They call these woods Irontimber – I assume because the timber is hyperbolically hard as iron? Maybe that’s why they look to be relatively untouched, cutting down a tree as hard as iron seems like a hassle coupled with a burden. Quinna, the bastard, and the fish faced farmer all seem mildly terrified by this walk in firest. I guess I had forgotten the fear that people hold for places like this. It’s just another example of how backwards people are in their thinking. The chances are a hundred times higher that neighbor in the next house is going to take an ax to your skull than you encountering some dark beast of the woods. And yet people flock to cities for safety. Flocking to cities for feather beds and warm pastries I get, but don’t fool yourself into thinking that you’re less likely to die. Or do, it’s probably happier that way.
My three human traveling companions barely said a word as we walked under the leafy canopy but as soon as we were on the other side heading towards the Homesteads the bastard started complaining. I had loaded him down with supplies which had dampened his enthusiasm quickly.
“Why are we even doing this? Isn’t there a sheriff for this kind of thing?
“How should I know? I’ve been here like a week. You lot live here, you tell me.”
Quinna and the farmer exchanged a glance “Well technically there is, but Old Martin isn’t really up to doing much sheriffing these days.”
“Why is the still the sheriff then?”
“I believe it’s a lifelong appointment.”
“Of course it is. Well when we get back I’ll talk to my dear cousin and maybe she’ll make me sheriff.”
It was said in jest but all three men, well two men and a boy, just about fell to the ground in fright. I could swear one of the dogs even did a double take that but that has to have been my imagination.
“Relax boys, I was just kidding, obviously a woman sheriff would be ridiculous – I mean how could someone sheriff with these tits swinging around? It’s ungodly it is. So anyway Fishy what’s the story – did you just come home from a hard day of raking mud or whatever farmers do and your goodwife was gone?”
He somehow simultaneously pulled at this cap, forelock and
belt as he answered with eyes downcast
“No my lady, we had just sat down to dinner when the door to our home flew open when a man dressed all in black, his face hidden by a wide hat burst in and held up a mirror. My poor wife disappeared and all that was left was her reflection in the mirror, scratching desperately to get out.”
I stopped dead. “What?! Are you kidding me? Why didn’t you mention any of this before? I thought this was going to be a palms up rapist hunt not some freaky magic shit! Do you realize what this means? I guaranty you that we’re going to have to go into a damn mirror and it’s going to be some freaky backwards other dimension with a dude with like a hundred eyeballs or some other damn thing controling the place and we’re going to be confronted with our worst fears or some bullshit!”
“I wouldn’t know anything about that my lady, I just want my wife back.”
“Honestly what is going on in the world? Why is it always a demon or a magic beast with the head of an egret and the body of an otter or some terror from the grave? Why can’t it just be a normal rapist or murder or something? What is going on?!”
Quinna looked around “Who are you yelling at?”
I took a moment to calm myself “No one Quinna, no one. I hate magic. I really do. I don’t suppose you have any thoughts on why a mysterious man in black would want to suck your wife into a mirror do you?”
“No my lady.”
“Of course not.”
We reached the farmer’s shack and after chasing off a couple of squatters I set the bastard to cleaning up and making us some dinner while Quinna and I had the dogs check the area. They found a trail pretty quickly and seemed apprehensive about it in a doggish kind of way. I activated my tattoo for enhanced olfactory and took a sniff myself – the faint scent of the farmer’s wife and an overpowering scent of something not human. It smelled strongly of mint mixed with eldritch abomination.
“I’m telling you Quinna, this whole thig is going to go sideways on us – it’s going to get real weird real fast.”
“So what do we do?”
“We head out tomorrow and find this mackerel-looking son of a bitch’s daughter.”
Inventory: Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Dagger of Venom, Bracers of Armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, Rope of Entanglement, Enchanted Feycloth Dress (Green), Light Crossbow
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