First Entry- Date To be filled in
Baern and I finally made it to the Guild Hall in Civil today. I didn’t take much time to look around the city, it feels so different from home. I’m not sure how Eryneth expects me to be comfortable here when she knows that this lifeless monstrosity was built by carving out some of the most ancient forest in Selva. Seeing the types of characters inside the hall didn’t help at all to calm my nerves. I am not even sure where to begin describing as there were all manner of questionable beings there.
I suppose I will start with the one that stood out the most despite his size. I have known dwarves before, but none quite so wild and unkempt as this one. He appeared to be carrying everything he owned in a most en-cumbersome way. One certainly would have to be mad to swing that needlessly large hammer around. His eyes do have a bit of madness in them now that I think about it. Next there was an elf, at least I assume her to be an elf from her frame and voice as nothing else would suggest elf to you. I have heard ninjas spoken of before but did not know it was a vocation many elves were drawn to. Regardless of what is under the mask, just the fact that there is a mask is unsettling. Then there is the pirate. One can easily assume being shamelessly drunk to be one of its favorite past times. I’m pretty sure this one can be considered young, even for human standards, meaning it is more like to make brash and unreasonable decisions. There is another young human who feels shady even though I don’t have anything tangible to point to for proof. That in and of itself makes him the most worrisome. Lastly there is a young human ranger, who quite possibly is the only other respectable person in the room. She is still young for a human but aged enough to likely know reason. Plus anyone trained in the Ranger’s arts is sure to have a decent head on her shoulders.
They are calling names.
Second Entry- Slightly later in the same date to be filled in
I knew I shouldn’t have taught Baern to kill that spider. I knew I would be punished for upsetting the Balance. I just didn’t know I would be punished by being assigned to work with the most unsavory looking lot in the Guild Hall. At least the Ranger was included too, maybe she can help bring reason and sanity. I really should learn her name, the lady just read them off in a list and I wasn’t really listening for any other than my own. But the others! Why them! I already picked them out as the worst of the lot. The young humans kept whispering something about a convict. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is that mad looking Dwarf. He doesn’t just look mad, the way he fights he truly must be mad.
I guess they aren’t all that bad truth be told. The ninja risked her life in an amazing feat and pulled the dwarf and pirate out of the water to save them. She could have risked her own life, I really wasn’t expecting that from her. I should be careful not to assume things just because one hides their face. Though I still judge the dwarf as mad. The only way the ninja saved the others is because the dwarf had a spare arm to toss over. Who has a spare arm handy? A mad person.
The pirate was just as young and reckless as I assumed as well. Swinging that scimitar all over the place. I’ve studied scimitar forms longer than he has been alive and I’m pretty sure swing so hard you slash a comrade’s bowstring isn’t among them. Though, I suppose he was slashing so wildly to try to save me from being left behind and cornered by rats… And he was truly apologetic about it.
The dwarf swung that hammer around like the madman he is. He saved Baern from a choker, at least I think he meant to save him. He could have just been trying to get Baern our of the way so that he could kill the beast himself. I couldn’t really tell to be honest. I initially thought he meant to save him and that he really was a kindhearted crazy person. Yet when I expended my power to try to heal his wounds he insulted my abilities. I’ll tend to those most grateful next time.
The most frightening of my comrades hid no treasure and gave me a gift. I don’t know if I judged him so poorly, or if I really hit him spot on and I should be even more afraid of him trying to deceive us more. He was rather effective with his dagger like weapon, but then pulled out this hideous monstrosity that didn’t do much other than make loud noises and look impressive. I think I have heard of them described as guns before, though I also heard of them being more impressive. He did give me that gift though. He probably couldn’t know how much it means to be given a tree while being trapped in such a horrible place away from the sun and sky. A place that used to be covered in forest. He probably just didn’t think it was valuable. It seems priceless though.
Third Entry- A few days later
I’m not sure if I should really be here. I know I judged my companions harshly for their outward appearances, and a lot of those judgements have been fully supported with actions, but I failed to judge them on their ability to hold their own in combat. I could have died being cornered by a mere rat, yet my companions rushed up walls to charge a ledge of crossbowmen through a darkness that apparently contained a hideous monster that they could see. And they survived… They couldn’t have possibly thought their chances of survival to be very high, could they have? Are they reckless and stupid, or are they truly brave? Is there really much of a difference. I was kidding myself believing that staying hidden as long as I did was some sort of tactical advantage for the good of the group and not just my own cowardice. I wasn’t completely useless, when I did take shots I struck my target instead of missing more oft than not. I also helped Sabriel a good bit of the time. For all my hopes of her being the wise leader of the outfit she certainly touches a lot of questionable doors… But much to her credit, I was out of spells and could only apply minimal natural healing arts, yet every time I got her back up she charged back into the frey.
