Sunday, August 27, 2006


There is only so long a person can go alone before you start to talk to the bunnies as you slaughter their families and imagine that the sheep are conspiring against you. All my fellow adventures told me I had to prove myself before I could go to the dunes and learn to get down to some serious training with an experience party. I didn’t mind going solo. I even started taking down goblins and quadav on my own. The first kills that felt like I was actually doing some respectable hero work.

Now I realize a lot of people are perfectly happy going it alone but I don’t think too much solitude is good for anyone. I happened to see an unusual beastmaster run by me in West Ronfaure one sunny afternoon as I was leveling and it wasn’t pretty. I smelled an awful dank smell of wet animal and thought I was about to be trampled by a herd of muddy sheep but to my surprise it was a Hume man wrapped in a wooly animal mantle. He was muttering to a rabbit he had taken on as a pet. I excused myself, a force of habit, as he nearly knocked me over in his hurry.

“Oh forgive me my dear,” he said as he stopped to look me over. “You really should be more careful. You never know what may be lurking behind the trees.” His eyes darted around as if to make sure nothing would catch him unaware.

His attention came back to me as he stroked my head and cooed to me as if to sooth some unseen hurt. I couldn’t think of a thing to say I just stared at him with my mouth gaping open.

Here child. This will help you.

He pulled a few rabbit hides out of this bag and synthed a rabbit mantle. He fastened it around my neck and patted my check warmly. His hands were rough and a bit scratchy and his face leathered and tan. He had the look of a very experienced and hard working adventurer but an adventure who had spent way too much time cuddling stinky wild beasts.

“A companion is a vital thing out here. I never go anywhere without a partner to travel the long roads with me,” he said as he cooed to his rabbit pet and fed him from the palm of his hand. “Oh dear,” he muttered, “I really must hurry. I’ll never level here.”

His eyes became wide and wild again as they darted around checking for possible dangers. He skittered away rabbit pet in tow. In an instant I was completely forgotten left with my mouth gaping and nose burning from the smell. I didn’t even get his name. This was not the image of the hero I hoped to become.

Now I realize this is a perfectly happy life for many a man and woman but I was so chilled by this vision of possibilities that I set off immediately for Valkurm Dunes where I would learn to fight in a group and hopefully keep my sanity and sweet smell.

His wise advice would help set me on the path to the woman I would become. I was not meant to travel alone. I needed companionship and guidance if I was going to become the most famous thief ever to come out of San d’ Oria.

No comments: