The Village of Blenheim

The Passage

Only a few days have passed since we arrived in Blenheim, but already I wonder how the town has managed to survive this long without us. These Kobolds are fierce, vicious, hateful creatures and unyielding in their attempts to destroy the people who call this place home. Not since the goblin raids on my home have I seen such evil, and it makes me yearn for vengeance for the death of my parents. One day the Dreadhorns will pay, but it has become abundantly clear to me of late that I am not ready to face them alone, and the realization weighs on my heart. I still have much yet to learn, and many skills yet to hone.

Despite my own doubts in my abilities, I have found renewed hope this day that we may be one step closer to quelling the Kobold threat here in Blenheim. Pikel, Cassie and I approached Frederick to see if there was anywhere in town that we could use to practice and train. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that underneath The Old Drunkard there is an abandoned barracks and training arena, a relic of Blenheim’s better days, when the town was still big enough to maintain their own guard. Though it has not been touched for decades, the arena was still serviceable, and we immediately set to work seeing what use we could make of it.

After our initial assessment, Cassie and Pikel set off with several villagers to gather wood for repairs and to help fortify the town, while I stayed behind to explore further. I searched the old guards quarters for anything useful, and found several old weapons and other useful items. During my search, I noticed a strange mark on one of the walls. At first I thought nothing of it, but each time I walked past, I would glimpse it out of the corner of my eye, and I started to think there might be something there.

I eventually gave into my curiosity and inspected the wall: felt it, poked at it, even licked it, and deduced that it was a hidden door of some kind. Once Pikel and Cassie returned, tired from their long day’s work of hauling logs (I must admit, I was very impressed by the quality of the logs: Pikel is indeed quite knowledgeable in such matters), I showed them what I had found. Using the thieves tools I had found, Cassie did her best to open the door, but although her skills were not lacking, even she could not open it. She raved about the superb craftsmanship of the mechanism, and its elegant but simplistic design, declaring that this was a door meant to be opened from only one side.

Though my search for the other side of the door was fruitless, it did provide me with a moment of insight: perhaps this was how the Kobolds had been entering the village! It would certainly explain why Frederick was unable to tell us which direction the attacks were coming from. My companions both agreed, and Pikel swiftly began construction on a trap. No sooner had we finished setting up our swinging sword trap than Cassie and I heard the sound of someone on the other side of the door. With only seconds, we grabbed our weapons and prepared for battle.

As the door swung open we could see three slightly surprised Kobolds coming down a long, dark hallway. However, their surprise did not last long. The first Kobold to emerge charged at Cassie, swinging with his pike, but she deftly dodged out of his way. Pikel quickly triggered the trap, wounding a second pike-wielding Kobold, than quickly buffeting the third, a Wyrm Priest, with a gust of freezing wind. I quickly stepped in front of the passageway, blocking the pikeman and priest from entering the Inn, and, after a laughable attempt at bashing the trap into the nearest Kobold with my shield, I swung out with my sword, but with the trap still hanging between us, all I hit was air. The Kobolds buffeted me with attacks, but I held firm, d—espite my wounds, determined to protect my friends. Behind me, Cassie, called down a column of flame onto the Wyrm Priest, and I could see the fear in his eyes as the flames licked hungrily at his skin.

Cassie and Pikel continued to battle the Kobold inside, while I held the other two in the hallway. I could hear the low drone of insects behind me followed by a Kobold scream, and I knew that Pikel had transformed. I attempted again to push in the trap and swing at the Kobold, missing both. Enraged by my own failure and unwilling to give up, I reached for my dragon’s tooth. Lifting it into the air, I called down the wrath of Bahamut on the Wyrm Priest, and he screamed in pain and terror. Oh, the sweet sound of justice. Before he could strike back, what remained of Cassie’s fire consumed him.

Spells, pikes and insects continued their deadly dance behind me, but I had eyes only for my foe. I swung out at him with all my might, slashing him on the arm, and my success renewed my determination. Enraged, the Kobold struck back, injuring me once again, and my overconfidence vanished as I watched the blood pour from my wounds.

Both fights continued this way, neither side gaining much advantage, until finally Cassie managed to strike her foe with an icy torrent, pushing his frozen corpse through the swarm of bugs that was Pikel. Returning to his normal form, the two let out a victorious cry, which gave me strength to strike out one more time, despite the pain. The kobold in the doorway let out one last scream as I rent him from sternum to hip, and he collapsed to the floor. As suddenly as it had begun, the battle was over and I was left panting and staring down the long dark hallway in front of me.

I do not know what the future may bring, but my near-death experience has left me shaken and painfully aware of my deficiencies. If I want to protect those in need, I must become stronger. I am thankful to the almighty dragon, for without his blessing, I would surely have died this day, and it is to him that I now look for the strength I seek:

God of Dragons, Lord of the North Wind, Bane of the Cruel and Saviour of the Oppressed, hear my plea. Grant me your Strength, that I may lift up the weak, your Justice, that I may punish the cruel, and your Wisdom, that I may know your will. Show me the way, and I shall follow, for I am your servant, your sword, your justice.

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