1491 – Spring, just outside Cragmaw’s hideout during a much-needed long rest.
Not a week ago, I was a mere trainee within the Emerald Enclave. I was constantly told of my importance. Of some great prophecy I must needs see fulfilled. And, though I was given the honor of a dragon’s name, I know next to nothing about it, save for all its supposed grandeur. Perhaps that was why I was so eager to leave the Grove. When Master Ferin told me of my first mission, I was elated and set off on my journey to New Neverwinter post-haste. Escorting a caravan was mundane. Moreover, it was a ranger’s work, but my survival, perception, and insight could rival any of them on any given day of the week. I’d prove myself capable to my seniors and peers. I would demonstrate the skills I earned – not what was supposedly gifted to me at birth. I may have been born with talent and a fate greater than most, but I refuse to be defined by those traits alone.
My name is Tyonis of Lyttonsville. Druid. Farmhand. Adventurer. And these are my memoirs.
My party to Phandalin consists of a motley crew:
Gurge, a powerful half-orc whose axes can split men twice my size clear in half. But seeks to better himself and leave his sordid past behind.
Aladris, a disciple of Tom who saved my life mere hours out the city gates. He claims to represent a god of righteousness and justice, but I fear his definition of both is skewed.
Bo Jangles, a nimble Falinian with a mighty roar. Or perhaps it is more of a hiss?
And Maya Visalli, a mysterious Tiefling who’s arrows find targets just as easy as any ranger, though he claims to be a wizard.
Yes, I am aware of all the contradictions and fallacies. My instructors often said the world is round, not flat. I took it as literally – but apparently it is metaphorical.
During the trek, I took an arrow to the stomach – my first wound in battle – and I shall remember it for the rest of my life. Even after Aladris ripped it out of me and mended the wound, I still feel the phantom itch of thin, sturdy wood impaled straight through my chest. But I have dealt with physical hardship before, and I have emerged stronger for it. This too, will eventually pass and become a mere stepping stone on my path to greatness.
For now, I worry more about the state of my party. Yes, they are skilled, and I am lucky to have my first adventure with them at my side. But there is a deep-seeded darkness within all of them I fear may consume them. After a furious battle with a band of goblins and their bugbear leader, the group took one of the goblins as their prisoner. After extorting all the information they could, even after saying they would let it escape and live, they slit its throat as it begged for its life.
I argued hotly with the ones who claimed the kill to be justified on the basis of the goblin being a potential threat. By that logic, they should kill every man, woman, and child they’ve ever seen. It was murder masked by pragmatism. They said it was ‘because it’s just a goblin’ then complained when I compared them to the same monsters we had just slaughtered.
Worst of all, Aladris claimed it was justified, but I cannot accept that. Where was the righteousness and the justice in killing an unarmed prisoner after taking all we needed from it, regardless of its race or personal disposition? In my heart of hearts, I know he was mistaken. That was not justice or righteousness. That was revenge and fear.
I am not afraid of the unknown. I am not afraid of granting clemency to my enemies. To take the greater path, one must be willing to expose one’s back. Many – even my own party – may call my ideals stupid and idiotic.
I call it bravery and honor. And I call those people cowards.