Our trip from Wooden Point to East Farhold started out with a literal bang. In the center of the water between the two continents we sighted a merchant vessel riding low in the water; its hold was obviously full of valuable trade goods. We altered our path to intercept them. Mr. Corsair took the helm, the Magister barked orders that no one listened to, and I readied the boarding party. In the end it wasn’t necessary – the wind was with us and we caught them fairly quickly. Corsair fired a shot into their masses, killing many, and as soon as the ships were close enough I leapt aboard onto their dock, bringing my blade down through the front of a man as I did so. The rest of the merchant crew was unwilling to attack after that, and I called it a victory.
Some small change was found in the hold of the ship in addition to a plethora of trade goods that would be worth a small fortune should we find a buyer. The opposing captain – I never did catch his name – put up slight resistance when I told him to empty him person of the wealth on his person, including the baubles he wore ’round fingers and neck. He claimed one of the rings – a large white gold ring with a wreath of emeralds – would not come off, that his fingers were simple too fat. So I took a hatchet to his hand and removed the offending digits. I sent him to the brig and asked the rest of the crew if they wanted to join me; none refused.
I sent Odin with the newly renamed ship – The Dragon’s Horde – to meet us in the smugglers cove we oft frequented. The other men at sea knew him as my pawn; none would attack or raid him lest they wish to draw the wrath of the Arrogance down upon them.
Unfortunately, our trip across East Farhold did not go so well. We opted to explore the land; the travelling was slower, but we covered more ground to discover what the continent might hold. Perhaps this notion was misguided on my end. We didn’t need to come to this isle; the idea was mine and mine alone, and so the blood and loss that resulted because of my decision is a burden I must bear alone.
The first night within the jungle of East Farhold destruction sank its claws into our ranks. I set out with six men plus myself: The Magister, Mr. Corsair, Scout, Vargas, Keller, and Seax. Scout and Vargas (The Hatchet) have been with me for years. They have lived and breathed my orders. But these were the first two to die for the cause. I must have been more tired than I imagined to not hear the sound of Vargas being dragged off into the woods. By the time my attention was grabbed by a low snarl it was too late to do anything for Scout, for a monstrous black cat had buried its teeth deep in the man’s chest. Corsair, the Magister, and myself had a difficult time dispatching of the beast; it was quick as a whip, and as soon as I thought we had gained the upper hand it took off into the woods. We attempted to follow but the poor light did little to aid us. In the end all we could do was bury Scout and search for Vargas when the sun rose. We found his hatchet sometime later. This worried me, of course – the man slept with it. If he had abandoned his hatchet, his namesake, then his wounds must have been dire indeed. I can only hope that we find him in our subsequent exploration.
Our trip did not improve in the coming time. From there we ran into quick sand and a tribe of cannibals, easily dispatched (and with a map), and then we came across a family of ugly brutes. The stench around their cave dwelling was appalling; they seemed to be lying in their own filth and discarded meals. They were shaggy and horned, and the only word that came to mind was “troll.” The two little trolls retreated into the cave while the larger – the male – took an aggressive stance. Luckily combat was not initiated and we passed without a hitch.
And then the plant. The monstrous plant that first grabbed the Magister – always first on the scene – and yanked him in up to the waist. Other tentacles found my throat and took Corsair in hand; the battle was long and bloody, with the Magister retaining the worst of the wounds. He lost a lot of blood, his leg was poisoned, and for a few moments there we considered the option of taking it off. We settled down to allow him to rest for the night and the next day…and discovered that we were sitting atop a colony of giant ants. Do the horrors of this place not end? We escaped the area before they could seek vengeance for the leg I apparently ripped off one of their kind with a trap I set (whoops) and found our way to the shore and the ship marked off on the map from the cannibals. Another map and some gold was within the chest on board, but it appeared as if no one else was around. I sent Keller and Seax back to the ship.
The Magister, Corsair, and I have made camp near what appears to be an old temple. Our wounds have healed and we have decided to explore it. Still no sight of Vargas or the demon-cats that took him. I will find him. If he is dead his body will be returned to the sea, and I will make it a point to skin one of the beasts and wear its fur as a cloak. Perhaps a pair of boots.