I found myself in West Ravenswood, on a dark and rather overcast night with pockets of rain. I was trying to convince Veimor, yet again, that it would be to his advantage to return home before his betrothed gave up on his nomadic ways. I even offered to show him the way. It was just down the road. We could go together. I had cleared a path through the wolves, it would be easy going. But he would hear none of it and stood sentry offering his foolish warnings about the ferocity of the wildlife.

I gave up on Veimor and felt my time would be better spent gathering resources for crafting projects I wished to undertake at a later interval. I made the usual rounds, harvesting cotton here and there, clearing away a few available trees and picking up assorted blooms of nightshade. It was going rather well, that is, until I strayed near the Kobold camp.

While minding my own business and harvesting a bit of cotton, one of the clan felt it necessary to throw slurs in my direction, chiding me on my use of the sickle and taunting my form with the axe. I felt these were undeserved, but did my best to ignore them. Yet, the jibes continued as they berated me over a myriad of perceived deficiencies.

They repeatedly referred to me as a no-account, cotton picking human and losing my temper, I thusly retorted they were smelly, tent-dwelling hooligans that couldn’t figure out how to make leggings. Trouble soon broke out between our people. A group of ruffs came running out of their encampment with the intent of doing me savage harm. I set them to rights with judicious use of the Flaming Sword of Smiting and then proceeded to upset their entire camp by knocking over chairs and tables, pulling out the pegs to their tents and kicking dirt on their campfires.

This silenced the entire lot of them and after stealing all their worthless hammers and looting their pockets for the meager gold they carried, I set off to seek retribution against the wolves for not accepting me as their leader.

But then, to my surprise, a visitor mysteriously appeared against the gloom of the night. Amidst my confusion I noticed it was moving with extreme velocity and headed directly toward me. Believing it to be a wolfpack leader come to seek vengeance against me for seeking vengeance against it, I made ready to play dead and hope it didn’t notice me.

To my great relief, it was no creature come out of the darkness to eat my head. Rather, it was Alley Oop. While a social gathering with Alley is always a treat, had I known of her arrival, I would have afforded better accommodations and refreshment. But it did cause me to assess the situation.

I was in a forest, this was true, but unlike most nights, I was not held captive by the icy hand of Death and in need of saving. Too, I had not fallen over the precipice of a lava flow and was in need of rescue and a bucket of cold water. Nor was I lost in a mine shaft and in need of a guide to return me to the surface.

This was, most likely, a pre-emptive visit, with the understanding that since I was in a forest, I would soon be face down in the river with a bear breaking open oysters with the judicious use of my helm, my head still inside.

However, Alley had a completely different intent for her visitation. To that end, she produced a hand-crafted cloak and told me to try it on. To my stunned amazement it was a brilliant yellow cloak to replace the one I lost when the end of the world came around. It’s fate is still unknown.

It was magnificent and lit up the night like a fire-breathing dragon fly. I paraded and danced with exuberance and thanked Alley for her most generous gift, but alas, she was already gone. Perhaps my victorious celebration went on for too lengthy a duration. No matter, I was in possession of a wondrous new cloak and I was going to flaunt it.

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Oh my goodness, it’s stunning! Look at how it catches the light!

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The flow of this cape is hypnotic. And when I got lost in the forest, it will be so easy for Alley to retrieve me!

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If you would have accepted me as your leader, it never would have come to this

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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