Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Three whole weeks!

Yes, it's true. It had been three whole weeks since our last game. I had been going through a severe withdrawl. There had been scheduling problems between the others, since the Ren Faire is going on, and the biggest problem was no one wanted to give up their sleep in order to work early Monday morning. Due to a personal need for restraint in order to maintain a positive gaming environment, my comments shall be reserved.

SO. Back to the game.

I must say it was a marked improvement over what we had been doing. For the first time, I broke my bowstring and was stupid enough not to have purchased a replacement. On a better note, I was responsible for stapling a full third of the mosquito/bats that attacked us. My best shot was knocking one off of the cleric's arm. I think the best was the lack of bathroom breaks. We took one or two group breaks, but didn't have trickling away from the table, and I think that helped immensely.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

The following night

The two are awoken for their share of the nightly watch and Dwight finishes a long session of stretching.

"Well! I'm thirsty."

Shallan pulls out the half-full waterskin she carries and holds it up in offering. "This is just about all I have left."

Dwight goes for his. "I think I have plenty. Just stating my intentions. I could do without wine for a few days, though... after yesterday, a nice hot
tea would do just fine."

With a hidden smile, she takes a sip of her own water and stoppers it back up. "I apologize, I sometimes forget that these spirits affect humans much more so."

Dwight settles onto a log and chuckles. "Is that so? So much I don't know about the races. I find humans quite complicated enough."

"Some are good and some are evil, just as any race. It's the details that can overwhelm you."

A moment goes by.

"You've hardly said a word. Something on your mind?"

She shakes her head and evades the question, "Nothing of consequence..."

Dwight quickly tries to change the subject. "So where exactly are you from?"

"Navarene, the elven capital. It is a beautiful city, though I doubt most in your country would even know it is there... Everything is very different, houses and dwellings are blended in so well, one could walk entirely through without even knowing they had passed through the heart of it.” She closes her eyes. "The scent is of a thousand flowers drifting on the breeze." She opens her eyes and looks over uncomfortably. "But
it is no longer home, so..." She shrugs and lets the image fade.

Dwight waits a moment. "Did... did you have to leave suddenly?"

She considers the question for a long time. "It would have happened eventually. I was the apple tree among the flowers, and things were
uncomfortable for a very long time. When I left, I finally found happiness, doing what I love to do."

Again, nothing is said for a moment.

Dwight takes a drink, mulls it over for a bit. "What is your family like?"

She smiles. "My family has been Captain of the Nyssa guard for well over a thousand years. My brother stands to take my father's place." The smile fades, "He had the same upbringing you did, training and drilling with Guard regulars from the time he could walk."

"A thou..." Dwight starts, but stops. "Ah yes. Please, go on."

She nodded. "Four generations. But I was never offered the same chance given to my brother. Or my father, or his father..." She meets his eyes with a sad look. "As in your family, most likely. Father to son."

He gets a stern look on his face. "I guess some things don't change no matter where one is. So you didn't get the same opportunity?"

"No, not in Navarene. Not even in Are'thane. I had to cross over the border where a very good friend was able to help me. My brother
most of all, did the best he could, sharing what he learned at my father's hand. studies and my domestic skills suffered and it was difficult hiding what I was doing. A disastrous house will do that..." She
chuckles, but most of the humor seems drained from it.


"There is no time to stock the cupboard when you are trouncing your brother. Floors cannot sweep themselves while you try to outfly your
brother's arrows." She sighs. "Don't even ask about embroidery. Sword and bow string blisters are difficult to hide whilst weilding a sewing needle."

"Hmm. So they expected you to keep house." Dwight chuckles again, to
himself. "I can't imagine you in an apron. This seems to suit you much better. Of course, I am biased."

"Thank you," she says quietly, content with the acceptance she has found with her group of companions. "For a time, I served at court as well. Father thought it would keep me from daydreams of joining the Guard. It was something to do, and I became quite good at it. It is where I learned to speak and read the common language and I could converse with some of the visitors from other lands. And in between errands, I was able to catch glimpses of the Guard. It worked for a few years, but again, I failed him. A visiting noble was very rude, and demanded I be let go. He claimed I ruined his favorite cloak, when the slob spilled his own wine."

