Montumazin 16, Year 887 (New Imperial Calendar)

Laden with stolen, wait that sounds bad, let’s say liberated – laden with liberated supplies we had an easy day of travel.  Easy enough that I had time to think about how much I hate it out here in the wild.  When’s the last time I slept in a bed?  Had a bath?  Ate a decent meal?  Drank some good wine?  I can’t even remember.  Not to mention I have a ton of loot I need to unload.  How long is the journey to Malgareth going to be?  Weeks?  Feeling that time stretch out before me makes me feel nauseated.  You know things have taken a turn when I’m pining for the dubious comforts of Graltontown. 

We came into sight of the Needle River late in the afternoon and decided to set up camp there.  Some of us did anyway, Wiremu and his men were intent on crossing the river and continuing towards (for them) friendly territory.  There was a whole big production between the soldiers of both sides, typical “in another context we’d be friends, you saved my life but if we meet on the battlefield” stuff.  Yawn.  Marsh and Wiremu did a thing where they exchanged weapons – you know the ones that are actually mine and I was nice enough to give them.  It was all very touching if you’re into macho masculine bullshit I’m sure.

Much to my displease Argo and the rest of the adventurers crossed the river with them – haring after some treasure or whatnot they think is up that way.  They’re nothing if not consistent.  I tried to talk them out of it but of course they didn’t listen.  That’s probably for the best though, although we may miss their murder power before this journey is over having them around in Malgareth would probably be asking for trouble. 

I watched Argo and the Vieland soldiers disappear into the distance and then resolved to start making the rounds with my traveling party.  Got to keep morale up after all, plus I need some new lackeys, there may be some good candidates right here.  For the most part they’re just people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time, but everyone has a story to tell – even if it’s a boring one – and I was happy to listen.  And I’m not above listening to a little flattery – I did save them all from slavery you know.  I mentally earmarked a couple for further discussion.  One fellow with the most peculiar eyes – they weren’t all white like a blind man but seemed to be colorless – didn’t seem to mind much to be out here.  I think he was happy to escape village life and his wife.  Another fellow seemed surprisingly well-educated and charismatic for someone that claimed to be a scythe-sharpener.  Is that even a job?  I’ll find out.

As I was making my way through the camp there’s one fellow that I spotted nearby several times.  With the Królewna & Bonifacja guards (they were disarmed but not constrained in any way) there are still over a hundred people in this band, but I have a pretty good eye for faces and I would swear that I hadn’t seen this fellow before.  Doesn’t seem likely that we’ve picked up a stray though.  I tried to get near him, it was almost like he was avoiding me – but casually.  Eventually I outflanked him and as he turned around I was right there to confront him.

“Hello good sir.  And what’s your name?”

I know a thing or two about liars, and a thing or two about lies as well – he was good, but I’m better.  His story was a bit too on the button.  He was telling me exactly what I wanted to hear as well, which is always worthy of suspicion. After a moment he stopped in mid-sentence.

“Not buying it huh?”

“What gave me away?”

“I can read your mind.”

“That must be quite useful.”

“You have no idea.”

I was about to say something else when his arm stretched out impossibly long and he caught me by the throat.  No one was around of course so I was on my own.  As he made to drag me behind a wagon I aimed my bracelet at his face and launched a dart directly into his cheek.  There was no blood, it stuck into him like clay, but it clearly caused him pain because he staggered back in shock.  As I scrambled to my feet his hands turned into wicked claws – not like the claws of a beast but more like something you would craft out of metal.  I flipped a wolf out of my Bag of Tricks and as they grappled I clobbered him in the head with a Magic Stone from my Pouch – his head deformed like it was made out of gelatin and then sprung back into shape. 

The creature formed one hand into a massive mace-like appending and crushed the wolf into the dirt as I retrieved my crossbow.  He sprang at me with the oddest high-pitched noise I have ever heard and I loosed a bolt into its chest – which coursed with magic energy and sent it flopping to the ground.  It’s disguised melted away and what was left was something vaguely humanoid that looked like grey wax halfway melted. 

“What the Hells is this now ?!”

My initial thought was to scream my heart out, get everyone over here to see this – but I quickly decided that was not a good idea at all.  All you need is one shapeshifting killer to send people into a panic – people are funny like that.  I wasn’t thrilled about touching it but I dragged it away and hid the body anyway – its flesh felt like warm custard – and then got Haya and Marsh. Marsh had no clue and Haya helpfully identified it as a shapechanger.

“Yeah, thanks, I hadn’t noticed that.  Let me ask you this, is there any horrible creature from folklore that isn’t real?  Seriously, how is anyone still alive with all this shit running around?”

____________________________________________________________

Funds: 10,258 gold

XP: 79,203

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, +2 Commanding Light Crossbow, Headband of Alluring Charisma +2, Manual of Quickness of Action, Bracer of Fire Resistance (10), Spear of Piercing Thunder, Handy Haversack, Amulet of Natural Armor +1, Cloak of Resistance +2 (2), Headband of vast intelligence +2 (2), Ring of Feather Falling, Spectacles of Keen Sight

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), antitoxin (9),  formula book, smelling salts (3), sunrods (3), thieves’ tools, tindertwigs (6), various and sundry inebriants and intoxicants

Potion of Eagle’s Splendor

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

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 Sheepskin

Behind the curtain – Got a random encounter with a doppleganger.  I wonder what a doppleganger was doing out on the plains in the middle of nowhere.

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