My other character – Baharash – is always careful to never big-note himself in his journal. So Switch can be a shade boastful.
As you know by now, they have exiled me. It’s not too bad – I shall probably be able to return home in a few years. Apparently I was giving the annuals a bad impression, but they have such short memories – it will all blow over in a decade or two, if even that.
Things have already turned interesting – our caravan to Rostov was attacked by a band of goblins, of all things. No wonder they want to extend a buffer to the south: but enough politics! I shot two of them, and some of the other people in the caravan ran off the rest. We kept a prisoner and he told me that there were “hundreds” more, which goes to show that it’s always silly to ask questions of people who are just going to lie to you.
One of us is a Paladin of that dreadful human god that wants to chop down the forests and pave what’s left. He bandaged up our prisoner, all proper and noble and merciful and then released him with a warning. Insufferably good and foolish. Well, it would have been, except that the entire point of the exercise was so that a woodsman with our caravan could make careful note of which direction the goblin went as he left so we could follow him. Not that the Paladin would or even could ever admit that. No no, it was all about mercy and helping even the lowest creature in its time of need. Absolute hypocrites, humans, believe me – they honestly think they are good and pure and right exactly when they are doing the worst things.
Anyway. Some of us wanted to track down the goblins immediately, but the hired guards couldn’t leave the caravan, and I thought we should see if there was a bounty we could collect, so we continued on to Rostov.
At Rostov we visited the local authorities and found that yes, they would pay bounty for left goblin ears – just like home! And far too much bounty, too – obviously they don’t know how fast the things breed. It turned out that I was not the only one signing up for the frontier. Most of the others on the caravan, including one or two of the guards, were also there. We all decided to backtrack to collect bounty before heading south.
Our woodsman tracked the goblin-blood from a wound that our noble warrior of goodness had thoughtfully left bleeding, and we eventually saw cook-fires. The goblins appeared to have commandeered someone’s old hunting-lodge. The woodsman went ahead to scout, and reported back that there was a break in their perimeter. Seeing as we were at a disadvantage in the dark against tunnel-dwellers who can see in the dark, we moved back a way and made camp.
Bright and early we set forth. We slipped past the “sentries” easily, and then – assembled in the back yard – looked at each other and shrugged “Ok, what do we do now?”
But, soon enough we were spotted. I think we actually had to knock on one of the doors to get the attention of these detestable, lazy little vermin. Anyway – they absolutely poured out of the door, and I shot some more of them and the fighters decapitated a few. One of us is a human girl who casts spells and I’m sure we shall be very good friends, and she conjured some grease on the ground just outside the door (I happen to know that one too, and I had it prepared) so that the goblins would sip when they came out. It worked – but falling over just made the things harder to shoot.
Anyway. The woodsman and one of the others went around the side to pick off the sentries. One of the fighters went inside the lodge and there was a bit of a kerfuffle and some big ones (orcs, I think, or half-orcs. Humans will sex anything) came out and I think one of them hit the girl and she went over straight away as she is a frail little thing or maybe she was faking it. But you know that party trick – the spray of colour that knocks people out for a few seconds? Well, it worked a treat on these. Well, on one of them, anyway. I could have cast it again, but some of the fighters were in the way.
So, basically we won. I learned that the best way to deal with a goblin is to stab them in the kidneys (which is higher up than you think – almost up at the middle of the back) while they are looking somewhere else.
The band didn’t have a lot of loot (It’s not murder and theft if they were trying to kill you, or if they would have tried if they knew you were there – it’s loot. Morality can be so confusing. Apparently, they normally hang people for theft around these parts.) But they all had ears, and we collected them.
There was, well, a bit of a moment. You know, because we’d all fought together and saved each others life and things. I suppose it’s what the warriors are always going on about – the camaraderie, almost like being with family. I think we are destined to travel together now. Destined or not – it’s what we are going to be doing.
So, that was that. And I’m off shopping (did I mention that the bounty was way too much?)
Till next time,
Your sister in exile