By Lady Thorfinna gra’feldr
Here do I lay pen to the events of the voyage to Petrea Thule on the 13th day of March, A.S.XXXVIII.
The wind had a bitter bite and the sea was cold and grey when I made ready to sail east once more. The balmy temperatures of the week previous had left us, and prehaps I should 'ave taken the change as an evil omen, for there was danger aplenty awaiting me and mine at the end of our journey. But word had come from the lands of Petrea Thule that there would be a Late Winter Shoot for all those gentles who possessed some skill with the bow, and as archery had been for a me a fond memory from me childhood, I made plans to attend.
So, with me ship, the Clever Wife, loaded to the bulwarks, we set out t'wards the rising sun on that chilling morn. The weather held, as did our luck when we were dogged by the vessel what bore Their Excellencies of Septentria to the Thule. But we managed to fall in with their fleet by flying Ealdormere's colours, and docked without incident behind them.
The tiny inn was packed with archers from all across the Northern Realm, and there was many a face I recognized, both friend and foe within the throng, including our own Mr. Tibbs, and that dastardly constable what bears so striking a resemblance to 'im. I kept me head low, and made meself scarce when the Thuligan authorities were about, and managed to spend quite a while at the range. I scored me a 64 in what they called their winter round, and I was pleased enough wi' that, seein' as how the last time I'd done any serious shooting had been some fifteen or more years gone (and it weren't none to serious back then, either. Har!).
After that, we headed up to get us a bit to fill our bellies, and I discovered that through some lack of wit and forethought all our gear for feastin' had been left back at Drew's End. I was forced to make use of a scrap of paper as me plate, and me fingers as forks! Still, the dining was fine, and the price fair, so there weren't much of which I could complain, save my own foolishness.
When we had broken our fast, the range was opened up for a new shoot, one which they termed 'novelty'. I was floored to me gibbet when I saw what they was up to. It seems they've not yet fergot the last time Cap'n Bloodfox and meself sailed these here seas, and it seems also that we be wanted, men and women both, in this barony! I had me a laugh that such a fuss was made over little ol' me, har! But me grin turned sour when it became appar'nt that Bloodfox and I were t'be the targets themselves! Fortunately for yours truly, in image only, and not in me person. It seems that, to improve the skill of their archers, and their chances of apprehending us pirates, the Thuligans had set up targets four rows by four, with renderings of meself, Bloodfox, Mr. Tibbs and Mr. Andersen hidden amongst those images of more generic piratical fiends. Upon each picture was placed a gaily colored balloon. Those what pierced a balloon could then look to see who's face might be underneath it, with the ultimate goal of striking both a captain and first mate on each target, and clearing the line that they were contained within by dispatching the row of balloons!
They even went so far as to pull some folk from the crowd who bore some likeness to ourselves so that them archers might have an idea'r o' who they was shootin' at.
I kept meself well hidden in the crowd, but when it was said that first prize was to be a booty of gold coinage - well, what else could I do but compete for that gold, seeing as how we was far too outnumbered to up and steal it by force. I thought it would still be rather poetic in justice if I were to take that gold, considerin' what the contest was about! So that's what I did, by tar!
We were divided up by numbers into teams, one team per target. Team Four were my team, and though disconcerting as it was to be firing deadly arrows at a likeness of me own face, the lure of gold was stronger than pride! When the dust settled, a shaft had penetrated my breast, and Mr. Andersen's likeness was shot clear through the mouth, but more importantly, a clear line connecting the two images had been cleared by team four, and we were victorious over all! Yar! And to add to irony, the Baron himself awarded me a few extra coins, none the wiser as to who he was paying! Ah, the winds blow their own way, do they not? Har!
There was more shooting after that, but I was not one to press my luck, and so I gathered up me gear and left to spend my winnings at a local inn of great repute where all were fed to their satisfaction, and none were left wanting. All in all, a day of great adventure!
But now I feel the old sea calling once more, and so for now, I leave me pen for me sword as Cap'n Widow sails again!