Mantelderith 18, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

At my suggestion Elth set about composing a very special letter while I decided to see what was new in Graltontown.  As soon as I got outside of the Hound’s Tooth however, Graltontown brought the news to me.  A few blocks up the street an angry mob was confronting a caravan that was bringing dozens of halflings into town.  The small folk looked terrified as people were shouting and throwing rocks and debris at them as a few guards tried to keep the crowd at bay.  It was such a commotion that even the lazy, no-account, good for naught, feckless, malingers of the Graltontown city watch turned up to get in the mix.  They of course made even more of a mess of the situation.

I found out that because of the rumors that some of the “downstairs” types in town were plotting the brutal murder of their betters the blue bloods in had started sacking their domestics and replacing them with halflings from Eight Shires.  In turn the unemployed workers had started staging demonstrations and some had turned to attacking the shirefolk.  It’s quite a situation.  I heard that not three days ago the Voculan family actually had been slaughtered in their sleep by their servants.  I initially dismissed this as more rumor but soon found out it was actually true.  Did a rumor about people killing their masters result in people killing their masters?  Intriguing.  The seven perpetrators were at large and had sizable bounties on their heads.

After that excitement I checked in with Lord Sonst at his general store apartment to break the bad news to him.  I hate to see a grown man cry so I left and touched based with Edrena – she said that she wasn’t worried about me because the cards told her I would be back, but she did express her eagerness to move on Piltis.  After that I checked in with my pals Electrum and Gridley – both still sadly alive and well, although none too happy about having to get off their rumps and deal with the civil unrest in town.  I sold my silver dagger to a frantic merchantman who claimed wererats were stealing his goods before returning to the Hound’s Tooth.

Despite her deplorable penmanship Elth had done a good job of explaining to Andsome Cornelio that she had been kidnapped and was being held for ransom by parties unknown. On the other hand she had an entire day to do nothing other than write a letter so she doesn’t deserve that much credit.  I went around town gathering items for a new disguise kit before altering my appearance and handing the letter off to Bolton Cargo and Freight. Before turning in for the night I decided to gather some information on what Piltis had been up to and found that an unfortunate young fop that looked similar enough to my disguise as Piltis dog-fighting nemesis had meet an ill fate at his hand. 

I went to the family of the poor boy to offer my condolences.  They had no idea what their son could have done to run afoul of a thug like Piltis but they had no proof so they couldn’t go to the watch.  I assured them that Piltis would come to justice.  When they were otherwise occupied I helped myself to the contents of their bedroom.  In the top drawer of the nightstand, under a book of the… shall we say… racy variety, I found the deed to a small piece of land outside of town.  Seemed like the kind of thing I should have, so I took it.

____________________________________________________________

Funds: 141 gold 

XP: 7666

Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, noble’s traveling outfit, thieves’ tools, disguise kit, land deed

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Cardshire Arms manager, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family

Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid

Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(30%)

Mantelderith 17, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

My traveling companions aren’t excited about our newest member, but we should reach Graltontown today so hopefully they won’t grumble too much.  Not long after we set out we came across an ample woman in the vestments of a priest of Strider.  Setting aside my dislike of her ilk I returned her friendly greeting.  She’s on a pilgrimage to visit every temple and shrine to Strider in the area , I asked her about Erist and she said that he had just come into Graltontown as she was leaving.  She seemed intent on getting into an expansive conversation about how we had chosen our paths in life but I was able to shed her without being too rude and we continued on our way. 

As we reached sight of Graltontown I spied Augrim heading out of town and waved him over.  Seems he’s decided to turn bounty hunter and was setting out after Felix.  He asked us briefly about what we had seen on our way in but once it was clear we hadn’t seen Felix he was quickly on his way.  He didn’t even ask where I had been or what happened to me. Typical self-centered man.

