Thanks for wanting to vote on The Wandering Hero Warlock's Journal.

Instead of picking your favourite I've decided to ask for a score out of 5. If you love an entry score it a 5. Hate it? Score it a 1.

The scores will be averaged out. The one with the highest rating will be declared the winner.

Thanks for the votes,
Kenny the Solo Roleplaying Sage
Roleplaying for Renegades

* 1. The Burning Man.

This seven foot figure is not so much hooded as wrapped in a swathe of multicoloured scarves, rags, and small blankets. The overall effect is very sombre for such a riot of colour. The sole uncovered limb is the left arm; even that has a plain iron bracelet and a long, thick leather glove. He (or she?) speaks in a alto voice, asking you if you have seen the journal. Questions are met with more and more frenzied responses and violent body language. Some of the languages spoken by the figure seem to be ancient or even divine tongues!

Looking more closely at the figure, you can see the bracelet changing colour and starting to glow slightly as it speaks. You feel heat coming off of it even ten feet away and see scar issue and burns cover the entire bottom of its forearm.

"Where is it?" hisses the figure, as the bracelet glows ever brighter, "I smell its stink on you, I see its essence coating you". It interrupts itself as shakes the now-smoking bracelet over the thick leather glove. Sizzling sounds start immediately and the figure holds its arm out to its side.

"Where ... where is the nearest body of salt water? Answer me!" the figure's voice escalates to a scream, both high pitched and with strange treble undertones. When the answer is given, it points at the party, the bracelet now white hot and whistling, and says, "I will be back to find the book. If you value your existence, have it ready for me."

A bright, sizzling pop of light erupts from it and when the party can see again, the figure is gone. The only thing left is a dirty red scarf and the smell of burnt leather and flesh. There are no footprints.

* 2. Silver Guardian

Appearance: The mysterious figure known as the Silver Guardian is a tall, thin humanoid wearing a hooded cloak made from shimmering grey material. The Guardian is assumed to be male, but few travellers recall any distinguishing features. Witnesses describe an ornate silver mask and a strong voice.

Some travellers glimpse iron armour beneath the long cloak. The Guardian wields a pair of thin sabres, whirling them with great speed and effectiveness as "he" fulfils "his" destined role.

Actions: The Silver Guardian is treated by planar travellers as a portent of doom. Whenever the Guardian steps from a portal, wise travellers know they are about to be ambushed. Due to experience with portals, or perhaps a natural talent, the Guardian suffers no disorientation when emerging from a portal. "His" sabres leap into action, usually surprising the ambushers who expected to overwhelm confused travellers.

A few lucky travellers claim the Silver Guardian appeared to save them from betrayal and similar deceits. Smugglers, thieves and the occasional spy have all fallen to the sabres of this mysterious figure. Or so the stories tell.

History: The true history of the Silver Guardian is unknown. Some believe "he" is an ancient traveller lost in the portal network. Others point to the ritual nature of "his" actions, and describe it as a divine geas.

Curse: Whatever the source of the Silver Guardian's actions, most sages link "him" to the heavy iron bracelet worn on "his" left wrist. Witnesses relate how this bracelet seems to pull the Guardian back into the portal once the ambushers are defeated. Others claim to see a gossamer thread stretching from the bracelet, reaching back into the portal like a magical fishing line.

* 3. The Gracious Lady

Many travelers have spoken of being helped on the road by a tall, well-dressed woman and a manservant who assists her. They all give her name as Attaniya, a word which means nothing particular in any of the major languages.

One person says Attaniya saved his child when the girl had a high fever in a makeshift camp by the road. She bathed the child’s forehead with herbal water and went away; after sleeping, the girl was back to normal. A woman who became lost while hunting stumbled into a campsite just before dawn; the lady called Attaniya calmly took her in and fed her breakfast. Sometimes Attaniya has her manservant help lift heavy burdens, or repair a broken wheel.

Perhaps the most dramatic incident is the time a group of bandits was frightened away from a caravan by the sound of an armored troop approaching. When the miscreants had taken to their heels, Attaniya and her servant rode around a corner in the narrow defile. Her horse was caparisoned with ringing bells, while the man led a packhorse strewn with cooking pots and iron implements banging and clanking. They bound up wounds inflicted by the bandits, then calmly went on their way.

All who have encountered Attaniya describe her as elegant. However, one speaks of her fair skin and blonde braids piled up; another mentions braids, but the hair itself is black and thick and her skin dark. A third talks about the elaborate stylings of the lady’s auburn hair, and the dusting of freckles across her cheeks. One consistent point is that despite her colorful clothing Attaniya wears little jewelry, only a single band of iron around her left wrist which matches the unrelieved black in which her manservant dresses.

* 4. The Bicycle Man

When I was a teenager, my best friend and I found ourselves in a troubling situation one day.

We liked hanging out at the abandoned mini-golf place, collecting golf balls from the empty concrete ponds, mostly to throw at things.

That day, we’d found a pile of empty beer bottles in a drainage ditch. Target acquired! Now, behind this drainage ditch stood a low cinderblock wall, and beyond the wall were parked some cars, and past the cars were apartments. From a window in one of those apartments came angry shouts from a grumpy middle-aged man admonishing us for breaking bottles so near to his precious vehicle. Of course, we paid the old fart no mind and went on breaking bottles.

Once all the bottles were shattered, our source of entertainment was gone, so we left. As we passed through the chain link fence, I saw the angry apartment man headed right for us across the lot! He charged my friend, grabbing him by the collar and slamming him against the fence! Being a cowardly sort, I froze in terror that this maniac might kill us.
While he berated my friend, a man peddled up on a bike and asked what was going on. He wore an iron band on his left arm, and the oddness of it pulled me from my terror.

Angry Man told his tale. Bicycle Man explained that we were his cousins and he’d tend to us. Appeased, Angry Man glared at me and my friend, then left.

We thanked Bicycle Man, and he peddled away. We never got a name, or learned anything about him. He just appeared out of nowhere, saved our skins, and vanished. I’m glad the wandering traveler appeared when he did.

* 5. Man out of Place

The traveler is a dark-skinned male with a shaved head. He wears a cowboy outfit despite walking in a land where Samurai clash for the unification of Japan. In his holsters are his revolvers. However, the bullets are scarce, even with certain warlords making firearms. He’d rather talk out his problems than pull out the guns and fire.

Despite his rough physique and cold-hearted nature when it does come to pulling out the guns, he is kind and caring towards the children and strikes down with fury against those who would harm them. Who knows how he got to Japan. Was he a time traveler who got dropped off in Feudal Japan? Was he simply an immigrant who arrived in Japan via western trade routes? Or perhaps he was just another incarnation of the Wandering Traveler, a being who is defined throughout time as a being of many genders, many races, many professions, but one goal: to protect humanity.