The Adventures of Perion De La Foret & co
Trip to Tyrn- Part (II)
I think I should write this chapter in Elvish- my old partner Zarn does the same, and when asked simply replies “It’s a wizard thing.” Wizards seem to have good ideas, though they usually end up with things on fire they don’t want on fire. I had to keep Zarn from setting all of us on fire this morning, but he burned a horse again. He’d make a good Gnome. The central tenant of Gnome-hood is that anything that doesn’t have problems, is something we can’t improve.
Regardless, after my compatriots woke me up from the battle with the orcs (they told me we won), and I helped everyone heal their wounds, we discussed and dismissed missed the idea of waiting for the caravan there, deciding to keep moving until we found a safer place to camp. When we did so, I taught the trail to talk, and told it to wait for a caravan, and to tell them where we parked. The caravan leaders seemed highly impressed at the dead orcish warband (but they wouldn’t reimburse us for the supplies the orcs used or loan us any more), but at least lent us their guard to watch the camp for us overnight. There weren’t any problems then, or even the day after, and we met up with them again at the foot of the mountain and kept checking in on them the next day as we scouted the road ahead. But, their guard did teach me something interesting- Any future adventurers reading this should pay attention here, especially if you’re going to come into the first work.
There is a large flightless bird creature I’ve once heard of – Ostriches- which are apparently capable of outrunning most threats, but would nonetheless rather bury their head in the sand, believing “I can’t see them, so they can’t see me.” It seems to work for them, because their eggs are delicious, whereas the ostriches themselves are tough and stringy- danger essentially laughs at them, walks right past, and takes the delicious snack, often ignoring the unappetizing meal, leaving it to make more snacks in the future.
Apparently humans cannot see well in “dim lighting.” Since everything in the first work looks so dull & dingy compared to what I’m used to, I assumed they carried torches and fires to make this plane less boring, but in fact torches help them see, even outdoors and in the moonlight. This carries the unfortunate implication that, with three human guards in a row, all of the guards facing the road could not see the road from the campsite. Whereas, any creature with normal senses COULD see the road- or, conversely, they could see the campsite from the road. Apparently, following the same logic as the ostrich, they believed “no campfire” meant they were invisible, since they could not see. This is despite the fact that the light from a fire would have made no difference to fully half the caravan, or to any creature I have fought thus far.
I have some hypotheses as to why humans, who are obviously more intelligent and reportedly better tasting than an ostrich, choose to follow their example. One idea is, this is a part of why humans breed with everything that will hold still long enough, hoping that they can produce babies delicious enough that monsters would rather snack on them than fill up on the adult humans- the fun of it being a side benefit. This may also be why they hoard shiny treasures that serve them no useful purpose- so monsters will snatch the gold and leave them alive. That leaves the question, though, of what the monsters want with the gold.
My most reasonable guess, though, is that the only ones who made a decision on how to guard the camp that night were human, and never thought to ask anyone with normal eyes. The result was, in the early hours, we were beset by Gnolls with pet hyenas and a carnage demon. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but remember to always keep this in mind: Humans do not seem to grasp that they have the worse senses in the world.
Oh, about the gnolls and demon: Gnolls with bows are nasty business. Two of the guards were killed before I could even get up to heal and protect the group, and the demon bit the head off a third, before charging up to me and clawing me twice. Sensing their leader was in danger, the party moved in like a pack of hyenas and tore him to shreds. Simultaneously, a trio of true hyenas tore into one of the dwarven guardsmen, to similar results.
Shortly after those two fell, the swarm of gnolls and actual hyenas came to battle the now converged party. Knowing my cue (and the look Zarn gets when he’s about to roast whatever is in front of him, damn the consequences), I forced a mass repositioning, and ducked for cover. Out came the firestorm, leaving four unidentifiable cinders of what used to be canines, and a singed-but-standing horse, where the battlefield used to be. From this point on, it was essentially a cleanup mission. We dealt with the sniper who fell two of the guards (and wounded Mr. Zarn) rather brutally.
We burned the dead guardsmen so no hyenas would come to eat their bodies, built a small shrine to them, and we moved on. Our story, and lives, had to keep going.