A tense but ultimately uneventful day today. We set out from the marsh village at mid-morning, well after meditations and breakfast. We are short by Gord, if our new Dwarf companion would pardon my pun. The Dwarf has been laid low by fever, as I had been, and was left behind at the marsh village with a significant supply of fresh water, blankets, and well wishes. Were I of higher level I could have immediately spared him his next day of soul-rending illness with a quick Cure Disease.
As a trained Scout, Xel’Xaran was the obvious choice to be the leader of our expedition. The Elf has taken his duty seriously. He arranged our walking order to protect noncombatants at the center of our group, and instructed us on how we would best traverse the terrain so as to conceal our numbers and minimize noise. Xel’Xaran advanced ahead of our group, keeping a wary eye on our path and potential obstacles and ambush sites.
As we have no idea where the hobgoblin camp might be, Xel’Xaran is leading us on a wide survey of the land. I believe he suspects the kind of terrain they may have chosen to set down a semi-permanent camp, and is looking for signs of such terrain in the distance as we make any kind of height on our winding, soggy hike.
The bugs are again insufferable, save for my optimistic certainty that I cannot be laid low by the same pestilent fever a second time. They, and the peril of our path, compete for the dubious honor of the most frustrating recurrent theme of the day. Several times, Xel’Xaran would stop suddenly and raise a hand, sending us diving to the ground and holding still until his sense of danger abates. The ground is muddy and smells bad and twice I handed on a sharp stick.
Other times, our Elf Scout would whimsically change our path, forcing a sudden need to gingerly pick firm footing across a wide muddy patch, or make a broad-jump leap of faith across a thin but sickeningly dark and deep strip of bog channel. We have each caught and steadied another against a fall in these feats of acrobatic grace. I know for a fact that he is guiding us according to sound principles based on his knowledge. Were he to be screwing with us, mine would be the mildest fury of our lot to come his way.
Thankfully Xel’Xaran noticed a spot for an encampment by late afternoon, and decided we would settle down for the night while the sun was still relatively high. It is higher ground than most of what we have travelled, away from open water and less buggy by degrees than elsewhere we have been today. We had a small fire for cooking purposes then smothered the embers to kill its light and smoke. It was breezy and warm today, perhaps not warranting need of Endure Elements but I used it anyway. With camp set up early I can complete today’s entry, and the next entry regarding the Bonnie Heather.
Journal of Dr. Marcus Grant
Healing Cleric of Pelor, Order of St-Jude Academy (Silabrek)
29th Day, camp out of marsh village, territory of Ælim.