from the journal of Tarin, itinerant wizard-in-training
What a wonderful journey! Except for the centipedes. And the goblins, of course. And the tainted arrows. The wolves. The persistent, gnawing fear of being stalked in the forest. But if you let things like that get in the way, you’ll never go anywhere, will you?
Two days ago, I met a fine group of fellow of travelers at a tavern in Yggsburgh. My master was a week overdue, and given the urgency of our parting, I began to doubt that he would arrive at all. I was running low on funds in a town oddly hostile toward elves, so I seized a sudden opportunity to head out for a respectable reward.
I met my fellows as rumors circulated of a party ravaged by unknown forces on Menhir Road. At a table nearby, a fierce warrior ceased her gambling to catch the attention of her consort, a trim fellow in finery and a fluffed wig.
Capital companions, they turned out to be! But they made a surprising pair, Desy the barbarian and Vincent the bard. Vincent would try to sweet-talk a dragon while Desy would sooner bash a door than bother with the handle.
And there were other interested listeners: Shalub, a meticulously well-groomed monk; Obelix, a druid of evident skill; and Koulya, a halfling of uncertain dedication, the sort who would unscrupulously steal from a stranger at the bar, then help bind the wounds taken in the ensuing brawl. Fine fellows, all!
We joined together to see what we could accomplish, adding a final twist when Obelix spotted a parchment pinned by the door, leading us to restore the honor of one master stone carver Robwald Hockram.
Stonecarver Hockram, a dusty and strange little fellow, directed us to retrieve a contract a manor owned decades ago by a mysterious man of the initial ‘Z.’ Was it the very Zagyg himself? Hockram revealed little but promised reward.
We arrived to the road beneath the manor after a river crossing (at which Desy paused to pummel one of a friendly bunch of St Cuthbert pilgrims. A fine bunch they were, and Desy apparently hits quite hard).
We had three brief encounters en route, with soldiers preparing for the faire at the end of the month, with three men tracking a runaway servant named Garan, and with two prowling wolves, quickly becalmed by Obelix.
So the journey posed little difficulty, though I confess passing through Little Hillwood made me profoundly uneasy, as it did Shalub. Normally, I find comfort in the forest, but I did not shake my fear until calmed by a short chant from Koulya.
We found the manor.
And its inhabitants found us. A flood of goblins poured forth from the stables to attack us. Dozens of them! Endless, they seemed! Equipped with foul-frog-tainted arrows, they hardly began the battle under the fairest of circumstances, but we prevailed with a good bit of stabbing, shooting, spell-casting, and superior attitude. Even the bard made a convincing hit.
Inside, we found strange enchanted objects: a magical saddle, scimitar, and ring; an enchanted knife and healing kit; a wand perhaps of frost and lighting; and several glowing rods. I’m particularly curious about the ring, which appears to have been given to ‘Z’ by ‘Nestor,’ a learned-looking fellow in one of two decidedly annoying portraits in the front room.
Did I mention the centipedes?
There were lots of them. Dozens, a flood! They gnawed through Desy’s boots, felling her, and would surely have done more if not for a well-placed burst from Koulya. We were safe, but drained enough to warrant a return to Yggsburgh, where we went at good speed.