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A terrible time, altogether.

Deitricha’s Journal

Well, I finally left the practice grounds and headed for the tavern. Everyone else was there already, looking grim. Antonio immediately said he wanted to leave, and so did Tassar, who looked awful! When I asked what happened, he just shook his head darkly and muttered that “the guard is evil”. What? Somehow, it came out that Antonio’s father and some other guards had beaten him up. Suddenly, Tassar wanted to know all about this brother of mine in the Guards, too. Impossible!

We did all agree to head out of town and let things settle down. Theona and I set off for her place to tell Dante to go (I guess things didn’t work out, I was too distracted looking for my brother to ask), but he had left already. Tassar and Antonio soon arrived with the pack horses and we headed out of town (with no trouble at the gates, thank Tymora, but no sign of our family members, either. Antonio must have been in quite an argument with his Dad!). We traveled all day, set up camp, and I finally got to quiz Theona about Tassar. It wasn’t good. I could just cry - and I’m definitely telling my parents!

The night was quiet. The morning was bright and clear, and Antonio gave us all some coffee. I tried to apologize to Tassar about my family, but he just seems to want to forget it all. We hadn’t traveled far before finding a dead cow by the side of the road. Curious, we checked closer, and found that it had been drained of blood, yet there were no prints to show what had done the killing! We gave up looking and went on, but it was a quiet walk - I was pondering just what may be in this tower, after all. When we saw some farmsteads, we decided to tell them about the cow and ask for any news of the area.

As we walked up to some farmers by the barn, the smell of fresh-baked pie wafted from the house. We told the farmers about the cow, and they were unsurprised. We started to ask why not, but Tassar was so distracted by the smell of baking, I left the others to the task and headed for the house. I asked the housewife politely for a slice or two, and she was glad to oblige. Tassar soon had a big glass of milk and plate of pie in front of him, and I think she was pleased with the compliment to her cooking - she wouldn’t let us pay her for the treat! Full for the moment, we headed back to our friends, to hear that we were still heading for the ruined tower. At least there was a small town and tavern before the place. Tassar was already looking for some ale. Halflings and their famous appetites!

I found that the farmers must have mentioned something vampiric, as Antonio was racking his brain for ways to keep the things off. I fear his advice will be taken with a large grain of salt, since Tassar decided to mimic him behind his back. I did my best to restrain my giggles, and finally, we were back on the road. We reached White Haven by the end of the day - a small hamlet, but the Frosty Mug tavern was ample for our needs - food and drink! Theona went into information-gathering mode, but didn’t find out much. The tower’s a hundred years old, the wizard who built it disappeared when the tower blew up but may also be haunting the place. Strange lights are seen there, and the last party of adventurers to visit haven’t returned.

I wonder if the last party even made it to the tower; we certainly did not! The horses became nervous as we walked, and then all of us could see the large tracks crossing the road. Troll! We quickly talked over whether to follow it, and Tassar made up our minds again - already almost out of sight before we knew he was going. The troll was not far away, with the river at his back. Hoping to slow it down, Theona began shooting at it from a distance; it charged, and was met in battle by our Tassar! The others kept shooting at it as I ran to the horses for one of Antonio’s flasks of oil. I turned back in time to see the troll doing an incredible amount of damage to Tassar, who kept right on stabbing, even as its wounds healed up.

Well, it was my turn for crazy heroics, I guess. I raced up to the troll, getting shot from behind by one of my cohorts (was that Areon yelling, “sorry!”?), and splashed it with the contents of the flask. Tassar was staggering badly, so I grabbed him and ran for our lives. Of course, he was shouting at me, but this time it was different - I turned in time to see Antonio run up to the troll to set it on fire. I guess he wanted to make sure he didn’t miss, but it cost him his life. The troll, enraged by the flames engulfing it, immediately tore him to pieces! It was a terrible sight. Areon and Theona shot the thing, Tassar threw his dagger, and the troll quickly burned to death, but there was no joy in the victory. Antonio was beyond my help.

I healed Tassar and prayed over our friend. I realized the others weren’t entirely sure what to do next - but I had no doubts. The tower must wait; we must take our fallen friend home. The longer we waited, the harder it would be to face his family. It was a very sad trip. I told the guards at the gates to send Antonio’s father home, and brought him to his mother. I told her how he had died, saving our lives, and bore with their grief as best I could. We weren’t there long, which turned out to be a blessing, since Theona blames his father’s behavior for causing this, somehow. Lady Tymora, I hope they didn’t hear her in the street! We then separated for a little while; I wanted to pray at my Temple, and then I went and told my parents about my brother. They agreed that he’d overstepped his bounds, but since he’s out on patrol, I’ll have to have words with him later.

Meanwhile, Areon’s watching over Tassar, who’s holed up somewhere in town in hiding. He’s probably right that the guards will find a way to blame him for this, no matter what’s the truth. I’m hoping to see Theona soon; until then, I’m just going to wait in the tavern to see what turns up. Poor Antonio! He was a really good guy.

Posted by Kate on February 29, 2004, 13:21 | Deitricha’s Journal