New Directions (flash story)

A continuation of the journals of Karamus, my dnd character from long ago. This story marks the beginning of a new adventure after his adventures in a plane of specialized hell. As before, these are merely written for fun. Enjoy.


The old rogue leaned over and picked up the book he had thrown at his son earlier and settled back down into his chair. With all of the children gone, he finally had some peace and quiet. With idle curiosity, he opened the book to see what was inside. He began to read over some old passages he had written after the journey to the planes. He remembered seeing the book at the market at Sasserine and thought it a good idea at the time to write a few thoughts within its pages for such a time that he couldn’t remember the minor details of the adventuring days. “Damn paladins. Damn dwarves.” He muttered and looked out the window near his chair, “I will have my revenge Durvek. I am a patient man.” With his anger abated, the cansin looked down to the book and began to read.

“Where are we Bransen? Does anyone recognize this place?” asked Jarvyk as he scanned the horizon to find a city a short distance away and a beach. Most of the group shook their heads except Ashton, who acknowledged the location. “Sasserine!” he exclaimed.

Kort looked over the city for several moments and then looked to the necromancer “You recognize this place?” I was confused myself on what he said. I must have had sand in my ears. I thought he’d said “sass Irene” which I admit didn’t make sense at the time.

“Ashton, aren’t you from here?” asked Jarvyk. Somberly the mage nodded, “Yes, this is home. We can go there to stay for now.”

The late spring breeze off of the sea felt great against my face. Of course, anything mildly refreshing would seem as a paradise compared to the oppressing landscape and “weather” of Occipitus. As we approached, the approach to the city was easy to make and just as easy to walk through. It was pleasant to see a prime city again after our last adventure and I must admit, prime women are just as beautiful. The estate of Ashton’s was a large, expensive place and I must make a note to visit this place in the future. Upon entering, Ashton mentioned it was his family’s estate, though no servants came to great us nor carry our belongings. Clearly the estate has fallen to the side. I wonder where the master of the estate is?

Everyone made their way to their own rooms to unload their packs and belongings after the weeks of travel. It was nice to have the burden off my shoulders. As we gathered back in the main room, Jarvyk suggested we hit the market place which I readily agreed to, as well as Bransen. I was famished for real food and a real merchant to haggle with. I would have been more pleasant to go alone, alas, I think the group may suspect something so I should probably lay low for awhile to throw off any suspicion.

The boat trip to the market place was decent, though the birds where a bit out of control. With our loot bags in tow, we spent the better part of the day haggling prices with merchants. Overall, Bransen does make a good haggler, even with his simple ways. While in the market, Jarvyk brought up the topic of help Ashton look for his missing father, another necromancer. I didn’t know they ran in packs, I always thought of them as loner types… well, minus the undead of course. Can’t count them for company these days, so little intelligence in today’s undead. What is the world coming to? Anyways, I offered to help ‘cause where there are mages, there is money, ‘cause spells just don’t create themselves, you know. Unless your Bransen. Sodding cleric in denial.

As we spoke the details, a rather odd elf stepped into my conversation. He mentioned that he was looking for his mentor, a half-elf (problem number one) with grey hair (problem number two) wearing a bow and leathers (problem number three). For an elf, he was really… chipper, like he stood out in an ice box for longer than was necessary. Uncommonly for an elf, well, at least the elves that I know, he assumed I was already interested in helping him. I was unsure about the whole thing until he mentioned buying breakfast at a nearby tavern. I was sold on the idea and let Bransen finish up the shopping so I could steal this man’s money… er, eat breakfast.

The food was good, the conversation was boring, and I had to break the poor man’s heart with the fact that I would charge him for my services. Why would he think I would work for free? Charity? Me? Who does he think I am? Bransen? Sheesh. Anyways, we came in an agreement that he and another guy would meet the company to help us if we would help them in return. It sounded like a decent idea because where they go, dead creatures and money are sure to follow. As well as trouble, but we won’t get into that.

The company meeting was more of the usual. Kort crying, Bransen daydreaming, Jarvyk evangelizing and Ashton… well… doing something anyways. We agreed that since we had no leads to follow up on Ashton’s missing father that we would head back to Cauldron, which was about a week or two away. There was a quick suggestion about moving operations to Sasserine, which I immediately voiced against. I can’t leave my business unattended after all. We made plans to get everything ready to go when Kort voiced his thought of stepping down as captain. I personally didn’t care if he did or didn’t, we normally don’t listen to him anyway unless he’s asking us to push him into a column of hellish fire. I think he decided to continue to be captain, but I kind of lost interest as I started thinking about Cauldron and my people that got left behind. It would be a shame if the city was engulfed in full war or something equally disastrous. Bad for business unless your into weapon dealing… hmm, now there an interesting idea…

The old cansin set his book down on his lap and leaned back into his chair. He turned his head to look out the window where he could see his children playing out in front of the house, carefree and innocent, much like the town of Pearlglen. They never deserved the devastation they received but the gods picked them anyhow. With a shrug and a sigh he reopened the journal and flipped over several pages of notes and thoughts until he got to the entry about the company’s pending departure from the city.