Two and a half weeks away from Graltontown has done little to improve my opinion of it but it’s better than being a captive of the Skin-Takers.  Mostly.  The first order of business was Sparrow, I would have liked to keep her, she was a fine mare, but I needed money and had no place to keep her anyway.  Quinine agreed to “buy her out of the pot” and five of us (excluding Ambro) split the funds.  Phora helped us find some buyers for the remainder of our traveling gear before hurrying off to see to her interests in town. Mags had parted with her previous employee on somewhat bad terms but looking up my old friend Alice at the Galway’s lead to her getting a gig with the Thronehelds. 

I was able to shame Ambro into returning to his house, since he was the owner, and got him fired up enough to confront his wife – but she wasn’t there.  He took great pleasure in throwing all her things out in the street.  Estra would stay with him for the time being, I didn’t envy her, but having someone to take care of seemed comforting to her. I offered to help Quinine find work as well but she declined, I thanked her sincerely and we parted ways.  Leaving just me and Elth.  We returned to the Hound’s Tooth and after seeing that my room was still in order shared a drink in the taproom.  I asked her what a girl with skills in carpentry and a pile of gold wanted to do with her life.  She was astonished that I knew her “secret” and admitted that she didn’t really have a plan. 

She said that she had stolen the gold from her father but frustratingly didn’t know why a pig farmer had that much coin.  Maybe it was a dowry of some sort.  She is a pretty thing, but even so, what rural clodhopper would have that kind of money to pay?  Realizing I had never asked to whom the engagement she was fleeing was to, I figured there was no time like the present. You could have knocked me over with a feather.  Turns out she is betrothed to Andsome Cornelio, none other than the third cousin of Duke Eaglevane himself.  He was passing through her mudspot of a village and he saw her from across the meadow and was entranced by her beauty and yada, yada, yada.

I told her I had a feeling we were about to become fast friends. 

____________________________________________________________

Funds: 30 gold 

XP: 7666

Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, noble’s traveling outfit, thieves’ tools, silver dagger

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Cardshire Arms manager, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family

Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid

Rumors : Murderous servants (Reoccurring), exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(30%)

Mantelderith 16, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

I set out today astride the newest member of our seemingly ever expanding band, after all there’s no reason ALL of us should walk. We agreed it made the most sense for me to ride since Quinine needed to stay ready for action should trouble befall us and no one else was much of a horsewoman.  Not quite the fox hunts at Lord Erlenmeyer’s fall estate but a fine enough day for a ride.  We intended to stop and pick up the remaining wine at the site of Sparrow’s (as I decided to call her) former owner’s demise but we heard the barking high-pitched speech of goblins so we stayed away.  The little buggers were probably drunk off their green behinds.

Towards mid-day we were confronted with a group of drovers.  Seems that up ahead some of the king’s men, or at least someone claiming to be the king’s men, had set up a toll – which the drovers didn’t know about when they set out and now had no way to get back home.  They begged us for some money to pay the toll, I’m not sure why they thought we had any money.  I waited to see if Elth would chime in on account of her sack full of gold, which she did not, before turning down their generous offer of us giving them our money. 

We accompanied them up the road where a half dozen men under arms had set up a small barricade across the road – more for show than anything since it could be easily avoided.  They didn’t look like soldiers in the King’s Own to me but they weren’t scruffy enough to be bandits or ruffians quite either. I suppose in the end it doesn’t matter who they are other than men that want money. I used my ring to give myself the appearance of a low level courtier and approached them.

I explained that I was carrying a message from the Mayor of Gevudan herself and this would exempt us from any tolls which put them back on their heels a bit. I went on to suggest that furthermore if they wanted to collect a goodly number of tolls they needed to set up at a crossroads.  Their leader prickled slightly at this, saying he knew where to set up a tollway but I was able to paper over that easily enough. I sealed the deal by telling them although we had no funds, we could tell them about a cache of wine they could pick up. 

They were in such haste that they left their crude wall behind as they scurried off, blocking the road.  Feeling magnanimous in victory I marshaled the drovers to move it aside so that the way was clear.  After barely a word of thanks they hustled off as if they were late for an appointment.  That’s gratitude for you. 

