirt and a soft glow shown between his hand and the soil for a moment. Soon a plant tendril rose from the ground and proceeded to grow into a six inch tall sapling. “Yes, she will like this very much.” he said softly to himself. His eyes seemed to lose focus then as if lost in memory or thought.

“Thank you for your help.” She said to the druid after she felt the silence had gone on long enough.

He glanced over at her and a look of confusion crossed his face followed by one of recognition. “Ah, you are Flint’s daughter are you not?” he asked.

She studied him a moment to see if he was joking and decided he was not, merely forgetful and confused. “I am his daughter Caddoc.”

“I have something to show you then.” He replied and started back into the trees through which he had arrived. After a moments consideration she decided to follow him, to keep him out of trouble if nothing else. In about ten minutes they had left town behind and she found herself standing before a small cottage. To the right was a wooden archway leading into a fenced garden. The garden seemed a bit unkempt, if garden it was. Caddoc turned around and seemed to just notice that she had come with him. “Ah, you are Flint’s daughter are you not?”

Patiently she replied that she was.

“I have something to show you then.” He replied and turned to walk through the archway. Once she followed him through she noticed an immediate change in Caddoc. He stood straighter and moved with purpose. When he turned to speak to her his eyes were bright and focused, clear of their earlier confusion. Looking around she noticed a distinct change in their surroundings as well. The small garden was now a large tract of land with a river running through it. It looked very familiar to her. It was many minutes before she could place the memory. They appeared to be standing in the middle of Willowford, minus the buildings and the large prominent willow tree.

“What is this place?” she asked thoughtfully.

“This is to be the hamadryad’s new home. A perfect replica, as it was before Willowford was founded.” He answered her.

It turned out the druid had been working on a way to help the hamadryad for many years. There was only one item required to complete the hamadryad’s home, her willow tree. Caddoc entrusted Cael with a small root ball, the needed willow tree. She needed to acquire the blessing of the Shee upon the root. Once this was done the tree could be planted. It would become a duplicate of the hamadryad’s current tree, allowing her to move freely between the two trees. Cael felt new hope within her as she left the garden to find her companions. They had planned to leave in the morning to find the totem and the Shee already. Quickly she made her way through the woods to Joenn’s house.

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Battle of Joenns' Cabin

Christobol
Wound up and fully psyched, Cristobol cleaned the Sword of St. Marcus, fore it had saved him in a day wrought with peril. Not even during the war had he been so hard pressed in his skills as a swordsman. While cleaning, he thorough replayed the events of this evening…

The others had left Jones’ house for the evening. Yet, Cristobol found reason to remain, thinking it prudent to ensure that the mysterious man did not leave town or become harmed. It seems that the events around Willowford and the Hamadryad are now centered squarely on this one-handed man; a man with a great burden of guilt with no apparent way out of the predicament.

Looking around the residence and enjoying the hospitality of Jones, Cristobol noticed the place was very plush and full of creature comforts. However, there were some very strange things in this dwelling. Jones went to get tea and opened a box that contained the winter in it! There was definitely more to this man than his appearance. Then again, with his involvement with the founding Prior of Willowford, that was a given.

While engaging in small talk and pleasantries, a crash of broken glass jarred both their attention. Quickly, Cristobol did a sweep of the dwelling to find that one of the windows had been smashed and a flaming torch had been tossed into the home. Quickly, he snuffed the torch before it could really do any damage to the tapestries in the house. Once the immediate danger of fire was subdued, Cristobol cautiously went to the door to see if anything could be discovered. Smartly, he went around the short side of the house to ensure nobody was lurking around the corner. While moving in that direction, an arrow thrum could be heard. Miraculously, Cristobol raised his shield and intercepted the bolt meant for his heart. Now, all his senses came into play to identify and take down this cowardly threat. Using his skills from the war, Cristobol determined the direction of the bolt and by the slightest light of the moon, caught a glimpse of a bow tip protruding from the brush. With purpose, Cristobol charged that piece of brush, lest he lose sight of the target. Another arrow, another miss. St. Marcus indeed seemed to be warding the man wielding His legacy. Cristobol came upon a “live” Shee! He immediately engaged the dangerous archer, cleaving a wound that would have felled most men. Yet, the Shee lived. Thinking that a live prisoner would be advantageous, Cristobol offered the Shee a chance to surrender. It did not take the opportunity. Once more, Cristobol struck with his blade, felling the Shee mortally.

