Middle of the Desert
Party's Heroic Adventures
As related by Buddyo:
Death of a bastard child, birth of a fighter
I am a halfling, born of halfling. Or so I must assume.
At the meer age of 3, my parents were summoned out of the Sultan’s capital city. I do not know the details of their departure. They left quickly with no planning, entrusting me to the care of our neighbors, a human family by the name Bedecks. My parents left the Bedecks with a sizable bill of tender which, they explained, was meant to cover the costs of raising me while they were away as well as any unforseen emergency. And with that they left, claiming they would return within a year.
Two years passed, and my parents didn’t return. In those two years, no word was heard of them.
At the age of five, I was due to engage in the Water Sacrament. Lacking kin who shared my heritage by blood, I had no sponsor to swear troth. By the law’s eyes, I was a bastard child and alien to the state. I had no legal rights. This problem was confounded by being halfling, living among humans corrupted with bigotry.
In my tender youth, I could not understand the great kindness the Bedecks had shown me. I would not fully understand it until 17 years later. With the remainder of my parents’ money as well as a modest sum of their own, they were able to grease the skids in the local bureaucracy. Although I could not receive full citizenship, they became legally recognized as my Godparents. As a child under the care of citizens, I was allowed the rights of a full citizen until I reached the age of 18, at which point my status would return to one of alien. Because of this, I was privy to a high class public education. I received the combat training and desert survival skills that all future citizens underwent in our militaristic society. Although the other schoolchildren would tease me persistently, no adult human dared touch me, for fear of the draconic laws which protected me. I would likely have perished or been stolen into slavery before adulthood, were it not for the kindness of the Bedecks. I only wish I had been able to understand their sacrifices while I could still know them.
My adventure properly began when I struck adulthood. Lacking professional training and being unable to trace my lineage, I had a decision to make which was no decision at all. I could be presumed of foreign birth, without citizens’ rights and without social status, with no chance of improvement. Or I could join the Sultanate Foreign Legion, defending Sultan and sultanate of enemies foreign and domestic. With completion of 5 years’ service and honorary discharge, I earn full citizen’s rights.
So what was I to do? I met with a recruitment officer, a real scumbag named Zultrich. He told me life was good in the army. He made promises which had no bearing in reality. I remember, he showed me his timepiece. It ran by some arcane power, not your typical sun-dial device. “Our soldiers get the best of the best. The best weapons, the best armor, the best training. After all, their success is our nation’s success, right?” I will never forgive him the lies he told.
Zultrich was correct that we do give the army the best of the best. But we don’t give it evenly. Once the records were recorded and the allegiances sworn, I was quickly sent off to basic training. Upon completing basic training, and being found unfit to serve in an advanced role due to my diminutive size, I was issued a sword and shield and assigned to the rank of infantryman, also known as “grunt”.
So I was issued a spear and a suit of armor. The sergeant at the armory thought he was funny. He handed me a full-sized spear, 7 feet long, which stood over twice my height. The handed me a set of scalemail, 45 pounds in weight which would have been too much for your average halfling to budge. I saluted, picked up my the armor in one hand, and dragged the polearm behind me. I spun around on my heel and marched off doubletime without working up a sweat. I wish I could have seen the expression on that ugly son of an oni’s face when he realized I wouldn’t be needing a dirk and hides to wear.
The Adventuring Party
Since my platoon leader had no interest in actually making use of my unique skillset, he was always assigning me on “special” missions. Only the gods know know many Operation: Mashed Potatoes For The Squad I masterminded.
One night, my platoon leader met up with some freelance adventurers at a local pub. They were drunk, and so was my platoon leader. After a few hours of shooting the shit, my platoon leader had what he considered a brilliant idea: a simple bet. He bet their hungriest member that they couldn’t eat 5 conjured waybread crackers in one minute. Of course they couldn’t!, nobody could. Those wafers are dryer than sand we built our civilization on. Anyway, the adventurers lost the bet, and the next day my very hung over platoon leader found a single moment of joy through his headache when he announced to our squadron that I would be transferring to the adventurer’s platoon.
This was how I met the party of heroes I have adventured with for the last 5 years.
As Per Guillermo Ranajay von McAbdul:
I had been wandering the caravan routes for years, working as the eyes and ears for merchant lords. They wanted information, information about their competition and information about their employees, who could sometimes be gone for years. One day I got a job offer to look in on the work by an adventuring party. The merchant had hired them to guard a caravan going through one of the rougher patches of desert, and there had been problems in the past with defection and robbery. To top it off, the adventuring crew was freshly formed, with no experience and no reputation. So, I pretended to be just another idealist seeking my fortune and joined up. However, by the time the monsters were slain and the goods safely delivered, I was truly and member of the party and an adventurer for life.