By Brian Flood
Chapter 7 - Night Watch and the Next Day
Along the Uldoon Trail
East of Berdusk, The Sunset Vale
Mid-Evening, 21st Day of Eleint, Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)
Ori guides the wagon to a stop and climbs down from the
seat to begin tending to the draft horses.
Tomar stands and says, “It would appear there is little time left – I
would say we need to quickly start a fire if we want to dry ourselves before we
start the watch. Then, maybe one of
you can explain why we scouted the area and hunted BEFORE we found a suitable
campsite? And why exactly DID we
bother to scout if the campsite was located three hundred meters BEYOND the area
that was scouted?”
Cursing under his breath about wasted time, Dolak
dismounts and secures his pack mule to the saddle of his pony.
Then, he begins dragging his booted feet over the ground.
After a few minutes, he has cleared a small area for a fire.
Next, he carefully piles a handful of long grass and other timber and
strikes his flint and steel to start a fire.
Once the tinder begins burning, he uses the bellows from his travelling
forge and additional scrub brush to stoke the flames into a medium-sized blaze.
“The rest of ye had better lay out your bedrolls.
It’d be getting’ dark in a short bit.”
The others walk in about the area, collapsing the grass
to create a clear area to camp. Those
party members with mounts use their leads to stake them to the ground around the
perimeter of the small manmade clearing. Finally,
the party members carefully lay out their bedrolls near the smoldering fire,
which, by now, is providing the only light.
Slyvia passes around her small harvest of berries to
those gathered at the fire. Then,
the party members settle in for a bland meal of trail rations and water.
The mood around the fire is quite forlorn as the party members quietly
reflect at their first attempt to establish a night rest location.
As the party members finish their meal, Alric says, “We
can save our review of tonight’s activities for the road tomorrow.
For now, good night to all and may Tyr watch over you.”
With that, the paladin readies himself for bed by laying back, without
bothering to remove his chain mail, and wrapping his cloak about him.
He rests his great sword in his chest with his hands on the pommel.
He then quickly falls into a deep slumber induced by the long day on the
The rest of the party readies itself for bed, as well.
Lucas takes a moment to murmur some words in a mystical tongue.
In an instant, his stained robes are clean and dry.
The other party members wrap themselves in their slightly damp cloaks and
try to catch as much warmth from the fire as possible.
Kjira, Zell, Dolak and Cyzicus remain awake to man the first watch shift.
* * * *
22nd Day of Eleint
The morning finds the party fairly well rested after an
uninterrupted evening. The air is
quite brisk this morning, more like late autumn than late summer.
The winds are now coming from the north, which may help to explain the
drop in temperature. Dolak and Alric, who slept their metal armor, are slightly
stiff but otherwise they feel fine.
After Darius has woken the other members, the priests
spend some time devoting to their deities while the mages open their spellbooks
to study their spells. The others
produce items from their trail rations for morningfeast, washing it down with
water. Before breaking camp, Darius
and Alani gather up the party’s waterskins and fill them in the pond.
Two hours after waking, the party is ready to move again.
They reform into marching order and head to the road.
After twenty minutes, they reach the Uldoon trail.
Turning to the east, they continue their journey.
The temperature remains cool, and the sky is free of clouds.
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