Travelogue: Deadly Sincerity

Dear brother,

Today’s expedition sought to capture or, if I am being honest, more likely slay a cannibal of some sort who hides in the woods to kidnap travelers and boil them alive. I am given to understand that this is not typical in Europe.

I assembled a team that I had thought was my all-stars. Reynauld and Dismas, my oldest friends, Busquent, my healer, and Beringar, my strongest sword arm in a nation curiously lacking in guns. I think it has something to do with Europe’s gun control laws. Laws which the local bandit population seems mostly to abide by, if we assume that black powder weapons are classified as historical curiosities and allowed, rather than being properly banned firearms.

Regardless, the opposition we faced was incessant on the way, and devilishly varied.

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I said the opposition was varied. I didn’t say it was alert.

We arrived at the precipice of our goal nearly unscathed. I thought I had chosen my companions well, and prepared effectively for the fight. But upon facing the cannibalistic scourge, I soon found how wrong I was. I had not counted on the effects of her pot.

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You may wonder, does it have some manner of magical power? Does it heal her, or cause debilitating damage to myself and my companions? Can she gain some terrible power from drinking from it?

No. It is very big. Big and hard to get around. While Reynauld and Beringar spent their time retrieving whatever misfortunate had been shoved into the pot to boil, Busquent spent what little time she had outside the pot healing, and only Dismas, with his pistol, was able to actually fight the enemy. I should have seen then that this would go poorly, I should have fled immediately. But I was foolish, and had hope. Hope that Busquent could keep the team healed long enough for Dismas to whittle down the hag’s vitality. Grotesquely massive though she had grown, surely some number of bullets would put her down.

Unfortunately, the hag seemed to know exactly what the capabilities of each of my companions was. She shoved Busquent in the pot, and when Busquent was freed from it, she was at the front of the group, where she was unable to give her sermons effectively. I take it that being so close to the enemy robbed her of clarity of speech. Whatever the reason, by the time she had moved back to a position where she could be useful, she would be shoved into the pot again. I dared not retreat for fear of abandoning whatever companion was then in the pot…but when Reynauld expired within the cauldron, I had my chance. I fled with what companions remained.

This hag has taken from me one of the only two people who I could have full, proper conversations with. Now I know how she fights, what makes her tick, I shall have my revenge. I shall boil her bones in her own crockery.

With most deadly sincerity,
Your relative

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