Memoirs of an Ableman, “Mad” Ezra Bristle.
Day 1 (Not sure of the date, lost track many suns ago. Lets call it Tuesday)
After another mishap in the wasteland Victor and I find ourselves without any water. Our luck never seems to hold up anymore in this fucked up world. I am writing this now because death is getting closer by the minute and we wont be able to make it back to Pipes without a miracle.
I have to laugh at Victor because he is either insane or brilliant, only time will tell. Victor says he came up with a plan to get us some water and as absurd plans go this one is over the top. Victor says that trolls always keep water in abundance and he means for us to sneak into a troll encampment at night and steal their supply.
Grandfather Bristle always said “Damned if you do, dead if you don’t”, I suppose he meant that no matter what you do either way you are screwed.
Victor proved me wrong again, I guess I owe him again, his plan worked flawlessly. We got enough water for today and tomorrow. It should be enough to make it home.
Damn it to hell, I thought those stupid trolls would not be able to track us down. I can see their dust trail getting closer. At least we managed to find a burned out scrapyard to hold up in and I think this is where we will make our stand against them. There is no way to make it to Pipes in time so we will just have to dig in and give them everything we have. Victor just gave me the thumbs up sign and for whatever reason I got chills running down my spine, again. He must have hatched another brilliant plan. Shit on me.
The fight was quick and deadly, albeit comical. I lay here nearly dead in a junkyard car being blasted by sand and wind and Victor is unscathed and sound asleep. That boy never seems to even get a sunburn. All I can say about the fight is that we used everything we had against them and I barely survived. At one point I remember being pinned under a car while Victor “thinned the herd”, as he calls it. He had a chance to leave me there and flee but he stayed, amazing to have at least one friend out here.
That just reminded me of another saying from Grandfather Bristle, “Only your real friends tell you when your face is dirty.”
We finally made it back to town. Sold our salvage and cleaned our wounds, in that order. Heh, when did health take second place to salvage. I don’t remember it being like that when I was a kid. Wayland was kind on us again and gave us a fair price for the crap we had salvaged.
I had another run in with the town marshal, this so called lawman will bleed the town dry if he could. The marshal is as crooked as a Dorgals hind leg. This time it was my fault, I just can’t stop myself from telling that bastard off.
Teresa, proprietor of the Pipes inn, told us about a job. The town is willing to pay us to find out what is happening at the Freedorn farmstead, apparently the much needed produce shipment from the farm is late. We will have to talk to Wayland tomorrow.
Off to the farmstead to find out why the shipment is late. We were told to head north to the “white rock” then turn toward the twisted tree and follow the path to the farm.
On the trail we ran across a few troll tracks, Victor and I agree that there might have been a troll revenger among this group, for the troll foot prints in soil were quite large.
Another strange site, we found a troll that looks to be squished flat, either stepped on or fallen from a great height. Very unusual.
Luck is with us today, we found an old vehicle that was uncovered by the sand storm. Inside we found some nice salvage that will have Wayland drooling. Maybe with all this potential cash Victor might actually want to spend some of it and get his clothes washed. Hard to hide from trolls with that smell. Maybe I should start calling him “Troll-bait”.
Arrival at the farm. I write these next sentences with care, whether to provide an accurate account of what transpired or to just give meaning to the chaos that is this world.
We arrived at the farm with relative ease and we were not greeted by anyone. Nell, the owner of the farm, is known to be a expert marksman and she usually greeted “guests” with a keen eye and uncanny aim. At a distance the farm appeared to be deserted.
Victor and I hesitantly approached the farm house and proceeded to search for clues. We entered the house we found poor old Nell. All I can say about her is at least she died in her own bed, but I would not choose to die that way. It appears she died from what I have termed as “Black Rot”, possibly just another sort of wasting disease brought on by this harsh climate.
We proceeded to search the farm and found it in good condition. The pigs were amazingly still alive and the greenhouse is intact. We also found the missing Dorgals, who were apparently still working the farm and did not have any knowledge about Nell’s death. One of the Dorgals was not so lucky though. The dead Dogal was shot and killed by someone, another mystery for us to solve. The other Dogals have no knowledge of what transpired, they just want to finish their work. They have been blindly following orders from their dead master since her death.
Victor spotted someone on horseback coming down the trail, we prepared for the encounter by telling the Dorgals to hide as we ran into the farm house. The man rode up to the house and tried to barter with us. He wanted to buy the Dorgals from us, disgusting. We instantly peg him as a poacher and are appalled that he skins Dorgals for profit. Guns are drawn, and a shoot out ensues.
In the end Victor and I are still standing as the stranger lays on the ground collecting flies.
I am again reminded of another saying from Old Grandfather Bristle. “Take what you need, use it to survive, die if you don’t.” The meaning is as clear as glass, its not stealing if they don’t have need for it anymore. We proceed to take anything of value.
Afterwards we helped bury the dead, Nell and the dead Dorgal are at peace now, and the stranger just fills another hole in the ground. Good riddance to his kind.
The day grows late so we decided to stay the night in the farmhouse. It is going to be a long and cold night.
Victor must be a salvager at heart, he came up with an idea to make a drag sled and attach it to the strangers horse. We will pack the sled with fresh produce for the town and valuables from the farmhouse. Then make our way back to town.
The ride home was uncomfortable on the horse but the time flew by. Our first stop was at Wayland’s to collect our reward and to inform him about Nell. Wayland can see profit from a mile away. Wayland and the marshal are planning on sending a family out to the farm to take over for Nell, and also to provide the town with a food supply. Problem solved.
After settling up with Wayland and selling some of our salvage Victor and I now have enough profit to keep on living for a few more days. If we can get a few more jobs that pay well Victor might be able to start his own Armatist shop one day. As for me, well Grandfather’s legacy is looking more appealing every day…
I am startled out of a daydream by a loud ringing noise, I glance away from my journal to see Deputy Bill running through town. He stops for a instant and plainly says.. “Trolls are coming..” then he continues on running alerting everyone of the approaching danger. I clearly hear Victor say.. “Revenger…” and an image of the large foot prints snaps into my mind.
Shit on me……