28th of Kingsway, 9:42 Dragon
Azrael finally managed to get our marching orders sorted out, so after one more day of taking care of business in Aneth Ara (and buying a small wagon’s worth of travel rations from Mr. Fieri in Denerim), we set out on the road again. Our ultimate goal is going to be the Grand Tourney after all, since apparently Azrael would like to get his hands on the fancy hammer that they’re using as first prize. The Tourney’s not for a while yet, though, and since word is that the port in Harper’s Ford is currently closed off for some Maker-forsaken reason, we’re going to take the long way around the Waking Sea instead. Our first major stop is Orlais, where Enna has some sort of errand she needs to run, and then up to the Anderfels for… some reason or another. (To be honest, I really have no idea what it is Azrael’s even got us looking for out there. I’m sure he wrote it down somewhere, so I’ll check when I have a free moment.) Elly and Morgan will both be staying in Aneth Ara, so I left them five gold pieces to try and build a life with while I’m gone. It’ll hurt not seeing them for — well, however long this takes, probably at least a year I’d wager — but Maker knows it’s safer than them trying to come with me.
Our first couple weeks of travel were largely uneventful, and we soon found ourselves in the city of Halamshiral. Alalen tells me it was an old elven city that got conquered back during the war, and now the rich (human) nobility live in the nice part of town while the elves are stuck in squalor. Poor elves, even their own bloody cities have been turned into alienages! And of course the quiet was too good to last, as we’d barely set foot in the damn place when we came across a gang trying to kidnap a dwarf. Well, I say “gang,” but given their level of organization and dedication to the task at hand, they were almost more like a small military unit. They had one group straight up jump the dwarf, while a second group, including the man I presume was their leader, attempted to outflank using a nearby alleyway. I moved to try and hold off the reinforcements while the rest of the group set about protecting the dwarf, and I must say, we did a pretty good job all told. We laid most of the kidnappers out, and put a couple of them in their graves, I’m pretty sure. Eventually the last two had their nerve break and fled the scene — but only the last two. Again, not your typical street rabble.
Naturally, we talked to the dwarf afterward. He says he’s just a merchant whose caravan is parked a little ways out of town; me, I’m not so sure about that, as random merchants don’t usually attract such dedicated kidnappers. Nevertheless, we’ve agreed to escort him back to his wagon, just in case he attracted any more of the wrong sort of attention. We also managed to take down the gang leader in the fight (and some sharp shooting by Enna guaranteed that he STAYED down), so we’ll be bringing him with us to see if we can get any information out of him. With any luck, whatever’s going on here will be simple enough to resolve, and we’ll be able to knock it out like the heroes we are and get on our merry way… but frankly, what are the odds of that?