Prior to my departure from the short folk of Riverdale I had agreed to deliver a crate of their delicious JumJum juice to a powerful enchanter to lived in the hills of North Karana. Xannusus was his name and he had a passion for the JumJum, who could blame him. The trip had been relatively uneventful, considering the shortcut we took through Clan Runnyeye and the Gorge of King Xorrb but eventually we arrived at the Gypsy Camp I had previously made my home and where i would stay for the short time I planned ot stay in Karana. The menfolk there are borderline hostile... or at least painfully cold. Understandable really as they are appear to be possesive of their personality disorders and the attractive and flirty women of the camp who always seem delighted by my company, despite my believe that they are more delighted by the company of my bulging moneybag. Being an honest man i feel that these men have little to fear from me, however their reluctance or inability to communicate with me makes my heart heavy. Perhaps also they believe that my life as a solitary and stoic ranger make me somehow prefer the company of other men, these gyspy men with their old fashioned and traditional ways would not understand nor know how to deal with such things and they would no doubt fear any social interaction from me in any case. Oh well, for whatever the reason they always make any stay there harder for me and make my leaving less painful that it would otherwise be had they been as open and friendly as their womenfolk.
Following a playful chase with a young Griffon I had gathered myself and my things and made the trip north to the hills that lie infront of the Everfrost mountains that border this land. I was told Xannsus lived but a short distance from the old druid stone that lay north of the nearest village. The people there where welcoming but weary of the japes and play of the local Griffons. I told them that Griffons rerspond warmly to beint tickled under the chin but they seemed disinterested and merely wanted violence upon them. I forgave these simple folk their hateful ways of anger agains such nobel creatures.
My mid evening I came across Xannsus. Prior to my time in Rivervale I would have been stunned by discovering I was delivering JumJum juice to a massive and ancient tree but now I was just mildly surprised. Xannsus however seemed oblvious to my presence and carried on swaying solidly in the light breeze and creeking ominously. He remained this way until I removed the crate of JumJum juice from my sack whereupon he became excited and creeked even more loudly. At this moment panic gripped me, but it was unfounded and Xannsus was overjoyed to receive the jumJum Juice. He gave me some words of advice I didn't understand and some coin which I did. And toasting him with a bottle of my own JumJum i bade farewell and left quickly before Xannsus got over his euphoria and realised that the crate the juice came in was possibly made out of a distant relative. Hey, the Riverfolk packed the crate but would Xannsus follow the blame to it's logical conclusion or would he just stomp me for being a ranger who should know better? We don't have Treants in the Qeynos hills, should I be expected to know they'd be sensitive... well I do I guess, but I didn't get stomped so i guess he either never realised or let it go.
Today saw the culmination of the on-off affair I have been involved in since my youth, with the bewitching and evil Bloodsaber Defiler that lives in the hidden cave in Surefall Glade. Nery have i been able to return to my homeland when thoughts of her to not arise and stir me to gaze towards the trees and think those thoughts I daren't, to belive what can never be. Times we've had are few, but always memorable, if filled with heartache and regret. It had been a while since i had returned to the Glade. To meet those there I count as family, and friends, if even they forget my name much of the time or confuse me with Ran Walker. I always needed to see my Ranger guildmaster for some training in the sacred and ancient art of kicking things. I achievedthis somewaht after being shot in the backside by him by accident as he was archery training. Perhaps this was my fault for not paying attention but it is always so dark there and the close heavy atmosphere always makes me whoosy, unlike the clear fresh air of the Qeynos hills, at least in the east... The Guildmaster is a harsh man, harsh but fair and apologising for something that is not his fault is unlike him and as such it was unsuprising when it failed to happen. After buying some Fletching materials I sat down under the moonlight to make myself some basic arrows for future hunting in the hills and a general weekend of Gnoll Slaying. I found my attention dirverting from my thoughts on why they now have Piranas in the lake and where they came from to the Defiler and where she was. Was she in her cave practicing wicket evil arts while laughing maniacaly in that... oh so sweet voice. I decided that i would walk up beyong the Druids hollow towards the cliff edge, telling myself i was going to sit alone to fletch when the truth was so painfully clear that i was looking for her. And there she was. Standing outside her secret cave. Staring at me. A cruel smile on her face. My heart lept into my throught, fear and anticipation took hold and for a second I felt frozen to the spot, but inevitability seized the moment and I ran to her. She began already with her magicks and I felt my insides churn, yet we embraced as olde friends, the closest of enemies. In our last meeting We had spent the night running through the trees. Her charms holding me in it's sway, I had taken flight eventually and ran from her and she folowed and we ran and ran until I fell exhaused and she had taken what she desired from me behind the counter of the general store, possibly helping herself to the contents of the till at the same time (after all she is evil).I was powerless to stop as I lay crumpled in a lifeless heap on the floor where she left me. Ashamed I had not returned to the glade until this day, and now, again, we stood under the stars. Not knowing either of us where our passion would take us. She She tried to kiss me but I ran away in fear... she chased me and caught me and we danced through the trees until both of us where spent. This time she did not expunge my life as before, but still our relationship was doomed and our moral incompatabilities proved the end. I slew her on that moonlit night and cut off her head. Probably someone will give me money for it later.
