Pathfinder: Jarg: Early Wanderings 2

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I spent the next several days just relaxing in the common room of the inn, enjoying a drink now and then.

It took that long for the people there to get used to me sitting on a heavy stool I had built out behind the inn the day after I arrived. Once the stool was built to my satisfaction, I placed it just far enough from the cooking hearth that I would stay warm, but not be too hot.

On several occasions, when I saw the innkeeper trying to lift a very large pot on her own, I walked over and helped her. Each time I did this, the people in the common room would stare at me, the innkeeper would give me a slow, sweet smile and I would sit down again.

One day, while I was relaxing, the innkeeper approached me, asking if I could do her a favour. When I enquired as to what needed to be done, the innkeeper pointed to a large pack on the floor and said that it needed to be delivered to farmer Valgas outside of the town.

Once I had been given the proper directions, I set out, having placed the pack on my back.

It took me a few hours to find the path that led to Valgas' farm, but I eventually did. I delivered the items, then returned to the inn.

The innkeeper smiled at me, let me settle on my stool and brought me a large bowl of her fresh steaming hot stew. The stew turned out to be the meat of a giant snake that had been roaming around the edges of the town and had been killed that morning by the town's 'guards'.

The five men and one tall, lean women in the 'guard' were all fighters with a bit of experience who preferred to stay in one place.

They had caught the snake as it attacked a farmer bringing some of his crops into the town, had surrounded it and then killed it.

The woman and one of the men had taken bite injuries from the snake, which proved to be non-poisonous thankfully.

The town's healer had been all too happy to treat the two, as what they had done had ensured the safety of the townsfolk once again.

Perhaps the fight with the snake might have resulted in less harm if I had been there to help, but that was not the case.

I overheard the guard woman and two men talking about the fight with the huge snake. I thought that it must have been quite a fight.

**********

I ended up doing more runs to folks that lived some distance from the town every few days, earning a silver coin or two each time.

Then came the night that I overheard a fisherman complaining about a giant octopus that was preventing them from leaving the harbour. I quietly stood up, walked over to the table where the fisherman was sitting, squatted down, then asked him about the creature.

Folks had grown used to my towering form somewhat by then. The fisherman nodded and quickly told me everything he knew.

When he had finished, I informed him that I would take care of the creature the very next day.

The fisherman then informed me that the octopus liked to sun itself on a large rock at the outer edge of the harbour.

I nodded, thanked him and returned to my seat, where I found a fresh cup of strong ale had been placed on the table beside the stool.

I relaxed for an hour or two, then headed up to the room that I had paid in advance for the next week and laid down to rest.

**********

I was awake as dawn broke the next morning. I've never liked dirt much, so I gave myself a quick wash and put on my oldest clothes.

Once my weapons and a few other items were attached to my belt, I walked down to the common room of the inn.

The innkeeper had already been awake for a while, she smiled and passed me a large bowl of porridge and a plate with a full breakfast on it.

I enjoyed the meal, this innkeeper liked to make sure people were satisfied with her meals, meals that were always hot and tasty.

When I had finished eating, I walked out of the inn and down to the harbour area.

The fisherman I had spoken to the previous night was there, with nearly a dozen others standing nearby.

The one I had spoken with pointed to the big rock, where the octopus could be seen lazing in the early morning sunlight.

I nodded and asked if I could borrow a large rowboat. One of the fishermen pointed to a nearby dock, saying, "Take that one."

I nodded again, thanked him, then strode over to the boat and stepped into it, causing it to rock violently for a moment.

I swayed in the boat as it rocked, I'd learned long ago how to maintain my balance in unusual situations.

When the boat finally settled, I reached over, untied the mooring rope, dropped it in the boat, sat down, picked up an oar and started paddling.

My family had lived near a large lake and I had been taught how to use boats like this, so it was not difficult for me at all.

I could see the octopus sunning itself on the rock. At one point, I thought I noticed the octopus looking at me as I approached.

It didn't take me very long to reach the rock. I dragged the boat up so it wouldn't float away, then stumbled as the octopus attacked me.

The darn thing had struck me from behind, this caused me to trip over the end of the boat and I landed face first in some sand.

I turned my head to the side, spit the sand out and lunged to my feet, drawing both weapons as the octopus charged forward again.

I was ready this time. I met the charge head on, hacking at one tentacle with the sword and at the head with the greataxe.

The sword connected quite nicely, taking a chunk about a foot long from the tentacle. The creature somehow managed to dodge the axe.

It slapped at me with a few of the tentacles, the hits didn't hurt, but one of the darn things actually stuck to my left shoulder.

Now it was time for something I had tried several times while I was training, I sincerely hoped that it would work this time.

I lowered the axe and used the sword to slash at the tentacle clinging to my shoulder, severing it a good two feet from my body.

The creature had been silent when it attacked and when I first hit it, but it now issued forth a loud, piercing squeal that was rather painful.

I staggered for just a brief moment, but that was enough for the octopus which hit me with another tentacle, this one going around my left arm.

I grunted as the creature tried to pull me toward the water. I laughed and stood my ground, then used the axe to hack at the tentacle.

It didn't take very long for the axe to cut through it, but I came very, very close to slicing my own arm open in the process.

The creature squealed again, this time I was expecting it and lashed out with both weapons in a carefully practiced synchronized movement. The sword flashed at the lower edge of the head from the left side, the axe from the right, and just like that, the battle was over.

What seemed odd to me was that the octopus had not sprayed me with ink at any point during the fight. Maybe it didn't have that ability?

Someone had left an old tarp in the bottom of the rowboat. That gave me the idea to cut the creature up into pieces and take the chunks back to the inn. Perhaps the innkeeper could cook up some octopus tentacle steaks or use them in one of her excellent stews.

It took several minutes before I managed to pull the tentacles that had been on my body off of me. I dropped them into the boat as well.

As I rowed back to the docks, I could hear the fishermen cheering. Huh, that was something I had never experienced before.

I soon returned to the docks, tied the boat to a post, then several of the fishermen helped me to carry the chopped octopus to the inn.

The battle had taken a fair amount of my strength and energy. I was content to sit on my stool, sip some ale and wait for some food.



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