Rhonda Floam’s Diaries: Shawmancer Island (entry 13)

Dollano 7, SP~4,909

Rhonda Floam

Mountains

We’ve been on the move for the last week, heading northeast on the Terrimand Road toward the city of Berimandry. Berimandry is Shawmancer’s second largest city. It is a port city on the easternmost point of Shawmancer Island, with the open ocean to the south and east, the flat plains to its west and the great Berimandry Mountain Range to the north.

The days have been long ones. We’ve had the benefit of traveling on a road rather than the rough lands around us, it’s not been entirely easy. The Terrimand Road is the finest road on Shawmancer Island and, from what I’ve seen, it’s barely more than a wide path covered here and there with gravel or stone.

We avoided other travelers. Donnessling had scouts in front of us and behind on the road who would let us know if anyone approached. I was surprised at how many folk we encountered — had to hide from. We frequently had to leave the hiway and hide in whatever was nearby. The road parallels the coast line, so there were often bluffs to our east where we could find a place, and each night we carefully made our way down the bluffs to the small bit of rocky beach and would camp there for the night. There were a lot of cold nights, with usually a very small fire. Donnessling’s folk seemed not to notice any of the cold. In fact, they often went into the freezing ocean waters to wash and play at the end of a day, and let the water just drip away after a while. No towels. These guys have internal heaters, I swear!

For me, though, it was the kind of cold that went right through you. Wet and windy. I tried not to shake with the bitterness of it, but didn’t do a very good job of that. A couple of Donnessling’s folk “asked” if I would mind wearing one of their hide coats. I made it clear that I would, but only out of politeness. I really wasn’t fooling anyone, not even myself. But, the coats were beautifully made, and just completely warm. I put one on and the cold just disappeared.

NOTE TO SELF: There’s a lot more to the nossring than meets the eyes. Dig in and find out!

The only time we weren’t walking was at the end of the day, and by then I was too tired and my fingers were too cold to do any writing.

Today, though, we were just a couple miles outside of Berimandry when Donnessling suddenly turned us off the road and we headed directly north to the mountains. By the end of the day, we were camped in the foothills, in a cut that hid us from any onlookers or passersby, so we have a roaring fire going right now. It feels great. We also found some good fruit trees and a few of our team went hunting and brought back a large deer. We all ate well.

While I was finishing up these notes, Donnessling came up to tell me that we we’re right now on the edge of the territory of the Begkragk Dwarf Kingdom, and tomorrow we will travel to their mountain home. He told me that the nossring and the Bekgragk have a strong alliance, and then he warned me that these dwarves don’t like “southerners”, and especially not those from Naldrin City. So, he has a plan to introduce me in a way that he hopes will ease any tensions.

As curious as I am to find out more about these dwarves (curiosity will be my downfall!) I put the question to Donnessling, “Why can’t I just go back to Partameer?” He was expecting that question, and gave me two reasons. The first was that there were folk in Partameer who wanted me dead. He didn’t need to prove that to me given the thugs they fought off. I got the impression, though, from the way he said it that it was more than just a small group that wanted me out of the way. That worried me, but he wouldn’t say more, and instead told me his second reason for not taking me to Partameer. He and his nossring kin could not be delayed in their mission on Shawmancer Island. He put up his hand to stop me when I started to ask more and said, “Once you see what we are doing here, you will have no regrets for being in our company.” There was a look in his eyes; honest, unwavering, and brooking no further discussion.

So that was that. He went off to his folk, and I am finishing this and then heading to sleep.

Just thinking that what my assignment has turned into is a whole lot more interesting than what was originally given to me.

Don’t forget to get a blink bat off to Bobby. I was hoping to do that in Berimandry, but that’s not going to happen. Maybe these dwarves have blink bats, or something similar.

Too tired to write more.

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