Later in the day we came upon a stout bald man wearing the clothes of a well-off peasant or a very poor merchant hauling a heavy pack and leading an overburdened donkey. This overly friendly fellow explained, without prompting, that he was traveling to live with his brother – having been kicked out of his home by his wife who had found a younger, more dynamic lover.  He joked several times about his “luck” in finding six women on the road which was only slightly more off-putting than his forced good nature.

Even though he was heading in the opposite direction he insisted on accompanying us for the rest of the day, explaining that it wasn’t safe for women to travel alone.  I quickly found it almost impossible to shut him up. Oblivious to social niceties, his false face soon gave way as anger poured out in a stream of bile and hate directed at his wife and her lover.  On the one hand I sympathize with his desire for revenge, on the other hand any woman saddled to this sad sack should look for entertainment elsewhere.

As we made camp he produced a flask from his jackets and got increasingly drunk and mean, although thankfully all his vindictiveness was directed at his wife and her lover.  After everyone else was asleep I asked him what he could give someone who got revenge for him.  Not much it sounds like, but nevertheless I convinced him to return to Graltontown with us instead of running to live with his brother like a whipped cur.  An ally is an ally after all.  You never know what people might have to offer.

____________________________________________________________

Funds: None 

XP: 7666

Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, noble’s traveling outfit, thieves’ tools, silver dagger

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Cardshire Arms manager, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family

Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid

Graltontown Rumors : Murderous servants (Reoccurring), exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(30%)

Progress to Graltontown – 71 miles

Behind the curtain: I used the Social Combat deck for the toll encounter.  I’m not sure what I was expecting but it’s somewhat unimpressive.  The promise is that it turns a social encounter into more than a skill check, which is true, it turns them into a couple of skill checks.  I’ve been too lazy to get into the Verbal Duel rules from Ultimate Intrigue though so it’s something.  Even though the Chase decks are also essentially just a random table of skill checks they seem more interesting.

Mantelderith 15, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

Another day on the road.  We redistributed Estera’s junk so she wouldn’t be slowing us down – she literally had everything she owned with her.  I guess technically so do I – which is a depressing thought. After a few hours we encountered a group of the King’s Messengers hanging up wanted posters.  We stopped and schmoozed them a bit and they responded to my joking-but-really-serious request that they escort us all the way to Graltontown with flattery and a polite decline. We warned them that a murderous Kraltonite may be tailing us which prompted some very serious looks and we outlined the entire incident with the Hurmont family. 

They were quite impressed with my bravery, which is definitely a first for things men have been impressed with in regards to me.  They promised to be on the look-out for the miscreants and carried on.  I investigated the posters of course and saw a familiar face – Felix, the war veteran turned “adventurer” that killed White-Muzzle.  It said he was wanted for the murder of the town council of Gib’s Tor and the theft of the village treasury.  Most interesting.

Towards the end of the day we spotted a riderless, clearly tired, brown mare trotting toward us. A single high leather riding boot filled one of her stirrups. Deep, bloody claw marks on the horse’s rump spoke of violence and flight.  She was a little skittish but Quinine and I managed to calm her enough to see that in addition to a saddle she had full saddlebags containing travel items—a bedroll, several waterskins and trail rations along with various other sundries suggesting whoever rode her was well-prepared for the road.

Since the day was almost though anyway we decided to make camp – or rather Phora, Mags, Elth and Estera would make camp while Quinine and I tracked back over the horse’s path to see what became of her rider.  Because I’m so brave and all.  In spite of all the grief I had given her over the flight from the Hurmont homestead Quinine knows her business – I couldn’t see anything but she lead us a few miles down the road and then off the beaten path to a trail of blood, left by the horse.  Ultimately we came upon an unfortunate fellow, dead, and an equally dead and partially eaten mule.  Quinine said based on the tracks that he had likely startled a bear.  

Quinine cast a dark glance at me as I searched his pockets and satchels, which struck me as odd of an otherwise practical woman, but he had nothing of interesting anyway.  She resolved to carry him back to our camp and give him a proper funerary pyre while I resolved to see what the mule was hauling.  Several large wooden boxes filled with common wine, about half of which had been broken in the fall.  I helped myself to a bottle and shared a drink with Quinine as we walked back to our camp – she with a heavy burden.  I didn’t share my thought that we could easily return with the horse to carry the body instead of her hauling it, she’s getting a little big for her britches if you ask me.

