| Path to Choose
I'm fed up to the back teeth with carrying parcels and letters from one end of the world to another. I just cannot devote my whole life to delivering the post. It is in no way satisfying and it is also poorly paid considering how often you have to risk your life just to bring a parcel from Venore to Darashia, for example. Well, I've enough and I've made up my mind. I quit my job right now!
I'll seal my decision with a cold beer at Frodo's Hut. I haven't visited him for ages and since I'm in Thais this is a good opportunity to have a chat with him.
Well, that was an awesome night. I had a good conversation with my old friend Frodo. He totally understands and supports my decision. Unfortunately, he has some own troubles as well but nothing I could help him with. But nevermind. Change of subject. What will I do now? I need a new life task, but of what kind?
I saw a small note pinned at the wall of Frodo's pub.
Your gods need YOU! Join the holy Inquisition to fight the enemies of your gods and your country! Contact Henricus in the Inquisiton quarters beneath the Thaian jail!
To be honest that sounds a bit dangerous. I'm not famous for my courage or bravery. I don't even know how to wield a sword. Nevertheless, this offer appeals to me somehow.
But maybe there is another job for me. Frodo told me about a guild next to his pub. According to him, the guild is always looking for new recruits. As far as I know a guild consists of more than just only fighters and warriors. Maybe they need a cook, or a treasurer, or someone who cleans their guildhall? I'll flip a coin...
Heads or tails… The Warriors Guildhall! Well, let's see if we can get me a new job.
Warrior: Who's there?
Warrior: Obviously…How can I help you my friend?
Me: I would like to become a member of your famous guild.
Warrior: An aspirant? Come in and take a seat. I'll get our leader.
Leader: So, I heard you want to join our ranks, my young friend.
Me: Yes, I want to wear the Warrior outfit.
Leader: Many want that, but only a few are worthy. Do you have any references? Experience in combat and battle? Decoration for bravery?
Me: Well, milord, that's the point…
The job interview went better than expected. The Leader of the Warriors guild seems to be an experienced and sociable fellow. Instead of mocking me for my inexperience, he was very sympathetic. He said that I have to understand that he can’t make me a member of the guild without any proof of my skills and loyalty. Even cooks and cleaners have to be "true warriors" and full members of the guild. But he will give me a fair chance to prove myself. If I’ll stand a test, he will allow me to join the guild and to wear the Warrior outfit.
Oh… I'm so excited. Restrain yourself! You're still nothing but a former postman… but soon, I'll be wearing the shoulder spikes and the sword. Hooray! Can't wait for it… Calm down! First you have to pass the test! The guild leader gave me three options I can choose from:
a) Receive a promotion from Kruzak, emperor of the dwarfs.
b) Negotiate a truce with our enemies, who reside at the Nordic Stronghold close to Carlin.
c) Convince the last of the Black Knights to join our guild.
If I'm successful I can join the Warriors guild…
I don't feel an urge to visit the dwarfs. I'm afraid to get lost in that big mountain… Also, negotiating with enemies sounds like something that could be dangerous… Convincing anyone to join the guild? Well, either he says yes or no. I'll go for this one.
Totally forgot how much I hate the swamp - but never mind. The guild leader gave me instructions where I can find that ominous Black Knight. As a postman, I have some experience to find odd places, and I also know how to access them even if a door is locked. Well, to cut a long story short, I found the ruins where the Black Knight supposedly lives.
What a luck. I could easily outrun the monsters on my way and didn't have to fight them. Well, now let's enter that magic forcefield and see if I'm able to convince that knight.
Me: "Hello? Sir? Anyone at home?"
Seems the bird has flown. Let's take a look around… There's a weird glance behind that tree over there… You have found a crown armor. Oh… Wow… That's nice. My first armor! Now I'm curious about the other trees… You have found a crown shield. Yeah, I almost feel like a true warrior! Wait, what's that? A parchment:
Damn you Thais! Damn you TBI! I am no longer an agent or a noble but a black knight. A dark avenger that will have his revenge!
Oh, that does not sound like that guy has any intention to join a warriors guild in Thais… Ah… someone is coming… I'll try to get that over and done with as quickly as possible…
Me: "Greetings milord, I've come to you to ask you if you might be interested…"
Black Knight: "NO MERCY!"
What is he doing… He is attacking me… HOLY GODS, he wants to kill me….
Me: "Stop it, please! I don't want to fight! I… I just want to talk to you."
Black Knight: "No prisoners!"
You lose 69 hitpoints due to an attack by a black knight.
Me: "Ouch! Please!!!"
You lose 12 hitpoints due to an attack by a black knight.
That was close! He almost cut my head off. Oh my… I'm scared to death… My feet shiver with fear… I just can't… Duck, shield, duck, shield, duck… The shield does a heck of a job but I won't survive long against this mad warrior… Soon, I'll be cold and dead…
…I can't believe it. I was incredibly lucky. I didn't stand a chance against the Black Knight, but somehow I managed to keep enough distance to his sword. I was running around, desperately searching for an escape, feeling his breath in my neck when I suddenly lost a parcel. I didn't even know that I still had some post stuff in my backpack. The parcel dropped on the ground, the Black Knight stumbled over it, and, I still can't believe it, he fell on his sword. He died immediately.
