Unseen forces coalesce around the mind of Greylander Orcum, permeating his dreams and turning visions of idle study into violent portents. Does Faerun itself grow restless for times of war? Is the imminent devastation worth its ability to create heroes from obscurity?
I must hurry to record the day’s events, as our resting period will no doubt be brief. Even now, I can sense Trask’s impatience at our delay. I wonder if he would be confronting the dragon now if not for his grievous wounds.
I must go back, however, to the beginning. The day had been utterly wasted in terms of finding my lost tome. Varth said he saw one of the guests exit from my room, and I believed him. But it was of no use. The thief’s trail had gone cold, despite my spell to track him. Accepting my day as wasted, I returned to the main path with an air of resignation. That was when I met the first one.
I heard footsteps behind me, moving with speed. I must confess that I was about to cast a spell on myself out of fear of brigands, when an exotic -looking monk passed me be. She was moving with purpose, and had her eyes fixed on the village. Normally, I am not hungry for gossip, but it was clear from her demeanor that she lead a more interesting life than my fellow innkeepers and patrons. I asked her what her business was in the area.
She responded tersely, something about being on a mission and the dragon clan. Hearing these last words, I decided instantaneously to ask her for permission to accompany her on her quest. I told her of my desire to learn more of them, to leave the doldrums of Greenest, and to use my store of arcane knowledge for some practical purpose. This may have been my first impulsive move in a lifetime, which unsettles me…
She took a moment to give me an appraising look. I think in this time she was deciding whether or not my “curiosity” was an innocent one (a question to which I have no answer). I felt tense again, wondering if my life hung in the balance. She didn’t appear to be from a peaceful order. Then she assented to my company. Her name is Andraste.
As my relief was sinking in, we were overtaken by more travelers with a similar purpose. A barbarian, Trask, and a cleric, Sulion almost gravitated towards our small party. They spoke of their desire for adventure and to defend the realm against the cult of the dragon. We quickly reached a mutual understanding that we could aid each other, despite our awkward differences in background and appearance.
Then we reached the town. Smoke towered above us, signalling the likely death of my possessions and the utter bedlam that lay ahead of us. Towards the center loomed what appeared to be a great wyrm, circling ominously as people sprinted in every direction. We were swallowed by the fray, forced to react with every arcane, divine, and martial resource we could call upon.
My companions proved to be intrepid. We decimated scores of kobolds and cultists, who fell victim to the axe, the fist, the beam, the arrow, the fury of a mutual purpose and the frenzy that comes when you’ve seen yet another home destroyed by the senseless, insatiable need for conquest. Even in our rage, though, we knew to avoid the dragon’s surveillance. We reached a sheltered checkpoint, where I now log the most hectic day of my existence.
I wonder at the purpose of the cultists, and why I’ve found their order strangely alluring. Up close, the zeal in their eyes betrays their lack of autonomy. They seem slaves. Hypnotized by some higher calling, however ignoble. But I digress. Such musings will only serve to distract time I must use to refocus on my spells.
As I write, the ultimate purpose of my studies becomes increasingly apparent. Such knowledge, however beautiful, cannot be isolated. The arcane truth must be tested, applied, and carried into reality if it is to have a life of its own. I do not know the future of our party, nor our chances of success against such hordes. I do know, however, the power my magic holds and its ability to defend others. To this ability I must dedicate myself, and trust that my newfound companions share my aims. I am swept up in the river, likely for good this time…