Extracts from August Odal's memoirs The War in The North. First notation for the third Courtday in Stockmonth, revised year -154
So today we're setting off! These months have flown by and I have so much left to compile that I will be forced to hand it over to my replacement. I am ashamed to leave uncle's sketches and his accounting in such a mess but if I don't board today, the ship would literally sail without me. And I can't miss this chance to see and defend my parents' homeland.
In the end, we are eight to accompany the fleet as it sails further up the coast. Five belong to the resident families, among them I predict that either Valter Stare or Jonas from the Cliff will soon emerge as our leader, but I would not dare making a bet on which. Andrea from the Forest seems to be determined not to let her injured back stop her from accompanying us. Something that will greatly benefit us as we will probably need a scout and wilderness when we arrive and I do not want to know how sullen Valter would have been if he had to leave her behind. Then we have Herrman Vogansson who seems to be the most hesitant of us who will leave. It pains him to leave his family dreading for his safety, but he has a protective strain that is deeply rooted. I do not think he could let his friends risk their lives without him by their side.
The trio from the Quarry is composed of Orinn, Myrna and Ronald. It will be interesting to see if the tight living conditions on the ship will give me an opportunity to get to know them better. Their speech and behavior seem even more strange to me than the other Southerners and I think there may be a multitude of cultural treasures to find if I can get any of them to open up about their heritidge.
And the last additions are two outsiders of whom I am one. I had hoped to be able to slowly integrate among the villagers while helping uncle Leonard with his building projects, but if I am honest, I have probably placed myself in a self-inflicted isolation. Something I am now determined to overcome. However, I'm not alone in my foreignership. Just a few days ago, Erik Winter walked into the village. He is young, beautiful, charismatic and still a mystery. He announced to the Navy's representatives his intentions to accompany us immediately after his arrival, and since then he has celebrated away the evenings on both the Lark and Rolling Barrel. I have not had the chance to talk to him but at least gave my greetings in passing.
Unfortunately, we have also had some dropouts, I can't blame those who chose to stay. We have all faced different choices and priorities. Offer of promotions, family illnesses and a sense of duty toward the home guard now that many of us in the small militia are leaving. I wish them all the best and hope to see them again.
Now I hear the Bell of City Hall toll. If I don't finish writing, I will be late for my own farewell ceremony.
Second notation for the third Courtday in Stockmonth, revised year -154
We are now out on open water and I have done my best to find a quiet place to write where I'm not in the way of the crew on The Frostshark, I apologize if my handwriting is a bit messy but I'm not used to writing on a swaying surface. For many of my fellow travelers, this is the first trip at sea and they seem to respond with mixed reactions, Ronald is folded double over the railing even though there are hardly any waves at all, while Herrman and Siri have climbed into the mast to get one Better view of the coast before The Cliff disappears beyond the horizon.
Oh, I have to tell you about our last minuet arrivals. Siri Weaver and Master Grimme! Our teacher informed us of his intention to accompany us during the farewell ceremony in front of the town hall. I think that many of our parents and guardians drew a sigh of relief when they realized that we will have the veteran at our side when we get there. Siri on the other hand threw herself on board just as we were about to leave. We others have promised to share our supplies with her since she lacks much of what will be needed.
Speaking of Equipment, we were laden with gifts during the ceremony. I guess it's a way for them to show their support, although many of them were reluctant when we told them we were leaving. The Seamstresses has sewn us beautiful tabbards and trousers in the village colors. With a green wedge over a dark blue background and a hem in white splitting the two.
Jonas's older brother Grae has forged us daggers, and for his brother was presented with the incredibly beautiful sword he brought with him this summer. We were allowed to choose what we thought would suit us in arms and protection. The craftsmen in the area have then done their best to provide us with our requirements.
Personally I have chosen to equip myself as lightly as possible. I have a hard time picturing myself in the front lines when we get there, so I appreciate the gifts from Apothecary Lind all the more. He has provided all of us with the field dressings, but besides that I also got a bag of dried herbs and tools for sewing and treating more serious wounds. I hope I can remember my lessons the internship with him.
We also became incredibly well stocked with food and drink from both the food yard, the fresh produce shop and the preservers, but we have decided to share it all with the crew since we will be getting food from the fleet's rations during the trip. Hopefully it can show our good intentions here at the start of the long journey.
At the dock before I left, young Miss Lind gave me a little white flower from her father's garden. I did not think anything bloomed this late in the fall and it was not without a lump in my throat that I boarded.
I'm worried that I don't have a place here. The three Angerhallian savages are as hardened as the stone they work, and the friends from within the village have had at least a few years of training under Master Grimme. I always imagined my future as a pretty silent affair, where I sat at a desk exploring the adventures of others. When I now find myself sailing toward the inferno, I can't help but to think I have made a very hasty decision ...