The Journal of Adil Tabaruvad

Excerpt from a journal found on a wilderness trail…

…road all night. When we finally arrived at Tirists Inn at the junction of the Spearthirst and Deepsalves rivers I pleaded that we stay the night.  I knew most would end up sleeping outside in the barns and kennels but I still had a few coins rattling in my pouch. To cut to the chase I played “Crown and Anchor” for three hours, after two I was up to an 30 kinmelbil. Armok knows I should have stopped while I was that far ahead, I could have run the damn place with that much wealth! But alas I kept dicing and soon the house had its share back and then some. I owe nine dwarves an unhealthy sum of kinmelbil and where we’re going there are no coins and there is no income. Just rations, damned rations. I’ll be without ale for two full seasons in order to pay off this debt. Armok help me.

15 Granite

When we were packing up and departing I spent the better part of an hour cleaning crap off my rucksack. I spent the night arguing with a hunter’s dog over a hay mat and slept restlessly. The long journey was about to begin when I noticed two men conversing with another figure I could not discern in the twilight. They kept shooting me glances with looks I could not identify but nevertheless did not trust.

Shortly after departing I felt as if we were being watched or being followed. I kept glancing over my shoulder but not a thing seemed out of place. With a band of twenty hardy dwarves singing I wouldn’t have heard an elephant if it had been following us. But through the whole day this feeling persisted in dogging me.

20 Granite

It’s been five solid days of walking. The interminable walking will be the death of me I know it. We’ve been afoot for more than a month and Domas still refuses to tell us how much longer we’ll be at this. Our food supplies are running short so we’ve been dispatching Tirist, Erush and Nomal out into the surrounding forest to hunt for small game. Fortunately we’ve been following the Axewine river for the past 3 days keeping it within audible distance so water is of no concern to us right now. Domas keeps telling us how splendid this new fortress is. About how it’s nestled into the foothills and crossed by a river. We evidently have good odds at finding precious metals deep within it and the crafts I saw at the human outpost Averdale were nevertheless impressive. I would still greatly like to get there and sleep in a real bed regardless of how splendid it is or is not.

20 Granite – Evening

Erush and Nomal returned with no game and a look of surprise that Tirist wasn’t already back in camp. We made a few brief forays into the forest daring not venture too far in the late dusk. We found no sign of Tirist this evening and will have to search again at day break.

26 Granite

Six days ago we lost Tirist. She will be missed. That awful feeling of being watched is back. I cannot explain it but it is unsettling. I can’t bring myself to say anything to Domas, I don’t want to be made to look a fool so close to Helmgorge.

27 Granite

Tonight we’re far from the forest. Ineth, Erush and Nomal went out on Domas direction for an extended foraging. They’ll catch up with us tomorrow night and hopefully with venison. Domas says we’re still two weeks away from this Helmgorge.

28 Granite

The foraging party failed to appear. We sent Kib to search and call for them in case they missed us. We packed up and started out curving back to the Axewine where Kib is expected to meet with us.

28 Granite – Evening

We’re back in the forest on a well traveled footpath and very near the river. We expect Kib back any time now. Domas says we’re departing at first light.

28 Granite – Evening

Everyone is awake, all fifteen of us. Kib never arrived back in camp and now there’s new sounds in the forest. Like dwarves ambling around in the brush but not too close.

29 Granite

We had hardly any sleep and we have to set out now. Domas says if we push it hard we can be to Helmgorge within a week. I think he’s optimistic. After the unsettling events last night no one’s brave enough to venture out for our missing friends.

29 Granite – Evening

Whoever finds this warn Helmgorge, they’re coming. They came out of the woods and picked us off one at a time, I’m hiding in a cave or burrow or something. They know I’m here. Get to Helmgorge. WARN HELMGO

The journal ends here.

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