After the moment of meditation and reflection at my mother’s grave, I knew that I had to travel away from here. However, I knew it would not be possible for me to do it on my own. So I traveled back into the village, where I had been born and raised, for the first time in months.
It was the rain that forced me into the tavern, or should I say, it was Nature Herself giving me a nudge in that direction. I never was one to feast on fermented drinks, but I knew they wouldn’t let me sit inside for free, so I ordered a mug of ale and sat, biding my time. I surveyed the other patrons, looking for one who might help me get off this rock. My eyes were drawn instantly to the large figure seated in the corner. He was an orc, and a warrior judging by his huge battleaxe, and I could see he was a traveler.
I slumped in my chair, giving slight looks to the others in the room. It suddenly seemed like such a big task. I didn’t know how to approach any of these people, to even inquire about a partnership, nor could I come up with a reasonable explanation for why I wanted to leave. Why I needed to leave. As I sat there, feeling sorry for myself, I heard a loud commotion at the door.
Apparently the storm had gotten increasingly worse, as I noticed the serving woman trying to shut the door behind the new arrival. The orc politely helped her, and then she dispersed, the orc returned to his seat, and the new figure stepped to the bar.
Pulling back his hood, his long flowing hair and pointed ears betrayed his elven heritage. He began to play a song, and sang some bright words along with it. I could feel myself filled with warmth by his words. Warmth and hope. After his song he addressed the crowd, and began to speak about seeking companions to help him travel off of this island. I couldn’t believe my luck, and watched as the orc stood and rushed to join this man. I too stood by him. I could not yet trust the creature, but it seemed that fate had arranged this course of events to transpire. We were soon joined by a human as well, a ranger from a small fishing village. Then a curious fellow in the far corner called the elf away, for a private chat. After some hurried introductions, the elf returned with him, and the five of us were on our way.
We walked straight through the night, excited to get on with our adventure at once. When we reached the southern coast, the elf informed us that we would need to take a boat to a small island a short ways off shore. It was at this point that I noticed him speaking into a bag, the words too quiet to hear. I let it slide for now, but kept an eye on him. We found a small fishing village nearby, and the over-generous elf convinced one of the men to give us a ride to the island, for a very large fee.
The waters were quite rough, and being as it was my first time on the water, I got quite ill. However, apart from some stomach discomfort, we encountered no other troubles on the way to the island. When we touched down on shore, the orc volunteered to search the nearby area while the rest of us relaxed a little. He seemed quite eager to do it. In fact, he seems quite eager about the whole adventure. He keeps talking about how he has to travel west, but doesn’t say why. I do not think he even knows why.
One of the others must have noticed the elf talking to his bag as well, for at this point he confronted him on it. I spoke up too, wanting to know the elf’s secret. He showed us that the bag contained a glowing orb, an orb which he claims houses a soul. Such an unnatural device makes me shutter. To think of someone’s soul being trapped in an object, instead of being allowed to return to the earth and be born again. At this point I began to distrust the elf, and wondered if I had been foolish to follow him here. For all we knew he could be leading us into some sort of trap.
I put it aside for now. All I could do was wait and see how things played out. As it stood I had no way of getting back to shore, and so I was dependent on the elf. We followed him south, until we reached a cave. I wanted to stop and take time to study the plants along the way, but I knew there wasn’t time for it. It descended gradually, into murky darkness. After a while it opened up into a room, and someone shouted that they had seen something scurry across the ceiling. Pulling my sling from my belt, I looked up and saw two large spider-like creatures – hideous things which filled my stomach with bile. They spoke to us using the voice of a female human, only further suggesting they were not natural arachnids.
A long and hard battle ensued, with each of us launching missile weapons at the spiders on the upper ledge. They retreated to where we couldn’t see them, so we each moved closer, the orc actually climbing the ladder carved into the rock wall to get beside one of the spiders. Naturally, the spider he attacked focused on him, while the other used its incredible reach to deal damage to the human ranger. As the battle progressed, the human was suffering a great deal of damage from the blows inflicted by the spider. I rushed to him and used a spell to heal him, before he could be taken out of the battle. Only a short while after this, however I saw a horrendous sight from the corner of my eye. The other spider hit the orc with both his spear-like fangs, pinning him to the ground, and doing so much damage that the orc fell limp. I had no more healing spells prepared, and wondered if we’d be able to survive this encounter without his heavy muscle. Luckily the spiders had taken a lot of damage themselves, and after only a couple more attacks, we had defeated them.
As soon as the battle ended I ran to the orc’s side and did my best to heal him, stopping his wounds from bleeding and making sure his breathing evened out. He had selflessly rushed into this battle, putting his own life at risk. It seems he is an extremely loyal person, and I hold a great respect for him.
Unfortunately, we couldn’t bring him around, and so the four of us had to carry his cumbersome body through the rest of the cave, until we reached an underground grotto that contained the ship the elf had spoken of. The elf used some key he had on the controls of the ship, and all of a sudden the anchor lifted, the sails dropped, and we began to move back out toward the sea, as if by magic.
Our journey is beginning, and now we are on our way. I have yet to form opinions about the rest of the group. I am forced to give the elf some leeway, as everything he’s promised so far has come true. He not only has gotten us off of the island, but he was able to discern the location of the last remaining ship. The human is the one I feel the best about. Perhaps it is because I myself am half-human, but more likely it is his ties to nature. I have a feeling that he devotes his entire life to it, much as I do. I also have good feelings about the orc. As I said, he is very loyal, and seems to care more about the group than himself, even though he has only known each of us less than a day. The fifth member of our party, I have formed know opinions on. I know little about him. I cannot even discern his race. He appears human, but there is something else underlying it. This reminds me, I need to start referring to my companions by their names, and not their races. I have been away from society for far too long.