Pilgrim’s Journal, Day 88 (The Harmony of Self and a decision True.)
9th of Dancing Clouds
We travel back to Sog from the war and meet up with Master Artavan briefly before heading out. He promotes me and Kassagor to Ranger first class and gives us a mission to escort the caravan back to Sog. So it is a very short celebration and heading out early in the morning. I am pleased to see Bahiya, a Priest of the light from the Desert, again. Our group consists of Nightingale, an Alchemist Aevakar who appears very young and cannot talk whom I gave my re-worked Willow wood flute, Salvator, another Priest of the Light and keeper of Kassegor. Well not a keeper but long time companion, Kassegor is a dregordian who does not follow The Way but has unleashed his brutal inner beast to do good. Derick, a very boisterous human. The Masters would say that he is one who needs to reach an inner harmony before he can be happy. And finally Alphose, a large Ogre who was raised by humans and believes he is human. He is attractive, so I am told, for an Ogre. The Masters would also say that Alphose is simply confused but it is a harmless delusion and that it would be best not to disturb those waters as you do not know what lies beneath the surface. In any case, what does his race actually matter when the heart is in harmony with doing good things. I feel that he is balanced and in harmony with himself, so it does not matter.
Smoke was spotted on the upcoming path, it was said that there may be a village there, or at the least that much smoke could indicate that the forest was on fire. A very bad thing coming into fall like we are. We were given the mission of escorting the caravan of wounded and others back home from the encounter. Nightingale, Kassegor and I are tasked to scout ahead and keep a wary eye out. Some of those Rat thing and a couple of Minotaurs were spotted attacking a village. Nightingale rushes off to report and is stopped by her race’s mortal enemy a Gargoyle. Kassegor and I are not willing to sacrifice the village and it’s people for the sake of back up. The others will catch up.
Kassegor asks me to prepare an ambush for them as he pretends to be a solo target. I launch myself into a nearby tree as Kassegor goes to the center of a bridge. He is quickly surrounded by Rat-things as the him and the Minotaur exchange blows, getting Kassegor wounded and hurting. I realize too late as I am leaping to the rescue of my team mate that Kassegor is in a state of frenzy or near enough. I do a flip-jump onto his shoulders and perform a perfect “Clearing the way” maneuver that takes out the Rat things but doesn’t seem to faze the Minotaur. The maneuver reminds me of when we had some balance training and I impressed the Masters so much with my natural ability that they had some special classes for me and to test me. I was to jump off the roof of a house and land on a board with a barrel in the middle and keep on my feet and balanced. I have found it much easier this time with both my tail and my staff for balance. When I completed the Maneuver, I hopped off Kassagore’s shoulders and took up a position behind him, noticing at that moment that my companions had now arrived. As they rushed to Kassagor’s aid and him and the Minotaur exchanged blows, making Kassagor frightfully bloody with his own blood they came to the aid. I rushed ahead and took point guard, and played a challenge on my Flute-Staff to get their attention while they got organized and helped.
Meanwhile poor Nightingale gains ground and put some arrows into the Gargoyle’s tough hide. It really is a hellish beast seemingly bleeding lava. The two approach and engage. Luckily Nightingale drinks one of her potions before engaging physically making her skin glimmer. This seems to protect from the worst of the Gargoyle’s wrath. I am busy with more Rat-things that come crawling up to surround me, employing a “Reed in the Wind” maneuver that allows me to spin away from one attack to attack him and take him out. During this time Salvator brings some holy light to bare on the Gargoyle, narrowly missing Nightingale. Derick also advances and gives challenge to new combatants that have arrived saying that they were “Worthy opponents.” Their leader seems to disagree, which confuses me, do they not believe that they are worthy opponents?
There is much action and I know that I miss a lot of it. I remember looking back and seeing one of my companions about to get gored badly so I pick up a melon and bat it to him to get his attention or distract him but end up getting lucky and the melon instead covers his clawed hand that was about to gore my team mate. I hope the fruit vendor doesn’t mind the loss of his fruit. I then prepare for a second bout as a bunch of humans come out of the forest and prepare for battle. Bahiya taking the lead and asks for them to surrender instead they sue for peace for negotiation. I emphasize that Bihiya is correct and honorable as any other ranger here that peace is preferred and we will see proper justice done. The Leader states that he is not surrendering but that this will be a peaceful negotiation. Turns out that they were hunting the Childer for their control collars that they are all wearing, dead and dormant collars by the looks of it. In a way, we are allies. The important difference is that they are not doing it for the good of the people but for profit, wanting the collars. I quietly ask around to people’s homes if the new people have hurt anybody, that would certainly be a deal breaker. I ascertain that none were hurt by these humans, who all wear a red token of kinship. We agree to allow them to have 2 collars and let them go. Bahiya and I stay for a little while to help out. The Baker/cheese maker gave Bahiya some supplies for helping us, she insisted on paying for them. The Baker insisted that it was a gift for us. Knowing that it would be dishonorable to refuse a gift of the heart, I suggested that Bahiya gracious and accept the gift and give in kind to the local village as a harmony balance gesture. She seemed more than happy for my suggestion and donated it to the poor fund to the local fountain where people give coins to help others. As the Master’s would say, “Balance and Harmony, is achieved.” I ask about to see if anybody needs help or healing. We catch up with the caravan later.
It is good to see that I made a good choice to join the Rangers. They are truly out to help others. There will be much celebration in Sog when we get there. I look forward to the Gather’s music and celebration time. I am learning several new songs. I have also found out that Kassagor sings and Salvator plays stringed instruments. I look forward to collaborating with them, if they will allow.