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Astrid’s Journal

12 Lamashan 4709 AR

Shortly before debarking the ship in Absalom, I made acquaintance with two other travelers: a Gypsy called Zandu and an elven woman named Tythe. Someone had mentioned rooms were available at the Golden Griffin (for those that needed to sleep indoors, I suppose), but more importantly, this establishment had food and drink available, and Zandu had offered to buy a round. Assured that Zandu had no motive other than not wanting to drink alone, we started off in the general direction of the tavern, trying to wend our way through the Harvest Festival crowd, when I saw three men grab a fourth and drag him into an alley. I pointed this out to my new acquaintances as I turned to follow.

We confronted the muggers and, not wishing to escalate the incident, I began to sing a tune that tends to cause drowsiness— it worked on two of the assailants and the victim, but one continued to threaten Zandu (and apparently three more had appeared behind Tythe). I decided to go take the victim away from his attackers, intending to only frighten them away by pulling my father’s sword— it worked, and they backed off almost immediately.

I stopped singing and picked up the unconscious man, and turned to leave the alley with him. I found that I had missed some bloodshed— one man was dead on the ground, Zandu’s dog chewing on him, as a small Vudrani human woman was in turn healing injuries and providing my comrades with some righteous indignation— apparently we had picked a fight with the very powerful Toresco merchant family. However, we had saved the life of a member of the Radu family, and were thanked profusely by someone called Torin Radu. At no time did anyone of actual authority appear, though I was told that places such as these have town guards. Perhaps they felt we had the matter in hand.

We opted to take the healer, Salma, along with us to the tavern. The strongest drink available was Dwarven ale— I had several while Zandu made room arrangements for all of us. I already have a bedroll, but was assured that I’d prefer to sleep indoors. My new friends all seemed rather excited that a “bath” was offered with the room. I bathed before I left home though. Personally, I thought it would be better for us to just go stay with Salma, but she assured us this was not possible.

We got to talking about why we had all landed in Absalom. Salma had been here for years; her parents had dropped her in “girls’ school” and never returned. Tythe seems out of her element entirely and has been taking comfort with a bottle of rum. Zandu was just wandering (as I was) until a chance encounter with an old man gave him purpose. In fact, the purpose involved visiting the Pathfinder Society here in the city. We all opted to go with him; I believe I am not alone in looking for acceptance and this is where (I’m told) my father wanted me to start.

Salma led us to our destination, and Zandu asked them for help with identifying a map, though for some reason he could not show us the map. In exchange for this help, we agreed to go collect a book from Vargos Gill in the Puddles District. This did not sound difficult, but apparently the Puddles District is not nearly as pleasant as the area where the earlier mugging occurred. My friends got a bad feeling when we got to Gill’s house— it was obvious that no one was home and that some sort of mischief had recently occurred. I saw an old woman watching us, but she ducked into an alley before I could call out to her. Zandu and I ran and caught up with her, and after he bribed her with a few copper pieces, she told us some men (“Nessiam’s”) with snarling dog tattoos (War Hounds) had taken Gill mere minutes before we arrived. We got Salma and Tythe and took off in the direction the old woman had indicated.

Sure enough, we found the six War Hounds with Gill and three other elderly men chained together on the edge of a cliff, with the obvious intention of pushing them off the side into the water below. I tore past the thugs and managed to grab the chain just as the old men lost footing and tumbled over the edge, but I had to contend with being hit in the back by various weapons as I struggled to keep from losing my grip.

Apparently I got hit pretty hard and must have blacked out, but not before my friends were able to dispatch or scare off the enemy and pull the chained men to safety. I came to and found Zandu was holding my head up and pouring some sort of potion down my throat. I managed to refrain from breaking his arm.

Posted by Kristin on October 15, 2008, 14:38 | Astrid’s Journal