While fighting the Shee all hell sounded like it was breaking loose back at Jones’ cabin. More glass breaking, more fire, and some strange words and visual effects came from the house. Steathily, Cristobol made his way back, hoping yet to capture one of the assailants. He came around the house corner and surprised another of the Shee. This one had a pencil sword of all things, yet he did try to skewer Cristobol the moment he engaged. Again, St. Marcus’ blessing was upon the blade wielded by Cristobol and he struck deep into the side of the Shee. However, this time he knew that the creature would not die. Instead, Cristobol used a technique shown to him by his first weapons master and struck the Shee with the flat of his blade, rendering him unconscious and compliant for binding as a prisoner.

While securing his catch, another arrow thrum could be heard. It failed to meet its mark. Again, Cristobol managed to locate the archer. However, whether from fatigue or lack of caution, when he got to the Shee, Cristobol did a face plant into the ground that an ostrich would have been proud of. Prone and unable to ward off the toothpick sword being thrust at him, Cristobol made himself a mobile target, hoping to gain his feet before getting skewered. He was successful. However, upon gaining his feet, the Shee had already bolted with no trace visible to a now exhausted warrior. However, Cristobol was rather sure the Shee would not return this night given the fates of his two comrades.

Before heading back to the cabin, he went to the Shee he had killed and dragged the corpse from the woods. With the recent experience with the wolves, Cristobol did not want the body “disappearing” only to reappear as a plant monster.

Now, one dead Shee, a captive, and a house smelling of smoke and other things had Cristobol waiting for his comrades. The Shee knew of Jones’ involvement with their Goddess and his life needed protection. Somehow, Cristobol believed that the next few days would lead him to places never before imagined.

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A Season of Change

Bevan
The pale glare of summer softened its gaze as the pregnant earth yielded its bounty. Farmers remark on the favorable weather as they smile in passing. An oddly tilting ladder supports an artisan laying brush across weathered oak. Below him a woman of healthy girth and baring broad tooth smile folds her arms approvingly. A mason’s cart groans in protest as well-fed mules shoulder the load along an inclined cart path. In the park near a cobbling ford, tall grasses aid a game of hide-and-seek. Rosy faces mount like farmers fruit on the stands of timothy, youthful laughter breaking over the running rivers voice.

Willowford prospers on the heels of an old wound’s mending. Waxing signs of autumn’s harvest flood the Sunday market. Cloistered men scribble the matters of money and exchange while real commerce swells their coffers. Treaties of respect alter the path of stone and mortar. String and post yield to stone and plank as aspirations of heavenly glory take root in earthly moorings.

King’s men sidle into town. Conscriptors by their dress. Those who remember the war speak of other matters, all the while fearing the truth of their situation. King’s wills bend the fortunes of all. Tufted mounds of turned soil still remember the seeds of mothers unfulfilled dreams as stirrings of conflict roil and simmer in the west.

Sermons turn to speculation and hope for the kinder hearts of men. Youthful faces dream of distant glory in the shadows of sires lament.

— Prior Bevan’s Journal September 15, 1264.

