A human mercenary
A human mercenary, picked up as a guard during the trip from Sternhelm to Rhukaan Draal. He is a professinoal warrior that has speciallised in the exotic spiked-chain as his weapon of choice.
Another caravan, easy money but not a lot of it. Usually there is no more than one or two problems on caravan duty and this time was no exception. Heading to “Goblin Town” as I call it. If it was not profitable, it would not be worth taking a dump on it even if you felt like you were about to explode. The place is that worthless. But I will say this much, the goblinoids have lined my pockets many times, either by hiring me or by others hiring me to protect them from the goblins. I expected to need to look up Grishnak to see if I would be needed, since I was in town, but that hobgoblin, like all others, is as trustworthy as a pile of rotten rats is appetizing. You always know that the hobgoblins will try to rip you off, one way or another.
Well, I met some other soldiers on the caravan duty who were hired to recover some magical doodad or something. Since I really hate having to deal with goblinsoids and their ever changing deals, I thought I would try something new. I agreed to join them on the mission for an equal share. But here is the kicker, they CLAIM that they were not told how much they were going to be paid for this recovery mission. Obviously they will try to screw me out of some of my money, but I still would rather try my luck with them over working for Grishnak. Grishnak would give me a high risk mission and try to rip me off. I figured that these guys would not be here if it was all that high of a risk so I just have to worry about them trying to rip me off. Not that I doubt that they would abandon me if it was convenient, and their mage Mannix stated that right up front. Well that is one thing going for him, he is honest. Well, As long as I know the score, I can try to deal with it. It seems a slightly better score than the hobgoblins would give.
Rhukaan Draal was the same cesspool as ever but we found our guide fairly quickly and wandered off near the Mournlands to some ruined quarry filled with undead and some necro-scum soldiers. Great, just what I needed, unknown and unreliable allies and dangerous foes searchingt for who knows what. Some clue to the location to the magical doodad. And I have yet to be paid! Well fighting a couple of undead in the dark was a true bitch, I had a difficult time as I could not see my foes. But eventually I slew one of the two, then we went into the town by skirting the edge of the pit to find the location we needed to search. We knew there were some living and some undead foes in there, and we could surprise them. Here was how I’d learn about this squad. Their plan was MINDLESS CHARGE. Oh, officially they would have the mage cast spells if he could get close enough, but the long charge would preclude that from working. But that was their plan. The golem was all for it and quickly charged in. The rock head did not want to go in and neither did the spike ears. The mage was game. So I went in following the golem and waited back to see if this was a place to cut my losses or get some profit. The golem fought well and he and I killed one human but the captain was then fought exclusively by the golem. Spike ears did not seem to want to engage the human captain and in fact did not seem to want to fight at all, but did help me with the zombie for a few seconds, like for one attack. The zombie was hitting me hard and often. The rock head did not support either me nor the golem, the spike ears pulled back from even the zombie and drew his bow and did not support either me or the golem. Quickly the rock eater and the mage left the battle to the golem and me and left towards the exit. I think they waited outside ready to flee until they heard that we won, then they entered. I finally dropped the zombie, got ready to assist the golem when he dropped the captain. I picked up her sword and it seems better than mine, so I took it rather than let it be left there and lost. But it was nice to know that I was right about them, they abandon each other at the first sign of real trouble. I know they will have no loyalty to me. It is good to know I can still read people accurately. Spike ears made a half hearted attempt to assist, stone brains made no effort and the mage pretended to care for a moment and said “screw this”. The golem did what you’d expect from a mindless war machine, it charged into battle and fought. Not intelligently, but effectively. We gathered up our stuff, searched for information, found what we needed, and prepared to move out. I destroyed the information that we needed so nobody could follow us. 2 more zombies came and the golem and I took care of them. Spike ears and stone head helped minorly. It was a reasonably safe fight, so I expected them to assist a bit and they did. Then a vampire came. The mage covered us in shadows and told us to run. You don’t need to tell me twice! I ran and did not stop until the town was a long ways behind me! Eventually the rest of them caught up and we are heading into the Mournlands. WHAT THE HELL? I would have been better off working for Grishnak again!
The trip through the Mournlands is as depressing as you could imagine. We came across some corpses. It looked like a good spot for an ambush by undead. So spike ears, rock head, and the clank all wanted to check it out. And guess what? They were attacked by undead. What a surprise. Well, the guide, a human, the mage, a human, and myself, also human were smart enough to see the truth and we were not lured into that trap. Gee, it seems all the humans have intellect and the non-humans are mindless fools. Like that is any surprise.
