Blades of Light

Tal's Journal, Entry 13

Well, That Was Disgusting

Ceor has groupies apparently. Someone sent him a strongly perfumed piece of silk. He tied it to his lance, naturally. I refuse to clean it up when he ruins it.

Shortly after I got up, I received a letter formally requesting that I take someone as an apprentice. … Clearly this person has never met me. Turned out to be a pair of half-elf siblings that do minor cantrips for people in camp, a brother and a sister. I suppose it could at least be entertaining to see what possessed them to ask me. I can probably blame Ceor for that.

Miaako looked nervous and Reeshka looked more smug than usual and I don’t know want to know why.

As we were leaving to head out to the other farmstead, there was a small group of kobolds waving to Reeshka. Apparently she has groupies too.

The trip across the valley was uneventful, though we saw the opposing army getting their camp ready. The crops at this end had been planted, at least, and showed some signs of care, but they’d largely been left to go wild. And we could smell decay.

Once we got closer to the farm, we found that there were corpses here too. Of course. They had a horse this time. Miaako fired off a crossbow bolt that would have done quite a bit a damage… if he hadn’t fired at a skeleton with no flesh on its bones. At least he managed to almost cripple the horse.

Ceor got a good hit in, though the lack of flesh hampered him as well. Miaako managed to pop the head off the skeleton. Which of course still left the zombie horse. That was also dealt with in short order… and it ruptured into a foul, corrosive mess. Fortunately I was standing far enough away to not actually be hit by it.

Naturally, there were more undead inside the building. Miaako managed to actually properly stab something as he darted in. Then Reeshka lit them up like the city lights and dropped one. Ceor dispatched another, and I dropped a third.

Then one lurched forward and howled at us and it was extremely unpleasant. It hurt. I wonder if this is what it feels like to the undead when Reeshka starts glowing. Fortunately, Ceor cut it apart. The remaining skeleton was summarily dealt with. There wasn’t much in there, except what appeared to be a ledger, probably the farm’s accounts. It hadn’t been updated in about six months, though this farm seemed much more organized.

As I was looking at the ledger, I smelled seawater. It was coming from the corpse that screamed at us. I’ve heard of them before. Draugr, I think they’re called. Basically they’re drowned sailors that come back as waterlogged corpses. I can’t think of what one would be doing so far inland. They almost exclusively haunt the north, and there’s not a coast for miles. And the Wastes are between here and their usual hunting grounds.

Searching some more, I found a leather sack stashed in the chimney with 38 gold in it. They won’t need it either.

As we explored the rest of the farm, we got the general idea that the plots here had been tended, if sporadically. The growth was all stunted, though.

There were three more undead in a smaller house. Just for a change of pace, we decided to use some strategy. Ceor charged in through one door, and Reeshka opened the other door so I could spray Burning Hands through it. It was rather successful, actually.

Once those had been taken care of, Miaako showed me a book he’d found, that seems significant. It was notes about crop rotations and other uninteresting things, as well as observations of the visitors to the farm. Turns out a red-haired gnome showed up exactly one day after the winter solstice, ostensibly to sell some crop seeds.

When we examined the last building, Miaako discovered in addition to three more undead, there were two human children in there. I’m puzzled as to how they’re still alive. This time, the appropriate course of action was to kick the door in and shove a Reeshka bomb at them. It wasn’t quite as effective as we’d hoped. Miaako managed to get himself stabbed with a horribly rusty sword, but other than that, it wasn’t much of a problem.

Once that problem had been taken care of, Ceor went to check on the children. They panicked, naturally. While he and Reeshka were taking care of that, Miaako found what appeared to be a box of silver rods in the chimney. The children were both malnourished, and the girl had some sort of infected wound, but that wasn’t anything Reeshka couldn’t take care of. The window frame in the room they’d been hiding in was loose, which was how the boy was getting out to tend to the crops, I expect.

At this point, the children were just completely thrilled by anyone who was alive, and had no problem with returning to camp with us. We’ll either have someone take them to Feymott or see if one of the camp followers wants to take care of them. We passed the opposing army again, and Miaako commented that it looked like kobold slavery, which predictably made Reeshka angry.

We got the children some food and reported back. We hadn’t found any traces of the previous scouting party, which could be explained by simple desertion, though the scoutmaster said they were particularly loyal. There are some hills to the south east with caves, but that’s somewhat behind the other army and there’s never been any trouble out of them. I’d have liked to more closely examine the most direct route between the camp and the farm, but there’s no time before the battle. It occurs to me that I don’t know which way that fucking gnome went when we chased him out of Feymott.

Someone showed up to lead the children off, and after Ceor glared at them in a particularly impressive manner, promised that they’d be well fed and taken care of.

Since there’s nothing else I can do, I suppose I might check on who was fool enough to ask me to take an apprentice. Ceor tagged along, though Reeshka was occupied with her own thoughts and preferred to be left alone, and Miaako seemed somewhat out of sorts.

The two half-elves proved to be red-haired siblings that might be twins. They were somewhat off by themselves. Sundilsa and Sundrya Winterleaf. Ridiculous names and charming dispositions. Though I’m one to talk. Evidently, they want to be evokers, but no one is willing to teach them. The girl has a temper, apparently. Their history’s not so different from mine, really. You know, I may actually end up doing it. Told them maybe for now, because I really can’t tell them much else at least until the end of the campaign season. I don’t know how good of a teacher I’d be, but they’re willing to take what they can get. And I think I’m willing to do a lot to screw over assholes like the kind I was surrounded by my entire life.

I’ll have to put some thought into it. But for now, I just need to get some sleep so I can do some identification work tomorrow before the battle.

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Kassil RiaHawk

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