Trade caravans were more to his liking. He woke each day in a new town up and down the Low Road, haggling here, rubbernecking there.
Others might think such a life would be dull, plying the same subterranean rivers and lakes, and carting where the waterways did not course, but those who thought that were wrong. There were dangers, to be sure: rapids, nuisance goblins and the like here and there; and on occasion, frightful beasts that lurked in the shadows of the less trafficked routes. But he was blessed with friends along the length of the Road, in each of the Ulek states, in the Gran March, in Bissel and Keoland, even in Celene. He thought he would ply that Road till his dying days.
Until his father's unit was dispatched to help the humans in some border skirmish. They were late returning from patrol, so another unit was dispatched to find them, Aelfric among them. They found Ezekiel and his unit butchered to the last man. Horribly butchered.
|... a hideous figurine|
Aelfric summoned Balazar. And handed him those curiosities. And commanded him to find out what happened, and why Ezekiel and his unit had ventured so far from where they had been posted. "I'm too old for this sort of thing," Aelfric said. "This is a task for the young. This is duty of a son."
He pressed the figurine into Balazar's palm, and closed Balazar's fist around it. "Find out who killed my son, and why." A tear rolled down the old man's cheek, soon lost in his silvered beard. "And then kill the fuckers responsible."
Balazar unfurled his fist, and gazed upon that hideous figurine. Its eyes seemed to glow.
That night Balazar began to have nightmares.
“Revenge may be wicked, but it’s natural.”
― Vanity Fair
One must always give credit where credit is due. This piece is made possible primarily by the Imaginings of Gary Gygax and his Old Guard, Lenard Lakofka among them, and the new old guards, Carl Sargant, James Ward, Roger E. Moore. And Erik Mona, Gary Holian, Sean Reynolds, Frederick Weining. The list is interminable.