I fear I have fallen in with petty thieves. Forrest, the irritating archer, was caught trying to slip a few coins out of someone’s purse. In my opinion, it would have been better to allow justice take its course, and have him end up in jail for his crime, or perhaps to lose a few of those sticky fingers. But instead, the guards were persuaded to condone the pickpocket by Arthur (though not until after Arwen tried and failed to do that same thing).
Later, a ring slipped off of a some old woman’s finger and stuck to the box that SooYoung was carrying. Arwen returned it willingly, though I doubt he would have done so had he thought there was nothing to gain from it. Forrest, on the other hand, was irate that the magic ring had been returned at all. I suspect money is the only thing that man thinks about. Arwen is a bit less narrow-minded; he thinks of money as well as himself. I haven’t decided what to make of the Halfling. His intentions may be good, but such could be said of anyone. SooYoung is the only trustworthy one here, aside from me. But of course, I must remain at least 15 feet from her if I’m to prevent anything from happening to my scrolls and Greg. The other who was to be in our group is off on another mission and is to meet up with us a few days from now.
To recap: I work for a fool, my colleagues are robbers or idiots, and I’m supposed to help in a very combat-oriented mission despite my complete lack of any combat experience or even training.
We reached our destination safely – thieving idiot included – and proceeded to receive instructions on our assignment. It was a stealth mission of sorts; we were to sneak through the forest to ascertain the magnitude of the hobgoblin threat – how many there were, where, how they were armed, and whatever other useful information we could. Apparently, help could not be requested unless the threat had been analyzed in this manner. So yet again, we are working, essentially, for fools. If scouting parties had been sent before and had been unable to return, it is safe to say that the forest is not safe. In particular, it is not safe for scouting parties. Which is what we’re supposed to be. And I seem to be the only one with sufficient intelligence to realize these alarming trends.
Arwen’s lover gave us a place to stay, not realizing that he was just taking advantage of her. Arthur had, at some point, received a message from some entity in the woods – a dryad that was apparently struggling to fight against the hobgoblins. It wasn’t long before we got a preview of what was to come.
There were hobgoblins in the street, along with some smaller goblins and rodents of particularly unusual size. How did they get into the city without anyone noticing? Why weren’t town guards there before us? These are good questions. Why is a researcher on a scouting mission? Why is the person who recently had contact with a dragon not pursuing that odd event to learn more? Why isn’t the person who was able to translate the writing on the obelisk doing something about that information? There are no intelligible answers to any of these questions, truth be told. I’m hoping I can request a transfer or something soon, otherwise I would have already severed all ties with this silly mercenary company. It’s a paycheck, sure, but I’d rather the source of my money be less flawed in its mental capacity. Call me picky. It’s not like I’m strapped for cash, anyhow.
Arthur was already outside and firing that crossbow of his. Arwen and Forrest stepped outside as well, using their bows with fair effectiveness. SooYoung charged into the group of enemies, indicating that her lack of knowledge of technology may have been more of… how to put this delicately… an indication of a more universal lack of knowledge. Essentially, the child is stupid. Bless her heart. At least she’s fairly skilled at flailing her fists menacingly and convincing enemies to attack her instead of the rest of us. It is very much appreciated.
Forrest took a rather nasty cut across his everything and began bleeding profusely, though he remained on his feet. He attempted to retreat a short ways while continuing to fire his bow at the enemy, which was perhaps his only viable option given the situation. I did what I could to support our less mentally gifted associate by summoning a beast of similar intellectual capacity to act as a shield. I suspect I prevented her death by doing that, as the horse I summoned was barely able to survive the hits that it received, and SooYoung was fairly beaten and bloody without the extra sword to the torso.
I will mention that I managed a perfect head-shot during this fight. Total fluke? Absolutely. I was actually taking it out to toss to the Halfling so that he could use it, but accidentally pulled the trigger in the process. Am I going to boast that I outperformed the archers? Again, absolutely I am.
I spent some time in the library in an attempt to compensate for precious lost research time. Their library, though, had very little to offer. However, in my wanderings around the town, I was able to procure some interesting information. There are rumors of particularly juicy apples that grow on the trees near Veleth and Mistvale. I must still, of course, verify this information, but I suspect I could use these to make rather delectable pies. I wrote Traigo immediately regarding this find, so that he, a fellow pie-fan, could relish in the sweet, delicious good news. Perhaps he will accompany should I ever go apple-picking there. He’s a better cook than I, after all, and more experienced as well. He can also eat a fair deal more than I can… on second thought, perhaps I shouldn’t bring him…
Today was the day to fight hobgoblins. Hurray! I know I’ve written this down somewhere before, but I am definitely not a combat wizard of any sort. I conjure a horse to ride, grease to cook with, mist if the sun is too much for my umbrella… sure, there are many things I can do with magic. What I can’t do, however, is slaughter random hobgoblins or hoards of kobolds as I have been expected to do lately. I do not throw fireballs or random beams of energy. That is hardly in line with my current research.
So, one long walk through the shady woodlands later, we enter a serene grove with a great tree in its center. The tree was guarded by several wolves and a wolf-man-thing. Arwen and Forrest climbed some trees to snipe the hobgoblins and such, while I remained with Big and Scratch (two of Arwen’s latest love interests).
I must have an aside at this point. Arwen is definitely the sort of person that uses flirtation and flattery to get what he wants or needs. Therefore, I hereby dub him Flirt, and thusly I shall refer to him henceforth.
While my current comrades fought on the outskirts of the grove, I rushed inward to cast my magic from alongside the dryad. My faithful horse had its fair share of combat and managed to deal some significant damage to a few foes. My horse, ironically, is more of a seasoned veteran in combat than I am. Maybe I’ll teach it how to work a crossbow and let him hang onto it from now on.
So my comrades and my horse killed the hobgoblins, the small goblins, and the unusually large rodents. We gave our report so that the idiots in charge could finally do their job instead of making us do it. I wonder if they have a position open for advisors or other people of intelligence… I assume not. I imagine any such position has been filled already by a trained ape – specifically, one that hasn’t actually been trained.