Dwight smirks. "Nobility can go to one's head with ease. I've heard more than one high-born buffoon bellowing at their servants with no provocation."

"At first, I thought it was an inborn trait that went with their noble blood. I am happy to see you do not suffer from that affliction." Her eyes studied him with a pleased curiosity.

"Well, it's hard to be a protector of the people if you equate the job to

"I find it a pity that most see it that way. A friend of mine would equate it to just like that...only he really did herd sheep as well, to help the local farmers." She laughed. "He was an excellent woodsman, an excellent mentor, and an even better friend."

"A friend of yours from elven lands?"

She shook her head, "A ranger of the wilds, a human, Jacob Buckthorn. One morning he just appeared by my campfire." She indicates the
burning coals of their own fire. "It was the best surprise I had ever received. And my first and only friend."

He gives her a quizzical glance. "Surely you had some friends during your upbringing."

She shook her head and shifted uncomfortably. "When not studying, the boys had weapons training. The girls were given 'womanly instruction'. Since I very much preferred the former..." Shallan glanced down and seemed to intently study the ground before her, tracing elven script into the soil with a stray twig. "After a while, finding a mate and settling down were not to my liking, although my father tried to help..." She bit off the last words bitterly, not really willing to go on.

Dwight took the hint. "... What did you just write?"

She looked at the lettering, not even really paying attention to it. "The beginning words of most elven tales, 'When the wind was young and the
land just born...' " She scratched it out with a slightly unsteady hand, clearly trying to hide how emotional this discussion had gotten her.

Dwight takes another drink. "Mother used to tell us stories of the west. They always made your people sound like they swung from trees and played tricks on unwary humans. Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to meet a real one, and now I've seen two. Every day I find that the
things I see become more and more incredible."

She was quiet for some time, simply letting the silence stretch. She stared at the fire, letting the years fade back to where they belonged, in her memory and not the here and now. After collecting herself, she gives Dwight a tight smile, "My most difficult time is getting used to your strange ways. I have been in your lands for some time, and I still find things to surprise me."

He lets out a good laugh. "I have been in my lands for some time, and I still find things to surprise me!"

This time the smile is genuine, and Shallan relaxes a little, leaning back a little. She glances up at him, then sketches a few other elegantly shaped scripts in the soil. "...The honorable and most noble protector of the realm..." she reads.

Dwight grins, and also relaxes a bit into his seat. "I'm curious. How would you write 'friend?'"

She scratches out what she has written and replaces it with something much smaller. "Mellon..." she gives the word a softly singing sound,
speaking her own language.

He lets it sink in. "Mellon. It's very nice." He places his hand on Shallan's shoulder. "May I... call you that?"

She pauses for a moment, slightly startled, then answers solemnly, "Amin harmuva onalle e' cormamin, mellonamin...I shall treasure your gift in my heart, my friend," she translates. She takes care to speak slowly,
emphasizing the use of the word she had shown him.

A grin crosses Dwight's face. "I am glad to be able to call you likewise." He squeezes her shoulder lightly and lets go.

She leans forward, dropping the stick into the fire, steeling herself. She convinces herself it is right and just, considering what she had put him through the night previous. "You asked before what troubles me..." Though the words come with difficulty, she tries to find the easiest way to present it to him.

"You will tell me? I wasn't going to force the subject..."

" not know the customs of this land so well, and am unsure of how this would..." she searches for the correct words, "affect your opinion of me."

Dwight stands up and kneels. "I give you my word as a knight that I shall not judge you by your past deeds."

"I wrote to my brother weeks back, as I first came into Woodland city. And have written him twice since. No word has been sent, and I fear..." She takes a deep breath. "I said before my father tried his best to occupy me, to keep me from trouble." She continues much more quietly, not meeting his gaze, "He signed a marriage contract. One I did not

He returns to his seat. "Even in my culture, that is a serious matter."

