Travel to Quillshire Lake Day 1 – I had considered looking for a steed yesterday but as I expected Arastra doesn’t ride- I sometimes forget that most people never learn. What I didn’t expect was that she had two escorts with her – tall,raw-boned blonde women that would have looked like knights had they been carrying blades rather than maces. Holy warriors of some sort – Templars I think they’re called – Oona and Jeyne. That’s a welcome surprise – you can never have too many swordhands around. Er, macehands. And it’s a bonus when your protection isn’t the kind you don’t need to sleep with one eye open around. You know what I mean?
We all joined hands and they said some prayers asking for Adariel’s light to be our guide on this journey. Just to keep things even I said a silent prayer to Kozilek as well – never hurts to cover all your bases. Although the circumstances weren’t nearly as awful it reminded me of the road from Gevudan back to Graltontown after the disastrous caravan to Three Rivers. It’s nice to be in the company of women. For a while anyway, it wears thing eventually.
Although it was clear I was not a devout Adarielite as they were I did my best to be companionable and friendly. I realized though that I was a bit out of my element – I have pretty good conversation for jaded rich assholes, salt of the earth idiots, and violent lowlife scum – but sincere religious do-gooders isn’t exactly in my wheelhouse. Still the silver lining is because they’re sincere religious do-gooders there’s not a lot you have to do to stay in their favor. I carried my share of the supplies and pitched in with the cooking and everything – I can do that sort of work when I have to.
We stopped that day at a cluster of homesteads called Redpeace. The mood was a somber one as the day before one of the homesteaders had lost their son to scarlet fever. Arastra and her companions went to visit the grieving family and give them some words of comfort. The parents asked if they would accompany them to the grave and speak some words of passing. Funerary rites are another thing I’ve never really understood. Dead is dead, no use carrying on about it. Life is for the living so get on with it. Still, it was a nice little ceremony, if you’re into that sort of thing.
However after they stopped chanting I could hear another voice – a voice from the grave, faint as you like “Kooooooooooorrokkkkkkkkkkkkkk . . . .”
I whispered to Arastra and she listened for a moment and the nodded slightly, ushering the parents away from the grave. Oona and Jeyne retrieved a shovel from a nearby barn and rolled up their sleeves.
“What is it we’re doing?”
“We need to put this poor boy to rest for real. The magic of the gem has turned him into something unholy.”
“No one wants to be the living dead, they would cry out for their own destruction if they could.”
I offered to take my turn helping dig but they cast a dubious eye at my physique and kindly told me that I should keep watch to make sure the parents or some of the other homesteaders didn’t come back this way. I was pretty thankful for that but there’s a tiny, tiny part of me that was insulted as well. I may not be the strongest around but I’ve survived a lot in these last few months – I’m not exactly a gilded court lily anymore either.
As they got closer to the coffin the groaning got louder and there started to be an awful scrabbling followed by the sound of splintering wood. Oona and Jeyne hopped out of the hole and re-seated their armor and grabbed their maces. I unlimbered my crossbow – more as a show of good faith than anything. Oona glanced over at me.
“Are you any good with that thing?”
“A wise woman once told me the key to shooting is not to miss.”
She handed me a quarrel with a silver tip carven with Adariel’s blessed sigils and anointed with holy water “If we pin him down can you put this in his heart?”
“Absolutely I can.”
We only had to wait maybe a minute but it was one of the longer minutes of my life. A pale, feral thing streaked with dirt furiously dug its way out of the ground and launched itself at us with a fury – the stench was almost overwhelming. What was even more disturbing was he had died only last night, there should have been little smell at all. I stayed clear as Oona and Jeyne battled the undead thing – it looked like they had done this many times before, which was disturbing in itself. They eventually battered it to the ground with their maces and then seized it arm and leg, struggling mightily to turn it over to its back. I stepped forward and loosed the blessed ammunition and I did not miss my mark. The creature stopped struggling immediately.
Oona and Jeyne said many prayers and anointed the body with holy water, as well as wrapping it in a special shroud covered with more sigils before lowering it back into the shattered coffin and covering it back up. Afterwards they spend many hours with Arastra healing and cleansing themselves – they said that even countering a thing like that can put a dark stain on your spirit that needs to be removed with faith. They asked me several times if it had touched me and I assured them that it had not.
It was quite a thing to see. And I’ve seen a few things in my life. Not exactly an auspicious start to the journey.
Funds: 7,580 gold
Inventory: Ring of Many Garments, Bag of Tricks (rust), Cap of Disguise, Secure Pocket, Resplendent Diplomat’s Palette, Secure Paypack, Skeleton Key, Brooch of Shielding, Pouch of Magic Stones, Masterful Grey Gloves, Black Marketers’ Bag, Biting Bracelet (Endless Ammunition), Boots of Escape, Bracers of the Glib Entertainer, Ring of Animal Friendship, +1 Falchion, +1 Greatclub, +2 Commanding Light Crossbow, Headband of Alluring Charisma +2, mysterious Korrok gemstone
Signet ring, noble’s outfit, candlerod (9), masterwork dagger, succubi carving, Domiel family ring, walking stick, masterwork playing cards, spinel and peridot holy symbol of Kralten, diamonds (14), silver crown
Potion of Invisibility (3), Potion of Spider Climb, Potion of Eagle’s Splendor
Silver ring, gold bracelet, gold and pearl pendant, gold ring, platinum necklace, mithril hair clasps (3)
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, Claire
Conrad, Erist priest of Strider, Riselda owner of the Sage Mirror,
Eedraxis, Skin-Taker tribe,
Kartak, Królewna & Bonifacja Trading Company, Hurmont Family, Androni
Titus, Greasy dreadlocks woman, Lodestone Security, Kellgale Nickoslander,
Beltian Kruin the Splithog Pauper, The King of Spiders, Auraluna Domiel, mother
Hurk, Mazzmus Parmalee, Helgan
van Tankerstrum, Lightdancer, Bonder Greysmith, Pegwhistle Proudfoot, Lumbfoot
Rumors : Exiled noblewoman (Reoccurring), vigilante “Litheria”(Reoccurring), murderous Halfling (Reoccurring)
Graltontown Buildings – Mill