The Amassing chronicles of the Herald Cam Woodmonger

Chapter Two Part Two

Earlier parts here

The Lady and the Monster

The two knights put spurs to horses and charge each other, lances down and shields up. Leatonay’s lance hits slightly ahead of the nameless knight. His lance smashes into and through the knight’s shield and armour and smashes his leg throwing off the horse in a tumble of limbs as his lance hits Leatonay’s shield penetrating that and his chest armour but fails to injure him or knock him off his horse. The nameless knight lays still his body broken, no a’plaisance joust here just plain death. Leatonay didn’t pull his blow or aim at the shield and barely missed the horse. Looking closely at the nameless knights shield I see sliver tear drops on its black background, I believe that this is the Knight of Sorrows and rather than Leatonay being able to tell people of his exploits against this knight now we get to tell of killing him, not a good thing to brag of when it was a fight of peace.

Putting his body over his horse we continue our journey to Helfer’s Vill which is the next village on this road according to the last one. Later on we are traveling along the minor road, through Darnant forest towards Helfer’s Vill, which seems to have been kept clear of vegetation. As we enter an area with the wood only on the left of the road with a scrubby hill on the right, a beautiful human woman in her 30s stumbles out of the woods to our left begging us to help her. Her clothing is worn and somewhat dirty, but in decent shape, she is very distraught and beckoning us into the woods. Sir Leatonay sits on his horse for a moment and then gets off to try to comfort the distressed woman. He fails in that task and storms off. Yogi lumbers up to try but also fails so I am left to comfort her; which I do with ease, heralds are people people unlike the other two. Now she is calm I can get some sense out of her. She is Trecia and a monstrous creature ambushed her and her husband as they were visiting their nephew at his farm in the Vill just up ahead. She begs them to hurry and help her find her husband, who was dragged into the woods.

Just around the corner you can see the large farm house, this is the Manor farm/inn of Helfer, which is just outside the main village. We head there to take her to safety and find some were to bury the knight of Sorrows.  A peasant outside says to knock and wait which we do.  The door is opened and answered by a servant who asks who we are and we say who we are and that we wanted to see the Lord of the manor. Helfer is a man in his late 50s, he is friendly, and has three bedrooms for rent at the inn.

One room is taken by a traveling merchant and his two guards another by a Banneret on his way to Black Island. We mention that we need to bury the knight of Sorrows and he is upset at his death, he tells us that he has been challenging on the road for some time and is of good character. Helfer says he will bury the knight with his sword and shield and with proper rites and a good sent off. We also ask him if he knows the lady Trecia with us and it turns out she is his aunt, but then we confuse him by saying she is with us as she is not. We are now a bit confused as well, particularly as he tells us she disappeared a couple of decades ago. It seems we have a mystery on our hands and as good chivalrous people we need to help sort it out. It is possible that she has been lost in the forest for a long time out of time.

We leave the horses and Leatonay’s page at the manor and go to find Trecia and see what help we can give her. We head back to where we first saw her and there she is. ‘Help please help me’ she cries. Yogi casts Soul-Sight on her and can see that she is hanging onto life by her spirit only. It seems that maybe she is dead anyway, she beckons us into the forest. As we enter the forest the wood seems to shift and change around us; sometimes we are next to each other, then out of sight of each other. We do all arrive at a clearing with a shack in it within a few minutes of each other. It turns out none of us lost sight of Trecia but we did lose sight of each other and took different routes. I am not sure I would want to do this without her guidance.

The shack appears as a long abandon building falling apart but held together by creeping plants. An aura of doom and death emanates from the shack. I end up having to approach it with the hairs on my body standing up. I tell the others and Leatonay casts Thick-Skin on us all, I am not sure that helps but it seems to help him. I enter the shack through the door which squeaks’ a bit, inside there are lots of bones inside the rotten walls. I call the others and as they come forward we hear a scream. Yogi catches a glimpse of something flying through the woods and grabbing Trecia. We have lost her again. We search the shack and find dark bloodstains maring the wooden and rotted floor. One set of bones, a man, grasps a golden locket in his hands under his tattered remains of clothing. When we opened, the locket it reveals two small oil pictures: one of a handsome young man, and the other of Trecia. In addition to the body and locket, there is another body that of a Skanjar, a northern dwarfish person, he is dressed in decaying miner’s clothes, and looks to have been dead for decades; thick cobwebs cover his body. In his bony hand are a rusted pick and a leather journal. I take the journal and open it.

The pages of the journal are in an unknown language but with the pictures and maps in the book and some similar words I work out that he was mining the hill over the road looking for a motherlode. As we leave the shack we see that Trecia is back and we show her the locket. ‘You stole it you thieves’. We manage to convince her that we didn’t and her husband is dead. We bury the two bodies using the miners pick while Trecia keeps saying, ‘you must avenge his death’ and pointing to the hills. After we have finished burying the bodies we head towards the hill with Trecia beside us.

We ask her what attacked them and she describes a flying bear, a very odd thing to hear. We follow her up the hillside as Leatonay casts ‘Protection’ on us all and Yogi casts ‘Sacred-Band’ on the group to share any injuries we take around us. Ahead we can see a cave just behind a tree; ‘in there’ she calls. ‘I am in there, hurry’. As she does a creature fly’s out of the cave into the sky above us. As it does we react, just in time as it dives towards us. Yogi sets his spear and I ready my longbow waiting, Leatonay seems to be a bit muddled as the creature heads towards him. It looks like a bear from the front, an eagle from its rear with big manta-ray wings. As it gets into range in its dive I let my arrow go. It fly’s straight and strong and smashes into the things eye piercing into its brain killing it. Due to its velocity it continues on its path passing over Leatony and crashing into the ground behind him.

We enter the cave and it is full of bones, amongst them we find a woman holding a locket like the other one. We show it to Trecia and she says “I am dead aren’t I? Thank you, thank you, you have killed my killer I can rest in pec…..”. She vanishes before us. We seem to have laid her to rest by uniting her and her husband.

Leatony wants the monsters boar tusks, from its mouth, for a souvenir so he cuts them off the massive monster. We then take her bones and bury them with her husband by the shack. We head back to the manor and report to Helfer the fate of his aunt and how I killed the monster. He thanks us and introduces us to his quests over supper. Next morning we head back out on the road with the knights horse and armour. Next stop the city and some rest before our next patrol.

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