I am in a library, there is a massive fire in front of me… the searing heat hits my horns, and I can feel my tail begin to sweat… wait… what the fuck? Looking down I see I’m some sort of demon-man, or man-demon. A highly interesting development. I will have to deal with the existential crisis later, however — since right now I’m in a library full of books and fire, fucking great place to awaken.
I’m standing next to a lady in a long robe who doesn’t seem to be fighting me. She seems familiar to me. Maybe she is a librarian? Do I hang out with librarians?
Through the flames I see two men fighting: one dressed in robes, the other in armor. The one in armor seems to be attacking the robed monk. They too seem familiar. A strong wind blows across my scaly face… WAIT. “Why is there wind inside a library?” I peek around a massive column of books. WHOOSH, something whizzes between my horns — and then I see it, a massive tornado-human creature spinning wildly in front of me. I do the math: fire, fuel, wind = this place is burning to the ground in another hot minute.
Suddenly a small dreadlocked creature sprints at the massive vortex of air and books that stands at least six times her size. Once at its base she seems to explode, blasting her into a set of bookshelves and the tornado-human through several bookcases toward the fire. “Yup, I’m outta here,” I murmur to myself.
As I sprint toward the stairs I see her unearthing herself from the small mountain of books she knocked over in the explosion. For someone so small, she really packs a punch.
As I arrive at the top of the stairs I spot the robed fighter knocking down the armored man as the librarian sprints after him. Maybe he has some overdue books? I also check in on the little one, who is now helping two others, a halfling and a half-orc, to climb out of the books she knocked over. As I investigate the area further I see an arrow fly at one of them from across the library.
I sprint to the highest point I can, the bell tower. From there I can see the archer, as well as the people from the books, now returning fire. But I can’t now see the man-nado — maybe the small one’s attack killed it? I look through my bag and am rather overjoyed to find a crossbow, so I pull it out and align the sights on the figure of the archer. Just as I find the trigger, a huge explosion under me rocks the whole structure.
Through the smoke-choked haze I can see the torna-human has hit the fire and seems to have doubled in size. The books he is throwing rip through the solid wood floor I am standing on like arrows through rice paper. Other than flying books, I can’t really see anything. Standing on this platform any longer will surely result in me being dropped on the ever-growing air beast, and that doesn’t seem an enjoyable prospect.
I start to wonder on my options, which seem pretty sadly limited, only being able to see a foot in front of me. But thats when it hits me — or rather, that’s when I hit *it*, with my head, rather violently. In other words, I’ve found the library’s massive bell. It’s large enough that if I can drop it on top of the wind monster, it may slow it till I can figure out where I am and what I am doing here. An option? I’ve got nothing better. Maybe I’m an idiot? How should I know.
I climb and start undoing its mountings, watching the beast continue to grow. I also see the people who were trapped under the books have made it out via the front door. Maybe I should follow their lead?
As I crawl out a window I feel the room get hotter as the mega-man-nado starts consuming yet more books, wood and fear, growing larger and larger by the second. As soon as I’m outside I sprint away from the bell tower and soon see a small wall just outside my jumping range. As I leap toward it, the building behind me explodes propelling me to land crouched on the wall in front of me, my tail coiling around my feet. Wow, I could get used to being me, with sweet moves like that. Just before breaking into my victory dance (or at least I assume it’s my victory dance, as it makes me feel uniquely awesome), I spot the archer from earlier and fire an arrow at his startled face. Too bad it only hits him in the arm… to be fair, his arm was probably startled too. The sorry people whose lives I just saved round the corner and stand facing me.
“DID YOU GUYS SEE THAT FUCKING MOVE!!!!” I yell out to them, continuing to do my victory dance. Holy shit this tail really makes my dance moves look AWESOME.
With an extremely unimpressed attitude, they muscle out a collective “yeah.” I shrug. I must do this kind of awesome stuff all the time.