Surviving the fight just led to more complications. I do not know what to think about this Maddick fellow. I’m usually a very un-trusting person, yet I trusted him when he claimed innocence. I was too distracted by finding the child to think to keep questioning him. I will not make the mistake again. The others should think harder on the ninja’s offer next time. One shouldn’t let themselves be so blinded by what is “right” to miss opportunities to do more good. They all seemed so personally offended by the suggestion. Maybe the young humans just need to grow up a little before they can except certain truths. The guild most likely tortured the two mercenaries to get what little information they got out of them. I’m going to go ahead and be judgmental again, but I’m pretty sure the ninja is more skilled in such arts than anyone in the guild headquarters.
We are heading out soon to investigate all of this more. I’m actually pleased that our missions are not just random tasks but a continuation of what we already started. I really do want to know who is responsible for all of those deaths, and for all that has happened to this poor child. I convinced the guild to let her travel home with us because I would be able to tend to her needs myself. I cannot fail in this task. She is a lot more delicate than I assumed, which I found out the hard way. I’m pretty sure Kal is mad at me for that. I don’t know if I could have convinced the officials to release her into my care if Kal hadn’t been just as passionate about her safety. We have two weeks trapped in a carriage for me to make it up to her.
We are on the road again, the events of the last few days happened so fast I am almost not sure they happened at all.
We made it to the halfway checkpoint, a little blip on the map called Frostreach. It is a simple place. I kind of like it that way. When I overheard gossip in the tavern that they had been suffering from nightly bandit raids I thought it would be a good idea to lend a hand with guard duty. I was even more intrigued when the guard caption informed me that vegepygmies were involved in the raids. They would have no need to steal supplies from a settlement like this. I assumed they were being forced against their will to do someone’s bidding. Yet, when they attacked they did not respond to my attempts to save them. They could have just stood down and I could have stopped my companions from slaughtering them. They did listen to me when I asked them to spare the rats lives in the sewers. Unfortunately, while I was occupied trying to prevent senseless plant slaughter, Sharayah and Nemin were running into bigger problems. Apparently a pirate came with imp like humanoids to steal the refractor crystals from the gathered carriages. I knew they were not fighting in the storeroom with the rest of us, but I was completely oblivious to the situation until we stumbled upon one of the creatures suddenly ourselves. If it wasn’t for Sabriel’s quick and decisive action it would have gotten away. My memory is… limited… after that. I remembering hearing Natalie go down, and intense pain myself. I don’t remember who saved me, I should make more of an effort to find out and properly thank them. I just remember rushing to tend to Natalie only to find her recovering in Kal’s arms, that cursed pirate! How am I supposed to keep that girl’s head on her shoulders when he takes every opportunity to cut the dashing, daring, rescuing figure. It is simply nauseating. It was not the time to deal with such minor problems then though. Nemin had apparently decided to try some liquids he had been experimenting with and ended up smashing the pirate to smithereens. I did not see any of this myself, but I do have a feint memory of horrible noises. After seeing the imp like people I assumed the noises to come from some hideous monster controlling them, not my short companion. It was described to me as if he had lost himself in a terrible rage. I wish to be there next time for perhaps the Balance of nature can help him hold onto his mind.
We took off almost immediately to track the sole survivor of the attacking bandits. A Wizard out of Frigus insisted to come along as well. She had lost the crystal out of her carriage and seemed desperate to get it back. She made some mention of needing to return to her sister. The guard captain had hoped for us to eliminate their camp. He couldn’t have known what he was sending us into. Upon entering the forest we were stopped by a voice claiming to be the guardian of the forest and demanding us to prove our worth by being baptized in the river. I was skeptical to say the least, but had no desire to cause conflict. Nemin was the first to accept the peaceful offer and readily walked into the water. In hindsight the others might call him thoughtless for his actions. I do not think him so. I think he truly wanted to bring no harm to the forest and was willing to comply with the requests of the guardian. I mean sure it was just a vile spore monster trying to trick us all to fall under his mind control, and sure Nemin falling for the trick almost got two of our companions killed, but he caused all those terrible things to happen for the right reason. I have been much to quick to assume him the dumb brute. Though he did not wish to support the cause for monetary reasons… I am getting ahead of myself.
