*This new paper is of a different color and quality, less of a sheet of draft paper and more intended to writing. On the back of the sheet before it are an assortment of gadgets and mechanical sketches. They consist mostly of hidden blades and secret pockets built into existing armor. Though not as high tech as perhaps an engineers specs, they are all very well thought out. A note at the bottom reads, "Need more draft paper, and more ink. Send Mal."
As far back as I can remember, I always wanted to be an adventurer.
I can recall, even as a small child, those few brave souls who would come through now and again. They looked otherworldly. My father was a soldier, I had seen him in his full regalia and these people put even his finest work to shame. We would gather, my friends and I, on the road's edge when we saw them coming. The chance that they would take note of us and offer a friendly smile or a nod was all we could hope for. Now and again, some would stop and talk to us; we would revel in their tales, acting them out later, each one of us pretending we were the mysterious stranger. There was no stigma attached to them. Growing up in Westfall, our families welcomed the adventurers as good men and women who could solve problems that no one else could or would. They were welcomed into homes with open arms and hot meals, hospitality given as reward when money was scarce.
And there was magic. I recall the first time I ever saw magic being done. The most beautiful woman I had ever laid eyes upon had come through our little cluster of homes, intending to help us deal with a group of murlocs who had landed a small craft at the shore, intending to set up one of their small hut encampments.
I should point out here, that we were not incompetent hicks. My own father was a decorated soldier and a blacksmith. The other adults were skilled as well, and ready to take up arms in defense of what was ours. Many problems were dealt with without need of powerful heroes, and indeed, I can think of no greater hero in all my childhood than my old man, but occasionally it was obvious that the issue was more than could be safely handled and a call would go out to adventurers. The grown-ups had families to take care of, throwing their lives away would be foolish and they knew that should something terrible happen we, as their families who depended on them, would suffer most of all.
But I digress.
She was a mage and she was stunning. I recall her eyes, they were the most vivid blue I had ever come across. Her smiled was warm and played across her face like a summer breeze. When she arrived her blond hair was wrapped up tight in a bun, thought I recall my heart skipping a beat later on when she had let it down after her work was complete.
My friends and I followed her, staying well away for fear a murloc scout might see us and alert his party. We watched as she gracefully dismounted, landing softly in the sand. She approached the murlocs with such confidence that I thought she was going to fight them with her bare hands. She struck before they had any idea she was there. She stood with a wide stance, squaring her shoulders, her hands towards the murlocs, fingers splayed. For a moment nothing happened. We were too far to hear her and it seemed as though she wasn't doing anything. Another boy giggled, joking that she was crazy. I slapped the back of his head and put a finger to my lips, silencing him.
Without warning a gout of flame erupted from her hands and I was awestruck. It was like nothing I'd ever seen before. Even the murlocs were surprised, those who had not been instantly baked dropped their tools and picked up arms, yelling their gurgling curses. The second wave was dispatched almost as quickly. Arcane energy seeped forth from her finger tips, homing in on each murloc as it approached. Within a matter of moments all was silent, save my own heartbeat in my ears. We ran off before she remounted, though I kept looking back for one more glimpse of her. That night she stayed next door and told tales of her adventures. When I showed interest she delighted me with simple parlour tricks and legerdemain.
We all wanted to be adventurers. We saw the hard work our parents did, broke their backs daily to provide and though they seemed happy and we got by, we knew there was something better out there for us. We all wanted to be adventurers. For us, to live any other way was crazy. Those people who worked dead end jobs, for terrible pay and were in a constant state of worrying to get by. That wasn't living to us. Those were commoners. Adventurers took what they wanted. If any monsters showed up, believe me, they got hit so hard that they didn't show up twice.
That was the life for me. It's the life I've had so far, and I don't think I'd change it. I'd just go about a little differently...