Brindol was attacked today. Sieged might be a better word. I was in the Happy Mug at the time, nursing a cider and talking with an interesting human about the forest and the spirits, when some hobgoblins rushed in and started slaughtering people. The Happy Mug is kind of a backwater, but it was full this afternoon and the hobgoblins made a few kills before I was even on my feet.
Most people run from danger, which I guess is appropriate. Why did I run toward it?
The human– Tortolla is his name– ran toward it, too. His turtle spirit is helpful in this situations, he had said, and I got to witness that first hand. Tortolla’s goliath friend Tarque was helpful, too: he ran straight into the melee and kept the hobgoblins close as he sliced them up.
I was busy dodging a flaming torch from a goblin, who I felled in response. In the back, a gnomish mage named Montiago and I were protecting those people who had escaped the first onslaught as they cowered behind the bar. Up front, Tortolla and a drow named D’cafnaet’d were keeping the onslaught as far away as they could.
Once we were all into the fight we made quick work of them, but too many lost their lives before we got there. And once we had the bar safe we looked outside and found that our job was far from over; the whole town was under attack.
Outside, more goblins needed killing. It’s odd, this business of killing. I know full well that these creatures are vile, that their purpose here today was to sack and pillage, to burn and destroy and despoil. And I know that if I had not killed them they would have killed me. I know that, yet still there is that old mix of power and regret as I let loose the fury of the fey and strike them down. They are a life no less natural than those I protect, twisted and fallen as they may be. And I remember every time I see the last breath escape their lips as they crumple to the ground.
But damn can it be satisfying to watch them crumple. An ogre outside the bar gave us an amazing amount of trouble. Bigger than Tarque, he soaked up blow after blow before I finally brought forth the witchfire and watched him finally fall. A crossbowman who actually managed to loose a bolt toward me– ineptly, it turned out– was similarly satisfying to fell. But now, writing it here, I find that their deaths feel hollow, somehow; like putting it in words makes it seem less real; like bragging makes them into a story when they deserve a life better lived, less violent and less abruptly ended.
We all deserve better, I think, but I am quite sure that we cannot all have it. I intend, however, to obtain that better life for myself, my family, and maybe these new comrades I have found today. But now we have to question a little turncoat of a goblin to determine if we are to pursue the horde or prepare for another assault.