Songs by the Hearth
Thaal’s Journal – Entry 7
I can hardly believe the words that will fill this page. I am visited by the long-time stranger of good fortune. We’ve all made it back to the base camp.
The winter giant failed to cut down a single one of the troupe. Jeeko was especially excited to see me, and, as proof of the kill, handed me a finger larger than my forearm. As little reason as I can work out of it, I think he genuinely likes me. I hadn’t considered the possibility of finding a real ally.
After we were all back together, there were some attempts at communication with our hosts, the gnomish fey, which were largely unsuccessful and limited. I could stand to pick up some more languages…
There is a connection with the ruins and Hadarai’s people. Depictions of his kind were abundant in an antechamber we explored. The shadowsatyr certainly knew about me; I am excited to return to the ruins to learn something about him. I may just gain some insight into the puppeteer he mentioned.
During this time, also, we were beset by the foulest of scuttling vermin, suspiciously driven at us. I have learned a lasting lesson about being ill equipped to combat a swarm.
The land among the ruins is stricken with an unceasing, unnatural cold… which perhaps portends to the Eternal Winter that Hadarai mentioned he sought to prevent… and, possibly, mine? I daresay this is the most promising lead I’ve had.
I think I have made peace with the paladin. I am fortunate to have seen his curse so early in our acquaintanceship; though its nature is of little consequence to me, it provided the social advantage over him I needed. Easing his scrutinizing gaze removes, likely, the most severe threat of my being exposed.
The holy tiefling remains quiet, and rarely directs his attention towards me, so far as I can tell. He could be genuinely unconcerned, or craftier than I imagine.
The branded cleric is a simple man, and I do not expect him to cause me problems. It also stands to mention that he is the only true human in the group; a unique risk he does not understand.
Jeeko’s simple trophy has proved to be a benefit beyond my expectation. With it, the chill was abated substantially. I only wish I could convey what a boon it was without saying anything unseemly. I find myself in a position of unfamiliar comfort and security. Even if I gain only little relevant information from this excursion, my time will not be wasted. I reckon that the next day I spend bored will be the most exceptional.