Pathfinder: Reign of Winter

Lana's Journal

Last night was the anniversary of my father’s death and being surrounded by several of my countrymen did nothing to ease the pain. It has been six months since my father was killed and Yuri falsely sold into slavery. The Mitchells testified to the Lord that Yuri owed them weregild, claiming he had cheated them in their breeding operation. The Lord accepted their claims without even giving Yuri a chance to speak in his own defense. Technically, Mitchell was named my protector until I marry, but the servant who observed the entire mess said the man’s laughter and shared mead with the lord suggested that they may as well have added “or until you kill her.” My only hope to free my brother and avenge my family will be to appeal to the Jarl, but I know neither the words to make such an appeal nor have the proof of what was done to my family.
After wandering south, Fear and I were sadly no closer to an answer until we happened upon the wizard Cyric Blackwell. The Ulfen we traveled with are not particularly helpful in my quest, though to be fair I have not shared it with them. Speaking ill of the Mitchells or the lord without proof could well end with me in chains, so I remain silent most of the time. The Ulfen seem very motivated to make money and drink. They have shown some enthusiasm for killing things, so I suppose that when we return home they may be formidable friends should our acquaintanceship become something more permanent. The wizard, on the other hand, and the gnome recently joining our company might prove to be exactly the help I need. Both seem polished and well-spoken; I suspect that with either of them speaking on my behalf I could get an audience with the Jarl’s second. Of course, then I just need proof of my allegations. My eyewitness testimony about the death of my father would be good enough to convict the assassins, but perhaps not enough to reach Mitchell and the lord. Cyric seems interested in learning more about the Jarl, so perhaps I can persuade him to help. The bard, it seems, may be the moral compass that my countrymen seem lacking.
Figuring out how to get Cyric and Nantambu to act on my behalf may take a bit of work, if the idiot Valbrand doesn’t get us all killed first. Apparently, he’s never worked as part of a team before. We were having dinner at the inn in Heldren when it became obvious the village was in an uproar about something. Our priest apparently has spent too long outside of the Thanelands and doesn’t remember how to keep from snooping. He discovered a noblewoman’s entourage had been attacked, leaving a single survivor to make it to the village. With the town ill-equipped to find the bandits that kidnapped the noble woman, or possibly because of the hint of a reward should we rescue the missing lady, we agreed to investigate the attack. Nantambu pointed out that there was likely only an uproar because it was a noble and that the road was often a dangerous place, but I suspect no one was listening. The other Ulfen in the party seem greatly motivated by the thought of reward, except Valbrand who seems to want to kill whatever he encounters. That may be why he walks with a limp, slowing us down every step of the way. For not the first time in my journey, I missed Baxter as we trudged through the cold forest to the spot of the ambush.
The fact that the forest is cold this close to Erastus and midsummer makes me worry for the future of this village. I suspect their crops will be poor this year, should the plants even make it to harvest. The cold seems guaranteed to be magical in origin, though most of my companions have simply shrugged and wrapped their winter cloaks a bit tighter. It is, I suppose, the practicality of our people. If it is cold, you handle it. Life does not stop for winter. When we arrived at the ambush site, it was clear unnatural cold magics had been used there. The corpse that had been frozen solid after being looted made that clear. And not for the first time, I suspected Valbrand might indeed get us all killed. I felt the presence of the unnatural, in the form of undeath, emanating from the carriage which was wedged closed with a spear. Cyric and Nantambu began to offer up a plan for addressing the issue with the least danger to our companions, but Valbrand rushed forward, pulled out the spear and freed the creatures within. Once they were dispatched and the area searched for clues and riches, we followed the trail to attempt to rescue the lady.
The bandits left a trail a child could follow and perhaps they meant to, leading us to a clearing with a deadfall trap. Thankfully, even my bumbling companions recognized it for what it was and were able to disable it. We spent the night in the clearing before heading on to the forest where we were assaulted by ice sprites. After the priest tried to light the forest on fire (thank Deadeye for the snow!) and my bow proved less than useful against the mischievous little bastards, we eventually captured one and questioned it, discovering that the local guardians of the woods had been killed and their camp taken over by an ice mephit and some brand of troll who lead the bandits. I long even more for my horse and for companions whose plan is more than charge into battle and burn everything to the ground.

Comments

Alright, I’ll say +50xp (50 x lvl). Nice job :)

Lana's Journal
robosnake Moonshadow68

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