Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day Six-Seventy-Eight: At least it's gone

Weeeeeell, this is troublesome. To our advantage, perhaps, but... troublesome.

Rodentia has long reigned as the center of power for the Imperium. It is here, Jeffrey tells me, that the seven nations of years past banded together into a single power to fight the great war of the last millenium. It's here that armies were commanded, battles directed, and troops prepared. Rodentia is one of the oldest surviving cities on the planet, and therefore, one of the most famous.

Until now, I guess.

Rodentia is an utter ruin. It wasn't looking too hot when we left, mind, but it got a lot worse in the last three weeks. Every building of significant height has been knocked over, and those squat hovels the sloth did not deign important enough to touch were apparently crushed under the weight of collapsing towers and falling walls. The palace, the mighty seat of power, appears to have simply fallen apart under its own ponderous weight, leaving a massive heap of rubble in the center of Rodentia.

The city is empty, save for a contingent of soldiers left behind to keep an eye on the remains. They all look bored and forlorn, so we had no trouble sneaking past any of them once we made it to the bottom of the Stalk. Yes, even with bubbly, annoying Traveller on our side, we managed to sneak past the guards.

My first fear upon entering that ragged city was, of course, the sloth. Is it still around? Could it be lurking in the stone somewhere, simply waiting for a chance to pull some hapless passersby down to their doom? Such is the stuff of nightmares - and, naturally, it's not the case. The sloth is simply gone. We don't know where it went, or how, or why, but it has left.

Not dead. Gone. After crushing the might of the Imperium's army. At least that's what Logan heard while listening in on a mumbled conversation between two soldiers. I pray to the gods I never have to confront such a beast head-to-head in my lifetime. It's not a way I'd want my second death to go.

Despite the sloth's swathe of destruction through the city, the farmlands surrounding Rodentia remain relatively untouched - though by all accounts they, too, are currently deserted. Looks as though everyone living here has up and fled. I don't blame them a bit - if the most powerful army in the world can't defend their capital city, what chance do a bunch of farmers stand? Time to pack up and get the hell outta harm's way. 

Sooooo, y'know, we may have occupied a farmhouse or two on our way back to the Dauphine. Seems only fair. Had a hell of a time separating Libby from Traveller, and we ultimately had to convince him to sleep outside our bedroom window, but I guess that's... better than nothing.

Ngh. Traveller. He's latched onto Libby like a fruit fly to a hamburger tree. There're no signs that he plans to leave with the gypsies when we get back to the Dauphine. That does not bode well for our expedition. We can't take him with us. I don't want to take him with us. I will be horribly horribly annoyed if we have to take him with us. And the worst part? We may have to, because no one can really say no to the guy if he decides otherwise.


I'm going to sleep, now. I've got bits of parchment wadded into my ears to drown out Traveller's snoring, which is loud enough to float right through the wall.... and, uh, through the parchment as well. Not a great situation, y'all.


Dragomir the Wanderer

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