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Hollow’s Last Hope

Dear diary.

That’s how these entries usually start out, don’t they? Or perhaps this is more like a journal; never was quite clear on the difference between the two in any case. Guess I’ll try to find out someday. But what a way to begin. Let’s start over.

You should know that you are not mine, or rather you were originally not mine, but recently recovered by me. Oh dear, I’m making a mess of things. Let’s go back to where our most recent tale starts.

It begins in darkness, deep underground, where we just finished killing off a local kobal king and rescuing a great number of children from his clutches. We were searching for them for only a couple weeks, but it felt more like months in the many twists and turns we all encountered. I suppose you want to know who ‘we’ are. Well, that’s a long story in and of itself, but I’ll try to make a short little snippet about our ragtag group of heroes and how we all came to be traveling together.

My journey began when I left the forest of my youth with my faithful wolf companion, Fluffie, following the guidance of the earth to a small town called Hollow. Something was dreadfully wrong there, and the earth was not pleased so I came to investigate. It was at the local tavern that I met most of the rest of the group, all hailing from different places and walks of life.

The most vocal member of our party would have to be Gorath, a rather devout half-orc priest of the order of some goddess called Iomedae who honors valor and battle-type things. I’m not the most familiar with their beliefs but Gorath is a valiant warrior in any case, if he tends to be a little on the boastful side now and again, though I supposed he usually earns the right to do so via his sword arm or his ability to imbue strong spirits and remain standing. He has a good heart and a good head on his shoulders, if a little impulsive at times.

Only slightly less vocal, and more skilled with wit and a song, is the gnome bard, Das Gut. Strange little fellow by all accounts, but he’s always handy with a sarcastic remark, joke, or song and he keeps all of our spirits up with his encouraging words and speeches. Although something happened to him in the latest dungeon (which I suspect was brought about by another of our party members which I shall describe shortly) where something happened to his clothes, and all there was that could be spared that fit him was a small child’s dress. He has embraced his cross dressing a little too enthusiastically if you ask me, but that’s on him.

There was also a human warrior, a dwarf, as well as a half-elf rogue named Neika, the last of which was…was my friend. All of these were lost to us: the warrior was recalled home, the dwarf basically disappeared on us in the dwarven ruins-we are not sure if he was killed or decided to leave us, but he gave us no sign of leaving and we could find no sign of him no matter how much we looked-and the last…she was beheaded in the fight with the kobal king. The same fight that took the life of my beloved Fluffie. I carry the battleaxe of the defeated king with me in memory of them.

You can’t see it, but my other wolf companion, Koda, just put his paw on my arm in a sweet gesture of comfort. He’s a good boy, he’s been with us for a while now, and I know he misses Fluffie almost as much as I do. But those are the companions that we started with, more have joined us along the way.

The dwarven ruins had many strange twists and turns and while exploring a decrepit prison we came across an imprisoned half-elf wizard named Emel. She is the one I mentioned earlier, for no sooner had she set her eyes upon the gnome than she cast what I believe was a spell of charming upon him, and then it just got awkward from there. I believe those two have a history, but to be honest I don’t know that I care to know much about it. Something about that woman seems…off, so to speak. Both Neika and I were debating if it was actually just a man wearing a dress when we first met her. And now with the gnome wearing dresses…it’s a mess. I don’t particularly like her all that much, though I do trust her to watch my back in a battle, but maybe time will break down that barrier. Maybe it won’t.

At the very last room we checked for the missing children we found a strange sight: a kobal shaman of terrible power and countenance, holding aloft a still beating heart, as a bound creature on an alter before him pleaded for her life. She managed to escape him in the heat of battle (thank goodness) and later returned to help carry an unconscious child to safety. We’ve known her little more than a day, this strange shape-shifter which I believe is from a race of creatures called kitsune, but I can already tell she has a caring heart, as well as swift feet and a deadly sword in battle. She introduced herself as Trivier (which apparently is a traditionally male name, though if she had never told me I would have never guessed) and so far has decided to stay with our company to assist in the…but I’m getting ahead of myself again, one last person to introduce.

When we finally left the darkness of the ruins all of us were excited to see the blue sky and breath fresh air again. But it was not to be. A great cloud of thick smoke hung in the sky, all of us could tell it was in the general area of where the small town of Hollow was located. Fear filled us, as well as a desire to see what happened. But little, tired feet cannot be rushed and we were obliged to take a full day to reach the logging camp near to Hollow. There we found hunters and a great number of refugees, many of which were overjoyed to see the safe return of their children. We asked some of the hunters what had happened to Hollow. They told us what they knew and directed us to the closest thing to authority they had in their shanty town. We found a grey-skinned half-orc ranger with a great shaggy beard by the name of Durzo directing the relief efforts of the Hollowians. What he could tell us was not encouraging, but I will leave the day’s adventures until my next entry.

I shall try to document our journey in these slips of paper, for though I am not the most eloquent of writers, I feel we are embarking on a journey that should not be forgotten or left to slip into the pages of history. Great evil is in our path, such as we have never faced before. It’d be a shame if the works of our ragtag crew was never spoken of again.

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Meet Glamdring the Foe Hammer!!!

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…What is this place?

*Blows dusts off the handle and gently pushes the door open with a long, rusty squeak* “…Hello?” No reply, no one has been here in ages.

Darkness inhabits this dusty space, broken up only by shapes almost indistinguishable and the hanging cobwebs. It looks like I’ve stumbled into an attic of a long abandoned home. A few small shafts of light break through a dusty window across the small room from me, and I cross over to it with damp rag in hand. In a few short moments I have a dingy circle of somewhat clean glass and light pours into the room behind me.

The shapes are boxes, long abandoned, folded shut, and covered in a film of dust like everything else in this place. A few steps beyond the boxes is another shape, this one resembling a piece of furniture hidden beneath a drape cloth. Hopefully it doesn’t have any mice inhabiting it.

Taking ahold of the cloth, I pull it back to reveal an old armchair, still looking as loved as it once was beneath its cover. It’s a dusty red with dark, faded bronze paisley patterns covering it in little tufts of velvet. A few prods into the seat reveal it’s still cushy enough to sit in and steady enough to take the weight.

Lifting up the top box, I take a seat, and open the folded lid. Inside are pictures, memories I’ve stored in this place from time that is actually told. A small, wistful smile comes to my face as I look over them. I’m not the same girl I once was, and my life has changed so much since then.

I take a look at the room around me; perhaps it is time I come back to this space, perhaps it is time I make it usable and homey again. Perhaps I shall come back from time to time and make the window open a little bit wider. Perhaps, or perhaps not. I shrug, time will only tell.