Calen's Journal Entry 2
Acquiring draft beasts, and for myself a sterner plate, we set off along the longer, surer path. There laid a chance for us to shorten our travel but required great overland stride. Due to the uncertainty of our recent purchase and their surety of foot, we chose the safer road.
By the time we reached Leveridgeton, the seat of the Duke Leveridge, the night misted kindly. No doubt a great comfort to our beasts after their labors. Staying in this town, we bed down with a peaceable eve, after we each contributed in our own ways to the town. I led the penitent in their reflections, the investigator amongst us split logs as a show of physical acumen, and our minstrel led song. Beyond such, we mingled, they had drank and we all shared feast.
The morning was dreary and wet. After failing to construct a hasty shelter for Khypris to guide the horses beneath during the unending downpour, I chose to ride with her, soaking myself to the bone to show the solidarity we offer our leader in these days. Besides, I am by far the most handy with beast second to her sure hand.
The roads, too, were wet, and where gravel gave to dirt was deep mud and drudge that proved bothersome for our beast. I can only imagine how awful such transit would have been had we chosen to move overland.
A full day of iresome travel of this thick beating rain became mist and fog in time. Eggleston welcomed us just as the weather turned more pleasant, a small mountain-nestled town, but provided no true hospitality for travelers. It was a very small trade town, and offered little more than a barn. A humble but kind town, even so, and we found comfort there still better than we would have caught on the road.
The chronicler of Leveridgeton, whom was met there, recommended speaking to the man of Breckenridge for relevant reports of any business with Stahl and Leadersburg. Thanking his kind advise, we parted ways and wished him well.
The morn was blue of sky and vibrant. Traveling through Kingsburry, the roads beyond wound and bent. A toll awaited us on this road, and despite foul toll charges, reflecting subtle hostilities between neighboring lands, the collector gave way to us in deference to the travel of a Cleric of the Great Church, wishing us well in our quest and the times of Sorrows.
In short time, we ran across a strange band seeking to take action on this poor, unsuspecting functionary who had seen to act charitably despite his land’s high taxation they placed him to collect. I managed to counsel the brigands to inaction, through the aid of their comrade, who was strangely Charles Exeter, the third son of his house, from Beckridge. I had not expected to meet a man I knew in such a strange position.
They were peaceable by talks and compassionate in consideration of the month, as well. Inquiring word on the relic or priest, they spoke at great length of Leadersburg’s origins – its inheritance by Leader, a warrior of faith whom was bequeathed the land as thanks. However, they had no true insight to the incidents we sought. Undeterred, we wished them well, thanked them for their insight and traveled on. As the night fell, we pushed our beasts with zeal to find Beckridge for the ninth day of Sorrow. A day to commemorate when Terak and Tinel slew the other.
At the gate, sealed for the night, we were guided to the field alongside another late arrival, Bill the Dwarf, a berserk of his people. In the field, a gentleman trader and entertainer entreated us to his meal and drink, named Martin. We engaged warm company and slept short hours to awaken for the services. At the church, where I did some of my training, an unique service was preached followed by a grand celebration honored by feast.
Having hearty meal and then rest, we headed out in the morning. Before our departure, the chronicler of the province saw us. Unable to provide insight to our goals, he still paid us for the carrying of missives to Stahl and Leadersburg, which I was all too happy to carry on for him. Leaving in the chill and brisk through the West gate, we bid our friends farewell. The mood of the sky was cold and windy, a bracing morning in truth.
Sadly, by near mid-day we found ourselves facing a large stream which we were by means in need to ford. Unwilling to cross at the height of the river where we found it, we scouted for a safer ford. We forced the cross, once we found it after some time seeking, and then struggled from the opposite riverbank to get our beasts and wagon back to path and then to road. The process, in all, ate much of the sun and exhausted our beasts. Tired from the burden, we bedded early. While we set to rest, two riders, drenched, raced past us without cease.
The next day, we found ourselves in Cunninghamtown, where the missives I took appeared to grant us passage at no cost. Those who passed before us, however, seemed to be those same riders we spotted before our rest. They paid with a bladed bribe to get them ferried across before coin was yet offered – a foul, heartless business.
Learning of Foster’s Keep as these brigand’s direction, we kept south and east to Stahl. The crossroads were defaced, but following maps we eventually found Silver Lake, but not without sighting strange creatures distanced in the night. We arrived that next afternoon in Stahl at the Farmer’s Gate.
The guard at the gate, one Mirinor, gave us great trouble before letting through myself and Dorak. We made to seek the guard captain and then the rest of our business once done, to see the rest of our company allowed passage through the gate to join us. Waiting for the chance to speak to the Guard Captain, our party rejoined us, proving that Mirinor saw some wisdom finally and permitted their entry. It did nothing, however, to satisfy my desire to see her counseled for her rudeness.