Blade Maidens: What Fools These Mortals Be – 7

“As reluctant as I am to admit it…Ser proved I have a good deal of learning left to do, today.

We’ve been traveling south of the Verdannian border for the past few days. I didn’t want to argue a course, given our rushed departure and Ser’s generosity in taking me on their journey. I felt it lucky that the woods we find ourselves in reminded me of the Arborly. I’ve been looking to prove myself every bit as capable as I promised since we left the castle, and felt this would be ideal conditions to do so, given my familiarity with the environment.

I took Ser’s grin upon my suggestion at gathering supplies for our evening repast as more of the rakish vagabond charm that I’ve come to expect. Par for the course when dealing with sellswords, if the ballads are true. I now realize they knew exactly how far out of my homeland we had traveled.

With firewood in hand and a few hours of daylight left, I thought I could impress my new companion by finding some lovely Sepestan Stools. The common folk think them bewitched with foul luck or, worse, poison to the tongue. Of course with my studies I knew if brewed in a pot and reduced to a thick broth they make for an excellent accompaniment to our venison. However, try as I might, I couldn’t find any of the mushrooms in their standard growth sites. Eventually, I grew so focused on my hunt I strayed from the rough path hewn through the woods.

As night crept closer, I feared my mistake would earn me a solitary and cold evening for myself. But sure enough–porting that same damned grin–Ser found me with a torch in hand.

They threw a few off-hand comments, arguably insults really, about not “being in a castle” any longer and as obnoxious as she was I could not argue with the core of her barbs. I’ll ask if they would be willing to provide some…education in the finer arts of survival craft in the morning. I’m eager to see what clever comments she’ll undoubtedly throw my way.

And I’m far more eager to see the look on their face the day I prove them unnecessary.”

– A passage from Rowan’s journal, dated 8 Gyvenium 876