Heirs to the Silver General

From the pages of Piotyr's diary

Our last excursion has left me feeling a little uneasy. It will help to write this nonsense out.

Golshan wanted our help in stealing back a magical banner or something from Firuz. Apparently something had gone wrong in her attempts to marry off his “special” son so she ended up jobless and down one magical item. Stealing from him wasn’t a hard decision, I’m not particularly fond of Firuz. As long as we give at least some of the loot to the poor, I’m okay with it. Maybe I can get Marit to donate some cheese to an orphanage.

We headed out at night and Golshan led us through streets and dark alleys to what looked like a bricked up passage. It was decided that Natsuko and I would be the ones to knock it down. We both swung at the same time – she broke through the wall, while my swing barely cracked a brick! I tried to play it off as a practice swing but I don’t think anybody bought it. I should really practice with a war hammer or something. I dashed through the opening first, rather brazenly, in hopes that I could leave my shame behind. It didn’t do much good, the passage was pitch black so I had to come back out and let the elves lead. Possibly the least graceful thing I’ve done since I tried to negotiate with that kobold.

During the tedious and boring trip through the dark passage, Natsuko started teasing Aino and Tia about their friendship yet again. I get the distinct feeling that I’m missing some in-joke or something but I don’t want to play the fool and ask. Besides, it’s nice that they’ve become so close. When they get married off to nice, respectable noblemen and have families of their own they will be grateful for such a friendship.

We wound our way through that dark passage until we emerged into what looked like a dungeon. Golshan pointed us in the right direction and off we went, down the torch lit tunnels.

We came upon a prisoner chained to the wall and, despite my protestations, Aino gave the prisoner one of her sleeping potions. Soon after the prisoner had drunk the potion, they started to convulse and froth at the mouth and I think death followed after that. Gods bless that girl for trying to help but if anyone ever tries to drink one of Aino’s potions I will slap it out of their hand.

We continued on and, despite having to dodge a guard and disarm some traps, most of the path to our goal was uneventful. That is, until we came to the final chamber – there was a massive beast protecting our quarry. We started as we usually do with the swinging of swords and slinging of spells. 7 on 1, what could go wrong?

After I got in a failed swing or two and the others did their best, I was able to work my way around to the beasts blind side. I brought my blade down hard into the ugly thing and felt that satisfying sensation of blade cracking bone. I may have admired my swing a little too much, though. The beast turned its attention to me and I was in a terrible position after such an attack. With surprising speed it closed its jaws around my right thigh and for the second time that fight I felt bone crack. The beast flicked its jaws and threw me aside like a dog would a discarded toy.

My memory starts to get patchy at this point. I know there was a lot of blood and I remember someone screaming. The pain was horrible and I think I blacked out from it. Or perhaps it was the blood loss? Regardless, before losing consciousness I thought about the curse that father put on me. I thought about dying and rising again in undeath or passing to the afterlife and the loving arms of my god. Whatever happened, I was prepared for it.

But it was so uneventful. There was no bright light or heavenly choir. There were no necromantic horrors. Even though I was unconscious, it somehow feels as if it was a lonely experience. Where can I find the divine, if not at the borders of death?

I woke up shortly after the battle had finished with some healing from Marit. The beast had been felled, apparently by Natsuko and Sterling. What a wonderful sight to wake to, my siblings victorious and already sizing up the bounty. Perhaps I should spend less time ruminating on death and more time with my siblings. As long as they don’t make me drink any homemade potions.

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