That Way Madness Lies

Before Departing

I go on this quest because it is my duty. I more than suspect that the honorable Captain Gudmund assigned me to this mission to keep my estimable comrades in hand; I have never seen a more variegated company. No, we are not even a company. We are a motley, for I could not invent a group I trust less. Not that I want to think about that.

The cunning Otter is not to be trusted. Charming he may be, and he seems to have a certain grudging respect for those of us who have taken up orders, but his is a mercenary turn of mind. I doubt that his respect would last long in the face of, say, several gold pieces. It will be interesting to discover if I am correct in this, but with this one I suspect the real chore will be in ensuring that his goals are coterminous with my own and those of the All-Father, who knows all. I pray, as always, for insight.

The slaver-pirate I trust even less. He is rash and disrespectful, and even if his sword is needed in this investigation, I would trust him no further than I could throw him (in his cheap leather armor, no less). Stolen, no doubt. It is a mark of my devotion to the Hooded One that I can willingly ally myself with such wharf trash for whatever object. I will not put up with crass insults or disrespect from that one.

I wonder whether the arcanist has all his wits about him. Not that it matters — sometimes the crazy ones are the most effective (at least with arcanists). Those of us who gain our power from one higher than us must draw it from a deeper knowledge within, whereas the arcanist must simply charm nature into doing his will. Our way is to be preferred, of course. I cannot help but pity him — he seems so out of touch with the world. Which may be exactly the point. Only time will tell.

The villagers claim that not only were the able-bodied captured and carried off, but the old and infirm as well. This hints at some dark purpose, perhaps sorcerous in nature. I pray to the All-Father that necromancy is not involved. Give me honest battle every day, and death when death is due.

SigrĂșn Mildr, priestess of Odin, Evil-Worker, Father of the Slain.

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