But that doesn’t make it excusable. Let me tell you about how these idiots tried to get us all killed…
The job was brigands. I have nothin’ against killing humans so I was happy to sign up. Everything was tolerable on the first day up until the point we decided to camp. As if by magic, we stumbled across a tower and a few out-buildings. The sign outside said Peacock Inn… so my little group of jackasses decided to peek in. I was still outside, trying to recall what they’d each written in their wills, when fool… err… Joule started screamin’ about something.
I went inside to check on my walking loot bags. They’d gotten themselves surrounded by pretty fearsome lookin’ creatures… lotsa teeth and four legs that ended at a knife-point instead of feet or claws. It would’ve been a long walk home so I decided to bail them out. I’m not a demigod yet, but I’m no slouch. It only took a handful of spells to send these little demons back to whatever hell they crawled out of. Watching my party flail around like a bunch of mewling kittens was worth the effort.
When we regrouped outside, it was agreed that the Peacock Inn was less than hospitable and that we should camp somewhere else. As usual, nothing dared disturb my slumber. The next day was somehow more shitty than the last. We kept heading Southwest until we ran into a small abandoned village. This fuckin place… I swear.
Aside from some overgrown beetles that my baby-faced team struggled with, the place seemed absolutely lifeless. The roof tops were caving in and most of the doors were off hinges. The ground itself stuck to the theme and there was a large crevasse in the middle of everything. Overlooking this hole in the ground, I mean the literal hole not the village itself, was a statue of a lady. My crack team of adolescent vandals decided that pushing the statue INTO the hole was a good use of their time. Buncha chucklefucks summoned the damn souls of whoever inhabited this place last.
All around us came souls and shades. Each was reaching out almost hungrily. Again I was move to action by the cries of my helpless charges. The lizard guy and Joule were right by the damn hole try to push the stupid statue. They stood no chance without me. Thankfully, Twinkletoes was smart enough to follow my lead earlier and climbed onto a rooftop. From our vantages we rained hellfire onto the shades.
Fear not, balance was brought to the universe. After Twinkle’s stroke of genius, the others had to tip the scales in the other direction. Rather than running away after the first wave this pair, obviously made for each other, KEPT TRYING TO PUSH THE STATUE. You’re a rational actor, guess what happens next. More fucking ghosts.
Now I have to say… in my homeland there is a store of an exceptionally smart goblin. He generally distained the other goblins due to their stupid celebrations and chose to live alone. It is said that he witness something that made his heart grow three sizes. I know it’s a stupid story but I have to relay it because rather than running off like the lizard, Joule put her back to a wall and stood her ground. I felt like the goblin from the story. I felt a glimmer of respect.
Unfortunately three times zero is
fucking zero. She shouldn’t have been
pushing on the fucking statue in the first place. Once again, yours truly, had to save the day. While Tingles stood, barely managing to drool
on his own, I called down the sky. Sonic
blasts, fireballs, waves of thunder. I
bent fucking time and space to save her skin.
Predictably, my charges need a rest after all their tom-foolery. We found a spot to hide just as the Brigands we were after charged into town. Great. I let the others catch their breath while I listened to our targets searching the houses. Fights broke out. I couldn’t see but it sounded like the Brigands had fallen victim to the shades. It wasn’t a long battle. After a silence fell I told the others to give me thirty minutes then leave without me… before slipping out of our shared concealment and attempting to scout out the situation.
Death waited for me. Not my own, the literal embodiment of death. A figure stood amidst what little remained of the brigands. Framed by blood, dust, and dilapidated houses it appeared quite imposing. It wasn’t a shade itself but seemed to wear them. IT/SHE/HE spoke to me. Fuck.
What is your name?
What is your quest?
To seek the Holy Grail…
I honestly don’t remember everything that was said. I was VERY busy cataloging all the spells I DIDN’T have now because of my crack team of Brigand hunters. One thing I do remember: as it looked right through me with somniferous almond eyes, it revealed to me its singular purpose… It was a Herald of the darkness to come.
I want to leave the story there but it bears mentioning that, on the way back, we received reports of a necromancer operating even further Southwest near the Rotmoor River. I interrogated the message bearer, because by all accounts it sounded a lot like GreGory. The messenger seemed sure it wasn’t. I remain unconvinced.