Montagem 10, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

I awoke early, alive with jittery energy, I never thought I’d be anywhere near a battle in my life.  Hoped really.  Before I met up with my “brave adventuring party” I sought a small temple to Kozilek (although these rubes call him Cosi like children) the only one I had seen in this cesspit of a burg.  I gave thanks to the Butcher of Truth, the Great Distortion, the Confusion of Panic, the Trap of Enigmas , the Harrower of Thought, and asked him to watch over me on this day.

I met up with my companions at the edge of town, my friend with the eye-patch looking like he was coming off a night of drinking and carousing.  His gaze lingered on me hungrily.  I felt like I needed to bath again just at the touch of his vision. What a way to start a day. 

We set out at a fair clip but I could tell they were showing me some consideration with their pace.  Obviously I am well versed in pretending to be interested in the stories of men, but I had my fill of their war-tales pretty quickly.  Yes it was winter and you had no boots, yes you were starving and ate rats, yes your friend had his legs cut off, blah, blah, blah.  Luckily this lot wasn’t very good at picking up on social cues and they took my silence as rapt attention. 

I will admit to being a bit winded when we came to a stop, I showed them the spot where the woodsman met his grisly fate and they fanned out to look for tracks or other signs of the beast.  It was clear these men knew their business but to me it seemed we wandered randomly.  I realized quickly that this was unlikely to be a one day excursion, if we found the worg at all it could take days or weeks.  This was unexpected and dismaying. 

At some point during the day eye-patch mentioned that we were being shadowed by the tribal folks of the forest.  Who can say why?  For all I know this great wolf was their sacred beast and they all took turns being married to it for a season.  I hate these primitive types, if your society can’t make a nice wine what’s the point of it?

As night came on they built a rough camp and stirred up some awful oaty gruel-like mixture that I was nonetheless glad to have, I was famished after a hard day of traipsing around the forest.  I was semi-hypnotized staring into the flame when all of a sudden my four companions leapt to their , grabbing their spears and bows.  Off in the distance skulked the beast.  My heart fluttered in my chest but long tense minutes passed without anything happening, it was too far away to attack and came no closer.

Wanting to bring this confrontation to a head I did something very foolish, I convinced them to let me approach the beast saying I would bait it closer.  I’ve never been so frightened as when I stepped out of the campfire light into the shadows towards the low form of the worg. 

The monster demanded to know what I was doing and I whispered that I had brought him “treats” as I had promised.  He declared they were too big and strong but I was able to appeal to his ego, seems as though males of all species are vulnerable to that ploy.  He paced about quite a bit, working himself up to it , but with my coaxing he finally slipped away into the night. 

Only to burst into the camp a moment later, then all hell broke loose. In a flash the worg had borne one of the men to the ground and ripped his throat out. With a mighty leap he knocked over the leader and tore into him with his jaws.  Somehow he seemed even more massive than ever in that wild rush.  Patch fired with his bow and missed as the other man charged forward with his spear, trying to help his boss who struggled on the ground with the worg. 

The sound of the howl the worg unleashed when Patch scored with one of his arrows was ear-splittingly horrific.  I turned away from the awful scene, not half a minute later though, all was quiet.  Two men lay dead, Patch was terribly wounded, the leader of the little band was all over with blood but seemed more steady on his feet.  The worg laying dying so near the fire that it’s fur smoldered. 

While the leader was distracted I palmed my stiletto and came up on Patch with a strip of clothe as if to bind his wounds – and stabbed him through the liver.  He fell to the ground silently without a sound.  The survivor sat at the edge of the firelight for a long time, it seemed best not to bother him.  I picked up the spear of one of the fallen men, just to see what it felt like to have a real weapon in my hands.  So crude and rough – graceless.

“Your brother is avenged . . . . at a heavy price” he said to me finally.  He had a far-away look in his eyes that made me uneasy but we worked together to bury the bodies, the most back-breaking effort I had made in 20 years, and then fell into an exhausted sleep. 

____________________________________________________________

Funds: 75 gold, 25 Silver

XP: 1000

Inventory: Peasant outfit (with hidden pockets) , Signet Ring , Stiletto , Map case, quill pen, red riding cloak, candlerod (5) , dreamer’s star tea (4 servings) , poison ring, awful pendant, disguise kit (8 uses) , Fashionable Accessories, hollow heeled boot, poison locket

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice Kinsey , “Patch”

Rumors : Murderous servants (25%) , exiled noblewoman (10%)

Behind the curtain: I used the vagabond stats from the Game Mastery guide for the 4 ex-soldiers, that worg was a real terror though, without a bow critical at the end I think the whole crew would have gone down.  I debated if Ela should get any XP since she all she did was hire people to fight for her – although thematically if you got XP like that it that would explain why mayors and lords and such are always hiring adventurers to do their dirty work, would also explain how they tend to be mid-level sorts.  In the end I decided to award her half XP like a cohort for this encounter since she was there and cohorts don’t always do a lot during combat.  

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