Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Day 17-Duisdai, Augusta 25...Through the Valley of Shadows

We all were out of rooms shortly after sunrise. The keep was fairly cool last night, I slept well, all things considered. My nightmare hasn't returned in a couple nights, maybe I won't have it anymore. I know I just cursed myself by saying that. We ate and headed out to our horses and instead of three horses there was now a fourth horse loaded up to make a long distance trip. It would seem that I have attracted another bodyguard to accompany myself and Antonia to the Lake District. Finding time to snoop around and ask people about the rumors and disappearances won't be easy, especially now that I will be doing it solo. Antonia is still too beat up to do much of anything, she needs her rest.

Our new addition to this journey is Wyatt, he is supposedly one of the most experienced archers stationed at the keep. He was there, at our time of need, last night during the feral dog attack. He seems rather joyful and excited about going...must not get out that often. He's easy on the eyes but not really my type. He does have some extremely sculpted arms though. Anyway, we mounted up and headed toward the Valley of Shadows. Calling it a valley is a bit of a misnomer. It is actually more of a chasm. Steep rock cliffs shoot straight up from the earth to create a narrow path. The walls block out all sunlight, except for a couple of hours around midday. The "shadows" part of the name I understand, but the "valley" part of it escapes me. Oh well, whatever. The terrain isn't too rough mostly sandy like a dry river bed, so the horses had an easy time of it. Our trek took all day and was fairly uneventful.

I had a chance to talk to Wyatt and ask him if he had heard any rumors about the strange disappearances. I acted like I was just bored and needed to make small talk, so my questions may have came off as a little silly. He said that he had heard stories of people losing animals and pets and that they just seemed to vanish. Same old stuff, dang it. I asked him if he knew Rex Thyne and he said the name sounded familiar but didn't know him. Another dead end. At least our conversation passed the time a little better. He is a lot more personable than Olin is that's for sure.

We arrived at our destination, Royta, another mining town. Royta is much larger than Vensk and seems to have a little more character and sophistication. People here actually smile and say hello as we pass by. We checked in to our rooms, Antonia was sore and tired so she headed off to bed. Olin ran off to locate our contact and Wyatt took the horses to the stables. I was left alone so I decided to meander around and do some investigating. I passed by a small eatery and went inside to get a bite to eat. I sat at a corner table and ordered a cup of the house soup. The table next to mine was occupied by a young couple. They didn't look too much older than me. I struck up a conversation with them by asking about the town and what they did here. Then I moved to the real question I wanted to ask...Have you heard anything about these strange disappearances? They both got really quiet and moved closer to me. They began to whisper so no one could eavesdrop in on what they were about to tell me. They told me a story about a miner, Jess, who had been missing for several days. They said he simply vanished from his mine one day and left all of his gear there. He wasn't about to walk out and give up the mining trade, he was one of the more successful miners in the area, and now there was some dispute going on as to who had rights to his mine if he didn't return. There is no information on his last known whereabouts, he just isn't around anymore. Jess didn't have any family here in Royta, but the couple thought he may have a son that lived in Distress. It was an interesting story and possibly the third person that I know of who had just vanished or went missing. Jess...our contact in Vensk... and the young boy, Jakob. Who knows if there are more? Surely there are. I left the eatery and thanked the young couple for their time. When i got back to the Inn, Olin was just getting there, as well. He asked what I had been up too; I said I went to get something to eat and he scowled at me. He can be such a buzz-kill.

I went up to my room and woke Antonia to tell her the story I had just heard. She was happy that I shared it with her and she wished she could be out there helping me.I told her not to worry and that I would tell her everything that I found out. She smiled.

Time for bed, maybe tomorrow I can ask around a little bit more about Jess before we leave.

1 comment:

  1. Are they all related to Distress somehow? The missing people/animals? Curiouser and curiouser.