I've spent many nights out here, looking for Gnasher. A trader in Qeynos who's name escapes me right now told me to deliver a letter to Gnasher requesinting more stock. I'm not sure what the stock is but i think it's alchohol of some kind. He wrote in thje letter that I'm some low-brow lacky. He probably thinks I can't read. Probably thinks me a stupid inbred country boy. Truth is I'm onto his game. The Monks of Surefall know he's dealing with the Blackburrow scum and just want evidence and my hick yokel act is just part of the plan to incriminate the guy. Sadly his contact is either onto the scheme (Would i have found that most rarest of creatures? A clued in gnoll?) or he's just deeply unreliable... or dead. I guess i could go off an find that corrupt guard in Karana that I've been employed to... remove from service. The guy is apparently turning a blind eye for backhanders. In such whild lands it's good for people ot be able ot rely on the guard so naturally a corrupt guard needs dealt with toot-sweet. I'm to hand him his unemployment papers and return the Official property to his superiors. Apparently this official property includes the guards head. Not a problem for me. I fancy another trip to Karana. Perhasp I can convince Holly to come with me this time... We could get to know each other better.
Karana is such a beautiful place. My trip to decapitate Robbie Shilster... for fun like... began with some relaxing fishing in the North. Well, not began exactly. It began with me going to the Nexus to have myself bound to the area. Should any... mishaps occur... as they did, frequently, and a misguilded and illplanned attempt at my quarry early that resulted in me learning first hand that this corrupt little weasle is a magic-user of no small ability ontop of being a bootlegger. At least I didn't have to run naked through three regions to retrive my equpment again... no this time I only had to make a trip from the moon.
Holly of course didn't make it on the journey. She had other things to attend to. Poachers and game hunters where encroaching on her territory... very busy woman. But travelling alone gave me time to fish and think about my life. I think I don't do enough fishing. Under the bridge to South Karana is a great fishing spot. I cought me a huge Thunder Salmon along with some fresh trout. I sold them to the marchant in the guard tower nearby. He always has such delicious pies. Possibly the best in the realm. I reccomend them to travellers, but they find we weird for giving out culinary tips. Oh well, their loss.
The guard tower in the center of North Karana has got to be one of the most misleadingly unsafe places I've ever visited. No doubt manys a traveller has spent the night there thinking themselves safe with the guards only to wake and find the guards missing and a passing Hill Giant stopping in to grab a late night snack. The guards usually can be found chasing across the plains after a sparrow or pigmy shrew that passed too close. Meanwhile back at the tower the visitors are being picked out of some beasties teeth. I'm sure this has lead to many an adventurer running across the plains naked in the middle of the night. Wether the guards behaviour is related to the rumoured corruption in the region or just them being overzealous in defence of their territory is unknown as of yet.
Death is, of course, not the end. But it is an awkward, uncomfortable and, at times, embarrasing affclition that has struck most of us at some point or another. None moreso than when it is caused by clumsyness or alchohol, or even both. A few nights ago I was celebrating personal advancement and maturity whne I slipped and fell from the top of the North Karana bridge Guard Station and impacted on one of the bridge supports below. This resulted in the loss of the feelings of maturity and advancement that I had achieved previously, though it did teach me wisdom and a valuble lesson in not announcing my personal achievements to all and sundry until I am certain I can't easily lose them and as such create masses of enjoyment and pleasure for the aforementioned all and sundry at my public naive taunting of Fate and subsequent punishment.
Recenlty many people have begun to voice the need for a cull or at least and organised thinning of the Griff herds in the area. This may seem harsh to some but to anyone that has been there lately they will be only too aware of the stark increase in the Griffon population who now seem to almost equal the amount of Giant Core beetles in the area that attract many young adventurers who are increasingly being slaughtered by the roaming young Griffawns for sport. Some of the druids in the area claim this is all part of the cycle. Man slays the beetles for sport, the Griffons slay the men for sport.... many people are reluctant to resign themselves to this mindset and would prefer ot lessen or eliminate the danger.
I had personally suggested at one point that a project involving the rooting and sedation of Griffenes followed by the fitting of large chastity belts be initiated, however considering the ease by which Grimfeather and the lesser bulls tear through plate armour this may not prove a reliable form of contraception.
-Norrath, Nov 3173-