With our four new equine companions in tow we adopted a more sedate pace today but even so we should be able to reach Wrybry without an issue. Well, aside from this issue. A few hours after dawn we came to a crossroads where four men were waiting with their mounts. A smallish ugly fellow with incongruously long luxurious dark hair stepped forward as we trotted up. He was backed up by a similarly diminutive effeminate looking bloke with way too many daggers, and two largish individuals – one with the smashed nose and swollen face of a pugilist and the other with a mildly ridiculous horned helmet.
“Stop in the name of Colonel Ciarán!”
“Of course good sir, what can we do for you?”
“Where did you get these horses?”
“These two we’re riding were given to us in Bowcrag by the head of the church. These other four we purchased just this morning from the most charming man. Wasn’t he charming Arbrella?”
Martialla managed a blush “Ever so charming, I was quite beside myself I was.”
“It was the strangest thing, I tell you, we were camped by the road and this fellow just trotted up with four horses that he was looking to sell. Can you even imagine! Arbrella didn’t I say to you that this was the strangest and luckiest thing that has ever happened to us?”
“You did, you said that very thing to me.”
“It’s ever so lucky because our master sent us to Wrybry to buy flax but we were able to buy these horses instead and I just know that he’s going to be so pleased with us! I don’t know anything about horses but these ones look magnificent don’t you think? Arbrella was worried that he would be cross with us for not following his orders but I think he’s going to be very pleased once he sees what we were able to do with the money he gave us.”
Horns piped up at this point “Why are you two ladies out on an errand like this alone?”
“There’s a war on you know, such a terrible war, just the other day my cousin Regella found out that her son Jerrick lost an eye in the fighting! And he was tailor you know, so it’s all very sad. I mean what’s to become of him when he comes back from the front. No one is going to want to hire a one-eyed tailor will they? Pardon my language but I don’t care for those Vielanders at all, no I do not care for them one bit, causing all this trouble and causing our boys to come back with only one eye. Not to mention with all the men off fighting poor Arbrella and I have to pick up the slack. We’re only too happy to do it of course, everyone must do their part of course, but it’s not proper is it? We should be working on our needlepoint and giving birth to more babies to fight for the Kingdom, not riding around and handling money and so forth – that’s men’s work you know. But we all have to do our part. You boys are quite a ways away from the front, is this Colonel Ciarán a quartermaster of some kind? It seems a shame for able-bodied fighters like yourself to be so far from the fighting. Are you on a leave of some kind? Will you be back in the thick of things soon? I do hope you’re careful, I would hate for one of you to come back without an eye or some other important part.”
The quartet seemed flummoxed by this turn of events. After asking us to go over the details of the fictional horse-trade and describe the non-existent man who perpetrated it in more detail they excused themselves to a short distance away to put their heads together and discuss. As they did so Martialla leaned in towards me.
“Who’s Colonel Ciarán?”
“A horse thief and a cradle robber.”
“Do you go out causing trouble every night when I’m asleep?”
“No, not every night.”
Once their discussion was concluded the four goons came back over to us, Ugly came forward again looking slightly sheepish.
“Ma’am I’m afraid I have some bad news. These horses here were stolen from the Colonel last night and they were sold to you under false pretenses. We’re going to have to reclaim them, they’re rightfully property of the Colonel.”
“But . . . but . . . but, the money. Oh please sir, you mustn’t. If we arrive in Wrybry with no flax and no money we’re going to be in such trouble!” I started up the waterworks “Master Limious will be so cross with us! We’re likely to get such a spanking we will!”
Martialla teared up as well “If we’re lucky a spanking, he’ll probably take the rod to us for this.”
I nodded, sobbing “Yes, I can just imagine, he’ll have us bent over with our tender asses just waiting to pulverized by his mighty rod.”
Smash-Face nodded “I can definitely imagine that.”
Ugly winced “Look ma’am, I’m very sorry but . . . “
At this point Martialla and I both started bawling inconsolably and hugging each other for support and he trailed away. I’ve said it before and I say it again now, it’s inconceivable how many burly warrior types can be unmanned by a few tears. Ugly cleared his throat uncomfortably several times.
“Look, the Colonel will be here in a few hours, maybe he can give you some money back for helping us to catch the man who stole the horses. How much did you pay for them?”
Sniffling I made a show of trying to gather myself “F-four . . .”
“Four hundred? Well that’s not so bad, I think . . .”
Ugly was very dismayed “Four thousand! Honey, I hate to tell you this on top of everything else but you got taken for a ride. These horses aren’t worth one thousand gold let alone four. You really shouldn’t be . . .”
He trailed off again in the face of another crying jag.
“Oh no, whatever shall we do!”
Martially shook her head mournfully “Master Limious will certainly tie us to the bed and thrash our delicate asses mercilessly with a hairbrush. We won’t be able to sit down for a week!”
“But wait, perhaps not! I have an idea. Good sir you need these four horses for your Colonel, we need four horses for our master, what if we trade? We take your four horses and you take these one’s back to the Colonel and then he can reimburse you for yours. Oh yes what a wonderful idea!”
It took some convincing but the swap was made. Martialla and I rode off with the horses of the Colonel’s men and then rendezvoused with the horses the Colonel had stolen, for you see I had used my Beastspeech ahead of time to explain to them to ditch those losers and meet back up with us. It wasn’t easy, have you ever tried to arrange a meeting place with a horse? But it was worth it as Martialla and I relaxed that night drinking wine and admiring our mini-herd.
Hair regrowth progress : .0495%
Funds: 817 platinum, 69,176 gold
Inventory: Wig of Alluring Charisma +4, Enchanted White Pathfinder’s Gear (effects as Iadaran Dress Uniform) Pocketed Scarf, Wrist Sheath, Animal Totem Tattoo (Lion), Ring of Protection +2, Assortment of Fake Signet Rings, Bag of Concealment, Belt of Giant Strength +4, Versatile Vest, Ring of Sustenance, Silver Chain set with Moonstones, Gold and Emerald Ring (2) Black Marketers’ Bag, 852 Garnets, Campfire Bead, Expedition Pavilion, +1 Human Bane Endless Ammunition Light Crossbow, Deck of Curses (two cards used), Blue Dragoncloth Dress, severed hag head, Ring of Urban Grace, gold necklace with jade pendant, Feather Token (tree) , white squirrel fur slippers, +1 Human Bane Dagger, ivory combs, Bewitching Gown, masterwork lute, Grappling Scarf, Wyvern Skin Robe (Robe of Arcane Heritage), receipt, Bag of Holding, tax collector’s badge, seven string mandolin, Holy Symbol of Adariel (Sanguine Protection) Calastar (Superior Riding horse, Horseshoes of Speed, Endless Feedbag), Wine (expensive) 9, riding horse (8) Ornate wooden chest, +2 chainmail, 3 tourmalines, well made tapestries (7)
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 Kin, Law Offices of Office of Glilcus and Stolo