Chronicles of the Crow

October 5th, 817 - Torch

I keep my doubts about my time in the Company to myself, since between my last entry and my current one, much has happened and not for the better in my opinion. But I need to catch up these accounts first.

The Captain and the majority of the Company was moving on Cordon, since Crouch and the newly rescued Sir Tyle were out for Company blood. Crouch was the head of the Temple Guard, while Tyle was just some upper class sod who managed to float to the surface during Drown’s drowning. All I really knew was it was up to Twitch to lead a few handfuls of men to Broker’s Farm and keep Crouch and his men occupied, so as to not run South and grab Sir Tyle. That is, once the Company smashed in to Cordon. Crouch was definitely a challenge. They had the money and gear, but the Company men had experience and that made all the difference. They ran horses in to us and nearly routed our force again and again but the Crows held fast and in a few short moments Crouch turned face and made to run. Twitch had sent men to the other side of the barn in an attempt to catch any that fled. I can’t recall if those very men alerted Crouch to our presence or not

Either way, I called upon the things Flick had taught me and conjured an illusion – calling a 180 degree wall of flames that kept the horsemen from fleeing. Though it kept them from running, they fought like devils after that. I have heard about what a cornered animal can fight like and I think the same is true of men. But in the end they fell, with Twitch and I making a go for Crouch. Twitch let me have the killing blow, but I think he could see the blood lust I was feeling. It was the first real Company skirmish I had taken part in, and something about it made me feel alive.

I came to forget that joy in the coming days though. While waiting at the farm, we witnessed flames and big booming sounds in the distance. It looked like Cordon was being shaken to the ground. It just made me think of the Captain – someone I avoid as much as I can these days, along with Hammer.

I was tasked with several jobs, including arming forty men, presenting the Company at a Council meeting and poking my nose around for information. I have never had to do any of that, except for acting as an ambassador. Business always calls for it.

The armaments were a piece of cake, even if I had it stolen out from under our contractor’s nose. He won’t be any wiser if his head slave is to be trusted, which I think he may be. He’s as implicated in this now as me, so I trust the secret will stay hush-hush. I attended the Council meeting and met their High Augur – some ludicrous man who acts as some wise oracle to these bickering politicians. It feels exactly like Drown but with spicier food, in all honesty. The only thing of merit were a group of four men who left when our contracted was properly accepted. All I can remember is one of them wore colors much like the Augur’s priests or cult or sect or whatever it is he has. I know it belongs to a certain house though…and this is why I tell Twitch these things. I forget the details by the time I put pen to paper.

Then, one evening Hammer told me to gather information on the Qualiene. To my chagrin, I didn’t want the job and didn’t give it much thought. I am used to being my own boss, but that is very much over with. So it is with ample amounts of hindsight that I describe the events of the evening that got Twitch and myself nominated to smoke out the bandit threat in the Plain of Wheat.

Twitch, myself and Sand made our way to a seedy little dive that seemed the sort of place to house the Quaenine men. They were just thugs, but still, it seemed each family had their own little band of thugs. Or thugs that reported to them? There is certainly a system in play. I sweet talked one of the crime lords in to hiring out a few men, that I had hoped Twitch could torture and question. Or maybe Tickler? I don’t know him that well but I get the sense that man takes pleasure in his work. Either way, we left without any men since I felt it best to let someone else handle the rough work of it. Besides, Twitch had told me we were being followed so I figured we might as well try and get the drop on those boys. I left with Sand, and expected Twitch would follow us which he did, but not before those boys got the drop on us.

They met us in an alley way, and before I could realize a think Sand had been knocked out from behind. Which left me and two assassins or what have you in an alley, sans Twitch who has thus far been my entire life-line. I used the only spell I had prepared for any conflict – a thick and nasty smoke screen that I spewed out. The damn thing stung my eyes and lungs too, but it kept the two from killing me. All I could hope for was that Twitch would show up. And he did in a sense. I heard one man struck by a bolt. And then I felt one whiz right past my head and shatter against the nearby wall. I took a bit of pain and injury back with me, but nothing a few days rest couldn’t help. Better yet, we found out they were hired by a slave with a Somani pin, which I think are the Augur’s men. Again, politics were never my forte but for the Crows I make an effort at recording it.

For his trouble, Sand got a limp though. I can’t help but feel guilt – a guilt that washed away my fear of working with Twitch until the next day. Of course that was compounded with the stern talking to Hammer gave the two of us but especially me. Even though we gathered some clues, it was by chance and Hammer wasn’t going to let us get away with any of it. He’s a frightening man when a rage takes him, and I pray I won’t see it for a while. As such, I’ve avoided the man entirely. Mostly I speak to Twitch and Flick these days. And Sand. I feel I owe him as much, especially with that leg, though it certainly gives me an appreciation for being able to walk, and more importantly run.

And for our trouble, Twitch and I are being sent in to the Plain of Wheat. I’m not looking forward to the work, even though it’ll take me from the angry eyes of Hammer. I shudder to think what the Captain would do to me if I was a more than a mayfly on his flanks. Besides, leaving Torch seems ideal. When Gloom and I attended the Council meeting the Augur spoke to us like he was threatening us – claiming to see harm coming our way. I didn’t realize he was some sort of prophet though, and the more I think about it the more he seems to just be a man. For some reason, Gloom and I were targeted – on the same night, though Gloom got away with nary a scratch. He’d be a help with those bandits.

So it’ll just be Twitch and I, though I am somewhat worried about working with a man who fires blindly in to smoke when he knows there are allies there. It’s disconcerting. He’s friendly enough, if a bit absent minded. I suppose we all have our quirks, but I am still adjusting to everyone else. That’s not as much of a concern for me as whether or not the Company will adjust to me. Even just a touch.

