Well that was clever. The first thing The Firm decided to do that morning was split the party. I mean, have they never seen a puppet show, or read a pamphlet? Never ever split the party! Ah well, each to his own.
Leo, Clyde and Gindalf left on a scouting mission around the nearby town and I got to stay with my master and the remainder of The Firm. It was an uneventful night, redolent with fireflies, crickets chirping in the bushes and the sound of a small stream close by. At one point during the night, sometime after midnight, as this was the time my master made me pray with him, or at least kneel in supplication, a big dog came striding into camp. This strange animal, showing no fear of The Firm, hopefully not to its demise, was followed by a very round dwarf called Ronut Strongbeard. He was a jovial one, crows feet around the eyes showing that he was a dwarf used to laughter, and a gut of such proportions that he would stand out in a field of boulders as the largest object in girth.
Just before sunrise, The Firm was also attacked by a leopard crawling bandit that was probably just taking a dump in the bushes, minding his own business. My master decided that the bandit’s life should be forfeit and between Ronut, and little Erin, they made quick work of the bandit. It was at this precise moment that the terrible tragedy that was the life and hopes of Alan started.
My master, not content with killing an innocent wood crappper, decided to bring him back to unlife, just to twist the blade in his eye and make his life even more unbearable. He was called Alan. A young but ambitious man, quickly rising in the ranks of a troop of concerned citizens. The group was composed of amateur doctors and very effective bankers. They would first establish the health of a prospective client by poking them with specialized equipment. This was followed by a lifelong saving plan offered by the more senior of the group. It usually turned out well, with the savings lasting well past the demise of the prospective client, proving once and for all that the plan was perfect.
Alan was also a deep man. He had the love of a good man called Bandit three, he enjoyed long walks in the woods, amateur poetry, and staring at sunsets. This was not the best thing for his eyesight, which was probably the reason he decided to relieve himself so close to a group of adventurers, causing his proximity to my master.
Alan and I were instantly the best of friends. Given, I was a tad jealous of the fact that he had meat on him, but beggars can’t be choosers, friends were not exactly an abundant commodity. In quiet moments we started forming a plan. The basics were taking shape. We would follow the master’s orders to a tee, nothing more and nothing less than what he said, his specific words and not the obvious meaning behind them. It was a good plan, it would work!
That was what we thought, until we entered a dilapidated town a short distance from camp. It was not a large town, but it had its fair share of stone buildings, and even a large temple with a spire rising to the heavens. We could not see a soul though, and it was starting to creep me out completely. Doors swinging to and fro in the breeze, no sounds of barking dogs or the play of children, it just felt wrong.
Suddenly, we were ambushed. Alan and I helped The Firm to defeat some very sneaky archers in town. They were nigh on invisible and were positively sprouting from the surrounding roof tops, like so many mushrooms after a few days rain. This is where the first flaw in our plan became apparent, a flaw that would once again leave me in solitude. Our master had not forbidden us from dying again, so we had a choice. We could choose to leave the world forever. This is exactly what Alan did. Who can blame him?
Standing high above the ground on the edge of a tavern roof, he came face to face with his love bandit three. He could not bear the look of revulsion on his lovers face and in a last act of love, he grabbed on to his lover and jumped over the side of the building’s roof, killing them both. It was one of the saddest things I had ever seen. So unnecessary yet the only release Alan could hope for. To this day, I do not blame him, but I resolved myself to the fact that I would forever be alone. Something else my master would pay for. Dearly!
The rest of the battle went as expected, lots of dead people, my master somehow containing himself and not causing more pain by raising the poor good souls that fell that day.
One moment in the skirmish will forever stand out though. The moment when the dwarf Ronut brought down a damn building! He just casually ran up to the building, looked it square in the mortar and shoved it over. It didn’t stand a chance, and neither did the good bandits perching atop it.
The Firm decided to use the old abandoned temple as a camp, and took refuge for the night, my master once again sadistically leaving me outside the door, to act as a door.