Pathfinder: Avengers of Westcrown
The Avengers fuck everything up.
I’m serious. I like them. I joined them, then sort of… Maybe I didn’t ever leave, but I needed a break, and I wasn’t there very long. They showed me just how extreme everything was getting- and how I wasn’t going to see change come about working on my own. I fell into a lot of crowds- I don’t even remember who led them or their goals anymore. The important thing was that I was leading squads, giving orders, telling people how to fight and not get killed. I was sharing what I knew as I fought. I admittedly probably only hated the Drow military because I was at the bottom when I started- I came out a bit more above average in Westcrown, especially where just word of mouth can raise your rank. I’m still a pawn and I know I’ll never reach the very top- I don’t want to. But now, I have some control to call my own. And I have experience and technique to share- you can’t swing your weapon in a needlessly evil way and still kill them unless you know what you’re doing.
But I digress. So I didn’t really “leave” the Avengers; I just disappeared. I don’t think we were on bad terms- I didn’t really care when I left, the state I was in, but they seemed to welcome me back anyways. Was that a bad idea? … Maybe.
The most I remember of the dwarf was his drunken fight, where I bet against Motyl on the victor being literally anyone but Manden. He seems to have grown since then- I don’t really want to call the giant that I saw a dwarf by any means. He made a spectacle despite the fact that some other people were making a point of making a spectacle themselves. While I like Mimic Merchant, he’s not as fun to hang around when he is eating someone, so I figured that I could get involved, for old times… Maybe see if I was still an Avenger, because the more time that I’ve spent in this city, I know that it does have to change. I was watching Majkojebac because Zed was busy doing a “Druid thing” that I just “wouldn’t understand,” which I honestly think meant he was expecting company that night, but I wasn’t going to ask- Socothbenoth will probably tell me all of the perverted details anyways. The two of us bolted up the statue, using my newest training to help me scale it with ease.
The rest gets fuzzy. I had mostly been fighting little punks around the city- some were tough, sure, but no one had actually been a true challenge to me. I had been shouting about how to improve my friends’ techniques, and leading by example… But apparently some of these people were former employers of mine. They must have had someone else hire me- I don’t really remember working for these jackasses, but I don’t think that this will hurt my resume too badly. One was a fucking Wundras, even- he’s dead now. They need to learn that they can only pick on surface elves- drow are another story. But that’s a better story.
I’ll be honest- I got fucked up. I was expecting some little punk who thought that, because he could create a cone of ice, he was suddenly a badass and interesting to demons. That wasn’t quite what I ran into. But one of the few things I remember was Scorpio. I’d been interested in the potential of one’s own mind… Apparently, so was she. While I’d love to be mocking towards magic-users per usual and describe her as squishy, she was just small… The look of someone so frail that you’d fear they’d break if you touched them, but the wire-y muscles and look in their eyes show that they could beat you at literally anything, especially because they’d use foul play. While I was teaching another Wundras that elves are still “icky” and that they need to fuck off… She did… Fucking something. It wasn’t like she just took away his magic- no. She did that, but more. She took away his fucking life- she stabbed him in the spirit, and the guy in front of me became a zombie. Majkojebac and I let gravity do the rest of the work, before we, well… I think that both of us made a friend. I’m not really sure- it’s not something that I’m used to. But I think what this was was friendship. We fistbumped- and not even with viridium, where I’d sit back and laugh afterwards. This was a real moment of friendship.
And it was interrupted right there, when I nearly died. Manden saved me. Of all people… I didn’t expect it to be Manden. I owe him my life, but he didn’t seem to make any claim to it then… I think that he was just being good, and doing the right thing, helping an ally, without any debt involved. I think what I owe him are my thanks- which I’m giving.