____________________________________________________________

Funds: None 

XP: 6866

Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, noble’s traveling outfit, thieves’ tools, silver dagger

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Cardshire Arms manager, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family

Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid

Graltontown Rumors : Murderous servants (Reoccurring), exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(30%)

Progress to Graltontown – 50 miles

Mantelderith 14, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

For the first time in a long time I woke up feeling refreshed and somewhat less than ravenously hungry.  The Marvelous Pigments had created more food than we could eat or carry with us so there was no reason not to stuff myself.  After breaking camp Scorch lead us back to the road as he said he would. So far in all my dealing with them these worgs are all as good as their word – I wonder if they’re just too simple for deception. I tried to entice him to come with us but he wasn’t interested, at the least I told him if he saw Ajo or Malin to kill them where they stand.

After that it was just plodding along the road and Quinine’s endless checking for signs of Ajo being on our trail.  Healthy paranoia is one thing but this woman is getting on my nerves. 

Around the time we might have stopped for a quick lunch we came across a barker on the roadside cajoling us to enjoy the wonders of his “circus” which was a few tents and a maze constructed of hay-bales.  Day three on the road and we’ve almost made one solid day’s worth of progress so of course we stopped. 

I haven’t been to one of these things in years but it was much as I remembered – a few crooked games of “chance”, a few freaks – some real and some fake – a couple jugglers, some odd beasts in cages, and some overpriced food. I asked the cadaverous looking leader of this troupe why he had set up here instead of somewhere with more, you know people, and he gave me some nonsense about how love is everywhere and you have to give in to the energy of the universe.  I assume this a spot used by smugglers or the like – these traveling freakshows usually have something shady going on.

Once we finally got back on the road we overtook a lone traveler – which shows you how slow they must be moving.  Once we got closer the reason became apparent. Not only was she laden by an over-sized bulging backpack she was also pushing a handcart that was filled to the brim. A mongrel dog danced about her, wagging its tail enthusiastically.

She spoke only haltingly and seemed surprised when we joined her, I suppose most people would pass her by. She was clearly numbed by sorrow and exhausted by her burden.  When we made camp she spoke quietly about her family succumbing to a pestilence in her village, with nothing left for her there she seeks a new start somewhere else.  The only time she became animated was when venting her ire against Lord Gatz – the ruler of her town who had fled to a hunting lodge rather than doing anything to help his people deal with the disease that ravaged his lands.

I thought she’d be overjoyed when I told her about Lord Gatz’s fate – which of course was being killed by barbarians and nothing else – but she just nodded and seemed mildly satisfied at best.  Since she had no plans on where to go or what to do I invited Estera Solajo to accompany us to Graltontown.  This simple act of kindness seemed to almost overwhelm her.

____________________________________________________________

Funds: None 

XP: 6866

Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, noble’s traveling outfit, thieves’ tools, silver dagger

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Cardshire Arms manager, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family

Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid

Graltontown Rumors : Murderous servants (Reoccurring), exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(30%)

Progress to Graltontown – 30 miles

Mantelderith 13, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

I was awakened by the sounds of a muffled scream.  I felt light-headed, as if I had been drugged, a circumstance with which I am now sadly familiar. Slowly sitting up I saw that Quinine was painfully hog-tied and Phora was being man-handled by Ajo Hurmont while his wife Malin looked on eagerly.  Mags and Elth were laying still on the ground – not sure if they were still asleep, drugged, enspelled or dead.  Quinine’s crossbow was sitting against the wall on the other side of the barn, I didn’t like my chances reaching it, so as the patriarch of the Hurmont family was pinning Phora down and going to work with a rope I asked Malin what this was all about.

