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led astray

January 2013

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led astray

it's been a while

I had a long day!

I got seriously lost in the woods, alone at game. It was raining, the prequel to the hurricane due in a few hours. It was late afternoon, 3ish. I went for a walk to the empty side of town to work on a limerick for the tournament in private. I got jumped, which turned out to be a mistaken from the rogue's event in the tourney. We got it straightened out peaceably, and I decided to walk a little further out for more privacy. I stopped and spent about a half hour picking out a staff for Cedric from this dilapidated lean-to the campers must have built. I had 2 verses of limerick, so I thought, "This is going well, it's just what I needed. I'll just go around to the other side of camp the back way, tra-lala."

There once was a cute little Sarr
who wanted to learn how to spar.
She went into town, and everyone 'round
pointed her towards Lord Carr.

The two of them climbed up a mountain.
Their blood, it poured down like a fountain
when 2 Knolls big and mean came into the scene.
You shoulda heard the shit they were spoutin'!

It was around this time I started to figure that there wasn't a "conventional" way to traverse the "back path".

More tomorrow. I need my Tink.

There will be no boots.

***
The tree growth is getting thicker. I've lost any sign of The Path. The sapling trunk I'm carrying around for Hoyce is getting heavy. Eventually, the brush got so thick I had to ditch the thing. All I can see are leaves and branches, from my feet to nearly blotting out the sky. I found a stream, but it turned out to not lead back to camp. The trees cleared up a bit and I stopped for a minute. Where did I come from? I tried to orient myself based on how long I had been going in the wrong direction and the angle I was trying to use on the back path to nowhere. At this point I noticed my shirt was getting wet. THat shouldn't be happening because i have a water treated leather coat on, oh, that now has come apart at the seam while I was struggling in the overgrowth. The sun is going down. It's evening now for sure. THey will be having dinner soon, and I won't. And I'm getting thirsty. It's crazy humid out and I'm pouring buckets of sweat, getting makeup and dirt in my eyes, so I have to stop and wait to tear up and let my eyes wash out the irritant. Finally, I think I see a tiny sliver of space between the trees that could be water. Ohpleaseohpleaseohplease be the river I can follow back to camp. I get down a hill and through more brush to find an unfamiliar but unmistakable river! Hooray! Oh. Shit.No one has been out here for a loooooong time. Both sides of the shore were densely overgrown. I try to make my way along the brush, but the mud sinks over my ankle, and I literally have to pick myself up by my bootstraps. I completely lost a shoe one step and landed sock first in another step of ankle deep swamp mud. Fuck, I'm so tired and hungry. I'm already gross, fuck it, the river looks to be about knee deep, I'll just walk in the damn river. Lots of moss covered loose rocks and branches, but I have a decent Dex score that activates with adrenaline, and that's what I'm running on. The terrain is rough and getting rougher. I broke down and tried to yell for help with all my energy. The sound is muffled by the rain, and I know I'm more than a mile from camp. I sat on a rock and cried. Loudly. Several times I stopped to call for help that wasn't there, and couldn't hear me if it was. The river got deeper, and then wider, with tributaries. It was getting harder to see which way the river drained. My jacket is soaked and dragging me down, so I take it off and kinda sling it over my shoulder (like a continental soldier), and tucked my claws up under my arm. I needed my hands free to steady myself. I was terrified several times that I was going to break an ankle or leg on the rocks and not be able to get back, and the rain isn't stopping and I won't be warm from walking in the river, so I'll get hypothermia and die. Fun! The river suddenly dropped me up to my chest in water. I had to let the jacket and claws go. I needed both arms and hands free. I feel guilty for littering, but it's getting to be about my life now. Man, I hope I'm following this river the right way, and that it's the right river. I have to climb over 3 small, but annoying beaver dams, and soon after, I'm in a full on lake. The river muck is thick up to my thighs and the water up to my armpits. Each step squishes through 2 feet of undisturbed sediment, releasing nasty smells of decay. I am unhappy. I'm tired. I'm hungry, alone, scared, it pouring, i'm still lost to the best of my knowledge, it's now completely dark out, there's a hurricane expected, and now the water is up to my neck. Eventually the muck thinned out to only ankle deep, but then the water was over my head. I had to use my arms in a butterfly stroke, while kicking off the top of the foot deep muck. During this time, I had a small feeling of glee, because it was still summer and I at least got to go swimming again! After a while I saw a break in the brush, and what looked like a clearing. At least I could stop and rest a few minutes. Heh, it reminds me of the place we went on this module once where we found a guy washed up from the river...maybe it is! OMG!!! I walked a few feet and saw spots of light far off. This is it! Pleasepleaseplease. No more trees get in my way, this is a well worn path.

I followed the now clearly recognized path to NPC camp. What followed was an outpouring of love and compassion that touched my heart. THe people I went there to see, and some new people I'm just getting to know, helped and comforted me. I girl whose name I don't know lent me a set of her clothes for after my shower, and my brothers and sisters of old renewed my faith in them. I tried to thank everyone individually. I think I got them. Scarn said I was the best repped undead he'd ever seen when I arrived at camp. There was river muck IN my PANTIES. Ewwwwww! The storm hit as we hit Mass. Everyone is safe and sound. I'm a little beat up, but I know it could have been a lot worse. I was in real danger and I got out in one piece, and into the arms of loved ones.

"Life is a path lit only by the light of those I've loved." - Tom Waits
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::big hugs::