The morning began with accusations and horror. Jack was horrified about the beaver pelt, but after 15 minutes of hilarious yelling and wild-eyed postulating, everyone figured out that Crazy Joe came in the night to cuddle with Jack, and I killed Crazy Joe. In all the commotion, nobody told Jack about the arterial spray across his back and neck.
Next, naturally, was the issue of Kydien missing. Sparrow was clever enough to find that she had been dragged off towards the woods, and someone had tried to cover the tracks. She immediately called me a “sick bastard.” There was a twinkle of approval beneath the insult, however. I didn’t want to admit to killing her, though. I’m not sure why. I suppose this is what guilt feels like. I’m not too familiar with the emotion. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt it. All the same, while the party suspects I did it, they can’t prove it. I merely said that I saw what had happened, and that we don’t need to worry about Kydien. I smiled, and deflected, explaining that I was too busy protecting Jack from Crazy Joe last night. It’s a thin excuse, but it will have to do, and the party will just have to trust me.
We traveled all day and found an interesting crack in a large crag of rocks in the late afternoon. We decided that it’d be a great place to camp, but the issue of Jack’s Bitch came up. To my great surprise, Reyes immediately suggested that we kill him. I wonder if the loss of Kydien and Fionn have darkened him, somewhat. I didn’t think Jack’s Bitch needed to die, and I said so. Really, he was just some kid that fell in with a bad crowd. A few years of working hard at Oleg’s and we might make a new man out of him! Not to mention, he remains a valuable source of information. He told us a lot already, but you never know when you need more information. Questions you didn’t think to ask the first time around.
Jack and Sparrow agreed with killing Jack’s Bitch. I sighed, and drew my Aldori blade. I was about to ask to do it myself, that I might give Jack’s Bitch a dignified, painless execution, when Sparrow interrupted and said that if I don’t want to kill him, she’d be happy to. And apparently even this was too much of a delay, because Reyes drew his sword and hacked — and thus ended the life of a bandit. We let him live long enough to betray his master, but not long enough to learn his name, or the mark he’d leave on the world. Some deaths have to happen: that’s where I come in. But this death served no purpose. It put things… out of Balance.
We explored into the cave created by the crack in the crag, and Reyes noticed that, all along the cave wall, was a vein of gold. Lo and behold, it’s true! And better still (miraculously, really!) it seemed to be undiscovered by any other inhabitant here in the Greenbelt. Between bandits and mites and hermits and gods know what else… a gold mine ripe for the picking! As “keeper of the map,” I carefully noted the location. There was nothing we could do about it now, but some day in the near future I’d like to imagine establishing a full-fledged mine, right here! Mmm, perhaps even with a secret tunnel to securely transport the gold ore to the nearest town! Ah… dreaming of glittering gold, we slept soundly.
We entered the sycamore, and fought the mites. It was terrible. Terribly easy, of course. But terribly smelly and frustrating. It seems the mites – who breed those goddamn giant centipedes – are at war with a tribe of kobolds to the South. The “Scootscale Kobolds.” Primitive war documents (I use the term “documents” very loosely here) we recovered from the mites indicate that the kobolds are definitely winning, but the kobolds stole a bunch of crap from the mites.
Including, you guessed it, a “shiny ring.” Splendid. We have more than enough treasure at this point, and it’s been almost a week since we left Oleg’s. I think we should return, give Oleg 100 gold coins or so to buy a nice new ring for Svetlana, and then visit the kobolds. We could attempt to negotiate for the ring. Sort of a, “Hey, we slaughtered your sworn enemies, and all we want in return is your ring, or we’ll slaughter you too,” type scenario. Although… I wonder if it wouldn’t be smarter to befriend the kobolds? They’re devious little things, and they might be able to serve as spies or scouts. Or cheap labor. Either way, I’m perfectly happy killing off mites, and that seems to me to be the way to the kobolds’ hearts.
I’m going to carefully work on this here map, and then get some sleep. We’ll figure out our next move over breakfast.