The day was unusually muggy. The rain was promising to cool it down, but as of now, the moisture hung in the air and made it hard to breathe. The trail back to Phandalin was decent enough. It did get better the closer they got to town. This was a small comfort, and Bast was used to comfort. He was used to Inn’s and the beds of wagons. This was something new. He was constantly being told to shush, or being looked at angrily for bringing along good food. By the gods and the others this group was intriguing.
Bast was walking along the trail thinking to himself about the events of the last week. Thinking was the wrong word. More like discussing the events of the last week. Bast was talking to it again, and realized that more than one of them was looking at him strangely. He walked a little further up the trail for some privacy and continued his thought process. “These people are strange.” “Some of them bind themselves so tightly to these “laws” that they serve.” “These laws made by men.” “Why would one willingly slave himself away to man-made power?” “These laws mean NOTHING, and yet they willingly give their power away to them.” “I must find out why!”
Bast was humming to himself as he walked along behind the group. He seemed amused, as he always did. He was watching the Orc man carefully. Out of all of them, this man seemed the most transparent. The most well-meaning. He took care of those he cared about, and went out of his way to ease some of the more heated debates this group was prone to. This would be needed greatly. More heated debates were going to happen. With this group, it was as sure as the setting sun.
The others were walking along the trail as well, and no one was talking. Natsu was walking by himself, like he always did. The big dragonborn was as grumpy as he was stoic. Nothing was happy with that one. Nothing seemed good enough. Save his life, and he will talk to you about how you did it wrong. “There is a better way Bast, and all that nonsense!” “HA! There is no way but the one you choose Mr. Dragon man.” Is what he would have said, if he thought it would do any good. This one, however, he could relate to somewhat. Perfection was a worthy goal, and if it took following strict protocols to get there, then who was Bast to stand in the way. Bast too was looking for something like perfection.
The elf girl was easy. She didn’t like Bast. Hell she doesn’t like anyone in this party. Her actions showed that clearly. She was young, and loved herself. Bast could have sworn that every thought that ran through that head of hers was of Astrid. She was selfish, rude, and completely caught up in becoming more powerful. On three separate occasions, she almost killed the entire group. “She will get herself killed soon. Either that or she would watch as we all died and then pull her black cloak up and walk away quietly snickering to herself about what fools we all were.” Astrid was staring at him again. He would talk with her when the time was right. He would ask her but one question. “If your goal is power, do you truly think you can attain this on your own?”
Then there was Malleus. The man who swore his life to Bast for nothing! This man was truly an enigma. He followed his own laws, and seemed to come up with them on the spot. One moment he was praising Bast for his quick thinking, and the way he disposed of some goblins, and the very next he was scolding him for killing men that would have surely done the same. “I do not understand this one.” Bast thought to himself. There is a story about this man. A story that he bribed his officers to see which ones were on the take. He then killed these men, because they broke the law. This is hypocrisy. How can it be that he can follow his laws one minute and then break them the next? This man is dangerous!
There was no malice in these thoughts. Bast was almost incapable of anger and resentment. There was only wonder, and intrigue. There was a mystery here. There were things to learn. “Eblis I will learn three new things for you. When we speak again I will give you these gifts.” As the day got shorter, and the rain finally started, Bast grinned wide and pulled out his flute. It was time to put thoughts away. It was time for music!