It should come as no surprise to you that my first real expedition has already run into a few snags. The adventuring party with which I left Hook Hill has already been sundered, we have been blown off course, and we have faced even turmoil from mother nature herself.
In the first two days of travel, the rains have been intense and have kept us at a snails’ pace (made even more tenuous by the cavalier nature of my companions who chose, for whatever reason, to move on foot). However, there was some excitement when a few riding horses with no brands or markings, obviously terrified by the storm through which we were otherwise casually making our way, beset us from the road. Myself and the Cleric, Brother Rolstof, were able to calm one of the beasts, while the drunken dwarf managed to acquire another. The elven gentleman (who seems to have taken a lurid interest in me) made an attempt at a third beast, but was unsuccessful… even if he was sufficiently gallant.
We supposed (and rightly so) that traveling ahorse was superior to moving along on foot, and we made good time for but a single day when we were assaulted in the night with the jarring sound of voices with approaching menace from further along the eastern road. The smelly, muddy, foul-breathed dwarf discerned that the voices were speaking in the tongue of Giants (why he would know such a thing is beyond me) and that the voices seemed particularly interested in acquiring a meal. Then, after some deliberation that led me to further suspect the competence of my companions, more Giant voices joined the chorus from the northeast. At this point it was upon my suggestion that we rode south to avoid the oncoming contest, but to no avail, as the voices followed us, and in some cases, even seemed to gain, even though we rode through the night.
At a stop, the dwarf made note that the voices were speaking specifically about devouring us… a frightening prospect, indeed! However, Brother Rostlof ascertained, somehow, that it was unlikely that giants would pursue us as such, and our elven compatriot weaved a spell in order to detect the presence of magic encroaching from the north. We decided, then, the suspicion of this illusion was enough to guide us onward to the east, rather than trying to discover what sort of malign fate awaited us in the inevitable southern hills.
At this point, I draw my breath slowly, for never have I come so close to being unable to do so. We stopped to camp for the night, and all seemed well: the voices stopped, the weather improved, and we were making our way back towards the great trade road, presumably with this diversion behind us. It was then that our watch began to hear the childlike laughter that would spell certain doom if not for the ambivalent nature of Fairies. Sprites, pixies, or some other form of fairy creatures had set upon us, and proceeded to set myself, the halfling, and the seaman to sleep. Although I cannot personally account for what followed, I know I was awakened a few times and attempted to rouse my partners, but the fight (which started without my even knowing it) was going on without me. When I finally came to, Dandelion the horse, the cart, and all of the money and magically inclined equipment was gone, along with some weapons and our assailants.
Worst of all, though, the fine Brother Rolstof was dead. The dwarf performed a bastardization of a ritual sacred to the fallen Priest of Pelor after failing to save him (opting to dance around foolishly instead), and his grave is now marked by his morningstar and helm.
I have learned, for certain, to simply leave fairies be.
We are as not yet even a quarter of the way to Berghof. Hopefully this episode is not merely the first of many, and definitely not a symbol of things to come.
~Your Faithful Wife.