I woke up this morning with a headache. I still haven’t completely recovered from the last delve. It must be because of it that I have been less…stable today. Pushing that aside, though, I came to this town for a reason, and I would never reach my goals if I didn’t push myself a little, headache or not.
I met again with Altearth, whom I have come to respect as a dependable comrade. I have been able to converse somewhat freely with him—something I (shouldn’t) take a little pride in due to his silent nature. Of course, we have been consistently paired for every delve, despite the changing roster of adventures accompanying us. Thinking on it now, I’m not even sure we mentioned to the two oracles our stimuli for entering the DungeonScape. On the subject of the oracles, CorVal joined us again for this delve.
As we prepared to leave, we were approached by a redheaded woman and her orc companion. She had a condescending air about her, and I can safely say that I hated her the moment I saw her. She asked us to find someone named “Bloodwort.” The name seemed familiar, but not enough to arouse a response out of me. After her request, however, I made known my opinion. It’s not that I disliked the idea of subduing an evil man—indeed, I was already searching for another criminal—I simply disliked the idea of assisting a woman who screamed pure evil from every ounce of her being. I said as much, though I was rather brief with my words. I should’ve said more.
I suppose I should thank her, though. Even though it’s not comely for a disciple of Iori to harbor such extreme emotions, I could not help but feel the tinge of range for that woman help me overcome the treacherous path to the Ice entrance, even when my friend and comrade (and the new addition to our posse) were not so fortunate. Being fired up did a number for my vocal chords, too—I was surprisingly talkative as we explored the cave. That, or perhaps I felt I needed to do twice the amount of talking to make up for the Orc who could not speak common. Regarding Prakus, I found it interesting that I don’t possess any ill will towards him despite the malevolence I feel for his companion.
My encounter with the waterfall was a harsh reminder of my earlier insecurities. It was only after I had vaulted the mound of obstructing ice and nearly falling over 70ft to what could’ve been my death that I once again realized I was being much too rash; my childish actions could’ve resulted in something irreversible for myself and my party. Yet, I knew there would be risk in trying that particular stunt… enough, I think, that when CorVal wished me to be careful, I couldn’t help but smile from the depths of my sincerity. So, even though I realized the possible consequences of my actions, the fact that I was alright—that nothing happened or went wrong—bolstered my confidence and put a splint on my failing ego.
At least, that was the case until we ran into it. The creature was even more menacing than what Dica described—indeed, her description fit, yet it did not seem to encompass the amount of fear the creature—the Yeti—drove into my heart. Even though I had managed to conceal my presence and avoid being targeting, I was still momentarily petrified as I considered my very, very limited options: either I could respect my sense of self-preservation and attempt to escape unscated, else I could stand and fight with my allies. Truthfully, even after I had overcome the initial panic and made up my mind to assist my comrades, I still couldn’t help but think of the condition I was already in and what would happen if I sported an attack from that massive beast. With every passing second I would reconsider running away, up until the point I saw CorVal. At that moment I forced myself to swallow my weakness and decided I would help in any way I could. Sadly, by the time I would’ve come to combat the Yeti, he had already fallen as a result from many fortunate circumstances; the Yeti was missing an arm and had already sustained some massive damage. Altearth and Prakus held their own astoundingly, making me feel even more useless.
Again shaking off my current mindset, even if I was unable to help in the fight, I might at least help restore CorVal to a point where he might be able to heal himself. Leaning down to him, however, revealed an interesting aspect of the oracle I previously hadn’t noticed. CorVal was bleeding black. I thought it strange at first until I considered that it could’ve just been from the Yeti, since it had amounts of black blood on it (likely from orcs). My conclusion, however, seemed to be proven wrong by Prakus, who smeared his own to show the difference between orc blood and the blood on CorVal’s clothing. A myriad of questions bombarded my thoughts: Who exactly is CorVal? What is he? Why black? He looks human, so why does he bleed this way? What does this mean? Can he be trusted? All these thoughts and more clouded my judgement momentarily as I tried to bring him back to consciousness. Yes, even though I pondered on his intentions, I couldn’t simply leave a reliable human… or rather, sentient being, to die. I made no efforts to ask CorVal what this meant, nor did I point it out to Altearth who didn’t seem to notice, but Prakus didn’t seem to care so much about the oracle as the fact that he could use magic and possibly identify his new trinket.
I’m still unsure what to do about this new knowledge, but I know for sure that I’ll be keeping a much closer eye on the “man” than I had previously done. He hasn’t (of yet) tried anything that should signify a betrayal, but if he attempts anything—anything at all—I will not hesitate to bring him down. With this newfound resolve, I have also found myself stronger than before; it’s about time I grew up.