Alexander Entry 1
I have not yet logged the presence of Cauldron in these pages, and I suspect that anyone having read this far will understand my reasons, to some degree. For who can truly understand the depths of Cauldron without having suffered the prejudice and pain of its rings. The place is foul and simple, beset on all sides by equal measures of tolerance and kindness.
That sarcasm is not fair. Cauldron is the epicenter of this region, both in culture and in commerce. Cirudan is right, discretion and understanding should win over brash vengeance. This place is just so….intolerant. Those who defy its ways, or follow a different path, rarely find solace in its streets. I was crushed by that intolerance before, for many years, and now I am stronger for it. Were this place not my home I may never have tread the path that leads through the hidden forests of the fairer race. That, would have been a greater loss than any ridicule or scorn, and I am glad to have endured both to get where I am today.
And today I am back home, settled in, and ready to find these Silver Phoenix chaps. Shensen and Fario say they will be able to introduce me, and that membership in the company should not be difficult to acquire thereafter. I believe we have heard the same rumors, that this company is not known for its life expectancy. Dangerous groups are often as much in need of new blood as they are willing to overlook a few, differences. I only hope this company fits that mold.
It seems I was correct, at least to some degree. The Silver Phoenix does live up to its reputation as a wandering COD, but it seems they are a bit more discerning regarding their membership than I would have imagined. Even with the introduction by Shensen and Fario, we were only able to procure a place in the tryouts being held by the SP on the morrow; along with another (more simple) fellow. I expected to be immediately accepted, based on the word of two Striders, but alas this IS a group run by a Dwarf. Reason is likely a skill they prize only when it is absolutely necessary. They are, however, very hospitable. Cirudan and I were offered a place at their wake (yes, they were having a wake for a fallen company member that very night) and included in on many revealing stories. It was good night of drinking and story telling. Perhaps one of the best initial interviews I’ve had. I believe our fellow contender, Bransen the Simple, would agree.
We passed the tryouts of the SP, as did Bransen; much to my surprise. The way he was talking last night I wouldn’t have thought he could figure himself out long enough to do anything useful. It would appear that I am mistaken. Again, Cirudan’s wisdom prevails. The judgment of others is a task best left to the elected, and better served by no-man.
After lunch, a charter was drawn up and signed. It wasn’t long before talk of work crept in, and on the morrow we ride. The rescue of a “Zenith Splintershield” is at hand and to the Underdark we must travel. The path, as you may expect, is well guarded. It was this guard, in fact, which facilitated last night’s wake. The beast they described sounds ferocious, and I do not look forward to facing it directly. Hopefully this Dwarf, “Kort”, can live up to his stereotype and be of some martial use.
We have finally arrived at this entrance to the Underdark. It was a long pitched battle, but we felled the guardian of the way. Kort did live up to his stereotype, for which I am grateful. That creature bore a striking resemblance to hell itself. We find ourselves in the depths of this region now, and tomorrow only two things can await, fame and folly. I shall try to sleep and prepare for the former.
Strange things exist down here. The fish people of the region are repugnant, although Cirudan would have me call them, “exotic”. His ways are wise, and I shall think upon this wisdom. But for now, I am repulsed. Aside from their ‘appearance’ they are formidable foes with an apparent grasp of architecture I would not have thought possible. Perhaps some other race built the structures through which we now travel. Regardless, these creatures have made the place their own. Even now I stand in the refuse repository for what must be a hundred of these ‘fish men’. I wait now with baited breath..into the breach…