The Girl in Glass
Point of View Misrael al Halladun
North to Old Torrytop
Although it saddened me to say goodbye to all the wonderful people at the Moonlight Starling Inn we finally had to take our leave of beautiful Lelda’ga. I’ll remember the singing of the birds fondly as we continue our travels. We don’t have many birds in the desert southlands and I’m continuously amazed at their glorious plumage and musical song.
The Orcs seem to value them extremely highly as many of the tribes are named after various species. Horus seems to despise the birds even though he is an Orc whose homeland is the Five Nations. Perhaps he has bad memories as have I of my own birthright.
The ponies were well cared for and eager to take to the road as we headed north. The journey proved uneventful as we spotted several small farmsteads the first day but did not stop to visit with anyone. The next afternoon we came across a field of green tended by a human and his rather odd looking son and we decided to stop for the day when he invited us to join his family.
Lerno’s wife turned out to be a beautifully furred full blood Gnoll girl of vital spirit and energy. Lerno told us he rescued the girl after was kidnapped by a rival tribe during his days as an adventurer and she was bequeathed to him as a prize. At the time she was only a girl and the human warrior set her up in a house and continued his adventuring for years. Eventually they fell in love and now they have three of the cutest little half-breed children I’ve ever seen!
The entire story reminded me of little Ashmia who we rescued from her vile mother at the Golden Apple Eatery. The girl did seem to develop a bit of a crush on me but I don’t know what has happened to her. I wonder if something like that could ever happen to she and I? She was attractive in an emaciated, wasted, haunted, three quarters dead sort of way.
At dinner that night Lerno mentioned that the local creek where they get their water supply was recently overrun by large ants. He wondered if we might stop by and try to rid the area of the infestation. Naturally we all agreed to the excitement and went to bed on the comfortable straw in Lerno’s barn filled with anticipation.
The next morning we headed in the direction indicated by the farmer and quickly spotted a long line of ants marching hither and yon along the narrow creek.
While we were discussing the best way to approach the swarming beasts, impulsive young Azraim rushed forward for a closer look and stirred up the creatures.
What happened next is rather difficult for me to describe as we were suddenly inundated by ants from ground and air. A drone of the species buzzed by and stung me a terribly painful blow which continued to burn for many moments. By the time I recovered, the group was scattered over the field of battle each in their own fight. Rhia and Misrael were surrounded and even the Priest of Davim found himself in hand to hand struggles.
The warriors of the species grabbed with powerful mandibles and then stung their so captured prey making it impossible for us to retreat in good order or form up in battle. The battle seemed to last forever and two occasions Rhia went down under a swarm of the creatures only to be revived by a timely spell from Josephus. For a few moments I thought this might well be the ignominious end of our noble company but eventually the creatures stopped pouring out from the surrounding countryside and we took the upper hand.
Back at the Farm
Little Rambledon scavenged some of the acid from the ants and then we headed back to the farm to report our victory to waiting family. The vivacious Teruf baked us a special Strawberry Pie and claimed it had healing properties! With that we bid our farewells to the wonderful little family and headed north.
Another couple of days of travel found us at the site of the old ruin and scouting around we heard singing from a creek that meandered nearby. It turned out to be none other than Jellybean the jolly dwarf we met at the Golden Apple what seems like years ago but was just over a month gone by. He claimed to be in Gnoll territory on an iron trading mission but revealed readily enough that he was scouting the region for his masters in Felhelm because the Gnolls might be plotting for war!
Jellybean said that he was here to meet with a High Priest of the Gnolls in order to carry out trade. The dwarf invited us to join him in attending some sort of religious ceremony the Gnolls planned to have at the old ruin. We readily agreed and the next morning we followed him to the meeting where he seemed to negotiate easily enough with a warrior type and a spectacularly bedecked priest and we were invited to witness the ceremony that afternoon.
I can hardly wait. I’ve heard the Gnolls worship Demons! Josephus expressed concern that the ceremony might involve some sort of human sacrifice but Jellybean told us it was nothing of the sort although did warn us to remain silent and not interrupt for any reason.
I’ve had more fun in this last two months than I ever dreamed possible and it looks like it is just going to continue to get more and more exciting!