After the second bandit fell to the cave floor, it seemed we were safe for the time being. I dumped my water skin on the two flaming bodies to extinguish the flames and search them for anything useful. Not finding anything I deemed worth taking, it was only then that I noticed my wounds. They hurt… but they were nothing compared to the pain of the loss of my deer sweet Maye and our child. I pushed this pain and those memories further inside me and thought we should move on to explore the rest of the cave to ensure we were not ambushed again. Normally I am suspicious of anything to do with the healing arts. However, I knew that if I were to be able to continue on our journey, I would need to recover from my wounds. Perhaps, I would give my friend the Maester a chance. After all, I had seen him heal Teddy and Roderick. Thaddeus’s healing methods seem based in this physical world and not in some made up spiritual one. I didn’t care much for the silver that Thad made no secret of attempting to horde for himself. So I offered for him to keep my share of coin in exchange for him attempting to heal me once we had explored the rest of the cave. He agreed. So we set about continuing down dark caverns illuminated by our flickering lantern and torch light. It was difficult to tell if we were in a new area of the cave or one we had already seen. I hope my old eyes are not playing tricks on me. Down one corridor we found a half frozen, half eaten body. I again searched this corpse for anything of note. Nothing. In another cave, the Maester did find a bronze shield with markings that didn’t make any sense to me. My trusty shield had already saved me during battle so I had no want for a new one. Thad would have the best resources to study this shield so it made sense for him to take it. We finished exploring the cave and returned to the entrance only to be greeted there by a cat-like beast. I know not much of the animal kingdom, so I remained silently poised behind Maelys, who had positioned himself to block the creature from entering the cave further. The wise Maester and the young heir quietly crafted a smart plan. Together, they went to retrieve one of the bandit’s bodies and brought it back to where Maelys and I were still standing. I watched the Maester pour some liquid into the wounds of the deceased bandit. Then we all retreated to a safe distance for the beast to feed. After a short while, the creature became drowsy and collapsed into a deep slumber. Maelys seemed reluctant with having to slay the beast, but in his dutiful silence, beheaded it nonetheless. We made a temporary camp where the bandits had been. With some reluctance of my own, I let Thaddeus tend to my wounds with the promise that I would make him a cape from the hide of the creature that I now know to have been a shadow-cat. The Maester was very talented and treated my wounds skillfully. After an uneventful week of resting in our makeshift camp, I felt almost back to my old self. I could still feel some lingering effects of my physical wounds but I felt well enough to travel. I’m not sure any skilled Maester could heal my physical wounds from the past. In fulfillment of my promise, I fastened a cape for Thad. To my surprise, Teddy demanded as heir to the house that he should have the cape. The two of them talked it over and decided that Thaddeus could wear the cape until we found shelter in the next town. It doesn't really matter to me which of them wears it. Perhaps when we do reach a town or village I can find an Inn or Tavern to perform in. The locals could probably use some of my entertainment to break them from the weary doldrums of an unseasonable Winter that has lasted longer than usual into spring.