"Arranged marriages are common in our lands and forced marriages are not unheard of, though they are rare. Even more rare is a soul-pairing. None would dare to deny the last. Even a marriage of state would be dissolved to unite a soul-bonded pair." She still refused his gaze, instead focusing on some unseen point on the ground. "Palis was ambitious, seeking to gain my father's good graces, and eventually his position. My
father knew none of this, though Palis saw me as his way to gaining my father's trust. A political coup, very profitable for himself and his family, a place of honor and note in court."

"It sounds like he was the one who was not acting honorably."

"Again, what he was doing was not unheard of... Father thought it a blessing sent by the gods, finally something he could do to settle me down. A marriage offer would settle me down, and perhaps father thought that Palis would finally be able to contain me." She shivered and wrapped her arms around herself, though the night seemed warm. "There is a custom, old as the earth but not used in the last centuries, not even in my great-grandfather's lifetime..." She paused, trying to think of the best way to explain. "Elves are not a prolific race. There have been at the most three children in most families..." She steeled herself, but looked to him for some sort of strength. "To ensure that a union will be fruitful, it can be demanded that this be proven before a marriage will take place. Palis demanded this of my father, and he agreed."

Dwight replaces the hand on Shallan's shoulder, and waits a second to talk. "I can see why it might remain unused. It sounds like a dreadful custom."

Her fists balled in barely supressed anger, her voice quiet and dangerous. "My father only did what he saw was best, as no other would have me... I did not know of any of this, and even if I had, I STILL wouldn't have agreed." She was tense, as if a spring wound too tight. "The contract was signed, and Palis asserted his right. It was a legally binding contract. When I refused to comply, he hit me. Once."

He inhales audibly but says nothing.

She gave a tight, controlled smile. "He did not raise a sword for many months after that, I think. My training with my brother had paid off much better than I could have ever thought." She looks down and consciously relaxes her clenched hands. "What I the disgrace I have caused my family. I left not long after, kissed my father and brother goodbye. As I said last night, a visit is all I shall probably be allowed, and then not for many, many years."

Dwight gives a small chuckle. "Forgive me. Just thinking it was something we had in common."

She closes her eyes and rubs her hands on her face. "It would have happened eventually. Perhaps it was my fault for not leaving earlier..."

"Perhaps not. But we cannot alter the past."

Shallan takes a deep breath and releases it slowly. "I do not regret my decision. I regret the consequences I left behind, but once I met Jacob, and then being here, I have never been happier."

Dwight also takes a deep breath. "I guess you could say that you didn't leave bad circumstances, but rather you came into better ones?"

A relieved but tired smile lights her face. "Heruamin, ‘my lord’..." she bows her head. "Your friendship comforts me, no matter the road ahead, or the road behind."

Dwight puts his arm around Shallan and squeezes briefly, then lets go. "A
worthwhile sentiment. But I fear we should be more concerned about the road ahead, based on what we've seen over the past two days. We have many concerns in front of us, especially dealing with a dragon."

Shallan nods, and stands to stretch. "Agreed. In the meantime, get some sleep. I shall wake the next two." She moves off to do just that, but turns back only slightly to whisper, "Kaima eithel, Astalder."

(Sleep well, Valiant one.)

A shared nightly watch

As bounty hunters, they go where the money is. And this time the largest payment included a dilvery to a Silver dragon, handed down by the ArmsMaster himself. The Order of the Fleet Fox was being employed to help find a messenger, and the group volunteered, confident they could complete the delivery. Two days passed, and the nagging worry that their sometime companion was troubled bothered Shallan.

After beng plied with the finest vintage carried by the Cleft Tombstone for some time that watch, she finally dropped the small talk and outright asked why he was not pleased his brother was made Armsmaster of the Guild, Dwight finally relented instead of turning the question aside.

"There's a lot that people don't know about me,” he began unsteadily. “The reason for that is that I've been trying to hide as much as I could. Darik coming to Woodland was the bombshell, though... and I guess I can't keep it a secret forever... I've already told you where I'm from, a city called Joven, to the north, about 200 miles north of Mount Willow. I've also mentioned that Joven is my surname. My family owns the land that the city sits on, as well as the surrounding peasantry."

