I did it, Greminor you crazy genius! I have kept my promise, as far as is required of me! The morning after the fight I gathered CrIsis together and explained to them my promise to you. They agreed, and vowed upon their gods to help me keep my promise. Gavin asked for personal items, so that he could track us if something were to happen. I handed him one of my throwing knives.
If the previous month on the seas were boiled down, like trulac leaves boiled into the concentrated trulac arrow poison, it would probably have equaled one hour. The following month wouldn’t have reduced to less than five hours. It was attack after attack, (Which reminds me! I need to get another javelin) storms, reefs, waves and cracks. Peri was fierce, and fought like the proud bird-of-prey she is, as did the rest of us, but the month was so heavy that we barely made it through alive. A day before we got into port, we passed a wreck we hoped didn’t foreshadow our future. We limped into a port in the Wolfen Empire called Iron Sea. They are renowned for their boat making skills, but their facilities weren’t made to handle ships the size of our proud vessel. They did what they could, though.
Iron Sea reminded me of Havea, though it wasn’t the people as much as it was the guttural tongue with liberal whining and growls that I recognized as Wolfen. I almost expected to hear, ‘Faerie-blood! Get over here, you weakling…’ and see that familiar scar-sculpted face around the next corner.
I had been distrustful of Ferrel’s altered mind from the moment I ran into him. Addicts don’t have control of themselves while in the throes of withdrawal. Most use that as an excuse for anything that happens while intoxicated, but that’s like walking into a crowd swinging a sword while blindfolded. You weren’t trying to maim hundreds; you WERE blindfolded, after all. The point is YOU made the CHOICE to ‘lose control.’ You knew it would happen, and that any number of unspeakable acts could be done at your hands. My forgiveness is – always – withheld when it comes to addicts.
Now, I should say that I trust Ferrel himself, when he is in control of his faculties. He was chosen by the ‘Gods’ to fight at our sides, and I trust these deities are jealous enough that if one were to dissent in their ranks, they would… deal with the problem. Ferrel’s judgment in past battles has been good, if a bit reckless. He’s earned a place by my side in the war ahead, both by my judgment and the judgment of my… God. But he’s been showing signs of someone in the throes of the Gra’Ngica, which I have seen often in warriors addicted to the trulac leaf.
I decided to follow him, and I am glad I did. When we reached port, he walked up to Karma, played a tune, and they left together to ‘see the sights.’ I slipped off into the crowds around the docks, not an easy feat for a Danzi to get lost in the midst of Wolfen but I pulled it off, somehow. I trailed them as they went from person to person, asking directions and trying to find something. I wasn’t close enough to hear it in the beginning, when Ferrel was talking to Karma more, but by the time I was able to catch a word or two of what they were saying, Karma was asking on her own in Wolfen.
Eventually the search landed us on the outskirts, near a ransacked-looking shack. They knocked, and after an exchange were ushered in by a shifty-eyed Wolf. I snuck up to one of the windows and watched as Karma bartered with the dog. It broke out into a fight, and Karma almost killed the scum. She gave her own money for a small sack, after he surrendered. I prepared myself, and placed myself outside the door, ready to strike. They opened the door, and I pinned Ferrel to the house with my sword. Karma lunged for me, as if not recognizing me, and I dodged. I activated my Soul Touch tattoo, hoping it would break through the fog of the Gra’Ngica. When I was the scout leader, I would have to pull some of my warriors back from the brink, and the Soul Touch would rip them out of it, but for someone that is this far gone…
Luckily he blinked at me, and his eyes got a spark of sentience. I asked him to call Karma off, and release her from his spell. She woke up, with a bloody lance in hand, and me with a sword to Ferrel’s neck. I understand how confused she was. We made our way back to the docks, where the rest of the group was summoned. We confronted the song mage, and Tyvernos was forced to cast a cloud of slumber over us all. My Danzi resistance to magic protected me, but there were others of my group that weren’t so lucky. We tied Ferrel up, and gagged him. At that point, as I was admiring my beautiful knots and loops, the Paladin decided to search for his drugs. After not finding them they undid my work to do a more thorough search. We found them – I won’t say where – and I hurriedly retied the ropes binding him with mere moments to spare before he woke up.
I can’t believe that I didn’t think of where we were before we stripped him. We should have brought him to the hotel, or to a dark corner, or SOMEWHERE before that, instead of in the middle of the docks with dozens of Wolfen around. We moved to our hotel room when we realized our error. While there, Cava reminded us that my… God, Horus, was the guardian over the month of Gryphon. I said my ‘prayer’ to Horus, asking for assistance in the issue.
“Horus, Great father.
Ferrel is going through difficulties of his own choosing, but due to it CrIsis is on the brink of a schism. Come to us, as these adventurers are now part of my family, and your promise envelops them as well. I have risked limb and life time and again. I serve you faithfully. Is there nothing you can do?”
The group asked our ship’s guardian, Sir Quixis, to pray on our behalf as he worships Horus. I was fine with this, as my devotion entails less faith than Quixis. In other words, it would help Quixis much more to have his personal prayer answered than it would me. We then sang Ra’s Hymn, why I am not sure, as we were trying to summon Horus.
Horus appeared before us, no longer weakened and wounded from battle, back to that magnificent being that appeared to me so long ago. I have taken on a personal habit of doing as a faithful follower would do, if not in spirit it is the motion. No matter the feeling behind it, much of what I say and do is taken as fealty to these (CENSORED phrase, the Gods are Great). So I lay prostrate before my God, Horus. He nodded to me, acknowledging the effort, and I got back up.
He walked up to Ferrel, who immediately perked up. No longer heaving in pain and fatigue, he looked like he had slept all night. Horus and Ferrel sat there, staring into each others’ eyes, transfixed. After a few minutes, Horus addressed himself to us. ‘It is a blessing and a curse, to be a sphinx; you search out knowledge at all costs. Sometimes the cost catches up to you. Remember that with Ferrel you have done well, but that everyone has their faults. He is like a sphinx in many ways, and was chosen to serve with you. Accept him and his faults.’
With that, he left. A long discussion ensued, in which I suggested we try to wean our song mage off the substance; it is something I have learned over the years, getting warriors off of trulac leaves. I bought the drugs off of Karma, as she was the one that ultimately purchased them, but I ended up giving the drugs back to Ferrel, as the group wasn’t behind me in my plan. There was talk of ‘a memory’ that the psymage took it, and promised to give it back. I wasn’t clear on what exactly transpired, but I fear this whole mess will happen yet again.
>>As written by Drauka, in the language of the Danzi, translated by Thoth. The fourth log of Drauka, Mercenary Danzi Warrior, Written on Majestic 6 in Drauka’s 105th year.<<
Picture thanks to Fotosearch.