Death Awaits Us All

With Nasty, Big, Pointy Teeth

Roggan has gone.

Well, not exactly gone. He’s still with us, but he’s no longer the goofy, lovable, eye-licking troglodite I came to love and respect, and I will miss that Roggan greatly.

I was so annoyed with him when he turned himself into that iron giant, thinking to make himself into some kind of superman…

No, make that supertrog.

…some kind of supertrog that could protect the group both physically and magically without considering the impact a 20 foot iron golem would have on the group’s travel arrangements, nor the effect he would have on those we encountered on our way.

Not trusting us to be able to protect ourselves or any innocents who may stand in need.

Bah. This is neither here nor there.

We had arranged for concealing magics to disguise his appearance and were trying to figure out how he could travel fast enough to keep up with Nicole, when Ra peremptorily announced we were wasting our time, and returned us to Haven. Straight onto Matilda’s deck, in fact.

We took the hint, and journeyed straightaway to the Library of Bletherad to gather information for our next excursion.

As we approached the library after docking the ship, an imp appeared before us. It begged for its life, then threatened ours, before disappearing again with a puff of sulfur.

Clearly, the events at the stone tower had offended Ratel, who intended to kill us on 3 Corg next.

I guess Ratel’s schedule is so cluttered that it will take him(?) a year to clear the backlog and get around to us.

Anyway, the library.

Apis’s love child caused a bit of a stir there, initially because he was the first minotaur to appear at the library in several hundred years, but when he mentioned the name of some ancient library, the librarian immediately whisked him away before we could find out where they were going.

This was nothing, however, compared to the disturbance Roggan caused when he tried to enter. Magic is somehow nullified in the library, and the librarians were convinced that he would fall apart the instant he went inside.

I tried to explain the situation to Roggan, and he seemed to understand, but insisted on entering the library despite the risk.

I eventually had to sign a waiver saying it was our own fault if he died before he was allowed in, but in he went regardless and…

Nothing happened.

Bit anticlimactic, really. All that excitement, then… nothing.

So Roggan went on his merry way to research…

I dunno, rocks? Probably something to do with rocks.

…and I went on to keep an eye on Gavin, and help him look stuff up.

After several days of searching the library by day and returning to the ship at night to discuss what we had learned and speculate about Xerx’ses conspicuous absence, Malkin shows up one night, out of breath and babbling about minotaurs, seed libraries, and insisting we travel to the Baalgor Wastelands immediately to investigate.

Perhaps the cow-boy had caused more excitement than I had initially supposed.

Presently, Xerx’ses had returned, and we finally got around to learning about him. As he described how he learned the secrets to magic in an ancient Dwarven library, I noticed the elf bard grow steadily more more agitated. The mere thought of the Dwarves having once been masters of magic was more than he could bear.

After all we had done! After all we had seen! At every hand, we have witnessed the folly of this kind of knee-jerk, blinkered thinking! Lemaria! Bizantium! The “peace accords” at Haven! He knew what we had gone through, what we stood for! Had he learned nothing?!

How can he possibly be unaware of the greatest, most glaring testament to the evils of prejudice the world has ever known: the Elf-Dwarf War and the atrocities committed by each side!

The Gods themselves have demonstrated the stupidity of his attitude when they selected monsters to join us! Eandroth! Danzi! And most unexpected of all, a minotaur! A member of THE race that’s known for its worship of the Old Ones is now a member of CrIsis!

After all this, he can’t handle the simple fact that dwarves used to use magic?!

This was ridiculous!

“Oh, grow up!” I said, and we were off to the races.

He flew into my face and began to accuse me of all manner of things, from ingratitude to world-building, before threatening to turn his pen against me.

“You must do as you see fit,” I said calmly, and he stormed off the ship, followed quickly by Gavin.

I am ungrateful? To him? The weasely little bastard!

I didn’t ask this two-bit, stuck-up wannabe wordsmith to join us, that was his idea; I was against it!

I certainly never asked him to say a single thing about me, or anyone else in the group, for that matter!

It’s not like we even need him! We already have a chronicler: the great Rod Rambler himself!

He is the worst sort of fighter. He is rash and impulsive, often diving into battle without a second thought, causing us to have to enter harm’s way in order to pull his stick-filled butt out of the fire he so negligently threw himself into!

We have talked to him about this, and he has refused to change!

“Tactics? What are tactics? What do you mean we can fight more effectively if we coordinate our efforts?”

He has been nothing but a pompous, short-sighted, irritating danger to those around him!

And to top it all off, we gave him a full stake in the group’s finances, so he has been paid to annoy us and put our lives in jeopardy! Well paid!

Ungrateful, indeed!

Eventually, he calmed down and rejoined us on the ship, but I am done making an effort to be friendly to this blowhard. He is incapable of seeing the Light, and it is not my responsibility to make him.

We decided that night to journey to the Baalgor Wastelands to make contact with Xerx’ses’s library, and collect whatever Pieces of Osiris we could along our way, and with this in mind, we set off once again.

After several weeks of travel, with nothing more worrisome than some pirates, sharks, and minor sea serpents, we were attacked by some kappa who damaged the ship so heavily that she began to list to the starboard. As I prepared to attack, I noticed Roggan holding on to the mast for dear life.

I took my eyes off him for one second, and he was gone. I tried looking for him, as something that big couldn’t fall overboard without making an extremely noticeable splash.

But there was no splash.

There was no Roggan.

No nothing.

Suddenly the kappa were gone, frightened off by the ship as she began to heal herself.

Just as Roggan had put himself into that ridiculous iron body, so too had he put himself into the ship.

I’m not sure how to feel about this, especially as the only person he’s “talked” to has been that fat-headed blowhard who considers himself a poet.

Posted by Cava on 23 Selestra, Dominion 342.

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