Since the moment they arrived at the house, Ronlin could feel the dark taint that seeped from every rotten board and shuttered window. Once Pitticus and Aneira managed to identify and disarm the various traps on the porch – Ronlin steeled himself for what they would find inside. The front room seemed to be ordinary enough, if not a bit rundown and in a state of disgusting disrepair. Yet even in that relatively normal room, you could feel the darkness clinging to every stained and moldy surface. Ronlin pushed deeper into the house, eager to discover the fate of his fellow Arrows. But the wave of pure evil that permeated from the room on the left stopped him dead in his tracks. Frantically he pushed back into his companions, forcing them once again into the front room. The look on Aneira’s face confirmed to Ronlin that he wasn’t the only one to sense death coming from that room. If not for the steeled expression in Davros’ eyes, Ronlin may have let the despair overwhelm him completely. But no, with these new allies by his side, Ronlin found the strength to push back into the rest of the house.
If truth be told, Ronlin was originally quite unsure of this band of adventurers. Aside from the soldier Davros, they seemed incredibly inexperienced and ill-equipped for the harsh brutality of the Hook Mountains to which they were headed. It was obvious that they had fought some battles together in the past, but defeating simple goblins or brigands on the road doesn’t prepare someone to face down an ogre or a full blood giant. The elf was prone to talking to himself. Or perhaps, Ronlin suspected, to that black blade he carried with him. Even worse, the scientist and the holy woman seemed intent on driving each other and everyone around them insane with their constant back and forth inane bickering. From what little sense Ronlin could make of it, it seemed Aneira’s young and slightly naive attempts to live out her faith in a practical manner somehow offended Pitticus’ more intellectual and cynical world view. No matter; in this part of the world, they would either realize their differences are what make them stronger together, or they would die like so many others.
Though initially wary of the group, the short time he had spent with them had done much to change Ronlin’s initial impression. They were more than competent in battle, if a bit lacking in their use of tactics. Davros was obviously a seasoned fighter and was used to working with others, as evidenced by his natural tendency to move into the enemy’s vulnerable flank and even open up weaknesses in his foe’s defenses for others to capitalize on. It was slightly unfortunate that his swordplay skills seemed to be a bit rusty. G’vern on the other hand displayed no such faltering in his ability to strike true with his rapier. Aided by powerful magics that he seemed to channel through the blade itself, Ronlin was fairly certain that in a 1 on 1 fight the elf would be tough to beat. Perhaps G’vern’s only real weakness was that he seemed to need a small window of time to reach his full fighting potential. In a similar manner, Aneira seemed capable of channeling her goddesses’ power to aid her both offensively and defensively. The power of a devout follower was nothing to scoff at and the war priestess was clearly both devout and a capable fighter in her own right. Her holy fire would certainly come in handy against the vile evil of the half-blood filth. Speaking of fire, the alchemist Pitticus was like nothing Ronlin had seen before. He had heard of the growing popularity of combining arcane magics with scientific methods but had no idea it would be so effective in battle. Being set aflame by a flask of liquid fire not only scarred an enemy physically, but Ronlin suspected it could go a long way to unnerving any foe, especially those with below average intelligence such as the ogrekin. Impressive as his arsenal was, Ronlin feared how Pitticus may fare in close quarters combat which was much too common when fighting ogres and their ilk.
What mattered more than any skirmish they had had or would have in the future was their character. Despite their differences, all 4 of these individuals had answered Ronlin’s request for assistance. Whatever brought them to Turtleback Ferry had been put aside so they could help Ronlin in his quest for answers and for revenge. He had promised them no money. No glory to speak of. And yet they stood beside him even in this god-forsaken place. That was the mark of a true hero.