Journal - Ball



Twigman invited me to a Harvestmath ball, or however does one spell that. I always wanted to mingle with the nobles during those damnable masked gatherings I sometimes managed to pry the intel out of him about. It strikes me as absolutely ironic that here, of all places, I get to, now that I no longer care for those. Honestly, the only reason for me to get into a nobleman-filled place right now would be to spit on every single one of them.
So obviously, I agreed to go. Because that poor sap needed company.

Why do I care? I still have no idea. Probably because he is about the only person I know won't turn tail and bugger off when they learn the real me. He's seen how I changed from a cocky, eager boy into a bitter militiaman, then recently, he saw what the mercenary life made of me. He won't leave. Others I'd have more concern for, if I cared. I'm prepared to live alone. I don't prefer it that way, but it doesn't bother me.

Either way. Heard they have a theme for costumes, so I quickly prepared some of the old armour I made ages ago. Restored the gorget, shoulder pads and that idiotic antlered helmet I took from the Amroth nobleman that suggested my merc formation existed to die for his personal glory. Recall spending a few nights in the dungeons for that, not to mention the free work I did for the band after they bought me out, but the helmet they never found. And now I used it in a masquerade as a prop. Shame that pompous prat couldn't see it.

Speaking of pompous prats. I've overheard somebody during the ball itself, whining about "shite-shovelers" or something. I told Twigman that starting a brawl was beneath me, but it wasn't beneath me by much. Hearing that tone made me think of everything I hate in that pompous bunch of self-righteous arseholes they call nobility. Twigman said the other day that they all have a purpose, that noblemen exist to command the masses and protect them from themselves. Worse yet, he believes that. I'm sure that was the case one day and may be again another, but what I saw during the war was an infighting bunch of power-hungry dogs, tearing bloody chunks off the bodies of lesser hounds and calling it a "game of influence". Well, with people like that condescending bastard I've heard, I'd say they're due for being the ones we need protecting from. Maybe with the proper king returning, something'll change, though I doubt I'll live long enough to see it.

Distractions aside. Ball was... nothing like what I expected. Dimheim's tales were all about mingling, keeping faces secret behind masks, talking like equals and in general, having that mysterious aura about them. This was nothing like it, even I, with my damn helmet, had to take it off when I was drafted into eating a pie in a contest. Obviously I stood no chance against the likes of dwarves and halflings, who eat like bears gorging for the winter slumber. I did eat a pie, though. So that's something.

I've spent most of the night talking to Twigman. That woman, the owner called Piper, came to talk with us a few times. She seemed amused by my choice of costume - the dreaded White Knight, here to save people who don't bloody need saving, as I put it. The halfling lass that visited Twigman before was amused for the same reasons, we met her in the party later, for a brief moment. There was another time where people gathered up on the stage for a costume contest. A kid picked which costume was best out of the bunch. Went for the most colourful one, go figure. Can't say I'm disappointed, means no people will pester me about it. And yet, part of me has that nagging feeling I could have won this. Why the hells do I care?

I went back home shortly after that. Left Twigman in there, with a bunch of people and a lass who, again, tried to guilt the man into inviting her, by saying she has nobody to go with. Why do these damned Bree-landers keep acting like that? Why not just approach someone and set the case straight, rather than beating around the bushes in hope someone hears the leaves rustling? It'd make lives a bleeding lot easier for everyone involved.
As if I needed more reasons to not count for friends, there's that now. Am I demanding too much from people? Is requesting damn honesty that much of a stretch, when people just love to exaggerate problems and pretend to be clever by edging around a topic I then willfully ignore until they finally say what's on their mind? I don't think it is, but then again, I am biased.
Social interactions are an annoying pile of shite. And yet