25 Septimus 1668, Donnerfall
Well. Donnerfall may be a quiet little place normally, but the games brings a lot of interesting people here. I asked the Castillian blacksmith I met yesterday if he could make me lead shot for my sling. He had not done that before, he assured me he could or rather that his apprentice could. I'll try out the first sample later.
We also met an Ussurian trader who had, among assorted knick-knacks, two truly interesting things to offer. One artifact that at first glance looks like some kind of bauble, and a handful of glass marbles that have a peculiar oily sheen. Aidan seemed interested in the artifact and I bought both things, more hindered than helped by Aidan's doubtful skills in haggling for the price.
But before we could investigate further, it was time for the log tossing. I have no idea how I did it, but I managed one toss that was not a complete embarrassment. But we lost without a doubt to both other teams, as expected. We befriended the Hainzler team and drank a few rounds with them until we were interrupted by the news that someone had been murdered.
Just outside the town, Ludwig Doppelkeuche, the minstrel we met when we first arrived had fallen victim to a gruesome crime, he had been impaled with great force. To be honest, I could not stomach looking at him for long. He's not the first man killed violently I have ever seen, but I doubt that I will ever get used to the sight. Gregor has some experience with tracking and he could tell that someone riding a warhorse or at least a horse big enough to be taken for one was responsible for the murder. He and Aidan also told me that they had seen black oil seeping from the man's wounds and that the surrounding plants were all yellowed and dead. When the priest arrived and did the sign of the Cross over the body, all that vanished. I do not know what to make of that, but I have no reason to doubt the word of my companions.
We attempted to follow the trail left by the horse, but it soon became clear that we were not going to find anything. The trail lead us into the mountains and the horse had been ridden at a full gallop, so we were much to slow to catch up. We turned back.
In the evening, Aidan and I investigated the artifact and the marbles a bit further. The artifact is capable of producing a light much brighter than anything I have ever seen, but we are still not sure what exactly it is. It might be a mistake to think of it as a lamp only. The marbles seems to be just that. Until I decided to test if they were really glass. I went outside and hit one of them with a stone. I was thrown to the ground, blinded by a flash of light and feeling like my heart had been pierced with a splinter. I could not catch my breath for a while and although the pain in my heart stopped, the arm I heald the stone in felt like a thousand ants were crawling over it. I had no use of it for hours, just as I had lost my sight. I feared that it would remain that way and that I was blind, but after a few hours, my sight returned, as did Aidan's. I do not know what kind of magic this is, but I intend to find out. If I survive the last taks of the competition: keeping my balance on logs that are rafted downriver.
I have encountered Syrneth technology before as a player and I knew very well that hitting it with a stone was a recipe for disaster. My GM did his best to hide his 'you are not doing this-face. I'm just happy that all my fingers are still there. And I'm still going to play around a bit more with those marbles - Marinus hasn't got a sling for nothing.