Monday, 13 August 2012
The Diary of Eddard Feldicar: Entry One, part one
It had been about eight days. Eight days of constant walking, but I knew I was only about a day from Hill's Edge, and my meeting with the temple contact there to discuss the situation in and around the Reaching Wood. Goblins and hobgobins had banded together en mass to to raid the settled communities in and around the wood.
The temple believes this rare occasion of cooperation to be the work of spell casters acting with malicious intent. They sent to investigate. Not to engage, investigate. Fresh out of training as I was, they believed the powers at work to be above my ability to dispatch.
Which left me with the walk to Hill's Edge. I had to walk, I couldn't afford a horse. I briefly wondered if every paladin started without a mount.
And then, footsore as I was, I came across an inn, at about the halfway point between Hill's Edge and the crossroads. Nightfall was still a few hours away, but the clouds were gathering, and the first drops of rain fell from the sky. A storm was brewing, and the darker it got, the more inviting the structure became. I thought a hot meal, and a dry bed was my best option. and quit the road.
Already there were people everywhere, and the storm was likely to bring more in. I entered the smoky, though cheerily lit tavern room. People, mercenaries and fighters mostly were singing and drinking. There was a celebration already long in progress. I found a vacant seat at the bar without upending a single full drink. The mood was clearly jovial, and more than one person slapped me on the back good naturedly proclaiming "The war was over."
I pondered this over a hot mulled wine to warm myself up. I went over to a Northern barbarian, bought him and ale and got the whole story. He was big strapping man, blond and wild, and armed to the teeth. He spoke to me between ogling the bar wenches and drinking ale. I learnt his name was Ulf.
"Two nights ago, their fort was taken," he said,"they scattered to the forest, and all that's left is clean up. We are victorious!" As he made the pronouncement, a number of fighters nearby took up the call.
I had my doubts, and thought that even if the goblin incursions had stopped, it may well be only the beginning for troubles in the area. I needed to get to what was left of the fortress. I wanted to see this for myself.
I stood up and drew the attention of those nearby. " I would like to go to this fortress and see this defeat for myself. I believe that this is nowhere near over. Who would like to come with me?"
Naturally, my request was greeted with jeers. "What for?" "Everything worth taken we took." "No point in going back!" Those were the nicest comments. There were many more, not so nice. The appeal was almost useless. Almost because a squire did manage to make himself heard over the catcalls. "Sir, my lord would to talk to you."
He was greeted with snide comments and snickers. Being a squire, apparently, isn't considered a manly profession to the roughnecks and mercenaries that populated the inn. I ignored them.
"And who is your lord. sir?"
"Son of Baron Redhand."
"I would be delighted," I replied.
The squire bowed and the room, to more jeers and snickers. I went back to my table.