Tracking the bandit would have been an easy task for Baern and myself if we didn’t have these bumbling fools with us. Stepping on tracks, mussing up leaves, and obscuring the trail in every possible way imaginable… I couldn’t keep up the effort of sorting it all out and we seemed to fall into a rhythm of taking turns leading the way. Sabriel, Sharayah, and myself did our best to steer the group in the right direction, but we could only do so much. The whole group also seems completely inept at simply walking through mushrooms. If one simply goes calmly enough with respect for where they tread the forest will show you the right way. While Baern and I made it through unscathed, the rest of them seemed a little worse for wear. Unfortunately I knew it was nothing my natural healing remedies could attend to at the time. What we were certainly not expecting when we finally made it to a clearing was a fortress. We were sent after a bandit camp, not a settlement with women and children going about their daily lives. I was at a loss and had no idea what to do. I was certainly grateful when Sharayah offered her talents to scout the place out, though it did not end well. She had been gone some time and must have been on her way back to us soon when we heard the guards shout out. I must shamefully admit my mind became paralyzed. I wanted to aid the ninja, but I had Natalie to guard and we knew nothing of what those armed guards would do to any of us. I am in indebted to the wizard for her swift actions, for if she had not chosen a course of action I would have remained frozen. The honest path did seem right and I could not let her walk up alone. I ordered Natalie to stay with Kal, which I regret thoroughly and must except full responsibility for what happened after, but I could not have known that walking into the fort would be so safe, risking my life is one thing but I will not risk hers.
I do not know what all occurred with my companions from that point on. Only what they have told me since we have been on the road again. All the events seem to absurd to have really occurred as they did. What I do know is that the Wizard, Sabriel and myself we invited peacefully into the fort when we presented ourselves. They seemed to hold my status with the Circle in high regard. The entire settlement appeared to be a place of pilgrimage for followers of Gozreh. The place had paved roads, impressively built structures, and our escort said all of it was done in only two years time. I am not not entirely pleased with the use of stone to block out the ground, but I do believe it was constructed carefully in a natural clearing. We were learning much about the settlement when I heard the gunshot. It took all of my training to keep my composure and not cry out for Natalie. Though we had been peacefully accepted and treated most kindly, I still did not fully trust them enough to let them know we had companions hiding outside the walls. Yet I highly doubted anyone in this area would have a weapon like Rhet’s. If he fired it then Natalie had to have been in some kind of danger. I trusted Rhet to not be so careless as to give away their position so easily. Our escort insisted on taking us to safety while he went to assist the guards in finding out what was going on. We entered the long hall and I was met with a face I had feared I would not see for a long time. Braigeth was one of my dearest companions during my time of studies. There were four of us that became rather inseparable. I tend to avoid deep friendships with the shorter lived races, but I challenge anyone to spend a week with Braigeth and not be drawn in by her bright, warm, loving personality. While I might not be as headstrong as her, we defied authority together at any chance we got. When Eryneth sent her away to Civil my days became much dimmer. Braigeth tells me she left the Guild mid-mission and joined up here with the disciples of Gozreth. I couldn’t bring myself to ask the obvious question, but if she has failed to serve her time with the Guild, she will not be accepted as a full Druid of the Circle. As much as I might not wish to be the errand girl of the Guild, I do not think I could abandon the Circle so. I do not even know if Eryneth knows where Braigeth is or what she is doing. I sent a letter filling the Circle in on everything I learned. I do hope Braigeth does not see this as a betrayal, she knows I must hold to my duty. She knows I have no problem defining antiquated traditions, but the Balance must always be upheld and those traditions never lost.
Braigeth’s heart is certainly in the right place though. From what we have learned of that place, I do not disagree with their mission. I only doubt their methods. Seeing the peoples of Selva, Avant, and Auqua working together to ensure safety from the harsher lands is a very noble cause. If they just happen to be doing it under the banner of a certain deity then so be it. There are certainly far worse deities to follow. I thought joining their cause to be far more worthy of my time than continuing with the guild. If it wasn’t for Natalie I would have stayed. I must see her home and I promised to investigate her father’s innocence.
Speaking of Natalie, she will carry the scar from Sharayah’s blade the rest of her life. At least her exotic blades are sharp and well cared for so that they left a relatively clean wound. I have had plenty of time to think about the incident, and the Balance warns against grudges. I was too harsh with Sharayah. I must think of her as she fits in the Balance. She is a predator and is to be expected to act accordingly. Baern would have behaved no differently if tackled so. I must find a way of apologizing to her, though I doubt some overt public display would please a ninja much. I cannot force Natalie to forgive, I can only continue to instruct her on the merits of the Balance. It is becoming increasingly hard to keep her attention though. Even as I sit and write this she is drinking from her waterskin trying to imitate how Kal drinks from his vile bottles. His depravity knows no bounds.