Journal of Cavanaugh, Shield of Abadar
Journal Entry 10
Lessons abound for those who are willing to look. We have taken once again to searching for Svetlana’s missing marital band. After waiting near the mites tree for several days, we were finally able to make contact with them. They insisted we leave their area, and were unwilling to parlay. They vehemently denied having the ring. In a rare moment of lost patience, I challenged their champion to one on one combat. Much was my surprise, then, when I found myself squaring off again a giant centipede, rather than a tiny mite. Without going into much detail, I will state simply that Abadar has offered me a lesson in humility; a lesson I will continue to contemplate for many years. Suffice is to say, without Khardram there to assist me, I would never have left that hill.
Journal Entry 11
It is over. The Stag Lord has been brought low, but the price we paid for this boon was high. Kressle offered to sneak us into the Stag Lords base of operations. Although the others worried at Kressle’s loyalty, I was adamant that she would play her part and gain us access; a feeling that was validated as our plan took effect. We entered the stronghold, and were allowed a short time to mingle with the assorted bandits before Kressle tipped her hand and made her move. The evil I sensed within her ran much deeper than I anticipated. She sold us out without a second thought. As I took a moment to process this betrayal, the bandits took action. An owlbear was almost unleashed on our party! I felt myself growing larger! As I cast a quick look at Phineas, I could see him deep in the midst of spellcasting as Malin and Khardram held off multiple bandits. I quickly pulled down the portcullis that would unleash the raging magical beast into our group, and gained myself a scratch or two in the process. It aws then that I noticed one of the bandits fighting for our cause. Arkinos, I believe. I had sensed good in him earlier… perhaps this was the edge we needed. We dispatched bandits left and right, as I did my best to hold the portcullis closed until I was finally able to deal with the counterweight. The Stag Lord, meanwhile, began peppering our party drunkenly with arrows from behind. An arrow, magical in nature, it seemed, removed Phin from the fight. Having finally dealt with the gate, I put myself between the Stag Lord and the rest of the group as Malin, Arkinos, and Khardram finished the rest of the bandits. Arrow after arrow struck me, but my divine fury pushed me onward. I finally closed the gap. Blows were traded, and suddenly Khardram, Malin, and Arkinos joined the fight. With a final swing, Malin removed the Stag Lord’s head from his body.
We quickly hid in the domicile of the former fort master, and I devised a quick plan to remove the rest of the sentries through guile. As they left, we barricade the fort. We searched out many treasures, and tended our wounds, but there was still one issue to deal with.
Kressle… This woman, whom I thought could be redeem. Whom I thought was an ally, and who might one day see the world as I did. She had betrayed us. I was almost without words; quite the strange feeling for me. I asked her, my voice slightly more than a gasp…“why?” She replied only with “I cannot change who I am, nor can you change me..”
In a combination of shock, disgust, and confusion, I left Kressle’s fate to the rest of our group. My feelings had compromised my ability to plan and lead, and I was not feeling fit to decide her fate. As I strode the walls, I heard a single sword stroke…
This was a week of lessons. I will not sacrifice my outlook on humanity. I will maintain that we choose our fates through our actions daily. My faith is shaken, but I will accept these lessons from Abadar, and grow stronger for it.
Now begins the building…