Misadventures in the Forgotten Realms: Part 1
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Journal Entry 1, 1322 AGW, 5 Days after my 700th birthday.
I was 50 years old when I led my first group of hunters. Older than most, but given my abilities, probably too soon. We left early and headed through the Faerie Forest towards the Silver Mountains. Our scouts determined there was a herd of deer moving through that area. We were making good time. I was farther ahead of the group than I should have been, excited to be leading a hunt but perhaps a little overzealous. I knew the forest could be dangerous for a single person, let alone a single person lacking sufficient combat ability.
I heard the brush snapping to my left, so I drew my bow and nocked an arrow. As quietly as I could, I made my way towards the noise. I made my way about 300 feet of trail to see a large bear eating a deer. He stood about 100 feet away. I knew if I could take down this bear, we’d have a large amount of meat added to our storage. This bear could easily provide the amount of meat as 10 deer. So, I raised my bow and aimed. I breathed through my shot as I loosed the arrow towards the bear.
I missed. Badly. The arrow sailed high and embedded itself into the tree 20 feet away. The bear glanced over, and I noticed something unusual. The bear had a scar in the shape of a 5 pointed star around his left eye. As soon as the bear saw me, he rested back on his hind legs and released a tremendous roar. The bear was easily twice my size. His top half fell forward, and he charged me with immense speed. I took off as fast as I could, trusting my elven footing. I tried to remember where I left the trail, but something was pulling me deeper into the woods, towards the mountain base, so I ran there. I could hear the trees falling behind me as the bear continued to gain ground. I saw a cave entrance and was pulled towards it by an unseen force I can’t explain. As I breached the mouth of the cave, the bear was on my heels. I saw the sword there; the blade blackened. It called to me, pulled me towards it. I sprinted towards it, sliding the last few feet. I grabbed the sword as the bear rose immediately behind me. I turned and stabbed towards the heart of this beast. It released a monstrous cry as its body fell on top of mine.
Everything went white. Literally. I was suddenly surrounded by endless white. I turned around and saw a human, dressed in immaculate leather armor, standing behind a wooden table.
“Tybalt, I’ve been waiting,” the man’s voice oozed honey. “Please, have a seat.” He waved a hand and a chair appeared.
“Do I know you?” I asked.
He smirked. “I doubt it. My name, much like my master’s, has been lost to history. But that is unimportant. If you need to call me something, call me Grey.”
I tentatively took a seat. “Alright, Grey, where am I, and why am I here? Did that bear kill me?”
“On the contrary. You used my master’s blade to slay the bear. To answer your first question, you are in the Nothing, a sort of in-between the mortal realm and the realms beyond. You are here because you now owe my master a debt. He saved your life, and as is custom with your people, you now owe him a favor.”
“How did he save my life? All I did was use a random sword I found in a cave,” I protested.
“To you, it was random, but the power of the sword reached out to you, called to you, and you answered. There is great power in that word. The great power that is now yours. We know you, Tybalt. The eldest child of two respected elves. The older sibling of a demi-angel. Yet you never seem good enough. Your mother and father and your clan put all of their attention into your sister because she is special. You can be special too. You just have to accept the sword.”
“What happens if I don’t accept it?” I asked, standing up.
“It’s simple: the sword was never there, and the bear killed you. No one wants that, especially my master.”
“It seems I don’t have much of a choice then, do I?”
“That’s the thing about choices, Tybalt. We never really have them.”
Looking back on that day, I should have chosen the bear.