12th day of Sarenith (10th year of the Regency of Noleski Surtova)
Delays, delays, delays. You know the lands we traverse are desolate when the pair of huntswomen we travel with cannot resupply us as we go. A detour back to Oleg’s has resulted in some interesting news. Apparently there are a good number of Restovians looking to resettle in the newly pacified areas around Oleg’s I guess the crackdown must have squeezed too tight after the initial uprising. These people look like craftsmen and farmers not hardened anarchists. Mayhap the real opportunity my father saw in this venture will manifest after all. Although the idea of a Von Allegmund ruling in the far south is something I doubt anyone imagined.
We met the Erastillian priest that raised Zeleny and Father Gregor seems like a wise and kind soul. He answered some of my questions although his biases against practitioners of the arts arcane came to the fore. It allayed some of my fears and now that I know the beast depicted is a minor beast without a mortal priesthood the threat seems more manageable. Mayhap it should be destroyed after all lest a less scrupulous mage use it as a focus. No telling who would use it if we just sold the damned thing off.
Another person we met with is the leader of a small company of Gendarmes. This popinjay reinforces all my worst fears of the new southern nobility. So afraid that their recent station will be rescinded they act more like the entrenched nobility than their old school peers. The man barely looked me in the eye when I spoke; even after my lord gave me leave to elaborate on the Kobold issue.
Speaking of the Kobold issue, Yuripol will no doubt be pleased to hear of the death of the scouting party we ran into. Admittedly, we let one live and didn’t kill the rest ourselves. But what Yuripol seems to be best at is making assumptions based on limited information and his own prejudices.
So many things to do. My letters to both my father and Karl’s detail much of the true trials as we face with my father and master receiving my suspicions as well. I truly think that the lost city we uncovered needs to be properly excavated and that temple room destroyed once it is properly examined. The Fey being more active here needs to be addressed and some sort of detente arranged so that the Narlmarches do not become another Margreve. Perhaps, I will stay in these lands and start a college of sorts. The Laissez-faire attitude of the Fellow travelers is not helping these lands. There needs to be something that makes things better. There are so few Mages and the individual members of the brotherhood are so secretive we wind up at cross purposes. Ostel’s death did not have to happen and that Necromancer either acted to willfully make things worse or in complete ignorance of the consequences of his (or her) actions. A college out here on the edge of things would create a breed of mages used to fending for themselves away from “civilization” and working together to get things done; hopefully that cooperation would have the beneficial side effect of making this area more stable.
14th of Sarenith (10th year of Noleski Surtova’s Regency)
We finally found the ferry across the Shrike… well we found the guide rope and the burnt out remains of the dead ferryman’s cabin. Out of the river a ghostly figure rose and as I was readying myself to test it against the fires that rage inside me the etherial figure spoke his curse barring us from the Shrike. The wave of ectoplasmic energy made certain there was no doubt that the curse was a true one. The only way to undo the curse is to hunt down his murderer. The damned Stag Lord and his men murdered this Bill Nettles and now Bill’s ghost has cursed us in order to goad us into taking his revenge on the Stag Lord. In spite of our intention to hunt the man down anyway; I dislike being used by anyone let alone the specter of a murdered man.
Our explorations of the grant lands are almost done and all the bandits loose in the north of the Narlmarches and the Kamelands are now dead or fled. Hopefully, we will be able to cover the last bit of territory and pin down the location of the Stag Lord over the next week.
15th of Sarenith (10th year of Noleski Surtova’s Regency)
So we found the Kobold lair right where Mik-Mek said it would be and walked into a coup. Mik-Mek’s chieftain was in the process of losing control of the tribe to an ambitious sorcerer/shaman from a red Kobold tribe that could breathe fire. Luckily for the Chief we seemed to have provoked a pre-emptive strike from this Tartuk the Great. We quickly dispatched the Kobold’s and in spite of the fire-breathing being real magic and not more of the Kobolds’ exaggeration Drogov’s potions reduced Tartuk to ash. Chief Sootscales was understandably appreciative (once he stopped trying to claim responsibility for the victory) and volunteered the assistance of Mik-Mek as a guide. I gave Mik-Mek a couple of the Fey beads as a way of assuring him that we value his assistance even if it is being forced by his Chief. We made plans with Mik-Mek to complete our sweep of the Narlmarches and then we would return to go after the Stag lord.
16th of Sarenith (10th year of Noleski Surtova’s Regency)
We found a reliable ford where the Thorn river meets the Shrike and may have to double back if there isn’t a better spot further down the river.
17th of Sarenith (10th year of Noleski Surtova’s Regency)
Another minor victory. Bokken’s request for Fangberries is fulfilled. Why they would be useful in one of his concoctions I’ll never know but then again I have no delusions of being an Alchemist. If Drogov understands the request he isn’t letting on either.
19th of Sarenith (10th year of Noleski Surtova’s Regency)
So we found another creature supposedly extinct; a Brevoyan Tiger. The Brevoyan Tiger is a mountain Lion sized hunting cat with striped paterns down its back hence the name. The beast was supposedly hunted into extinction over a hundred years ago. Considering all that we’ve seen in the last two months my ability to be surprised by “supposedly extinct” or “only in Fairy tales” beasts and monsters is dying a slow death. This particular cat is a one eyed beast caught in an unmarked pit trap. I wonder if the recently deceased Breeg had anything to do with the trap from a time before he hunted the northern reaches of the Narlmarches. Anyway, the poor beast needed help and as the only one of us that had a reasonable chance to go down there and assist it without it eating us was Vaszilla. I gave her a black and white choice in order to speed up her own decision making process. Her reaction was predictable and her disdain almost palpable, in the end though, as long as she does the right thing I couldn’t care less if she thinks me a monster. Vaszilla healed the beast and released it from the pit. They made an interesting tableau the two hunters staring at each other. Both only having the one good eye. Perhaps, if the cat is not the last of her kind they could be reintroduced into the Brevoyan forests. The cats would bedevil the wardens of those lands in ways the lords of Osstia would laugh about for years.
21st of Sarenith (10th year of Noleski Surtova’s Regency)
Well, it seems we are getting more adept at hunting these Tatzlworms. Two of them this time and we dispatched them with only minor scrapes and bruises. The armor Zeleny made for herself certainly earned its keep this day. They are clearly not cousins of the red dragons as they do burn rather nicely. It is a shame that they are so aggressively territorial. Having to kill them seems like such a waste.
The encounter with the Wyrms had the added benefit of uncovering the body of one of their victims. Whoever the poor soul was his armor was still intact and of a size to fit my lord with only minor adjustments. It is a shame that the book he carried did not fare as well. It may have given us some clue as to what he was looking for in these wilds or better yet it might have contained spells that I have not yet mastered. Oh, well I am just grateful that the beasts did no real harm to the members of our band.
23rd of Sarenith (10th year of the Regency of Noleski Surtova)
We now know the actual location of the meadow where the Unicorn prince was slain and his body left for the Fey to find. Zeleny had a brief conversation with the Old Willow although on this day he was not as communicative as he was on our previous visit and spoke only for her ears. It may be that our travels through this land will reveal Lady Zeleny’s “Stolen past”.
25th of Sarenith (10th year of the Regency of Noleski Surtova)
Once again we crisscross these lands as we head back to Oleg’s for some final preparation time before we get the Kobold Mik-Mek to lead us into the bandit lair. I will send further correspondence off during our brief respite at Oleg’s and then focus to the task at hand. Who knows what the future will bring I just pray that our destruction is not called for in the perfection and restoration of these lands.