Fallenboughs

Ahna's Testament

In the devilishly well-camoflaged hollow of a tree, there is a journal on a rolled scroll of paper, preserved in a richly dyed leather tube that looks watertight. The last entry, like all the rest, is written in a small, etch-like handwriting that reads from top to bottom, then left to right, and this last entry reads as follows;

I pray I’Shanikan to protect this hand that writes and acts on the behalf of War-Chief Koyut, to protect this record for the future so that others will know the truth of this day, the third in the second week of the ascending autumn.

I am out of the scent bombs that divert the few large predators of the area, so I will need a new approach to that and swiftly. Whatever vile beast I have discovered the Two Teeth worshipping will likely not go out of its way to be after my party, not with so many fools to floss its fangs with.

Last night the young men camped in the clear-walled building and gathered themselves this morning for exploration. I had taken my first sleeping soon after speaking with Corin, and set false tracks again afterward leading any goblins who might go hunting for them back to their own camps, or to the pond northeast of the clear building. Satisfied, I took my second sleeping and struck out to find where the lads had decided to go. Surely sooner or later we will find some way out of this dead city basin.

Their trail led towards the lake, and I followed it. Only another Hunter of Hunters could find it again. They paused briefly to gaze upon stone men, and the strange light that passed among them. They stopped again to search a small camp, for one person, and a ruin filled with a foul slick of unnatural liquid, and four devices as one might see among tasters of magic. There had been a fight, with an enemy that left no tracks themselves. It smelled of air changed after lightning. I tasted the magic of the air and found it to be the shades native to the city, no less than three, nor more than seven. Fire had been set to the pool of liquid somehow. Clearly the victors, my young recruits moved on. They are very independent and hardy, my War-Chief would be proud to swear them into the rank of hunters and braves.

All of us avoided the worst muck. I am not sure they knew how closely they hemmed to the trail of he who camped near the lightning and foul oil. That one is clever in making trail. At the lake’s uneven edge there is evidence that he entered a boat and set out onto the water, bringing the foul oil with him. Good riddance for now, I will recall his signs later and kill him if he is in my claim. A good camp was made by my party, and safe. The night passed quietly. I saw the signs of the production of a raft but did not realize what they were doing until it was too late. When I came back from checking a few likely places upshore for a treacherous man with a boat to land unnoticed, camp was broken.

They were out on the lake and I could barely see them. The water churned about them, for what seemed like an hour to me. Then, as if nothing had happened, the raft drifted on toward the tower.

I have retreived some of the foul oil and have woven a reed boat that should take me to the center of the lake. Spirits and ancestors preserve me, I cannot lose them.

Should I perish before I can retreive this journal, forgive me, my Chief. Before it was my duty to make this trail, it was my duty to live right.

Ahnatalto Koyutsolo bids farewell to this message, may I’Miyanee protect it and deliver it where it belongs.

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