I’ve always known I was bound for greatness. The small life of a carpenter’s apprentice was never going to be enough for me.
I guess it was a chance encounter at the local pub with a traveling halfling that finally got me moving though.
I’d swung by the pub after work one night for a quick drink and to kill some time before my friend Sarrah returned from hunting. I’d staked out a spot in the common room, kicked up my feet and settled in for a bit of people watching while sipping on a warm beer, as I’d done several times before.
I’m relaxing in the pub for but a few minutes when over walks an odd, if friendly looking, halfling. He appeared to be past middle age, whatever age that is for halflings, old but not elderly, and was decked out in several layers of black. Tight fitting black shirt and trousers under a lightweight black tunic with a black traveling cloak worn loosely over it all. Numerous pouches and packs rustled as he walked. He smiled as he approached and helped himself to a seat at my table, “Pleasant evening isn’t it?”
Curious, and a little amused, I nodded in reply, “Indeed it is, friend.”
Setting is own beer mug on the table, he leaned in and spoke in a lower tone, “You’ve got a bit of the raven in ya I see.” He gave something very close to a wink and a nod, as if I was supposed to have the faintest idea what he was talking about.
“Ummmm. Sure, why not?” I replied with a shrug. It seemed like the best way out of the conversation without inviting the short fellow to elaborate further. I returned my attention to the room in the hopes that he would do the same.
The halfling cocked his head curiously to the side, peering at me as he thought a moment and finally said, “Ahh, you’re not yet aware of it are ya?” He began to rummage around through the various pouches and packs upon his person, “Well then, take this,” he said, producing a small black book and sliding it across the table toward me. The book was small and thin, a light personal journal perhaps, with the image of a Raven embossed into the cover. “And when you strike out to find your fame and fortune perhaps it will help.”
I picked up the book and flipped it over, a second raven adorning the opposite cover. “Thanks?” I said.
“Think nothing of it.” he smiled, and turning his head he looked across the room, “Ahh, I see your friend is back. Good luck in your adventures.” And with that he hopped off the chair and wandered back into the room to sit at another table.
I looked up to follow him but was interrupted by Sarrah arriving at the table. She sat down heavily in the recently vacated chair and leaned back, stretching her legs and back out for a moment before looking over and saying, “Well that was miserable. Four days out and almost nothing to show for it.” She straightened up a bit, continuing her recap, “Most of the snares were empty. We bagged two bucks, which isn’t nothing, but isn’t great either.” Sighing, she collapsed back in her chair once again. After a brief moment she nodded in the direction of the black book, still on the table, “What’s that?”
I looked down at the book, shrugged, and picked it up, “Something to help us in our adventures apparently.” I slipped the small book into a pocket of my coat.
“Oh? We’re having adventures, are we?”
“So it would seem.”