Midsummer, 1083 AG (Anno Gerhard)
Mother demanded I start writing this journal when I left the new farmhouse. “You’d have nary a soul to speak with!” she had said. I told her I had the horse, Freki and Geri, and she replied animals don’t count. I would never pass along those words. Still, I do miss companionship along the road. Hothgar had been constant as a boulder pushing me when we hunted down the Jackalites, but he refused to stop, refused to leave. I would not let my family die.
I suppose that brings us to the Jackalites. I guess here along the farmer market roads, passing only peddlers and farmhands, that the danger of those people seems only a shadow. Yet, shadows lurk everywhere. I will make some notes of the Jackalites below should whomever read this journal have the displeasure of their company.
All jackalites bear a mark somewhere on their body that resembles the head of a strange Merceshian hound from which the group draws their name. The hound is noted for having sharp pointed ears and snout. The mark is only plainly visible on the groups brutes. Mostly Merceshian, these thugs are marked clearly as enforcers to show the groups strength, while others bear the mark as a brand. These branded can be of any race, but are indebted to the group for their lives. In exchange for life, they must become the groups warriors.
I wish I knew more, but only that these individuals are often marked with a color tattoo. Unlike the underlings, this marking can be hidden anywhere on the body. I have seen the mark upon the man who murdered my father in blue upon the innner thigh. I have also seen a Merceshian woman with a yellow mark placed along the top of her neck constantly hidden behing her dark tresses, which are semi-sacred to the desert people.
That is all I know, for now, besides that they are a gang of murderous thieves who have an eye to make money off any individual who tries to make an honest living in the Eld.