I don’t make it through the night much recently.
It’s not dreams, really. Just sudden startled awakening. I see that edge coming down, cruel finality etched on its notched blade. No time for any thoughts. But suddenly my mouth is moving. Words are coming out. The arm stops its swing, the blade lowers; non-lethally, thank the gods.
Sometimes I get that far, but mostly it’s just the edge swooshing down and then the jerking awake. It’s been like this most nights since we assaulted the Staglord’s fortress. Looking back, it’s a miracle that we all came through it as well as we did, seeing as it was just the four of us and one slightly-loyalty-impaired former paladin. Assaulting a fortress on our own, even if we did have some half-cocked disguise plan, is not the way a bard ensures a long, patron-filled career.
Of course, occasional scuffles are nothing new for a bard. When you wander the roads and alleys and taverns you chance that someone will want your purse, or your pack, or your poetry with naught for recompense. This was different. This was something…grander in scope, something more fraught with danger than my typical alleyway escape. It hadn’t really hit me until Akiros’ blade came down. All of this journey had been…..well, really nothing more than a glorified hike in the woods. A couple scrapes, a couple hidden secrets unearthed, but at the end of the journey I’d be back hale and hearty, and with a good portion more gold in my pocket. But this thing that we’re doing, this thing that Tina, Ziv, Dancer, and Beron are creating isn’t some trifle. It’s got…promise. This is the sort of thing that the tales are born from, the stories contain at their hearts. This is the thing that legends leap from, larger than life and making their mark long after we’re gone.
Speaking of legends – something about that fight bothers me still. I don’t know what I said to Akiros. I know I spoke to him, I know my words convinced him to turn aside his blade from me and against his former crew, but thought I’ve wracked my brain I can’t pin down the words. This bothers me. Words, whether in rhythm, to music, or free verse, are my tools. I know them intimately, I know the cadences they make as I choose them to cajole, to coerce, to control. I know the patterns they prefer as I preach, as I prevaricate, as I persuade. It bothers me when I don’t have control of them. I’d be just as worried if Dancer suddenly couldn’t track for us, or Tina forgot how to cackle. Which yeah that’ll never happen, but that’s my point. Why was I suddenly so much more impactful when my wits left me? Why was I more coercive when my control left me? Can I do this again? What happens if I’m in a situation where I need this ability again but I can’t summon it?
What if I’m a drain on the these people fast becoming my friends? I don’t want to be the reason our journey ends in failure.
Gods. An entertainer riddled with self doubt. I need solutions. A plan.
Ok, the Words of Power business I need to put aside for a bit until I can talk with others of my ilk. As for the journey,
Get back to base
PREPARE – cover every eventuality
Further out, time-wise
What can I read about realm organization and administration?
What works for a small kingdoms vs larger?
meaning a growth plan
Now if only planning could take care this damn blade in my mind. Well, wine’ll have to do.