Shallan nods slowly and refills both of their drinks from the wineskin. Sometimes the application of alcohol broke down barriers.

"For over two hundred years, my ancestors have been the sworn protectors of the people of that area. The paladins of my bloodline defended our city honorably against any intruders. They also took care of the common folk. They kept themselves above, but treated them as equals. My grandfather was such a man, and I loved him very much for it. My father, however, got too wrapped up in his nobility. Now, I am the youngest of four brothers. Darik is a few years older than I."

"And Donovan, the oldest? Darik told me when I went for training at the Guild Hall..." She had been coming at this conversation obliquely, quizzing him on the coats of arms and lineages of the human realm for the past few days. An innocent enough topic, but one that would eventually lead to his own family, exactly where Shallan wanted him to go.

"Oh? Have you?"

"Yes, he beat me quit soundly." She indicates the slowly fading bruises, a raccon’s mask the lasting result from her bout.

"Always the charmer, Darik. I'll admit he is a smooth character."

"Except for him being a bit short with his errand boy, he seemed fine."

"He gets that way with his help. He takes after my father a good deal."

"I've run into the recieving end of it myself more than a few times."


"That is why I decided to try my luck elsewhere. I would never be Armsmaster in court, I'm the wrong sex. So I do what I love and write when I may, and see where my feet will take me next."

"You sound as though you were free to leave, though."

"Yes, and someday I may return. But only for a visit."

"I don't think I ever want to do the same."

"Your grandfather is gone?"

"He died nobly many years ago, performing his duties. Not long before my mother, actually."

"But leaving your family over a difference in attitudes for treating those of a lower caste? There must have been something more than that to make you leave?"

"... there was..." He pauses for quite a long time, then takes a long draught of the wine. "Like I said, from the time I could hold a sword, I, like my brothers, was groomed for my place among my ancestors. Now, Donovan and Darik both take after my father, although I admit that Donovan is much more dour. They are all very serious men, at all times. My other brother, Dorian, is a lot more like my mother. He isn't uptight. He can laugh at things. I so wanted to be like him."

"Where is he?"

"When I last saw him, he was at home, with my other brothers."

"That still doesn't seem like a good reason to leave. Dorian seems like a very good reason to stay." Shallan could empathize. She missed her brother terribly, but returning in the next century was not very likely.

"The breakdown started when my mother died. She cared about us more than father ever did. She understood much better than he did that our people were real people, not just a burden to bear. She kept him in check. While she was around, I did not fear the consequences of making mistakes in training. I would be resolved to try again. Once she was gone, I had no chance to make up for any slip-ups. All I would hear was, 'You're a failure, Dwight. A whelp like you could never find his way through the citadel.’ Father... my brothers... Dorian, after mother was gone... he changed. Eventually it was too hard to go on. I lost my focus. I began to become ill for no reason. They thought I was faking, but it was all too real."

"I am not sure exactly what is worse, being given your training and not meeting standards, or beating the standards but never being offered the proper training."

"I can't say. The feeling of failure was awful, though."

"What I don't understand, is why would your brother come down to Woodland, if he was charged with protecting Joven?"

"I don't know. I was very surprised to see him again. It's not something I expected to happen."

"He was not unforgiving of my lack of skills, albeit a little rough during my training session. But nothing beyond what I've gotten in training before."

"I can't guess at his motive for coming here, or taking such a position."

"I felt it odd for someone not of the Guild to arrive and secure such a place so quickly. Don't they usually choose someone from the Guild membership?”

"I know little of the Guild's bureaucracy. It's possible that this was handed down by the king."

"I had not considered that." Human customs were still something she was getting used to. Not all positions of consequence were given to nobility where she came from.

"Woodland City and Joven lie within the same boundary and answer to the same sovereign. I was really hoping that Woodland would have been far enough to go."

"I would not recommend the Elven lands either..." She gives a quiet, throaty chuckle. It seemed nobles the world around held the same predjudices.

