Thick as Thieves

Buckham Elderwine's Log

3-31-12

March XXXI-1. My travels continue. Set upon by snakes in a festering bog after yet another of the moronous members of this ill-fated guild set off a rather obvious trap, we were “saved” by the appearance of a roaming dwarf of the wilds, whose addled self blessedly vacated us soon thereafter. A silver gilt on an otherwise sorely clouded day. My wineskin reeks worse than my stinking traveling garb, and I’m still sure I missed my fair share of the coins from that slitherous trap.

March XXXI-2. [torn out]

March XXXI-3. Nowhere have I met a more tight-fisted and sinical people than those of Myrithyra! Despite my best efforts to bolster their dreams and buttress their fears, those few who opened their ears were even less prone to open their purses! I failed to even develop a meaningfull picture of the politicks here, as those I ministered to had an infurious tendency to just stare at me like poleaxd sheep, waiting for some miracle revelation, than to first engage me in fruitful banter I could use to make more convincing oraculary predictions. At least I was able to afford a fine new suit and replacements for my befowld traveling victuals. Feeling almost myself again, in spite of the uncertain pickings.

March XXXI-4. What accursed god have I maligned to be ever-blited with blasted filthy water? Before I met this “Boss” character, I managed to make a good suit last for months. Now, I wear the damned thing for just a few hours before getting it drenched — and myself near drowned — in ash-filled waters in some ostentiously overlarge orrery. It seems these oh-so-clever urbanites’ pet elementalkin broke loose of their enchantment and started behaving according to their elementary natures. Damn fools; any sorceror of repute could tell them that the elements behave themselves but reluctantly and are best used at once, not kept around like pickles. In any case, I assisted the guild remnants in putting down some of the loose servitors — I still cannot afford to alynate them before I find a less suspicious locale to set up shop.

April ____. I suppose a bit more than a year passed since I bothered keeping a journal. I think little has happened in the enterim that I might later wish to recall, but I might surprise myself. Anyhow, shortly after the last entry, I found myself fast-talking my way into a merchant caravan in order to access the city of the dusky elves. Wretched place, incidentally. In Myrithyra, the locals spoke too little; here, they all speak too much, and are as like to be grifters themselves as to be reputable customers. That’s when they aren’t some blasted family-bound muscle looking to extract protection money from anyone ambitious enough to offer services in their inbred clan’s blessed little armpit of the city. I learned not to grow too attached to the trappings of any particular stall or apartment, and to keep my money in easily-pawned jewelry and gemstones easy to secret on my person.

In any case, I recall being separated from the caravan in short order, leaving behind only brass rings and lackered wooden rubbish, and, done with that tomfoolery, I blended in like a fox in the woods. I enquired about some as to the outcome of the “mission,” but couldn’t really discover much without arousing the suspicions of these outrageously paranoid elves. Too bad. At least there has always been room to hide among their vagrant elements; nobody really thinks twice about someone pretending to be yet more riffraff. The shame is tolerable, for the short spells it takes me to flit to a new corner of the city. Nevertheless, I must find a new way to survive here; most of my earnings have vanished into greedy elven pockets soon after they appeared, leaving me with little I did not arrive with, and re-establishing myself has grown more expensive with each move. The cosmetick goods I have used to disguise myself don’t come cheap, and maintaining this more elder appearance, while good for both avoiding old collectors and for the fortune-telling trade, galls me greatly. I worry that this stoop and fained limp will become permanent.

It hurts to say it (almost as much as my spine aches), but if this latest setup in the foreign quarter doesn’t pan out soon, I will have to give up my entrepenership and take on another servile job. Even one from someone like that prig with the wrecked airship. Such a shame; all I need are a couple stupid, well-to-do merchants or even tradesmen to have a bit of luck that matches my hunches, and I’ll earn enough over the following weeks to upgrade my station, or maybe just enough to get out of this accursed, shadowy city. On the upside, I just spotted a big knot-headed boor ambling my way who doesn’t look to be carrying anything large and sharp. Maybe my luck can change; time to go fishing.

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