Sugnir's journeybook

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132nd day of Summer, outside the village of Sirroch, south of the Forbiddance

I’d not heard o’ them fer almost three days now.

Simid and the rest’d been gone fer too long, but I would’na go after them ‘til the end of the day. As we agreed.

Dunno what happen’d. Simid said that at least he knew these people from Sirroch, from sum time way back when. Missing kids, their problem was. Can’t believe I’m flyin’ this boat, carryin’ this bunch of freaks, so they can go after the local pedophile, for some miserable coin, bread and beef.


Well, bored as I was, what happen’ next sure brought sum rush back into my veins. So here I was, right, cooking meself sumtin’ using them firerods (sure beats the smoke of a campfire), then the night comes. Not any night, no, darker night. Must’ve been what we’d been seein’ from afar, from the Forbiddance. Simid and a couple of the bunch ran into it once, barely came out alive.

Sprang to ma feet, started the boat, straight up. Already I could start seein’ stuff moving, weird shadows that really weren’t stickin' to anything for a source.

The night caught up to me, and ya know those jitters you have, when yer still a lil’ runt and afraid to go down that corridor that ain’t lit? Well, make it ten of that, and then some. Like a plunge into a cold bath of freakin’ out. Watch out if ye ever run into it.


Took me a few moments to get to ma feet, and hold the helm again, to get away from it. In this pitch dark (yes, I couldn'a even see the moon or stars), nobody would spot me anyway, so off I went. I could hear movement comin' from the north, in the direction the darkness came from. Growlin’, tortured screams. Like someone was drivin’ forward an army of torture prisoners.

I finally came out of it, broke the surface like gaspin’ fer air, and it felt amazin’ to feel the normal night again. I drove off a bit more, this time lower to the ground. The dark boundary didn’t move any further.

But I wasn’t alone. On the right deck, there was a shadow that belonged to no’one. As if someone should’a be standing there, but wasn’t. The thing snaked across the floorin’, towards me. I was ready, and I dodged it, reachin’ fer my silver knife. Sylrah had told us that these things have no luv fer it.

I stabbed the bastard good, but not before it brushed against me: I tell ya mate, it’s nasty. As if you are bein’ stabbed by a million needles, and feels cold. Me hand trembled and I lost some feelin'.

I stabbed again a few times, twisted it, until it finally gave off a screech and seemin'ly just vanished in thin air. I sat and licked me wound, waitin' fer dawn. Dangit, I hope those guys are OK.

I’ll camp back at the waiting spot once this clears.


133rd day of Summer, sailing towards Rhimin

We might be in some deep shit. Simid, the knowledge-elf, the trigger-happy elf and treeboy got themselves snatched by Milesians. Our disguises are generally OK as long as we don’ raise suspicions. Especially in this middle-of-nowhere village.

Borin and the nomad man escaped, and came back with a rescue group. They got nothin’ for their trouble but getting’ themselves into the shadow world, limpin’ out of there only to find that our prisoners were taken to the Dawnhills camp. Oh, I don’t want to be in their place when they get there.


The worst bit is, the Mils might still be pissed off we took one of their airships. They don’ know who did it, but they’re lookin’ fer it… And one of them bastards got away, at least, one of them magician-types. Milesians might be workin’ off sort of description that guy gave them, as well. If that's true, we're never gonna get rid of them.

The rigfennid in’t gonna be happy about this. Too much of a risk. I know he had sum’ sort o’ special plan in taking the freaks into the Company, dunno why, though. His favoritism is gonna go poof in the air when he learns about this. Word gets out that the Company of Machan stole a Milesian airship, and we’re involved with elfs and boggers, we’ll be in trouble for a long time. At best, we’re gonna be kicked out of every Man settlement in our region of the Fringe, at worst we’ll have Milesians on our tail, for as long as they have that bug up their ass. Dunno how this gonna play out, but if dent becomes crack, those guys might hav' to take a bullet for us. The rigfennid would go political on them and make up a phony story to deny our involvement, leavin' them to rot.

