Journal of James Peyton - Day 22

Well, this was fortunate: just as I was thinking about keeping a journal, behold, I find an empty book! The oracle, not feeling well, something about the spirits or somesuch, has ventured back to Oleg’s. We still find ourselves venturing along the Skunk River, but with the news that Neudvin and Tyberia have brought us—what with the envoys from the Swordlords and Cheliax coming to town—we are heading north, out of the forest, to the plains, so that we can make a quick return to Oleg’s.

As we ventured through the plains, Caimbuel heard the howl of wolves. We rode towards to investigate, and encountered two creatures, which we later learned to be werewolves. Of course, we dispatched them with all due haste—saving the fact that I managed, by the grace of Erastil, to stabilize one of them, for later interrogation.

Expect more to come later, as I still have my watch tonight.

Journal of James Peyton - Day 28

Having dispatched a band of worgs a couple days back, myself, the other charter bearers, my new comrade Neudvin, and the nature-worshiper Tyberia, find ourselves back at Oleg’s. We await a delegation from the city of Restov. I find myself somewhat anxious, wondering if I might know any of the nobles that make up this group…

…Alas, I did not know them, but I did know of them. People from powerful families holding powerful office within the city. They came to discuss the lack of security along their borders—especially their southern border, which we find ourselves coterminous to—and their desire for us to deliver the Stag lord’s…alive. Seeing as we already had a mind to send him to an early grave, we readily accepted their request. What troubles me about the meeting was the other threats they spoke of; other nations that see both Brevoy and the river kingdoms in a state of weakness. Also alarming was the open lack of faith and trust in their own leadership. I worry that real or perceived weakness in his majesty, King Surtova, will split Brevoy in two, sending it back to the warring and chaotic ways before the time of Choral.

Yet I find myself with some measure of hope and faith; both in you, my God of the Hunt, and in the strength of resolve of we, the charter bearers and our compatriots. We can quell the lawlessness of this part of the River Kingdoms, and bring some small measure of security to the people of this land, and to the nation of Brevoy.

Journal of James Peyton - Day 31

Praise Erastil for the simplicity and honesty of country folk! My gods, I had forgotten what people in the cities were like: liers, beggars, cheats, and miscreants.

We came to the city with a simple task in mind, to sell what few trinkets we have gathered, and to acquire fine suits of plate for myself and Neudvin. But oh no, Abadar’s faithful could not see to make such a task easy. No, instead we found ourselves paying more than fair for armor that was not even made by a master craftsman. As yet though, I at least have a decent suit of plate, having sold the magical scales I once shielded myself with.

I wonder why it is that I do not recall the city being this wretched before. Was it my youth? Nostalgia? Or was I simply a na├»ve young whelp? Whatever the reason, I best not dwell upon it. I have work to do; the Stag lord awaits my sword…

Journal of James Peyton - Day 33

The following is written in Celestial

What luck! Whilst travelling through the plains south of Oleg’s, Tyberia, Neudvin and I chanced upon a prominence of rock. Hidden within which was a small cavern. Without having rope, Tyberia bespelled the near wall with tangling thorns for us to make out descent. I did not think the cavern to be of any note, but Tyberia, who I’ve come to find exceedingly competent, recognized the face of a vein of gold. It is possible that we could one day come back here to mine out the vein.

I am of a mind to keep the vein a secret amongst only the charter bearers, Neudvin, Tyberia of course, and myself. I do not know what we will use the gold for, but it is always good to be prepared.

The rest of the day was not too noteworthy. We scouted about as best we could, but did not find much.

Journal of James Peyton - Day 34

Whilst the day yesterday was carried by Tyberia, today was Neudvin‘s day. We ventured eastward: from the glorious sun of the plains to the damp dark of the forest. Just as the unease was beginning to leave me, we heard a sound from the nearby brush. Nymeria went out to investigate, and returned, bringing news of “many legs.” The wolf was true, for soon emerged a centipede of monstrous proportion. Tyberia had earlier placed herself up in a nearby tree, leaving both myself and Neudvin to fend it off. It’s whip-like tendrils swatted and hit Tyberia, I struck it with my sword, but Neudvin, blessed by the might of his god it would seem, knocked out from under the creature, each and every one of it’s many many legs. In fact, so distressed was the monstrous centipede that it found itself rolled onto it’s back.

