It was a great relief when Faelwyn completed the demon warding of the upper palace. Although no guarantees could be made vs. future incursions, the wards should at least eliminate the element of surprise.
The next day I asked Andrew if he would be kind enough to help me select a gift for princess Anneka. I know our time together is dwindling and I wanted to leave her with a memento of my affection, but what in the world could I give a princess that she doesn’t already have? Andrew accepted the challenge and we walked the Merikesh market place together, which was swelling with activity preparing for the upcoming Unification Celebration. I asked Andrew if he had ever been in love and he shared with me a most tragic tale about a poor young man in love with a peasant girl. Their village was attacked by goblins and among the many injured was the man’s love. The cleric of the Maker chose to heal a wealthy town elder over the young woman. This spurred a separation of Andrew’s belief in the Maker and educated him on the importance wealth in the world. I can see how such tragic events could shape a man and it’s even more impressive how Andrew’s heroism and return to the Maker has been of late. Continuing on I spotted a few trinkets of beauty, but Andrew’s keen eye spotted them as either grossly overpriced or counterfeit.
A woman’s cries for help captured our attentions and led us to a small alleyway. Inside was beautiful blond woman being robbed and threatened by three street thugs. I drew my sword and gave them the chance to flee, but they chose another path. After slaying the first two the third thought better of it and fled. The woman was in shock and after some encouragement she managed to introduce herself as Lady Loreena new to the city. With all honestly I admit to these pages of my journal that I felt a nearly irresistible urge to kiss her, it appeared she felt the same way and asked if I’d be her escort while in Merikesh. I nearly said yes, but my thoughts returned to princess Anneka. This startled me that I’d even consider this strangers request. I ushered Loreena and a stunned Andrew out of the alley and bit our farewells.
I’ve made several attempts to get some alone time with Anneka, but her schedule would make a hydra choke. I shared my disappointment at this to Andrew and he assured me he could arrange a break for the princess for a few hours and that the group of us should enjoy the pre-celebration festivals. Trusting in Andrew I joined Faelwyn and Aranwe outside of the palace in the grand square. As promised Andrew arrived with Anneka cloaked and hooded intow was young Tendra her handmaiden. We learned that Andrew had used a drill of sorts to whisk Anneka away under the guise of danger. Both Tendra and Aranwe were perturbed by Andrews’ actions, but after a brief moment Anneka laughed and assured us all that no harm was done.
We enjoyed the spectacle of dwarf fire eaters, colorful jugglers and Andrew even treated a crowd of children to a show of magic. Then as if the fates intervened an old woman was selling Dhaleon lockets. Princess Anneka was charmed by the story behind them and how they are said to keep a loved one with you even when they are far away in physical distance. We lowered our heads so that a lock of hair could be taken and placed into two separate lockets of our choosing. Like a couple of children we fumbled placing the lockets around each other’s necks. I could not think of a more perfect gift and was please she felt the same.
From there we separated from the group and walked about the city enjoying it not as Champion and Princess, but as Dorwen and Anneka. As promised we returned in a few hours’ time to meet up with the others. A crowd was gathered, once we pushed passed the onlookers I saw a most surprising sight. Aranwe, Faelwyn, and Andrew where surrounded by a squad of nervous city watch. They explained that Andrew and party were attacked by two Revenant Spawn whom were former members of the city watch, previous their untimely deaths. The three of them slew the undead creatures, but it took some explaining to the responding city watch. The corpses smelled of the sewers and we surmised that the watchmen must have been slain, then dumped in the sewers so not to be spotted before they could rise and seek out Andrew Rowe.
We returned Anneka and Tendra to the palace and made a plan to enter the sewers later that night, giving time for Andrew to gather appropriate clothing and for a final report to arrive. Feeling tired from the day’s activities I shall finish this journal entry and rest an hour or so till the others are ready to leave.