Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Trust is a funny thing. I've never had much use of it until recently. I'm surrounded by new people, I dare say friends. However, trusting them hasn't been easy.

Take Larien, her beauty still enchants me. I thought of us as friends, closer in the way we battle than any of the others. Yet, she left our group without a second glance. On to greener pastures, the trust I placed in her was broken.

Jonathon is as devout as they come. However, in combat he often rushes heedlessly to save innocents. The result is that our group suffers as he's either to far for us to reach, or unable to come to our aid when we need healing. His motives are good and I don't fault him for that, but I can't trust him to be there.

Braddoc is as steadfast as they come. However, he has no patience and he swings his axe about in battle with little regard for others. He may have dropped three undead with one blow, bragging of his strength, courage and skill at arms. Olladra help me if I mentioned that Sterling, Nenia, myself and even Braddoc had hit all of them several times before they dropped. It makes me question his motives. I'm out here at Master Dourstones request, I'm not sure about Braddoc.

Nenia is an interesting one. She keeps mostly to herself and while I've benefited from her magic in battle she has shown herself to be reckless. She deliberately cast a blast spell that caught Delian in it's effects. This clear disregard for the safety of others makes me think I should keep a close eye on her, in case she needs to be removed from the fight lest she kill one of us.

Thinking of Delian, he's supposed to be a Paladin of the Flame. I look to him to be on the front lines of our battles. Yet when we fought the undead earlier not only did he not provide any information about how to defeat the foul creatures, he fought the battle from the rear. Throwing javelins, leaving the rest of us to take the damage from the foe. Though he's healed me many times in battle, with his heavy armour and formal training he should be in the forefront of battle, not the rear. I wonder if he's insecure, like me, with his abilities and that is why he hangs back.

Finally, there is Sterling. His resolve and determination are beyond reproach. I have learned that he has a deep understanding of tactics that I can't even begin to understand. However, when battles are over and we are recovering he never offers any advice. He had no words of reproach for Nenia when she blasted Delian. No words for Delian to move to the front of battle and allow his heavy armour to absorb blows. Perhaps he too isn't as confident in his abilities as he lets on.

It seems that each of my companions has great strengths, but also worrisome weaknesses. I trust each of them however, I need to be careful. I may have found a new family and place of belonging but, it doesn't mean I should let down my guard.

Braddoc' s Viewpoint

I see the way they look at me now. Respect? Fear? Jealousy? One lucky blow and they change their tune. It matters not to me as long as they finally realize that I am the keystone of any battle we engage in. It took them long enough, the stories of them barely making it out of battle after battle when I am covering another task should have clued them in long before now.

Our party tactics are starting to improve to the point where we aren't always on the brink of disaster. Our after action 'discussions' are leading to smoother tactics. Now, if only one of our 'leaders' would lead instead of reacting in battle we could get ahead of the game.

I fear all of this talk about naming ourselves is getting ridiculous. We have to accomplish something before we can expect people to actually care what we call ourselves. We're still just another party of adventurers biting off more than we can chew time after time until we die a violent and messy death in some hole no one has ever heard of.

Dol Dorn help me... all of this and I still have to respond to that letter from my father.

Delian's Observations

I travel with an eclectic mix of people I’m slowly, if not reluctantly, beginning to call friends. They represent different walks of life and each possesses gifts and strengths which make them unique… and in some cases dangerously powerful. And I suppose I must include myself in this apt description of our adventuring company.

Braddoc Stoneshield is definitely the most understated member of the party. In many ways he epitomizes the dwarven warrior stereotype. He is quiet, gruff and rude, and his physical strength outclasses anyone I’ve ever met. He wields his battleaxe like it is an extension of his powerful body.

