We are two weeks into our journey now to a place called the Black Pit. Earnin has filled us in one some of the goings on there. Apparently bandits/ruffians have taken over the town, imposing their will on the folks that live there and have murdered anyone of importance in the town including the local Sheriff. They have then gone on to force then to working in the mines outside of town. For what purpose is unknown but think it would be prudent to find out.
From what I can gather from Earnin, and what I know about the area it would seem Black Pit would have the following statistics.
Village - Approximate population 800
Industries - Mining, Smithing
Natural Resources - Mithril, Silver, Jewels, Dragonshards
Population mix: 45% Human, 14% Dwarves, 9% Half-Elves, 7% Gnomes, 6% Elves, 5% Halflings, 5% Goblinoids, 4% Orc, 5% Other
The Pit is apparently named after a giant fissure near the village that opens up into the depths of Khyber. It seems a dreary place. Hopefully it will not drag on the moral of the group.
Speaking of moral, the long days on the horses seem to be affecting the group. The rain over the last few days certainly led to the dour mood that existed between my companions. Being wet and cold makes even the most stout and stoic humans I've met miserable, and some of this party haven't had to endure this kind of hardship before.
To lift their spirits on the road I began collecting the roots of a blue flowering plant that grows along the side of the road. I've seen soliders harvest then roast these roots, which when steeped in hot water, prepares a dark tea of sorts that seems to help a man's mental alertness and generally makes them a little more agreeable in the mornings.
I prepared some of this while I was on watch a week ago. Apparently the aroma of the liquid was found to be appealing to all as the group all woke up a little earlier than their usual. Questions were abound about what it was I was preparing. Though some seemed suspicious about drinking something made by a warforged, Delian brought out some mugs and a little honey. He informed us that the root was from the Chicory plant and he'd heard out it's use but didn't recall ever having it.
He was the first to try it and sweetened with a bit of honey he stated that he quite liked it. Everyone else followed suit and since that day I've prepared it each morning to greet my fellow companions as they wake from their slumber. Moral is up again and we are again making good time, slowed only by the occasional stop to harvest more chicory root or honeycomb.