Thursday, November 18, 2010

Caterwail's Diary - offset

Adventurer's Journal of Caterwail - Day 1

Let me preface that I am quite sure that my memoirs will be edited for posterity's sake (to preserve only the most impressive of my heroic feats), so I’ll speak bluntly here.  If any person or creature is to wander across these writings, I implore you to destroy them immediately!  I would rather have my quests (and inevitably heroic death) told by future cultured storytellers than some seedy tell-all.

Last night may not have been the best night to indulge in the local ales.  I awoke with such a throbbing in my head that I became alarmed that I may be under some sort of psychic attack; and with an ache in my back unlike any elf has felt before me.  I immediately vowed to purchase a bedroll to offset such discomfort.  But first thing was first; as half of the day was already wasted in tending to my sore skull, I was to proceed to the venue hosting Thorbadon Entwhistle the Fifth, the most extraordinary bard I’ve ever laid ears on!

Whilst in my clerical training my kingdom had been frequented by many bards and storytellers, but none all had left me wanting… all except for those reciting the songs of the Entwhistle family!  Only those songs had truly captured my isolation, truly embodied my malaise.

Unfortunately, he did not appear as immediately as I had hoped, so I set to the bottle once again.  Midway through the tavern’s only Chianti, my ears lit up with a recognizable anthem, but performed so brilliantly that I couldn’t help but weep and throw myself into the brotherly embrace of an overweight and over-ripe human shepherd.  When I had regained my senses, I worked my way through the throng of admirers and stood before the man himself… and my jaw dropped in awe!  I had no idea until now that the songsmith I had admired so greatly was a Halfling!  This revelation had quite the opposite effect than you might think…  To conquer such a deficiency in height and still carry yourself like a king is an admirable feat!  What a voice to come out of so small a frame!  This must truly be a man who knows my hardships, and together we can overcome all obstacles.

I introduced myself as humbly as possible, and realized only too late that he had been mid-conversation with a rather average looking human woman ( I later came to find that she was of some import to the locals).  “Dear God” I thought, “I hope I am not cod-blocking the finest talent to have graced the placard of Three Steers Inn”!  Alas, not only did he not seem to mind the interruption, but the pedestrian human female was in the midst of offering payment for a rather modest venture!  Feeling the hand of fate on my shoulder, I could not help but except the task on Sir Entwhistle’s behalf and hope that he would allow me to become his muse, and my adventures be fodder for his tales.

It was then that the Rat scurried towards us.

Truthfully, it was not a rat but a Gnome, but my scream had already lit up the tavern.  With a ghoulish voice the Gnome announced itself as Gjorn, and proceeded to pester us into revealing the nature of our assigned quest.  On the desciption of the mission (missing humans, or something of the like), Gjorn’s eyes seemed to light up with an odd hunger!  To my surprise, Sir Entwhistle promptly vouched for this despicable Gnome and accepted him into our troop.  Seeing that I would need to be the pragmatic one here, I of course demanded that all reasonable expenses be paid (including bedroll and torches) on top of the 200 gold promised for the return of… I actually can’t quite remember, but assume that one of my two new teammates have gathered.
The last addition to our posse, as imposed by the human woman strangely book ended by large shifty men, was a gray slab of a human.  He was supposed to be a tracker of some sort, but I honestly couldn’t see him tracking anything beyond his misplaced tankard of ale… speaking of which, I had the good sense to purchase a skin of wine before setting out on this new quest.

Our nearly inanimate human guide lead the three of us to the edge of the small town, to the field were their young had been tending to a flock of sheep, and we were to track down one or the other of them, and either return them or kill them for having run away… I wasn’t quite sure.  What was immediately apparent though, was that the human tracker thought he could better interpret the disturbed ground than I could with my pure Elven eyes, daring to one-up me in front of the great bard!  Regrettably, the human’s out-stretched hand pointed in the direction of two grey and hairy shapes.

This is where the encounter becomes most embarrassing… in an attempt to snag the great bard’s attention I had stepped forward to vanquish the wolves with my own hand.  Regrettably, the Gnome had already cast a putrid spell which caused the wolves to slip about and become unsuitable targets for my normally keen crossbow.  Even as the wolves grew near I was unable to pierce them with my rapier, Pretentia… I assume that their hides had become infused with the oily spell and my blade slick with the grease.  Damn Gnome.

Eventually, as each of us fumbled with our slick weapons, we were able to defeat the common woodland beasts.  I only hope that Sir Entwhistle was able to see through my fumbling to my potential, and that Gjorn will be more useful as a victim in  the future, and me the hero.

1 comment:

  1. Friend elf, a wonderful retelling, but there is a mistake in your missive that needs be addressed. Now, I am not one to take undue credit when I can easily prop up someone else's stature for the sake of a song, but you will recall it was I, Thorbadon Entwhistle the Fifth who bravely greased the wolves as they turned to cause us bodily harm. My arrows also kept the wolves distracted long enough to permit you to cause the killing blow, a glorious stroke to be sure.

    Nevertheless, I believe our gnomish companion is not... quite as he appears, which is why I feel he is a perfect fit for our motley coterie!