Journal Entry 14

Dear River,

It took a few days to arrive at the Sour Vintage, and luckily nothing eventful occurred since saving Pholon from the raptors. It was nice to be trekking in the wild without any conflicts within and outside of our party. We were able to travel in peace while enjoying each others’ presence. I have to admit that I feel like a burden has been lifted since leaving Ellandyr. Since leaving, I truly realize how much I hate Ellandyr now, and I feel bad for my friends. While in Ellandyr, I was a mess and they had to manage my uncertainties, lunacy, and emotional displays. I knew I was unhappy in Ellandyr but I pinned my dislikes to Ellandyr because it was a city. However, Altea was a city, too, and I didn’t have many issues being there. Granted, Ellandyr was a much bigger city than Altea, but I have to be honst to myself that the city life was not the problem. I hate our home. I hate it. I hate it. I hate it. It’s not my home anymore and now I realize that where I am most at peace with myself is here in the wild. I don’t mind Altea, but as I hike here with my friends, this is the happiest I have been in a long time. Oh! I forgot to tell you. I have a new friend that I caught in one of my snares. It was an Almiraj. I named him Giannis and Rare will love him. I plan on giving him to Rare once I see her.

We had a lot of fun at the Sour Vintage, but it was very different from the last time we were here. There was a new sign that said, “Birthplace of the Heroes of Prophecy.” This would explain why this inn has grown more luxurious since we were here last. The owner had an actual staff to cook and serve the patrons, and there were many more rooms. There were rooms that were dedicated for each of us as well. The Sour Vintage was also busier since the last time we were here. Upon arriving, I asked if they had salmon. I was led to the kitchen and there was a half-orc named Dorne and a halfling named Nyas. Love, they made me the best salmon I ever had. They allowed me to shadow them as they cooked it. I also asked if they could make it spicy for me, and they sure did. It was so, so good. I promise that I will bring you here for a date night and enjoy this spicy salmon. You will love it! I will also have to try and practice preparing the salmon as they had shown me.

After retrieving my food, I returned to the lobby and asked Rendu for one of their strongest drinks (he was bartending for some reason) and sat down with nearby farmers and shared my food and drink with them. By the way, the owner said that all the food and drinks were free for us! While talking with the farmer patrons, I was asking about nearby areas, including the Dead Falls. They recommended that I never go there. Those that do do not come back. It is also rumored that the Dead Falls is the portal to the underworld where Khar’shan resides. If this is true, maybe you and Rare are there. I don’t think my friends and I are ready to take on Khar’shan, but if I can find you, maybe… just maybe…

To be honest, I was excited by this idea and I started to dance to the local music that was performed that night. I tried to get my friends to join me, and Torag and Actaeon were the only ones that wouldn’t dance. It was a good night and I think we needed it. At the end of the night, we had a team meeting as we will reach the Dead Falls soon and, hopefully, find the ship Gjallerhorn.

One morning on the way to the Dead Falls, I received my new bow. Azorius outdid himself. It was beautiful. It had this really dark black and purple color and it had vines that are sprouting from the handle to form the arms.  I named it “Rare’s Thorn.” Khar’shan and her minions will feel the wrath of Rare’s Thorn, and will regret the day she began tormenting us, and she will hate my bow for it will destroy her and her ploys. A cool feature that came along with the bow was that I don’t need arrows anymore. It was quite a surprise when I was fiddling with the bow and an electrical blue force shot from the bow into a nearby tree. Since Briar bought me a hundred of arrows in Ellandyr, I had a great surplus of arrows that I did not need anymore. I asked Corinna if she would like to have my arrows and she graciously accepted. I also asked her if she would like my old bow that Pa gave me. I was a little torn giving away my old bow but Corinna would need it more than I do now and I will make Rare a new bow. I also can’t help but think of Corinna’s father when I look at her. I would not want her out here with us if I were her father and I will not allow her to get hurt. I know she already has a bow but it makes me feel better that she has my old bow to protect herself with. I could not bear if I had to bring Corinna back to her father if anything were to happen to her. I pray and hope that my old bow will help protect her.

We will reach the Dead Falls soon. I will write to you and explain how it went. I hope that I will be able to write to you and tell you we are in possession of the ship of Gjallarhorn, but we shall see.

Your Black Knight,