today was quite the day. You wouldn't BELIEVE what people in this town need help with. But first things first: Since this is the first entry, I should probably talk a little about myself and my companions.
That's us. Good looking bunch, right? I'm the one on the left. I trained as a front line warrior in my liege's personal army, but decided to find my fortune elsewhere - namely Stormreach. To my surprise Baron von Säbelzahn agreed whole-heartedly and even allowed me my choice of equipment from the armory. I set out on my journey with my favourite kind of weapon, the Bastard sword, and a mighty tower shield.
My armor was forged from the rarest alloy - yes, diary, I actually received an adamantium full plate as a farewell present! I don't want to brag, but I'm quite the sight.
Speaking of "quite the sight".... not even a day after arriving in Stormreach I made a friend. His name is Edih Gutenberg, a warforged. He is a living person like you and me - well, like me - but he looks like a fierce metallic construct. Anyway, we met in a tavern and over a beer we exchanged life stories. He told me he's a monk and that he follows the teachings of the Ed - supposedly a powerful red dragon that sleeps inside the earth's core and will rise up one day to do whatever the *beep* he pleases, being a red dragon and all. Edih also told me he was the inventor of movable face printing. I thought that sounded marvelous and asked for a demonstration, whereupon he promptly walked over to me and punched me in the jaw.
In retrospect I should have seen that one coming.
A day later, when we asked around town for odd jobs to do and evil to smite, we came upon the most curious sight. A woman, somewhat smaller than me and obviously a lot smaller than the towering Edih, strode casually by. This in itself however was not quite as remarkable as the fact that she was soiled head to toe with some slimy goo and looked quite pleased with herself. Edih was about to shout something rude after her - he does this quite often; we have taken to calling it the Gutenberg libel - when we witnessed her approaching a priest, bowing slightly and handing him a handful of gold as well as a severed, decayed head.
Oh, come on, diary, you would have asked, too.
Well, she was surprisingly nonchalant about this. Turns out her name is Sonika and she just annihilated some undead menace with the power of her belief. Personally I prefer 5 feet of solid steel to 5 edicts of the church, but then again I was always more of an Onatar follower when the topic of religion came up. Be that as it may, she's pretty... well, sure. Not cocky or boa****l, but really, really sure. She's so sure that her faith is well placed that she actually received some power from who knows where. I learned that those people are called "Favoured Souls" and, at least in Sonika's case, they burn people to smoldering heaps of dust with searing light one minute and heal someone in a soft radiance the next. Personally I have started to flinch whenever she heals me, but I'm sure that sooner or later I can adjust to that. Oh wait, I didn't mention that she asked to join us, did I? Well, she didn't. When we told her that we would go out to fight evil she just naturally assumed she'd be a part of it.
Honestly, that worked out pretty well for us.
So... back to what we were doing. It seems that some playwrights decided to put on a... well, a play, and that they needed someone to find an actor. They even told me a name: We were to look for someone called Brawnpits and we could get a free ride to his humble abode. Sounds too easy? It was. Barely 100 meters in we met two giants - the brothers Nale and Thum Grim.
They were afraid we'd be stealing from them, which of course was preposterous, especially since Edih had forgotten to take his loot sack with him. They were helpful enough though and told us how to get to Brawnpits. They also warned us not to get too close to the agitated mountain lions which was about as helpful as a damp torch since those stupid lions were quite fond of hiding in the undergrowth where we could not see them. We had to slay some of them, but it wasn't really anything too harrowing to us - Edih is a far too nimble dodger and I haven't met a lion who could bite through a slab of solid steel yet. After some time we arrived at a small cliff and met Brawnpits, the giant, who invited us up to his camp.
After Sonika took hours explaining theater to him he finally agreed to become an actor, but only if we did some stuff. I don't know, I kinda zoned out and so did Edih. Seems we were supposed to help him cook up a batch of soup, which I can understand - I like soup as much as the next guy. First thing he wanted was water, which was simple enough since we passed by a lake on our way. I was send to appease the spirits. Wait, what? Seriously, they told me to ask the spirits of the rain for water. Felt kinda redundant to me, but OK.
They were easy to appease, I just asked at their altar. Yes, altar. Who build the altar? No idea. Might have been Brawnpits, but he's a big guy and that altar was about my size. Whatever.
Once again we could not catch a break. Something so simple as getting water became the most unpleasant task not only because we had to appease some stupid spirits but also because we were constantly harried by woodland critters. I played a game of panther punter with Edih. Edih won, but still think we should have counted the landing area of the main animal, not the place the spleen slid to.
