The morning of the 25'th day, I went about my duties as Malin was hurriedly preparing the wagon train to leave the remains of Cragson Mines as far behind as possible. We were to head straight back to Restenford, and it was good to know that I would soon see the end of this journey. It has been a journey with more puzzles than answers. The biggest puzzle that remains is humans. First, the humans in my party continue to surprise me. A traitor one day is a hero the next. Second, outside the party, it seems that the wizard, or shaman, IUZ is a human and is aiding orcs to attack humans. I must stop being surprised by anything humans do.
Fortunately, on the journey back we were unbothered and I had time to think. All we did, other than to put miles under feet, was to send riders to visit the villages along the way and warn them of the danger of the army of orcs. It was my suggestion to Rats that warnings be sent, but I laugh at the thought of getting credit. I couldn't even be among the riders giving warning, because folks out this way are even more suspicious of elves than humans in the bigger towns.
It was good that I had time to think because an important puzzle was yet to be resolved. That was whether or not I would ever again adventure with this same group. I could work with most of them. Our leader Rats, with that deity he worships so vocally, seems to mean well. In a crunch, he did right and helped finish exploration of Cragson Mines, at no small risk to himself and knowing he was upsetting Klor, his long time companion and devoted follower. Klor, I can do without. He is too stupid to get over his fear of the unknown, and as an elf, I am unknown. He is valiant, but a fighter that cannot tell who the enemies are does not result in good. I have not determined that he is my enemy, but he is one I am wary of as he acts as he sees me as an enemy. The others I get on with well enough. After some time with a tutor that I hoped to be introduced to, I would consider another adventure with this group. At least, I would if it showed promise of furthering my exploration of magic! .
When we made Restenford, completing our journey successfully, and bringing warning of the coming danger, we were greeted as heroes. I think even Mom may have been impressed. At least he was a gracious host when he had the group reunion and tale-telling at his bar. I may be mistaken, but it seemed he knew much of our adventure before it was told. He even managed to get Klor to laugh at himself for trying to rescue Rats from lizardmen by charging across a lake much deeper than Klor is tall. Some of Mom's questions were more than a bit leading, but I begrudge it not. For a while the towns' people seemed to even get over their suspicion of me, and I had more than one glass of wine in fair exchange for telling of our travels.
I fulfilled my duties, I turned over paperwork from the mage at Fort Belvar to Mismer, one of the government's hired mages; I reported to Grivard the town's mage scholar everything I had learned, or guessed, about IUZ. In return, Grivard introduced me to Salderon a well respected wizard who agreed to tutor me. Grivard hoped to further my training so I might do better investigation. I'm afraid he viewed my report as sadly incomplete. Especially, when I couldn't report what spells IUZ used, even after being on the receiving end of them numerous times.
Before long, it is time to be on the road again. As things turned out, my choice on what group to adventure with was partially made for me. After being o.k.'d by Mom, I will be the wizard for a new group. Our destination, Cragson Mines...... I fear that I will never learn.....