From the Ashes: The Future of Arda

Walgrim: What is the difference between an adventuring team and a firestorm?

This entry comes over two months after the previous one

I am not going to discuss this mission. I am not going to speak of the issues we had, or the mistakes we made. Suffice it to say many of both were had, and the mission ended in failure. We met Illyrio, a jolly man if anything, and his guard Captain Went. He told us basically what was explained to us by Valdis and in the letter I received. I am not going to say what he wanted us to retrieve, as we did not retrieve it. I am not going to say what damage we caused because news of it will likely reach every trader long before this entry ever see’s mortal eyes. I will say that the team, my team, performed better than I had expected them to, using the modicum of trust we had forged during both the weeks leading up to meeting our now ex-employer, and the weeks of travel, to keep each other safe and on the job. Despite the fact that we were going up against one of the largest tribes of bugbears I have ever heard of, we held our own, and that is nothing to snub ones nose at. I speak especially highly of Allanon and Jenelle. Allanon showed up midway through our mission, having run into Valdis at some point and learned of our mission. Though his mistakes were as many as my own, he stepped up. He is already well on his way to being the great man that both Valdis and I see the potential for in him. Jenelle too, despite my continuing suspicions of her (she has still not openly shared much despite being around me and the rest of the team for a long time now) she followed orders, saved lives, and acted above and beyond what I had hoped for from her. The rest of the team, including Eryth, a swordswoman from the sea who came with Allanon, performed amicably despite many injuries and unexpected developments.

I will not speak of Illyrio, who was disappointed and not a little bit maddened by our failure. That is all I can say as he did not give me time to properly explain or apologize. His anger was placed largely on Valdis, and it is him whom I will speak.

After returning to Maidenpool and giving the sad news of our failure to Illyrio, Valdis went mad. There is no other word for it, and I place his distress solely on myself. I found him, after practically tearing the information from Sylvi’s tongue, in the temple of Kira. He had the Mother held in the air above the sacred eternal flame, screaming about just punishments and martyrdom as the poor woman screamed for mercy. I called out to him. Begged him to turn his anger on me, the one who rightly deserved it. He had put his trust in me and had lost the respect of the man he considered his father because of it. He turned on me, not letting the Mother down from her lofty height, and swore vengeance on everyone who had so often shown him love and kindness only to snatch it away from under him as a fool would pull a rug from under his master. He swore to make them all pay, and only then would he find me. He let the Mother drop into the flames. Sylvi ran into the fire and caught her, and immediately began to heal her injuries. I ran after Valdis, but he was nowhere to be seen. I went home.

I’ll admit it. I sulked. We set out in June, and it is now July, and we have not a thing to show for nearly getting ourselves killed. We have no grand scheming employer to earn glory for and from, the shop has been closed for almost 2 full months, and my best friend considers me a worthless burden fit only to be swept away when he sees fit. It occurred to me then, however, that sitting with my head down would do nothing for myself or my team-mates, and so as Sylvi came in to give me a talking to, I started thinking and pulling myself together. I told her that I was going to make things right. I was going to liquidate all my assets to repair what damages we had wrought to Illyrio’s business and the trade route, I was going to hunt down Valdis and either earn his forgiveness or die for betraying his trust, and I was going to prove to that fat sated bastard Illyrio that this team has more potential for greatness than he’d have if he had his own private army of adventurers! All that of course changed when I realized we were not alone in my study. There was a well dressed Orc gentleman standing in the corner, who rather than explaining his presence in my abode decided to read me a short riot act that I was running from the problem rather than facing, and would hear none of my arguments to the contrary. He suggested I listen to Sylvi when it comes to decisions meant to heal others. He also made some aside that he couldn’t understand why “they” were wasting time on us (I assume us to be the team). Why is it that regardless of what I do, there is someone standing over my head dictating what I should do? First it was Valdis, it was going to be Illyrio, and now it appears to be this mysterious “Them” represented by this Orc. IT pisses me off, to be frank, and I’ve had enough of it. Fine. If Maidenpool refuses to get rid of me for whatever reason the gods have planned in their clearly addled brains, I’ll stick around, but by gods I’m keeping to MY plan this time. The rest of the group stumbled into the shop, having drank themselves into a shameful stupor, and were not necessarily in the mood or condition to hear a pep talk, but I gave them one regardless. I told them that they all now work for me, and that this failure is only a minor setback. The time for sulking is done. We are going to re-forge ourselves into a team worthy of the glory Valdis had planned and seen in us. We are going to earn that glory ourselves and we are going to track down Valdis and Illyrio and shove it right in their faces as we pass them.

That was going to be it. I sent them to bed saying that there would be no more toleration of sorry-feeling unless and until there was another failure worth commiserating over, and that tomorrow the work begins, and that was going to be it… until Eryth found a scroll on Valdis’s bed. The scroll is written in a language no one seems to be able to read. It is too archaic. Sylvani managed to recognize some symbols and said she would take it to her mother, who may be more familiar. If Valdis left it, then it is one of two warnings; either against Valdis himself, or some other threat to me or this new family. Either way, I must find out what it is, before whatever it warns against comes knocking on the shop door



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