The Black Knight is dead, I killed him! Well, probably a question of interpretation…but no one knows the truth… So, let's see what we got here…
Loot of a black knight: a warrior helmet, a knight axe, knight legs, boots of haste
That seems to be decent equipment… I'll try it on… Mh… I have to admit that I almost feel like a true warrior and that the weapon and armor increase my self-confidence a lot. I was always afraid to use a sword but holding this axe feels very good. Maybe, with some training… a skilled axe fighter…I get off the point…
So, let's see. What are my options? I can go back to the guild and report about my mission. Though, I am quite sure that the leader sent me on that mission knowing that I never had a chance to convince this mad Knight to join the guild. But why did he send me then? Was it a test or an easy way to get rid of me? But even if he lied to me, the guild could teach me axe fighting and what it takes to become a good warrior. On the other hand, I'm not sure if I want to become part of a brotherhood that is not honest to its aspirants. Maybe it is time for me to continue on my own…
…but not now. I have to be modest. It was pure luck that let me survive this fight. The fact that I'm still alive doesn't make me a glory knight. I'm still nothing but a former postman blessed with the luck of the gods. If I really want to become a skilled warrior I have to grin and bear it and go back to Thais. Anyway, I feel stronger and more confident. Nevertheless, I want to know the guild leader's true motive behind this mission. Well, there is only one way to find out…
I'm stunned. The guild leader was surprised to see me alive without any wounds but he also admitted straightforwardly that it was a test and that I passed it gloriously… He further said that the guild would be glad to welcome me and to train me in all warrior skills and to teach me all I have to know to become an excellent fighter.
That's a great chance for me for sure, but I'm not certain if I want to be treated that way. I don't want to act as a human guinea pig. I could have died in that dungeon and if I go with my gut I have to take vengeance for this treatment. My blood is running hot and fast through my veins. I can feel an unknown bloodlust deep inside me… I'm alone with the leader and he is unarmed… I wonder how he would look with my axe in his… Alas! What's going on with me? Seems that I took more from the Black Knight than just his weapons…
What shall I do? Take my revenge or take his offer?
For now, I will take the offer and join the guild, but I won't forget what happened…
written by Sir Cheerful
The following day the leader, now simply known as Gregor, introduced me to his fellow guild members. There were a few familiar faces in the crowd, Black Bert was there, one of the royal guards, Chester, was there as well and in the corner was...
The voice came from just behind me. I got startled and whilst turning around, I fumbled and dropped my axe on the floor. I got so embarrassed and to my surprise the source of the noise was a girl. People burst out in laughter and my face turned into a purple shade of shame.
Gregor: It's alright, Aruda has that effect on people.
Aruda smacked me on the back, with such raw power that it forced me to take a step right on a lovely collection of blood herbs, ruining them in the process and furthering my embarrassment.
The crowd stopped buzzing and attentively looked at Gregor.
Gregor: This is our new recruit. You may know him as the Black Knight slayer. I want you to take care of him and teach him our arts. Will you do this for me?
Gregor: Good. Now next on our agenda is...
The south wall of the guildhall collapsed with a huge bang.
...: DEATH TO THE KNIGHT SWINE!
In ran Elane, from the local paladin guild, shooting explosion arrows all around the place and Marvik the druid! Marvik was probably just there for effect because all he ever did was making it snow all over the place. Elanes arrows killed people to the left and right and the sight of blood made me lightheaded. The last thing I saw before passing out was Gregor, in a one-vs-one combat with Elane.
When I woke up, Gregor was kneeling next to me, looking flustered.
Gregor: I'm sorry son, this is not what I wished for. That god forsaken druid has poisoned me and I'm dying.
Gregor: All are dead, except you. If I were you I'd leave this place and never look back.
Gregor: No buts! Ha-ha-ha.. No butts, hilariou.. sss…..
Those were his last words, then he faded. I looked around on the devastation Elane and Marvik had caused. It was surreal, everyone had died! In the middle of the room Elane and Marvik lied, holding eachothers hands. The reason for this massacre I would never get.
I walked over to Kevin and begged for my old job back. He told me it was alright as long as I hurry and deliver a package of yellow roses to Amarie the librarian in Ab'dendriel.
I hasted towards Captain Bluebear.
Me: Please take me to Ab'dendriel.
Captain Bluebear: That will be 120 gold pieces mate.
Me: Oh ye, right, wait!
I fumbled around in my pocket and could only find 110 gold pieces. That's odd.. I could swear I had 120...
Our story is finished. Thank you all for your votes and of course, special thanks to all of you who participated in our little contest. We CMs made our choices. CM-Tokens were sent to Dark Spike, Zara Raun, and Sir Cheerful, whose submission was chosen as official end of this little adventure.
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