Just when I thought the road was getting ridiculous, and in need of grading, the lamp spit out a new companion, named Otis, who seems wise and useful already. I think he and Ian will help each other out and Otis brings with him some minor talent at brewing potions and alchemy.
Otis is of Ionian stock, so the latter would seem like a natural bent for him, but he also has a bond with nature and the wild. I am not sure if he’s the sort who gets spells or not, but he’s also a sailor, a skill we haven’t needed in a long time but may, and that’s a good omen.
There was another omen – a message sent from Iz in the future. She warned that the road ahead would cause us to be criminals and the war we were facing the prospect of being conscripted to fight was not for the good of the party or the world. While I don’t trust her as much as some other companions, she does have a touch of prophecy, so that is a gift from the lamp and a disaster adverted.
We bought the horse of the messenger and left behind Eul’s wagon. The messenger tossed me his shoes ‘for the bandits wanted my horse and shoes so I could not warn others of their banditry, but left me my meager purse and food to not have greater sin on their conscience’ – an interesting ruse, and a paid vacation, as it were, must be nice.
We used Otis’s skill and the messenger’s guidance to get us out of the mountain pass and around the conflict, where we met good people who were unaware of the conflict. They have their fields to tend, their animals to see to, and their beds take up what precious little time the other two do not. They saw our brief visits, and Eul’s proselytizing, as a godsend and a boon for their hard labor and honest living. I think the thoughts of Eul’s blessing that their harvest be bountiful being twofold heartened them the most, for there is always more work than hands to help, and more hands are desired.
We traded a bit, and Ian and Otis found some arcane goods, and we relieved our load of the goods which had been weighing down the horses and our packs. I did not sell the Darkwood shield from the bogeyman, realizing it later, and I am wondering if Otis has use for it. A magic shield may be of some interest to him, even if it is not likely he wades into battle like Kumori and Smriti and I.
I’ve seen him fiddling with a sextant, and he apparently uses it like a Wayfinder, so I showed him my (Dad’s) Wayfinder. I think his sextant has a stone of some sort in it, where my Wayfinder is empty, for when he set down the sextant to demonstrate how he uses it, he seemed… diminished. Maybe it’s just my imagination, and talking about the uses of a sextant reminded him of life on the sea, which he clearly misses. Ionian sailors are like Bitori mountaineer, it seems.
We are embarked on a quest – set on the quest by Eul’s dreams – to recover a nine foot wooden fertility symbol from a swamp. Borya, a Rus bard with the curse of poor attention, is to travel with us. Poor Smriti is the only woman with two very randy men and some men who are keen to latch onto silliness on a rather silly adventure that has Kumori talking about palanquin again. I wonder if we can get a reusable collapsing palanquin. It may be worth a bit of gold.
I also restocked my war chest. I have a MW cold iron shortsword and a MW alchemical silver dagger. I bought the cold iron thinking that was what I sold recently, but it was the alchemical silver dagger I had sold previously.
While the dagger is less ideal than a rapier, it also is easy enough to share with someone who may need it more if we face creatures resistant to normal weapons.
We are traveling along the river, heading through the Carpathian capital, on the way to some swamp that has had the 9 foot wooden idol nestled to its bosom for nearly a century. I can only imagine the sort of foes we may encounter along the way.
I hope in the capital to be able to get some enhancements to my current gear, but we’ll see what the options are at that point. I do appreciate Ian having more options to prepare, though his lack of enthusiasm about fireball, especially with Smriti and I both being likely to avoid any ill effects from it’s use, suggests he may not really appreciate the spells until he prepares and uses them. Hopefully that will be possible soon.