I can tell that the recent battle has taken tolls upon me. I awoke wondering why I am in Winterhaven, and why our kobold servant is staring at me with his beady little eyes. Frik soon made his purposes clear. He asked me for a dagger. Knowing his desire to join the order to which our paladin belongs, I tested him. “Steal Alain’s magical dagger, give it to me, and I will give you mine.” How heartily he agreed, and how eerily quiet was he when he left my presence. Within a few moments I had the dagger.
As we prepared for our trip to the Keep on the Shadowfell, I informed Alain that I had his dagger and informed Nicodemus that his disciple had sticky fingers. Understanding that honor must be demonstrated in order for one to learn it, I stuck by my end of the bargain and gave Frik a dagger, returning Alain’s to him.
As we traversed the countryside, I was musing in my head about our recent adventures. Waxing nostalgic, I realized that I was growing less detached and more fond of my fellow adventurers. All were stalwart companions in battle: Mika with her fireworks; Dara with her death-touch from afar; Alain and his command over undead minions; Nicodemus who defends us so well; and even Frik who annoys us into laughter most days. Yes, my companions are more like family than any I have known. My thoughts began to wind through our history together when I realized that we had passed through a gate in the mountain pass into a cemetary. Our guide was heading to the hills as quickly as she could! This is not good.
Had my musings not been so deep, perhaps my perception would have been clearer. But I indeed spotted a circle of fire upon the ground. I was sure of its circular nature and that it was on fire. Nicodemus and I exchanged glances, and in unison we cried “Circular fire thingy!” (I believe I could HEAR Mika roll her eyes.) And then came the zombies. We would have made quick work of them if a traitor was not at our heels. Our trusty guide had returned, but not to aide our fight. An arrow struck Dara in the back. Her elven blood burned hotter than the ring of fire on the ground. As we sliced and diced the zombies, Dara and Mika turned upon our new adversary. Soon they had brought her down from her lofty perch.
As an Eldarin who has been forced to take to a life of shady dealings, many conflicting thoughts run through my head. As I tied up the unconscious traitor, my high elven birth spoke to me of the integrity of all life, even the honor of death in battle for this woman. My professional upbringing pushed me towards pilfering and torture. My respect for my companions pushed me towards crude justice and revenge. I only took what we needed to cover our costs for this ranger’s trial. Mika sent a fox, and we hung our traitorous guide on the gate that she had used to entrap us. She will have time to think upon her actions!
Moving onward, we came upon a guard tower on the edge of the keep. A lone goblin soon felt the sting of Dara’s arrows and the icy hand of Mika reaching out to him. Frik and I practiced our stealth and “hiding dead bodies” skill.
Entering the keep was easy enough, but my rogue senses warned me that danger was upon us. Could it be the huge spider in a cage in the corner?! No, there was something odd about the floor. As I was surveying the ground, I moved some sand with my hands which pushed it away. To my surprise, the sand began to fall through a crack in the ground. I outlined trapdoors in the floor so others would not fall prey to it. Dara came in to help me search the place when that thing every thief dreads occurred. My companion tripped or bumped against something and the guards in the next room were alerted. They knew from the start we were not supposed to be there.
One began to run to warn his master, the other goblins bared their teeth. It was on! Dara and Mika focused on the runner. Nicodemus stepped in and drew the attention of the rest. I dropped the messenger who was hanging on by a thread. Alain ran in the room just in time to chase down another goblin who was running to unleash the giant spider. The goblin opened the door, and just as swiftly, Alain closed it. I was quite sure that in the middle of fighting two goblins, I saw Nicodemus smack one upside the head so hard that he fell into the pit! We cleaned up the rest of the guards, questioned the one in the pit, and freed the spider from his bonds…of life!
And here we sit, gathering our breath before plunging in after Kalarel and his legions of undead. I hope the next battle will go as well. But at least I now know that if I die, it will be protecting family. Enemies of Zardi’s Angels will soon find the Lifedrinker in their backs!