From the Journal of Estavan of Westmarch
Ankle deep in the wetlands of the tributary that runs between Khanduras and the Sharval Wilds is last place my sopping wet feet wanted to be. Yet my damned curiosity had dragged me so far east from my beloved Westmarch that to turn back now would have been akin to rubbing a lemon on a scratch. So it was with a nominal amount of reluctance that I continued to trudge along a path through the muck, never far behind Professor Entwell and our local guide Alex.
The professor was a self styled botanist and one of the more applauded experts on herbs amongst alchemists in Duncraig. He was a far more learned man than I, both in his experiences in dealing with herbs but also in travel. He made regular trips across the mountains to Aranoch and even abroad over the Twin-Seas. His fields of study seemed to take him everywhere.
The wet ground and mud dampened my mood, and Entwell would suppress a laugh or a snort every time I groaned from the sensation of cold mud on my legs. "You'd never make it in Kurast kid." he'd repeat more times than I could stomach.
We must have walked for over an hour over the delta with Alex hacking away at overgrowth with his machete. There was little here except for the swamp weeds native to the area, but soon we reached an area where little streams created isolated islands in the wetlands. Carefully we waded out and onto the tiny banks of land where finally the Professor found what he was looking for, and what I'd come so many miles from home to experience.
Along the ground in a sort of brambles were long thorny vines of a pale brownish hue. Hiltweed is what the Professor called them. Being the casual observer I was I could see nothing of particular importance about them, but the Professor assured me that they were of unique curiosity. He bade me to study the living examples, encouraging me to remember their color and the shape of their thorns. Even as he and Alex trimmed and cut away various samples of the hiltweed he ushered me over to mentally take note of the peach-like color of the sap that dripped from the cut vines and even remember the sickly musk-like smell it gave off. Entwell bore an oddly depressed look upon his face, as if the samples they were taking weren't up to his standards.
All told we spent precious little time here before trudging back to village in which our temporary lodgings resided.
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Part 2 is found here:
Edited by Lõri on 3/12/2012 3:29 PM PDT
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