My pride has been cut to the quick. Imagine this if you will; At the mouth of a fallen tower, I sneak through the rubble, scouting for traps, enemies and ambushes. In my mind, this looks heroic. Bow at my side, I pick my way through the debris, stepping lightly, one with the shadows. Only that is the fantasy. The reality is that I barely made it to the mouth of that tower because I stepped clumsily on a branch underfoot that snapped loudly, startling me and alerting six of grotesque creatures who instantly chased me out of there, with me cutting a figure that was anything but heroic. In my clumsiness, I somehow managed to tangle myself in my bow, wearing it like some courtly cape festooned with my own shame. I was being gnawed upon by some kind of disgusting rat-beast! We ran and tried to make our escape through a different bend in the pass. In the chaos, I saw many strange things. The wizard, Tavis, cast a spell that made a pinpointed storm of hail over the head of an enemy. A ghostly mount was summoned.
A goblin-like thing with powerful death magic made a foe we could not defeat. We could only run for our lives and even then, escaping was a feat that brought at least two of us, including myself, close to death. I was struck – with what, I do not know. In a flurry of blows, I found myself soaked in blood, and strangely numb, the way shock can sap the very feelings from your body. This did not last long. There came blinding pain, like a sunrise behind my eyes and then blackness.
I thought it was my last breath on Earth. How ridiculous to die so soon in my adventuring career, I thought in my blacked out hallucinations. It is true that on your death bed your life flashes before your eyes. I thought I would see the face of my mother, and Oliver Reed- my betrothed- but no. I saw a strange dream of a flying kite and I watched the world from the height of the flying kite, looking down on my village of Eltzenburg. The Cael, Cillean surprised everyone and healed me with his own kind of magic. We pressed on, with me still wounded, as well as Brother Calumbias’s dog, Titan. we both were infected with some mangy disease that itches. We rounded a bend where blocking the path was a fallen tower reduced to a mass of rubble. On top of the rubble were two orcs, scouts or guards most likely, making the bend too dangerous to traverse. We retreated and tried to make our way through the front pass. We were attacked by something I have never seen before- some kind of undead, grotesque and decaying. One of the zombies was wearing the garb of an inquisitor. Cal identified this. We tried to retreat further but getting out of the combat that was clearly over our heads was more difficult than expected. Again, I came close to death! Some dark magic I do not understand surrounded us, frightening Cillean so badly that he ran like a coward and I do not believe he is a coward. I too was nearly that scared. Brother Cal was hit hard with something (I could not see what) and was knocked out, then the mage Tavis as well! Some otherworldly mount was summoned… it all seemed a blur as I was running for what I hoped would be safety. We made it to the town of Buckhorn, but not before losing Cillean in the chaos. We found him again and all was well, for the time. In Buckhorn, I stabled the horses and searched for some aid for this awful itching infection, while the more presentable (I stink terribly!) members of the group sought out Shan Rivers to return the body of what we think was his missing apprentice. Some dimwitted servant of the wizard’s tower was not helpful at all. After all of this, I am exhausted, and still there was much to do. What a life this is as an adventurer.
When it was all done, we were invited to sup with the Lord Of Buckhorn, a friendly natured and likable man we all immediately found a kinship with. With no home to call my own, perhaps I can find a life here? It is too soon to tell. And so now… sleep.