Fnord's Journals

Autumn, 18th year of my reign

To the Elf-King's Moot

October 12th

Got a fancy-schmancy letter from Faédrél, the King of the Össai:

To Sir Fnord

Master of the keep of Gregor, in recent times styled The Snake Pit, now the Castle of Fnordonia


Due to the rise in anarchy and evil-doing in these parts I have instigated a meeting of all Righteous and Orderly rulers near the borders of my realm, with the aim of strengthening our collective ability to thwart those who desire a barbarous lack of rule to fill their pockets and sate their desire for rape, pillage and murder. Should you be willing to discourse regarding these matters, please travel to the mountain of Öromalliae where my people will convey you to the moot.

My seal will give passport to my realm.

King of the Össai

The letter included a map to the mountain (which I'd never heard of) and a purty star-shaped ruby with a white heart, presumably the seal he was talking about.

I'd been getting a tad bored with hanging around the demesne and dealing with the zillion little administrative matters you have to keep on top of when you're lord of all you survey, so I thought "what the heck" and started making preparations for a road trip. The map placed the fancy-named mountain about 50 leagues northeast of Fnordonia, as best as I could tell, and through some fairly rugged country in the Wealbourge, which precluded riding good old Beltran.

I figured that I could probably make it in five or six days by flying for about twelve leagues (flying relatively slowly, so as to stay alert for attack from above or below) and then marching the rest of each day. Admittedly, autumn isn't the ideal time for a hike through the Wealbourge, but frankly I was more concerned with the prospect of having to do some of that blasted diplomacy once I got there; it's not really my cup of tea.

October 14th

I left Eric in charge (he's a reliable sort, for a werebear), and set out with a delicious picnic lunch and dinner provided by Mrs. B, my excellent cook. Everything went according to plan, and come the end of the day I got my camping stuff out of the Portable Hole and set up my tent, had dinner and went to sleep. That's when things stopped going according to plan.

I was set upon by a pack of giant rats which, undeterred by my raucous snoring, jumped on me in the night and bit the bejeezus out of me! OWOWOWOWOW! Fortunately, once awake I managed to kill almost all of them (the others ran away) which healed all my damage thanks to my excellent Ring of Vampiric Regeneration.

It was almost dawn by then anyway, so I packed up and had a bit of a think. Clearly, travelling alone through the wilderness would be problematic; I'd have to sleep sometime. However, I was reluctant to drag along some flunkies who would just inevitably be killed in gruesome ways. I decided, since I was only a day out, that I would head back home as fast as possible and do some proper preparations.

October 15th

Back home again. I got Orson to cast three Rope Trick spells into my Ring of Spell Storing so that if need be I can have a safe place to sleep for three nights at least. I also went through the contents of the Hole to see what my resources were.

I had the brilliant idea that since I'd be travelling through rocky mountain country with plentiful cliffs, I could use the Portable Hole as a sort of instant cave by spreading it against an inaccessible rock face while hovering with my Wings of Flying and climbing in. I'd have to leave it open so that I could breathe, but by stringing bells on strings across the entrance I could at least get some warning of anything trying to gain entry.

October 16th

Set off again, with another excellent picnic courtesy of Mrs B. That woman is a genuine treasure. Everything goes just fine, I fly safely past a number of tiny settlements of mountain-folk, and my insta-cave plan works swimmingly. I was startled by the appearance of a rather grumpy dwarf out of what appeared to be a blank rock face while gathering firewood; I apologized for intruding and scarpered. It doesn't pay to piss off dwarves if you can avoid it; they're world-class grudge-holders.

October 17th

Towards the end of the day, I spy a column of smoke. It's too far away to check out, but it looks too big to be cooking fires and too small to be a brush fire. Ominous.

October 18th

I set off again in the direction of where I saw the smoke yesterday; no more from that direction, but I see some more elsewhere, still more or less on my line of travel. I decided to check it out and headed straight for it.

It turned out to be a burnt-out settlement. Even from up high I could see that it was pretty well stuffed, and when I landed I found the remains of people and livestock that had been hacked up and chewed on. Casting about for tracks, i found lots of sign of some kind of web-footed creatures, a bit like lizard-men, but with differences. I followed the trail until I was reasonably sure of their line of march, and then took to the air again in the hope of overtaking them.

I found no raiders by the time my Wings had run out of magic for the day, but I did spot yet another plume of smoke from not too far away — not more than a league at most, so I hot-footed it towards it.

Coming down into a small valley just east of the Frimunt, I could see an attack in progress against a small palisaded village. To the rescue! Fortunately the nasty creatures were far too intent to notice me blundering through the scrub (I never was much good at sneakery) and I managed to get to a point out on their flank where I could see them quite clearly. They were some kind of scaly fish-men things with big googly eyes, and they were on the point of breaking through the palisade. One of them appeared much bigger than the others, about eight foot tall, and another clearly had some kind of magical defence operating since it appeared to be Blinking about. I opened my attack with a lightning bolt from my wand across their frontage, which took a few of them out of the fight, and then another at the Blinking guy, knocking him arse over kite. He disappeared completely before I could get at him, so I just charged into the middle of the others and set about laying waste. The old biffo is a bit more my scene, and I took care of them pretty quickly, including the big fellow who I chopped up and then knocked senseless with my mace.


I manacled him so that he couldn't get away (I wanted to interrogate him later), looted him of everything that looked valuable, and went to the aid of the villagers, who were scampering about trying to put out the fires.

Considering that I'd just saved their bacon, they seemed remarkably suspicious of me. Oh well, that's yokels for you.

Their huge beardy headman, Cereb by name, eventually came around to the idea that I wasn't an enemy and loosened up sufficiently to thank me for my efforts on their behalf, and to let me know that he had no clue what these things were or where they came from. That reminded me of my captive, so I hurried out to start the interrogation only to find that it had bled to death. I guess I don't know my own strength. Bugger.

Once the cleaning up was well in hand, and after some sort of religious service (they seem to be Thor-worshippers of some stripe; when in Rome and all that) Cereb treated me to a slap-up meal and presented me with his second wife for the night, Jane by name. She seemed a bit standoffish at first for some reason, but seemed to warm to me when she found out that I didn't want her to shag me. We had a long conversation about this and that, mainly around how the settlement was going to survive the winter now that a good portion of its store had been burned out, and with extra mouths to feed — refugees from the surrounding settlements. I'd raised the issue with Cereb, but he got a bit huffy at the prospect of receiving any sort of charity, especially from a lord (apparently they're some sort of anarcho-syndicalist commune or something). I tried to dance around it, rephrasing it as diplomatically as possible, though as I believe I have mentioned before, diplomacy is most definitely not my long suit. Anyway, to cut to the chase, I was given to understand that they'd look after themselves thanks very much, and I got a good night's sleep, with Jane doing sterling service as a hot water bottle.