"It's a question of any true god; Whom do you serve? What is your quest?" "Please, answer honestly. We are among friends." The party is gathered around a campfire after a nice meal and libations.

After Sympos poses his grand question, he sits back mindful of the party's individual answers. A wry smile purses his lips and he nudges Shade.

Shade refutes the nudge with a banter of sorts, "I'm thinking! You cause a man pain, not only in the head, but arse as well. I have no choice in the matter of whom I serve. Lately, could we agree that I have been at the behest of Rukin?"

Sympos nods. Timm tips his pipe mater-of-factly and the cook is busy counting on his hands and toes the number slain by Shade's blade.

Happy with the agreement, Shade continues, "As for quest, I know not. Gold? Artifacts? Women? Power? How about Justice? I see this world is about to get bent over and...Well, insert your favorite object. Power is power. It's how and who wields that. power. I can see the winds are-a-changing and we have an opportunity to affect that change. I'd like to hear from the rest of us."

Shade looks at the rest of the motley group. Everyone shifts uneasy in their seats waiting for Sympos' next victim.

"Feel free to add your answers in the comments. -LUDICRS"


    • Marcus Auerilius

      Timm cleared his throat after a long draught of ale.

      As many of you have heard me profess, I serve the Lady of the Sea. She has granted me many boons…gifts if you may, but also demands a price or demonstration of dedication.

      Many years ago, before I joined the carnival, I was a sailor on the high seas. Usually on vessels of war, or on merchant vessels that traversed warzones. On my last ship, the Crow’s Best, I was forced into making a choice.

      Timm continues, telling the story of how he came to serve the Lady of the Sea…

      Captain Erhad of the Crows’ Best was barking orders and First Mate Graht had taken over the helm after the helmsman had gone overboard. The ship was listing as the last ballista on the forward bow released another bolt, just missing the large black dragon that was swinging around again. They had been fools to travel this close to the Swalduni coast.

      As Graht turned our medium-sized galleon and tried to catch the wind, away from Swaldune and into the open ocean, the large beast, bearing scars on its wings and missing one eye came in for a final run.

      The swath of fire swept across the upper decks of the ship, lighting everything that wasn’t already on fire. Landing on the deck behind the wheel, the old and scarred battle dragon snapped down and took Graht in with one bite, lifting its head and pulling him down its throat like a gull swallowing a fish.

      I looked over just as the fires got to the rum. The resulting explosion flashed before my eyes as I was lifted off the ship and sent hurtling outwards into the sea. Already unconscious when I hit the water, I sank.

      I don’t know how much longer, but I came to when I hit something, the floor of the ocean, dark like an unlit cellar, cold like a frigid cave, bound in place as though a mountain was on top of you…I expected to die.

      But instead, I was embraced and offered a choice: Serve me and live, or die.

      There was a long silence as Timm paused in telling his story.

      …and so, I serve the Lady of the Sea. I am tasked with finding items of power or magic and delivering them to her, whether they be broken or active. She is not a kind mistress, and she demands much, but she grants me much and I am allowed some freedom in how I serve. It is from her, that my powers are derived…the ones some of you have suspected for a long time,  and until recently I haven’t used openly.

      Timm looked around the table. Most of them had some involvement in magic…had taken items from the dark tower…had cast spells…had hired or begged the services of witches. Magic was back in Kempin and he knew which side he would be on.

      • Chris Snevets

        Jay, you have a preternatural awareness of death, or at minimum the path to death. I dub thee duke of death!

        • Jay

          In the end none of us serve, we are all hurtling toward the inevitable decay of our bodies, spirits, and all other things we hold dear.  The only effect you have is did you further the growth and decay of others.