A lot turned around in the span of minutes. Motyl was no longer someone that I was striving to be with- at first, I realized that I just needed to be as far away from her as possible. And at the end… Well, I’m skipping around now, but I realized that she couldn’t be allowed to live. I failed. I hadn’t been fighting with the power of demon lords and focused instead on my fighting and teaching… A year ago, that blast may have been devastating, but not anymore, not when I’ve kind of chilled on the Blackguard thing. I failed, and I wasn’t going to keep trying after that- it was an impulse move. I think that I may have left the Avengers this time- I actually had parting words, advising her that I couldn’t really stand by and let her exist, and that I hoped that she did the right thing. This came down to the core of the Avengers for me… Everyone should be equal. We were fighting for that, equality, in so many forms. She had been created to kill gods… We don’t need a “god weapon,” one person who can decide who lives and dies amongst the gods. Everyone or no one should have this power- by it being in the hands of one person, there can be no equality, and this goes far beyond just Westcrown. A sinking feeling told me that she’d made the wrong decision, and I’m glad to be out of that group, at least for now, if not permanently. We fought monsters and we gazed into the abyss. I cannot say for certain that those around me made certain that they did not themselves become monsters, or to let the abyss gaze back.
Society isn’t going to fix itself. Squishy, unfit people are leading, and groups like the Avengers shouldn’t need to form to fix that. The only way that we’re truly going to go anywhere is to start over the best that we can. The laws are a problem. Society is a problem, the mindsets of the people. I’m not sure that I even like that Westcrown should pick itself back up and perhaps work one day… This city was dying when I came here, and Socothbenoth told me to learn from that, to watch it in its death throes. Seeing it recovering seems wrong. So long as there is standard law here, nothing has been changed. Smash the system. Burn everything down. Start over. The strong will subjugate the weak and they will use them as tools to rebuild. The people will fight, and those who aren’t strong will find that out. The classes will reform- elves and humans could work side by side in their caste. The elf wouldn’t be lesser because of laws and society if he had something to contribute. That is what I fought for. I knew that the Avengers had differing goals, but I didn’t know that they planned to re-establish a flawed system. Perhaps I’ll be fighting in this city again in my lifetime- perhaps that time, they’ll do it right. Hopefully they will. The Avengers failed.
But this might go back to the topic of friendship. Motyl and I… I’m not sure that we even had that. And the rest of the Avengers… Manden… Manden has earned my respect and gratitude, but I don’t think that we’ll ever hang out with Mimic Merchant and laugh about all of the people we’ve killed for fun. I had one friend. Scorpio. And when the smoke cleared… We were in a place that was not a place. Socothbenoth had alluded to such a thing before, when my brother was afraid of planar travel- he was teasing about being stuck here, in the void, if the portal was wrong. My younger brother finally did it, but the message stuck with me… Everyone else had been there before, I suppose, but I hadn’t. The time passed- or didn’t- for me to lose and regain my sanity… For everything and nothing to happen. Shadowblade had been in the fight all along… I really wasn’t paying enough attention. The first time I noticed him was when a blade was protruding from Scorpio’s injured form, that of my only friend. My battleaxe was in my hand in an instant, but there was nothing to be done- she was dying. With her last words, she asked him if he’d heard of the Rune Lord Death Curse… He said that he’d deal with it later. “You’re dealing with it now, motherfucker!” were her last words. That kind of defiance in the face of death is something I admire… I looked up to Scorpio more. I only wish that I could have killed her killer personally.
We came back to reality… The bodies of the dead did not. I picked up her rapier- this was definitely delicate, something that would break with too strong of a touch. Everyone was gathered around Shadowblade’s apparel and sobbing girlfriend- I walked to what came back of Scorpio alone, and no one contested me as I carefully holstered the sword across my back, on clear display- I didn’t anticipate drawing it, but there, it was on display. I then had what may have been my parting words with the Avengers- only time will tell. For now… I came back for a few minutes, and I already need a break. This isn’t the easiest group to stay around. Something in the back of my mind- and I might have an idea of what, or who- made me think that maybe, just maybe, Scorpio was still around in some form… And that she desired worshippers. I had felt friendship… I owe Scorpio that much. Team Scorpio has already begun to exist with my words, and it will only grow from here. There are still places that I need to visit in Westcrown, and the coming of equality will bring riots and social disorder… I’ve been a mercenary for mortals, but my services now come through the Cult of Scorpio. I will assist Westcrown’s “lesser” races through these times, but at a different cost than money. They will hear of Scorpio. They will hear of my one friend. And maybe, as I cross the lands, searching for my purpose as I carry out this one… Maybe I’ll even make more friends. But it won’t be the same. Scorpio became more than that in her death. And maybe, as she gains followers, as her deeds are heard… Maybe I’ll hear back one day.