By Korak’s hairy balls, what have I gotten meself into this time?
When I decided to step in an help this group, it were due to my invading the head of the Cymbrian, Cian, and reading his thoughts. He were a likable fellow, and goodly too. His passion read clear, and he was honest about it. The lad had a portion of nobility in him, and that passion told me that his cause were a worthy one.
Lock me in a pillory and hurl cabbages at me nose. That were the last time I saw the lad, for the dreaded curse whats enveloped this group has taken him; Cian were vanished into an Alabic lamp, and may ne’er be seen for days, or perchance decades. And those of his party what remains are wholeheartedly dubious companions for an old Red Master. I says this… I never walk the exact straight and narrow, but these sots a’got me balancing right there on the edge.
They have two witches with them, the female and the elf. The female, Izzy… well her heart be black, and she deals with death and necromancy. She summons the dead to rise again, and were spouting off something fierce abouts being happy that her companions’d killed a feller, becausing she wanted to go and show off her new-learned trick o’ animating ’em.
This she says in public… on a street where decent folk… aw nevermind, there ain’t no decent folk in this malicious town. But still, open as a whore’s skirts she was, doing her necromancy and bragging on it.
And the other one, the Azulanti, or whatever they call themselves. He were also on that very same public street, and he goes and pukes up a teeming mass of spiders. SPIDERS! I HATE SPIDERS!!! And so I has to go and waste me time taking care of zombies and spiders, rather’n helping the rest of the group dispatch the Aspis guards that were determined to kill us. That group must’a done somethin’ dreadful to be gettin the Black Cloaks on them. For Bloodeye is in the pocket of the Aspis Consortium.
They was lucky I were around, too. For them Aspis asses would’a easily won through. That nice girl, Smriti… she’d have died, thats for sure. But I steps in with the holy blessings of Canelle, and takes care of them all, lickeysplit like. All but that necromancer. I don’t reward evil, party member or no. I gave them both a piece of my mind, though… both witches, the spooky girl and the boogety boogety witch doctor elf. They be on me last grace, and any backslidin on their part in me presence will earn them a place on the Black List.
So I told them I’d complete what I’d promised, to help them get the supplies to the Explorers at that ridge digsite. But thats it. When its over, I be parting ways with them. The only one I really have taken a ken to is that Smriti. Dorak, fellow dwarf or no, is ruder than bean-eatin’ skunk in a church on holy day! The other foreigner, Kumori… well, he is alright, I guess. But he gives everyone that look. Its like he is better than any of us. And I seen the bloodlust in his eyes. He be itchin’ for killing those Aspis asses. Not that some of them don’t deserve it, but its like he lumps ’em all in together, and the rest of us too.
Once the thugs blocking our way out of town was dealt with, we finally go to the gate, and to all our surprises, the Aspis men let us pass. We found out a bit later that they’d been mustering a party to come and take us in, and all the other Aspis guards had the right of the idea that we’d kill them all, they being in such lesser numbers than us. But the bullying and threats continued, even though we could’a beat them all with our eyes closed.
Er… eye, in my case.
We gets out of Bloodeye, and the party thinks on going to a livery to buy some steeds. That Zomos fellow, the rat-man, had most of a day’s lead on us, and we were hoping to catch up. The Consortium had gotten to the stables afore us, and they threatened the proprietor against selling us steeds. The Black Cloaks were there, apparently in numbers. The decision was made to forge on without horses, for the sake of the poor liveryman.
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not goody goody priest that has to uphold decency and honor and all that crap. I do me best to help who I can, and I be a practical dwarf. But given the chance, unlike Dorak and the rest of them, I’d not want to burn Bloodeye to the ground and kill every last citizen. There are many folk here that just lost their way, got stuck in an unfortunate situation and in an abysmal location, and can’t get themselves out. It ain’t my job to save them all. It ain’t up to me to stand against an enemy like the Consortium when I don’t got a shilling in a shit-pile’s chance of making a difference in the big picture. But I can do little things. I can help a boy get the cure to his disease, and help his father to live without fearing retribution from the scumbags who were holding him hostage over the cure. I can also help get some supplies to a group of explorers who be stranded and under siege. These be things I can actually help with. So when Dorak and Kumari talk about leveling the town, I just gotta chuckle to myself. Is it good intentions, bad intentions, or simply misguided intentions? I say a little o’ all three. Maybe its them blowing off steam. But I just don’t see myself in cahoots with this bunch for long. The bad ones are bad ones, and the good ones turn a blind eye, no pun intended.
Its Smriti I fear for. She be a good one, and I fear that if she were to continue associating with the rest of ‘em, then she’ll get dragged down as well. And from the way they all handle social conflict, they may not last very long in this world. Dorak at least has got him some gifts, but the rest are not of the Tree, nor the Lords of Heaven. Thats fine for them, but the risks they take, I fear, will get the girl killed. Perhaps its my calling to protect her. Perhaps I am a dolt and my mind is clouded by her pretty face and an exotic smile.
Yes, razor thin it is, this line I be walking with this bunch.
Ah yes, now that I have another moment to write…
We caught up with the Vermani. He’d been captured by an Aspis Consortium witch (what’s with all the friggin witches?). They’s set an ambush for him, and had him captured. They’d have done the same for us, but for an incredible stroke of luck. Dorak caught the witch’s familiar, an invisible, flying lizard, looking for some key that they’d been given. A special key, I’d guess if the bitch witch wanted it so badly. She’d apparently scryed us, and knew where we’d be, or some such. It were looking dire right up to the point that Dorak snagged the beastie. They had Zomos tied to the wagon, and were ready to hurl it, him, and the explorer’s much needed supplies over the precipice next to the road, and into a river ravine.
We exchanged the lizard for Zomos, the wagon and horses, and our passage. The bad news is that the harridan is behind us, and we now know there is a sizable host of Consortium asses tracking behind us. My hope is that we get to this dig site before the Aspis catches up with us. If we can get inside their barricade (they have been under siege, according to the explorers I am traveling with), then mayhaps we stand a chance against our pursuers. Another razor’s edge… either way we go, it will be dangerous, and certain to be a balancing act getting there and keeping alive.
Well, the group is getting up to continue on. They are waiting on me, so… till tomorrow…