It has been a while since last I wrote in this journal. It seems like my entries are getting further and further apart. In no way trying to excuse myself, I’m learning so much from my new companions. It’s pretty amazing how four people from different backgrounds can come together like these four have.
Though I have known him the longest – he was the one that received me in the Temple of Kord when I arrived at Alhaster looking for my brother – Rukk is still the most mysterious of the companions. Ten days now we’ve been on the road to Critwall, and he spends the most of his time in silent meditation, just rocking back and forth with the cart on the road. I remember the first time I watched his meditation back in the Temple of Kord when he was also trying to teach me (I watched him through a winking eye) I was certain he was sleeping! Now on the road his mediation doesn’t change at all. Right when I thought he had fallen asleep again, he suddenly leapt to his feet and alighted from the moving wagon, and stood where he landed as we left him in the dust. I think everyone was pretty surprised when they saw it, but the driver must have also been dozing a little because he didn’t respond to our calls to stop the wagon. Looking back we saw that Rukk was engaging in something that looked like a sort of martial dance, kicking and turning in avoidance of invisible enemies, then suddenly leaping and twisting through the air in a whirlwind of fists and feet, he landed on the ball of his feet and, not for a moment stopping, sprung into an alacritous run, continuing to evade and attack the phantoms as he went and entirely outpaced the rest of us in the wagon! He stopped his run a distance ahead of the carriage, and rhythmically pushed against the last of his false-targets, bowed. and (when we had caught up to him) stepped back up onto the moving cart, took his place among us, folded his feet, and started his silent mediation anew. His devotion to his art and his religion is something that I thought were only fabrications of entertainers told to children and the weak minded – something my own family never allowed me to take part of when the troupe came to town. However, its that he is approachable even during his deepest or most intense meditation; he always response with kindness to my questions, and answers me, treating me as a person, instead of a child… Maybe I’m wrong about him being very mysterious; what it really is, is genuity and kindness. Now that I’ve written so much about Rukk, I feel at a loss for what to say about the others…
I’m most curious about Auroch’s past. Apparently, the dwarf served as a medic for the Knights of the Holy Shielding during the last years of the Greyhawk wars (that he keeps pretty silent about, except to refer to the war in name every now and again). Auroch doesn’t appear to be that old though, even for dwarven standards. He must have served while still in his youth; he was likely born into it. I can’t imagine what the war must have been like for him. What sort of things must he have seen. He says that one day he’d like to build a hospital to treat people on a bigger scale than what a town healer can perform. I imagine his goal comes with an unspoken follow-up, like, “in the case of another war. That we are better prepared. That we can save more.” Auroch has a good heart; my dad would say, “it bleeds”, and would warn me against people like that, saying they are one cause away from endangering their companions. I’m not sure I exactly disagree with his logic, but it feels wrong to run when good can be done. One day, I hope to have the sort of resolve that he (Auroch) has.
Of all the companions, Persa is probably the easiest to read. Its clear that she wants people to think that she has it together, and like a bully, tries to make herself bigger than she is, stronger, and smarter than everyone else; but inwardly is stricken with issues of self-confidence. I can tell she hates me. To be honest, I think I like her the most, because I identify with her. She’ll probably read this later…
Sorin of the Clouded Peak is another weird companion (not in a bad way of course). Granted, the knowledge of Genasi that Alfred taught me is very limited, Sorin acts so immature, albeit his knowledge of the wild is much more developed; he goes off on his own a lot without regard for the rest of the party. I’m sure I’m not alone in my assessment of his character, but I fear that one day he’s going to injure himself badly and no one is going to be able to reach him. That all is so negative though, what I like most about Sorin is also that he’s so carefree. The young(?) genasi often serves as scout and survivalist for the companions, spending most of the time on our journey out on his own, and making frequent stops to report back to our driver (speaking of the driver, more on him next) and the other companions about what to expect. He often returns with the bounty of the woods, and a teeth-baring smile; it’s like nothing bothers the guy, ever. How does he do it?
Our driver is a Goliath that goes by the name Norm. He’s something else to be sure. The other day we were caught in a bandit’s trap (I think the goliath saw it coming before any of the rest of us), he passed the reigns off to Sorin and leapt from the wagon and grabbed the skull of two bandits baring our path and smashed them together, incapacitating both in one move. I’m sure all the other companions feel that Norm is a beast of a man, and is just as curious as I am about his gritty fighting style; I wonder if they have also noticed that he always pulls his cowl over his head as we pull into town, and never remains in the open long if we’re staying the night, like he did back at King’s Inn.
It sure is cold. I miss the hearth back at home, but I’m getting pretty nervous about it too.