Pulp’s full name is Pulpuslacerataphobia. I don’t know what the word means. He does, and insists with a smile that Pulp will suffice as his given name.
He can heal, and does so, but does so with such inelegance and brute force (for lack of better words) that I almost wish he wouldn’t. How it must pain a bard to hear a hack performer plucking out an untalented three-chord harmony on a lute and wailing some emotional muck about an unanswered youthful crush…!
There is a grace, a careful elegance about proper medicine, even out here in the middle of nowhere; and especially during battle. Any cleric can channel the divine and tap out a healing spell and restore lost vigor. That’s not the point. I can see there is much that others can learn from me out here.
We ran into an ambush today. At least, that’s what Lunk thinks it was. Our Elf scout thinks otherwise – Xel’Xaran believes the archers were doing something else when we came into view of the cart.
Late morning today, we were a few hours from Callia. Came over a rise and saw a cart off in the distance, unmanned, by the roadside at the limit of our ability to discern detail. Our escorts went on alert, fell in formation – two of them hustled ahead of our group, and two dropped behind.
We advanced quickly, too quickly. Arrow fire erupted from the cart. Four, five, six figures on and around the cart had waited for us to draw closer. Then they unleashed, and kept at it.
Our group broke apart; against orders from our escorts, our fighters broke ranks and charged the archers at the cart. They had a lot of ground to cover to close into melee. That left them open to arrow fire as they advanced. The two forward escorts advanced with our warriors. The rest of us kept pace with the escorts who had been at the rear.
The fighters from our side reached the archers, who were Elves and posed a noteworthy challenge from two defensible positions. BOB, Lunk, Dusty took the fight to one front; Reece, Calum, Xel’Xaran to the other.
Pulp saw Dusty and BOB take hits; my cleric friend with the long name jumped right up, blundering forward before I could cautiously take stock of the situation and decide the best medical response. I saw him slap out a healing spell so haphazardly delivered that it was a wonder that it cast successfully.
The fight did not last more than a few minutes, and for the threat they posed, the Elf archers were overwhelmed and slain without a loss of life on our side. We found prisoners in the cart ! A farmer and wife, no doubt en route to Callia, were bound up upon the floor of the cart, sheltered from sight and from the battle. I loosened their bindings and checked their health, as the others searched the bodies of the elves and pooled the spoils.
The story appeared to be this: these elves, some kind of wandering band of criminals, had waylaid the cart and captured its owners. They marked us as we came into view, hid, and attacked when the opportunity presented. Both Lunk and Xel’Xaran’s interpretations of the event seemed correct. Still, they argue over semantics, even now back at the Guild House.
Loot collected from the dead, prisoners free and offered escort to town, our group returned to Callia. Parted ways with the farmer and wife. Delivered a report on our mission to Gavin, who seemed satisfied. A substantial reward, 200 gold pieces each, was paid to us for a mission completed. Flush with coins, the fighters were not so disappointed to see the elves’ former weapons handed over to the Guild.
Of greatest significance – Gavin has admitted us to full Guild membership. We were awarded colored sashes marked with the Guild symbol. The sashes are perhaps three feet in length, a velvety brown fabric stitched with two distinct symbols in golden thread. They are brand new and made to last. There was even the slightest glimmer of appreciation from Gavin, for our efforts. Menial as they have been so far.
I will admit I had reservations of pledging a Guild whose purposes and aims may well have been sinister, without knowing full-well what I had gotten into. So far there has been nothing objectionable asked of us. I hope that our promotion to membership will not come with a turn in the moral neutrality of our tasks.
Journal of Dr. Marcus Grant
Healing Cleric of Pelor, Order of St-Jude Academy (Silabrek)
8th Day, back in Callia, territory of Ælim.