Remind me never to swallow a severed hand again. I don’t feel at all well today. My stomach has been gurgling and chortling nearly constantly for hours. I considered for a moment inducing vomiting but would a full sized human hand even be able to make its way up and out my throat without the tattoo active? How did it get down there in the first place really? Magic is so messed up. But the caravan leaves today so I shall press on heroically despite my difficulties. I got packed up (which didn’t take long sadly) and headed to the staging area where Homar and his fellow merchants were gathering. It was at this point that I realized what a foolish endeavor the caravan to Three Rivers had been.
Spread before me were dozens of wagons and probably more than three hundred people – a good third of them guards. This caravan looks like a small traveling city. The whole reason you travel as a caravan is because you’re going somewhere dangerous – of course you need a lot of people. As I watched the group gather into what looked like a single massive surging beast I felt incredibly irresponsible at how slap-dash and ill-advised trying to take a few wagons with twenty guards through the Lodge Forest was. Almost all of those people are dead now. It wasn’t entirely my fault but I played a part in it. It’s not a great feeling.
Although Thunder is a fine horse indeed taking care of an animal like that isn’t something I want to deal with given my current mendicant lifestyle so I sold him to one of the guard-captains for a decent price. He was overjoyed to be getting such a powerful and well trained steed. I was so caught up in my own dire thoughts about the caravan to Three Rivers, it’s destruction, and the aftermath that I endured that I wasn’t paying attention as we got underway – by the time I realized where we were and what was going on it was hours later and the column were grinding to a halt for lunch. I ended up at an actual table under a tent sent up for Homar and the other “luminaries” of the caravan having a half-way decent meal with a wholeway excellent bottle of wine.
“I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately, and I have to say, this is the way to do it.”
Crosston, one of the other sponsor-merchants gave me a smug grin “We like our comforts Lady.”
Homar looked at me curiously “I was surprised to see you walking.”
I smiled ruefully “I’m not a big walker normally, but I wasn’t really paying attention and just kind of went along. I assure you good sirs from now on out I’ll be wherever I can ride in the most luxury.”
This brought a round of good natured guffaws. A moment later a guard came up and whispered to one of the attendants who in turn whispered to Amakir (another sponsor) who then whispered to Homar who then gave me a grave look. A reverse chain of whispers and the guard hurried off. Homar invited me to his wagon-office for a private word.
“This doesn’t seem good.”
“It isn’t my lady. One of the guides was asking around about you, trying and failing not to be obvious about it. One of the guards played along with the fellow and he admitted that he was trying to figure out a way to get you alone.”
“For amorous purposes?”
“I don’t think so My Lady.”
I sighed. “I apologize Homar but I’m about to go on a small tirade. I am sick of this. Can’t I have one day off where no one is trying to kill me or rip me off or somehow abuse me? Everywhere I go, everything I do, there’s something or someone to try and rain on my parade. When you wake up, in the morning, on your big, merchant bed and you listen – what do you hear? Do you hear the little merchant birdies singing outside your window? Do you hear the merchant wind whistling through the trees? Or do you hear people dying? Do you hear people begging for mercy? Do you hear doors being kicked in because people are hunting you? Do you hear the sound of your heart pounding in your ears? What I want – for the rest of my life – I wanna wake up like a merchant.”
Homar cleared his throat slightly “Not to be indelicate My Lady but if that’s what you want perhaps you should have been a merchant then.”
I closed my eyes and took a long breath “Don’t try to be logical with me Homar.”
“We can easily run this fellow off.”
“No, don’t do that.”
“Uh . . . do you want to talk to him or . . .”
I shook my head. “No.”
“What would you have us do?”
“Nothing. Don’t do anything. I won’t want to deal with this right now.”
“My lady, we can’t . . .”
“Sure you can. Just do nothing, it’s the easiest thing in the world – it’s what I’m going to right now.”
I ended up on a wagon with a fellow by the name of Bacca and several other rapscallions – the wine and the spirits were flowing freely and they had an obscene stash of Sting as well. Normally don’t overindulge in liquor and I don’t indulge in substances at all (mostly) but today neither of those things held true. I fear I made quite a fool of myself. But every once in a while you’re allowed to play the fool. As long as you don’t make a habit of it it’s fine right?
Funds: 1020 platinum, 11,754 gold, 6 silver
Inventory: Noble’s Traveling Outfit, Animated Riding Coat, Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Dagger of Venom, Bracers of Armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, Light Crossbow, Fake Signet Ring, Map, False Papers, Bag of Concealment, Belt of Giant Strength +4, Vest of Resistance +1, Ring of Sustenance, Gem of Brightness, Potion of Invisibility, Silver Chain set with Moonstones, Gold and Emerald Ring (2), Glove of Vampiric Touch, Platinum and Silver Holy Symbol of Kralten
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, Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers