The Green Eye of the Forest

Rekel's Recollections - Part 1

I like my job. It takes me to interesting places, pays well, I meet interesting people. Some more interesting than others. My boss is reasonable, I am not an idiot, I know some of his dealings are not on the level but I’ve never had to do anything really bad. In fact he has even paid me out of his own pocket to protect the town from time to time, killing goblins and the like. Mostly though, what I am is a courier. I take messages and packages to nearby towns and sometimes return with other messages and packages. Sometimes the people I bring them from don’t know that they are missing. All part of the job, what I have been trained and equipped to do. And the thing is, without sounding too full of myself, I am good at it.
Now, that part about interesting people. There are a few I met the other day in Almas, a strange crew to say the least. It all started when I spotted a familiar face in the stocks. It was a former townie named Kristoff Wilton. They were calling him traitor and the like so I didn’t really want to associate with him then and there but soon he was released. I followed him and after disappearing into a barracks for a bit he went to a nearby inn. As my current job seemed to be a wash with the noble I was to deliver a package to in jail on some fairly serious charges I decided to spend some time in town while I figured it out. Turns out I was on the right track. So I go up to Wilton and introduce myself, buy him a drink, read the orders he was carrying, put them back in his pocket, talk about old times. I told him that his brother had joined up as well but that seemed to upset him quite badly. Maybe he was afraid of his brother hearing that he was a suspected traitor. Soon enough a beautiful woman paladin (angel? I don’t know, I don’t even usually go for the human type but she was definitely more) comes up to the table and says that she is to take Wilton on a mission. I took the opportunity to ask about my imprisoned noble contact and she took me right to the jail to see him, even bought the poor bastard a meal. Though from what I hear he hardly deserved it. Anyway we go to the prison and I left the package outside with the paladin (Elsbet Oathae apparently) while I went inside to talk to the former Lord Renton Talladus. He insisted that I bring the package to him even though the guards would have to inspect it so I complied. The guards were rather bemused that I was bringing him a teddy bear but they allowed me to bring it to him alone which was perfect. Talladus pulled a message out of it and told me a story about his friend Hestner in Bellis who used to love his aunts chocolates and how there might still be some in his stove at his estate " where the coals glow". The man was so obvious I’m surprised the guards didn’t beat me to it. I rejoined Elsbet and Kristoff outside and inquired about a place to stay. We the liberation party not looking like it was ending anytime soon all of the inns seemed to be full. Elsbet offered me a place to sleep at the Temple of Iomedae so I took her up on it. You just don’t turn a girl like that down. First though I had to go pick up some chocolates…
or uncut diamonds as it turned out, huge ones. In a neatly trapped little door in the back of the stove in the burnt ruins of Talladus’ mansion. Mission accomplished.
The next day I wandered out into the courtyard of the temple to see Elsbet practicing her sword work. She was strong but slow, so I offered a bit of sparring. I beat her 3-0 but if she had been in her armor my blows would have been pointless, and I certainly wouldn’t want to get hit by that greatsword she carries. Just then Kristoff arrived with a very scary looking pair, when I said interesting some are just downright ugly. The man was very tall and seemed to have metal gauntlets that went all the way up his arms, and only one eye. The woman was a Tiefling, I haven’t seen many before and I am not sad about that. Frightening bastards. Kristoff mentioned that they were off to Bellis before they dragged him off to a secret meeting. I thought about listening in but figured I probably didn’t need to. I would learn soon enough. When they returned Elsbet asked me if I wanted to travel with Kristoff and herself as far as Fusil. It seemed like a good idea so I took her up on it. The man referred to as The Major and the Tiefling left and we prepared to leave. Kristoff was even going to restitution a horse for me to ride back so I went off with him to help. When we got back to the temple to meet Elsbet the Tiefling woman rode up fast and said she was coming with us as far as Fusil. She makes me uneasy (though not as uneasy as she seems to make Eslbet but I suppose that is understandable) but I wasn’t really in a position to deny her. So off we set on the road with Lt. Leona.
One thing of note, in the city were wanted posters for my employer. Not entirely surprising in itself but the crimes were arson and inciting a riot which was strange. They listed his name as Jorus the Grey Fox aka Charles Montague. The Charles Montague part was new to me.
Back to our trip we traveled up the road through the various little towns. Leona seemed intrigued by me, why her and not the other one just seems to be my luck. She asked me a lot of questions about Fusil and what I did there. I told her that I work for an antiques dealer named Smith Bros., fortunately Kristoff seemed so wrapped up in his own thoughts that he didn’t say anything. She also asked me about a group of Kitsune living nearby which is ominous but I didn’t give it much of a response. She did seem to open up a bit when I asked her about her own upbringing and sympathized with her about her childhood as some sort of slave/gladiator. It honestly did sound pretty brutal. Kristoff is acting strangely, he stops like he is listening sometimes and even responds occasionally to nothing anyone else can hear. He grips the hilt of his strange sword when he does it, I don’t even think he notices himself doing that.
About half way there we were warned of a pass on our way that was supposedly haunted. When we went through Kristoff spotted a body floating face down in the lake. I assumed it was a corpse but he jumped in and started swimming while I was getting the rope ready. As he neared the corpse it started to move towards him, and four others joined it. I threw the rope out to him and tried to pull him back to shore but wasn’t quite strong enough. Then I remembered the horse, I tied the rope to the saddle and gave it a whack. That got him to shore in a hurry but the things were still on him. Leona picked one off with her crossbow and Elsbet rode up and started fighting some of the others. I killed the one going after Kristoff but not before it had bit him on the ankle. We dragged the bodies further up shore and burned them before moving on. That night Kristoff took a fever and started raving about betrayal. In the morning he seemed much better so we carried on.

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