Choose Our Own Adventure
To Sleep, Perchance to Die
By Jason (Aeston) Rosa
Let me tell you, it hurt me. It physically hurt me to pass up the ample gold of two wet-behind-the-ears brats who were certainly foolish enough to overpay for my protection. But when I really considered the pros and cons, if I’m going to be stuck with people whose company I won’t enjoy, it might as well be a crew where I won’t also be stuck on diaper duty for the duration of the trip. A few 120-counts later and the troop of guards was looking very alive and very embarrassed, except for that one fellow who kept swooning every time he saw Kenna’s angry glare. With a sort of a regretful look in their eyes, the pair of merchants’ children were on their way ahead of us. There isn’t a lot of doubt they’ll be killed by something else later on but, hey, the ravenous beats of the forest deserve a chance to eat every once in awhile. Circle of life.
With our erstwhile companions out of sight, and after taking the time to eat a quick and unsavory meal of trail rations, we packed up to see how far we could progress until the darkness would make continuing to travel basically a murder sentence.We were still in the woods when it became clear it was time to make camp and everyone spread out a bit in the hopes of finding a place for us to rest that was as least uncomfortable as possible. I could feel my bad back already acting up.
Simon soon ran back to the group pretty excitedly and begged us to hurry after him. Soon enough it was pretty clear why. You don’t expect much in the way of accommodations when you’re planning on sleeping in the woods but I have to say, the sight before us made me regret this whole escapade a little less than usual. There was a swiftly running brook (a good indication that the water we would be drinking wasn’t rancid and full of disease). The ground seemed soft with tall grasses which would make for a comfortable mattress (as long as one isn’t terrified of insects). And there seemed to be ample fallen trees from which we could create a fire (as long as I could avoid the good times and camaraderie that are often inspired by such a blaze).
While we were admiring what would certainly not be the most miserable place to spend the night, fate decided to kick us in the collective junk as we heard the patter of raindrops on the above treetops. We were inspired, therefore, to notice another feature of this serendipitous glade, a cave set into the nearby hillside. As we started to get wetter and considerably less pleased with our circumstances, I suggested we stop standing around soaking up water and instead...