I don’t know why I left Baldur’s Gate.
As an Officer, I shouldn’t let Darryl’s piety or zeal affect my decisions, but damned if things weren’t quiet for the first time since the mountain came down and I was bored.
We took to the road at first light, and the rabble that were hired to see the caravan to Daggerford were puffing up their chests and boasting of their conquests all morning. None of them have so much as seen a skirmish, mind you, but each, by his tale had killed at least a half dozen goblins with his own hand. AT LEAST! Gods forbid they see real combat.
The day was mild and bright, but I couldn’t help but think of Milda. She’s been a good woman to me, mending my clothes and keeping me fed when I need it, which is no simple task. Sometimes I think the soldier’s life makes a man need a woman more than any other, in the kitchen and in the bed, but I’ve promised myself I will keep true to her on this foray. She deserves that at least, I think. Especially with a husband like that oaf, Nils.
We could see the work of the creatures miles outside of our destination. Burned out farms, spoiled crops, rotting corpses. By the time we made camp for the night, Darryl and I decided it was time to see if we could figure out which way the beast were coming from. That much could help us in the days to come. The farm we stopped at was like the others, fences broken, house invaded, nothing left but the foot of a wolf that those filthy gnolls use. We spent some time looking for tracks and found a number of them heading off to the north. Night had begun to fall and I thought to set out the next morning, but Darryl had a bee up his arse to follow them immediately. Something about protecting innocents. If I’m ever to make an officer out of him I’ll have to let him make his own mistakes, I thought, so into the ink black night we marched.
The hours passed and he was convinced we were drawing closer to the animals. I just hoped the soreness from marching all night through rough terrain and the tiredness would teach him some patience, but, gods damn him, weren’t there a pile of gnolls playing around a campfire.
Poor Darryl couldn’t see his glowing sword in front of his face with those weak human eyes of his, so I took to dividing the gnolls into their various guts. Not wanting to be left out, Darryl threw himself at the mongrels, keeping them occupied while I put them down. Turns out these were the ones who had been raiding the surrounding lands and they had collected a fair stockpile and a wagon. They had a good fire burning, so I took first watch and we stayed the night. As I slept and Darryl watched, a wolf pack must have caught the disgusting scent of the leftovers of the gnolls, because I was awoken to Darryl trying his best to hold his own against a handful of the ravenous beasts. I dispatched them for him.
At some point he drew some kind of symbol in the dirt and said his god would like it.
We dragged the wagon out of the woods at daybreak and hauled it all the way to Daggerford, having missed the caravan. By the time we got there a crowd of the downtrodden had gathered around the city wall and the guard seemed to be having trouble keeping them at bay. I spoke briefly with the commanding officer, letting her know we were tired and had come to help, and that we would give over the supplies we’d confiscated for the guard to give to the refugees. Officers often just seem to understand each other sometimes. She let me in while Darryl stayed outside to tend to the unfortunates as well as he could.
I write this from the barracks before taking my much deserved, gods be damned, sleep!