On the way back to Long Avon Halath, the werewolfess, told me everything that she knows about the Lumber Consortium of Three Rivers. This wasn’t much unfortunately. Who would have thought that a low level employee wouldn’t be privy to the dirty secrets of their employer? Assuming they have any. Mostly she just talked about her trials and travails of being a lady lumberjack. Which is admirable I guess but why bother? Who’d want to be a lumberjack anyway? That’s like fighting for a place in the vermin-catchers guild or the dungsweepers union. It was close to midnight when we got back to the village but we rousted the mayor anyway – never let it be said that I don’t enjoy a good rousting. For some reason she wasn’t overjoyed by being dragged out of her warm bed in the middle of the night and she was even less exciting to hear that she probably shouldn’t be burning Drake alive. But eventually she came to see reason.
In the morning we met with the aggrieved rat-herders, Halath confessed her fake (but also real kinda) sins and the haggling began. In the end it was decided that thirty six rat-things had been killed valued at two gold a piece – which for those of you playing along at home is seventy two gold. For that a man was going to be burned alive. For about the same price as a good book a man nearly lost his life. Those were the stakes. If there’s a conclusion to be drawn from that I don’t know what it is. If you’re a rat-herder it is a big deal, but back at court food costing more than that is thrown away after every meal – including tea time. It’s hard to know what to make of that.
The hard bitten rat-herders wanted Halath flogged or some of her fingers chopped off as well but I was able to talk them into a simple exiling – on pain of death should she ever return of course. Once that was all squared away Drake was set free, there was an emotional reunion between siblings, blah, blah, blah. My goal was to get out of town before the people that had come from miles around to see a public execution caught wind of the fact that they were going to be denied their grisly prize. People can turn ugly when they find out their entertainment is being taken away. Drake though was insistent that he talk to his wife, which took forever. Despite the fact that they appeared to basically be strangers to each other Imma declared dramatically that she would come with us. Then the father came in and forbade it and a whole new round of bullshit kicked off. Once I was tired of their drama I whistled for their attention.
“Hey, werewolf and friends, we’re leaving in fifteen minutes. You want to come, great, pack fast. You want to stay, good luck to you.”
And so we ended up on the road to Bowcrag in the company of a werewolf, her twin brother, his wife, and her father. Imma was wearing a lovely cream colored dress that was utterly impractical for travel, and that’s not to say anything about her shoes. That’s what I must have looked like the first time I ventured out of Graltontown all those months ago. No wonder people had a hard time taking me seriously. But look at me now! I mean things are pretty much the same, but at least I’m wearing some sensible boots. It wasn’t long into the journey before we had to stop and Imma borrowed some more appropriate travel clothes from Martialla. And then her changing was a whole to do with blankets being held up and eyes being averted and all sorts of nonsense. That sort of prudishness gets on my nerves – get over yourself people.
On the plus side Halath and Drake were outdoorsy types so we had a proper camp with a fire ring and tents and everything. Imma tried to help as well which was amusing for me to watch. I may avoid any real “work” as much as possible but at least I’m competent when I do it. As we sat around the campsite with Halath frying up some kind of lard and nut ball for dinner Imma’s father, who probably has a name, told us about his own personal experience with werewolves. In a village that he lived in eight villages back when he was a younger man, a girl came running into town to say that her mother had killed her father. Upon investigation it was found that said mother had killed her husband with a silver sickle – she claimed it was because he had been bitten by a werewolf and asked her to put him down before he hurt anyone.
Sounds to me like that would be a difficult claim to argue in court – if you ever ask someone to kill you make sure you leave a note to that effect, but thankfully for the court system the unquiet spirit of the husband possessed a scarecrow and killed the mother/wife a few nights later. Which kind of cast some doubt on the idea that he wanted to die, but then again who I am to think I understand what goes on in the mind of a ghost? The scarecrow then terrorized the town of course until some brave adventurers put it to rest, and now every year the town has a scarecrow festival – I guess to celebrate the deadly murder of two people? The old man ended the story on a strange note as he talked at length about how the daughter became a lesbian because of this incident. I feel like he was trying to make a point of some kind but it’s hard to fathom what it might be. Ghosts turn women gay? I’ve encountered a couple ghosts and I don’t feel like it’s had that particular impact on me.
After everyone else was asleep Martialla produced a flask she had picked up at some point and we shared a little nip – just to cut the cold night air a little.
“So lets’ see, you were on a mission to visit some nobles, which was sidetracked by a little bit of a war, which led to a sidetrack of revenge and possible resurrection which now has led to a sidetrack of curing some random woman of werewolfism. All of which was a sidetrack from your revenge plot in the first place. How many more sidetracks are we going to head off on do you think?”
“What can I say, I’m a doer of good deeds – I see people in trouble and I just have to help them.”
“You joke but there’s some truth to that. You help people or you make your lives much, much worse – it’s a nice mix. I haven’t quite figured out what determines who you help and whose life you ruin.”
“I’ve mellowed a bit lately, I guess travel really does broaden the mind. I’ve learned that you can’t fly off the handle every time someone insults you.”
“And you get insulted a lot.”
“What can I say, I’ve grown as a person.
“You’re like some kind of old trickster goddess, if things are bad you try to make them better, if they’re good you try and make them worse. Is that spreading chaos or some kind of cosmic balance? Wheel of fate and all that.”
“How much of this have you already had to drink? I can’t deny that I have the skin of a goddess though.”
“Used to you mean. Trust me , I know, it’s hard to maintain a disciplined facial care regimen when you’re constantly traveling country roads to fight bugbears and owlbears and man-bears.”
“Low blow Martialla, low blow.”
“At least I didn’t say anything about your hair.”
Hair regrowth progress : .0135%
Curses – Marksman’s Malady
Funds: 900 platinum, 4251 gold
Inventory: Pathfinder’s Gear (white) Pocketed Scarf, Wrist Sheath, Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Dagger of Venom, Bracers of Armor +2, Ring of Protection +2, Light Crossbow, Assortment of Fake Signet Rings, Bag of Concealment, Belt of Giant Strength +4, Vest of Resistance +1, Ring of Sustenance, Silver Chain set with Moonstones, Gold and Emerald Ring (2), Glove of Vampiric Touch, Platinum and Silver Holy Symbol of Kralten, Holy Symbol of Kozilek, Ruby (2), Black Marketers’ Bag, 879 Garnets, bolt of silk, Pirate’s Eyepatch, dress (fancy, revealing) 2, dress (fancy) 6
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, Hellerhad the Wizard, Forsaken