Literary encounters: Putting your adventure into writing

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Drowning slaver sentries might be fun but don’t run into action before seriously considering the ramifications of your enterprise.

Before going on an adventure it is always, in order to avoid confusion and disrupting conflicts, a good idea to make the responsibilities and the general relations between participants and sponsors very clear. A professional adventurer like the impoverished english gentleman Leonard Outram (from “The People of the Mist” by H. Rider Haggard) might even put the agreement onto paper. Many TPK-incidents could be avoided if only people where more open and clear regarding their relations to each-other, in advance. But it should be noted that even the most meticulously made agreement might result in unintended consequences, like the appearance of a love interest.

 

 

 

Agreement between Leonard Outram and Soa, the native woman.

“I. The said Leonard Outram agrees to use his best efforts to rescue Juanna, the daughter of Mr. Rodd, now reduced to a state of slavery and believed to be in the power of one Pereira, a slave-dealer.

“II. In consideration of the services of the said Leonard Outram, the said Soa delivers to him a certain stone believed to be a ruby, of which the said Leonard Outram hereby acknowledges the receipt.

“III. Should the rescue be effected, the said Soa hereby agrees, on behalf of herself and the said Juanna Rodd, to conduct the said Leonard Outram to a certain spot in central South Eastern Africa, inhabited by a tribe known as the People of the Mist, there to reveal to him and to help him to gain possession of the store of rubies used in the religious ceremonies of the said tribe. Further, the said Soa agrees, on behalf of the said Juanna Rodd, that she, the said Juanna, will accompany her upon the journey, and will play among the said People of the Mist any part that may be required of her as necessary to the success of this undertaking.

“IV. It is mutually agreed that these enterprises be prosecuted until the said Leonard Outram is satisfied that they are fruitless.

“Signed in the Manica Mountains, Eastern Africa, on the ninth day of May 18—.”

The People of the Mist by H Rider Haggard

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