Montresor 29, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

Another day on the “road”.  I wasn’t slaughtered by gnolls in my sleep so that’s a plus.  On the other hand I was visited by highly disturbing dreams.  The Duke’s wife had me dragged before her in chains and was demeaning and berating me in front of the entire court while they all laughed and shoveled shrimp into their ugly pockmarked faces.  I never really stopped to think about it but I’m surprised that the Duke’s wife had the lady balls to drug me and leave me for dead – she seemed completely spineless.  I wonder if one of her ladies in waiting was really behind the whole scheme.  I should find that out before I really getting into the revenging. 

That seems a long away off right now though, trudging along the intermediate zone between the devastation of the Scar and the fertile lands south of the Compass River.  I got so hypnotized just putting one foot in front of the other I didn’t even realize at first that I was hearing voices.  Voices!  I looked around wildly for a moment but I didn’t see anyone in the area.  After taking a moment to scan the surrounding I spotted a small group of people in the distance – whoever was talking his voice really carries.  I was tempted to make a beeline for them, sorely tempted – I’m a social creature you know – but who in their right mind would come out here?  They were coming my way, sort of, so I did my best to hide and watched them approach.  As they drew nearer I imbibed one of my potions of invisibility to be extra careful. 

The one whose voice was booming out over the scrublands was a dwarf whose head was as hairless as his beard was vast and luxurious.  I wonder if dwarfs don’t sunburn – baldness seems to be common amongst them but I’ve never seen one with a peeling pate.  He was thickset, even for a dwarf and was striding about shirtless even though he was wearing a cloak – I suppose to show off his crudely tattooed belly.  I was carrying on at some length about whatever he was talking about. He had an axe strapped across his back because he’s a dwarf and dwarfs have axes except when they have hammers.  I’m pretty sure the way dwarfs are born is they’re giving a small battleax in the womb and they have to fight their way out.  This explains why their women are so shrill and surly.

At his side was a mountain of man with a shock of red hair – not quite a mohawk but something in that area.  He carried an axe as well, holding it on his shoulder like a farmer with a hoe.  He would occasionally laugh heartily at whatever the dwarf was saying and then make some small comment of his own.  He was also wearing a cloak.  Trailing behind them was a blond elf-maid in skin-tight leather armor who in addition to her cloak appeared to be wearing lingerie and a miniskirt – she of course had several daggers in thigh holsters.  By her side was a wild eyed fellow with a dark beard to match his shaggy hair, wearing rust colored robes and carrying a staff – you know, a wizard. 

Uh-oh, cloaks?  Improbably diverse ethnic makeup?  Dissimilar sets of skills?  Shabby or inappropriately sexy clothing?  Mysteriousness?  A quartet?  Adventurers!!!

I was somewhat tempted to stay invisible and let them pass, adventurers are nothing but trouble – everyone knows that – but that would have been foolhardy in the extreme.  They should be able to help get me out of here.  Although it’s going to cost me for sure – “heroes” don’t do anything for free.  I used my cap to make myself look like a roughly unshaven ret ruggedly handsome fellow in a voluminous cloak – the bigger the cloak the more mysterious you are – maybe a drifter or an equally gritty sort made of iron.  I definitely made it look like I had two swords.  Have you ever known a two-weapon fighter who wasn’t a jerk adventurer? Exactly.  If one weapon is good, then two weapons must be twice as good right?

I dropped my invisibility and stepped out to their flank saying in a gritty, gritatious mysterious voice “You fellas need a fifth?”

Their shock was quite amusing – the dwarf roared, the axeman spun about with axe in hand, the wizard dove for cover.  The only thing that wasn’t amusing was the elf-prostitute hurling a dagger at my head.  I’m just lucky her cloak got in the way of her throw.  Chuckling I dropped my disguise.

“Just fooling guys, I’m not one of you – I’m just a damsels in distress in need of saving.  So what do you say, you want to get me out of here and back to civilization?”

The dwarf brandished his axe, looked like he was trying to strangle it he was gripping the shaft so tightly. “Be ye a doppelganger woman ?!”

“No, I’m a mermaid actually, one of the land kinds – you know with the legs instead of a fish tail.”

He gaped “Ye are?”

I looked at the wizard who was hiding behind a small bush“So are you the brains here or what?  Or does having the wizard in charge break some kind of adventure code?”

The bustier-elf stared daggers at me (pun!) as I talked with her companions.  They were on a secret mission, of course because they’re adventurers, which they revealed to me after about eighteen seconds.  The only thing adventurers hate more than not slaughtering kobolds by the score is keeping secrets.  I mean how are we all supposed to know how great they are if they don’t tell us what they’re doing at all times?  They claimed that recently there had been a battle with Vieland around here and the end result was that somehow a pay-wagon with the wages for an entire regiment had been lost and they were going to find it.  You see they met a man in a tavern who had inside information.  He sold them a map and everything!

I told them that that sounded like ever so much fun and that everyone was really impressed but asked if they would kindly escort me to the nearest town. The elf strumpet continued giving me dirty looks as the three men conferred.

“Madam, I don’t mean to be rude, but are you mute?  You simply haven’t said a word since I got here.”

Before she could answer the dwarf stepped to me “Aye, sorry lassie but we kinna take you north to Holdon right na, unscrupulous treasure hunters are hot on our tails and we donna have a minute to lose.”

“But the distress!  Look at all the distress I’m in.  Back me up here elf lady.  You can’t just leave me here to fend for myself, I’ll be made into a gnoll’s loincloth before you can say annoying accent three times!”

The “best” they could do was to have my join them on their wild goose chase.  In the company of adventurers again – how could this possibly go wrong?  As we set out I fell in beside the elf maiden, elbowing the wizard out of the way.

“Do you mind if I stick close to you sister?  We ladies need to look out for one another right?”

____________________________________________________________

Funds: 9,863 gold

XP: 59,003

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, 4 potions of unknown wickedness, Manual of Quickness of Action, Bracer of Fire Resistance (10), Spear of Piercing Thunder

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, waterskins (6), trail rations (7)

Potion of Invisibility (2), Potion of Spider Climb, Potion of Eagle’s Splendor, Potion of Jump, Potion of Reduce Person 

Silver ring, gold bracelet, gold and pearl pendant, gold ring, platinum necklace (2), mithril hair clasps (3), 4 small diamonds

Behind the curtain – Got a random encounter today, rival adventuring band.  It would have been interesting to make a band of “rivals” to Ela but I just went with the classics.

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