The Lost Seekers

Baldrin's Journal Entry #8

Bearowl tastes a bit like beef and chicken....

Quick one for the day, off to see Patty. So, If my plans for the future aren’t too far off the mark, the last memory I leave you will be of me and Patty going into her cottage for some engagement celebrating that involved an awful lot of champagne. I know it seems odd to be despairing and then ask someone to marry you, but I cant bear to lose anyone, and if I lose her again I want to know I made a go of it first. So, this small aside is a story that happened a few days after my last memory to you. While it seems inconsequential, its had me up thinking for the better part of a week. So some context.

I awoke with Patty to some banging on the door. Turns out Alara Silverwing, the wife of the shopkeep Samuel Silverwing had been murdered in the evening. Torn apart actually. Left in a field outside of town like a piece of discarded meat. Another tragedy to befall my home because of this ruddy war down south. See, there’s a bunch of right twats making a stir in the south trying to claw a part of the league out from under us, so the parliament sent all it had south to protect them. An that meant no one was left in the countryside to protect the poor locals. An Alara paid for it. So, with my fellows in tow, we went to find the beast that had attacked her, hoping to make Little Tipping as safe as we could. Lysander an his pup must be practicing the tracking, couse the little Wolf managed to find the den of this beast with very effort. So, set into a cliff was a small cave. Inside the cave rested the beast. An there was us, a faithful band of adventurers. Well, us and Thamior an Patty. Thamior seems pretty tough for a gem cutter. Probably a good thing since it seems he is intent on leaving the Smith to search for a way to bring his children back from the dead. Seems a noble enough goal to me, since we share it.

Anyway, you be curious about the beast. Well, so were i. Except Patty was there, and I had already seen her die once in the past year. Not again I tell myself every night as I dream of that event, and here it was, possibly happening again. Ya see, Patty is a strong willed lass. Hell, she’s stronger willed than I be, by a very great margin. Nigh unshakeable, and stubborn to boot. If ye tell er one thing, she will undoubtably do its opposite a split second latter, so I had no choice but to bring her along. An that gave me a right dilemma, which I solved by staying directly in front of her as we moved in to the cave. What, ye expect me to argue with that hell beast Ade, you mad. No, she had decided she was coming an that was final. So, I simply made sure nothing else got to her. As we moved into the dark of the cave with nothing but thamior’s torch, I felt a pang of regret about bringing her. I cant let her come when I leave Ade, I know she’ll pitch a fit, but I cant handle it. So, as we moved into the dark, we could smell the foul beasts stench. It was overpowering, and spread about us like some foul miasma. Smelled of old socks and rotting meat. Just rank, I tell ya now Ade. As we moved further into the cave, we could hear the breathing of some large thing ahead of us. As we came closer to the end of the cave, the breathing grew louder. Like the beat of a drum, or the pounding of a giants footsteps. As we got closer, I couldn’t tell if it were the beast or my own heart I heard, but by all the gods it was loud. As we came out into an opening in the cave, we heard the beast first. The cave itself were covered in bones and rotting meat, with the blood smeared over the walls and pieces of bone and gore stuck to the roof. It was like a scene out of some demented hellspawns dreams it were. An at the heart of it crouched a giant thing. Big as a bear, but with the head of an owl.

I know, right. Sounds ruddy stupid to me. When you go into a cave you expect a bear, or a hell beast. A bear owl though, that definitely aint something you expect. It’d be like if you went into a chest of treasure, only to have it eat you. Just not a normal thing to expect, but I swear it be true. Obviously, the owl head was bear proportioned. Still, twas a bearowl, an make no mistake Ade, it was pissed off. It came charging in roaring, an poor Lysander an Thamior caught the brunt of the beasts charge. As I tried to wack it with my hammer, it moved and I took a chunk out of the cave instead. Even as it ambled towards Lysander to attack for a second time, an arrow from patty thudded into its haunches. As I stared, the ruddy thing brought its full attention to bear on Patty. Thamior and Endolynn threw spells at this thing as fast as they could. The dark cave suddenly lit up in an explosion of light, an as it did so I saw the beast begin to move towards my lass. I nearly froze then an there. I was between it an her, but not enough near enough to stop it. If I didn’t act, the ruddy thing would be on her in moments. It was like all of the terrifying memories of the past crashed in on me at once, and all I felt was anger. How dare this ‘thing’ look at my lass like she was lunch. How dare it even consider taking her away from me again. In a moment of intense concentration, I brought all my strength to bear on the beast and smashed it so hard it crashed into the wall and slumped to the ground. I followed it up with a second hit to the chest. The beast lay where it fell, dead as it deserved.

The rest of the day passed in a blur. Endolynn, Lysander and Thamior went to inform the farmers the beast were dead. From there they went and told poor Samuel of the beasts death. Me an Jarvan carried it back to the inn for the slaughter. I know Ade, im sure you object. I certainly know Endolynn and Thamior did. “it’s a horror Baldrin, you can’t feed it to people” and “you’ll make people sick, its an abomination” was all I could hear on the trip back to Little Tipping. Still, feed it we did. Fact is, we’re sensible folk, and sensible folk don’t waste food. The Bearowl tasted fine, an no one suffered for it. Ole Bob did a right good job of preparing it, and because of him everyone at the Smith fed well. So that was that. On a side note, youll never guess who the guinee pigs for our bearowl were. Aye, told ya, twas the Golden Swans. They be a month an a half late, but they came to help us. I appreciate it an all, but still we had to try the food on someone, and Bandabar be capable enough to fix em if they got sick. Anyway, there was still the problem of where the owl had come from.

