Ranliss Day 1
This small booklet is only slightly too big to fit in a coat pocket. The covers are cheap wood, sturdy enough to be a traveler’s journal, and the pages are rough parchment. Water stains on the edges of the pages suggest that the owner takes the journal with him everywhere.
Today has been more than a little unusual. Sylvir and I have been staying at an inn between jobs, and we had decided to take a break from the constant excitement of risking life and limb. Excitement seems to have found us, however. A young woman got into trouble at one of the card tables in the common room of the tavern. Judging from the shouted accusations, she was cheating. Sylvir got involved, using her magic to defend the young woman, which of course means that I had to get involved to defend Sylvir. No one was seriously injured, thankfully. I doubt the City Watch would take kindly to outsiders cutting up the locals, and no one could really blame me for disarming a man wielding a broken bottle, even if I did so by shattering the bottle further, resulting in a bloody hand on the part of the thuggish fool. A parry at the hilt seems to work even better against bottles than against swords.
The rather dramatic tableau of swordsman, witch, and cheat against several thick-necked lowlifes was interrupted by a man looking to hire adventurers on behalf of his employer. He had a good enough eye for talent to recognize experts when he saw them; he had witnessed impressive feats of legerdemain the woman, a thief by the name of Belladonna, and having seen her at work now, I am impressed by his keen eye. Sylvir’s talents for arctic spellcraft are obvious enough, and he even recognized a stop hit when I used the technique. Our newly-acquired benefactor seems to have a gift for hiring extremely competent help.
I seem to be getting ahead of myself. We have been hired by a merchant by the name of Thorgrim Okrisson, a rather charming dwarf, who wishes us to rid a nearby mine of the creatures currently inhabiting it. In addition to Sylvir and myself, he is also securing the services of Belladonna, the card-cheat, to serve as the party’s thief. She assures us that she is capable of opening locks and disarming traps, and given her skill with sleight of hand, I am inclined to believe her. Our healer is a dour hobgoblin named Doruk War-Bringer, some sort of battle priest from the hobgoblin settlement at the Twin Shields fortress. I have not been there, but from what I hear, the residents of the stronghold are superb warriors. Joining me in the role of melee warriors is the largest human I have ever met, a fellow called Lug. The scar along his forehead makes it obvious why he speaks the way he does; I fear that he has had his brains scrambled. However, he is a rather friendly sort, and given that he has to be at least five stone heavier and a full head taller than the largest warrior I’ve ever faced, I predict that he will do the job perfectly well.
Our payment is to be in silver bars as well as a selection of armaments from Mr. Okrisson’s personal collection. I have my eye on a sword I spied in a display case. The maker’s mark identifies the swordsmith as none other than Tahlnah Cyread, the legendary duelist-turned-smith. Even if the blade is one of his earlier, less-exquisite pieces, it will certainly be far superior to anything I have ever carried.