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Saturday, 3 March 2012

Mark's Journal #12: An Unexpected Friend...

Mark’s Journal 01/15/10

No word yet of Tori. I have put word out for any information concerning her since we got here. The scouts, who have been doing rounds and reconnaissance in the city, come back without any inkling of where she could be. I have faith that she is fine; knowing her, we’ll find her outside the city, in some forest, without any conception of how much time or danger has passed between the times that we’ve seen her.
Waking up the morning after stealing the supplies from the goblins, we heard stirrings, and people sounding more troubled than usual. Leviss and I, slower upon waking than Avaron, suited up, trying to be ready for anything. Avaron headed upstairs to the door of the temple. As we were to learn later, someone had been approaching our location, and was in the middle of fighting goblins. The Evocation professor was in favour of letting him be, as helping him would draw attention to our whereabouts, but Avaron refused to let him be overpowered. Saving him from goblins, and hiding any evidence of action in this area, Avaron welcomed the stranger inside.
Or so we thought it was a stranger. Removing his helmet, what once appeared to be a foreign warrior, turned out to be our old friend James Ulrich Von Matterhorn. Since this journal concerns the Guard, I have never mentioned him before, but James and I have been friends since we were very young. Growing up in the Temple of Pelor, James was dedicated to goodness and eradicating evil. We met when we were doing service for the community of Central City, cleaning garbage and helping others, when we were young children. We quickly found that we had a lot in common. Both orphans, both adopted by our respective temples, and both with a thirst for adventure and a hunger for justice. We used to get in a fair bit of trouble in those days. Not every child is as accepting of a werewolf descendent as James, and that combined with James’ anger issues, we got into a lot of fights with anyone that would accost us. I was a shy character back then, avoiding attention, and approaching situations with as much patience as a youngster can muster, but I wasn’t perfect. I was told, right from the beginning by the clerics of Erathis, to be proud of who and what I am. I am different, yes, and the unity of differences makes us stronger. So, when someone teased me about looking like a dog, or eating garbage, or little children, well, my patience ran pretty thin.
Getting in fights is one thing, that’s easy, but facing our clerics with bruises and black eyes, that never gets any easier. Avoiding going home, we stumbled upon this antique shop. Of course to us, the weapons and swords of adventurers past were not antiques but the spark of adventure. That is where and how we met Avaron, Leviss and Tori. James, being 3 years older than us, treated Leviss like a young child, because well, that is what he was. Avaron and James got along, but I could tell that she was a little bit jealous of the time that James and I spent getting into trouble, while she minded the shop with P3TR. Not that that would stop her, of course, but she had to be a bit more circumspect than we were. Playing games, having mock-adventures, and sometimes winning Central City’s parade games made us all great friends.
I said before that James had anger issues. Well, the truth is, at his young age, his rage was uncontrollable and could be unleashed at any moment. The Clerics of Pelor did not appreciate this, and were less accepting of him than Cleric Greg and the other members of Erathis were of me. This is surprising, considering the more obvious obstacles standing in my way of being accepted. Anyway, at age 18, James decided to go to the Old World, and get his adventuring license and try to help others. That was three years ago, and we did not see nor hear of him until now.
We all have changed since those early days. My changes are obvious: being blind, and gifted with a more wolf-like appearance. Leviss has grown up, a little, showing more thought, or at least forethought, before he acts. Avaron’s sense of control over her powers is improving, and this is hopeful. Upon his arrival, James too appeared more in control. He walked like a man sure of every step and even in the battle that was to come, he learned to master his rage, rather than letting his rage be his master.
I should have been more frightened or apprehensive about our situation. We were still under siege, and had no idea where Tori was. The Archmage was still missing, and we were running low on supplies. But, being reunited with our old friend, combined with the strength and teamwork of Avaron and Leviss, I looked forward to bringing swift and sharp justice to the goblins, and now it looked far more achievable.
An odder group, I cannot imagine. I wish I could see it, if only to laugh at its sheer impossibility: A kobold bard with a drake helmet and a magically lit bow; a blind shifter fiercely striking with sword and shield; a sorceress conjuring fire and acid, wrapped in a red, yarn-knit cloak carrying a gelatinous cube, a barbaric human, carrying a spiked chain, falchion, and helmet, charging every corner of the battlefield, and somewhere, out there…a wild, shape-shifting druid, hopefully blissfully shadowed by trees and forest.

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