Descent of Darkness

Entering the Grasslands

in which we meet some friendly orcs

We have made it to the grasslands! Gareth is still passed out and being carried on a litter by Kaine but he doesn’t seem in immediate danger anymore. There is grass waving as far as the eye can see – more grass than I even thought possible! The party ventures further into the grasslands in search of the next portal on our map. We don’t get very far in, though, when a couple of the other party members spot a white flag waving a little ways away from us. It turns out to be an orc child named Alog who leads us to a small orc village named Shalefist, where we are met by a group of orc elders smiling and dressed in odd clothing. They seem friendly enough and none of the rest of the group act too nervous so I, trying to make more of an effort to be part of the group, don’t pull out any weapons either. I just wait patiently to see how events will unfold.

The orcs, which I realize with a start a few moments later, are also from the draconic vision. They are friendly and inform us that they also were given a vision that we would come. They even offer to show us where the portal near here lies exactly! It will make our task easier and I am happy that they are willing to lead the way. They offer us seeing water, which most of the others seem excited for. I am not so sure. But I did make a promise to myself that I would make more of an effort. And Gareth almost died to finish this task we have been given. If this seeing water will help us to be able to find the portals quicker and more accurately, then it is worth a little risk. It just better not show anything else besides portal-related things. The orc elders said it usually didn’t delve into the past. The less everyone else in the party knows about me the better – past or future. The truth would only drive them further away; make them shun me as almost all the others did in Aldritch. It would make it difficult to work together to destroy the portals. If I have my way, they never need know of my past as a Street or my plans to destroy Aldritch and Farl. They definitely never need know the different scenarios in my head for enacting sweet, bloody revenge. So long as I get to be the one to see Farl’s face as the light of life slowly and painfully leaves his eyes by my hand I don’t care the price. Damn him for all he did and damn Aldritch for letting it happen – even if it means damning myself in the process. I’ve lived far longer than most Streets already; what else is there to look forward to beyond what I have already seen?

I glance over and my eyes widen slightly as a strange thrill of relief sucker-punches me in the gut when I see Gareth finally sitting up. I grit my teeth and narrow my gaze angrily. I may have resolved to help more with the portals and eat with everyone sometimes but damn it I will not get attached! I don’t want to care – I won’t do it! Why should any of them care what happens to me beyond making sure we can all close the portals? And if they don’t care why should I?? Why should I care so much what happens to him; to any of them?? I’m only glad he’s here because it means we have a strong ally back in play that will help us complete our task. I won’t be made weak because I care; because I let someone in. I won’t pour my soul into forging friendships and family bonds that will only die in raging flames. I … I …won’t let anyone near enough to hurt me anymore…



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