A new adventure begins!
My fellow rulers were generous enough to give me leave to search for Penelope. I have just returned from Galt where word had it that a band of slavers were taking more free folk captive to be sold into slavery, I had hoped to find Penelope among them. On my return I discovered that Grenhelm had narrowly survived a tense 2 months of unrest, fueled by the treacherous Grigori. On a better note, we have a new addition to the council, Tsishad, who I’ll confess is a bit odd. He’s friendly enough, though his obsession with dead things and the dark arts creeps me out. His quarters are full of oozing, fleshy things in jars and smells constantly of mold, decay, and burnt hair.
But returning to my travels to Galt…
I traveled south with a party of 6 ex-Brevoy soldiers who were beginning to make a name for themselves adventuring. We followed the rivers south to the west edge of Galt. We rode quickly and though we passed through some unexplored portions of the Greenbelt, we did not have time to explore it. (The Grenhelm council and I will need to find time to do so in the future.) I laugh when I imagine my father’s reaction to see me galloping full speed, with a band of humans and one elf in tow. I used to fantasize about adventurers as a lad, but whenever I’d mention knights and dragons and the like he’d just say “If it don’t taste sweet or kiss ya sweeter, I don’t want nothin to do with it.” And it’s true that I did feel a good deal safer when I was up to my ears in flour, but I think my new way of life is suiting me well enough.
The way to Galt was mostly uneventful. A few packs of kobolds scattered as we rode through, and we did come across one crotchety ferryman who waited until we were passing through the middle of the river to tell us that if we didn’t pay double he’d strand us and our horses there. I about showed him the edge of my blade, but when I learned that his mother was sick and he needed the money for medicines I took pity on him and gave him enough coin to fund her recovery. Also, Paermin (the elf) developed a rash in his trousers so he had to ride for 3 days sitting on a pillow, which gave the guys and I a lot of laughs and earned him the nickname Prissy Paermin!
I had been warned that Galt was a chaotic region. But I still wasn’t prepared for the turmoil and raw anarchy of the land and in the hearts of its citizens. Heavens help us if Grenhelm falls into a similar state. I have made a vow since visiting Galt to work twice as hard to ensure Grenhelm’s stability.
I was concerned about our potential reception in Galt, where I’m told that outsiders often meet an unhappy end. Fortunately, one of our party members had immigrated from there and was able to guide us through successfully. The main tactic it seemed was to keep your head low, your opinions to yourself, and be careful not to offend anybody. We also made sure to stay clear of Litran, where even stepping on the wrong cobblestone can earn you a ticket to the executioner’s block.
Word was that some kidnappings had occurred in Isarn, but by the time we got there there was no sign of the slavers. We did find the remnants of an outpost camp on the edges of the woods, with tracks leading deeper to a massive clearing. The clearing seemed to have been used for a much larger camp, almost a temporary settlement. By the looks of it, there could have been over 500 people there, with small shacks and other temporary structures having been left behind. It seems the caravan headed southwest, as I expected the slavers to do, but the tracks were old. Most likely they’d been gone for at least a month, which corresponded with all of the other evidence.
I’ll admit I’m heartbroken to know that I’m still so far away from having my Penelope returned to me, but this feels like a good first step towards tracking down the vile men who took her. As I stood in the clearing near Isarn I just knew in my gut that Penelope had been there. Sadly I had to return to Grenhelm since we were not outfitted for such a quest as tracking down the slave caravan. But I know that with a caravan of that size, they will be travelling for Cheliax very slowly. I’d estimate they may make it there within a year at the earliest, which gives me time to prepare and hopefully convince our full party to take up the chase.
Wherever you are, Penelope, stay strong and don’t forget I’m coming for you.