So we got Brawnpits his water, now he wanted rocks to build a hearth. I was pretty sure he already had one, but who am I to criticise a giant with a club that's larger than me. Once again I came to the realization that sane people are rare indeed as Brawnpits instructed us to crush the rocks with our fists. Sonika and I tried to ignore Edih's gleeful chuckle (that's really quite spooky on a warforged) and off we went.
While I was flexing my arms somewhat doubtfully and Sonika tried to think of a way to smite a stupid rock Edih had the time of his life. Have you ever listened to the sound of metal gently, but forcefully crushing a rock? That's not a sound you forget. It sounds like my old armor did, the one that was moved under the leaky part of the roof, when it was hit by a trebuchet during that stunt with the drunken siege engineer. The worst part is that Edih did not take the role of the engineer - he was the trebuchet.
So after crushing rocks and helping Brawnpits to build a hearth we were send to get firewood. I assumed there would be a mystical sage atop a mountain who would receive the crystal of truth so he could present us with the firewood of destiny but Brawnpits assured us that the mystical sage was on a holiday and we could just collect the pieces. "Really", I thought to myself, "that's all? Just get firewood? I did that as a child. What could possibly happen?"
We found out shortly after Edih grabbed the firewood.
Running to Edih's aid, I unsheathed my fiery bastard sword and struck a mighty blow that would have cleft a lesser man in twain!
Of course. That's quite obviously a fire elemental and my bastard sword was blessed with the destructive elemental power of fire. I decided to change tactics and grabbed my two handed axe I kept for just such an occasion, letting my sword and shield fall where they may while Sonika kept the elemental busy with her deadly rays of divine light. I heaved my frosty axe above my head and realized that I had taken too long: The fire elemental had melted Edih into a soggy heap of metal.
No time for grief.
One and two and through and through my frosty blade went snicker-snack! The elemental was no more, the firewood was won - but at what price? I collected what was left to collect and made my way to a place of power as to allow my battle brother to return to his senses. I had no idea how warforged work and I still don't, but I hoped for the best and was not disappointed. Meanwhile Sonika grabbed the remaining firewood and soon we were all united again in Brawnpits camp.
Which, of course, was attacked by the fire elementals just seconds later. We helped Brawnpits and fought them off, but it must have left a mark on the big guy. He told us to eat our soup and ask a wise being for help.
A wise being that lived atop a mountain. And that stupid giant had told me just MINUTES AGO that the seer.... oh man.
Side note: Dear diary, have you ever tried scaling a mountain in full plate armor? Let me tell you: It sucks. Plate armor is HOT inside. Not just hot, HOT. HOT, and sweaty, and uncomfortably unyielding, and heavy, and generally not made for climbing mountains. But most of all, it is not made to climb mountains by jumping from cliff to cliff. In fact, the first thing I was told when I received my first suit of armor was that if I ever met an insane giant who wanted me to jump up a mountain in full plate so I could talk to his mystical friend of congealed air I should just say no and look for another job.
Guess I'm not all that smart. Also I had a really knowledgable instructor, even if he was somewhat cynical.
Anyway, I made it. Yes, I made it. I hated everything in the whole world, but I made it. I'm sure the place I reached is exactly the place whe're I'm going to go when I die and they lay me to rest. I'm not saying this place was the best, but it marked the end of my ascent. Up there we found another altar and yet another elemental - I decided to call him Norman. Not to his face, mind you, but in my thoughts. He looked like a Norman.
So Norman was an Ok guy and I kinda liked him, but we didn't really have much time to get acquainted. Guess what, diary? After climbing that blasted heap of stupid rock Norman told me to jump down again.
At this point I was close to strangling Norman, but I decided against it since I had no idea where his neck was. Also Sonika pinned me to the ground and told me to chill out.
And what do you know: Tieflings. Those devilspawns were behind it all along! They stirred up the animals, roused the spirits and generally made a mess of things. We had to escort Brawnpits out of there, pronto. We told him to stay back, close to Sonika, and started fighting our way through. Yet again my trusty shield and sword saved the day! OK, Edih helped. A lot. So did Sonika.
Guess we're a team now. Huh.
We work remarkably well together. I wade into the enemy forces, shouting challenges and generally making a nuisance of myself, drawing attention to me and seconds later BAM! Edih's fist comes out of nowhere and sends them to the ground one by one. Some try to escape, but Sonika can project her light really far. Like, scary far. All the while I'm not slacking off and whoever drops his guard gets a sword in the face.
That's the way we fought through the hordes until we reached the grim brothers camp. With the grim brothers save and Brawnpits save, we sat down in the caravan and started our (uneventful) journey back to Stormreach.
No way I'm ever going into the theater business.
And of course as soon as we get back there's another harebrained scheme the Phiarlan troupe has for us, but that's a story for a later date.
Goodbye, dear diary, until my next entry.