Hildegard Von Ravencroft
Hilde’s Auto-Journal, Oct 22, 12 CE
On the road from Ionia
...I must remember to thank my friend the librarian for providing me this wondrous, if arcane item. The day had been long and the strength in my hands was slipping- writing would be tedious.
At midnight of the previous day I had began the hunt of a dreaded bat lycanthrope, a creature of violence and hunger, to the edges of the forest of the village he attacked. Outside of Noxian territory, they were left to fend for themselves... I can still scarcely comprehend how such dangerous creatures could exist and prey upon the defenceless. The prey had been wounded in our prior skirmish, and was forced to give chase in the night. I could scarcely track it by the slivers of its tainted blood, but I persisted... By dawn it fled into its lair, where it would make it last stand. It loosed the four young women he had cursed, all of them transformed into bloodthirsty creatures of shadows, wing and fang- moving at the speed. It took all my skill with my polearm to fend them off without fatally wounding them. The progenitor lunged with desperation and brute strength, and in the nick of time I slew him... he transformed back into a man, his last words of gratitude for ending his curse. I slew no monster, but a victim, and found myself with only half the reward the village promised- perhaps out of compromise.
And now I have ridden long, finding no place to rest since, until I chanced upon this road. With the sun already slumbering, the landscape was now embraced by the night, a rough silhouette of the forests and meadows all my eyes would see. I long for a warm bath and bed, and to drink the jasmine tea I brought from my adopted homeland of Ionia; to let my dress-armor air out, and wash the edges of my haori of the dirt it had collected. My steed Isabella, strong and valiant she is, too tires, and seeks the company of a stable. I chanced upon an Inn, but alas, it seems misfortune does follow me.
* * *
I let Isabella rest by a well, filling the trough with water and eye that there was enough shrubbery for her to graze on- but first I fed her one of the green apples set aside for her. Loyal mount, brave and steadfast, I bother not to tie her to the well's post as she would not go far without me.
The commotion was as I feared- the Inn had somehow become unavailable to any new patrons. Keeping my nature hidden from the common eye and the witch's eye, I spied the gathered crowd- adventurers and travelers, the lot, not despicable at least but neutral company. None stood out, save the poor manners of the innkeeper. If he had important reason to close, it could not be helped- but it seemed now that we will be left out in the cold. I checked my arms, the spear of the Vindicator and the wave blade, to remind myself that I was not defenseless.