Callista cuts quite the memorable figure wherever she goes- an unfortunate factor, given how frequently she winds up in trouble. An untameable red mane frames her pale face and wide brown eyes dare the world to challenge her. Moving with an ease and arrogance of one beyond her years, Callista charges through life, seemingly unfazed and untouched by the chaos around her. It’s amazing the confidence plate armour can lend a teenager with a near-suicidal need to prove herself and escape her elder sisters’ shadows.
The youngest and loudest of the Everwood group, Callista is also the most immature. Impatient, impulsive and defiant, it’s a rare moment when Callista isn’t talking her way into trouble or infuriating a certain male paladin in Cauldron. Beneath the petulance, Callista is fiercely protective of her friends and is prepared to protect them no matter the cost.. Quite why Kord chose such a reckless, sassy teenaged girl to be his messenger is anyone’s guess.
The youngest daughter of a seamstress and a former soldier, seventeen-year-old Callista was born and raised in Everwood. Much to Callista’s disappointment, her childhood was carefree and uneventful, coloured only by disagreements with her mother and sisters as to her future. Having grown up listening to her father’s tales of military glory, young Callista quickly determined that her future lay in plate armour beyond Everwood- and not in the fine house and frilly dresses her mother envisioned. Driven by stubbornness and an overwhelming need to prove herself, Callista eagerly picked up a sword and sparred in the fields with her father. In spite of her mother’s protests, Callista spent her waking hours training, rapidly progressing to the extent that by fifteen, she outclassed both her father and the other men in the village.
Following Flamewing’s attack, Callista joined the village’s remaining young survivors in a quest to destroy the dragon and avenge their families’ deaths. Although outwardly unfazed by the loss of her family and village, Callista determined to protect her new friends, even going so far as to join the ranks of Kord’s paladins in her new goal.
I met with the Knight Protectors. They’re more agreeable than I anticipated. Sir Michael in particular.
The meeting was somewhat dull. Nine of us in a room, discussing the lack of support for the invasion and the fact the universe is falling apart at the seams. They were too polite to say, but I suspect they want me to “suggest” to the others that we wander west or to the east, to take advantage of our ability to come and go from Cauldron.
There was brief talk of the increased quakes in the city too. One of the younger men mentioned it. Michael shrugged it off, so I stuck my fist in. It can’t be coincidence that the quakes are increasing.
After I made my way to join the others on that…creep’s island. I refuse to give him a name, he disgusts me. Doors made of flesh and a thing that seems to devour people’s very souls. I don’t wish to encounter him again, I don’t think I can share the same air as him. I have no doubt that my various oaths would be called into play and I would have to slay him. He uses mind magics- strong at that- and I’m not convinced that it would be an encounter I would survive. He’s a monster.
But we’re back in Cauldron now and we need to decide on further action. Simi’s spotted a flying ship approaching. It could be Raf and that half-orc’s crew; it could be gith.
So Qog’s back.
Thank Gru? Grog? Gregor?…Grummy or whatever his god’s called. Thank that one. Shenanigans ensued with gith, from what I gather. There wasn’t much time for details and a heartfelt reunion, really. But Asper’s finally stopped moping and Simi seems to have reached stable levels of behaviour since Qog returned, so that’s not bad.
Not that I’m displeased that the half-orc’s back. It really wasn’t the same without him. He’s the glue or whatever that holds us all together. It’s not that we couldn’t cope without him. We just…didn’t work, I guess. He’s good people. I’m glad he’s back.
Other stuff, other stuff…The world seems to be falling apart. Garrioch has mysteriously vanished, the dwarves are gone and the orcs are being all orc-y and “rarr!” and “cowbeasts” and “bla bla weird orc logic bla bla Qog has no honour for escaping the gith bla bla why does the redheaded hu-mon girl speak our language, this is wrong bla bla bla”.
I’m perhaps being overly dismissive and it’s probably just as frustrating for them trying to deal with us, but still. They didn’t seem too thrilled to see Qog, which was a shame. They seemed to have built some weird legend-like status around him and his return seemed to piss all over that. Still, nobody told them to turn him into some sort of martyr-figure. So saying, things do seem rather tense still. And there were undead orcs wandering about near the crater where Garrioch used to be, so i suspect things are going to reach boiling point. If they haven’t already.