Well after that bit of excitement we came across a site of a big battle. Yes it is obvious that there would be more undead or some monsters here too but the potential treasure was too great. I knew the three lesser “people”, and I use that word very loosely, were going to go investigate and this had more potential of there being some treasure of significant value, so I and the mage went with them. Spike ears and the mage went searching, with Mannix using a spell to detect magic to guide them. They awoke a giant crab monster. The clank rushed forward, spike ears abandoned the mage by retreating and I was forced to move up and engage it. This think smacked the clank around like it was a child’s toy! But the clank got mad and was frightful! And the ultimate surprise happened, the rock head charged it and attacked it with a powerful hit from his urgosh and killed the beast. Here was a powerful foe and the rocker did not run away! THAT was proof that there was some valuable treasure here! The golem, I expected to fight. The rocker, never!
Well we found the research lab and we are going in. I don’t know if I’ll ever make it out, but hopefully this diary will make its way back to my family if I should die. I am leaving it here with our guide as we go in. Hopefully I will be able to retrieve it and write about my experiences in the fake mine soon.
OOC: This blog is just Lafayette’s thoughts as the party is getting ready to rest in the research facility. He does not write them down nor does he speak them. This is only thought by him.
IC: Being stuck in the Mournlands, trapped underground, I can’t help but think of my family. It has been a while since I saw them. I miss the company of my four brothers and my sister. I miss my parents. I never expected to. I never wanted to be a mere peasant like my family, with my parents running a small store in a small town that is not on any map of Breland, at least not any map I ever saw had Poedunk on it. Even as a child I wanted to leave that life behind, and now I have and I am likely to die in the Mournlands because of it. Be careful what you wish for and all that.
I remember when the war was going on, I was sure that was my ticket out and it was. Being the second oldest, I was “lucky”. I remember when Louis was drafted and was sent off to be a basic soldier. He would write letters and I wanted to be old enough to be recruited for the war. I knew I would be next if the war lasted long enough. I really looked forward to Louis’ letters. The whole family did. Then the letters stopped coming. At first we expected him to be busy and the letters were just delayed, but the delay kept stretching on. We never got word that he died, but we never heard from him either. Maybe he was killed and left forgotten on some battlefield. Or maybe raised as an undead soldier. Or maybe he was taken as a prisoner of war. I keep hoping he just went AWOL and is enjoying his life somewhere, but I doubt that very much. Mom and Dad still set a place for him at every meal as if he could be home at any day. That they refuse to accept that he is dead and gone and they are trapped waiting for news or for him to show up is the worst part of his disappearance. Well, maybe they stopped waiting for him, it has been a while since I was home. But knowing them, they are still waiting for him.
And how I miss Lucille, my only sister. She is the second youngest and all of us boys always watched out for her. She is the jewel of the family. I feel sorry for any boy who tries to date her. All of us will be watching his every move with our little sister. He better not cross any lines! HA! Then again, with the oldest two boys drafted for the war and Louis missing …. hell, even I don’t want to face the facts, do I? He is dead, he has to be. He is dead and it is quite likely I will be dead soon as well. Well, she can take care of herself. Having five brothers taught her that, and the remaining three boys will help her out. She always loved brushing her long blond hair, I keep meaning to get her some really nice brushes. Now it seems I will never get the chance. Pretty girl, I miss you! Please think fondly of me from time to time.
I really hope the rest of my family stays out of “the exciting, heroic life”. Leon never seemed to care for it. He is the next oldest, barely a year younger than me. He was lucky, he was barely able to avoid getting drafted for the war. If it lasted another couple of months, he too would have been taken. But he was always too smart for wanting that. He liked helping with the store. He liked helping probably as much as I liked avoiding helping. While Louie was dutiful and did what was needed as the eldest, even though he did not want to work at the store, Leon actually enjoyed it. The boy needed to learn to play more and work less! Childhood is far too short, I wish Leo spent more time enjoying it.
Marc, you always looked up to me. You are the only one I really fear will willingly follow in my footsteps. I wish I could make sure you did not travel my path, but like me, you are stubborn and will not change your course once you are determined. I doubt I could dissuade you from trying to strike it rich and live the easy life. So far, I have yet to strike it rich, nor has anything ever been easy, but you will try to follow this path determined to succeed, won’t you? If only I could convince you otherwise. Here I am stuck in doom, surrounded by freaks. If only you could understand that the so called glorious life is anything but glorious. Well, if I do get out of here alive, I will either teach you the truth or I will have to make sure that you are well prepared. If you must be an idiot like me, I should make sure that you are at least well equipped to maximize your chances of survival. But the best choice would be to get it through your stubborn head that the simple life is a better life. I have as much chance of teaching you that as I do of making Karrnath choose the Silver Flame as the official religion.
