Since Barry is going to be my new companion as I battle the forces of darkness within the realm, and he will have to be my co-pilot within the local taverns, I thought it best to take him out and work on his combat skills and tactics. On our previous outings he had a tendency to sneak off behind a tree at all the most inconvenient moments. I think he can do better.

We went over a couple of simple methodologies such as, he will need to save me from myself since I have a habit of getting in over my head, I have no real gift for strategy and sort of wing it when it comes to my attacks, I frequently invoke the wrong spell so don’t get overly excited when there is a misfire, and if worst comes to worst, we’re running and we’ll regroup at the nearest pub.

He gave me a quizzical look that made me think he understood what I was talking about. Next we worked on his attack abilities. I explained it was best if he took point and scouted out for danger up ahead. And above all, he could eat whatever we dispatched. I would be more than happy to make wolf steaks if he didn’t mind letting me have the pelts. We seemed to be in agreement.

With our battle plans all worked out, we took a trip into the forest to practice our theory. Barry was a bit hesitant at first, not wanting to leave my side, but I soon encouraged him to forge ahead. He got a touch overzealous and threw himself in the middle of a wolf pack. Within seconds the forest was alive with snarls and gnashing teeth as the entire brood came down on us. I gave the battle cry to retreat, but Barry would hear none of it. I think he really did hear me, he just ignored me. Typical.

And so the battle was on. We were woefully outnumbered, but Barry was fully committed and it would be in poor form to run screaming from the field of battle. So into the fray I went with sword swinging, shield defending and fist flaming. They got a bit of Flame Fist, Death Touch and Double Swing and surprisingly we ended up gaining the upper hand. Barry has a wicked right hook and bear slapped the wolves right into the dirt.

Much to my surprise, we overcame the odds and were victorious in our little skirmish. Barry was not satisfied and ran to pick on the next pack of wolves. Before I could call him back, he was smacking the wolves right across the face – claws extended, teeth bared. I have to admit, I was a touch frightened at this new found bloodlust. But there was no stopping him. He was committed to the attack. I jumped in for the assist and soon we conquered this band.

As soon as that group lay dispatched, I explained to Barry that we needed to pace ourselves. We didn’t need to demolish the entire forest in one night. I admired his zeal, but if he kept up this pace we would most likely be killed in the morning. He bellowed in what I can only assume was agreement and so I set to work on dressing the wolves for their hides. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with them, but there is no sense in wasting them to rot on the forest floor.

When I finished the work, I got a note from Blake to come join him in another forest for a scouting mission. Oh, what an opportune moment, Barry can get in some more practice and we’ll see how he works with others.

Soon, we met up with my stalwart adventuring companions and set to work. Blake felt like mowing down some Elf Fighters and Mages. He heard there was some worthwhile loot out on the fringes and wanted to see for himself. Loot eh? Twisting Elf Fighters into knots eh? More chances to slap wolves around eh? Well lead on!!!

We snaked our way through the twisting ravines and corridors, sneaking up Elves wherein Blake, using his new found archery skills, would shoot them in the backside to my great delight. I shall never grow tired of that look of shock on their faces when an arrow comes out of nowhere and pierces them in the hiney.

The giggling usually gave us away and then it was time to break out the steel and get down to serious business. Barry had a great deal of fun toying with the Elves. He seems to have a natural talent for juggling them. Or at least their heads.

We could spend all day tossing around Elf heads, but there was loot to find. I wasn’t sure what we were looking for, but when we came across one of their camps with a sweet tent and campfire, I figured we had found it. I was willing to share the camp and the s’mores with the Elf on guard, but he refused my generous offer. Alas, Barry put him in a permanent sleeper hold and I had the s’morse all to myself.

Alley and Blake went to reconnoiter atop the rock formations and found plenty of interesting landmarks. It seems there was another Elf camp, but they didn’t feel like sharing with us either. Pity. They got plugged with arrows for their trouble. I decided to roast a handful of the tasty treats over an open fire and while I was there, I cooked a few wolf chops for Barry. He did a good job on his first real adventuring outing.

 

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Oh, this does not bode well. We are not off to a promising start to our hunting expedition.

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Good show Barry! I admire your zeal! Could we not take on the entire forest at once next time?

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Ok, hold on a minute, I think I see the problem. Got a bit of a bone stuck in here, I’ll get it.

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It would have been so much easier if you just told us where the loot was, but you done made Alley mad and she had to bring down the fire and brimstone.

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So the loot is which way again? We’ve been by these trees at least twice now.

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No Blake, there is nothing down there but death, I’m quite sure of it. Yes, I really am looking. Nothing but a precipice.

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These S’more are delicious. I tried to offer you some stupid Elf Fighter Person, but you refused. Now look at you, all twisted and crumpled and thrown off to the side like dirty leggings.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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