He echos her laugh. "You must pardon me. I know little about the ways of the elves. In fact, it was the short one, Slewfoot, that informed me that you are much older than you appear. ... No offense."

"Not at all. I have probably seen three of your lifetimes, perhaps more... And yet I am finding that things change little given time and distance."

"I had at least found that I could hide myself from the thing that I am ashamed of."

"Of being a failure? You are far from it. Perhaps you are thinking that the standard we all live to has raised a little for you? I left to find what I am truly capable of, perhaps that would fit you as well?"

"No, not being a failure... being a coward. I haven't actually told you why I ran yet." He takes a much longer drink this time. "When a Joven man comes of age, he must complete a final task, the culmination of his training. He has to face the citadel. The Citadel is both a hallowed and feared place. It is a true test of a warrior's wits, skills, courage, and fortitude. It lies on our land, surrounded by the burial grounds of our ancestors. Each of us was to venture through the citadel, face the terrors inside. Upon reaching the final chamber, one is presented with his sword, and emerges a paladin. At that point, he is designated with a color, in order of his birthright."

Shallan unconsiously raises her eyebrows at the ritual, and the result. But she says nothing and allows him to continue.

“Donovan, for example, is called the Gold. Dorian, being second in line, claimed Silver. I remember well the day that he was given his colors. He was so happy on that day... we all were. He seemed like the old Dorian. Darik was named the Bronze, as you know. As for me, I do not know, as mine was the first generation with four sons."

"And you are White, no color?"

"We were clothed in white during our years of training. That was supposed to change when I made it through the citdael. When my day came, however, I felt ill again, for the first time in a year. I knew something was wrong, but I also knew I had to face what was ahead. Everyone watched as I approached the citadel. People were lined up on the streets, like they always do when a man goes to that place. A friend, a huntsman who I knew well and saw after I had fled, told me that he could see me entering the citadel, heard me scream, and saw me run back out. What I saw there terrified me so much that I just kept running. Since that day I have not returned to Joven."

"You must forgive me, but you have to understand you now have baited my curiousity. What was there?"

He empties the remaining wine down his throat. "I saw death. I saw my father murder my mother. I saw one brother pierce the eye of another and bring him down. And then I saw myself, with all of them around me, coming closer and closer. I didn't give them the chance. I fled then and there. Since then I have been trying to forget what I saw there, and trying to prove my courage to myself." He gives a hiccup. "Hunting monsters was a way out. So now you know."

"I do. And I think none the less of you. Because you know what it is you must do. I shall be honored to be there the day you decide you must finally do it."

"You think I should go back."

"No. I think you should go forward. You've been backwards and all it has brought you is pain."

He begins to chuckle again. "Isn't it funny though? I can descend into caves and battle with inhuman horrors, on the edge of life and death, and not break a sweat. ... But I can't face a room full of spooks."

"Yes, but you are afraid of being hurt by those you love because they have hurt you before. That is all the images showed you. Nothing more, nothing less. You can either face the fear or run from it. And you can face your family or run from them. But they are always there, inside your heart. It is not your sword arm that needs strengthening, it is your heart."

He draws his sword and lays it across his lap. "I suppose you're right. And I still dream of joining them. Lion's Heart. Shadow's Wail. Heaven's Riot. I should be wielding such a blade alongside them."

Shallan pulls out her weapons, even the elegant elven bow, and lays all down on ground in front of him. "Am I a warrior?"

"That depends. Why do you carry these things?"

“Because I do not wish to die on the road. But I wield them to protect others, no matter their birth caste. I carry no weapon as I stand here, and yet I am a warrior. Weapons do not make the warrior. If I were to lay them down, or to carry none, my heart would still call to protect those who could not protect themselves.” She quirks a crooked smile. "And it does not hurt that I get paid for it!”

He gives a smaller, similar smile. "Then I would agree with you. You are a warrior. Why is a warrior so different from a thug? It is not the steel thet he carries. One fights with a purpose, the other for the love of the deed."

"Oh, don't get me wrong, there is pleasure in a pure combat form. But if there were no more need of my skills, I would happily lay my sword down to rust."

"As would I."

