Dorak - Sailing, Sailing

Dear Grandpa,

The rest of the group is asleep, exhausted from the ordeal, the shopping, and some teleportation lag in the case of our new friend, Ian.

When we were assigned the room that appears to be a junior officers quarters, we saw some offended looks from the crew. I hope they are rewarded more than usual for their discomforts, as I know the hardships of sleeping in strange places among strange faces. That seems to be my lot of late.

Thankfully, the strange faces are fewer – Lydia is with us, so there’s only 37.5% of the party I don’t know well and maybe 50% I don’t care as much about.

Not that Ian and Ignatius aren’t endearing themselves to me. While Smriti haggled about the prices of goods with merchants, we talked a bit, about how our correspondence may be put into a museum and there may be spells or orphanages dedicated to us. I think they are a little more interested in glory than I am, for glory makes you even more of a target for your foes, though I sense a bit of a kinship with Ian, who seems more aware of the value of power than Ignatius.

The saying goes that knowledge is power. This is false. You can have power without knowledge – this is evident if you study politics. Just because some watery tart lobbed a scimitar at you does not make you fit to rule anyone or have the wisdom to see betrayal before it strikes.

You can have knowledge without power – this is evident in philosophy. You can ponder why bad things happen to good people all day without finding any information that is useful in advancing your goals.

Only power is power. Ignatius has access to power through his deity, but I think even he knows that he is but a vessel for a nigh unimaginable power, not the wellspring for such power.

Ian is more focused on being a wellspring. I applaud his efforts. I hope, though, that he uses his knowledge more proactively than Coatl, being a student and scholar.

Back to the museum and the long term: they have asked me to describe myself in my correspondence, in case a good likeness is not caught by some painter or companion in their correspondence. While I don’t think I’ve changed much in the past few years, as it has been more than eight years for me since I left Marak-Dün, you may not recognize me.

For starters, while I still keep my beard without attention, letting it do as it wills, and my face is the same plain, even somewhat average face of a dwarf, just as you may see on a legion of dwarven axemen, I have taken to wearing dark brown clothes over my mithril chain shirt, a cloak usually hiding the ornately jeweled rapier that I carry with me. The dwarven waraxe was a useful weapon, but it lacked finesse, so I am a bit odd in carrying a weapon such as this.

My attire is never without pockets, and a set are usually sewn along where my belt lies, so I can conceal a thin item between the belt and myself and it not be apparent.

A hand crossbow, with leather strap, is usually bound to my wrist. It is not unusual for my offhand to be carrying the crossbow while my right carries the rapier. It helps my balance, as well, to hold something in my left while fencing with my right. I’ve never understood why humans don’t adopt a similar pose with a small torch, and instead put their hand behind their back when dueling.

Perhaps I’ll talk to Lydia about it, since she’s now a sword scholar.

She didn’t seem very interested in the market – I think the subdued nature is in part of the company she’s in as much as her recent change of heart and focus.

Smriti misses Dusky, and is worried for her friend. I think that Dusky is Smriti’s favorite companion thus far, though I like to think that she appreciates my help as much as I appreciate hers.

Chrysos is like an abandoned mine – there may be treasure there, but it’s buried and probably more trouble than it is worth. Iz is being equally spooky, and looking rather pale. I don’t know if the Oracle would consider it a good omen to be visited by an undead creature, so I shall have to talk to Chrysos and Iz about that.

I wonder if Ian and Lydia could form a friendship. I believe she’ll be skilled with the bow, should she get some practice – I don’t know that the sword fighting school ever rounded out her education – and Ian could use some opportunities to practice teaching, rather than studying. I suspect teaching is his future, though perhaps not the near future.

Oh, Ian and Ignatius both wanted the beds, while Kumori and I were more than happy to take the hammocks. They also sort of scoped out the room as if looking for a place to write their correspondence, though they seemed more concerned with stability of the writing surface than I have ever been. When I think of all the places I’ve written you, using whatever surfaces were handy, it makes me laugh to be traveling with two who are so worried about the accommodations.

Still, it is a short journey to the Oracle, so I don’t know I’ll call this ship home anymore than anywhere else we’ve been. Have we ever spent more than two weeks anywhere? I can’t recall – it seems like Stahl and Laedersburg, though a lot of time was spent trekking back and forth between the two.

I suppose, if I were to retire from active adventuring, that I’d set up in Ebraun, offering my trap making services. Oh, sure, I may also require a spell caster, but Ian did say something about using components from creatures we fought to craft magical items. That seems intriguing – using the eye of a magical beast to replace the typical divination spell, the gut of another for the poison or flame that actually powers the trap – it could be better than using alchemical potions to power a trap and may make for even more interesting traps, including possibly ones not yet devised.

Don’t worry, I’d come back to Marak-Dün at least once in a while. Having spent nearly a decade away, I do miss it, but it’s not so important that I visit with all the other quests and duties I have to perform. I am sure you understand.

Hope you are well,

Dorak

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Dorak - Sailing, Sailing

Crimson Skies Grusnik