It's been almost a week since Yohan was murdered. I don't cry as much anymore, but I still wish I could go have an ale with him sometimes. I regret not being a closer friend. We didn't see each other that much, but now that I can't see him anymore I regret not making more time to visit him.
I met some people on the bridge where Yohan's body was found. It seemed as though another person was killed. I was relieved to see that the body part was made of metal- another person need not have died at the hands of these killers.
But it seems I was mistaken! When I expressed my relief about the target being a construct of some form (how mysterious, a man made of metal) it seemed to anger several of these people. I told them I was looking for the killer, and Tavish recommended I find another group he sent on the trail. It seems I had met them!
One man named Aries was so mad that he caught on fire. A magician! I was terrified that he would kill me on the spot, but I put on a brave face and prepared for a daring fight!
I was invited to join them in a tavern. The small halfling girl, who I learned later was a gnome, left to go collect herself in the forest. I asked about the metal arm and its owner. Seems his name was Acolyte. Like from a church? Do metal men have gods?
A bunch of armed guards showed up and took most of the adventurers away. It seems Aries was targeted for assassination! How exciting! He must be really important. When they all left, it was just me and and the blonde haired man, Aries.
I think Aries might be a long lost prince or something, like from one of James Highwinds stories. He has blonde hair, a very fancy cloak, carries himself with the pomp and cirumstance of a hero. This might be it grandma! I might be on my first real adventure, to free the adventurers and stop the killers!
We went to talk to Captain Tavish and see what he might know about the happenings. I was flattered that he remembered me, he is always so busy with so many people. He seemed annoyed that the people were captured and said he'd go to the keep and get them set free. Oh well, we can do a daring escape another time. Captain Tavish said we might check the lower markets for clues, so we set off- but not before Captain Tavish made me a member of the hidden organization the Brass Keys!
On our way there we were followed by some dangerous looking men! We weren't sure who they were, but we laid a trap for them.
I killed two men grandma. They're dead because of me. I didn't think it would be so easy, or so mundane. I looked them in the eyes, and with a thrust I watched their books slam close and their final chapters go unwritten. Is this what it is to be a hero?
I didn't want to look too shaken in front of Aries so I did my best to stay calm. When James Highwind killed his villains it was never so- abrupt. It didn't feel like I thought.
At the lower market I bought some sweet rolls for me and Prince Aries (I think I'm going to write a story about him). James Highwind and Prince Aries. James Highwind and the Golden Haired Prince?
The assassins seemed to use poison, but we learned that there are no formal apothecaries in the markets. We did find this beautiful woman, named Lakel, selling herbal remedies that were delicious! She was even talented enough to create drafts that could cause wounds to close and injuries to heal! How amazing! But she had no faith in herself. She told me that her grandma had taught her how to do it, and in that moment I knew I had to help her find her confidence!
So Aries and I made her a banner sign, and I told stories about how magnificent her remedies were! She made so much money that day that she gave us a cut of the profit! That felt much better than stabbing people.
We learned from some guards that there is a dangerous creature lurking around the docks. Aries decided we would investigate that later, because we had to meet with a shadowy man named Guile! Guile sounds exactly like the name a villain would have. Aries tells me he whole-heartedly believes this will be a trap. How exciting! Aries trusts me to watch his back- I didn't want to let down a prince!
We met with him, and Aries took on the alias of a noble. I pretended to be his bodyguard. I tried to look tough in front of the armed guards Guile had posted. Guile doesn't seem like he was part of the murders, but he said he thinks that someone in his caravan is the culprit. He seems suspicious.
We are given permission to investigate his caravan camp. We go to a suspicious looking tent. Aries calls out for whoever is inside. I'm the body guard, so I do my duty and walk into the tent. And this time- I had sprung the trap! I opened the flap, and the next thing I know there is a dagger stuck in my chest. It became hard to breath, and I couldn't move.
But then Aries was there. The anger in his eyes was made manifest. With a flourish of his arms he cast a magical spell that laid waste to the shadowy assassin. What seemed like three nigh invisible rays of pure heat, the mans soul seemed burned away. After a minute I regained myself, the poison seeming to wear off. The adrenaline was still flowing through my veins.
A real hero grandma! I've met a real hero!
We returned to the tavern to sleep. I didn't sleep well. I kept thinking about the men I killed, and thinking about Aries. He seemed to calm about everything. Hopefully he knew what to do.
In the morning I returned to see Lakel, the apothecary woman! She was in good spirits. Then Aries and I ventured out to the east hills to recover some stolen trade goods for guile. The followed some bugbears and ended up defeating them! It was pretty easy for heroes such as Aries and myself. We sat down to rest, but then we saw this massive black cat like creature racing towards us. I barely had time to shout a warning and get to my feet before it was upon us.
It was a vicious battle. It wasn't like anything I've scrapped with before. The creature was fast and powerful. I tries to protect Aries, and then the last thing I remember was its two barbed tentacles lashing out at me.
I had a dream then. I was in a dark place, and I had lost your necklace and the book you gave me. I was crawling around, looking for it. I was scared and I was alone. I started to cry and I curled up on the ground.
But then I woke up. Aries was cradling my head. My clothes and armor were torn to shreds. Aries looked worried and relieved. I had never really noticed how clear his eyes were. He was bleeding from several lashes he had taken. Someone like Aries should never have to face monsters alone.
I stood up then, and charged the massive creature. I slid between its massive legs and stabbed it in the hindquarters several times. I was running out of stamina. But then it slashed at Aries, who fell to the ground.
I was terrified grandma. This creature was going to kill us. I'm not as strong as I thought. I closed my eyes swung my sword with all of my might. It bit into the creatures hide, and then it rounded on me. Its two tentacles swung for me, but I ran between its legs and made it to Aries. I poured a healing potion into his mouth, and watched him gasp back to life.
The creature seemed exhausted. We all were. Each of us bleeding, considering our next move. I tried to scare it off to little effect, and with a gesture Aries conjured a fire bolt that knocked the beast unconscious.
I walked up and looked at the creature. Thin, gaunt, in pain, and alone. I wanted to believe that it could go and live its life in peace, but I looked at Aries who had seemed resigned. The creature probably wouldn't survive. I put it out of its suffering. And then I fell back on the ground and cried again.
Maybe I'm not cut out for this. Being a hero is so much scarier than I thought. I thought I had died, grandma. I didn't want to return to that dark place. I just wanted to spend my life helping the less fortunate.
But I'll keep trying. You believed in me. You thought I could be just like James Highwind. Or Aries.
So I'll set sail, to meet new friends, to go on new adventures, and to chase that horizon.
I love you grandma,