Another interesting day. Early in the morning, the Swift Gryphon started heading to the north bank of the river – the coast of Ustalav, the nation infested with undead. You can imagine how thrilled Brillga was, her haboring a special disgust for those that ought to be rotting in the ground, and are instead walking around like they own the place. Captain Amber told us we going to duck out of sight to make sure we’d lost the pirates, but I think she knew we didn’t believe her.
A rowboat carrying three well-armed humans came from shore and boarded us, in what was clearly a planned rendezvous. We were going to be given over to them, but it turns out, the twitchy lad in back wasn’t okay with the plan. Under the pretext of swearing at us in our own tongue, we told us that he’d get us to safety, but his companions would have to be incapacitated – at the least. They hurt us pretty badly, and I feared for Brillga’s life for a bit, but thanks to the twitchy lad, we dealt with them, and Captain Amber, wanting nothing more to do with us, gladly let us take the rowboat and go.
Our new hyperactive companion introduced himself as Caspain Halifax, nicknamed Wax, and I gather that questionable employment is the only kind he’s ever had, though he seems a decent lad. According to him, the charming little town of Direfen, Ustalav, has an agreement with the river captains that they’ll regularly supply the town with unwary travelers, who in turn get fed to the local vampires, so that no one in the town has to lose their own blood. Wax did not approve of such things, and decided he’d rather stab his childhood friends in the back than feed strangers to the bloodsuckers. (And being one of those strangers, I support this decision.) Of course, that doesn’t get him in good with anyone but us, so we’ve agreed to return him the favor and watch his back until we can get him well away from anyone who knows him.
He kept watch while Brillga and I slept til sundown, then he slept in the boat while Brillga and I started rowing downriver. We weren’t rowing long, when who should appear but the pirates who’d tried to rescue us earlier. Turns out, yes, they are pirates, but friendly ones who also disapprove of this whole vampire-feeding arrangement. And Wax knows some of the crew, including the little gnome lady who sort of is and sort of isn’t the captain. They’ll take us to Hallein Town, and possibly across the lake to Kerse, if we can convince them there’s enough gold in it for them. I’d also be happy to lend them a hand in their current mission to disrupt Direfen’s arrangements, but I can’t let it distract me from my own mission. Field Commander Bergen is counting on me to do my job well, and swiftly.