I realise that I have been neglecting this journal but most of my time has been taken up either in council meetings or listening to gossip and travellers tales in our Inn, The Prodigal Son. Since I was running the kitchens and taking an active hand in the development and running of the Inn I was able to give it that name. I think it is appropriate. Sootscale and his tribe have been helping me gather information on the south and I am noe quite fluent at their Kobold tongue, which they claim is also the language of dragons. For some reason Gorefang also knows this language now, even though he never studied it. That makes no sense, but neither does his magical ability. Some strange power has definitely awakened in him.
The book I sent off for by Eckstein on the curious speech of the Boggarts has arrived. It looks extremely difficult. It will probably be months before I can communicate with that ugly toad in the south, but if we are going to be leaving that monster on our doorstep, then I think I should at least learn how to talk to it. Who knows, I could learn something useful from it if we ever need to go to the swamps in the west.
It is great to be out again. The open road and adventure with my friends. As we plan to send people south to clear an area to build our capital soon we need to do some scouting and mapping on the other side of the Shrike river. Aramil tends to go off fong long periods at a time into the wild and is not around and Lotus is still away on a shopping trip, looking for magical resources, so Gorefang, Cal and I are setting out to do this. Gore seems to have some concerns that we might need the others, but it seems hardly likely. We are a lot tougher than when we started out and we don’t need to go far.
After leaving our horses with the road workers by the mites cave we went southeast to Nettles’ crossing. We crossed the remains of the rope bridge and began exploring the hills beyond.
Our exploration of this area continued. Nothing of interest in this area. I knew Gore was being unnecessarily concerned.
We continued west, charting the southern bank of the Shrike. Still nothing of interest. It is nice to be out again, but this can hardly be called an adventure. It’s more like a picnic.
I’m inclined to tear out the last pages of my journal, in order to hide what an idiot I have been, but I will not. Two nights ago, in the early hours of the 21st, tragedy struck. We have suffered a loss far worse than anything we have experienced before. It is only now that I have had time to put pen to paper to record these events.
During the night I was awoken by Gorefang because a group of bears had come sniffing around our camp. We tried to placate them by giving them food and backing away, but some of them were determined to get access to our packs, thinking that we still had more food on us. Cal made the mistake of trying the scare off the bear that was trying to get at his pack and it attacked him. We attacked the bear, Gore charging it with his axe and me shooting it, but before we had put it dow its companion joined the fight, raking Cal with its claws and biting him. As he backed away to try to heal himself the other two bears noticed the fight and attacked Gorefang. I continued to stay back, whilst shooting as fast as I could but these bears were extremely tough. Concentrating our attacks on one bear Gore and I were able to badly injure it but the other bear brabbed Gore, knocking him to the ground and pinning him. Gore with his awesome Orcish strength somehow managed to get on top of the bear and was grappling it, but the second bear, before I could kill it, clawed and bit Gore. The bear which Gore was grappling broke free of his grip and so Gore backed away, so badly wounded that only an Orc could possibly still be standing. He swigged a potion of cure moderate wounds but still collapsed from his wounds. If there hadn’t been other people around the bears would have ripped Gore apart, just to check whether he was really dead. Instead the badly injured bear decided to run away and the uninjured bear went after the nearest target. Until this point Cal had been doing quite well. He had been just about holding his own against the injured bear on him. He had been trying fancy feints to distract the animal, in order to try to create a good opening, but they had all proved ineffective and his cuts had just been making it angrier. Suddenly the second bear jumped on him from behind, battering him to the ground. I moved towards Gorefang to give him my healing potion, finding that he was still just about concious. When I looked to see how Cal was doing I was shocked to find the bears ripping him apart. Gore was barely standing and Cal was most definitely beyond saving. Whilst it felt wrong to leave him, it seemed like the only thing we could do and so Gorefang and I ran away as quietly as we could whilst the bears tore Calandrel’s corpse to pieces and began to feed on it.
