Journal of Curiosities and Wonders
Finally a chance to put this journal that Glasha gave me to use! I know she meant it for tracking new formulations, but recording my adventures beyond the desert villages seems far more useful. So glad that band of plains people came through and invited me on their adventure - it's sure to bring me closer to Memona!
My fellow travelers are a fascinating lot. Much less couth than those I'm used to. Should be interesting to observe. And so many chances to practice my potions!
Slaves, how captivating! (I know, I couldn't resist) I've heard of this form of economy but never encountered it. Seems mostly encouraged by so-called “gods” that are but a distorted veil of Memona. Should be interesting!
I'll say this, I've had plenty of chances to practice formulating healing draughts thanks to the interactions between slaves and captors. Seems a waste to treat other sentients so, but I'm sure things will look up for them yet!
Well, maybe not for all the slaves… Xugug is so wasteful. Quite the study in brutish stereotypes I thought our people had outgrown. I hope that girl will be okay – I think we had a really good talk, I'll do my best to keep an eye out for her!
Really, so many of the others on this ship are sooooooo boring. Such feral follies seem beneath us. But so many of the slaves… now THEY are engrossing! Such a variety of species! I may even be making a friend with one (for some reason most don't want to talk to me), though Xugug doesn't like us conversing with the “filthy mongrels”. (I keep telling him letting them bath would clean that filth right up… I mean, really.) We must be quite the sight, she's about half my size! Should have plenty of stories to tell too, if we can get a chance away from snooping ears.
Xugug really is the worst – it's quite fascinating seeing how surly he can get, though it's an experiment I'm finding best observed from a distance. I mean, “toss half of them overboard to teach the rest a lesson”?! Thankfully I was able to slip a little something extra in his evening elixir to put him to sleep before he could act on his plan – should aid in his forgetting it too. Useful concoction, that… I feel one step closer to Memona after that discovery!
Shore leave tomorrow! So exciting, finally a completely new land to experience. The ship has been interesting, but I'm ready for a steady horizon. The refreshing shore air should do some good for everyone's lungs too. I even hear there may be… trees?! I wonder what I can whip up with some of these “leaves” I've read about?
By Memona's flasks, this looks to be an auspicious day! I get a chance to participate in subterfuge and rebellion, thanks to my friend Maebh! Not that I was a hard sell – after all, sending these poor beings into the battlefield just seems so… wasteful. Oh, and cruel too. There's that as well. Now off to put some guards to sleep!
Well that didn't quite work out… I'm sure the herbs Maebh somehow found are the right ones for the potion, but clearly the goddess wasn't smiling at the time. I did get to have a fascinating chat with one of the other slaves though – the furry-tailed one. She's a disciple too! Well, she probably doesn't call herself one, but as Glasha always taught me, “Serving the mask is serving the wearer.” And some fascinating insights on mixing techniques! I suppose I should put down the pen and actually give them a try, I imagine rebellions are best kicked off under the cover of darkness and dawn will be encroaching soon.
So much to record, this night deserves its own entry!
- Memona loved my second offering – those guards conked out right away!
- Xugug – definitely the worst. The worst at holding on to slaves, that is. Ha! Just wish I could have practiced my brawling using his nose a bit more.
- Forests – enthralling!!! So many different plants from back home, I don't know where to begin.
- It always helps to be the person who runs the dog training - good to know how they operate when they're after you
- Firia (that's my furry friend's name, I found out!) is so good at hiding!
- It takes a lot of mud to cover me. The squishy feeling is rather intoxicating though.
- Maebh is quite light – and seemed to enjoy such a high view from on top of my shoulders. Interesting to hear her observations about a new vantage point! Pity about that one tree branch though - I guess she doesn't find encounters with foliage as thrilling as I do.
- Brenna sure is quiet – the excitement doesn't seem to have cheered her up yet. Must keep working on it – Maebh seems to agree!
- Forest caves are quite a different ecosystem from the desertclaw lairs back home. Much damper, and less bones strewn about. Should be better for sleeping in too.
A wealth of conversational experience today! First with the orcs tracking us – I fooled them good! That Taug guy seems interesting – not at all like the others from the ships. I guess it takes all kinds to run an invasion. Intellect won the day again though, I don't think he had any idea I was lying just to throw him & his clan off course. Invigorating!
And then to come back and find Maebh and Brenna hugging – sorry I missed that experience! Perhaps I'll have to initiate sometime. And Brenna's an elf, who knew?! I need to hone my observational skills further it seems, though to be fair her features are VERY well hidden beneath the grime.
Lastly, a less-successful chat. Well, at least on my part – if only that logger could see that I'm not one of THOSE orcs! Still, Maebh handled the conversation well, and it was illuminating to watch her converse. I think the peasant did start to warm up to me at the end though; when I grinned at him he started talking real quick!
And now we're resting in an abandoned building in the newly-conquered town of… drat, I know I scribbled it on my arm somewhere. Ah, “Smallwater”! Such an intriguingly-banal naming system. And quite handy that so many items useful to my new companions were just lying around in this building; the goddess has been busy it seems!
My watch is about up now though, time to put away the journal and sleep if I can.
Quick thoughts before we hit the road:
- The sensation of washing off caked-on mud from one's body – lovely!
- Sounds like we're off to “Sutley Fort” – which is, I'm guessing… a fort. These humans and their names! Still, I've never tried to stop an invasion before. Seems dangerous, but “the road to Memona is shod with risk”.
- I really think I'm getting better at talking with humans… Firia and I asked some for some tools, and they seemed quite agreeable once I turned on the charm! Still, I felt bad about putting them out like that, so 10 copper seemed the charitable thing to do.
- Brenna really likes beets it seems… they are quite intriguing, admittedly. I didn't know one could stuff so much flora into one's clothes, and the farmer never even noticed!
- “Mambir” people – can't wait to meet them, I'm sure they have lots of new insights to offer. Hopefully they're more civil than the likes of Xugug – I'm sure most sentients are though.
- I still think taking the bridge would have been simpler, but I'm willing to try this “democracy” thing I've read about
Good thing I was diligent with sparring practice while on the ship! One minute you can be making supper, arm-deep in a horse (not a euphemism), and the next your arm can be deep in a wolf's maw. How rude! I know they're just doing what wolves do, but then I just had to do what orcs do. Way of nature and whatnot.
Brenna… excuse me, Elesandra!… seemed captivated by the ability to study the interior of a feral canine. At least I assume that's why she was staring at me so hard. Seems like a spark might be stirring in her (much like the one she lit in the wolf's skull, hah!); she definitely seems a bit less hesitant today.
Firia… hmm. “Magic”, it seems. That or an extremely coincidental & rapid onset of foliage growth. Jury's still out on that one, all the lifeforms here are new to me. Interesting that a disciple would claim that path though – reinforces the notion of being an unwitting one, certainly. Not unwitful, mind you – she's definitely not that! Just perhaps unversed in the full value of science over capricious “magic”. Still… worth keeping an eye on, plenty to discern from her abilities regardless I'd wager.
And I must say I enjoy a good rhythm to fight to, thanks to Maebh! Really gets the blood pumping (just ask that wolf, hah again!). Maybe she can teach me a chorus or too? Mum always said I had “quite the voice”!
Suppose I should wash this blood off my face before bed. Wouldn't want tusk-rot to set in. Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings at this rate!