It was nice to arrive back at the House of 1,000 Candles just 4 short nights since my Time Under the Stars… I guess I cut quite the striking figure in my new leathers and fine blades; Alexi almost didn’t recognize me.
Being back was a short lived feeling though. No sooner had I arrived than I received a summons from none other than Keira Ghosttalker. It seemed that though I was fresh back from my training, I am already to be given my first assignment! Truly, I expected some amount of time before being called upon. I must confess that truth be told I was looking forward to some moments of quiet amongst the 1,000 candles, after what I’ve seen and done…and the dreams return when I’m gone from these walls.
When I arrived at the summons I met the rest of the group her eminence had assembled. It is quite the disparate group. Don’t get me wrong, they’re all nice people and make good traveling companions; but it’s quite the eclectic mix she has called upon. I forget my place; her eminence knows what she is doing and is much more knowledgeable than I…and hey at least I won’t be leaving everyone I know behind at the temple! As a group we are to report to Abbess Jenaya Reni at the Temple of the Black Star in Rejksburg to help investigate the frequent occurrence of “shadow crossings” in the region around the city, whatever those are. I’m guessing that’s what some of the others of our group are for, I know it’s not what I’m useful for.
After the briefing, Brother Hrafn decided there was no sense waising time and we made ready to head out that afternoon. So my “hellos” would also have to serve as “good byes”…at least THIS time I got to say “good bye”.
It was an uneventful few nights to Donistun, but then we had a comfortable bed to rest in. Four nights after that we came across a walled way stop consisting of a single inn and stable, apparently run by and for the Fast Horse service. Dirge was able to barter lodging for us for in exchange for several of his tales. A win-win for me, as I hadn’t gotten to hear his stories in some four years of more.
Several more nights out on the road later we came across some vagabonds posing as travelers in distress…“their wagon was hanging off the road”. After a few short words with Hrafn it was clear they were not who they claimed and they lashed out at us. Fates collided…
“I must not hesitate”
My training coursed through my head and I reacted quickly and without hesitation, going straight for who appeared to be the leader. I delivered a devastating blow, exactly as I aught; then I faltered… It all happened so fast: her blood sprayed everywhere, swords rang, people swirled around every which way. I was pierced heavily through at the shoulder. Then there were the incantations from behind, spells from those that I traveled with. Hrafn bestowed a blessing from the Raven Queen upon me and my shoulder felt much better. I was pierced through a second time then again. The chaos was complete…or at least more than I was prepared for. Training is one thing, but can only prepare you so much. I was overwhelmed; my vision began to dim, then the world went black….
…when I came to…my secondwind lifting me from darkness, the battle still raged. Though it had moved slightly down the road and to the side. I shook my head and got my wits about me, “remember your training”. I quickly got to my feet, finished off the warrior I had first engaged, then rushed to Deitrich Essenbach’s aid. He was battling two of the brigands and more where coming back in. They had apparently been knocked from the road. I rushed past him and quickly dispatched one at his back. It was mop up work after that.
I think we learned a lot from our first test as a group. Most importantly, I think, we learned we haven’t worked together and for my part at least…we don’t function like those we’ve trained with.
Majestic Queen guide me…guide my vision, guide my arm, guide my purpose…