We returned in the morning to see what was left of Cal and to recover his belongings along with the remains of his body. There really wasn’t much left of him. We were thinking to bring his body to Calford, in order to bury him at the town which bears his name, but then we remembered the story of the Kobold shaman. Tartuk, or whatever his name was, had been a gnome who had died and been reincarnated into a different body by druidic magic. When we had learnt about his past Aramil had mentioned hom reincarnation magic was easier than resurrection. There was far too little left of Cal for anything but the most powerful resurrection spells to do anything for him and we certainly don’t have enough resources for all the diamonds we might need, but reincarnation seemed like a more viable option. I placed most of Cal’s weaopons in my quiver and took his magic armour and magic hat. I don’t recall him having this hat on before whilst we were travelling. Odd that. We placed the remains of Cal in one of his head sacks and we headed straight towards the river. The current in the Shrike is pretty fast and it was hard to swim it so heavily ladened, but despite his wounds Gorefang and I were both able to swim across the river and get to Sootscale’s caverns. We rested briefly there and Gorefang bought a few minor healing potions, to heal his condition a bit more. We then jogged to where we had left the horses. It was well after dark before we arrived at Leveton.
Asking around the Oleg’s store, and the other shops which have opened up around it, we found that someone had bought a scroll of reincarnation for the store, presumably expecting someone in this area to need it. It was such a wonderful stroke of luck, as we had expected to have to travel all the way to Restov for the spell. we have no idea how long we have in which to bring Cal back from the dead. Apparently such spells need to be done fairly soon after death and so we are making all haste. Johd has offered to cast a gentle repose spell, to prevent the body deteriorating further. I don’t know if this will help at all, but it can’t hurt. Neither of us have enough money for the scroll, but Gorefang and Cal have money in a bank in Restov. I put down a retainer for the scroll. Gore rode out towards Restov with all haste. I have set out with a few of the road wardens to try to locate Aramil. I only hope and pray this works.
I have located Aramil and we are hurrying to Laveton
We arrived back at Leveton in the late afternoon. Gorefang had ridden like the wind and had returned yesterday evening before with the money for the scroll. He had bought the scroll and was waiting anxiously for our arrival. It is hard to put in words Aramil’s response when he opened the sack and saw the bloody pieces of Calandrel’s corpse, but soon recovered his druidic calm. The scroll was read and the magic began to change Cal’s body. The pieces faded away and a new body appeares in it’s place. A smaller body. I wonder if it might have been because we hadn’t managed to get all the bits of him. Aramil said it didn’t matter and that it was only chance, but you never know with magic. At least nobody could be inclined to believe that the body which a person who is reincarnated gets is in any way a reflection of their soul, or based on any sort of karmic scale. I say this because Calandrel, the bright, shining, golden skinned paladin; the embodiment of all things good and holy, came back in the body of a goblin. I can still hardly believe it. He is now green, ugly and half his former height. How are people in Midgard going to take this?
Cal seems to be taking his new circumstances well. At least, when he isn’t muttering to himself he seems to be focusing on practical issues. He has decided to travel to Restov to get his money back and to try to exchange all his weapons and armour for something smaller. I hope the bankers in Restov know about reincarnation spells, or it will be hard for him to persuade them that he is the same person. Gore and I are accompanying him, to make sure he is really ok. For some reason the bond he had with his horse has gone. It may be because, as a goblin, he can no longer ride a horse. I feel so sorry for Cal. He says that he wants to take over my post as scout master, because he doesn’t think people will take a goblin seriously as head of the watch. I think he has a point. It will be hard enough to make sure that passing adventurers don’t try to slay the goblin. Having a goblin telling strangers that he is head of the watch and trying to lay down the law would just provoke them. Should we tell the general public that Cal is still alive as a goblin, or should be build a shrine to comemorate the death of one of the nations heroic founders and let Cal have the freedom to live without the pity of our people. I think people will accept him more as a member of our high council if they know he is still Calandrel and I doubt that he would be happy to live a lie, but it should be his decision.