Rather than posting a journal entry of the adventure, Andy has given me the thumbs up to post this cinematic discussion between Tim and Sharky that occurs between adventures. This sheds a bit of light onto some of their mid to long term goals.
**Balefire the Wicked returns to the floating castle after the hectic mission in which he almost pondered everything in existence for a moment and of course the subsequent spy vs. spy debriefing with the council. His purpose at the castle is to manage the projects with the kobold Sharky that keep operations running while Team Heroes are away on missions. Having completed most of the details and affairs of the castle’s maintenance, and also having completed the very public rounds of maintaining Sharky’s prestige by making appearances with him to secure his influence over fellow kobolds, Balefire and Sharky find a rare opportunity to share their philosophies from their unique perspectives on the Good vs Evil while sharing a cup of tea by the fireplace in one of the castle’s towers…Sharky: So I can’t say that I actually ever signed on for this good-guy stuff, but I’m pretty sure that myself and all of the kobolds here are pretty much dead if we ever tried to blend back in with evil society after working for you all.
Balefire: You know, having had a fairly decent life and reputation now on both sides I can honestly say that the day to day isn’t that much different, it’s pretty much a difference of who you work for and why you are doing it. Of course there’s that whole “don’t kill, steal, blah blah blah,” but then again you get the benefit of knowing that everyone isn’t plotting against you to do those very same things.
Sharky: It’s odd that you would say that. Several weeks ago I would tell you that you were wrong, and such thinking makes you weak, but I’ve been witnessing firsthand several accounts where standing shoulder to shoulder and trusting another with your weak side allows these soft ones to develop far stronger than they would have if they had only themselves to rely upon. I suppose that is why their people are able to build great cities, and mine only builds when enslaved by others.
Balefire: Don’t be fooled, there are still snakes amongst them who would lie, steal, and betray only to gain even the slightest advantage for themselves, but it is true, for all of the annoyances that these creatures with their soft little hands possess, there is that undeniable quality that serves them, and most of them don’t even notice it. When they work for others and sacrifice of themselves, they grow stronger for it.
Sharky: Okay, so you know that some of my (insert slang word for kobolds) were tasked out to help a group of young humans with a construction project, under close watch of course, and they were convinced that they were wasting their time when they were told that these buildings were often used to care for elderly that for some strange reason weren’t put out of their misery, or for orphans that weren’t, well… put out of their misery, but even in such a short time how they are picking up on this very concept.
Balefire: What do you mean?
Sharky: For starters, my (same slang word) were awestruck at the sight of the physical strength that mere boys possessed, and they learned that it was from years of giving up their free time to lay stone foundations, shape wood, and carry heavy bags for old ladies. But it wasn’t just the novelty of “that’s a big specimen of human spearbait over there,” it was that in such a short time our workers learned more about building than any slavemaster had ever taught. These humans freely shared with them their knowledge of pretty much everything, with the only thought of repayment being that if these kobolds are on a job again they would really be able to help someone out.
Balefire: That is encouraging to hear, but is this really what they spend their time talking about now?
Sharky: No, of course not, it’s usually bragging, bullying, and business as usual when they get back to their old routines, but this introspective thing is new for them, and frankly… it’s new for me. The only difference I suppose is that I’m one of the few who has had some sort of formal education in the past, so I can read a book or two to sort it out. One of the nobles from the city is actually letting me borrow a copy of pages from a journal of some dark elf from ages past, it’s an interesting read.
Balefire: Sigh, well then I guess you and I are responsible for this pack of misfits and their newfound moral compass. Hey, remember those mandatory Tiamat rituals most of us had to do growing up? Maybe we should try and do one for the other guy. Even if we’re just going through the motions it might do some good for everyone if we decorated a small chapel or maybe a shrine. Let’s see if there’s a book for that or something, I could probably run the service.
Sharky: Yeah boss, just try not to make any of your usual jokes if it’s gonna be a religious thing.
Balefire: Oh that remind me… ‘ahem (clears throat):
Two gnolls are sitting in the woods eating lunch. One says “Man, I hate my wife”
…..and the other one says… “Then just eat the salad!”