When you first think of Nightshade Pass, it’s hard to get past the ill-mannered thugs, the deadly wolves, the out of control bears, the arrow slinging undead and that ill-tempered troll that would rather throw boulders than share a mutton sandwich. However, if you know where to look, Nightshade Pass is a gold mine of health and rejuvenation.

High on the cliffs and out of the way are the refreshing sulphur springs that I don’t believe too many know about. And they must be good as bandits guard the entrance and become a flurry of motion and menace to all who come near. But, once you clear them away, luxury is just down the path.

Tucked away, with a stunning view of the Hilt Fortress, are lovely springs that you can ease into to let the cares of the day slip by. Not only is it a grand place to wash off sullied chest armor and leggings, but you can stretch out in the pool, enveloped in soothing liquid heat that will soon have you forgetting about all the misdeeds that the evil-doers of the realm have been up to.

I have found that some of the pools are large enough for a group so you and your adventuring party can all take a break from the day’s events, while some offer a more solitary experience so you can easily focus on meditation.

On one of my previous trips, I tried to strike a bargain with the bandits, wherein they would let me begin construction on a small, but tasteful little resort and spa, where adventurers would pay a small sum to lounge in the healing water and we would all share the profits. I was under the assumption, since they were bandits, they were eager to make some extra coins for their purse. Instead of trying to come to terms over the deal, they saw fit to brandish weapons and assault me with fireballs and incantations of ill-will. I have to say, this was a rather inconvenient rock to throw in my tranquil pond, and thus each and every one of them had to be smited in turn. Alas, I was a touch too exuberant and left no one alive to sign the parchment of agreement. I tried to engage the horse in some trading, but it refused to be entered into a deal.

With that in mind, I have gone with the rule that possession is 9/10ths of the law and have begun to make plans to turn this little slice of Nightshade Pass into a bit of a retreat. It’ll take some time to get the right sort of exposure and something will need to be done to keep the bears and wolves under control so someone doesn’t get mauled in the middle of meditation, which will certainly put a damper of the calm people are trying to achieve.

I also think if the troll would let his guard down for a few minutes and give those bandaged feet a soak in the healing pools, he might have a more opportunistic and positive outlook toward humanity and thus be less inclined to crush a skull with a rock.

I’m also going to see if I can lure the Tour Guide out of his more sinister perch and see if he will take up a post near the springs to help with the foot traffic.

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Oh my, that is indeed relaxing. It probably would have been better if I removed the armor first, but you never know what might be lurking in these unknown waters.

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This is quite lovely. Isolated little pool, lovely scenery, fresh air. And no one will make a comment if I inadvertently make my own bubbles.

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You give it a try Alley and I will stand watch in case one of those bandits decides to sneak on in here. No, no, rest assured, I cannot see through the water from this angle.

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A lovely little tree for meditation.

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Oh yes, equestrian facilities would be lovely. That horse seems a little spirited, but I’m sure once he’s given some oats and a brushing he’ll be at one with our idea. Not now you silly wolf, we’re in the middle of a business meeting with the horses. I’ll meet with your pack a bit later and see if we can work something out, but I’m not sure we have a need for stealthy and violent death.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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