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Family ties

Deitricha’s Journal

Yet again, Antonio and I were thinking the same thought - that we should do everything possible to keep from stopping near the orcs’ cave on the way home! Even better, Mr. Drake felt the same. We decided to travel straight through, and hope for the best. The day began well, with sunshine and warmer temperatures. Night fell, still clear, and a quarter moon to drive by. We were in the same arrangement as before, watching for trouble, when the animals became nervous; soon we all smelled smoke.

Tassar and Areon rode ahead as soon as a glow became visible; as I watched them approach two burning wagons, I saw several bodies rise up from the snow and stagger at our friends. Tassar was soon hollering that he had them surrounded, which is never a good sign, and next thing I knew he was knocked off his dog and into the snow at the feet of the undead! That was enough for me - I rode up and turned the zombies, probably the poor former caravaners. The rest of the party attacked the fleeing creatures while I checked the wagons for any sign of life. No luck - stripped of valuables and set ablaze, obviously a trap.

We talked briefly about whether to turn back or push onwards, and moving on seemed the better idea. The undead began to stagger back into the firelight as we worked out how to move the wagons. Tassar began giggling even before Dante started telling jokes, which earned him an odd look or two. I’d just decided it wasn’t worth it to turn them again - they’d be back long before we got the wagons moved - when Tassar told us all to just light them on fire instead. He’s been learning from Antonio! We shot at them before they came into burning range (I even killed one very damaged one with my sling), and all were destroyed except for one which went for Tassar again. I tried to ride over and swat it with my staff, but only succeeded in falling off my horse and getting called a copycat by Tassar. Theona went after my horse while the last zombie chased Tassar and me around and eventually burned to death.

Unfortunately, we then heard a horn sounding in the mountains above. Moving those wagons became a real priority! I created water over one of the wagons, puttng out one end so we could push the thing out of the way of our own caravan. Theona returned with my horse, and news of movement on the mountainside - we didn’t have much time! Thank Tymora, the way was soon clear, and the horses needed little prodding to race for their lives as a band of one-eyed orcs arrived on the scene. One of them was riding a dire wolf and wearing armor - the feared Grom himself? We may find out; Tassar shot him with a well-placed arrow even as we raced away, while shouting his name and where to find him. We got a hail of javelins embedded in the backs of the wagons in return. Luckily, they didn’t follow, and we made it to the gates of Silverymoon by the next day.

The guards didn’t much like Dante - we should have known! Luckily, he was well able to speak for himself, we all vouched for him, and, of course, we had a very interesting story to tell of Grom and his hordes, which was a lot more important. We left them talking over the news, stabled the horses, and were pleasantly surprised when Antonio ran off and returned with a set of silver mugs engraved with our names! Tassar handed Dante his “old” mug so he didn’t feel left out, and we headed for Lord Greycastle’s for the rest of our payment (I hope Antonio has something left over for himself after such a gift!). The butler still refused to fill Tassar’s mug, and said the Lord was out of town, but he did have authority to pay us. We decided to split up and rest, then meet the next morning to talk over Dante’s situation and Theona’s rumor about the tower outside of town. The Temple was a welcome sight!

Meeting for breakfast the next day, we realized just how many awful looks the locals were giving poor Dante, and decided that he had to get “fixed” before anything else. Luckily, Antonio knew some people (if not, I was going to ask Mother or Father for help), and Dante got to be the subject of a class lecture on removing such spells. It cost us plenty, but it worked! He’s a human, again, and very relieved. Theona looked faintly disappointed, so I gave him clothes money so he could make a better impression. She still didn’t seem happy when he met us back at the tavern in his new gear, so we decided to get them both drunk and leave them at her place to let nature take its course. Unfortunately, they both passed out, so we left them at her place and headed back to the tavern to party. It didn’t take long before I was under the table, too.

I woke up at the Temple, with an aching head. And my oldest brother sitting at the end of the bed, glaring at me. I guess I know how I got home - he’s a member of the Guard, and very good at what he does. I’m always hearing of another promotion! Unfortunately, he’s also rather suspicious of my calling, or, at least, some of Tymora’s tenets. He thinks we’re all getting a bit wild, and that it’s all MY fault. Don’t I wish he could have been along with us on these little adventures when no one would listen! Before I got a chance to defend myself, though, he sobered me right up by accusing me of getting Antonio kicked out of his house. “I work with his father, Deitricha, and what could I say to him? You’re making quite a scene! Getting drunk and disorderly and dragging folk through the streets” ( I guess that was Theona and Dante), “not to mention running around with an orc yesterday, I don’t care if he’s really a human, you could have handled that a bit better! And as for your ‘fling’ with that halfling, now you’re dragging Lady Brenin’s name into this!” Well, I gave up trying to defend myself and ordered him out of my room. I was so mad that I went and threw sling bullets at the target post in the Temple practice area to let off some steam. One of my brethren came by and was surprised at how much my aim has improved, and told me I ought to try Tymora’s shuriken again. All the practice I’ve gotten recently has really improved my throwing skills!

I guess I’ll have to think about my brother’s words some more. He has some points; I just wish he didn’t think he had to fill in for Mother and Father with all us kids, just because he’s the oldest. We’re all adults, thank you!

Posted by Kate on February 21, 2004, 06:49 | Deitricha’s Journal