Angus the Bull
Rethmar Thrennt wrote:
My lady, exiled Queen of the Northlands,
It is with regret that I enclose the following journal. I obtained it from a wandering merchant who knew of my interest in the history of the Northland Kingdom. I've no idea where he may have come across it. Likely some troop of bandits looking to turn a few coins from items they'd stolen. After years of searching for your son, I'm afraid that your worst fears may be founded in fact and your son may be lost to us. It appears that he escaped the initial slaughter of your household and managed to cross the southern border. Unfortunately what appears to be his journal is cut short and his whereabouts are still unknown. Alas his bravery and endurance have not been enough to regain the throne as you will be sure to read yourself.
Your faithful servant,
I am Barbarian Prince, Cal Arath, rightful heir to the throne of the Northlands Kingdom. Evil events have overtaken my Kingdom. My father, the old king, is dead - assassinated by rivals to the throne. These usurpers now hold the palace with their mercenary royal guard. My loyal body servant Ogab smuggled me into a merchant caravan to the southern border and I will travel south in search of allies and gold capable of raising an army to return me to my throne and avenge the death of my father.
Left the Merchant Caravan and headed south towards the river. While pushing through the heavy brush growing along the Tragoth, I was set upon by six enormous spiders. I valiantly fought to escape but did not manage to get away unscathed. I can feel their poison flowing through and fear that these wounds may never heal. I was forced to retreat away from the river and never gained sight of the flowing waters. It appears the Mercenary Royal Guard not looking for me this far south. I camped for the night in the countryside and trapped several rabbits for dinner.
I managed to cross the Tragoth finding an animal track that led me safely to the river's edge. Luckily for me this spring has been dry and a crossing was made easy in the shallows.
While gaining the opposite shore I was surprised by three bandits who decided that a lone traveler far from any road or farm would make an easy target. Alas, I am no match for three armed men and I was beaten unconscious. Little did they know that there was very little to loot from me. I had been carrying no gold and had only my sword and some dried meat and hard tack for travel. They lifted my sword but luckily left me with my rations and my life. After awakening, I managed to drag myself beneath a large spruce which offered a little shelter and concealment.
Spent these days resting and trying to recover from my wounds beneath the sheltering arms of the pine. The small patch of countryside provided plenty in the way of rabbit and squirrel and trapping them proved to be no challenge at all. Unfortunately it's been a week and my plans to muster an army and avenge my father have been put on hold while I've waited until I've felt strong enough to travel once again. I've found a strong, straight maple bough from which I fashioned a staff for travel and defense. Tomorrow I will set out once again.
An uneventful day of travel. Left the countryside for a forest to the southeast. Hunting was good within the forest and I spent the evening smoking a young boar I startled from the underbrush and managed to catch. It will provide several days of food for me as I travel.
Deep in the forest now. It's very quiet and peaceful. Another uneventful day of travel and with rations at the ready. I ate from my pack anxious to bed down and try to make good time tomorrow.
The forest has given way to low lying hills. I've decided to cross this area carefully since it appears a good place to set an ambush for some unwary traveler. No fire tonight and I'll eat from my stores rather than hunt and let down my guard. As the evening was setting in I saw what appeared to be wisps of smoke rising on the southern horizon. Perhaps there is a town nearby. I will strike out due south tomorrow to see.
Confounded hills got me turned around today and I don't think I made any progress at all. The steep valleys hid the sun and by mid-morning a heavy rain settled in making me lose all sense of direction. As I traveled I did manage to forage some edible greens and mushrooms to go with my dried meat for supper.
Sometime late in night the rain quit and morning broke with a glorious sunrise. It turns out that it was the town of Cumry, a rough looking town to be sure. I stepped off into the brush as I spotted a band of dwarves leaving town and headed back towards the hills I'd just left. Reaching sight of town just at dusk but not having the funds for an Inn, I managed to find a farmer who would allow me to stay the night in his barn in return for keeping wolves from getting at his livestock. Being a light sleeper I readily agreed.
Sought an audience with the mayor but my request was refused. My good host of the night before offered me another night's stay with the same conditions. At least there is some hospitality in this god forsaken land.
