Since my original time in Highvale was rather short with a pressing need to get on with my destiny, I decided it might be worthwhile to head back and have a bit more of a thorough look around. I’m sure there are plenty of things I missed. For example, I was given a few details and in fact a few trinkets to take to Resolute, but for the life of me, I can’t seem to find that blasted city!

I knew it would be a long journey, so I packed some appropriate sandwiches, liberated some libations and set off. It seemed the best course was to make my way over to Kingsport, hop the ferry, arrive in Ardoris and make my way toward that rather suspicious lot over in Desolis. I will have to pay them a visit on my return trip. I’ve heard a few things I need to investigate further.

My travels took longer than expected as I had the map upside down and missed several key turns. But, after following the stars and a wee bit of luck I was on the right path. Off in the distance was Highvale. However, I was close to the fishing village of Jaanaford and figured I could use a bit of advice in regards to my fishing prowess so I decided to stop in.

It’s quite a lovely little village, but the community is bit of a tight lipped one. They don’t have much to say, especially in regard to fishing. As I stood amidst the fisherman along the banks of the river, I got little more than a stern “hush” or some allusion to fishing is better than playing with dark magic.

Wait, what?

I got no further elaboration. Who throws out that sort of comment, but doesn’t go on to explain what the devil they are talking about? Perhaps this was just one of the fish stories they tell each other to idle by the time.

As I looked around town, it seems I was a bit early for the bonfire festivities they were setting up in the center of town. It looks like a rather exciting gala event will be taking place later in the eve. I will have to stop back to perhaps take in the local ale and indulge in what I can only assume will be some sort of fish delicacy.

I will say the fishing shacks could use with a bit of a touch up. The boards seem a little on the dilapidated side, the accommodations a touch overcrowded and it could use with a little less “fish” aroma permeating from everything and everywhere. But other than that, it was lovely.

With plans to return to the bonfire later, I travelled up the road to Highvale. It all seemed rather gloomy and ramshackle with nary a soul around. That is, until I entered the main portion of the village and then the thugs came out at night.

I was simply trying to have a look around when thugs, wizards and archers set their sights upon me and unleash an overwhelming and completely uncalled for fury upon my person. Before I could even offer up a sandwich in greeting, I was obligated to announce my presence with the use of heavy steel.

While not versed in the full use of combat skills, I did leave them with an impression. And that impression was of their faces down in the dirt.

As I looked around, I realized the welcoming committee outside the gates was no more friendly. The Elves immediately hurled their arrows and fireballs of discontent at me and without giving me the opportunity to offer up meat stuffs as a sign of friendship. The battle was on. They too had their own set of archers and fireball flinging mages. Disappointing. Everyone can hurl fireballs, but me. I’ll have to talk to the trainer about that.

With that band quelled, I looked to the horizon and took in all the agriculture of the area. Strange that such a battlefield should have such crops. Then, off in the distance, I saw Elf and Human engaged in a battle to the death in what appeared to the fringes of a corn field. It was a terrible skirmish with both sides suffering bitter loses.

As I drew closer I could hear the insults and the taunts. It then became clear to me that this terrible dispute was nothing more than a misunderstanding. From what I could gather, the Humans had made disparaging remarks about the corn maze the Elves were putting together for the seasonal festival. The Elves in turn had thrown stinging barbs about the lack of sincerity associated with the Humans pumpkin patch.

This had lead to all out conflict, to the point where the humans had assembled mighty siege engines to obliterate the corn maze itself. To counter, the Elves now lay in wait, destroying pumpkins or wearing them upon their heads in ridicule of the Humans.

Being a fan of both seasonal delights I did my best to reason with the warring factions, but got nothing but a flaming arrow in the hind section for my efforts.  I had no choice but to knock sense into both of them which resulted in me clubbing them both into silence.

This seemed to stir up the hostilities within each group and now I was an enemy of both tribes. Elves and Humans chased me out of their paddocks. I sought shelter in a nearby stable and thought I had a grand escape in the making when I stumbled upon a mighty steed. But alas, the stubborn beast was in no mood to take me to safety and merely stood there staring at me. Useless beast of burden!

I did make a hasty retreat to the cemetery and then to the top of the watch tower until things cooled under the cover of night. Then I thought it was best to perhaps sneak back to Jaanaford and join in on their festivities.

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Well what have we here? Looks like the makings of a festive evening. Is this an invitation only bonfire or can any travelling vagabond attend? What if I bring my own fish?

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Quite a well stocked market you have going here.

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Nice falls you have in these parts. And I see you are fans of fishing. What insights do you have for a novice?

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Now I admit, this pumpkin patch could use a bit of work before it becomes the most sincere but your constant sabotage isn’t going to get us anywhere.

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Their taunts of your pumpkin patch might be a bit hurtful, but I think this might be taking things too far.

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I’m not one for hiding out in cemeteries, but you chaps are getting a bit over zealous. Maybe I will linger here until calmer heads prevail!

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Haha! A mighty steed! A perfect way to make my escape!
Look, I’ll give you an apple if you stop being so difficult and whisk me to safety.
If you happen to know the location of a good pub, there might be a new pair of shoes in it for you.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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