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A New Quest

Christobol
“I am quite capable of taking care of myself, Cristobol!” exclaimed Genevieve. Those words left a sour taste with him as he evaluates yet another member to the unlikely party of adventurers from Willowford. A party, again working on behalf of the Keeper of the Great Willow Tree and the Priory of Willowford, though he won’t push that point with Cael given her distaste with the Church. A party that just got its knickers handed to it by a pack of goblins! Though in our defense, Cristobol reflects, it wasn’t really the goblins, but the worgs. A mage and roguish type are not cut out for the battles we keep walking into. I did not think that anything would be worse than the twig wolves we dealt with during our previous encounter with the Hamadryad or even the Banned Shee. How wrong I was! It was ironic that the new lady fighter was unable to truly “take care of herself”. If not for Cael’s ability to toilet paper gaping neck wounds, the party of 5 would likely be 2. Cristobol sighs as he considers all the responsibility that he shoulders being the “meat shield” as Cael so “lovingly” puts it.
Yet, here we are running from a virtual army of goblins following the cryptic messages of a vision. A vision that mentions a great evil growing in the West linked to older Gods and their “children”, children that delighted in the infliction of pain. This plight is apparently shared by human and Shee alike. Perhaps the Hill family has been secretly dealing with this old and evermore present danger for longer than we realize. Enough so that deals to annex the lands near Willowford under the apparent blessing of the Bishop of Cubbum have been rumored to exist. It would serve that family right if their dim-witted, bully son was never found. Yet, I find myself hoping that we can position ourselves towards his rescue. Never hurts to keep options open, especially when dealing with was seems to be under-the-table politics involving the lands surrounding Willowford. These lands have provided much for the growing town. The lands, if lost, would mean a 20% drop in the current economy, a fact Prior Bevin was NOT happy to hear about. It should be interesting to see the result of his inquiries into the matter. That is, if we survive the trip we are on…

For now, we run, away from the known threat of goblins and worgs to the unknown threats between us and the Seer of Balerock. Perhaps the goblins are part of the “Test of Worthiness” mentioned by the Hamadryad. This Seer distrusts Man, which makes me assume he/she is other than human. Though it would be nice to know what lies beneath the reason of that distrust. Many questions and no answers, just clues:

One with two mouths to feed will reveal the path to the “Shadow Bridge”.
He with one eye will share secrets of the Old Gods anger.
He has seen his death and it will follow after you.
The rock will break with his word and thus the door will be revealed.
Go north beyond Eden’s Gate. When rocks grow like trees you will be on the threshold.
Cristobol likes to think himself more intelligent than the average warrior, but with information like this, the scope of possibilities is nearly endless. We can only hope that our path northward will reveal more than the cryptic words of a vision. Though hopefully we can pass safely to beyond Eden’s Gate without invoking the ancient “powers” of the bewitched forest once used by the “Old Powers”.

Still urked at the lack of respect the young warrior woman had at his honest attempt to be courteous, Cristobol’s thoughts shift to Darla. Smiling he remembers the information she gathered concerning the disappearance of Bull Hill and 6 knights with him. Her ability to gather information of the bands of mercs travelling through the area lately has proven very helpful. It is nice to know where the “armies” are employed. Yet, rumors of full battles being fought in the Hill lands with no enemy casualties, an enemy that can hurl rocks with out siege equipment. Rumors of a prisoner exchange between the Hills and Bishop of Cubbum. The King’s Conscription team is about the countryside again, which bodes ill for all, should the Kingdom find reason to require an army again. Perhaps the great evil building is the link to all these troubling tidbits. Though Darla’s delivery of this information with a smile a twinkle in her eye and a specially prepared breakfast for him made Cristobol wish he could find other reasons to delay the young woman he has developed a true fondness for. Darla, such a demure and spritely lady. Worth pursuing? Perhaps….

For now, Cristobol and his companions must become the scalpel that needs to root out the evil that has once again gained a foundation in the lands again….for now…run from the goblins and keep his friends from bleeding to death…

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A Weary Journey

Cael
Cael sat on her bedroll in the dark cavern slowly stretching her muscles one by one. She swore there wasn’t a piece of flesh on her body that didn’t ache. Her legs in particular were killing her. She considered herself to be in great shape, but she was used to long treks through forest and farmland. Today when not battling, they had climbed steadily higher into the mountains. She wasn’t sure if even careful stretching was going to keep her from cramping during the night.

