This is just a short note in case these bandits kill me and they recover my body. No, I am not captured, no need to panic. I think I should start from where I left off last time.

After getting the goblin-ear bounty, we (that is to say, the group of people I am with) decided to go shopping and to head out within a few days. Annuals can be terribly hasty about things – we would plan things out for a while, but I suppose they know they don’t have all that much time.

I spent a day or two tracking down some spells that might be useful – this little spell that does the job of a watchdog, the spell of comprehension of languages (a fascinating divination), one or two others. I prepared a few scrolls for contingencies – you know, spells that you might want to cast in a pinch but that you don’t want to go to the trouble of preparing. Oh, and I bought a secondhand wand of “Grease” – a little conjuration that is handier than you might think at first.

I’m not sure what everyone else did, although I do know that the fighter with this long stick with a blade on the end – it’s not a spear, I think it’s a farm implement that’s been turned into a weapon – anyway, he decided to acquire a personal army of five by the simple dint of paying them. I think he’s terribly vain. But it’s nice to have some spare eyes and ears keeping watch, even if they are not particularly acute.

Our first port of call was this fortified trading post – “Oleg’s”. I hadn’t heard of it before – it’s right at the southern border of the settled lands, and our charter from the swordlords uses it as a reference point.

Well, Oleg was being blackmailed by a group of bandits and he seemed to think that we had been sent to help him. I suppose that’s what we are here to do – deal with bandits and reopen trade – so that’s all right then. Our stick fighter wanted to ambush the bandits – to have his men close the gates behind them so as to trap them inside. Besides that we didn’t really have any strategy. He was very unimpressed by the state of the defences – four wooden towers with a broken siege engine at the top of each.

Anyway, the bandits rode into the fort, bold as you please, and the damned paladin strides out to challenge them. So much for surprise. We attacked, and the bandits threw a flask of alchemical fire into the stable. Well at least they carry out their threats. The bright idea of trapping the bandidts inside was the worst possible thing we could have done. Serves us right for not asking Oleg in more detail what the bandits had threatened to do.

So, they fired the stable. The horses panicked and bolted – Dobbin too, the ungrateful nag. They trampled some of the bandits and one of us too and escaped down the road. One or two of the bandits got away, unfortunately. We had to track them down or they’d just come back and burn the trading post some more.

So we put out the fire – good job Oleg wasn’t hurt – and followed them. And Dobbin.

Well, a few miles south we saw a group of Kobolds and we decided to ask them about the bandits. Because, well – it’s couldn’t hurt. We may have to clean them out of the area too, but it would be best if everyone could just get along. Rainor approached them. The plan was that he would grab one, the others would scatter, and then we’d threaten question it.

Unfortuantely, these kobolds were turnip-farmers. Yes, by that I mean the sweet turnips and it’s pretty clear that they were addicts. One of them was particularly savage and more than a little mad. When Rainor grabbed one of them, instead of scattering they attacked. A tricky situation to manage when you are trying to get on their good side. I ran up yelling “Don’t kill!” (they speak draconic, you know, so all that dreary study has been of some use) so that after we had beaten them they would know that we were not necessarily here to kill them.

We were in no danger whatever, really, but I thought it best to Colour Spray the lot of them. It knocked out Rainor as well as two of the kobolds, which was a calculated risk – I had waited for the slower fighters to get close enough to the fight that he would not be in any danger. Well, I misjudged and one of the little bastards tried to jut his throat and I owe Rainor an apology. The fighters finally lumbered up and brained the thing.

Well, we tied ’em up and decided to play it tough (Koblds don’t really respond to anything else) and so we did the thing that guarantees cooperation from any addict. We threatened their turnips.

They knew (or at least claimed to know) where the bandits camped. We left behind the mad one and the one with the rather nasty head injury (he deserved worse) and went to find ourselves some bandits.

I think Rainor is an elf – someone might have mentioned it. I’ll write this as though he is.

Our guides led us south, which seemed probably about right. We had to camp overnight, and the Kobolds didn’t like the idea at all. And rightly so. At about midnight we were attacked by one of those marsupial tigers (you know the ones?). I wasn’t going to be able to sleep through it (the little witch must be deaf – she’ll be nice and rested and able to prepare spells tomorrow) so the night’s meditation was lost anyway, so I tried to light up the area a little.

The thing went straight for one of the kobolds and killed it more or less straight away. We killed the tiger, but it was too late. The other kobold was distraught (“I known him since he was an egg!” etc etc) so we buried the body and planted a turnip on top.

Later than night, Rainor toed me in the ribs. Noises in the dark. Well, there was no point waking up a human (they are blind at night) so we went to have a look. I’m not sure where the woodsman is from – I suppose I could ask – but it’s nice to have another of the folk in the group. I think the spell-casting girl has a little elven as well. In any case, we are both able to walk about without kicking up a dreadful boat-footed clatter.

Another tiger had found the grave and dug up the kobold and was happily munching on it. We watched for a while, and it noticed us, but it was calm. Eventually it finished and did an enormous shit in the hole and left. Rainor and I filled in the grave again and planted another turnip on top. In the morning, the other kobold came out to pay his final respects. “Don’t worry”, we told him, “he’s in a better place now.”

And here we are. It seems that the kobolds knew what they were talking about after all. We have sighted the bandit camp and will attack in the morning. I couldn’t prepare spells, but I have my bow and dagger and they will have to do.

In hopes that I shall be able to write again,
Your Sister in exile


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