I’m writing this after I’ve settled into the small town of Relford. Apparently, the people of this area have had a spate of bad fortune as the river which once ran through the center of their town has completely dried up. The region is going through a terrible drought, and as a result, it seems as if the town itself is drying up. There are few people in the town, and the ones that are left seem to be giving up. I noticed that the merchants in the local exchange shop are preparing to leave. The others in town that run the inns or taverns, or that work as the local officials, all have a lethargic air about them. All-in-all, Master, I feel that they have given up on their town.
Everyone here speaks the language of the Captain and his wife. I suppose I will be able to learn more about their culture now, as this appears to be similar to the environment where I was raised. When I arrived in town, the local officials did not greet me, which surprised me greatly. I found a reasonable place to stay easily enough. It is a place where workers would bunk when they were away from home. The proprietor seems to be more-or-less in-charge of the town, but I think that is a defacto result rather than by any attempt to gain power by the individual. His name is Gowyn (I hope I’m spelling that correctly).
On my first day here after I settled in at my bunkhouse, I saw a suspicious person wandering about. I had noticed her on my way into town peeking out of a house, but I thought she must be a local. Instead, I see her later skulking about behind corners and acting oddly. Fortunately enough, I later found that she is a good person and an excellent fighter. She carries an odd stick that shoots flame and some sort of round balls that can kill at range. Her name is Artemis. She was wounded when we ran into a conflict, but managed the wound well, but I’ll get to that in a bit.
I met some interesting people, if one may call them that. There were two Dwarves and a Halfling traveling with them, and there’s a tall man who calls himself a half-Elf. If you were as I and unfamiliar with these races, I’ll describe them. Dwarves resemble men, but their shorter and bulkier and far harrier than any man I’ve ever seen. They both act young, but look very old. One is named Ayden and the other Torin. Ayden also seems like a priest, but he wears armor and uses a huge hammer. It was so heavy, that I could barely move it! Torin also claims to be of some religious order, but I could not tell. He spends a lot of time drinking and carousing, but he seems to be a good person nonetheless. The Halfling is even more interesting. She seems to be a very free spirit, but I would judge her a nice person as well. Physically she is even smaller than the Dwarves, but she says she is a full grown Halfling. Her name is Gilsa. Master, you would likely see her as a child of maybe ten years of age, and a small one at that, but she is older than me! The other companion I met is the half-Elf, though what a full Elf is, or what he is half of, I do not know. His name is Tavarous and he seems to be a mohotsukai. He is tall, but rather frail looking. When I first met him, he was struggling with his abundant luggage (which is probably full of magic stuff!), but he refused my offer to help. He is very handsome, but seems strange in his head. I could not figure out what he was thinking. Tavarous also has a silver wolf okami who answers his call. The okami is a very good fighter.
Oh, I almost forgot about Sumato and Danberu. They are Torin’s mules who pull his wagon, but they are sweet and intelligent. He has been letting me help feed and take care of them.
Speaking of animals, on my first day in town, there was a terrible fire at one of the largest farms in the area. The house and barn were both burned to the ground. I helped save the animals from the burning barn with Gilsa and Artemis, but we were unable to do anything about the fire. As I said, this area is under a severe drought, and there was no water to use to try to put out the fire. The locals didn’t seem to know about using sand and dirt to smother the flames, but the structures were too far gone to save, so I didn’t try to explain. It does not appear that any people died in the blaze as my companions and I failed to find any remains. Artemis and Gowyn found tracks of creatures called Orcs leaving the scene, though. We fear that the people might have been taken by these Orcs.
We followed the trail out of town through the fields and down to the river bed. Torin had brought his wagon with Sumato and Danberu, and Artemis had her horse. The couldn’t make it across the rough, dry bottom of the water course, so she tried to send them back to town. Unfortunately, none of the animals listened to her. I tried and was blessed with their understanding. Sumato and Danberu as I said are very intelligent. They knew what I asked when I whispered it to them, and they took Artemis’ horse back with them.
We continued following the tracks of the Orcs to a low set of hills south of town. Artermis and Gilsa went to scout ahead. I wanted to stay with Gilsa so I followed. They found some Orcs laying in wait to ambush passers-by and decided to ambush the ambushers. I tried to help, but Master Benkei, I did not do well. On my first fight to my eternal shame, I lost my grip on the Blue Dragon Crescent Blade and threw it. I need more practice with it. I was able to fight bare handed, but it was humiliating. I will need many long hours to meditate upon my failure. I do not believe the blade was damaged, Master. I hope you will forgive me.
We were finally able to overcome the Orcs, though they had superior numbers. I am writing this as I await my companions. I will write more as soon as I am able.