Heartland really is a scary place! There were so many times when I thought as I looked around that an elf was going to pluck me up and ship me off to servitude. I wanted us to get out of there as fast as possible, but because of where we were headed, we needed some supplies. And boy were they expensive! If we keep up at this rate, we’ll never pay off our debt to Thomas Hawk for buying The Chance!
Shasta suggested that if we were going to keep dealing with elves, a little paperwork might make things more friendly all around. So we visited Gareth again with the intention of having him draw up some formal documentation. The old guy was sleeping again, wouldn’t you know it? And somehow his shop was even dirtier than before! I don’t know how he can stand it. He must not have any allergies at all! I wanted to wake him up and I thought a little trick would be fun. I jumped up and yelled at him point blank range. It was hilarious! He flew up and ran screaming right out the door. I was actually worried he wouldn’t come back. But he did, and after waiting so long I thought I was going to go cross-eyed and pass out, he brought us our documentation.
We also had to stop by the navigation hall and pick up some dirt to reach Bridgeways. From what he told me aferward, Tomlin must have made the keeper of the hall very angry. I guess he was this big huge fat guy. I can see how that would be a problem for an elf. Being the one chubby man in a whole city full of tall pretty people. You know… I bet it’s been tough for him. Anyway, he was going to charge Tomlin and Soraka a hefty amount, so they left and sent Bert. It was a good idea. Send the ugly guy to talk with the self conscious fat guy. It kind of sounds like one of those cheap jokes: “So an ugly guy and a fat guy walk into a navigation hall. Fatty says ‘Hey, they’ve got a Pretty good selection here!’ and Ugly says, ‘eh, Slim pickings.’”
Bert god a good deal and Fatty told him if he was heading up to Bridgeways and Canopy it was going to get cold so he should pick up some special environmental suits. We found a fella who sold the suits we needed but he was awfully suspicious of us. I think maybe we took too long debating about the purchase. He needed to relax, we were just concerned over spending nearly all of our money. He offered us a deal to buy in bulk, but started to get upset. Tomlin got impatient. I’m not really sure why but he grabbed five environmental suits and took off running. Well the shopkeeper screamed out Thieves and bolted after him even though Shasta already paid for the purchase. Soraka and Bert had escaped out the door as well and I guess there was this really big chase with guards trying to catch Tomlin and Bert as they ran away holding all the suits. Soraka snuck off her own way. I jumped out the window. I have to admit it was pretty cool of me. I just wish my landing had gone better. I limped through the crowd trying to look as normal as possible. People kinda stared at me though.
We all met up at the ship but there was no Shasta. We thought he must have been caught. It was a good thing he didn’t get nicked. We didn’t have the money to get him out of jail. As it turned out he just sat down and waited for the shop keeper and the constable to come back and talked his way through the whole affair. He said we might even get a deal with that vendor if we came back to Heartland. I really hope we don’t have to, though.
Having everything we needed and the ship full of cargo for Bridgeways, we set sail. We caught a lot of food along the way to keep us going just in case. We saw our first ship in the skies with us. They had a flag with a flame in the center on a green field. We don’t know who they were but they shot at us! Tomlin directed the retreat and we made it safely away.
There were still scary parts to the journey though! The winds around Bridgeways are very loud and strong. We had to lash ourselves to the deck to avoid being pulled off. But the little girl wildling, Roe, walked up on deck and started using the outer railing as a tightrope as if the winds didn’t bother her at all! I’ve never seen anything like it. Shasta got a rope on her belt, but she backflipped off the railing and danced around on deck until we could get her below. I thought she must worship the Lady of the Winds and have Her favor, but she didn’t know for sure. That girl is something else.
Bridgeways is such an amazing place! The bridges all look like individual pieces of art, which makes sense since legend has it the Artificer created the whole place himself. Apparently in 5 weeks they are having a huge festival to the Artificer there! Shasta and I toured around while the rest of the group took care of business. They arranged trading materials to sell off our metal. We’ll have to pick up some books and scrolls for canopy. We’re starting to get the hang of trading across the islands. Everyone met up at a tavern called, The Journey’s End. Apparently four very special bards were playing there. We got to see a bit of their performance and they were incredible! All brightly dressed and telling such wonderful tales through song and music! I would have loved to listen more.
The trouble was, these four folks talked Shasta, Bert and me into playing a dice game. It sounded like fun and I thought if we could win it might be a good way to earn some money. Since we spent just about everything we had in Heartland, it seemed like it was worth a shot. Hehehehe! It really was too. Exactly one shot! I’m just full of good jokes today! I’d say I should write this stuff down, but I already am! Well, our gambling started to go too well in our opponent’s opinion. We caught them cheating! I thought a little threat and the truth might scare them enough to quit playing and we’d all take our money and walk away. But they got defensive and stood to leave. We tried intimidating them and I meant to shoot the dice, I really did. But my aim isn’t perfect and my bullet went through the table and into the cheating lady’s leg! Well her three friends got pretty mad. One of them pulled out a sword. We duked it out with them while Tomlin managed to start a huge bar fight as a distraction. Bert nearly smashed one guy’s leg clean off! After a few seconds we’d knocked them all out and I reclaimed our winnings and their money. That will teach them not to pick on people by cheating and stealing their hard earned money. I also took the sword. I didn’t want them to be bale to hurt anyone out of anger when they woke up. We regrouped away from the bar. It really was too bad we didn’t get to hear those bards finish their story. I feel bad we ruined their performance. Maybe we can apologize to them. You know… I wonder if they might know anything about all the artifacts we’re looking for….