Hinterland, part III - Bytopia

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Just SurvivingHinterland, part III - BytopiaCopyright © 2000 by Sheula Ralom'pa

4th Hive of CatechismSeeing as how I wasn't injured over in the Celestian 'lands, just freaked out like a prime facing the Kadyx, I decided to go straight into Tradegate, and skip the trip to Sigil. 'Sides, I heard the Lady's mad this week. I traded one of the Arcadian "apples" for a new pair of boots. Now, that's what I call a good trade.

1st Lady of SacreligionAhh, the Atharesque month. I'm not sorry to be missing the "festivities" today. It's 4 before peak, and along with a dwarf explorer who managed to well, bribe me, I'm going into the hinterlands here. The blood calls himself Arleyks the Thick-headed. Well, if he accepts that as a compliment, then he is.

Think I should note my provisions -3 weeks rations [1 week fresh, 2 weeks dry, for insurance]Extra set of clothes300 gp, 26 spSet of tools, suitable for working the landBracelet of charms, Halberd +2, Dagger of Wounding, Short Bow in bracelet. Externally visible equipment: none. 3 bottles holy water, from the realm of Athena [bought in Tradegate]. Usual potions of healing, etc.

1st Void of SacreligionWe've been wandering around for almost a week now, with nothing in sight. The other times I was always more successful. Well, anyway, we've stopped at a small outcropping of orange trees, where we ate to conserve our rations. Dry rations are soddin' disgusting.

2nd Market of SacreligionYesterday we came across a small farm. Near the farm there is a mine, a small stable, with what seems to be 3 Arborean ponies [Here's the stranger thing - call me leatherheaded, but there are no Eladrin in sight]. I noticed something peculiar, though my smallish companion did not. Just before we entered the compound of the farm, I saw the trees near it moving quickly in the wind - in fact, so quickly that it looked as if time was movin' faster in there. There was a bit of a spark as we were goin' in too. I'm going barmy again.

The farm is very nicely situated. There are two small fields to the left of it. One grows strawberries, the other potatoes. A stable attached to the side holds the ponies. Painted a bright red, the house is a bright spot in what is otherwise a plain. The inhabitants of the house of the house are seven gnomes, and a young Aasimar girl.

The gnomes seem a fun-loving bunch. Mining and farming seems to keep them quite occupied, and they love their "daughter". They are named "Angry", "Gleeful", "Medic", "Leather-head", "Drowsy", "Runny-Nose", and "Introvert". The girl is afraid of her aunt. The aunt is apparently an Abyssal vampire, and needs more victims. She chose to kill her immediate family first, but the girl, Dara, escaped to this place. The gnomes befriended her, and consider her a daughter. She is very beautiful. My companion is visibly lusting after her.

2nd Clerk of SacreligionThe gnomes have been pampering us. They are very friendly sods. I'm enjoying this. Dara is a smart girl, and good to talk to.

3rd Lady of SacreligionYesterday the Aunt found us. She was attractive looking too, but you could tell what she really was. After these people helped me so, I could not let her do anything to them.

I remember her growling at me - "This is our business, STAY OUT". She was mighty powerful. I had to resort to lightning-bolting her. Dara, in her strange way, still loved her aunt. I told her there was no way I could reverse an Abyssal vampire. I'm not strong enough, nor am I a priest.

All parties seemed surprised when I called upon the halberd. I think I got more than I bargained for - the weapon had a life of its own. I was only aiming for her side, but it angled itself, and split her right in half. I stared down at it, not comprehending what I had done. Immediately I began praying. Such was almost a murder. Splitting an opponent in half, even one that planned to kill you, was not right.

The gnomes and my companion consoled me. Arleyks told me he has chosen to stay with Dara and the gnomes. As thanks, they gave me an arrow of direction pointed toward Tradegate. I don't know what I'm going to do.

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