Hammer and Anvil

Journal of Bryce Weyland 606AR part 4

Malleus 2nd Cinten 606AR
First day done, so far so good. We made good time and everyone is in good spirits. Most of my day was spent scouting ahead of the caravan with Mortlock and Gunnar. Tobias fell in with the ‘Fellig Irregulars’ a group of old ex-soldiers led by Captain Jarrett a retired trencher (I didn’t believe any managed to live long enough to retire until I met him) and Stern helped the Priestess of Morrow with the rabble of orphans that scurried underfoot.

Malleus 3rd Cinten 606AR
Things are never easy. We came across a stranger today bursting out of the undergrowth ahead of us before collapsing.Expecting treachery I was preparing to dispose of our new friend before Morty recognized is uniform as a member of the Black Thirteenth the most famous cadre of gunmages in the kingdom (and one Morty used to aspire to be a member of). Regaining consciousness he introduced himself as Nevyn. Apparently he had been stationed to the north when his unit was ambushed and taken prisoner by ‘underground dwelling spider-people’ before managing to escape where he has been fleeing south without stopping until he ran into us. As outrageous a claim as it sounds, he certainly shows the signs of deprivation that match with is story and I heard weirder tales of what roams in the depths of the Thornwood. It has also been brought to our attention that the food in one of the wagons has began to spoil quicker than expected. Thankfully we still have more than enough food to last the trip so no half rations just yet.

Malleus 4th Cinten 606AR
Nevyn’s arrival has taken some of the shine of the journey. The poor fellow is suffering from a brutal combination of exhaustion from his travels and shrieking night terrors from his experiences. It wasn’t too bad during the day, but last night he managed to wake up a sizable portion of the camp with his screams. More food has spoiled as well. Tobias has taken the precaution of switching which wagon holds the food to see if he can find the cause.

Malleus 5th Cinten 606AR
Another day another night’s sleep interrupted by Nevyn. The refugees are not amused. Luckily Nevyn has Morty looking out for him and so far their respect/fear of Mortlock the Mad. (I may or may not have spent some of the evenings spreading around the wildest rumors I could think of to see what stuck. My personal favorite is the time Morty got swallowed whole by a Dire Troll and had to chew his way out because his pistols had jammed) has kept them from making no more trouble that some glances and sullen muttering.

Malleus 6th Cinten 606AR
Getting bored of the road now. Walking all day everyday isn’t as fun as it sounds (and it doesn’t even sound fun). Food is still mysteriously spoiling, we may have to start tightening our belts at this rate! At least we as a group have eaten enough to empty the wagon, Stump even offered it up for the orphans to ride along in (he claims it’s because if he has to give one more piggyback ride he will be forced to test the sharpness of Matilda on and I quote ‘a wee kiddywinks headbone or two’, but we all know that he’s a big softy at heart.), but so far only the bravest has dared ride along on the Cursed Wagon (capitals intentional). Nevyn’s night terrors have lessened a bit now that he has had a chance to rest up, but still wakes up screaming as is he is being chased by a dragon a couple of times a night. I’ve suggested to Morty and Tobias to see if he is feeling up for helping out in the night watch rotation. At the very least he won’t be asleep as much to wake up from.

Malleus 7th Cinten 606AR
Tempers are beginning to fray now. Stern has had to break up a couple of scuffles between the refugees. He uses the curious method of stepping in and letting the aggressor break their fist on his breastplate (and in one case involving a particularly tall individual, on his forehead) and then unleashing a barrage of expletives more commonly heard streaming out the mouth of a Cygnaran Trencher Drill Sergeant, not a priest. But who am I to argue with it’s effectiveness. Other than that, today was pretty uneventful. Looking forward to getting out of the forest.

Donard 1st Cinten 606AR
It appears that we are cursed after all! The source of the corruption of our food has been discovered! It appears that at some point, the shards of Cryxian metal taken by my comrades in a minor scuffle I wasn’t part of has wrapped up in some old clothing and stuffed into one of the holdalls. The last time I had seen it was back in Fellig where I was running some alchemical test on it to try and determine its composition. I didn’t get very far, but what I had found was certainly enough to convince me that it really shouldn’t be kept near perishables. I can see three options how it came to be hidden. Firstly, it was simply an accident, Captain Nash or the unlucky soldier sent to collect our belongings simply saw it on the side, and stuffed it in nearby back. Secondly, it was maliciously placed there by Cryxian agents in an attempt to sabotage the expedition (it is theoretically possible that with some tinkering it would be possible to track the aura of corruption that has plagued us on this trip). Thirdly and least likely, the metal has become attached to us like the black penny of fae-story and simply appeared in the luggage one day despite being left behind. We disposed of it behind the abandoned waystation we stayed at (civilisation finally!), burying it in a hole, dousing it in a concoction of cleansing reagents I cooked up and wrapped up in a linen cloth inscribed with holy runes and blessed by Stern. We shall see how that goes.

Donard 2nd Cinten 606AR
Well it seems that the evil metal not only rotted food, it also kept away bears, who knew. Fortunately a few well timed runeshots empowered with thunder was enough to scare off the curious beast before anyone came to harm.The children are now happily riding on the empty wagon (only after a pantomine ‘exorcism’ performed by the Stump). The end of the journey is in sight, we should reach Fisherbook by sundown tomorrow.

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