-A simple brown book with loosely bound pages, most of which are empty. The cover is entirely blank save for a marking in the center of the spine depicting four rings with one in the center uniting the other three. Inside the writing seems to waver indecisively back and forth between the elegant flowing script of elven and the sharper scratchings of common.
I have survived my first few encounters here in Sanctuary.
Looking at that first sentence I can’t help but laugh. Survival seems such a strong word for what I have done, and yet I can find no other for it’s place. It is the truth; I have survived, but over these last few days I have brushed so close to death on such a number of occasions that I almost believe it a lie.
Five sunrises ago I arrived at the gates and passed through them alone. Some number of days before that I was separated from my party. We were traversing the last of the mountains, planning on making it down into the valley before we set up camp. One moment everything is fine, the next there are suddenly a number of creatures pouring from the night upon us. I didn’t see any of them, not more than a vague shadow as they swarmed over my companions and tore my horse out from underneath me. I don’t know what they were, but the sound of their howling and wailing as they descended upon us will surely haunt my dreams for the remainder of my life.
The guards here seem to be used to having new people come into their city and didn’t give me any trouble when I arrived. I remember wandering around for some amount of time and then waking up in The Safe Place Inn. Perhaps I’d found my way there on my own, or maybe fate through the hands of a kindly stranger found me and brought me there. I don’t know. When I asked Jane the keeper she only replied that my nights stay had already been payed for and then asked me what I would have to eat.
It was there at the inn that I met and joined my first adventuring party. A strange trio comprised of an elf, a tiefling, and some kind of a cat person were arranging to investigate a fort that had appeared around a tower. I decided to go with them and we set out.
After exploring only a few rooms we decided to abandon our quest. Between the trapped doors that shot magic and the reanimated remains of an “Owl bear” we just didn’t have the strength to push forwards. This came as a surprise to me because after the first few moments of combat it was painfully obvious to me that these three were each already more powerful than my entire party had been, and this quest seemed like one my leader would have taken. Perhaps if we had not been ambushed in the mountains my party and I would have fallen together inside the fort. Fate works in strange ways.
The next day I went out with the same group again to explore some caves they had found before, only I could have sworn that only the day before Seras the Tiefling had been a female and Tenshou the Elf a male. I think I might need to get my head looked at…
During a fight in the caves everything went dark and the nightmares from before returned, grasping at my face and stealing my breath. In the blind panic that followed I’m certain I changed, although I do not remember it. I hardly remember moving. If not for the still-lingering dark blood stain upon my ceremonial knife I would just put the fight off as just being part of some dream.
My latest adventure was yesterday. An orc came into The Safe Place and demanded an axe so he could go reclaim his honor- and then passed out on the floor from blood loss. He had lost his right arm in an ambush that was supposed to be a fair and honorable test of strength. Tenshou, myself, and two newcomers decided to hunt the honorless orcs and bring back a magical axe that had been stolen.
One of the newcomers was a halforc by the name of Chistar; he could understand the other orcs but as we expected they weren’t interested in talking things out. The other newcomer, a gnome called Baryshnikov, was all for hitting the orcs in the head after he learned that they were slavers.
We fought a couple of goblins too. They seemed strangely better equipped than most of the orcs, but were certainly no smarter and allowed us to hit them from every angle. Perhaps with the blind hope that their armor would save them. It didn’t.
At the end of what may as well have been a long hallway filled with occasional debris and rubble we found a large room with a throne and the traitorous orc we’d been looking for. The fight didn’t last long and we managed to take the leader alive and bring him back to town along with the axe.
-A note at the bottom seems to be written entirely in Sylvan, suffering from none of the wavering of the text above.
I probably could have sold the axe and earned quite a bit of gold. I could have tried to slip away with it once we got back; or It would have been easy enough to split the gold with the party and just tell the one handed orc that we didn’t find anything. But neither gold alone nor one single magical axe will be enough to help my clan back into power, and if I’ve learned anything in my few days here its that I need all the allies I can get if I’m going to survive long enough to accomplish anything.
Especially with the nightmares I now know exist.