Roxor Entry 8
[When the smart ones drink, and drink a lot, they tell stories like ones who tell children what to do and how to know things. The talking gets long and boring, but infor-mative. People listen and don’t get mad, even though they would if anyone else talked to them that way. This tale comes from such a smart person, with such an appetite, SUCH an appetite, for drink. He would come into the same tavern every night, drink twice as much as anyone else, then be up at dawn the next day telling those what keep the law in check how to do the things they do in order to keep the law in check. I think they called him, “Marshal”. It’s not a name I’m familiar with, but I think there was a guy with a similar name what threw me out of a town back east. Not sure which town. Even if I knew which town I wouldn’t write it here. Free advertising? I don’t think so. But here is what the drunk “Marshall” said when he started being able to be understood… and some while he could not be understood too well.]
It was a dark time for Roxor and his men. The path of righteousness was testing their resolve at every turn and many of them were failing. Hunting parties did double duty as pall bearers and the more they leaned into the enemy the more the people of the Great Hall relied upon them for protection. It is said that some among their ranks felt so greatly the weight of their role that escape was preferable to glory. With every death, and every desertion, Roxor’s heart, the will of him, slipped a bit further away from the light. Those around him, from trusted friend to idle eavesdropper, began to worry about the increasingly perceptible cracks in their beloved pillar.
If he were to fall, or even significantly falter, the balance of power could shift to the less civilized denizens. The walls of the Great Hall could be overrun within a matter of days, or hours, without the threat of swift righteous retribution lurking about. A few tried, without success, to rouse the spirits of their patron adventurer. His was quickly becoming a deep melancholy. Some have said that it was the death of a short lived friendship, one of the divine races, which spurred his downward spiral. There was a death of record from that era, an “Oris” of some title, which never sat well with those in the know. The passing was too coincidentally timed.
Of these negative things little fact is well known, partially due to the lack of acceptable scribes in the region and more notably due to the unerring admiration of the masses. A few tales do survive, but they are couched in apologies and prefaced with dire warnings. Some have said that to speak ill of Roxor, especially with regard to this dark time, is an act of historical treason. The wild and numerous rumors are not to be trusted in isolation, certainly, but taken as a whole they do suggest some underlying reality. Whatever that was, however bad it got, everything is known to have changed with the meeting of a wry boisterous fellow. The history books tell many of his tales, often in his own hand, and where they connect with Roxor there can be no doubt that every print is sold out completely.
It was this silver tongued adventurer, Soveliss Immerial, that broke Roxor from the malignant funk and set him back upon the path righteousness. Nobody knows how the young minstrel managed this feat, although many have said it to be a direct result of rousing song, bawdy tales, and ample drink. Our hero, after all, was not without his vices. Whatever the method, those of the Great Hall were appreciative and Roxor relieved. He quickly assembled his men, including the new point man on moral, and set back out towards the Well of Demons. There were slaves to be rescued and demons to be quashed. Hope was with them on their journey, and there it would remain.
Lost to time are the details of that trek. It is known only that a great and terrible darkness descended on Roxor and his men before finally driving them from the Well. Had Roxor been put in that situation without first resolving his state of being, I dare say, there would be little known of him today. In victory he is held high, and in defeat given pause without judgment, but none of these holds true for his inner torment; the very thing that could have torn him apart before he could truly make a name, a legacy, for himself and his heirs.
Know that this has been the story of how Roxor survived the fall, and not how he rose from the ashes.