The shepherd’s journal does not have dates but has one entry per page. 7 entries in particular catch your eyes. Everything else is bad poetry, musings on people you’ve never met, and complaints about Shepherd Norter’s digestive problems.
19 pages back
Today I take my first task as journeyman shepherd. The guildmaster has assigned me to track down the missing shepherds in the pasture to the northwest of Alindas. I look forward to my first taste of this new station in life.
8 pages back
Alindas is a quaint town, smaller than many but still bearing the marks from when it lay on a major trade route in days long gone. While the old glory is mostly gone, a great many races can be seen wandering about here freely.
I find the experience quite unsettling. I half swore I saw a dwarf this morning! I look to be back among solely my own kind soon. Hopefully my task proceeds with haste.
6 pages back
There was a racket in town this morning. A great beast burst out of the tenement house to the south, followed by a mass of chittering rodents. If beasts like these can be found in the midst of town, what evil lurks in the wild? I shall have to hire myself protection instead of pocketing the expense fund…
3 pages back
I looked to hire the adventurers who vanquished the beast in the square, but they ignored my offer. When I went looking for them again I was told they collapsed a building and disappeared into the wreckage loudly complaining about the gods and their demands.
Too rich for my blood. I think I will hire some common brutes.
2 pages back
We set out today in fine spirits, myself and three locals who know the area and their way around a blade. The weather was fair. We will camp and make the valley pasture in the morning.
1 page back
This morning started so well. We found the flock grazing. They were somewhat scattered, but not as badly as they would have been if predators had been at them. Yet pens and fencing had been torn down. Of the shepherds there was no sign. We were entirely too complacent.
As we were investigating we were set upon. Skeletons from dead wolves, animated by some dark force, ambushed us from the forest. Flesh hung off their bones in strips and they stunk of rot. They took our nearest companion by surprise and ripped out his throat. The three of us fled into the forest, scattering the sheep before us while the fiends slaughtered our horses.
Within the shade of the trees we found the missing shepherds. They had been savaged and dragged into the woods to die. We soon realized our own mistake. We had been driven into the rest of the pack. They harried us, aiming to cripple. One companion was lamed and I lost the other in my heedless escape as I heard the sound of screams and fighting. I did not look back.
Some hours ago, I heard a horse in the distance but what slips through the trees in the distance is skeletal, figures slouch upon their backs, crimson with gore. I lost them for now, but I cannot hide my tracks.
I do not think I have long to live. But why were the sheep untouched?