Truly, it was a victory of great moment.

After which we took the time to take care of the bodies which we, the charter bearers, had previously put on display, believing that the message had likely been delivered.

Journal of James Peyton - Day 35

We followed the river near the bandit camp back out into the plains today. And even though we had no great victories in combat today, I think it is probably the best day I’ve had in the last month or so.

As we were on the north side of the river, which was cutting a gorge into the earth, we spotted a man attempting to hide in a bush near a very ragged wood and rope bridge. Tyberia crossed the bridge first, being the lightest and fairest amongst us. I, after removing my armor, followed.

It turns out that the man was actually a hunter, hiding from us because he at first believed us to be bandits. After conversing with him for just a few moments, I could soon tell he was a decent and hard working fellow—just the sort of man I originally set out to help when first accepting the responsibilities of the charter. As it was, he told of how the bandits former bandits harassed him and over hunted the nearby land. We informed him of our success in defeating them, at which point we asked for more information on the bandits. He did not have too much to tell, except that Ox, a lieutenant of the Stag lord, spends most of his time with the Stag lord, in his fortress. He recognized the holy symbol on my chest, and identified himself as a fellow believer. Whilst Tyberia went off to hunt down some food for the man (both in thanks for his information and because he seemed down on his luck) I said some prayer’s with him, so that Old Deadeye might bless his bow.

Today was a great day to be in the service of Erastil.

Journal of James Peyton - Day 37

Yesterday we ate well on boar meat, having found a den of one of the creatures. Erastil was with me for that moment, as I struck the killing blow.

But today, today we encountered something new in the forest. A small dog-like creature, which looked in some ways like a cat, was found in a pit. Coincidentally, Tyberia found herself within the same pit. She says the ground under her gave way, but I think she is just too embarrassed to admit that she lost her footing.

In any case, she was able to somehow commune with the creature. She discovered that it was afraid, and I discovered that the pit must’ve belonged to a nearby trapper. Using her spell of entangling vines, I slid down into the pit, and brought the creature back to the surface. We let the creature go, and followed it back to the den where its pack lived. We looked for human remains, to see how dangerous the creatures were, but we did not find them to be overly dangerous or an invasive species. Therefor we did not exterminate the pack, but we did post signage around the perimeter to alert travelers to circle round, lest the docile creatures turn defensive.

One final note: I find that Erastil must be taking notice of my works, for he has seen fit to empower me once again with new-found and strengthened ability. I pray that I will continue in his grace.

Journal of James Peyton - Day 38

We went back to Oleg’s to meet the rest of the charter bearers. Having rested and readied ourselves, the charter bearers, Neudvin, Tyberia, and myself ventured southward.

I must say, it is comforting to be accompanied by all of my compatriots friends again. It has been too long that we journeyed out in smaller numbers—and only by the grace of Erastil survived for as long as we have—and it was good that we had the strength in numbers that we did today.

Before long, we discovered the signs of battle. Kobolds, as well as smallish blue creatures, with large black-lidded eyes, lied dead on the earth. It was obvious that a clash of arms lead to their demise, and as it is our duty to establish order in this land, we followed the trail of bodies.

Eventually, we came upon a mound, topped with a sycamore tree, wherein laired one of the belligerents in the earlier battles. Our kobold friend, the one Caimbuel had taken guardianship of, told us that these blue-skinned creatures, these mites, had been rivals and enemies of the kobolds in the area for quite some time. In their latest raid, the mites managed to steal a statue, one depicting a large kobold with wings, apparently the god of the kobolds. Shortly after the theft of the statue, the kobolds started to take ill.

