Hawke Mason
Human Gunslinger
Lancer Grasslands, En Route to Azmaraxe

I wasn't going to get very far within the Lucana Tundra without supplies. Not to mention without a guide. Trying to track someone in the snow wasn't difficult provided the snow didn't keep falling down, but with harsh winds, blizzard conditions, and freezing temperatures, it was suicide.

In the meantime, I had no intention of keeping this old horse past Azmaraxe. Driving him through the tundra would be murder on him, and I had no intention of doing that to an unaffiliated animal. He certainly wouldn't win any races at his age, so I figured I would simply let him free once I arrived at the city. After that, I'd find a guide and hopefully an alchemist who could sell me some potions to resist the cold or at least a tanner that had some good furs for sale. Both would probably be the most preferable.

I imagined scavengers out in the tundra would be few to none, although there was the possibility others were hunting down the Sacred Gem as well. Very likely, many of them were probably dying out there, thinking more about the Gem's worth than about preparing for the harsh weather and lack of foraging supplies. That, and out in the tundra, the situation could be the same as the sea. Nothing but the same sight as far as the eye could see, giving them a sense of hopelessness and feeling lost. I had some ways of using sense to determine where I was heading, such as using the stars, but I knew there had to be others out there that were better than I was. And getting their help simply meant handing over some gold.

There was no telling if or how the Lancer Grassland Bandits had prepared to head into the tundra. Sure, the Sacred Gem was worth a lot to some people, but nothing was ever worth dying for. And in the end, most would end up losing more than what they had started off with thanks to this pursuit. I was not going to make the same mistake. And whoever I hired for the journey was simply a hired hand. I had to make sure no guide would betray me once I got the Sacred Stone. I had seen tricks like that employed before. Guides leading their masters astray, killing them, stealing their belongings, and using their skills to simply head back on track.

Thieves always came in many forms...