"I protect those I can, and my heart feels for every soul I am unable to defend. But I know, when I lay my head down, that I could have done no more than I could."

"...I'm empty."

"So who was that old woman in town the other day?"

He gropes for the wine. "Oh, I was walking through the town and this old woman came up and asked me if I'd help her carry some things. "She had purchased more than she could manage herself. Then a woman living near her asked me to fetch a few things for her, and I spent the next hour doing odd jobs."

"Ah." She nods sagely and pokes him gently in the chest. "The seed has been planted. Now it needs only water and sunlight to grow into the mighty oak."

"... I'm not sure I follow you."

"Your honor is there. At the citadel you were presented with a trial that you were not prepared for. Your honor will overcome it, as it cannot deny your need to help even an old peasant woman with her shopping. Courage will grow, as the oak, if given time and the right nurturing."

"I see now."

"But sometimes, as the oak, you don't get to choose when water and sunlight will come your way!" She gives a genuine laugh, thoroughly amused at her analogy.

Dwight laughs along.

"Be patient. The day will come when you are ready, wether you choose to return, or find peace with a different choice."

"Well, thank you, Shallan... And now you know so much about me, yet I still know so little about you."

"There is little to tell." She shrugs slightly and smiles. "Nothing tragic, just simply inconvenient."

"Well, I should like to hear of it, but perhaps another time. I believe it is time to awaken that rather roughly-hewn woman and the other elf so that we may rest." Dwight stretches and yawns.

"I'm glad you're with us." She leans over and gives him a light kiss on his cheek, then walks over to lay out on her blanket. "And you can wake them up!”

He pointedly changes the subject quickly as he stands to wake the others for their watch, "I'm surprised that that hairy creature's snoring hasn't done it yet. What a din he raises!"

(September 2, 2005)

Ghost's Letters Home

Dearest Jihan,

My training continues. I had the opportunity of being able to practice with a few members of the guild. Whilst far from the best, I am also not the worst of the lot. Many thanks to you, my brother for your instruction.

Through all my adventuring, I was able to purchase a bow crafted by our own people. It was costly, though the merchant had undervalued the bow when I returned to pay the balance, I corrected him and paid him what he was due. The artisan of such a fine piece of weaponry should not be shorted what is deserved. The bow recieved a few appreciative looks, as is only right for one crafted with such beauty. I almost feel unworthy of weilding such a fine bow, my training session went so poorly. I am here to learn, so I hope to soon do the craftsmanship of our people justice.

But I know that my efforts are at least not in vain. Our rescue of the halfling Slewfoot from the goblin mine proved valuable. He was able to give the guild information about much of the goblin activity in the South, and now there has been a bounty posted for the goblin’s leader.

Not even a few days later, there was yet another attack, this time on our own tavern in the heart of town. And ogre and a handful of goblins attacked the Cleft Tombstone. How the fiends evaded the gate guard and made it through the town unnoticed is difficult to fathom. I slew two of the disgusting creatures easily before they escaped me. The resulting search had the entire guild combing the city and even Micah the Guildmaster and Darik the Armsmaster were assisting in the search. It proved fruitless.

The country here seems overrun, and if nothing is done, this pestilance can only spread into our own lands. I ask Solonor to bless my quest and to guide me in my ways.

Your loving sister,

RP update

I have been besieged by the dark bane of Tup’ware!

Being a glutton for punishment, I scheduled way too much today and entertained a ‘knight of the road’ in the house for the early afternoon. The usual crowd is coming early to revel in the birthday feast of Linora and Nature Tom. And continuing my self-appointed torture, a gaming session. Not that the latter half of the day is painful, far from it. It’s the preparations. And the cleaning. And the cooking. And the standing. Did I mention the cleaning? I pity the manor house cooks who do this for a living...

It was a bittersweet night. Nature Tom, known to all here as XLS, will be leaving for his journey of enlightenment come the end of the week. It should take him until Spring to return, assuming the scholars are not so difficult on him.

