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Talraen, August 6, 2009 1:34 PM (edited 8/6/09 9:34 AM)

Day 3: Journey to Yew

Mood: Pained in the Ass
Tags: Travelogue, Ultima VII: The Black Gate
We awoke and ate a hearty breakfast before setting out for Jhelom. Navigating the isles beyond the Cape of Heroes was tricky, but we eventually got through. As it was still too early to arrive in town, we spent the morning exploring the area. We first visited the Shrine of Valor, which I am happy to say is still quite intact, though infested with gremlins. We found much of interest on the outlying Valorian Isles, including a bandit lair where Iolo was delighted to find a triple crossbow. Most notable, however, was a small island north of Jhelom that seemed to have no landmarks of interest. We discovered, however, that there was an illusory cavern wall, behind which was a small, long-abandoned residence. Among the items in this small room was a large number of gold bars which more than tripled our party funds. We discovered an abandoned hut on another island with an intriguing key inside that appears to act as a perfect lockpick.

With our exploration done, we docked in Jhelom and spoke to Kliftin, who had completed the fake honor flag. We tracked down the Library of Scars students in the pub, and gave Syria the flag. Thankfully she accepted it, and Sprellic was spared. From there we wished to travel to Yew, but as we had come into a lot of money that needed to be exchanged, and since Yew has no formal docks, we decided to dock in Britain and travel by land.

We had a few errands to run in Lord British's Castle as well as the town proper. I had forgotten to deliver Miranda's bill, and I wished to purchase some spells from Nystul. While in Vesper yesterday we explored the local mine and found two magically locked doors, so it seemed wise to invest in the Unlock Magic spell - and our foresight was rewarded when we reached Nicodemus's residence, as he had magically locked himself inside.

But I am getting ahead of myself. We left Britain via the west road, and almost immediately we were set upon by bandits. Truly the lawlessness in Britannia begins just outside formal town borders in this age! Nor were these the only bandits we saw on our long journey west and then north. The path to Yew is infested with Reapers that disguise themselves as trees until travellers come near. It was a treacherous journey, but it would have taken too long to retrieve our carriage in Vesper, so we had to go it on foot.

Finally we reached Yew, which is no longer a true town so much as a collection of houses in the deep forest. The residents here mostly consist of those trying to escape the ever-present city life. We spent quite a bit of time with the two trainers in the area, who had much skill in dealing with the denizens of the forest. We also met a logger and a rather crazy masked man who claimed the Fellowship magically compelled his sister to join. I've met his sister, and I'm pretty sure she was just too dumb to know better. The north edge of Yew was marked by Iolo's hut, which I must say was filthy. His wife Gwenno left a note saying that she had left for the Serpent Isle, though it wasn't clear which of them was responsible for the mess. I also paid a visit to Smith the horse, who was more belligerent than ever, though I learned little of consequence to the current situation.

The final resident of Yew is an archer named Tsreamed, who lives near the Bee Cave between Yew and Empath Abbey. We came back in the evening and joined him in a Bee Cave expedition to retrieve some honey, and he proved a formidable fighter. I was tempted to ask him to join us on our greater adventure, but felt that our current roster was already quite optimal. He did give us a dozen of his special arrows made from the bees' venom, which put their targets to sleep. Though currently no one is using a bow, Spark is running low on musket ammunition and may take one up before much longer, so we will put those arrows to good use.

Empath Abbey has expanded much since I was last here. More of a town than Yew, there are a number of buildings around the Abbey, including the High Court and prison and a large graveyard. We met three monks in the Abbey, though two had never heard of the first, which made me quite suspicious. I checked the record of criminals at large in the High Court and discovered that this third monk, "Kreg," was in fact a known thief by the name of Kellin. I confronted him, and he attacked us with a poisoned dagger. We made sure to dispose of his body outside the Abbey.

The other monks were more helpful, in particular one named Taylor. While he knew nothing about Nastassia's father save that he had died in the area, he did tell us that beings known as Emps were supposedly able to contact the Wisps. Unfortunately they were located on the east end of the deep forest, and it was quite late already, so we put off that expedition until tomorrow. He also told us that the Emps loved honey, and wouldn't even approach you unless you had some to offer them. (This in turn led us back to the Bee Cave.)

All in all, it was not the most productive day we've had, but tomorrow we should finally get some answers. We leave to search for the Emps at first light, and with any luck I will have contacted the Time Lord by nightfall.
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