Medievia Mudslinger
May 7, 1999

Finding the way - By Wynergy

"Face it Lorni, we're lost again" said Jacek. He wondered how he ever let her talk him into this foolishness. Their group had been lost for days now, attempting to get to the fabled Mahn-Tor trading post on foot, without risking a lethal trip through the Dark Woods. They had all gotten packhorses, for not a single one of the inexperienced traders wished to risk such a dangerous manner of death. Instead, their leader, Lorni, had used a strange metal tool, a sextant, to find the coordinates of Mahn-tor. They would move until the sextant was useless, then camp out.

They were all new at trading, but the incredible profits said to be had were enough to draw them to the job. Alone, none of them could ever of made it, and even as a large group they were having trouble. The 8 adventurers included 2 members of the 4 professions. All of them were amateurs, though, and they had all been nearly killed several times making the journey.

Camp log, day 1. Our first day out! While I was excited at starting the trip, I've already noticed bickering. The cleric and mages argue, the thieves and warriors argue, and everyone argues with *me*. Although they are new to this, they could have more courtesy towards their leader. On another note, I noticed that it would be at least 5-6 days of travel to reach Mahn-Tor. As well, I must admit that our experiences are great, one of our youngest members has already grown in power.

Camp log, day 2. Our second day on the move. It's been dull so far, everything around here is weak. Occasionally we meet a stronger beast, but with all 8 of us, they are quickly dispatched. I worry about when we reach the farther regions, as I heard that around Mahn-Tor live some of the most dangerous monsters around. Some of those creatures are a match for the strongest heros. I pray that we don't encounter any of them. We simply aren't a match.

Camp log, day 3. The strain is starting to show up. When I told everyone it would still be several days until we reached Mahn-Tor, our junior cleric threatened to walk off. I had to make a hasty promise of some of my profits to keep him from leaving, and that pained me greatly. I wish that they wouldn't be so greedy. Maybe he'll run off before I need to use up my own valued share in this enterprise.

Camp log, day 4. These people are pathetic! Every hour I need to lead them on. I know it will be at least 2 more days until we get to Mahn-Tor, but my companions can't seem to tell the difficulties involved in ANY trade run, much less one to the far ends of the continent..D'Loras, our senior thief, constantly whines about not getting enough food, while Detmon, the junior mage, constantly flirts with the men. If she doesn't stop soon, we won't be able to go anywhere.

Camp log, day 5. We're having internal friction again. Some of the youngest members are running scared at the mere sight of ANY dragon, including the ones that serve humankind. Being so deep in the woods, though, we're safe from the prying eyes of the giant lizards. It's hard to keep the group in line, and I constantly have to remind them of our goal. If we don't get to Mahn-Tor soon, I don't think we can make it. Our magical rations may be filling enough, but they were never meant to replace hot food and flavored drinks.

Camp log, day 6. 2 of our band, Detmon and D'loras, left to marry eachother. They yelled at me for trying such a foolish run, at which point I threatened them with very painful torture. They called dragons and flew off. Meanwhile, I'm positive it won't take more than another day to get to Mahn-Tor. Now, though, we need to start preparing to fight the hideous beasts in the surrounding area. Our newly reduced group of 6 might be too weak still. Even with our combined powers, we simply don't have enough strength to kill even the moderately dangerous Banelars without serious injuries.

Camp log, day 7. I'm currently writing this while we are under attack! Already one of our group is down, the remaining mage, and we don't stand a chance unless somebody can get help out here! Need to go, hopefully write back later.

The battle certainly wasn't going well. Already Lorni had exhausted her magical abilities, and Jacek was bleeding everywhere. The giant creature had appeared from nowhere, literally coming into view as it blew apart the remaining adventurers with it's awesome magic. Ani'man, the mage, was dead, the original target of the creature. Ani'man had not gone in vain, however, being able to use his mighty shield of fire to rebound some energy back onto the monster. Lorni prepared a final burst of magical power, but it was in vain. The mighty creature still moved. As it burst Lorni into pieces with a shockwave of energy, the other adventurers ran. However, the fearsome creature tracked them.

Chogan the Mighty looked around the scene with distaste. Strewn about the woods close to Mahn-Tor were the remnants of a large group of people. Blood was everywhere, though the corpses had already been carried off. Evidence of a huge battle was everywhere, and whatever had won obviously had done so at a great cost. Chogan searched the packs of some of the dead horses, trying to find clues as to the identities of the losing group. Deep in the side bags of a packhorse, he found the blood covered remains of a journal. Leafing through the pages, he saw that the group had been amateurs attempting to drag cargo from the far south. Sighing in disgust, Chogan called a dragon to Medievia city.

"Why yes, Chogan, we can definitely use that." said the curator of the Adventurer's guild library. "Those little ones are always running off, trying to make money, without truly knowing what they're getting into. This would be an excellent example of what the dangers of trade runs include." "Yeah, I figured that they needed a guide to the true dangers, so I brought this with me." At that statement, Chogan brought out a magical image of the scenes of destruction he had witnessed. The curator took both and opened up an exhibit titled "The price of money".