Awakening that morning I had no clue, that on that day, events would trigger change, for us all.
“For the festival.”said the note in Madam Saru’s personal hand. The note was attached to a small trunk and when opened it housed a yukata. Something I haven’t worn in close to 80 so years. Shore Blossom was holding a festival, a time of peace and healthy competition with no worries.
Yet there are worries: war, corruption, and greed. Incidents that were not started by us adventurers yet now we find ourselves in the middle of the consequences. I had hoped to be able to breathe and bathe my mind in positive memories. However, now all I can see is the veil opening up to me, readying to join my spirit among the stars and earth once again. For I, Oranssi Lasi, will once again adorn my armor and give my life to protect others,both their physical form and their will to choose life.
So for when the next dragon attacks, we will not be alone and they will be ready.
The safeguard over the city trapped us in a fight. The unknown energy that shielded Shore Blossom left us prepared to fight. However, it was not on our terms and in an empty city of Shore Blossom. The black dragon, with its weretiger rider, escorted by winged kobolds, left us with little strategy and time. We fought, armored, nerves tense with only the sounds of our enemies breath to break the silence.
The kobolds advance. Naligor took the lead and launches his moon beam, striking only the tail end of the dragon as it swoops down and lands in the field. Meanwhile, Ramshackle made quick work of the kobolds. Before any of us could advance on the dragon it belched out its acid breath, drenching Odiri, Eucarion, Brightwood, Kodu, and Naligor. They cried out as layers of their flesh begin to slide off. I prayed to Artemestia to help keep their flesh intact as I began to prepare a larger healing. Brightwood launched several rays of fire at the dragon. Trailing behind the rays was Kodu, as he jumped and grappled the dragon by the throat and collar.
Albion throws up his ax at the dragon, knocking off the weretiger from the dragon's back. He then used his horns to push the weretiger into the center of our group. Naligor then moves his moonbeam to the weretiger. It transforms back into a human. Immediately it charged at Naligor and struck him clean and sharp. The dragon thrashed about trying to break free of Kudo’s grapple, yet was unable to shake him. I release my concentration and cast a full heal. With new energy everyone attacks with strength against the weretiger and dragon. Kudo using his new energy to squeeze tighter. He unleashed a few strong kicks and sword slashes the dragons throat. The dragon cried out, then bleed out, and died. Our attention then goes to the weretiger trying to plead for mercy through Kodu and I. Albion looked perplex and simply knocked it out.
With much debate we clear the bodies to not create a panic in a time of peace. Hoping the people would reappear. We move the bodies into an empty warehouse by the docks. When the doors close sounds of people could be heard again. I and Naligor stated we need to show this to the Council. I go and retrieve Mato, Naligor goes to retrieve Elder Yen.
When I reach Mato, I speak with much force and a militaristic tone that that he needed to come with me. With no debate he followed me to the docks. With the reveal to Mato and Elder Yen, they were underwhelmed at best, concerned yes but not bewildered or shocked. That is when we state our plans and Elder Yen conveys that he sees no worry or threat. Both of them tell us about a similar occurrence long ago and mention the original adventures table at Madam Saru’s. Brightwood and Kudo are under the impression we were chosen as possible champions of the wall. I believe differently. The Council, with little concern, is using new comers as disposable pawns, and as a network for generating riches for the town. We were not beings of free will, we are being played by welcoming smiles. A poison that will, if not kill, will infect. A powerful magic that only can be activated by an oath or inscription, a magic similar to Blood Splattered Snow Tiger…
“That witch!” I exclaim as I storm out of the warehouse at the docks and hurry my way to the Rose Shell Inn. I entered the Rose Shell and gazed upon the table, a table no local ever sat at, or touched, only we adventures. The one table we all have sat at, the one where we have all in some way left a mark. I with a crude carving of a blooming flower. Naligor’s scratches from his nails over excitement of going over the wall. Albion’s finger indentations from his great strength. Eucarion and Ramshackle, with their sloppy table manners, slipped meal knifes slashes on the wood. Brightwood with his burning techniques scorched series of thin lines. Lastly was Odiri, who out of all of us, has been carving away, detailing a fine map from our adventures.
We are all slaves, bound by this table by deceit, and falsehood. These bonds must be broken. The only way I know. I placed my hand on the table and cast Mend. The table's wood grain began to shift and fill up, erasing everyone's marks I was called out to in horror by a bar maid.
“What are you doing?!”
I did not divert my gaze; I needed to be assured that all markings would be gone.
“I am protecting us.” I stated, the bar maid tried desperately to get me to stop
“Odiri worked so hard on these carvings!”
After the last carving filled, I lifted my hand and pointed to the table “And she almost died because of it!”
“But, But sh-”
“Fetch my things, I will no longer stay here. I am returning to the temple of stars!” not allowing her one more word in. I will not be persuaded by lies anymore.
I return to the docks, with a great debate over the events that have just happened going on. Master Yen has left and only Mato remained. The next I saw of Odiri, I made sure she knew this.
“I value your life, even if you don’t value mine.”
War is coming and I must prepare. For the battle field will take more than life, it will take everything.
“I value your life, even if you don’t value mine.”