Added above the other text: Cyrus: Following is a collection of notes, a journal, for yourself. Please, if you’re having trouble remembering, read this. I’m scared I’m going to forget again. End addition

Journal Entry 1

I had better keep a journal of what I do. It’s been days since I woke up in the middle of that town. I have no recollection of what happened before I was unconscious. I didn’t even remember my name. It’s Cyrus. CYRUS. Don’t forget.

The town was littered with the dead. Villagers slaughtered everywhere. They said they found me in the middle of a circle of them, like I cut them down. Everyone’s gaze pierced me. They were judging me. But I know… that I couldn’t do something like that. The dwarf, especially. He was cruel and accusatory.

A haughty man defended my merit. I now know his name to be Roland. He trusted me so readily… but I don’t even trust myself. Roland is a virtuous man, but his personality is absolutely stifling. I’ve often little to say, but his thunderous voice edges my own out when I finally do. He adheres to some knightly code or another. I would say “to each his own” in this situation, but the bastard forces it down the throat of everyone he encounters.

I’ve been traveling with him and a couple other companions, Katarina and Dameris. Katarina has as little to say as I do in many situations, and I appreciate her attitude toward most things. She’s a fine marksman and seems skilled in getting past locks and such. I’ve noticed Roland showboating when he’s around her. Sometimes the man seems more like a series of compensations than anything else.

…I keep going back to Roland, don’t I? He riled me the other day. We captured an elf who had been consorting with and using undead to attack the village. Absolute scum, spat rather than spoke. He knew something which needed to be extracted and he was not about to cooperate. We were his enemies, after all. I implied that we may need to utilize some methods of pain to learn what we needed to protect the villagers from any other attacks. Roland insisted that this was unacceptable. Nobody was to be tortured under his watch. Never mind that he kept talking about hanging the man!

What in the hells is the difference if you injure someone to get information to save people’s lives when you’re going to kill the damned monster either way?!

Damnit, I’ll continue this tomorrow.

Journal Entry 2

Apparently I have less time to write in here than I assumed, it’s been days since my first entry.

It seems I forgot to pen a description of Dameris in my last entry. He is a rather light-hearted gnome, and appears to be some sort of wizard by trade. He has a strange habit of making little sound effects when he casts his spells at our enemies. I find him likeable enough, though I am often surprised at his disregard for the life of others – he doesn’t think twice about killing our enemies. I often do. It is strange, he is rarely serious, but I sense something darker within him.

This relates to an encounter we had just yesterday. We attacked some elven (so many elves…) druids under the roots of a massive tree. They had taken some local lumberjacks as slaves. When the fight had settled, one elf was left alive. Roland questioned him under promise of granting a clean death. The elf readily betrayed their plans for only this. I feel I would endure torture before I helped my enemy, even if so near death. The tree was rooted to a nexus, and it needed to be severed so the elves could control it.

When questioned about Duskrunner, however, the elf refused to speak unless we let him go free and unharmed. I know that name. It is the only thing I remembered when I first woke up in that village. Dameris suggested that even if he did give us the information, when we released him he would run back to Duskrunner and warn him. And, of course, an enemy left to run free would simply become an enemy again and put more innocent lives in danger. I see the logic in this, but I felt strongly that the risk was worth the information we would gain. Besides, I had a plan.

Roland put it to a vote. Apparently, I was the only one who wished this information more than the death of an enemy. Roland, our “virtuous” Paladin, cleaved the head from this helpless elf, killing my chance at information with it. I’m still dumbfounded as to how a knightly code allows the slaying of unarmed, surrendered individuals.

If the fools had taken the information and let him go, I would have gladly broken their word for them. I had every intention of maiming the man before he left so he could never work a weapon again. Stuff their promises and honor, we need all the information on Duskrunner we can get and we need to protect the innocents these people threaten.

I’m getting tired of being held back by someone else’s morals. I need to control myself. My companions are on the right path, they genuinely want to help people. It’s just so difficult to accept the how of it, sometimes.


The Second Rise of the Phoenix Legion Noel