My old friend Faldal has certainly gotten us into a pickle this time…As I sit here, alone, in our three story structure that Anando secured for us in Nivitka’s Crossing, I can’t help but think his course of action should have been more discussed with the group. Granted, I am certain that discussion would have turned into a never ending sword measuring competition, so perhaps there is something to be said for his prompt decision making in the face of the unknown.
I’ve been running these facts over and over again in my head all day. A city has everyone vanish randomly…nobody can reach them…messengers aren’t returning…I can’t help but worry that this situation will not be a simple scouting mission. I fear the danger that awaits. I hope our new brothers in arms are capable of handling such a serious threat. Brother Gordon showcased some fine healing ability for sure after our battle with those two giant creatures of the forest. And Darpan agility and fist fighting appears to be second to none; however, my instincts tell me that this situation requires a lot more than raw ability. My instincts tell me that there is still some unknown variable at play that we know little or nothing about.
There has been talk about the Centaurs. That these Centaurs stick together and that they are very territorial. Who is to say that these Centaurs had no impact on what happened. Then, of course, there is the outside political forces that could have played an interest. We know only of our neighbors to the North and East…What about the South? Who call south of our borders home? Did all of our expansion spook them; could our kingdom suffer the same fate as these poor souls sooner rather than later? This is but another reason to be expeditious in our search for answers.
Or worst yet…if not Minotaur, if not political adversary, could it be possible, that something from another realm, or a magical beast, or something unexplainable had a hand? For ALL of these people to vanish without a trace, certainly something magical or otherworldly could have had a hand. It is all these questions and thoughts that have been racing through my mind all day.
And if that wasn’t enough, I have to ask myself why Faldal is behaving the way he is…we have just taken on two religious and serious men of faith…It didn’t appear that had any interest in imbibing and it seems they are all business. Don’t get me wrong, nobody enjoys a fine wine as much as I, but in matters of business and diplomacy there is no room for jest. I would think that after years of serving the high council, we would all have a mutual understanding of this fact.
And if the drunken debauchery and borderline peer pressure wasn’t enough to sour the taste in our new friends mouths, I am confident that Faldal’s deception of the city guards would be enough to turn any pure mans stomach. Even Zuri was turned off by this act and was quick to approach his fellow Sheriff with greetings and tidings.
I understand Faldal’s concerns and why he did what he did, however, I think now that we have a duty to a nation, we need to be more careful in how we handle things. This could have serious ramifications diplomatically if they find out we deceived them. They will undoubtedly question our desires and intents; no doubt we would simply come clean about the disappearances, however, what is to stop them from thinking WE are responsible for said disappearances. We have been expanding at a RAPID pace, and if we have now lied to get ourselves inside their walls, isn’t this a reasonable conclusion for any leader to deduce?
And I trust Zuri had no choice but to approach the Sheriff if he was recognized, but if he was not, his loyalties should lie to the group, even if Faldal was in the wrong. Family first, that’s always been my motto. Was it born out of the fact that my father abandoned me and my adopted family treated me as if one of their own and loved me unconditionally…maybe. But if you don’t have peoples back who have yours, what else could you possibly have? Right then wasn’t the time to show annoyance with Faldal or cripple his ruse with introductions…I kept my head down and kept to myself once his charade had begun…because he is my fellow councilmen, my friend and most importantly my family. However, when this is over, the council needs to convene to discuss future order of command for decisions such as this. We can’t have any member just speaking up in diplomatic situations and then the rest of us back peddling or angry or resentful…it just can’t work that way.
And the icing on this proverbial kobold droppings cake is the fact that we have gathered no intel or clues or leads on the missing brother we seek to find OR the empty fort we passed through. It appeared as though Zuri was interrogating a young half elf female, but he hardly seemed interested in the conversation. He seemed preoccupied with his own thoughts and the girl didn’t have the desire or inclination to stick around and spoon feed him what he sought. I hope she wasn’t a person of important – you never know what Zuri can find out from his contacts…nothing that man ever does is by accident, so I have a feeling she was someone of import.
I guess at the end of the day, the one positive we can take away from all of this is the fact that we fought together beautifully as a cohesive unit. I hope our poor decision making later in the day doesn’t reflect poorly to Darpan or Brother Gordon. I felt inclined to pull up a seat and reassure our new friends that it was a bad day and we are normally more on our game. Also, I advised Brother Gordon to not hold the drink against Faldal, that he has a heart of gold and would give you the shirt off his back. And isn’t that truly what most of the various god’s judge us by? Who am I to say…I am a bastard of nobility who isn’t even sure what god to believe in. The god of unwanted children…the god of gold and reputation – what man would put gold and titles above his own sons…apparently my father would…pitiful man. I may have had too much ale myself, I find this to be one of those bitter nights I have at my “would be” father.
As I finish writing this, I have to smile at the site of Faldal attempting to convince patrons to go and seek out our comrades for us (Az has a big grin and chuckles)…imagine this very serious, (laughs), very drunk dwarf, staring you straight in the eyes, well, as straight as he could at that point (laughing)…just staring right through you and pleading with you to do his bidding for free beer…hahaha…I thought it would never work and once again he proved me the fool…”Az, there is al(hiccup), always someone willing to do a little work for a little bit of al(hiccup), ale.”