Oh! Smoke also seems real excited about deciphering whatever it is I brought him from Drown. Damn excited, actually. When I get back from this mission, I’ll have to get down to brass tacks and get him teaching me proper wizardly things before he blows up.

Twitch is calling me. It’s time we head out.

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September 27, 817 Safely in Torch

So I read about the Company’s experience with the Obsidian Lords and it’s with a heavily ironic heart that inform you of Magpie’s death. You reap what you sow, as they say.

Drown sank for trying to side with the Obsidian Lords against the Company, but it seemed that while the upper crust was dealt a heady blow, the military was out of the valley and safely out of the flood. So the Company hid and sent myself, Twitch, Flick and Fade to find what work there was to be had in Torch. Or rather, was Torch someplace we could run to and regroup. It turned out to be both, though the journey wasn’t all together pleasant. We stuck off the roads, but didn’t pack enough food so Twitch ended up pilfering some from a Drownling guardhouse of sorts. I wasn’t too sure, in truth, since I was more focused on not being the one who had to head in. By the time Twitch returned though, I had seen more action than him – turned out a small group of scouts were heading or or returning. The long and short of it is we ended up with three horses, and got to Torch all the faster.

I wasn’t quite sure about out work, since the mercenary lifestyle was still quite a strange and sometimes terrible thing to me. It seemed that one of the upper class politicians in the area wanted to force his hand, so he had us kill another politician. The four of us poured in there like a thirty second flood. Or at least Fade and Flick did. We went in the side while Twitch tore through the men at the front door, trying for a distraction. Didn’t distract much, since the guards inside were more than ready for us. Or at least me. I took a nasty wound from an ax in there but the three of us found the politician soon enough. I’ve never really killed anyone before joining up with the Crow Company, but this man came a bit easier than the men on the horses. I guess I felt a little vengeful after having my chest split open like a piece of fruit. It’s not important. What followed was a smile and a chest of money that we returned with – and goods too, of course. I leave those documents to the quartermaster.

It seemed forces were preparing to take down our little camp out in the wilds, so we were off to Torch. And it seems we’re already off now. I need to get to documenting actual conflicts already.

-Cordon -Broker’s Farm -Twitch

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September 26, 817 Working in Torch

The chronicles have exchanged hands rather quickly within the past month or so. Penknife, a man I know only through writings and the mourning of the some vets, was the chronicler for Crow Company until he was killed in a skirmish outside of Drown. Then Constant took over but never really wanted to. So when I saw he had lost an arm, I took it upon myself as the new guy to buckle down take some of the burden for these old boys. Besides, the work might keep me alive and out of some of the hairier situations.

I’ve only just gotten the job from the Captain, who is an absolutely terrifying fellow. When we were pissing time away at Broker’s farm, we saw something in the distance at Cordon and I am starting to think it was good ol’ Captain. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Since Penknife died before he could jot down any info on Drown, it’s all up to me and I apologize to the boys that will pour through these notes (you wretched things), and find I don’t quite have Penknife’s flair. In fact, it’s all my fault. I think this spot just might be meant for me. I inadvertently helped Penknife on to deeper waters.

From what I understand, having not had the chance nor time to read over all the notes yet, The Company of the Crow was taking work against the Obsidian Lords, and it proved to be a slaughter. Either way, I’m unsure if we won or lost, but only five hundred or so survived. They fled in to Drown, and that’s when I met Smoke. I am known in certain circles for the work I used to do, and for one reason or another, they called me Diver. This worked in my favor, since the Company seems to mostly work on nicknames. I’m unsure how frequently they change them, if at all. All things to get used to, in time.

So Smoke hired me to collect something from The Ruins. Drown was essentially built right on top of a great, ancient civilization (which itself had been built on a mire, it seemed). And the whole damn place was in a valley and rained all the time. And it was home. People worshiped the rain and the water, though I never had any stock in. That faith made those ruins sacred and absolutely a blasphemous sin to explore their depths. And that was my livelihood! Besides, most of the people that hired us just wanted interesting looking trash. The upper class citizens were exempt from the rule, though it was still a holy crime to wander those ruins. So they’d pay us – that is, me and a few friends – to clean up for them. And it paid well. Some people wanted specific things, and for that we have to swim. Those jobs paid better. Smoke knew how hard it was to get what he wanted, and that’s why I got paid so cheaply. And I needed the money, so I accepted.

The work itself was easy, but Crouch caught wind. I barely made it out of there with my things. The details are trivial. In fact, all the time in Drown was. Suffice it to say, Penknife lost his life there. So did someone else, but their name isn’t in my mind… I’ll have to ask Twitch in the morning. We also drowned Drown, but let the historians bother with those details. Some things are better left unsaid. Or unwritten. -Finish backlog over breakfast

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September 20, 817, Outside of Drown

Woken early today by the Captain. He warned us that the old Temple-Guard leader of Drown, Crouch, has set up a blockade around our camp. Not only that, but he has sent word to the Obsidian Lords to help finish us off. Some old Drownling prince called Sir Tyle is with him.

Na Khud is waking people up. It looks like he’s going to make some kind of speech before we march. It appears that Twitch and the new fellow called Diver left camp very early this morning with one of the remaining five platoons of the Company. We haven’t been told yet what is happening.

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August 29th 817, Battle of the Saw

Company cornered along with rebel army in the canyon known as the Saw. We were surrounded and outmanuevered by powerful enemy wizards. Captain Na Khud sacrificed the bulk of the Company to allow a handful of us to escape.

We were betrayed in the valley of Drown by its lord who thought he would garner some favor with the Obsidian Lords by killing us. We fought his men off and subsequently destroyed the city and slew him.

For now we are hiding out in the hills outside of Drown, waiting for a new commission, hiding from the Obsidian Lords.

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