Hiking south from Blackwood, the three faced the first major decision. Which direction to take?
Staying well feed in the wild was an easy task as Marty could locate animals for hunting. River, though inexperienced in combat, was a skilled marksman with his bow.
A ferret was befriended for amusement more than anything, but it learned a few tricks within the first few weeks and became somewhat useful.
The campfire chats revolved around how to best begin, and as all were eager to face the unknown, it was down to picking a path. Three options emerged for a vote.
The first choice was a port town to the east. Situated on the coast meant regular traffic of ships to exotic ports of call. Certainly opportunities would present themselves in a tavern or aboard a ship. But Yngve was not interested in the seaside village near the salt marshes and quickly encouraged Marty and River to choose another alternative. Too likely his former shipmates would be passing through. He looked forward to facing them again, but preferred to have the advantage when the time came.
The second option was to the southeast into the largest city of the Isle. None of the three had been there before, nor even knew anyone personally who had been there. They estimated that even though their collective skills were focused on woodsman-ship, they could find a way to earn money while they found an exciting plan. But none were too enthused at the prospects of life in a city.
The last option, aside from wandering aimlessly across the forests, was to approach a small hamlet and get to know the locals. Perhaps offering to aid them in someway, could build the right relationships and lead them to more interesting ideas. Where there are civilized people, there are trade routes. And where there are trade routes there are often bandits and highway men, they reasoned.
Marty was apposed to the idea of being a blade for hire, but assumed they would find someway to benefit the local citizenry while avoiding mercenary work.
No doubt they would need a larger party to tackle any ambitious adventures, but with so few coins they could not hire a crew. Instead they hoped to join an existing team, and see where it took them.
So the choice was made. Marty used his ability to communicate with animals, choosing migratory birds to ask for directions. While traveling they chanced upon a pair of wolves but the threat ended as soon as it had begun. River successfully hunted a beaver and took its pelt.
A giant Owl was spotted one evening and Marty approached invisibly. The owl was quite intelligent when they spoke, but extremely arrogant. He asked if there were any ruined temples or the like nearby. The owl scoffed and alluded that he may know of a few but wasn’t inclined to share that information. As the story was relayed to Yngve, he wanted to kill and eat it.
Marty refused to harm the bird, but snuck back later while it was away. The ferret was sent up to the nest and returned with an egg and a second trip was made for loose feathers. They made a hasty retreat before the owl returned to an empty nest.
After another week of travel, they arrived at the edge of a village and camped a respectful distance away as to not alarm anyone by approaching in the dark.