Dark Exodus

Keep your friends close...and closer still those who are not...

….Finally, Liala is restored to me, and the Nalfling and Vorbis are free. Never did the watered down sheep piss that passes for ale in the Feral Dog loom so enticingly in thought, nor did I expect to be so eager to return to the quiet order and peace of the Twilight Monastary.

Ah Liala, the caress of your smooth wood soothes my scarred memories, and quiets the old ghosts stirred by being kept so long underground (not so different were the few memories I have of youth, though a different type of prison kept me then). It felt good to hear the snap of the her line, the whirring of her deadly offspring leaving their mother’s embrace, only to find a new home in the tender parts of these monstrosities. Even more satisfying was seeing the power surge through the Nalfling and scorch the life from our enemies. It occurs to me that perhaps I have been confused about who was protecting whom on our walks home at night from that sleazy circus where she works.

I know not what brilliant madness gripped my small companion and caused him to lead his fierce pursuers in a deadly game of tag, but surely he has a lucky horshoe embedded in his arse to escape so easily. Luck is a commodity in short supply back in Diamond Lake, so hopefully the horse will not return for his footgear anytime soon.

Now that we are free and somewhat equipped, my thoughts turn to our present situation. We are still deep underground in unknown caverns and our lives could be exterminated by some beast that dwells around the next curve. Hopefully Otto and Grimnir have some familiarity with this region, or our path out of slavery could be grim and bloody.

Also on my mind is the nature of our companions. While most have fought bravely and risked life to aid in our escape, the rest are unknown. I am wary of wizards and spellweavers in general, and their mind gems held their true powers in check until the very last battle. Who knows whether they mean to aid us or become our new masters?

My watchful eyes are also upon those with the blood of elves and orcs in them, for well do I know the vile treachery both of those races are capable of committing in the pursuit of their own goals. They are fierce in battle and quick to strike deadly blows, which speaks to their prowess, but not to their nature. We must hope that their human side overmatches the taint in their blood, else perhaps our party will grow smaller sooner than expected. So far they seemed to enjoy the slaughter of their fellow prisoners a bit too much, but perhaps that is the frustration of a martial mind held too long in restraint rather than an indication of bloodthirst.

Luckily the blood of my ancestors grows in strength now that I am returned to my native terrain, and my sight has grown ever sharper, allowing me to guide our paths through the looming darkness of the caverns outside the slave pens. It appears that Torag, god of my youth has not abandoned me, even if the same cannot be said in reverse. Hopefully the days to come will make clearer the nature of our companions, showing them to be worthy of sharing adventure, or worthy of receiving a visit from Liala’s featherd children. Experience has taught me to assume the worst, and trust no one, and thus far, my teacher has kept me alive in that nest of vipers we know as Diamond Lake…

Excerpt from a ragged little leatherbound journal carried by Brother Thain



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