Well, the mites tried to put up a fight, but their muster did not match our tactical expertise and superior armament. In fact, I would almost feel sorry for them, but they were not so deserving of my pity as I originally thought; just as I was feeling their would be no real challenge within their lair, what I’m sure was their leader confronted us. I will give credit to the little fiend, he, and especially the huge tick upon which he rode into battle, were a powerful force, nothing to besmirch. But, he did not have the friends that I have, nor did he know the grace of Erastil. Although it got pretty rough, he, just like the rest of our foes, met his end.

Within the den of the mite lord we found the statue that was stolen from the kobolds. Luckily it was relatively small, so it was easy to convey it from the mite lair.

Oh yes, and a nearby crevice housed yet another monstrously large centipede. Alas, we did not manage to chop off it’s hundred legs, as with the last, but we did eventually defeat it as well.

Oh, and one final note, our little kobold friend found a helmet and cloak, just his size, as his loot for the campaign. It’s quite humorous how much he prides himself in those two dingy possessions of his.

Journal of James Peyton - Day 39

The rest of the charter bearers left this morning to head back to Oleg’s. Hopefully they will get the place in order for the arrival of the Chelaxian delegation. In the meanwhile, Neudvin, Tyberia, and myself, the trio, ventured further southward to a nearby river.

Of all the sites I have seen in these River Kingdoms, this was perhaps the most alarming and worrisome. We did not find some heretofore unknown monster, nor did we uncover some terrible dark secret. No. Instead, we came upon a village.

A village of buildings in good repair. Located next to the river for food and water. Yet, it was entirely abandoned. None other than us was there. And no one came to the village for the whole day. As we explored, we found no signs of violence or struggle. It was as if the people of the place just vanished. I pray that they left their homes to distance themselves from the bandits and the Stag lord. The unimaginable alternatives shake me to the very core. Yet, I must show a stern face; a solid countenance so that I do not seed my unease within my friends.

We explored the surrounding lands, but finding nothing we returned to the village to rest for the night. We must be close to Stag lord’s stronghold…I will advise the others against lighting a fire tonight.

Journal of James Peyton - Day 40

Tiny speckles of blood are scattered about this page.

Well, today was quite the adventure. It was clear this morning that we wanted to leave the village. It provided good shelter for the night, but the whole place unnerved me, as I’m sure it unnerved the others. So Tyberia, Neudvin, and I left and headed west.

Damn, I’m still bleeding in places. I’ll get to that soon enough, but first, I think I’ll apply more bandages…there, I think I’ve covered all these damn little cuts, bites, and scratches.

Okay, so we were heading west. It wasn’t too long before we saw a small valley, within which were shrubs edge to edge, all covered in white silk. I didn’t realize it, but Tyberia pointed out that it was spider silk. As we ventured closer, leaving our mounts behind, she also identified the bushes to be fang berry bushes. Apparently, fang berries are quite valuable and have alchemical uses. So we took what containers we had and ventured into the thicket. Having much knowledge of plants, Tyberia lead us to the center; apparently the best berries could be harvested there.

Luckily I was wearing armor, because I swear by the gods those berries were nearly impossible to gather. Barbs and tangles greeted my gauntleted hand more often than the berries we were trying to collect. Suffice it to say that the number I collected paled in comparison to the others, but at least I got some. It wasn’t long after I was just beginning to get the hang of picking these pesky berries that we heard a great chittering sound from all around us. Soon we saw them, what must have been hundreds and hundreds of spiders rushing towards us. The others noticed them first, and they fled. My arm was caught in a bush, but I soon freed it and ran as fast as I could.

I could feel them as I ran, biting and scratching underneath my armor. I chose to fight through the pain and keep running, so that I would not be overtaken by the greater part of the swarm. With haste I removed my armor upon leaving the thicket, and Tyberia rolled me across the ground.

My wounds are not serious, but they cover my body in many places. I think I will rest for the rest of the evening and read the Chelaxian book I discovered earlier. I’m hoping that it will provide me with some insight that can be used when the envoy arrives, but we shall see.


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