I’ve watched him struggle to master fighting with such a diverse and disorganized party. I assume that before joining the Clifftop Adventurers Guild Braddoc fought side-by-side with other dwarves. Having military training myself, I understand how difficult it can be to go from fighting in formation, with everybody in the line performing their role as expected – as ordered – and the company striking with precision, to running into combat haphazardly not knowing if your companions are behind you, beside you, trying to get around you, or moving to flank the enemy. I too have adjusted my combat tactics as I got to know how every member of the party puts their skills to the best use. But it wasn’t until recently that I realized just how powerful Braddoc really is.

The party ventured cautiously down a corridor during our exploration of some old catacombs near Delver’s Dale, when a door unexpectedly opened and two ghouls and four zombies started moving into the hallway. Before the party could deliver any real damage, the intelligent undead signaled retreat, moved back into the room and closed the door. The party quickly followed. Once inside the room we saw all the undead standing on a swirling dark sun pattern in the centre of the room. An aura of evil spewed forth from the dark sun, offending all that is good, and giving the undead additional strength, power and resistance to our weapons. The party moved into the room and began fighting, attempting to rid the world of such foul mockery to life.

It was during the battle that I witnessed Braddoc display his true potential. With one mighty blow from his battleaxe he mowed down two ghouls and one zombie. He utterly destroyed the three monsters through sheer force. He was able to take down three by himself while the rest of the party worked together on the others. And as soon as he dropped those three undead, Braddoc moved to again crush one of the remaining zombies with a single strike. The awesome display of physical might and precise blows was truly something to behold.

I realize that every person has their own method of contributing. Be it a contribution to life in general or contribution to a particular situation. Braddoc Stoneshield has demonstrated beyond any doubt that his contribution to this adventuring party is the power to destroy his foes, tempered by his judgment and a desire to uphold the values he believes in. My confidence in this party’s ultimate success continues to rise knowing that Braddoc will be fighting beside us.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Delian's Letters

Greetings, father

The Church of the Silver Flame takes a lot of criticism regarding its involvement in the purge of lycanthropes from Khorvaire. I’ve met many Church elders who carry the weight of the Church’s misdeeds heavily upon their shoulders. It’s so easy to look back on history and pass judgment. And for a long time I too felt some small amount of guilt for my association with any power that could deem it necessary to make it their mission to exterminate an entire race of intelligent beings. That changed today.

As we delved deeper into the caverns seeking to rescue the seven captives and recover the stolen items from Delver’s Dale I encountered actual lycanthropes for the first time. We entered a chamber and saw a man bound to a pillar. He was surrounded by three very large rats. In the centre of the room was a large creature, clearly demonic in nature. The demon seemed to be bound by some kind of enchantment, which was luck for our party and the captive. I quickly moved around the perimeter of the room to free the bound man. One of the giant rats attacked me and the other two swarmed the prisoner.

We quickly learned that the situation was not as it appeared. The captive was not a captive at all. He was deliberately playing a role to lure us in to the chamber. With a single command word he released the demon from his enchanted prison, freeing it to attack the party. I worked to destroy the filthy dire rat as it bit through my armor trying to overwhelm me. The rest of the party engaged the demon.

As I fought with the giant rat, I was shocked to see that the captive and the two other rats were in fact lycanthropes – wererats! They assumed a human-rat hybrid form and skulked around the room trying to ambush my companions and stop them from destroying the demon. Fortunately my companions were able to quickly and decisively defeat the demon and the wererats.

I regret that I was not able to fight the lycanthropes myself. But just seeing them up so close, attacking the party, and trying to do us harm caused a flame to ignite within me. I have lived my life under a cloud of prejudice and try very hard to accept everyone regardless of their differences, but the lycanthropes are clearly evil. As I reflect back to my teaching, now put in context with this battle, I see how Paladins of the Flame could want to destroy such filth. I have also come to realize why so many followers of the Flame carry silvered weapons, even though the likelihood of needing them is remote. I felt a sense of helplessness as the lycanthropes attacked my companions. When we complete this rescue mission and return to town I will be arming myself with a few silver weapons. I don’t want to be caught unequipped should I ever need to battle lycanthropes again. Flame take them.