3 Calistril – 13 Calistril, 44NC
After a pitched fight in the dark, the party dispatches their assailants, capturing two, including the platoon Sergeant. The prisoners validate Smoot’s intelligence: there is a company of Westergarde regulars moving into Harrowburg and several patrols were dispatched to monitor the environs and attempt to capture anyone leaving the Mengst Farm. The survivors are left alive, tied up in the woods.
The group moves North through the hills on their long trek to the Giles estate. Over the course of the next week or so they make fair time and progress and continue their careful conversations to get to know each other.
We ran into trouble the first night. An ambush. I do not think they know what we were doing there; they probably just thought we were a random patrol stumbling across their path.
We left two of them alive. Maybe a mistake, maybe not. I hope we won’t regret it. But since the following week went without trouble, perhaps we actually won’t.
I have learned a little bit more about my companions in the week after we left.
The dwarf I already mentioned as being one of the two in charge.
The mage, the other one in charge, is a strange one. He is an old, grumpy human who talks to animals. He claims he is able to send messages back as well, but we have no way of knowing. He was, however, clearly trusted, and he is a mage, so there might be some truth to that.
Then there is Matten Ra’ask. I am not sure what to say about him.
The last human, Syl, is, it seems, a bodyguard for the halfling, Sanorin Finpher. I get the feeling there is a story there; there is something odd about a halfling being sent on a mission with a bodyguard.
It is a fairly interesting group, I must admit. Whether the group will survive what is coming, that is a different matter.
The Adventures of Dan Strait and Woodstock
Chapter One: Smokey and the Bearndit
Dan stands before a campfire full of children with wild-eyed wonder, transfixed on something of which they’d only heard of before, an elf. He strokes his fingers slowly through his hair, then crouches down and holds a single finger forward toward them, “You see this finger? Today I will tell you the story of how I nearly lost this finger in a duel on the other side of the world to a dragon that is my friend to this very day!” Shock and wonder escaped the lips of the children, as they couldn’t know any better than to believe the creature that stood before them, how were they to know if he was telling the truth, or if he were just a delusional mad man.
“That’s right, even Gods can lose fingers, it’s not like we’re lizards and can grow them back either.. though I hear tell that lizards can be Gods, so who knows?” continued Dan, on a usual tangent, “but what happened that day was nothing if not miraculous, just like everything I do!” He then straightened and put a hand on his hip to prepare for the story to come. “So there I was, sauntering and strutting through the woods like I normally do, I think I was somewhere up north if I’m not mistaken, not like it really matters.. Doing my normal ritual to make sure the sun came up the next day like I always do when I run into this bear. To my surprise, this bear was no bigger than any of you.” He then crouches down, and holds his hand over one of the sitting children’s heads to compare the size, “…about this big, quickly I came to the conclusion that THIS was a baby bear.” He continued, “No sooner than I realized this than this baby’s mother got real annoyed that I’m looking over this baby, which was NOT an awesome thing to do, as you would think a God of light would have every right to have a look over any and all creatures benefiting from the light that his power shines upon and all..”
“But that’s when things got scary, this bear is just trying to protect her baby, so I didn’t want to just blast her for trying to destroy the Golden God of Light, so I turn around and start running, as it seems like a terrible waste to end the life of the creatures within my domain.” Dan then eyes the children around the fire, grinning at them, “So I climbed a tree… did you know bears can climb trees too? That’s something everyone should know, bears can climb trees.”
“So I thought to myself, Dan.. You’re a God, and an awesome God at that. What are you going to do when you get to the top of this tree?” he takes a thoughtful pose, “I knew what I had to do, and stepped out of the tree, and began to fly!” The children gasped in glee at the idea, “I flew to the ground and began sprinting to a cave close by, and ran inside. For some strange reason the bear did not follow me. It was only soon after that I found out why.”
“Ten steps inside I slipped on something.. sending me hurtling down an incline and into the belly of this giant, dark cave. When I was able to get to my feet, I was greeted by the biggest eye I have ever seen. I was face to face with a blue scaled dragon. ‘HOW DARE YOU INTERRUPT MY THOUSAND YEAR NAP!’ he roared, clearly angry at my intrusion as sparks erupted across his body..” Dan then leaped sideways, miming the story as he spoke it, “I dodged quickly, as he tried to fry me where I stood!”
“‘STEP OUTSIDE ELF! THIS DAY WILL BE YOUR LAST!’ He roared, as I tried to gain my footing and prepared for the worst. I sprinted outside as he flapped his giant wings and worked his way outside.” Dan then flapped his arms to mimic the motion of the great dragon, “To my surprise, when I exited the cave, not a single animal was anywhere to be found, it was as if a hurricane was coming and every animal for miles had fled the area.. they knew better than to be anywhere near what was about to happen!”
“When the great blue dragon made his way from the cave, he roared as thunder crashing during a torrential storm. ‘This really seems like a misunderstanding!’ I said, hoping to soothe his anger and avoid a battle with what I assumed what might also be that last of his kind. ‘I don’t want to fight with you! I am the God of Light! I make the sun rise! If I am dead, who will make the sun rise?’ I asked, pleading for the safety of the entire world.” Dan then looked tearfully at the children, who at this point have become invested in his story, “Could we perhaps come to another agreement?”
“‘I SEE WISDOM IN YOUR WORDS, YOU ARE TRULY AWESOME! VERY WELL, GOD OF LIGHT, YOUR DEAL IS STRUCK, I WILL ACCEPT YOUR BARGAIN, IN LIEU OF A DUEL, YOU WILL INSTEAD OFFER ME A SINGLE FINGER AS RECOMPENSE!” Dan looked thoughtfully at the children, “My answer was simple and obvious.. the God of Light is an important job, you can’t simply go giving your fingers away to everyone you offend.. So I told the dragon that no matter what, I had to fight him. Our battle lasted days, he summoned tornadoes, and thunderstorms. He blasted me with lightning bolts and gale force winds! All the while I danced, never once did I return an attack!” Dan begins flailing his arms to mimic the scene he was portraying.
“In the end I was ready, my dance complete I summoned a ball of light bigger than the sun! I told the dragon that I could use it to destroy him, or hang it far away in the sky in honor of our battle as another star to guide those lost home again. This show of strength he understood, and he could see how awesome and powerful is the light.” Dan smiled, “…and that is how I almost lost this finger, and how the world gained that star.” Dan then pointed to the sky.
One of the children stood up, and held her hand up to ask a question, “What happened to the dragon?” she asked. “Oh, you mean Woodstock?” Dan replied, “He’s fine, we get together once a year to play cards and hunt bears.” Dan then gave the girl a thumbs up. The girl was confused.