Seasons

Shortshanks' Journal - Entry 1

For the first night in a long time I can relax, so have decided to start a journal of my adventures. Who knows perhaps one day I will be famous enough for other people to actually be keen on reading this.

I am writing this first entry from inside the Feywild if you can believe it. Such sights I have seen since leaving Knarsis and it’s familiar streets. I have even faced a dragon and lived to talk about it, but that story can wait for now.

Standing at the empty crossroads, we contemplated our choices. North to the dwarven stronghold of Hammerfast. East into the mountains populated by goblin and orc hordes. South to the town of Harkenwold and the great forest beyond. West to Fallcrest and the heart of the vale. I was tempted to resume my journey to Hammerfast and the business opportunities there, but was reluctant to part ways with the two men who had fought by my side during the infiltration of Gorizbadd. We had fought together, endured together and almost died together, but in the end we had survived. And we had the stone.

In the end we headed south. Following the road that was little more than a dirt trail we heard the sound of childrens’ voices over the next rise. The ever cautious Skali dropped straight to the ground and began crawling up the short slope. He proved helpful in keeping mud off my boots as I walked straight over the top of him. There in front of me were indeed a small boy and slightly bigger girl laughing and playing together in a scene indistinguishable from any other I have seen in the many towns and villages I have passed through. Except we were in the untamed wilderness with no buildings in sight. And they were green. Perhaps Skali’s instincts were right this time I was thinking as he walked past me with a slightly injured look.

I have been mistaken for a child more times than I care to remember so decided to act the part, but in truth they did not seem to be at all afraid of us anyway. As they were enthusiastically inviting us back to their home for dinner I saw the girl was wearing a large gem around her neck which looked to my appraising eye to be extraordinarily valuable. Rissa’s attention too was on the gem as well as the crude sticks and bow they were carrying. Curiosity and perhaps greed got the better of us and we accepted their invitation. As they turned to lead us on I casually asked them to wait a second in Orcish. Pause they did and the girl happily mentioned her mother spoke Orcish too although their family mainly used Elven at home.

Our last encounter with Orcs in Gorizbadd was still very fresh in my mind, so I mentally prepared myself in the event we were being led into a trap. We followed them into the forest and after a while came out into a charming little glade with a log cabin set amidst some cultivated fields. Standing in the doorway was a big half elf who welcomed the children home. Draco as he introduced himself proved to be a very generous host. He gave us a room to sleep in, a home cooked meal with plenty of fine elven wine, and the pleasure of his company as he recounted some stories of his old adventuring days. His half orc wife on the other hand was suspicious of us and didn’t seem too happy at us staying the night. I could understand her thinking though as Draco’s description of the rest of his adventuring group that he had fallen out with sounded eerily similar to ourselves. I imagine they would not be happy at some of the methods we use to get things done.

As well as their hospitality they also gave us two bits of information that could prove useful. First holed up in a nearby ruined watchtower was a small band of kobolds. Second and more importantly the lord of Harkenwold was an old acquaintance of Draco and we could perhaps gain an audience with him by mentioning the half elf’s name. He is apparently suffering from some sort of curse so if Avandra favors us he will be happy to part with some of his gold to anyone willing to help him.

On the subject of wealth the large gem that the girl was wearing had a twin worn by her mother. It turns out that this forest glade we are in is actually part of the Feywild and the gems are needed to pass back and forth. Not that I was thinking of stealing them anyway of course. This reminds me that I really need to ensure this journal never falls into the wrong hands. If Draco should read this or Sehanine forbid his wife when we are depending on them to return to our own world…

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Shargassar

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