16th of Abadius, 4712AR
This morning was especially cold, I woke up three times in the middle of the night because of how hard I was shivering. Chet was up early shaking hard as he tried to revive the fire.
Today we explored the forest east of Fort Cutaway View and it was another peaceful, until night fell. We made camp by an outcropping of rocks that protected us on two sides, tying our horses to trees on the other two sides. That night we took our turns guarding the camp as had become routine. I took the first shift, allowing our casters to sleep. Schmidtaki sleeps during the first shift as well. As an elf he sleeps much less than the rest of us and ends up guarding most nights.
This night Schmidtaki settled down quickly while the rest of us talked for a little while before they went to sleep. As we sat around the fire it suddenly flared with blinding light. As our sight returned began searching the area for magical auras. I could have sworn I heard strange giggling. After a few minutes of being unable to find a source we settled back down around the campfire.
Chet began to feed the fire and it suddenly went out and erupted with thick smoke that left us all coughing. Chet began to fire crossbow bolts into the darkness at the trees. This time I wasn’t the only one to hear faint, strange giggling. We walked into the forest hoping to find the source of these disturbances. Then we heard it, a happy toe tapping rhythm of a violin coming from above us. And there it was, the strangest combination of man and insect. The creature had the chimeric combination of the upper body of a man and lower body of a cricket. The sound of the violin came from the regular motion of its hind legs. We all stood in awe of it for a moment before approaching it. By the look on its face this was not the reaction it expected. It vanished suddenly and the branch that is stood on bobbed vigorously.
Mitchell told us that is was a type of mischievous fey and that we should probably not pay it too much attention for fear of encouraging it. Minutes later while we again sat around the fire, another one of these creatures appeared on the rock behind us. As it played the happy tune Geronimo began to dance an caper about. Not sure what kind of threat if any the creature proved, we approached, and it disappeared.
This time we woke up Schmidtaki, who after hearing our story, quickly hid somewhere in the forest. Again the creature or perhaps it was another creature appeared to play its song. It choose the wrong perch to play its song, because Schmidtaki was hiding in the same tree but on a branch on the opposite side. Schmidtaki watched from above as Geronimo reared up on his hind legs, Mitchell took his front paws, and the par began to dance. Amused by this Schmidtaki peered around the tree and waved at the little musician. At this point it smiled and vanished. Chet sat there watching the spectacle shaking his head but then quickly stood up and ran over to the horses. He began to search through our equipment looking form something.
We found hand full of coppers, silvers, and trail rations had gone missing. At this point Chet flew into a bit of a rage spitting all manner of curses at the tiny fey. A moment later another one of the cricket men appeared on a branch above Chet and the horses, but safely out of reach. He began to play. The rhythm of song quickly took hold of my toe, traveled up my leg, and in a moment I was unable to stop myself from dancing. I was joined by three of our horses who began to trot and sway to the tune. Mitchell and Geronimo looked at each other and decided to join us. All the while Chet tried to shoo off the little creature. At the end of the performance the cricket took a deep bow and both Mitchell and I clapped for him. We weren’t the only ones, behind us the three other cricket fiddlers clapped and whistled for an encore from their friend. After another bow they all disappeared and we could hear them laughing off in the distance as they left.
The rest of the night was peaceful. I found it very easy to sleep after such a pleasant encounter. Its good to know that not everything in this wilderness is out to kill us.