I learn their names are Aff (the half-orc), Tarmo (the halfling), Odaroe (the dreadlocked gnome), and Trainer Mendain (a human who lives here at the monastery). As Tarmo tells me his name I’m conscious that he’s likely told me his name several times before, and I’m also tremendously admiring of his rather rocking reverse mohawk. I think to ask him who his stylist is, but the mood doesn’t seem quite right so I hold off.
As Aff prepares to question the currently unconscious archer, who they’ve now restrained upon the lawn, the other three make their way to the far corner of the library. Odaroe turns briefly into a cat (I feel oddly unsurprised) and climbs the remains of the structure to peer into one room in particular. It seems they are looking for someone. Odaroe tells the group that she couldn’t see a body amidst the wreckage of the room, and Trainer Mendain begins to sob as she remorsefully explains something about an abbot. Tarmo wraps an arm around her heaving shoulders — they must know each other. We also must have known this abbot and it seems like he must have been a decent guy, because it really seems to hit the group hard. As we take inventory of the party, we realize that we are short at least three people. Rolen, the fighter from Green Nest I saw battling the monk, and Nithral, the monk, are missing, seemingly swallowed by the library and the fire-nado. A towns member also brings up someone else called Marcon and everybody looks sad about that too. I didn’t see it happen, but apparently someone saw him go down. Whatever — I find I don’t grieve the loss of too many friends, as I don’t usually remember them anyway.
Everyone’s grumpy mood is interrupted when the archer starts to stir, coming out of his unconsciousness. Aff immediately starts to tie him up quite aggressively, and starts yelling about some ancient order, or maybe a mission, frankly I start to zone out.
History or planning doesn’t really matter to me, as I lose my memories nearly every couple of hours. I remember being able to remember when I was younger, but something happened and I lost all of the things everyone else takes for granted.
As I hear Aff continuing to berate the archer, however, I start to remember something from my past. I start to reconstruct a scene from my memory with bits of grass and branches I am finding nearby. There is a city, with houses, little by little things are coming back. I am working on a little grass figure to to represent me when Aff starts yelling at me. I fumble with my words and then feel him push me into my memory diorama. As he pushes me through my grass-city, a letter falls out of my cloak. The letter says “Aff” on the front and is sealed. So I figure what the hell, and hand it to him. His response isn’t exactly what I expected. He explodes in a blind rage on the archer.
Just then I see Rolen and Nithral arise from a well. Or at least I think it’s them — I am so bad with names and faces. Nithral, the one I thought was the librarian, walks over to Trainer Mendain, and they start catching each other up on their escape and their version of events. Turns out they had been crawling through the tunnels, Rolen carrying the badly wounded Nithral, chasing after the robed monk from inside the library. I learn this monk was a traitor, turning on his whole monastery, casting malicious spells and poisoning most of the monastery’s inhabitants and then quite literally riding off into the sunset. Sounds like a real douche.
As I look back to check on the archer’s situation, Aff is in full-blown torcher mode as he continues to interrogate the prisoner, who apparently isn’t cracking. I notice Rolen — who hadn’t said a word yet — putting an arm on Aff’s shoulder. In a low, foreboding, semi-demonic and don’t-fucking-say-no-to-me voice he says, “Aff, I like you, but you lack…” — his stony eyes turn toward the archer — “… elegance.” It’s all pretty intense; I would have told them everything I remembered, hehe! “See this guy?” he says to the archer, and with a snap of his fingers a smokey minion appears on Rolen’s shoulder. “I am going to have him climb up your nose, and hang out in your lungs, but he gets claustrophobic… so…” *SPLAT*, and Rolen’s interrogation is interrupted by the prisoner’s spit landing squarely between his eyes.
“Fuck it, give him to the monastery,” Rolen states defeatedly.
With a better understanding of what we are up against, Nithral tries to recruit some of the few surviving members of the monastery to join us on our journey and help us in our pursuit of the traitor monk. Sadly, none will follow. They do help us out with some gear, but as we are going through the distribution of everything it all gets a little blurry… something about a tuning fork for Tarmo…