Dear gods. I’ve seen death before, but not like that. Not on my hands. Not of wounds that I was meant to heal. A closer friend, yes, but not my charge, not under my direction. The rogue wasn’t, it wasn’t my direction, he followed his own plans, joined of his own volition… didn’t we all? But there were none above. Trestin and I knew what we were getting into, or really we didn’t know, but we chose it. He died following their plan, the same plan I followed, so the blame was off my hands. Was it? They were the ones who orchestrated it, the ones to admit fault, not me. Here… no one else may answer to it. The rogue fell on my quest. My prayers are filled with repentance, and I shall not forget that small sir.
That was real combat, nothing like a hypothetical training environment, nothing like the choreographed advances of an army. Motions are not predetermined responses. Actions are fluid. The opponent is unpredictable. The allies are unpredictable. Most of all, the stakes are real and tangible. Too tangible…
We notified Bjorn; Mykhail shall be the last of his bloodline. Bjorn shall join us to avenge the halfling’s death. Burial rites were succinct and less than formal.
To business: Winterhaven is an underwhelming town. Within the city, there was very little of note or help. Overworked guards simply stood watch over daily happenings, otherwise oblivious. The one notable citizen I did meet seemed reluctant to communicate, though somewhat relieved to hear that the cult was indeed under investigation. She identified a nearby waterfall as an area of interest, but seemed eager to end the conversation shortly after. Pity Bjorn couldn’t have been a beautiful creature the likes of her.