My companions returned with a bear of all things! Seems our little Argonian bodyguard is a seasoned and formidable fighter. I am glad to know. Honestly I hadn’t been too sure of her prowess in battle. But taking down a full grown bear is no easy task. And I do love the taste of bear. Beautiful when marinated with dry red wine and spices, then roasted or stewed.
I told Qau-dar I would salt and dry the excess for the journey. When he looked weary, I told him I could make a sugar dried one as well if he wished. He seemed to still not quite trust me but gave me leave of the extra meat, but not giving me what he wished to make for today. I set up some meat to marinate, then began the process of making the dry rubs, savory and sweet, and using some of the extra firewood I gathered when on that stamina high, built a small smoking shed and hung the meats inside, salted on one side and sugared on the other. Then I started the small fire to get the process started and covered much of the outside with pine branches and a little snow for insulation. They won’t be the best smoking one can do, but it should preserve much of the meat and give us a good set of provisions heading forward.
The most pleasing thing of all, however, was that Qau-dar was completely unaware of my blood ritual for my mistress, the queen of shadows, Boethiah. He raised an eyebrow at the burnt sections of the ground, but said nothing. I am well aware that he would most likely be upset by any ritual requiring blood and involving Daedra, if the talk of Namira worship was any indication. But as far as this is concerned, I think I am in the clear, at least for now, at any rate. Only time will tell though.
The next town is still a week’s journey North-east, if we keep a steady course and the weather does not worsen. It has been unseasonably warm this year so much of the snow has been light and melted down after the afternoon sun rises overhead. It keeps the paths mostly clear, but icy in many spots. Lucky for my two companions who do not seem to enjoy the cold weather, the daytime temperatures seem to hang around freezing.
It has been a while since we left the last town. I enjoy the road just fine, of course, but need to soon find one with whom to lie. My mother always warned me that Mephala had a tight grip upon me, for my personality, she said, was like a servant of the goddess. She feared that it would lead me to being an outcast in Mournhold, of that she was not entirely wrong. Our people, turning their back on the gods for the falseness that is the Tribunal, have inverted the principals for which they stand. Vivec pales in comparison to Mephala, not even a shadow of her greatness. Hahahaha, pardon my pun, I could not resist.
But my lady Mephala, I have not forgotten what you have taught me. The vision you gave me is still clear and fresh in my mind. And while many would blame it on the illusions of a drunk, I have no doubt that it was you.
Azura, os yilan ohn marik. Please watch over my companions and I when you can.