Again refused an audience. I spent the evening having discussions with my friend the farmer and doing what little I could to help him. He revealed that Cumry is the only town within a weeks travel in any direction and that I should consider trying to gain an audience once more before moving on. He even offered me a share of his dinner. Of course I couldn't refuse.
My third day's travel to the town hall I meet the same guards that I've come in contact with each other day. They've gone from polite but distant on our first meeting to downright hostile. One pulls his sword in an attempt to frighten me off. I heft my staff. The first guard's strike goes wide while the second catches me with a glancing blow to the side. Two more good hits from the guards and I realize that I'd better escape while I still have a chance. Slipping out of town with the sounds of alarm being raised by the guards I cross a nearby stream and bed down in the nearby countryside to tend my wounds.
Time is fleeting and I can feel my chance at revenge slipping by but my body needs rest. Hunting is plentiful. At least something is going right for me.
Knowing my trail still may not be cold and finally feeling fit for travel, I head away from town and into the nearby mountains. My farmer friend told me of a temple far to the west and another to the south where perhaps my story would not fall upon deaf ears.
Spent the day trying to find a passage through the mountains. I've only a couple days of food and hopefully I can make it through these mountains tomorrow to some decent hunting grounds.
Found my way free of the mountains into a lush valley. Good hunting but not much else.
Due south puts me right back into the mountains again where I came across a temple hidden deep within the rocks. The Guardians regard me with some suspicion but allow me entry to the temple for the night.
Although this order appears to have little contact with the outside I spend the day seeking news. The members of the order make me feel at home but alas, I learn nothing of interest.
I decide to try for an audience with the head of this temple. With my current run of luck, the refusals come as no surprise.
I decided to move on but once again I've had difficulty traveling through the mountains and have made little if no progress. Ate the last of my rations. I need to escape these mountains soon.
Very hungry, no food, still lost in mountains. I've stuck a strip of leather in my mouth for want of food to chew on.
Broke free of the mountains and into a glorious valley. Very weak, but managed to forage some berries and roots.
I finally recovered from my fast, regained most of my strength and I've a good store of food for travel. I caught glimpses a forest to the southwest and my wish to put some distance between myself and these hellish mountains at my back has decided me to head in that direction.
Deep forest has hidden that place of past trial from me. Travel is easy and underbrush is light. The trunks of the old giants are blackened as if a fire raced through at the forest floor but left these massive trees virtually unharmed. Curious.
Everything looks agonizingly familiar this evening as I bed down. Am I still headed in the right direction? Very little sun manages to break the endless canopy above me.
Moving through the seemingly endless forest I encountered a Halfling. Like many of his kind, he was long winded but short of substance. Although he made me an offer to accompany me for 2 gold pieces per day, I explained that I had no gold to offer. He politely excused himself and slipped off deeper into the forest.
The forest finally gave way to gently rolling meadows. In the distance I can see a town and I should make it there tomorrow.
Passing through the nearby farmlands on my way into town I meet a merchant. The merchant mentions cave tombs nearby and still having no gold to my name I decide that I've more need of it than the dead. Delving deep within the earth I see a glow and upon entering the main burial chamber I'm confronted by the wraiths of three long dead swordsmen. A slash to the shoulder and blow to the chest dealt in rapid succession convince me that even in death these swordsmen are more than a match for any man. I beat a hasty retreat into town.
Sought an audience with the local Lord. I was refused the first day but granted he me an audience the next. He listened to my story but a stony reception and curt response tells me not to expect any help from him at this time. He did inform me that I was just four day's travel from Huldra Castle and that perhaps the King there could assist me in regaining my lost throne. The King of Huldra was an ally to my father so I'll head south tomorrow to see if I can gain an audience there. The Lord has warned me that Bandits have been raiding the road from here to Huldra but what choice do I have? Time is running short.
- Last edited Wed Jun 6, 2007 9:52 pm (Total Number of Edits: 2)
- Posted Wed Jun 6, 2007 12:00 am
Nicely done and a very good read