Malin said that we were to be sacrifices to her lord Kralten, as her son was coming of the age to be initiated into his dark mysteries.  Religious types are often very forthcoming with their schemes I’ve noticed.  All that proselytizing I suppose. I said that five sacrifices seemed like a bit much to me and suggested that she just take Elth but she was adamant that we all had to die for her lord.  Then I remarked that I thought Kralten was the god of revenge and mentioned that I happened to be on a quest for revenge myself, towards which I was willing to focus all my energy and commit any number of unspeakable deeds – could I possibly join them and swear allegiance to their dumb god.

Malin’s eyes shone with fervor at this offer.  Ajo had finished up with Phora and joined his wife – she asked him what he thought and he said they should kill me, but she was clearly the one in charge and was just as clearly interested in my tale.  She demanded that I recite the names of those who I wanted to get revenge on and list the horrors that I would visit upon them.  Half an hour later she stopped me and said that she was convinced – I hadn’t even gotten to Duke Eaglevane. She said that I had to prove my commitment to Kralten.  I helped tie up Elth and Mags who were not only magically compelled to sleep but also drugged – these people weren’t taking any chances.

Malin emitted a nauseating green light from her fingers and led us down a dark path through an overgrown area – Ajo carrying Elth (at my suggestion) over his shoulder like a dead pig.  We came to a very small clearing that had a dark tree stump in the middle- which was clearly tainted with blood.  Their creepy son was already standing there dressed in what I assume were his finest clothes.  The grin that came over his face when he saw Elth tied up and helpless was one of the more disturbing things I’ve seen in my life.

Elth came to and started struggling at that moment but it made no difference – Ajo had her tried spread-eagle across the stump in short order.  Malin lead the four of us in various maledictions and supplications to Kralten – like all religious ceremonies it went on FOREVER.  Finally she handed me a silver knife and told me it was time to become one with the Spiteful One, the Father of Hatred, the Lord of Bloodlust.  It still surprises me sometimes how gullible people are.  But as my grandma always said the key to lying is telling people what they want to hear.

I grabbed the creepy son and put the knife to his neck, just to show them I wasn’t fooling around I cut off most of his nose.  His screeching was very annoying – if you’re going to be an evil murdering priest you really should be more rough and ready.  Ajo grabbed up his axe but was frozen with fear.  Malin started uttering a spell-prayer but I pressed the knife into the son’s throat harder and her words fell dead in her mouth.  I told them to untie Elth but they refused.  This is the problem with a hostage situation, if you only have one hostage you can’t use your leverage without losing it. Ajo positioned his ax above Elth’s head and demanded I release their boy or she would die.  I countered with saying that he would die unless they release her.  It was a real stalemate.

It was probably a solid ten minutes of threats and shouting back and forth until finally a crossbow bolt came out of the darkness and hit Ajo square in the side of the head.  He didn’t die though, which was highly disturbing – just stood there with a crossbow bolt six inches into his skull. Quinine came into the clearing with her crossbow leveled while Mags and Phora brandished farming implements timidly.  Turns out I hadn’t tied them up so well.  Malin pulled the bolt out of her husband’s head and cast a healing spell while Mags untied Elth.

I suggested we call this one a draw and everyone could go their separate ways.  Malin said that I was cursed by Kralten.  No big deal, I’ve been cursed by the best of them.  It was a tense situation as we gathered our gear from barn, Ajo and Malin starting at us hatefully, at least the son stopped blubbering eventually. We told them to stay in the barn and we’d release the boy once we were a few miles away but Quinine was convinced that Ajo was on our trail and insisted in going away from the road and doubling back and doing some weird stuff with branches – I don’t know what was going on.  Eventually I turned the boy loose, he instantly started shouting profanities at me so I kicked him in the groin hard enough that I doubt he’ll ever become a real man.  I felt something burst with my foot. 

After that we continued stumbling through the darkness tripping over tree-roots and low bushes – I’m no woodsperson but I don’t see how this makes LESS of a trail than being on the road.  Quinine insisted though and we went even slower because of her “counter-tracking measures” – if this Ajo really is following us there’s no way he could miss our tracks.  Also I’m sure we’re hopelessly lost at this point. At daybreak, freezing cold and wet due to wading across a stream, we finally collapsed.  We didn’t even make camp, just slept on the ground.  Quinine insisted we set a watch and woke me up after what seemed like three minutes for my “shift”.  I took her crossbow and gravely said that I would be vigilant, and then as soon as she was asleep I went back to sleep again.

