“Ok Nak, so how do I kill it?"

“Search me Zan, it’s a legend. I didn’t think they even existed any more. The elves were meant to have killed ‘em all off ages ago."

“Well clearly they didn’t. So, am I right in thinking I’m going to need to go talk those bloody twigs to get some information?"

“Seems like it. Look, I know you ain’t fond of them but you might want to put your temper on a leash. They don’t take kindly to…" He trailed off, trying to find a tactful way to say it, “ungracious words…?"

“I know, I know”, I did and I hated it, “Look I’ll be polite, I just need some information, maybe even some help."

“Well I’m sure they’ll be eager to see a.. a… one of those dead."

“What’s with the word Nak? Why’d you not just say it?"

“It’s cursed, the whole damn thing is cursed. Speaking their name’s a bad omen Zan."

“Fine, fine, can I stop here the night then? It’s freezing out there and it looks like I’m heading to the woods tomorrow."

“Of course Zan, I’ll make up the guest room."

He trundled off and busied himself with the room while I considered my options. If it was a ‘Ghoul’ I’d need to talk to the Elves. Something I definitely did not want to do.

The next morning I got my shit together and prepared myself for a trip into the woods. Nakura was generous with food and helped my stock my bag. Hopefully this wasn’t going to be a long one. I hated the woods, it was a place of memories and memories belong in the past.

It was time to go. I took one last look back towards Raven Wood and turned my face to the treeline. Poe nuzzled my ear, he knew I wasn’t happy about this. I was lucky to have him. At least I wouldn’t be alone.

[Undertake a Journey: Weak Hit]

After a few hours of trudging through the trees and mud I began to see the first signs of Elves; marks in the tree bark, wooden tokens hanging from branches. They were subtle but they were also a warning. The Elves don’t necessarily like us. They tolerate us and we trade a little here and there with them. We like to think they don’t have the guts for a war but I knew that wasn’t true. They just hadn’t decided we were trouble enough to deal with yet.

I set down for a spell in the crook of an old Oak and ate some, fed Poe some and looked around. It was quiet, a light wind blew through the leafless trees around me. The odd bird sang nearby. Judging by the carvings the nearest Elf haunt was further west. Still a ways to go…

[Undertake a Journey: Miss]

[Pay the Price: I’m under attack]

An arrow hit the tree I was leaning to with a thud. Fuck, what now? Bandits? Elves? Shit.

[Ask the Oracle: 50/50: bandits/elves: bandits!]

I glanced at the arrow, the fletching was too rough for Elves, this was human work. That settles it, bandits. Damn. I looked around to see if I could spot them and work out my next move…

[Secure an Advantage (Wits): Miss]

[Pay the Price|Ask the Oracle: I’m surrounded (3 or more) - Likely: There’s only two of them): Surrounded]

Out of the trees I saw 3 figures moving in on my position. I was going to have to run or fight (3 Bandits: Dangerous).

To the hells with this, I’m a fucking Warden. I’d be tracking down these scum sooner or later anyway. At least this way they’ve saved me the trouble of finding ‘em.

[Enter the Fray (Ambushed: Wits): Miss; Match]

[Pay the Price: Your action has an unintended effect; -1 Spirit, -1 Health]

I lunged towards the nearest one with my spear but tripped on a root, a fucking root! Cracked my damn head on a rock and tasted blood in my mouth. In my minds’ eye I could see Caersun shaking her head. Two of the bandits drew daggers as they closed the distance.

I rolled to dodge the strikes, coming back onto my feet, Spear first.

[Face Danger (Edge + Skirmisher): Burn Momentum; Strong Hit; Initiative]

They missed and I leapt at the nearest one, aiming straight for his heart.

[Strike (Iron): Strong Hit: 3 harm (dangerous=6 boxes)]

My spear struck true, impaled the bastard through the chest and I wrenched it from his rib cage as I spun and stabbed another deeply. The rush of blood was in my ears as I turned to the third.

[Strike (Iron): Strong Hit: 3 harm (dangerous=6 boxes)]

[End the fight: Strong Hit]

I rammed the spear into his eye and through his skull. Put my foot on his chest as he hit the ground and pulled it free. I was on fire. The bodies that littered the forest floor around me a testament to my skill.

This. This is what I trained for.

But it wasn’t… Relevant right now. I was no closer to the Elves than I’d been when this mess started. I needed to get back on track and find the spindlers so I could finally fix this mess at Raven Wood…

I checked the bodies, took the bow, 3 daggers and a fistful of arrows, and got ready to keep moving.

[Undertake a Journey: Weak Hit]

I walked, and walked. One part of the woods looked much like another but I followed the carvings and took note of the tokens. I knew I wasn’t going to be met with open arms (I shuddered at the thought of those long, winding arms) but hopefully my mark was worth something even to the Elves. I stopped again to catch myself, and listen to the wind. There, just there on the edge of my ears was the sound of drums and flutes. The haunting trill of an Elven homestead. I must be close…

[Undertake a Journey: Strong Hit]

I crested a hillock, I could hear the sounds of a village of some kind nearby. I must be there by now…

[Reach Your Destination: Weak Hit]

[Complication: Theme: Secret, Action: Breach]

To Be Continued…