Eve of the War

(An entry, one of several, written in a somewhat awkward and stilted version of Nathaniel’s normal hand, with many parts crossed out or obliterated completely. The entries look to have been written at the same time, but are presented separately)

The evening had seemed quite normal. I had a drink with Hal, while puzzling over some parts of the castle accounts. Maric came by and, as expected, quizzed me about the familiarity I seemed to have with Vedis. I gave him a potted history of how I came to make her acquaintance, and how it was her nature to be free with those she considered friends, even while I still wondered about that, since we had not been particularly close back then. I guess now, as strangers in this new land, friends of old become more precious. Talking of old friends, Ket’Lyn came by and I made introductions and we passed a pleasant while talking before both Maric and I had to take our leave.

The night was less pleasant. I woke in fear several times, my memories of my dreams scattered by the fear that ran through me like ice. I was not entirely sure if the sounds I heard were real or part of my dreams, only that somehow I knew that something was coming. I did not know what, though I suspected that perhaps the Huntsman was on the prowl, since I was sure that I had heard his ghostly horn sounding and the chilling howls of his cŵn. That was not the all of it, for I feared other things I could not explain, save that things of a fae nature were afoot.

My thoughts turned to defence, so at first light, such as it was, I paid visits to the blacksmith and the tailor. The former, I instructed to make crude iron spears. They did not need to be of high quality, or even particularly sharp, so long as they were made of iron. I also asked him to collect all the trimmings, the filings, the swarf, bits of slag etc, as much of it as he can. I had conceived of the idea of an iron-filing grenade. In pursuit of that, I also went to the tailor and had him make up small bags, only very loosely basted together – strong enough to hold a pound of iron filings and such, but weak enough to burst on impact. I had him run these over to the blacksmith, giving instructions as to the preparation of these crude, but hopefully effective weapons. Would I have done differently, had I known who the enemy were going to be?  That I don’t know.

 

Eve of the War

 

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