Once the troupe arrived from their day at the faire, we settled down and enjoyed a little entertainment and some delicious food. Once the cook had done his work, the evening’s feast was superb. Everyone had their fill and then some. Even the basement trolls appeared once or twice to gorge, then slithered back into their dark realm.

Our night of role playing went slow. Everyone was tired and even God was yawning. None of us could think clearly enough, due to the late night previous and God and Nature Tom had partied all the night previous. All in all, it was a leisurely evening, and I quite enjoyed myself with my two puddles of goblin goo.

(August 21, 2005)

Ghost's Letters Home

Amin toror’,

My search continues for the reason behind the abundance of monsters in the human realm.

The mercenary guild does its best clearing out what we can while Andre and his gryphon mount have been out tirelessly, searching for disturbances. We hear tell of strange beings all over, and my heart is torn. These humans are being overrun, and yet our people are safe, confined to their own kingdom either unawares or turning a blind eye.

I have slowly been gaining the aquantance of a few guild members, who exchange assistance in fulfilling bounties posted almost daily in the guild hall. My usual companions number four, all humans. A rakish woman, Linora by name, a devout religious Cyneric, a wild naturalist, Thomas, and Ayman, mage student.

So far, our adventures have brought us far and wide, through a goblin nest, and clearing Corling town of bandits. There, Thomas met up with his superior, Garth.

Recently, there was an attack on Woodland town, and I fear that the monsters are either becoming more brazen or are being encouraged by something or someone we know not. Ogres, giants and goblins overran the town, being held back by a few regular townsguard and the guild itself. Many buildings were damaged in the resulting fires, but serious damage was avoided thanks to the nearby lake. The attack coincided with a Guild banquet hailing the retirement of Zachariah, the former Master at Arms. Darik the Bronze was named his successor, also brother to our sometimes companion Dwight the White, both descended from long lines of Paladins from Jovan. The timing of this raid causes me the most worry.

Our latest adventure has not lessened it. We cleared out a goblin mine to the south, freeing a Halfling slave by the name of Homer Slewfoot. Upon returning, we found a hobgoblin among our collected bounties. Locals claim to have extinguished that particular menace, so the signs are dark indeed. While meeting with the Treant Wormroot was a pleasure, his finesse in dealing with a two headed giant impressed me greatly.

Edwin, the barkeep at the Cleft Tombstone and inactive Guild member, has been a font of information. I plan on taking full advantage of his expertise. I have also had the privelidge of training with the new Arms Master, and have found him to be well trained and highly honorable, despite his slightly harsh attitude to his young errand boy.

We shall see what the new dawn brings, and hope that it’s light shall reveal more than today’s.

Ilya amin mela,

The continuing adventures of a D&D geek

The game has been going well, and we’re finally getting some personality into the characters. Our only drawback is that Nature Thomas, our druid is leaving for parts unknown. So, in order to continue with a fairly balanced campaign, we’ve been advertising for a replacement player. Preferably of the male persuasion, as God would now be completely alone. (Although, it is FAR more rare to find players of a female persuasion.)

Our first applicant, Brognor, was excellent. A bit of a nerd, proposing a standard rule and all at the end of our session. We must say the basement trolls had much chuckling going on when they heard him. But the game was exciting and full of adventure. God had a run for his money when Brognor had a better accent than Dwight the White.

The second applicant made me cringe. Tom and I, Ghost that is, interviewed him and were blown away. Usually someone at an interview only wants the best known about them. This wasn’t the case.

Usually, there are questions asked on both sides. Information about us, information about him. All of the information flowed one way, us asking him. Zargash had no interest in finding out what we were doing and how we did it. He commented that he hadn’t heard back from other groups in a few days, and I could see why. Most especially, his mention of his man-boobs and the leftover munchies in his computer keyboard really tipped the scales. God later commented that Zargash sounded like a rules nazi and was probably too caught up in reminiscing about former games. Living up to a former 5 year campaigner would be tough for anyone. My thoughts turned to finding odd things in the restroom following a night of bogged down role play. Not a pleasant thought.

Needless to say, with one abstention, the rest were in complete agreement. Zargash was a dud.

(August 17, 2005)