Except from Auditore: The Hooded Man (2265)

We spent little time in Ferrier – what we could carry, we did and took horses as well to hurry our travels.¹ Wallace sent one of our comapny [sic] north with a letter for his father and the rest of us went south in pursuit of the Vasar. Of Cometes I found no sign which grieved me heartily. Auqui I attired in the raiment of the baron of Ferrier’s grandson whom we found in his deathbed. ‘Twas easy enough to tell how he died – an arrow to the belly that went foul.

Auqui’s progress with the blade continues apace. He has learned as I did how best to bury his anger and grief into the forms though I oft see him lose a step when sudden memory returns. I have altered the regimen to focus less on bladework and more on Anglish: the lad looks so frustrated when we converse and he knows not what we say that I mean to resolve that.

It is nigh on five days since I last put pen to ink. I have spent the entire time afoot as we are a horse short and my stride is curiously longer than any others. Wallace has his mind set to Simonton tho he says not why. I know a little of the place – it is near enough to the elf village I lived in some years back ² that a monthly visit was not unheard of and I recall the markets with some fondness.

Auqui’s excement [sic] over his new arms was as short-lived as I expected. He dons an agreeable enough face when addressing me but Mendel jokes at the lad’s discomfort. Rainald offered to let the boy don his own raiment for a moment and would that I had the talent to capture Auqui’s horror at the very notion. In that I do not disagree for Rainald has the weight of two men when he is under arms, perhaps even three. He believes it necessary to save himself but a single well-placed strike at his exposed face and he would fall like any other.

Wallace continues to hold his own counsel but we all see the fear on his face. Each day carries us farther from his home and we know not if Wallace itself yet stands. 

Upon the morrow we will enter the forest proper and I wonder at the sights before us. Mayhap Wallace’s worry infects me but I cannot help but to question God’s plan for me in this world. Confession is necessary for the soul but Mendel is too dear a friend for me to encumber him with my worries and sins. Would that we could reach a place with a church that I could trust.

Tomorro[w] I mean to test Auqui with Black Pebbles on Snow. His ribs will hurt by noon I fear.


¹ According to modern scholars, this is not entirely accurate as most agree that the expedition Auditore was a member of looted many valuables from Ferrier and carried them off, not the least of which being the ancestral relic that belonged to the ruling house. It would later reappear in history wielded by Malcolm, Lord Wallace, but vanished shortly before his untimely death.

² Attempts to identify this village have been inconclusive. Auditore never uses the elven names given to their villages and towns (which is entirely to be expected from a man of his time and upbringing) and, indeed, the most modern scholars have been to glean about his onetime elven paramour is that part of her name is Mira. Given the notorious length of elvish private names in their native tongue, she could be any of several thousand different candidates.