Klor, a strong but rather slow fighter plays acolyte to Rats, the nominal leader of our group and a devoted cleric of some human deity or other. Hennic and Raven, a fighter and a thief, two who I have travelled with before, complete the group of hired guards. Three wagons, each with their own driver and trader are to be protected as they make their rounds. However, not all is as simple as it may appear, and when we complete our journey we will be the first such caravan to do so in this season, which will be to the benefit of all the towns in the area.
The merchant Kray has hired us, for good pay, to ride with the traders Jasmalus, Malin, and Emerald. I know little of them, except that Kray has good taste in horses (the mount that he loaned me from his stables is a fine animal indeed), and that the bar-keep, Mom, says that Kray is honorable. However, the money is of little import. The magician scholar in town has accepted my offer to assist in one of his projects, and has asked that I determine what the name "IUZ" may be. Whether it be person, place, or thing, he seemed sure I would encounter it during my travels. I look forwards to finding out what about this IUZ would be of interest to such a one as the scholar.
Our travels are quiet the first three days. Near midnight of the fourth the wagon trains is attacked by about six large fire beetles. I first tried the spell color spray, but that was of little use as only one beetle fell unconscious. A magic missile strike did damage another, but not enough to fell it, and then one of the monsters turned to attack me. I climbed a nearby wagon to remove myself from immediate danger and determine where a sleep spell could be of most use. Surprised I was when a spell which could only have been sleep hit a group of beetles, which, along with Klor who was in the way of the spell, fell to the ground. Not long thereafter the battle was won, with only Raven experiencing a minor wound, and Klor a nap.
It is both a comfort and alarming that these traders are not just the simple traders that they appear. At least one of them able to cast spells, and another has lead a life that involved more fighting than trading at some point. I don't yet know who the mage is, because none would take credit for the well-timed magic, but I shall find out
The sixth day, with no further adventure, we arrived in Morsten, a town of perhaps 300. They were excited to see us, and quickly crowded around to begin the business of trading. Having no part to play in the business of trading, and with no need to guard the wagons, I headed for the inn. There, my horse could find a good meal of oats. There also I met the barkeep, an old fighter since long retired, who seemed more than willing to tell tales of his life and the local area. At least, he became talkative after I invited him to join me in some of the inns ales and wines. And, before the inn filled with the locals I learned many interesting things, not least of which was that the bar-keep believed "IUZ" to be the name of a chief amongst the Orcs who were increasing in numbers throughout the region.