It was late in the afternoon by the time we were all awake.  Elth was sickeningly grateful for being saved, she even hugged me!  As I suspected Quinine had no idea where we were and she took the crossbow with her to scout the area while we set up a proper camp.  Of course this is when a worg with a badly scarred hide trotted out of the woods and regarded us hungrily. It didn’t attack immediately though, which I took as a good sign.  I admit to being somewhat smug at the terror of my companions as I treated with the beast.

Scorch, as the beast was called, was on the hunt but had learned to be wary of people – it’s hard to tell but he seemed interested that I was willing to talk with him. Hoping that one of my dear friends and traveling companions could paint, I told him that if he gave us a little time we could summon him such a feast as he could ever imagine.

Using the side of a tent as a canvas and the Marvelous Pigments, Phora was able to smear out one of the worst paintings I have ever seen in my life, but thankfully magic isn’t choosy and soon before us steamed a real life feast including a dozen roasted lambs that Scorch attacked with vigor.  Quinine returned to find us enjoying lemoncakes and fine brandy, much to her puzzlement. Scorch was so impressed that he agreed to lead us to the road the next day.  He fell asleep by the fire snoring so loudly I could feel it reverberating in my bones.

____________________________________________________________

Funds: None 

XP: 6866

Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, noble’s traveling outfit, thieves’ tools, silver dagger

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Cardshire Arms manager, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family

Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid

Graltontown Rumors : Murderous servants (Reoccurring), exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(30%)

Progress to Graltontown – 10 miles

Mantelderith 12, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

I barely slept a wink, laying in a pile like dogs in the common room– this is no way to live.  Despite being exhausted I was eager to hit the road and I woke up my three companions to get an early start.  However we didn’t get up early enough to avoid trouble.  Before we even got out of town a young woman in a mud-spattered dress came running up to us.  She was fleeing was an unwanted betrothal and wanted to come with us.  My thought was that we had enough problems with tagalongs but Quinine overruled me – since she was mostly funding this expedition and was leading it I had to bite my tongue.  I’m already regretting this venture, I don’t do well in groups. 

Our new friend, Elth Belker – lovely name huh? – talked about how skilled she was at carpentry as we got underway.  You know how useful carpentry while you’re traveling.  She failed to mention the pile of gold he had in a satchel over the shoulder – of course I took a peek – we’ll see how that plays out.  Where does a farmer’s daughter find that kind of coin?

The day passed uneventfully.  I learned that the tedium of riding in a caravan wagon is nothing compared to the tedium of walking all day.

Quinine was saying we should start looking for a place to camp when I noticed a thin wisp of smoke.  Just visible from the trail, a moss-covered shingle roof of a dilapidated old building peaked over a stand of thickly growing trees filling a small dell.

Once the home of a charcoal burner, the current occupiers, the Hurmont family, make a living as hunters and trappers. They also make a little extra coin letting travelers sleep in their barn.  It wasn’t that long ago that I would have screamed myself hoarse rather than sleep in a barn.  But compared to last night’s accommodations or the potential for sleeping in a tent on the ground I took it as a godsend.  Trying to make a meal of trail rations though was almost enough to make me scream.

I almost found myself missing Graltontown, but I stopped myself in time.   

____________________________________________________________

Funds: None 

XP: 5866

Inventory: Signet ring, Ring of Many Garments, noble’s traveling outfit, Marvelous Pigments, thieves’ tools

Revenge List: Duke Eaglevane, Piltis Swine, Rince Electrum, watchman Gridley, White-Muzzle the worg, Percy Ringle the butler , Alice Kinsey , “Patch”, Heroes of the Lost Sword, Cardshire Arms manager, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror, Eedraxis,  Skin-Taker tribe, Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company

Anti-Revenge List: Dorehe the maid

Graltontown Rumors : Murderous servants (Reoccurring), exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(30%)