3rd and 4th of Gozran
We have been blessed with a divine gift.
We rode after Krom into the forest. At first, his trail was hidden from us, but once Strax caught smell of the beginning, we were easily able to follow the path of broken branches and upturned earth. How long we rode this trail, I can’t remember. It felt like forever, with our minds jumping to all the things that could happen to a lone, distraught gnome in this place. Eventually, the we rode into a clearing, where we found our companion. He knelt before a pool of water surrounded by structures made of limbs and natural rocks- a temple to Gozreh (which we later discovered he made in his desperation). We tried speaking to him, but he only mumbled gibberish and refused to move. It was not until Thalian brought him the body of his companion that he returned to life. He wordlessly led Thalian to place the body among the structures. Then, Krom fell once more to his knees, looked to the sky and began to pray. My heart broke for him. I know no prayers of Gozreh, but I too fell to my knees and began to sing hymns of the wind and rain. I heard Thalian’s crisp voice join in as well, and from behind, the sorrowful dirge of a flute. Even Strax knelt before the altar. I knew Gozreh is a fickle god, but hoped if he denied one of us, he would accept another. I don’t know how long we stayed like that. The moon passed overhead, as did the sun. I began to worry, but committed that I would not rise until we had seen a sign.
Eventually, that sign came.
The pool dug by our companion began to glow. A wordless song began to hum through the air, and a entity composed of rushing water and howling wind rose from the pool. It had no discernible features, but I could literally feel its presence staring into Krom. It spoke to Krom, and although I do not know what was said, Krom seemed to understand. Overhead, a shadow passed, and then a large carrion bird descended to land next to the body of Krom’s companion. It looked at Krom, and their eyes locked like steel. Then, the wind and water being began to recede into the pool, and the singing stopped. The vulture broke eye contact and began to eat the body of Krom’s old companion. A weird sign, but Krom seemed overjoyed. We are blessed to have seen something like this.
5th of Gozran
After our divine visit, we were all exhausted, and returned to Places of Note | Oleg’s Trading Post. Upon arrival, I saw something that turned my stomach. Five men, clad in the military outfits of one of the houses of Brevoy. I recognized them as not belonging to my own, but I still felt very naked in sight of them (despite wearing my mask). I pulled up my hood and made an excuse to the group to stay outside the post for the day. Even if they are not directly affiliated with my past, word travels quickly. I noticed Thalian seemed very skittish about them as well, and he joined me in leaving the post. Something seems changed about him since yesterday.
I had much time to thing while hanging outside the Outpost walls, mainly about our purpose in these lands. It had been much easier to agree to take the lives of bandits when I was speaking with the swordlords miles away from here. It didn’t feel right to deliver death with my own hands. But I was reminded of a shepherd, who in order to protect his flock, must hunt and kill the wolves of the woods; or a farmer who takes the lives of hundreds of mice to protect his grain. Neither are considered ruthless or cruel, and neither are frowned upon by Old Deadeye. I took meaning in this. The bandits of these land are no better than the wolves or mice. They are worse, for they do so with knowing intent of harm. I will be the shepherd. I will be the farmer. I may not like it, but I must remove them.
6th of Gozran
After meeting up with the group today, Dodrick informed me who the five nobles were from the day before: a group of soldiers, led by a man named Kesten Garess. It seems he is a noble of the house Dodrick was adopted into, and as such, Dodrick knew him. He seemed to have no respect for the man when he told me so.
While I was gone, Sletvana had asked the group if we could grab some “moon radishes” while we were out. We traveled to the spot, and found the patch to be guarded by several kobolds. Not wanting a fight, we paid the kobolds for enough and returned to Oleg’s.
7th of Gozran
Mixed feelings today. Another man arrived today, the Jhod Khafkin who had been nearly excommunicated from the faith after he lynched an innocent man. I’ve heard tales of how aggressively this man is involved in his parish. So I was naturally weary. After seeing me to also be one of the faithful, Jhod told me his motives in coming to this harsh land. He had had a dream in which he saw a temple of Erastil in disarray guarded by a large, unnatural bear. He took as a sign from Old Deadeye- if he found the temple, it would allow him to redeem himself. Although weary, I understand redemption. I agreed to help him find it. Then, I suggested we go for a hunt: I would let him prove his honesty by the way he shoots his bow and dresses his deer. It was a successful hunt; together we were able to pull six bucks: one for sacrifice, five for meat. We may be able to trust this man.
When I had returned, Thalian informed us he had talked to Kestin and got a little more information out of him: it seems he is here searching for a mercenary named Sneed who had stolen all of the Free Irregulars money and then ran into the Stolen Lands. He offered us an array of high-quality weapons for his return, and we agreed.
10th of Gozran
Today we set out to find Bokken’s fangberries. Deadeye grant us safety.
11th of Gozran
Another day of travel and exploration. Today we found an old mine, which looks like it could be used by the swordlords with some work upfront. A lucky find.
12th and 13th of Gozran
To begin, last night was an interesting one. We made camp in the field. I was asleep, when I awoke to the sound of Vic’s flute. Exiting my tent, I saw him playing on his horse, eyes wide. Not fifty feet from him was a beast; half-man, half-wolf with claws like picks and mangy fur easily visible in the full moonlight: a werewolf. The creature sat dumbfounded, staring at Vic as he played his melody. Vic motioned for us to stay calm and mount up. We all nervously awaited the dawn for four hours, and Vic played the entire time, sweat beading at his forehead.
Finally, dawn broke, and with a grotesque series of contortions, the monster turned into a monster of another sort: one of the Stag Lord’s men. The pest did not make it far.
Later that day, we found the fangberry patch, but the whole thing was covered in a spider nest. Having nothing to exterminate them with, we resigned to head back to Oleg’s and properly equip ourselves.