We’re going back to the outer camp in Rhimin. Wolfburn is in charge there. Something tells me this whole thing might not go down well.



176th day of summer, banks of the river Oghmos, sailing towards Dam Geata

Trouble has been brewing over in the Crimswoods. Milesians are throwing hissy fits. Wolfburn has put a bit group on the move for a contract with Crimiss, and shifted us over to The Lion’s strike force. Now he’s sending us south, with a large group of elfen warriors to deal with a strange storm coming out of the Bullspine. Whole villages trampled over.

Marah and Bharbo went sent out with another two guys to the west edge of the Crimswood, to deal with some infestation of something.


Feels strange, too many things happening at once. The Day of the Dead is not far away, and I’d wish to be locked in, next to a warm fire by then, if that’s possible. We’ve got no priests of ours out here, and I absolutely trust none of Men’s hocus pocus bullsh*t.


180th day of summer, banks of the river Oghmos, sailing towards Rhimin

I’m getting more unsure if I’m cut out for this.

Spirits stampeding out of the mountains by the hundreds, small, large, made of air, earth or just little creatures…. That’s just a bit too much. We can’t fight this. That’s not our job. Whole villages reduced to dust. People in their way are eaten or trampled. Or worse. We lost three people. I saw Painter kill spirits with explosive spells. I never saw him be that aggressive. The Hringhorn is flying tilted, we took a big hit. It’s going to take a while to repair.

And the stampede is still moving north. If it smashes into Rhimin, it’s going to be a slaugtherfest. Every refugee from forty miles around is holed up there.

....................................

We’re back to camp. Marah, Bharbo and the others were back, but things took a turn for the worse: they are either possessed, cursed, or both. I don’t know anymore. They brought with them these weird lanterns, which were a gift of some prophet or another. Supposedly helps them from going homicidal.

I’m not gonna pretend to understand. I’ll leave it for Sandman to take care, but my vote would be to lock them up for now.


181st day of summer, Rhimin

Some of our cursed have left, headed again for this little village at the edge of Forbiddance. The others took a turn for the worse, and we had to restrain them. Turns out their curse can only be lifted if they return something that was stolen, and the person that has it is there in that village. Even worse, the person is called The Shackler, a magician, which I’m sure they’re not ready for at all. I’m pretty sure I won’t be seeing them again.

Everyone is now taking strategic positions and placing landmines and terrain diversions in the path of the Spirits.

..................

The Rigfennid has arrived, and orders started flying. First thing he does when he hears what happened to the cursed, he immediately gets Sandman to scry on them, then immediately teleport to help them, taking Bharbo with him. I overheard he wants this ‘Shackler’ character captured alive, with all priority.

I’ve known Rigfennid MacDára for a while, and this stinks. But doesn’t really surprise me.


1st day of winter, Rhimin

The words I write now might be the last. I don’t know how long we will last, but now I’m really convinced the world is going to end. At the midnight of Samhain, the sky parted to show a black moon falling towards the ground. It was huge. I’ve never felt that much fear in my life. I could swear the temperature plunged at that point. My tears froze.

If that wasn’t enough, when we thought we would be crushed, the sun rose (at midnight!) and bright beams of light slammed against the side of the Black Moon. Fragments scattered everywhere, some of them as big as mountains. The debris is still falling right now. Some of the big ones threw up huge clouds of dust, so we can’t see the sky now.

The spirit stampede went right past Rhimin, towards the Forbiddance. That was their target as it turns out.

Sandman and the others returned just now, dragging the unconscious Shackler with them. The man looked horrible, like a mangy old starved dog, covered in arcane tattoos. I have no idea why the Rigfennid wants him, but it might not even matter now.


The Black Moon drifted away, but it’s still there. We’re holing up in Rhimin for the winter, along with most people in the region. It’s bursting by the seams. This isn’t going to work out for long. I’m sure these are the last of our days.