What a night, what a day! Ahna told us she saw, from shore, a bit of what happened when we boarded our makeshift raft and headed to the tower, but she was surprised and impressed when we told her about the scuffle. I should start over though.
We are now pretty sure that the big lake and the tower is, in fact, pretty close to the center of Naught. There are bunch of cities placed around it, and sometimes they overlap, but when we saw the tower and the lake, we thought we could get a good view of the place. We made it to the lake without much trouble, Lee built up a raft, but I didn’t like the looks of the water and put most of our fragile things in a little hiding spot by the water’s edge. It was a good thing, too, as we were attacked in the middle of the water by these big crawdad-looking things. Critters. They might kinda look like they have a weird human-like shape, but they were just animals.
I called on the spirits of ice, and they all flowed into me. It’s a very strange feeling, when I take on the form of Winter. Lee says that the skeletons we smashed were like bodies on puppet strings, and Nesit is talking about the gods and our souls, but when I take on the form, I don’t feel like I’m being filled up, or crammed with too many souls in my body, but like my mind, my body, and Winter are all one, new, Corin. It feels good, just different. I tried to explain it to the others, but they don’t get it. After a while, though, the link between me and the spirits wants to fade, and I have to work at keeping it going. Good thing, too, because by the end of the fight the ice I was making was all that was keeping the raft together.
We got to the tower ok, though, and it turns out that we made a good choice in exploring the place. It used to be a monastery, and each of the lower floors was devoted to a craft or trade that the monks used to practice to keep the place up. We found a brewery full of barrels and wood for the raft, a stonemason’s shop, a book-binding place, but the biggest surprise was above all of them. We made our way up to the big windowed room that we’d seen from the ground, and inside was a strange statue-man made of wood and stone and metal. I was sure surprised when he spoke to us, but he is a nice person. Nesit kept calling him a thing, and Lee wasn’t sure, but I am sure that he is people in the same way that the crawd-things weren’t people. He has a mind, and he knows what he wants, and he is content to work hard and keep the tower clean, and that makes him people.
He called himself Coop, said that he was a Warforged, and said that he was very old. He fought in the encroachment war, and, afterwards, came to this sunken tower and cleaned out the rats (I think he is very fast. He moved slow, but he said he was a soldier, after all) and made a home for carrier pigeons. He didn’t want anything from us, but he let us take some things and sleep in the tower. He also showed us the city, so we know that we are in the center.
We could see, to the west where we had been, an enormous Lion-monster as big as a house! Now we know what kind of beasts Ahna was keeping away from us. I will see if she likes crawd meat. We also learned that there is some kind of barrier that keeps people from leaving the city, so we might need to learn from the Shadar-Kai (Oz helped me spells that word) how they get through it if we are going to make it to the Bough. Lee wants to sneak and steal the way, and, if they decide that they won’t want to trade with us, I guess I will agree with him. The Shadar-Kai are definitely people, too, but I suppose not all people are created equal. Some people are jerks.
We’ll have all evening to fish, and Lee has improved the raft quite a bit, so we’ll be able to smoke the fish tomorrow, once we get across the lake again. After that, we have a lot of travel to go. It could take weeks to get from the Shadar Kai camps in the northeast to the Bough to the west, and we might have to avoid that Lion. Coop thinks the Lion is sick, so maybe we could get its respect if we cured it, but I’m not sure it would want to take any medicine we could make before it would eat us.
Anyways, I have written too much and am using all the ink, so I will write later. Good night.