The Lance of Marduk

Entry Eight

A Tiefling's Story

It’s been a long time since I last wrote in this thing. I was a little preoccupied the night before this. Yesterday morning we had set out to find the spy laying wait in Winterhaven. We spoke with Bear-man and then split up to speak with several suspects. Phalanx and I spoke with the smithies, a nice fellow, found out he was working on a Homunculus. Good, this town needs it, not much would stand in the way if the Gnolls grew a pair and came down from the Lake, or worse, the damn Frost Giants in the Mountains beyond. Aryawwn and Bjorn spoke with the elf; I don’t think they got far.
The wizard was also put to death that day. Bjorn cleaved his head from his shoulders. As a last respect I placed two silver coins over his eyes… only they’re silver bitch, have fun in Helför (For those who are confused that is another name for the Shadowfell).
The next morning we split up again to speak with more suspects. Aryawwn and Phalanx went to speak with the enchanter (I don’t recall his name so I will refer to him as Tim). Bjorn and I headed out to the meadows to speak with a woman who picks flowers, I wasn’t told how young she was, she is the age I was when my family was slaughtered, here’s hoping that the same fate doesn’t befall her. We must have scared the Hell out of her approaching through the long grass, just a Tiefling and the stalk of a vicious hammer visible. If that didn’t scare her the mention of undead did, the poor dear… She’s definitely not the rat. I ended up carrying the dwarf away, he was… well… being Bjorn really.
Upon our return to town the spy revealed themselves in the manner of a serial homicide and raising of the dead, including the bodies of Vairis and Mykhail. The undead were nothing for the team and I shut down the sigil, but damn that dwarf can move. I think that Bjorn actually broke the sound barrier, his feet were not visible and his cloak twisted in the air as if he were a wraith. He shot himself across the graveyard and straight into the body of the elf. I just want to say I fucking called it. She wouldn’t have survived even if she managed to kill every one of us; her wounds were far too severe.
After the battle I spoke with Aryawwn, came to learn that she had lost her lover not long ago. She blames herself; this is why she wishes to end her own life… I never could understand those who wished to take their own, is it just not the most precious thing to some? This beautiful play of chemicals bore of long bloodlines reaching eons back in time, to live in a world set in a never ending expanse of space held together by intangible forces that cannot be comprehended by any god here or out beyond. And this expands forever past more distant worlds and gods with untold names past people and stories we will never know, hear or even tell. It’s precious to me, the life of myself and those I love. If only she knew I loved her. I did my best to console her. I revealed myself to her, I haven’t told anyone before about little Aphid, I didn’t even tell Melanie about him. He was almost two years of age… Peor’s last son… it was my job to protect him… I tried… I failed… I hid… my heart ached as I heard him cry… my heart broke when he stopped. I hope Aryawwn at least understands that our past truly doesn’t matter, it can be bullshitted by six assholes sitting around a table, it’s what we do now which is most important of all, we live not for our sakes, we live for the sake of others, our friends, our family, our brothers of metal, our sisters in arms. Please don’t leave me little one… not again…
So much for that… we all got hammered that night, even Aryawwn had several drinks. They were her firsts and that was obvious, she was out cold quickly… but Bjorn fell first which was odd. Poor little one, never overdo your first, I made that same mistake on my seventieth. I laid her down in her bed, on her side of course… I tried to lift the dwarf, but collapsed… Phalanx helped us out.
In the morning we got a new comrade: Another half-elf but older and less racist than dear Aryawwn. I knew she was a magic user but I was unsure of exactly what she was… that was revealed when we entered the catacombs. There were these odd traps throughout the crypt, we were unsure of what they were. We leapt across them, I helped Bjorn by slugging him in the face teleporting him across. I very much love Bjorn, he is the most humorous of our party, and is quite a character. I heard the fall of feet, but was unsure of what it was until a massive Fox leapt towards Bjorn and me, it looked like a more built version of one of the Maned Wolves from the New World jungles, turns out it was our new comrade Sydienne (Syd) is a Druid. I was excited; these are one of the few mage classes which I truly admire.
It was Aryawwn who tripped, the screaming I couldn’t bear it… it rang through my skull, I felt as though I had descended into the infernal winds of Jahannam itself. When I came to I was alone. I could hear the sounds of combat in the halls and I rushed to aid my comrades, but I failed to notice another trap… the screaming didn’t stop this time, I heard it for the next several minutes, not until Bjorn broke the door with his hammer… I apologized to my comrades for my absence, they didn’t seem to mind.
What happened next set my heart to fire… the end of the room had a false wall, that definitely had untold numbers of undead behind it. Before we could plan Aryawwn leapt through it, not for the taste of death on her steel, but to kiss the queen herself. But she didn’t just put herself at risk she put our brothers at risk as well. Her selfishness will be her undoing much as Phalanax’s love for adrenaline and my own god damned mouth are to us. I set fire to several, accidently hitting Aryawwn as well, I came to her aid even when she asked for the Queen to claim her as if that would undo all she thinks she has done…
My mind racing I failed to draw the blood of my foes, luckily my allies had my back.
After the combat ceased, I took hold of Aryawwn’s gorget and shoved her against the wall, a look of fear rolled across her face, I could feel my eyes… I know the feeling… I didn’t have my pupils… I told her that even though I felt sorry for her, the moment she puts the lives of our brothers at stake it is no longer her problem, it is mine. I wouldn’t have her do that again, if she wants to take her life she should do it at her expense not theirs. I dropped her and my anger faded… my vision returned to normal. My face no longer sat stern… instead it was a mixture of sorrow and disappointment.
Aryawwn… I love you… why can’t you at least love yourself… would he truly accept you? Like this? Did he die for you to follow suit? Or did he die to give you second chance to cherish this beautiful world you live in… to live out your days happy… please child do not do this… it is a dark road… and hell shall follow that pale horse and the horseman which rides upon it…
I came to her again that night, I held her in my arms… dear girl I am sorry…

~Phenex Bat-Laylah

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