The weather is slightly better today. My mood is not. I feel like I have been brooding constantly since the encounters with the hobgoblins and the dwarves.
Outwardly I have tried to act no different than usual. This is not difficult, for the most part. To Lunk, Xel’Xaran, even gruff Gord it is no challenge to offer a smile and ask their well-being and remark with them on sights we may pass. Adiana’s flirtations with Pulp bring me a genuine smirk, and Ayreskin provides moments of puzzlement and curiosity as, in tiny glimpses, his personality emerges in contrast to his appearance.
Those fleeting, cordial moments of connection to some party members are the exception, however. When occasion has me looking back towards the east and our battlefield long since faded from sight, my emotions are mixed.
If I have indicted some party members yesterday, it was only for the mild crimes of indifference or inaction. Hardly failings absent from all men all of the time. Those associates I had not mentioned occupied my thoughts today.
Spiritz may have simply been seized by terrible impulse. As he has never before displayed malice, to impugn his character by one rash action speaks more of my perceptions than of his personality. A mob-mentality can have bewildering effects on a man, clouding judgment and loosening inhibitions. Still, the fervor with which he gripped that worthless axe was disturbing.
Pulp doesn’t seem like a bad guy. Clerics of other deities are every sort of eccentric; aloof, obsessive, naïve, distrusting, passionate, docile, brilliant or dull. I may not agree with his outlook or his methods, especially when there are decisions to be made or matters to be settled, but disagreement is not dislike. I suppose I was disappointed that he did not take a strong stand against the treatment of our prisoners, be it the Yissic’s hobgoblin or the dwarf. Maybe I’m disappointed that he and I are not as similar as I’d thought, or hoped, when we first met ? Clerics of different faiths and vocations are not required to be friends, but you would think it could be a good foundation for a friendship, to have at least some things in common.
Where I don’t find common ground is with BOB or Isis. The hobgoblin interrogation is all I see if I talk to Isis. I don’t know if he senses it. My trust in him is nonexistent. He joined our group late, has proven himself comfortable with unsavory methodology. Even when he is talkative and engaging, there is still a sense I get from him of things kept hidden and words not spoken.
It is different with our monk. BOB seems no different from the fitness fanatic with whom we’d sailed down the river to Mid-Plain, in the sweltering heat. He is more involved and more outspoken than when I first met him, and since the Dwarf Cleric I get more of a sense that BOB is ruled by quick, decisive efficiency. He does not seem to have a system of internal debate or a quiet core of doubts. I find he arrives at decisions quickly. Not incorrect or spurious decisions, but decisions formed out of a self-certainty that is admirable yet frightening. A decision is this way or it is that way; for him it seems there are no other possibilities.
This would be a good foundation for a leader, were the options he generates not formed with a distinct lack of compassion, consideration, or humility. To be certain of a course of action is second nature to me; but I know the perils of expressing it too boldly and the outward appearance that creates.
Speaking of outward appearances – Alex. I will speak of him in tomorrow night’s entry. He is not so easy to explain.
Journal of Dr. Marcus Grant
Healing Cleric of Pelor, Order of St-Jude Academy (Silabrek)
45th Day, grasslands, territory of Ælim.