I resume writing after a very long day of events both chilling and deadly!

Last night I interrupted two men loitering near u-Heury’s room, pretending to be drunk. At first, my efforts to awaken my companions were in vain. I was forced to carry through on my bluff, taking my chamberpot downstairs to empty it into the water closet. Amazing that a town so small has sewers!

After a minute or two I started up the stairs again, hoping to catch the two men in some nefarious act. They were still outside the door to u-Heury’s room, but with no indication they had entered. I remained suspicious, but could not act. However… Luckily my banging about woke BB, who had retired earlier than the rest of us. In a few whispered words l brought him up to speed, and he took the lead interrogating the pair while I peppered the conversation with drunken insights (“say, wasn’t that u-Heury’s room?” “Why have you been waiting outside for several minutes?”). Eventually the commotion woke the innkeeper, who sent us all to bed; the suspicious pair retired to a room at the far end of the corridor from the one they had been loitering outside. BB took second watch over our room.

I feel that my diligence and BB’s moral certainty prevented a crime tonight, but as the crime was prevented, there is no way to punish the suspected evildoers. We shall remain vigilant in case they interfere again.

We traveled next to the local trade house and moneychanger, a follower of Denara like myself, though he keeps this on the down-low. He appraised the blue gemstone and coral at 540gp, and the pouch of dirt as worthless; his offer of 513gp (less his fee of 5%) was mathematically correct. I assured my companions of this in case they were not aware, and after some discussion of taking it to the local magician first, eventually took his offer. The man was dilligent enough to offer a written receipt, for which I offered my thanks and Denara’s blessings.

Some 85gp richer personally, I went to the Grey Company to interview my candidates. Uadeen, another elf in defiance of the laws of probability, and Gystad, both claiming to be fighters. I hired them both. Long may they live in my service, and thus in Denara’s service by proxy. The Gray Company wanted a name for our company. I insisted over u-Heury’s objections that my company was to be known as the Customer Service Department, and so they shall be, so long as I am paying their salaries.

We left with the bag of dirt, which the druid kept. Druids are odd. There was a brief incident whereby some of my companions attracted attention to themselves by throwing the dirt in each other’s eyes. I think they were trying to see if some magical effect would occur. Suffice it to say, no such thing resulted.

We decided as a group to seek further adventure together and left town, heading for the dragon teeth henge. After spending the night there, we decided to try to follow the map we had uncovered, leading to the Tomb of the Serpent. This turned out to be a fateful choice, for two snakes, each with two heads, interrupted our path.

Blessed are we of the merchant path, for Denara’s blessing has brought us not one but two two-for-one deals. We could buy one and get one free – twice! Truly a powerful omen after the appears of the chimera.

We squared off against the beasts, peppering them with missile fire, but their scaly hide turned many blows. We persisted and slew the first snake. Alas, Gystad succumbed to the creature’s bite. The second snake was chasing Prig, and we redeployed to engage it in what my instructors deem “aggressive bargaining”. We dealt it many wounds, but the creature’s fangs struck down Prig, then Uadeen, then even I! My last memory is of the creature’s fangs in my neck, pumping venom, or was it sucking blood? Had I fallen victim to a vampire snake?

I must have been delirious for a time. I remember Denara’s face, her sweet voice asking if I was ready to balance my books. Nay, I said as strongly as I could muster; send me back, for I have contracts to fulfill!

I woke after the battle, with u-Heury ready to offer healings herbs, and a massive swelling on my neck with two precise fang marks at their center. I must remember to wear a neck covering henceforth.

The others informed me that the snake had poisoned BB before slithering off. All of us save the mercenaries had recovered, though I will no doubt bear these fang marks for the rest of my life! Truly it is better to be the employer than the hireling!

I will take the coin I have earned and contemplate the lessons of my experiences for a time before I venture out again.