Huh. Well. Sure. Don’t hate me for what I’m going to tell you here, Diary.
At breakfast, I met a newcomer—a wood elf named Saul. A ranger. Got an eye patch, but more on that later. Soanyways. He seemed a bit stand-offish. I gave him some space. Chandi wasn’t so keen on that. Tried to get Saul to start worshipping Bahamut. Made me uneasy. I still don’t think that’s what it’s about. I still believe it’s about helping people, not spreading the word of a deity. Leave the preaching to the preachers. Maybe I’ll talk to him about that, but we’ll see.
Listen. I wanted an easy day. Last adventure nearly cost me my life. What’s worse, it almost cost Fuleri her life. I suggested we go find some material to fix the ship, which led us to Rita, Mayor’s mom. Rita directed us to the ruins of Ol Thundertree.
Norice, Saul, Lu, and I headed off into the rainforest. We saw that clown again. Whatever’s got its foot in the door in Saul’s head seems to be pissed at the clown because he took off. I grabbed him and calmed him down. We booked it. Camped in an uncomfortably sentient tree named Dickweed. Wish I were joking. I think he’s in love with Norice.
Well we made it to Thundertree and found Kilah, the caretaker of the place, meditating with two blink dogs. We decided not to wake her.
A few hours later, this man shows up. Maybe? It was actually a corpse controlled by a dozen cats. With a giant, giant wall behind him. He asked if I wanted to try to climb it to win a prize. I agreed and started climbing. I got pretty far up, but then I blacked out. Turns out there was a magical barrier up a ways along the wall that extended out as an overhang. Norice agreed to cast levitate on me, so I tied a rope to a javelin and pushed off the wall. I floated out a ways and then threw the javelin over the barrier, into the wall. With that, I scaled the wall easily. When I got to the top, the man (cats) was (were) there and offered me a prize. I chose modest magical items for me, Norice, and Saul.
That was all well and good, but then everything more or less went south. Kilah woke up and told me about herself. She’s a swordswoman of something called the way of Nothing, and it seemed like she learned it from the blink dogs—Naheen and Nadrasi. All wielded swords with broken blades, but it doesn’t seem to stop them. Kilah told me that the village had been deserted ever since a dragon showed up—a green dragon.
Well, the green dragon turned out to be possessed. Her chest was torn open and she was tangled up in the tree.Some kind of demon, or a legion of demons. He told me his name was the Bearer of a Thousand Names. He was feeding off of the dragon. I asked what he wanted, and all he said was that he wanted more.
Then he told me Bahamut was dead.
I didn’t want to leave the dragon where she was. I offered to heal her. When I leaned against her heart, I could hear her speak. She said she wanted to die, so I cut open her heart.
Not my best idea, but she was in pain, and I wanted to help. The dragon died, but the demon attacked us. We put up a good fight. For the first part. He was a lot nastier than he seemed in the first part. We lopped off two of his heads, but then he only grew stronger. He set the tree on fire, and then he nearly killed Norice.
Saul tied rope to an arrow. Dickweed showed up, and Saul shot the arrow to him. Norice on his back, Saul ziplined to safety. Lu wanted to stay, but I told her to go. Fortunately she listened and ziplined to safety. That left me, Kilah, and the blink dogs. Kilah told me she wanted to accept the demon’s proposition. I was hesitant, but she insisted. The demon told us he would kill Saul and Norice and Lu unless one of us made a pact with him. Kilah tried to grab him and warp him far away, but before she could, he grabbed her and crushed her.
So with no one else around, I asked what his pact was. He said he would return for me when I grew more powerful, and then he flew off.
Ol Thundertree burned to the ground. We all made it out alive. So that’s good.
So I made a deal with a demon. I wish I could say it was my only option, but really it was the most I could do after a series of mistakes. I should’ve asked more about the town. I should’ve asked more about the dragon. I shouldn’t have let other people come with me to talk to her. I shouldn’t have killed her. Maybe there’s something I could’ve done to help her. I shouldn’t have tried to fight a demon. Just because I’ve got magic powers now doesn’t mean I can punch the devil out cold.
Well we’re back now in Devil’s Mouth. I don’t want to talk to anyone right now. I haven’t been spending much time in the room because I can’t look at Norice without thinking he almost died because I just had to go on my little crusade.
I swore myself to an oath of redemption, and that means believing that everyone can turn good, but I don’t know how to turn a thing like a demon good. I couldn’t see any good inside of him, and that was heartbreaking.
I spent a while thinking there was no way I could keep with that oath. If there’s something that evil in the world, what’s the point in believing that everyone can be saved? Well, then I thought about it, and believe me, Diary, this is a half-formed conviction, but I came to this: few things are going to be evil as the Bearer of a Thousand Names. That means that most people I meet, even the ones who seem so horribly evil, probably aren’t so evil as him. Maybe this oath isn’t so foolhardy, but I do need to temper it with wisdom.
Need to talk to some folks first. Find out how I’m going to go forward.
Peace, Innocence, Patience, and Wisdom. Those are my tenants. Nowhere does it say ‘thou shall not lie to a demon.’ When he comes for me, whenever that is, I’m gonna dig my heals into the dirt and give him a chance to change his ways. I’m gonna tell him there’s got to be some shred of goodness in him. I’m gonna know how to find it and show it to him. How to kindle it, how to show him how to kindle it himself. I’m gonna give him a chance. Just one. Then I’ll break his damn jaw.
Some day I’m going to learn carpentry and find a wife, Diary, but the world’s gotta be better before I do that.