King of the Stolen Lands

Pilgramage Journal 4

Temptation and Temporing

I do believe I have caught the attention of the Traveler on this road I am walking. Not to say I am invoking gods outside the Flame, but I was tested, both in spirit and skill and I don’t think the Silver Flame has time for that childish shit. I am getting ahead of myself though.

Riding back toward Oleg’s I a large berry bush caught my eye. I steered us toward it and it turned out to be a huge thing of berry bushes. I think Boris may have said what they were but me. So he proclaimed that he wanted to pick them. None of us really had a problem with this seeing that we were just going to Oleg’s and not really rushing toward anything important.

I circled around and found one some odd arrangement of stones, I know I had heard of people burying their dead, in a stone pile, but I never saw one before, and I didn’t know if it was that or something else. I upended a few of the stones and I found a ring on a body. It seemed to be linked to the ability to swim.

We were at Oleg’s again, I keep forgetting to show him the gold scraping I took from the mine, I am sure it is, but I want to make sure it is in fact real gold. Old Poon was unusually lucid that afternoon. Any way for some reason Old Poon brought up cairn. I admitted to having had disturbed one when I wasn’t quite sure what it was. He spoke of Tiger Lords? Tiger Clan? Some name like that. I want to say it was Tiger Lords but I am not willing to bet on it. Could be that I have just written about the Sword Lords too many times.

Well the Tiger Lords he says goaded one another into fights with odd burst curses. Not like when some jackhole curses you and you just can’t seem to do anything right. These hit you like umm… those things that live on the ceilings and fall on you, and then the thing stick, and your friends eventually beat it off of you, or you die. Except its gone, and you can’t beat it off, so maybe it’s not like that.

I am apt to believe it though seeing that Boris found out that his family’s place burned down. Flame preserve me. Could a curse hit me through time? Could my digging up a grave have triggered Morgan to throw the lye around? So that I would join this expedition. So that I would dig up the grave? My head hurts; I think I am going to have a drink with Ced.
After we left Oleg’s we road for days just exploring the land and to have Kurgar go “Oh yeah. The old group came through here!” and then goes on about map making. We brought the cart at least. Good lords I am getting tired of iron rations. I would certainly be nice if Boris actually would hunt instead of talking about tastelswryms and giant boars. How about a turkey? Some rabbit (actually caught fresh and not picked out of a trap. A wild goat! I haven’t had goat in years.

Anyway we road on and on, eventually as we came over hill we heard voices squabbling. We all took up position, and readied our arms. As soon as they crested the hill, Adra let loose and arrow and embedded it in the eye of a man with an eye patch. The man fell to the ground and seemed dead. The other put his hands up in surrender and started exclaiming he was pardoned by the king! He claimed he had some paperwork too.

This made some sort of sense to Kurgar, who told us to stand down. He seemed to know the man or at least what he was speaking of. I guess that he had dealings with the former party and they gypsy girl had told them to join the Stag Lord, that she would give them more commands later.

Fortunately they were a cornucopia of information, told us a safe path to take to get into the Stag Lords base, the password to get in, the two even gave us one of the amulets that the bandits wear. Cedric wanted to ride out and gather more information, I think. Seemed like everyone was talking and no one could quite agree on a plan of action.

We ended up riding up without any plan I knew of, oh, we sent Ranblo and Clarance back to Oleg’s. So when we rode in we were questioned about how we heard, who told us, why we got the password already. Fortunately these questions, like so many others in life, were answered with alcohol. The men questioning us were going to take the booze for themselves, but put in their place by a man with seemingly permanent quirked eyebrow. He called them out on trying to claim our booty as their own and weather ummm, well I am gonna refer to the fellow as brow. Weather Brow believed s or not, he let us in. We were in a common room full of ne’re do wells.

Figuring us all gawking in a group together would look kind of suspicious, I ventured to mingle, and I ended up speaking with a red headed fellow, Topper Red. That I am sure is a fake name, or his parents were worse at naming their kids than the Stone Clan is.
Anyway the fellow was standing there writing in a chapbook. Turns out he is a playwright, or is one as much as I am an armorer. He used some pretty word that I didn’t quite get. I told him my story and his eyes grew with interest. I am not ashamed to say the concept of me, my story, being immortalized holds a charm in my mind. To be invited back to the homeland to perform as myself. That is the type of irony topper should be writing. Topper, showing the boy has a proper head on his shoulders, was rather interested in my armor smiting. He took me to speak with Brow, wish I could remember his name; I know it reminded me of magic spiders. Aracnus, Archmagus, Aracmagi.

Brow seemed very interested in seeing my skill; this made me nervous seeing that I still have trouble even holding a tool, so I did my best to set the expectations low. Said I may be better set to train someone in the ways of making armor. He tossed me a heavy bit of armor so stiff I expected it to be a breastplate, so when it was only some poorly crafted leathers, it slid out of my hands.

I took my time, well not too much of my time, something said in my head that these were the type that were impressed by efficiency not just quality. First thing I did was attend to the buckles and straps; armor doesn’t do you much good if you can’t wear it and wear it right. I patched up holes that had been stabbed through the leather, and put some extra reinforcement on those spots. After that it was just matter of oiling it and breaking it back in. Someone must have been caught in a deluge to damage he leather that bad, or maybe the bandits just stole it off a drown man.

I did the best I could, it wasn’t something I would put my name on, or even wear into battle, but they seemed oddly impressed. They, they being Arkenoid, said he would have to speak with the Stag Lord, but that I might be able to be one of the elite, who stay at the … camp and I could just work the forge. That’s what I was talking about earlier, with the tempting. I can’t lie that it felt good to be working armor again. Even dropping tools didn’t irk me quite so much.

I wouldn’t have minded having stayed a few days, just to keep working the forge. The thought of Cedric spending a few nights in this place gave me a laugh though. I just hoped he wasn’t crawling up the walls, or you know threatening any evil doers yet.

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