Oh and there’s the minor issue that I got kicked out of Kord’s temple in Cauldron by the grand cleric, but that’s barely worth mentioning.
We’re back in Cauldron, though I’m not sure how long we’ll be staying. Simi and Asper are still struggling with the Qog-shaped hole in our group. So saying, there’s little change in Simi’s behaviour. Asper’s being actively aggressive towards people. It’s interesting. It’s odd being the one telling someone else not to mouth off. I don’t like it. I also don’t like how people are treating me. If they’re not falling over themselves to be nice to “the herald”, they’re sneering at me in corridors. I confronted one of the priests when I was with Asper and was told that my choice in company is “telling”. The man wandered off before I could react. He’s lucky too. If I see him again, I may behead him. I signed on to this religion stuff to help people. Were I cynical, I’d say I’m more like my elder sister than I pretend, that I signed on to help myself. But such comments are too deep, too serious and not for me. After all, I’m no wannabe elf archer with a quill.
I’m not sure how much longer I can put up with this nonsense though. At least, I’m not sure how long I can put up with idiots being rude to my friends. I don’t care what they say about me. They can say what they like, it’s usually behind my back anyway. But Simi, Asper and Denna haven’t done anything to deserve their scorn. I may have to be more demonstrative with Pyros next time I’m in a crowded room.
I just wish Kord would get his arse in gear and appear. I’m bored of all this waiting and tension everywhere. I think there’s something preventing him from coming here, though I don’t know what. He just kept telling me to “prepare” his “house”…or something. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t exactly giving him my undivided attention. I’ll say a few prayers and dust Sir Godfrey’s quarters or something to atone. Anyway, something’s wrong and needs fixing. I just don’t know what. Godders- I mean, Sir Godfrey. Stupid decorum- was arguing with someone when I visited his quarters on my return. Something about vish-…Vish-something. I forget. A war maybe? I don’t know. I should really check. Things are happening.
Oh and I agreed to join some group of knights recently. I have to say some form of oath and I have no idea what I’ve actually pledged to do, but it can’t be that bad. I mean, what’s going to go wrong there?
So Qog’s gone. I see no point in dressing it up. Qog certainly wouldn’t. I also see little point in referring to him as dead. We haven’t found a body. We didn’t find anything. There’s a chance he’s alive. He might not be okay, but there’s the chance. I’ve not shared this view with the others. Denna and I weren’t as close to him as Simi or Asper. There’s little Denna could do with such information, and I doubt Simi or Asper would appreciate it. Simi’s been a little unstable recently as it is. As for Asper…Well, I imagine someone out there will one day write an epic about his long list of losses-
There was a young man, he lost his eye,
He had some parents and a nice orc pal,
But they died, they died.
He had a celestial cat
But alas it’s still here-
Or not. I’m no poet, I don’t pretend to be. Raf does though. She said it’s a quick way to get whiny, emotional types into her bed. “Whisper a few silly lines about being full of aching and longing,” she said, “and they’ll fill you with something long and aching”. Then she laughed and stalked off after that dirge bard.
I’m not entirely sure what she meant, but I’m not sure I want to really contemplate it either. And I digress.
Everything happened so quickly. There’s nothing to be gained in my retelling it here. The end of the matter is that once again I failed at my paladin duties. Qog should be here and I should be Kord only knows where, possibly lost in that tunnel. Instead I’m here and I have to live wondering what happened, and seeing Asper’s stupid face every day, reminding me that I wasn’t fast enough. And now I have Simi to worry about. I caught sight of her aura and it’s going the same way as Asper’s. Evil evil evil. I don’t know what to do about that. I’ve got to prepare for Kord coming, and I don’t know how to deal with that either. There may be something wrong in the temple, or chances are I screwed up elsewhere and that’ll bite me on the arse big-style. On top of that, I have a unicorn-to-be to look after. And by “look after”, I mean more than guard her from Simi, lest Simi turn the poor creature into a new bag.
I thought things would be easier, better after we killed the dragon. Things are just worse, and we don’t have Qog to keep us together now.
But I can’t afford to be maudlin. I’m not Asper. I have to prepare for Kord.