The sense of foreboding has returned with a vengeance as the day turns to evening and then night. All I can think about are what those gnolls are doing to those poor townsfolk. What purpose did these gnolls have in mind when they took them? Slaves? Offerings to their god? The more I think of it, the more the thought makes me shiver. I can imagine their fear and uncertainty.
Though I trust Connor’s tracking ability, I cannot help but feel as if we might arrive too late. The darkness hovers in this canyon and threatens to snuff out any life with its heaviness. I, for one, am thankful for my lantern. What little light it offers reminds me of the Goddess in her infinite wisdom and majesty. I know she is with us. Her hand has kept us safe thus far. I pray that she keeps the villagers safe as well.
We have found the villagers and managed to free them, but not without great costs. Though we were able to capture the white gnoll shaman, we came close to losing Arn. He charged valiantly into battle and nearly lost his head in doing so. Without the Goddess’s help, he surely would have died. She has a great purpose for him. There could be no other explanation. I hope he realizes this. Still, this fool-hearty plan never would have taken off without the help of Arnexus and Rohveka’s talents.
How Connor and Genna managed to keep their heads in the chaos I do not know. It was as if the gnolls and hobgoblins were blind to them. I at first feared we were all doomed as Connor could not get off a bolt to save his life. It jammed more than once on him. Genna had far less trouble. Even if he cannot fire a crossbow, he has proven himself in other ways.
Several of the gnolls ran away, not wanting to chance being caught. With it, they took what we needed most…a wand to return the poor souls to their rightful form. It seems the gnolls, slavers indeed, transformed their prisoners into chickens to make them easier to transport. We found the one wand that can transform them into chickens, but the sister to it is missing. While we fought outside, the others ransacked the shack and fled out the back. All we found were some healing potions and a strange potion that seems capable of returning the chickens back into human beings. If only there was more….we have 200 poor souls in chicken form. This one vial can maybe help four or five people. We have to get to the Bastion. Someone there can help us…
Stranger still is the boat they were found upon. It is of Helian make. Yet, the strangeness does not end there. Upon the slavers we found coin, Brythonian coin. The hobgoblins….and the coin…..surely Prince Arden did not have a hand in this…could he?
The day has been trying and healing Arn has taken a toll. There is no time to rest, though. One of the prisoners, a mother, has begged us to find her two boys. In the back of one of the cages is a hole that they crawled through. Connor and Genna took a look and found that the small, child-sized hole, had a carving behind it of six figures. They each had a likeness to us! What strange magic is afoot?
The children have no idea what they have gotten themselves into. From the hands of slavers to this? Whatever it is. We have to find them….yet we also have to help these poor souls who have been transformed. William has said he can stay behind and help protect them. Yet, there is a minotaur’s footprints just up the stream wandering the canyons. Granted the queen’s advisor is not incapable of protecting himself. He once was a great warrior. Yet, time can be your own worst enemy. His days by the queen’s side has made him somewhat soft.
A hand is guiding our group toward this hole. I just wish I knew to whom it belonged. Goddess watch over us all. I have no idea what we will do. Goddess, guide me in the right path and help me stay true. Keep my mind sharp to whatever trap may lay before us. Help us to remain ever vigilant. My life and love is yours alone. Do with me as you will yet keep my friends safe. _Fortiter in re, suaviter in modo _