If nothing else, the calm steady movements helped to calm and relax her. She was still feeling keyed up after the battle with the ettin. She was amazed and grateful, that they had come through the encounter completely unschathed, a first for their little party. If all their battles could be planned for and thought through before hand, they might stand a good chance in their quest. Too bad most of their battles, such as the bugbears the day before, started with an ambush.

She couldn’t help a satisfied smirk when thinking of that battle two days earlier. It was true that they had been caught unawares and badly hurt on the whole. None the less they had survived and been victorious. Thirteen less bugbears were going to be causing strife and chaos thanks to their little party. no minor victory that one.

Feeling satisfied and relaxed at last Cael curled up into her bedroll for some well deserved, much needed sleep. It was a statement of her exhaustion that she failed to noticed no one had started a fire in the cold cavern yet. Even more so that she failed to wake to all the smoke filling the cavern later as Genevieve tried unsuccessfully for some time to get one started.

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A Farmer's Daughter

Genaveve
My name is Genavieve. I am seventeen springs. My family and I live at the base of a mountain range. We raise cattle and sheep, and we harvest wheat, walnuts, acorns, and apples. We don’t have a lot of one thing, but we feel we are very well off with what we have.
This year we were blessed by the gods and had a very fine year of wheat. We were able to take the extra and sell it to the monks, and to the baker. I loved the sound of the coins jingling in my purse when I sold our wear.
My father and mother are from further west. Trestine and Verginia are very strong people. Both can work a full days work and have strength to continue til well after dusk. I’m not sure why they traveled such a long way from their home town. It was well over a months journey. I’ve tried to ask a few times, but my father says what’s in the past stays in the past. I have never gotten past those words.
I have two brothers and an adorable sister. My oldest brother is Marlo. Marlo is nineteen winters. He reminds me very much of our father. He is betrothed to Priscilla, a girl from Willowford. They see each other every Sunday. She will be a true sister to me next spring.

My next brother is Tame. Tame is fifteen winters. That boy will be the end of himself soon. He loves to play practical tricks on us all. One good thing for that is he makes us keep our senses keen. Tricks or no tricks, he is the one I am closest to. We grew up teaching each other to fight with swords, sling shots, bow and arrows, and our bare hands. The swords were a gift from our father. He said he had no more use for them.

Our youngest lass is Hannah. She is ten winters. I love Hannah with all my heart. She is incredably fast at learning. I have taught her how to birth a lamb and calf, the difference between dragons weed and bitter lace. Both look almost exact. Bitter lace has a velvet underside. Hannah has always been smart, but never interested in baring arms. She is capable of defending herself, especially with a bow and arrow, but not well with sword or knife. My mother tells me not to push her, that she will learn what she wants when she wants.

As for me, I try to live life with all the gusto I can. I’ve had to fight early in life, the beasts on the mountains are fierce when winter comes. I lost count of the wolves I’ve killed, the bears, the big cats also.
My friend Cael, who is a ranger, and I are on a quest along with a great fighter, Christobol, Byrne the sorcerer, Jim the rogue, there are two other women with us, but they don’t talk much to me.

This is my first adventure outside my home. I’ve killed bug bears, zombies, a giant something, and a strange creature that grew out of a mountain hole. The zombies have been the hardest. They’re so human looking.

I have been very thankful for all my new friends. Christobol is a strongheaded fighter, Cael has a way of sensing the right paths we should take, and the right stratagies to conquer our enemies. Byrne, the sorcerer is incredibly creative and resourceful with his talents. Jim is very clever and adgile. He is a very good fighter when the oponent is standing.
I used to be very independant when we started. I thought I could take on the world by myself, but now I’ve learned to depend on my friends. Together we will defend our home town of Willowford, right the wrongs, and defeat our enemies.

Feeling satisfied and relaxed at last Cael curled up into her bedroll for some well deserved, much needed sleep. It was a statement of her exhaustion that she failed to noticed no one had started a fire in the cold cavern yet. Even more so that she failed to wake to all the smoke filling the cavern later as Genevieve tried unsuccessfully for some time to get one started.

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