Jacques, the baby of the family. I really wanted to watch you grow up. You are the youngest so you have the most possibilities. Your path is undetermined. Lucille will marry a peasant boy, probably a farmer. Marc will be a wandering soldier of fortune like me. Leo will run the shop when mom and dad get too old. And Louie is dead. But you have no predetermined course. You can make your life anything that you want. Choose wisely. I guess that means do not do anything that I have done. Take care, little boy. Maybe with luck I will be able to see you again. Not likely, as my “allies” are unreliable and I am in a dangerous place where I NEED reliable allies, but who knows, maybe I will be lucky. Luck has been on my side in the past, but then again, it has been my enemy many times as well. I just hope luck is a friend to you. Farewell Jacie.
OOC: These are Lafayette’s thoughts after waking in the research center. They are not written down nor spoken.
IC: With my impending doom, I can’t seem to stop reminiscing. I remember how much fun my childhood was. Oh, at the time I was sure I had the worst existence in the universe. I was a child of shopkeepers from a small town. I was bored with all things about my home. I wanted excitement and adventure. I was always doing “adventurous” things. I was always getting into some mischief. I was constantly pushing myself to try doing risky things. I was always strong, agile, and if I do say so myself, clever. I remember Mr. Winkle saying I did not have the wisdom to step out of a bonfire if I “twas betwixt enough to git in one”. But he did not understand. I KNEW I could handle the risks I took. I always was able to rely on my agility and strength to give me the ability to deal with any problem and I knew I was smart enough to figure out the best way to use my physical attributes. A sharp mind and a superior body can get you out of many problems that others could not handle. I always knew that and relied on it. Heck, I still remember Mrs. klinsted, my old teacher talking to my parents. I snuck up to the window to listen to what she said about me. “He’s a smart boy but he lacks the wisdom the gods gave even the most basic of animals. He keeps getting into awkward situations that even most fools would not get involved with. One of these days his luck will run out. He has great potential but if he doesn’t calm down he will pay a great price for his recklessness.” Ha! Again, she called me unwise but I knew I was able to handle the risks I took. And I succeeded at my goals. Who is the unwise one now? ... Then again, who is stuck in a death trap in the center of the Mournlands with unreliable “allies”? Maybe I do lack some wisdom. Mrs. Klinsted, I guess I owe you an apology. I regret pissing on your grave after you died. If I ever make it out of here, I will buy some flowers for your grave and I will clean up your headstone.
I also loved to read. I would read about anything, as long as it did not involve my home town. Whenever I managed to get a hold of a book on anything, I read and studied it in great detail … for a few weeks. Then I got bored with it and wanted something else to occupy my mind. I always was a quick learner and I must say the random bits of trivia I learned has helped me on occasions. But that was just a side effect. Really my reading was just a form of escape. I learned about creatures, animals, and whatever else, just so I could imagine meeting these things and being able to either know how to deal with them or how to heroically slay them. I guess all kids want to be heroes, I just happened to study to better enable me to be one.
Like many boys, I practiced being a “mighty warrior” and fought with sticks and such, slaying imaginary dragons and and all that. But I always thought I was better than everyone else. I was proven correct when the recruiters came through town when I was old enough to be drafted. We all had to show what we were capable of, but I really wanted to show off. I tried some tricky stunts as well as doing the basics and I impressed the recruiters. They said I has some real talent and with the proper training I could become a very successful soldier for Breland. I was sent to a special training camp and was told that my training would be more thorough and difficult than the others. I was tested and I was able to pick the style and weapon I would focus on. All of us at Camp Effulgent were the best and brightest. We received special training to make us true weapons. I never trained so hard in my life, but I loved it. I was finally a soldier and out of my home town. I was no longer the best at whatever difficult task I tried, because all of us were the best of Breland. I actually HAD to work and study to stay at the top of my class and I did not succeed at being the best at everything. I lacked the “leadership” skills to command but I was skill quite capable as a elite soldier. We were very close to graduation when the cease fire came. We completed our training and were sent to join the army but once the peace treaty was signed, we were of no use. I did not see a single battle in the war. We, the elite, were offered permanent positions with the army, but I did not want to stand around doing nothing. I wanted to make my fame and fortune and being in an army in peace time was not the way to achieve that. I was a specialist using a long chain as a weapon and I wanted to use it!
Oh, everyone is ready. Time to go see what this key the talking wolf gave us does. Time for some action.