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Malabal Tor

Author: 
Anonymous

The deepest heart of Valenwood, where little light reaches the forest floor.

“It is so much death with these Wood Elves. Skulls everywhere, bones everywhere! How can Elves that won’t harm a tree do so much celebration of killing? And so much meat—none of it sweet, all dull and chewy. They have no sugar and no spices. You know, my brother said that they even eat the dead after a battle. Shamunur hasn’t seen that, but can you imagine?
 
The innkeeper said this is boar’s haunch, but he did have a strange twinkle in his eye, now that I think about it! Look, look at that skull over by the fire! Does that look like a cat’s skull to you? I hope this ‘diplomatic mission’ will be over very soon.”
Once an area attracts a Hoarvor infestation, it is difficult to eradicate the pests. Just one window or door left open, one unconscious reveler left in the streets, or a pet not properly cared for can attract the beasts. If this happens, the first priority is to disengage the creature’s proboscis as quickly as possible and treat the wound.
 
Hoarvors are uncannily good at locating areas of strong blood flow, and if not removed carefully can cause more damage to the victim upon removal of the feeding-bore. Wounds must be kept perfectly clean to avoid complications, and every healer knows deep puncture wounds are difficult to treat. To discourage proliferation and drive an infestation out, one must burn a mixture of viper’s bite leaves and hazemoss, especially at night. Placing frost salts in a circle around a dwelling can prove helpful at deterring the creatures, as well.
The Bosmer seem to have no word for “lost.” They also seem to have very little respect for punctuality, as I’ve discovered in my time with this caravan. When I mentioned to the Elf that seems to be in charge here that we’re more than a week past our scheduled arrival time, he just shrugged and said “The trail took longer to find us this time.” What piffle!
 
I hope that one of the Dominion’s first priorities will be establishing some actual trade routes through this miserable forest. No wonder the Wood Elves are so far behind us, living here amongst all the bugs and beasts, refusing to even build proper roads. It’s a shame they are so complacent about taming Valenwood, but our influence will certainly speed up the process!
Saw something strange today when we got to Vulkwasten just before sunset. Right outside the main gate, a big group of Wood Elves sat in a circle. One stood up in the middle, probably one of their Spinners, and they all seemed fixated on him. I sidled closer to listen, but I am still not sure what under Jone and Jode I heard:
 
“… that now, as the crystal eagle swoops to harry the blood-red beast, this instant, and this one, and this one are more important than ever. More precious than ever. When we watch, we see it as the green. We see the writhing snake; we know where each talon will strike and where each coil will bend. We will speak what we’ve seen, we will become wind, pushing the predator into just the right place, offering enough resistance and enough support to ensure the kill. In the bloody aftermath, there is a great feast, one we all can attend.”
“Well that was the last insult I was going to hear without doing something. The stuffy bird needed to be brought down a few limbs. He wasn’t stupid, so I had to get him off his guard. We’d seen more stranglers in the area than usual, but avoided them all thanks to Lilanion’s pathfinding skills, so I sent him ahead to find a good spot. When we caught up, Lilanion cried out ‘Vicereeve, you must come look—there is some inscription on this stone, and, sadly, I lack the proper education to decipher it!’ This excited that silly High Elf to no end, and he charged forward, right into the strangler’s vines!
 
It sure was a good laugh seeing him struggle, and we didn’t let it bite him too much before breaking him free. I don’t think he likes us any better for it, but we got a nice chuckle and he kept his snooty thoughts to himself the rest of the way here!”
Song of night-tide canopy
 
Stars woven between your leaves
 
Crow’s watching eye 
 
Snake’s empty belly
 
Moving, dancing in every moment
 
Forgetting what comes and what is gone
Sirahai-daro: See something you like? Meat or pelts? Killed fresh today, all by me! 
 
Seladess: “All killed by her,” she says. She forgets her good friend with the deadly bow skills so soon!
 
Sirahai-daro: You know what I didn’t forget? My perfect shot right into the throat of that senche-tiger that pounced on you, oh mighty hunter! Where would you be without good friend Sirahai-daro?
 
Seladess: It was just a trick; I was ready to drive my dagger into its throat at any second. You ruined the trap! You said it yourself: my armor is tougher than it looks!
 
Sirahai-daro: Oh, yes, of course; I must apologize for spoiling you