We are about to depart when an old man approaches. I so old and looking past his road years that I thought he might be the stablemaster. It turns out that, Alex is another friend of the tragic couple who arrived late and was spared the fate of the rest like us. He needs some company on the road and Murzol is only too happy to shake him down for his abundant coin so, he joins on our way to the Bardic College. It does not escape me that he spends it as freely as I sometimes do.
Eruërthiel seems transfixed on the pack animals as we travel so we make good speed and travel relatively quiet aside from Murzol’s blathering and the occasional indecent pearls of wisdom that Nizbin shares with us along the rough but, lightly travelled roads. We make good distance and stop when I find a good spot for the night. The beries and game here are so abundant and the surrounds so inviting, i will surely have to mark it for future use. Alex entertains us a with story of his ancient lustings for a lovely elven girl whom brings to mind Mira. We eat and sleep well in watches with only the distant flare of a huge fire to set some of us at unease.
Having decided it more prudent to not investigate the large fire while weary from the road, the morning starts with breakfast and a jaunt to what appears to be a burned out funeral pyre. Murzol’s plodding steps ruin any real chance at sneaking up to the sight and we are quickly thrown into a pitched fight against more lizardmen than we number ourselves. We engage them, Alex and Nizbin casting all sorts of arcane mutterings and the simple foes as I am deeply cut and Eruërthiel follows in after securing the animals. I shake the pain from my eyes and push on against the lesser foes as we eventually drive them into the ground.
We patch-up our wounds and cast the reptiles into their funeral pit before gathering their things including a strange paper list none can decipher. The trail eventually leads us to the river whose crossing looked too rugged for Murzol’s lingering injuries. The search for better crossing led us into the swamp where we come across a wounded lizardman. He also carries a strange list and we are able to learn that the lizards are holding games to settle whom will rule the area. The list seem to tell the rules of collecting humanoid kills to win the Kingship of their tribal society. Learning this and the possible whereabouts of good crossing is tense but, eased by the offer of bandages. He eventually wore out his use to us and was easily dispatched by a near invisible strike of my trusty blade.
By this time, it has gotten late and we are forced to rest in the damp glades, there is some concern about Murzol’s treatment at Nizbin’s hand in such a dank environment but, we split our watches and settle in with no fire to warm us or light the area.
I awake to the thorny embrace of some sort bush creature as lizards set in upon us from the darkeness. Murzol seems to have recovered in the dark hours and moving in on our assailant with Alex and Eruërthiel readying to fight. I am struck again as I struggle to my feet wounded and draw my blade. Nizbin appears not to be moving save from the force of axeblows of the lizardman over him. Again I push past injuries and fight with my allies to whittle down the reptiles and their plant, the blood still trickling from Nizbin as Alex’s magics swirl around us. When the dust settles, we are again victorious but, poor old Nizbin has been motally slain and lays lifeless beside the lizardman who had snuck up and struck him so deeply.
In the mourning, we dispose of our attackers bodies and prepare the gnome’s for travel back to our start. we are not even half way to our goal and many carry wounds. We will see to our fallen friend finding a proper burial. May the road back treat us better.