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Author Topic: Bryald’s Journal – Part 2, The Journey up the Ishensa  (Read 1613 times)
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Spell Energy / Taint +12/-3
Posts: 715

« on: September 10, 2009, 04:26:42 PM »

The first few days of our march up the river have been uneventful. We follow in the footsteps of countless thousands of soldiers that have made the same march for the past Age. With the wagons to carry our heavy gear, we make an easy pace from just after sunup to just before nightfall. Fortunately, traffic on the road is light as it’s not yet harvest. The Sergeant says we’ll be in spitting distance of the Ishensa Gates before the crops come in. I feel a little foolish that I didn’t realize that the formation of new companies and the rotation to the Wall is timed to occur just after planting and just before the harvest. Looking around the company, I wonder how many have been sent by their families to the Wall so the king can feed them when they aren’t needed on the farm? 

Each night, we camp at well-marked rest areas, many of which are paved and have functioning wells. The local tradesmen and Ishensa bargemen also use the sites, which is probably why they remain in such good repair. The last rest stop had a small market and what they called an inn, which was little more than a crumbling warehouse with a plank bar and curtained off areas for private entertainment. The sergeants warned us off the place saying the inn was a nest of thieves and the beer and wine were foul. Even with the warning over half the company found their way there. Where they found the money I don’t know, the sergeants have held our pay until we get to the fort to prevent desertion.

It’s been less than a week on the road, but I’m already saddened by how our company is treated. The farmers watch our march assuming we will steal their crops and tradesmen will not extend credit or take an army voucher for supplies, dealing only in hard coins. What’s worst is the scum who wait at the rest stops, hucksters, harlots, and the preachers of despair. They exist to take what little coin we have in return for shoddy or stolen goods, minor charms of questionable use, and fleeting pleasures. They watch us with hungry eyes as if they seek to steal not only our coins but our souls as well. 

This morning I awoke to find the camp in turmoil. One of the recruits from Chanderling was found face down in a nearby stream; his throat had been cut. Whoever killed him was careless, leaving the corpse able to rise as a fell. After seeing to the body, Sergeant Yorin went through our camp, forcibly removing anyone not of our company. There were angry words and veiled threats, but no one was willing to risk drawing steel. We’ll run a closed camp for the remainder of the journey north. The murder has left a pall over the company and is seen as an ill omen. Death already stalks us and we’ve yet to reach the Wall.
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Against the Shadow  |  Forum  |  Midnight & RPGs  |  Games and Stories (Moderators: Kane, Bleak Knight)  |  Topic: Bryald’s Journal – Part 2, The Journey up the Ishensa
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