“It was a knock at the door that through me out of my reverie. I lazily looked over at the door and mentioned that the two I had met earlier where suppose to be dropping by to talk business to the rest of the company. And so, the talking began, everyone getting a handle and feel for the newcomers, Katie and Greysmoke. Kort, in his usual bravado wanted the two tested to show what they could provide to the company should trouble find us. Then again, I don’t think it needs to go looking, it pretty much knows where we are on a daily basis. It turns out the elf is an archer! Wow, I never would have guessed. And he can cast spells! Surprised my liver right out of me. The other guy, Greytool apparently is another magician of the mental variety with a floating, talking crystal. I’ve seen odder, like the sodding paladin’s talking sword. Alas, I was unimpressed with their showmanship but the group was impressed enough. Not that it’s hard or anything, especially wonder boy farmer Bransen.

It was agreed, apparently, that we would head to Pearlglen in search of Cassidy’s mentor, another mage and archer. Color me shocked. The town was rescued some years back by a flying snake with feathers posing as an angel of sorts. They were so impressed with the poser that they made a statue in honor of him. I could only hope to be so lucky. It would be a two day trip to the town, hopefully only a couple of hours to find the elf so we can get onto more important matters.

Extortion at its finest. Civic projects, memorial tombs, call it what you like, it’s getting money out of everyone so you can get what you want. Sure the public gets a nice little keepsake to awe over while you skim 20% off the top. When the company arrived in Pearlglen, I was astonished by how blunt the town was about the civic project. Sure, a pint here, a pint there but everything? I know assassins with more leniency then these people. They say people having been giving this town a wide berth, I say it’s because of the prices. Sheesh.

Anyhow, our arrival in town was with its usual bravado and the first stop was the local temple to Pelor to get the skinny on what was going on. We were greeted by a zombie of a man who had his brain box liquored up with magic. Bransen made quick work of that small problem and viola, new priest, same clothing. Apparently the head priest was out of town talking with the feathered lizard but that was odd for her (I can’t say that surprises me. How many people talk to feathered lizards?). He suggested we talk to the Chief Warden to get more information and let him know about the drunk minded priest. The guards at the blockhouse said that the Chief was out and that they didn’t want any help. An obvious brush off but I was willing to explore other avenues when Cat Tails went storming back into the blockhouse to demand answers. This began a comedy of errors which gave me a chuckle as the elf came running out for fear of his pansy life. There was like, two guards and he wants to help us?

The suggestion came up that we should look into the site where the former warden had been attacked. Now this was at a graveyard and frankly, the whole place crept me out and then the gnome showed up. Now Halflings I can deal, but gnomes? Creepy little buggers. To boot, he introduced himself as the new warden. Great. So the group talked with him about the current events and he said he would go talk to the feathered lizard for us to see what could be done and if there was any information on the elf’s mentor. I tried to follow him after he left but like I said, he’s creepy and fast. I lost him in the forest.

The next day we sat for half the day waiting for the creepy gnome to show up. I was about to start up a game of dice when the group announced that they were tired of waiting and elected the rest of us to go out to the temple ourselves. Since I was bored to tears, I readily agreed to go. The walk to the temple was scenic and forested, rather nice I would say if I were a druid but I’m not so bleh. As we traveled we came upon three massive sized bears. Who lets these things get so big? I mean really. Is it truly necessary? We started to debate how to deal with the bears when I heard the faint sounds of someone casting a spell off to our left. I was about to say “Someone is here,” when the dead-wannabe necro threw a fireball at the bears. Sigh, I guess we are fighting. Fighting bears.

To the cage with that. I decided to go after the spellcaster that was hidden in the trees while dodging bear teeth and claws. Apparently Greyjacket had the same idea and guess who was sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g his pet wolf? The sodding gnome. He started to pin me down with arrows and then bolted when flying puke man got to close. They chased like school girls until the gnome suddenly just fell over holding his head. Looking back to the rest of the group, the bears had been slain. I looked at myself, my weapons still sheathed and I wondered why I didn’t just break out a bottle of wine and watch. I would have been just as effective.

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