Life on the road with Rognar, the Inefficient, was usually a lot of fun. We spent our days walking the roads or forest paths all over the countryside, occasionally killing monsters that might happen upon us. Some of them might not have been attacking us, but you can never be too sure when something comes out of the dark at you.

Besides, the experience point value popped up over their heads when they finally died, so it must have been ok to kill them.

At night, we sat around the fire, Rognar regaling me with tales of his derring-do over his many years of adventuring while I cooked the venison soup, or werewolf omelette or vampire haggis over the open fire. Occasionally he would break out the quest book, filled with my nice, crisp handwriting. We were on quest book #3 now, with #1 and #2 buried in my backpack. Occasionally he would look at those too.

(To see how I ended up with Rognar and why we had so many quest books, see my first diary entry, "The Quest is the Thing")

One day, we were attacked by bandits.

At least, I think they were bandits. They were obviously from another game...I mean land. There were four of them, heavily armed, but hanging around on the fringe of the clearing were all of these women who were watching the bandits with adulation. I couldn't figure it out.

Not that I had time.

I tried to fend them off with my little dagger, but their weapons were huge! One of them came at me, swinging this sword that was as big as he was. I don't know how he had the strength for it.

Rognar waded in, though, feinting and when the guy overbalanced (that was one seriously huge sword), getting in under his guard and caving in his skull.

Obviously Rognar's reputation had preceded him, though I've never heard him called "champion" before.

After we were done, Rognar looked at the bodies and his eyes lit up when he saw the swords.

"Wow, this is quite impressive," he said, hefting the huge sword. Even as big as Rognar was, it was still taller than him. He gave it a few practice swings and almost fell over.

"Serious hardware," he muttered. "You should take one of these, Cyril."

"Those look heavier than I am," I said. "I think I'll stick with my dagger."

"Your loss," he said. He took the sword-holder (there was no way I could call that a scabbard) off of the dead bandit, put the sword in it, and tried to hook it to his belt. He was finally able to do so, but when he took his first step, he noticed that the sword was dragging in the dirt.

"What the hell?" Rognar said.

"How about hooking it to your back?" I said, noticing that there was some kind of mechanism on the sword-holder that attached mid-way down the blade.

Rognar tried it, and after a lot of twisting and turning (and grumbling and cursing), he finally got it attached to his armor on his back. It clung to his back after a metallic "clank" sound.

He looked over his head as the pommel of the sword cast a shadow over his face.

"This is one bigass sword," he said.

Suddenly, there was a sound from the clearing. The women! I had forgotten about them, as they hadn't come after us with the bandits. There were five of them, all different shapes, hair colours, skin colours, clothing (what there was of it) colours. They swarmed Rognar with gusto, running their hands over his armor and face, cooing all the while.

They ran right past me, but I was used to that.

"Look at that sword," one said breathlessly. "I'll bet you wield it with great ferocity." She grinned.

Rognar was non-plussed.

"What is going on?" he said. He was smiling, understandably.

I didn't know, but I knew that we had to get going. The day was young but we had many miles to travel, so I put out the fire, loaded our gear, and prepared to depart. I tried to give Rognar his share of the load, but I couldn't get through all of the women who were hovering around him. If I tried to get close, they snarled at me.

I was also used to that.

Finally, I just hefted all of it and we set out. The women followed us, still ooooing and ahhhhhing over his sword for some reason.

Rognar is not an unattractive man, of course, but I'd never seen this kind of reaction before.

Finally, he started getting irritated. I guess even a man like Rognar can only take so much female attention. I think it didn't help when he kept tripping over them as they laid down in front of him.

"What is going on?" he thundered, clearly annoyed. The women looked confused. 

"What do you mean?" the red-head asked. "You're just so manly and strong. And you carry that big sword so well."

Now it was Rognar's turn to be confused.

"What, this?" he said, pulling the sword off of his back with difficulty. He almost sliced off the ear of one of the women who had been too close.

Their eyes widened again and smiled. "Yes, that." She winked at him.

Rognar looked even more confused.

"Hail, mighty warrior!" a voice rang out from down the path. All of us stopped and stared.

Walking down the path toward us was a tall, blonde-haired woman in full plate armor. In her hands was a huge axe that was bigger than she was. She had the same colouring as the bandits we had just met (and killed) this morning.

Behind her, following her with blank looks on their faces and drool coming out of their mouths, were five men. They looked at her and then her sword, eyes darting back and forth.

"Hail, traveller," Rognar said, walking up to her and snarling at the men following her. "Who might you be?"

"I am Miltras of Thedas," she said, bowing. "I was hoping that you could help me."

"A quest?" Rognar perked up and I pulled out the book.

"No, not a quest. I was just hoping you could talk to these guys and get them to stop following me. Ever since my father gave me this axe and I set out on a life of adventure, they've been following me. I don't know why. I can't get them to leave me alone. They don't try anything, probably because they know I would rip their guts out if they did. But they are never far from me. They even followed me on the ship I took to come over here."

One of the women who had been following us walked up and snarled at Miltras. "Back away, wench! He's mine!" She looked around. "Well, ours." She resumed her hostile stance.

"Are you from Thedas as well?" Rognar asked the woman. She nodded.

He looked from Miltras to the other women, then back again.

"The people in your land have issues," he said, shaking his head.

"I have an idea," I said. Everybody looked at me, startled. They seemed to have forgotten I was there.

I walked up to Miltras and whispered in her ear. The men around her glared at me. Miltras just looked.

"Interesting idea," she said. I took out my dagger. She pulled the axe off of her back. I gave her the dagger and she thankfully didn't try to give me her axe, instead walking around me and attaching it to my back. I would have fallen over if the point on top of the axe hadn't stuck into the ground.

The men looked confused.

Miltras looked relieved.

"Thank you for your help, fellow warrior!" she shouted as she walked out of the clearing. The men didn't follow her.

Rognar raised his eyebrow at me.

"Seriously?" he asked. "This was your idea?"

A couple of the women who had been all over Rognar looked over at me. The brunette winked.

Rognar shook his head.

"Issues," he said, sighing.