16th of Kingsway, 9:41 Dragon
You know, the thought occurs that, if anyone ever bothers to read this again (myself included), using people’s real names would probably be more useful than nicknaming everyone with snarky placeholders.
Our merry band of adventurers left town before first light, in order to avoid running into Colon the unfortunately-yet-accurately named blacksmith and whatever gaggle of racist halfwits he’d managed to drum up. Elf-girl wolf-bait — whose name is Eshara, apparently — came with us to the edge of the woods, and left us with instructions to find her caravel that I was reasonably certain our two Dalish — that’s Alalen the fighter and Enna the kidney-thief, for those keeping score — would be able to follow. We parted ways, and our group started pushing into the forest while Eshara went back to hide under the Chantry healer’s petticoats. (No, I don’t remember the Chantry healer’s name. Sorry, posterity.)
We had been walking for about five minutes when who should appear from behind the trees but Colon and the aforementioned gaggle of racist halfwits. I vaguely remember something about him saying it would be best if we left town, and us pointing out that we’d already left town, but I may be imagining that. Anyway, the gaggle of halfwits decided to get rowdy, and we had to defend ourselves. Alalen, Legnar (the dwarf who talks too much) and I were prepared to give the lot of them a quick swat on the arse and send them home, but apparently Enna decided she’d had enough of this horseshit and put an arrow through Colon’s brain. The two mages (Emery the human pyromancer and Daryel the elf healer) also defended themselves with lethal force because, as they spent the next hour explaining to Legnar, you can’t pull punches with magic. And in hindsight, I can’t say I blame any of them; Colon and his band of idiots had obviously been waiting for us, which means they had obviously left at least an hour or two before we did, which means he and his motley crew had gathered together and snuck out of town in the middle of the night without our watchmen realizing it. That implies a greater level of malicious forethought (and competence, to be fair) than I’d ascribed to them previously. Still, it’s bad luck that the town’s now without a blacksmith; I may have to see if we can do something about that once all this rage-demon business is concluded.
We walked for a bit longer through the woods, and eventually the Dalish managed to track down what remained of the caravel. It was a right mess, with obvious signs of combat and struggle, but no bodies. Curiously, the only footprints we saw belonged to elves — none to whatever else might have taken them. Sam’s Thinking Cap says there’s three possible reasons for that: one, something came back and painstakingly erased the darkspawns’ footprints while leaving the elves’ intact; two, the elves were taken by something that could float or fly; or three, the elves were taken by other elves. My money’s on the last one, as no creature on Thedas is quite that dumb, and Eshara didn’t say anything about flying darkspawn, but she did mention that the search parties her clan sent out for Grumbleelf McRagepants (whose actual name escapes me — again, sorry, posterity) both disappeared prior to the attack on the caravel.
We spent the rest of the day following the tracks of the elven prisoners, which, surprise surprise, were headed for the ruins. Eventually night fell and we made camp. These cackling jackal-man darkspawn attacked us during the night, but we beat them down without too much trouble. I think Enna climbed a tree to get away from one, and kept shooting it out of the tree as it climbed after her. Clearly these were not the brightest of Thedas’s creatures; who knows, maybe they did think erasing their tracks while leaving the elves’ was a good idea.
Tired. Sleep now. More later.