Now, the rest of this tale takes a lighter note than the last half, but I want you to remember something. All of the following nonsense killed a lady. No matter how amusing it sounds, don’t knock the poor lasses memory just couse its funny. Ill honestly say it is amusing though. So, there has been a tower in Little Tipping for the last few months. No one knows where it came from, and no one thought to climb in and find out. Fair enough, sounds like a recipe for disaster to me, but who’s to question the Watch. So, we knocked. Seems like a likely place to find a mad wizard to me, an we knocked to find out. No front door to speak of though, so everyone decided to climb the tower. Aye, you ‘eard me, they climbed it. Four stories, possibly death on a fall, and they wanted to climb it. Personally, I wanted to knock a hole in the wall but they wouldn’t wait for me, so I stripped me armour and climbed too. Obviously I didn’t fall to my death. Still could have though, an seems a stupid risk when you have a giant hammer, but what have you.

Inside, we found a floor full of cages for wild beasts. One of them was even large enough to hold the Bearowl. There was a rather strange animal on this level too. Looked like someone had mixed a duck an rabbit together. Horrible mess really. So, the next level was a bedroom. Fair enough. Except that half the furniture and a glass of pickles were enchanted to act like angry pitbulls when someone came into the room. Seriously, a pillow nearly stuffed itself whole into Thamior’s gullet, and a grandfather clock tried to bust my skull open. They nearly succeeded to. You can see why this story is starting to have relevance. Fact is, I dunno what the world looks like in your time, but if I have anything to say about it Magic is going to be a rare and respected quality, not something insane people can just fuck the world up with. So, down the stairs some more, and guess who we found. Aye, Thalassoss the Daft. Dressed in god knows what. Acting like a loon. We can only presume that the actions of this insane wizard were a result of the clothes he was wearing. From memory, he had a single glove on, some panties and a girdle, with some form of long johns underneath. We presume the clothes were responsible since, in the course of trying to take them off Thamior blew the wizard up and, while unconscious mind you, he continued to attack us. Now, I don’t condone Thamior’s actions, and I accept that Thalassoss probably wasn’t responsible for the atrocities of the evening, but still, it was satisfying to see the ignoramous hurt. Fact is, he’s flat out irresponsible. For his crimes against Little Tipping(specifically squatting on others property) we sent him to Longspear with the Golden swans to be tried by the courts. Honestly, I expect he’ll get off. That aint the point though. I hope this has been a warning to the foolish git about the consequences of his actions, and for his sake I hope I never find him again. You may be wondering why this post seems to end so abruptly. Fact is, stripping an old man of his clothes aint something I like to think of, and the rest of the stories pretty dull. There was a cat stuffed into a cage above a vat of acid for some inane reason. An in all of the fetching it down, nothing terrible happened except I realised we should listen to Endolynn more (though that aint terrible to be honest). The watch wasn’t gonna do much with the wizard, so we sent him with the Swans. An yet, after all of this I think ive come to two very important conclusions. The first is this:

I will not suffer any irresponsible magic users to live.

I don’t say this lightly mind. Obviously im not about to start murdering people because they played a prank, but I will warn them. I don’t think I can simply pass judgment on those that I personally deem irresponsible. An yet, isn’t that what paladins do every other day. I mean, jarvin’s rules are esoteric, and mildly constrictive to all of us, but he lives by them. Other’s are locked up regularly by them, and I have no doubt that if push came to shove people would die because of them. Why are the paladins of the world capable of deciding who lives and who dies, but the rest of us aren’t. I dunno Ade, I still must think on this. However, I believe this may be a step down a road that I cannae come back from. We will see I suppose.

The other thing I decided is that I must move south, and bring this war to an end. My brother Jaquen fights even as I write this, and the war is responsible for peoples deaths, not just on the front. If I can bring it to an end sooner, then maybe more people can be saved.
So, signin off for now,
Baldrin Smithson, the stone hammer

[The following page seems to be covered in memory dust. Even as you enter into the memory, you understand that it happened in the days after the previous post of the journal]

The memory fades in on a young man with dark hair that flashes red as he moves. The light jerkin he wears shows signs of hard use, and his pants are dusty. The time of the memory is just on dawn. As the young man moves through a serious of complicated warm up moves you notice his muscles are hard, and take up the majority of his mass. His eyes are closed as he moves through a series of actions that can only be thought of as well practised. Behind him, and around him, The Smith On The Hill stands rebuilt. Not quite up to the greatness of its past, the wood of the buildings seems new and well treated. The outlying wall is complete, and wide enough to have constructs move around it. Beyond that you know is another wall. As you move your focus back to the young man, you notice him pick up a massive six foot tall stone hammer. He doesn’t seem to have noticed you watching him yet. Eyes still closed, he moves into a basic pattern where he rolls the hammer over his arm, brings it up behind him and then launches into a flurry of swings before him. As he moves, the patterns begin to get more complicated and he moves through a series of steps allowing him to ‘strike’ out in multiple directions. As you watch he moves through a number of vertical strikes and uppercuts with the hammer, punctuated with sudden stops and even more strikes with other parts of his body. As the patterns get more complicated, his face begins to contort with concentration. Over the next half an hour you watch the young man move through these routines of movement with the massive hammer. All you feel towards him is love and tolerance for all his quirks. This is your man, and no one will ever take him away from you. As you think these things, you slowly turn the ring on your finger, and think of the future.
[The memory slowly fades. At the bottom of the page is some cramped writing. As you focus on it, you can just make out the words, “a present from me to you, for my hammer. Live a strong life Ade, whoever you are”]



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