Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Rant Time: Nuisance

   Rain waves over you, the cold water rushing over your armor-less arms.  Over the moons, you have moved up in rank to the university of scholars.  You have even been assigned to a hunting party for one and taken in by another.  Tonight, you are tasked with two quests.  The first with a simple group of three, asks that you obtain a Spectrom of Light, a powerful glass bottle which contains all the colors of the earth.  You set out but notice two companions lagging behind yet again.  You, however, push on with one who has a reasonable understanding of the task ahead and attempt to thwart the challenges in your way.  However, upon reaching the mountain, your tactics are questioned.  A maiden alongside you asks mockingly why you put forth such effort and why you believe yourself to be right.  You take offense at her jabs but keep your sword sheathed, however your mood hath been tainted by her distrust.
     Finally, a Spectrom of Light is found and delivered to the quest giver.  No compensation is paid--not yet at least, and you are sent on your not-so-merry way.  As you look past the door, you see the rain coating the sky in a thick, impenetrable armor of water.  Your scholarly companion has her horse nearly outside of town, so you kindly offer a ride, which she gratefully takes.  For just a moment, you feel proud of yourself for a good deed.
    The world however, does not agree that you should praise yourself so.  As you plough forward to the next endeavor, the rivers in the once navigable streets prevent easy passage.  Your journey is slow and yet, somehow calming.  You let your mind rest as you trudged through the mud and towards your goal.  You finally take shelter at a library beside the hall we gathered in.  Here, you sit and begin to compose a log of the day thus far, only to see one of your group-mates enter and make straight for you.  The Cleric, a member of a convent, comes to you with the riddles you must decipher to move forward on your quest to find the land of Pri Kahl'kuluse.  You are able to decipher most of the riddles and assist her in those in which she mistranslated a symbol, until you reach a dreaded rhyme with no reason.  You begin to look for a scholar when in strolls another member of your group: the High-Elf Wizard (or as you begin to suspect, Warlock).

     She strides up with the pompous flare you have come to expect and leans over the riddle.  With a smirk she declares you are a fool and tells you the answer to the riddle, but not the method by which she cracked it.  You ask an explanation and she simply huffs and says it again, gesturing at the scroll.  Though you know you have all your Adventurer's credit, you feel belittled and crushed under the weight of her glare as you ask again.  The Cleric gives you a stern glance as well and the Wizard strides away adjusting her bag of spell books to be just so perfect.  The Cleric goes on to preach how you are impossible to assist and follows in the Wizard's footsteps, leaving you to slowly gather your unfinished scrolls and climb the stone steps to the meeting hall.

      The others of the group have already assembled:  The temperamental dwarven Barbarian, the kind gnome Sorcerer of a southern origin, the quiet human Wizard, the silent human of an unknown class (perhaps an Assassin of some sort), and the human Fighter with a seat beside him.  You sit closest to the Cleric and Fighter, as they seem most open to your presence.  However, since the Cleric invited you to the group, you have felt a strange stirring inside your mind.  The Barbarian and Warlock give glances or glares your way when you are trapped in a sea of riddles, and the Wizard and Assassin simply ignore your presence.  You never feel at ease and can sense the tension your very presence causes, leading you to believe yourself to be more of a nuisance than a member of worth in the group, an unwelcome leech on their backs.  You try to decide if it is best to abandon the group and try to find another, but that brings the risk of finding a new crew as well as the threat of having to attempt the riddles alone, and the thought of the old groups silent whispers of displeasure and disdain.  You have to force yourself to think it best to stay in what is safe rather than take a risk in unfamiliar territory, even if it means feeling a knie in your stomach each time you enter the premises.

      Your spirit sags as you try to silently trudge on in the muck of the riddle until the Fighter leans to the Cleric and asks assistance on the same riddle.  When she denies him assistance, you lift your voice to explain what you have thus far learned.  Each time he does not understand, you attempt to tackle the beast from another side, flanking the riddle and making an effort to ease the difficulty.  After a short while, the Fighter nods and write in his scroll, thanking you for the effort.  The Cleric even makes a remark about your skill in teaching, but you feel the piercing eyes of the Warlock land directly into yours and you are forced into silence.      

   As the night pulls to a close and the Cleric returns to her convent and the others to their homes, you slowly venture through the cloud of mist to your companion of transportation and sit heavily in the saddle, your cheeks loose forcing your mouth to a frown of discontent as you begin your rainy ride home.  You feel lost and disheartened, like you have just been a great weight upon the backs of others rather than a resource: like a heavy armor that in the end, offers less protection than it should as opposed to a sword that cuts down the woes of your wielder.  The worst thought, however, is that you will have to put your Bard skills to the test and attempt a facade of unchanging happiness to reach the summit of Pri Kahl'kuluse.