28th of Gozrem (the 10th year of Noleski Surtova’s Regency)
Well, I hate it when I am right, Vaszilla has disappeared on a dark and stormy night. As quiet as she is the rain, combined with the thunder, made her departure seem as silent and still as a midnight snowfall in Sirkov. Or so I assume; she very well could have marched the Regent’s orchestra through our cabin and we would have none been the wiser. The wild weather we have been having has both facilitated her departure and obscured any clues as to where or why she has gone. I have my suspicions but they may be romantic fantasies, rather than facing the harsh truth that she has become bored playing the repentant bandit and fled for the open road.
As it was the weather was not done with us this day. A sight I had thought never to see unless bound to my will appeared. A tornado ripped through the fields outside the trade-post and would have smashed us all to flinders if not for the divine intercession of the Lady Zeleny and the other priests present. Apparently, one of Knight-Captain Garess‘ men is a Gorumite priest. As much as I disdain their celebration of combat for the sake of combat the priest has my gratitude. I think that without the combined pleas of all three clerics we would have fared no better than that poor Ox.
The farmer and his wife were better off but still battered and bruised by their experience. Zeleny found a long green hair on the farmer’s arm as she healed him and the farmer’s wife swore she heard laughter coming from the heart of the whirlwind. Puzzle after puzzle. It seems that the fey have more power than we suspected. Hopefully the farmer will still have the will to settle here. We have resupplied him and his wife and the next step is to make certain they can move forward unmolested. Hopefully the laughter was one of the fey riding the tornado and not actually directing it.
30th of Gozrem (the 10th year of Noleski Surtova’s regency)We should have realized that the bandits would counter attack again and that the main band was in fact just that, the main, but not entire, group in the north. Luckily our watch that night spotted them in time. We slew most of our attackers and captured two more of the miscreants to face the justice of Count Nikitin. I am still nervous at the number of times I mention how lucky we are, as I know in my heart that we will gather ill fortune to us as carrion crows to a battlefield. When the accounting draws even we will be sorely taxed.
1st of Desnus (10th year of the regency of Noleski Surtova)
Thank Holy Abadar, Nethys and all the other saints for the comforting chaos of the Nikitin Household. As much as it disturbed me initially I was very glad to restore myself there after dealing with Yuripol and his “man of the world” airs. The man wears his biases and prejudices like a badge of honour and a shield from any ill. How such a man has managed to not be killed is beyond me. I fear that having grown up in the north I am ill prepared for these southern ways. I can only hope that not all of Rostland is populated by fools.
Admittedly, Nikitin is doing himself proud using the levies to increase the guard on the area and replace the now absent members of the Imperial Army. Why the guard unit was recalled is beyond me. Why send us out here to pacify the region if only to let it go fallow again after we are done? It seems odd as well to have Knight-Captain Garess out here on her own with real reinforcements over a week away. Perhaps the slanderous innuendo that Antropov was spouting is a gossips’ imagining for a real indiscretion and her mercenary band has been sent to waste away or die.
On a more pleasant though awkward note the Countess Allora has made it known that letters from my lord Karl would be welcome so that she may read of the wild borderlands to her daughter Lady Zhenya Nikitina. Karl has the heart of a poet but his time in the saddle has left him with no time for learning his letters. Which means that any and all correspondence will come from me. Fabulous. Although she is a lovely girl we do not have the time for the distraction of a formal courtship; if we are to stop this region from becoming a haven for the disaffected and malignant we need to keep on the move and continue to map out and strike against the sickness gnawing at the heart of things. All the while I can’t help but think that My Lord could do much worse than a count’s eldest daughter. Even if it is a borderland on the edge of the empire. He is a third son of a Northern lord and has not the head for courtly things. I guess I will have to work on my imagery. Hopefully, Karl will take all this seriously and dictate the missives rather than myself write them and pretend they are from him. I am sure some bard somewhere could pretty this situation up and make a poem or play about it. I am certainly laughing already.
3rd of Desnus (10th year of the regency of Noleski Surtova)
Oleg’s is starting to feel like home. Still no sign of Vaszilla and we can no longer wait on her return. We need to move forward. Sir Karl suggests we sweep west to the edge of the territory we were assigned and clear the northernmost edge of the Narlmarch. Once done we can then work our way south clearing any bandit camps we find along the way. Planning ahead like this makes me feel like we actually know what we’re doing. Hopefully a food sign.
5th of Desnus (10th year of the regency of Noleski Surtova)
Damn Breeg and his thoughtless placing of unmarked bear traps. The man needs to be horsewhipped it almost cost us Drogov’s mount and without some surprising agility it nearly cost us Drogov as well.
I took no small joy in disarming all the bear traps we found. I will make certain they are marked in future. Knowing, what I do about Breeg I may have to be heavy handed when I express my displeasure over the unmarked traps.
6th of Desnus (10th year of the regency of Noleski Surtova)
We encountered a sealed Numerian Barrow. Ancient but not in the same way the lost city was it looked to have been undisturbed and therefore unlooted all these years. Sir Karl asked that we let it stay as such since we were in this place not as tomb robbers but as thief takers and mappers.
I have little desire to rummage through the mouldering remains of a Barbarian lord’s Barrow no matter how ‘civilized’ and honourable his descendants are.
7th of Desnus (10th year of the regency of Noleski Surtova)
Well, as much as I dislike the loss of life I have to say I am not broken up over the death of the trapper Breeg. The universe has an interesting sense of humour with the teeth marks on the snapped rope clearly being the source of Breeg’s death. The irony is almost sweet to taste. I wonder though at what manner of beast that would eat through the rope and then not despoil the body.
8th of Desnus (10th year of the regency of Noleski Surtova)
We have done something good this day. The death of the transformed Priest and the restoration of the shrine really felt right. The god Erastil sent his blessing among us as well healing our hurts and uplifting our spirits.
Abadar forgive me but Elder Fey Lord or no Erastil remembers those that do his work. I feel a certain vigor I do not recall ever having before. The fight with the beast that the former priest had become was very decisive; Sir Karl locked horns with the Great Beast allowing us to lash out at it and bring it down. The look of peace the man had before he turned to dust and blew away in the wind was a little unsettling. I will need to review his journal if Zeleny allows it. The name of the demon lord must be verified so we can prepare against any of his other minions out here. The presence of the acursed shrine does add to the growing mosaic we have of reasons this area has been lost to the wild for so long. Much to think on at this point. Back to Oleg’s tomorrow with much to think of and many things to consider in each case. Perhaps, a letter or two home for more information.