To Andelie

August 29th, 1136. Early afternoon in a forest near Andele.

Large flying reptile in the night sky near Andelie.
Large flying reptile in the night sky near Andelie.

I peeked my head out from underneath the tree’s canopy with an arrow notched in my bow. Looking up, I saw a silhouette cast by the moon. It looked like a giant bat meets a bird, but it’s hard to tell since it’s so high up in the sky. It didn’t seem to have noticed us since it kept slowly spiraling off to the east, screeching loudly.

“I think it’s moving away from us,” I said.

“How the hell did you pull that out of your backpack?” Luke asked with a bewildered look on his face.

“Nevermind that,” I said.

“But-” Luke started.

“Do you want me to punch you again?”

“I was just asking, praise Helga,” said Luke.

As we keep walking towards the smell of salty air, I noticed Luke’s eyes on my bag, not with greed but with curiosity. With my bow still in my hand, I led the way, bushwhacking through the dense growth. After a while, we heard the sound of running water and saw a river to our left. We wandered towards it and could make out a path going along the river in the dark. As we approached, I noticed that there were two pairs of odd footprints going the same direction we were going, and they had been doing so recently.

“There are some footprints here,” I said to Luke.

“Great,” said Luke excitedly.

He’s clueless, I thought to myself. We kept along the river path and wandered into some tall grass growing beside the river, then we heard it. Strange gasping and gurgling sounds coming from up ahead.

“Do you hear that?” I asked Luke.

“Yep,” said Luke.

Luke turned around and slowly walked back to a tree off to the side of the path and hid behind it, then made a gesture as if to say: “come on, go check it out.”

It’s unbelievable how useless this guy is, I thought.

Two bullywugs met on route to Andelie.

I ducked my head beneath the tall grass and crept toward the strange croaking sounds. As I got closer, I stuck my head above the grass to try and see what was making those odd noises, and I spotted two slimy green balls just poking out of the grass up ahead. But they weren’t balls, they were heads, slimy and green. I heard something snap to my right and saw Luke standing with his shoulders above the grass. He had apparently not noticed the two frog-like things that suddenly stopped talking. I watched as one of the frog people went to investigate the noise while the other stayed. I gestured to Luke to get down and then something strange happened. Luke’s voice was echoing in my head, as if he was whispering into my ear: “What do you see?” the voice asked. I put my hands over my ears and fell back into the tall grass. What the hell was that? Am I hallucinating? I must have hit my head. Now is not the time to be caught off guard with two maybe hostile creatures feet away. Luckily, they didn’t seem to have noticed me, so I notched an arrow into my bow and aimed. I hit the one approaching Luke straight through the skull. The creature crumpled beneath the sea of grass. The creature’s companion saw what had happened and decided to call it a day and sprinted away from us. Something even stranger happened; Luke rose from the grass and spoke in a tongue I had never heard before and the night seemed to turn to day. Something flew from Luke’s outstretched hand, a ball of fire directed at the back of the running creature. It all happened in an instant; the creature fell beneath the grass, the light from the ball of fire turned day back to night, and fear washed over me. I had never seen such an abnormality before. But soon after, my fear went away, replaced by Luke’s stupid smile after seeing me on the ground with a shocked look.

“That was pretty cool, wasn’t it,” said Luke proudly.

“What the Helga did you just do?” I asked in a shocked tone.

“I’ll tell you if you tell me about your bag.”

After the fight, Luke and I kept walking towards the smell of salty air and talked. I told him about my bag and sword, and he told me about the various things he could do with magic, such as throw fireballs. Even though we didn’t say anything, we came to an agreement of sorts, and that we could be friends.

Some time passed as we kept our path to what we hoped would be Andelie, trusting our friend the salty air. As we walked, night turned to early dawn and eventually the topmost edge of the sun could be seen poking out of the horizon. After several hours of walking, we could hear the sound of waves crashing against stone and the sound of seagulls squawking overhead. We found ourselves looking down upon a small fishing town from atop a small hill; the town was nestled at the deepest part of a large cove that was fed by the river we were following. I could see fishermen scurrying around little boats tied to docks, spread across the water like spider legs, fishermen readying themselves for the morning journey out to sea. Between us and the town was a small guard outpost and a little rickety bridge that crossed the river. This bridge would take us to the part of town with more buildings and lighted lamps, so we decided to make our way to the bridge. We crossed the bridge squeakily and found a guard fast asleep sitting on a barrel on the other side. We passed him without a problem.

“Someone should give him a raise,” I said with a smile.

Luke laughed, and we continued on our path. The town seemed to be waking up a little; more people made their way out of their homes, storekeepers opened their doors, and the sweet smell of bread was aloft in the humid air. We passed what seemed to be a fish market, where the sound of knives on wood and the smell of fish were not uncommon.

“Well, good morning ladies,” said Luke.

Later in life, I would remember this joke and realize what he was joking about and, perhaps, chuckle to myself. We spotted a large stone building that looked older than the town itself.

“That must be where Oswald is,” said Luke, “Come on, I can smell food.”

This was true; as we approached the stone building, the unmistakable smell of warm food was aloft in the air. We took a couple of turns down streets and up a hill where we met several chickens inside a wooden fence surrounding the stone building grounds. To the left of the building, there were some stables and a long wooden shack that was emitting delicious scents. We entered the grounds and made for the stone building. I knocked three times with a large metal knocker. Nobody came.

“There’s nobody awake yet,” said the voice of a young man from behind us.

I turned around and saw a young man, no older than us, wearing what looked to be pajamas and holding a cup of something hot. Despite his young face, there seemed to be more to him; he looked knowledgeable and wise.

Oswald of the Church of Helga, Andelie.
Oswald of the Church of Helga, Andelie.

“Are you Oswald?” I asked suspiciously.

“Who’s asking? Oh, never mind. I’m expecting you two,” said the man, “I suppose you’re tired and hungry. Which one

of you geniuses was smashing the door?”

I pointed at Luke.

“My goodness, Belda warned me about the two of you. You must be Luke, and you must be Floyd. Yeah, come with me.”

He turned around and walked into the wooden shack. We followed him into the shack which, now under further inspection, seemed to be a modest dwelling. It was a one-story building that was basically one big room with a kitchen area and several bunk beds lined up against a wall.

“Just throw your stuff over on an empty bunk. So, do you guys want to get some sleep? Are you hungry?”

“I’m feeling sleepy. You are Oswald, right?” asked Luke with a yawn.

“Yes, I’m Oswald. I believe you have something for me? The thing Belda gave to you, to give to me, ring any bells gentlemen? We’ll get some food in you and you can get some sleep; we can discuss this matter later.”

After stuffing ourselves with food and water, we both went to bed and slept well into the next day.

Session End: Aug 30, 1136. Around noon.