A Moral Dilemma
A difficult decision

Cavyon and I faced a moral dilemma: do we let the females go, do we take them back to the town or are their lives forfeit? Cavyon had promised the two females that were holding the halfling children hostages that they would be freed, but I was of the opinion that they should be taken back to the village to have halfling justice dispensed upon them. I realized something about Cavyon: he is an elf of his word. He made a promise to the kobolds and he was willing to fight me if I chose to dispense wilderness justice on them. It would have been a futile gesture, but at least that is something I’ll be able to keep an eye on in the future. The five female kobolds were on the defensive with their spears, but after I knocked one of them one, we tied the rest of them up and took them to the village of Kirkwall to allow the Mayor to dispense justice as he saw fit. Knowing what I know now, I should have dispensed wilderness justice on them.

Look Out!
Cavyon takes it from behind

As I walked into the other chamber, I discovered five kobold females cowering in the corner holding spears. They began barking and yapping at me in that strange language so I called Cavyon over to translate. I demanded their surrender and considered slaying them in cold blood. As Cavyon spoke with them, something interesting happened. Right in the middle of a sentence Cavyon stiffened as if stabbed in the back by an invisible kobold assassin. As it turns out, it WAS an invisible kobold assassin. Thinking quickly, and strangely feeling sympathy toward the elf hoping the kobold’s weapon missed a vital organ, I reacted immediately. “By Moradin, be still!” I declared. The now visible assassin was immobilized as my hold person spell quickly froze him in place. I quickly appraised the assassin as I checked to make sure Cavyon was still alive. Deal-Breaker met the kobolds face. The female kobolds shuddered as the bones crunched. I grinned at them. Filthy wretches.

It Smells Like Dead Halfling in Here
Inside the Tomb of Maeshowe

Another dozen kobolds accosted us while in the tomb. The first wave even had a dire weasel with them. I targeted that mangy, flea-infested, overgrown rat and with only one sweep of good ‘ole Deal-Breaker, cracked its skull right open. Cavyon handled himself pretty well this time, although testing your fighting skills against kobolds is like asking a master armorsmith to inspect and appraise an apprentice’s first suit of armor and then discuss where the weak points are. Yep, just like that. These little pests were fairly well-equipped (leather armor, gems, flasks of acid) so I had a feeling the person organizing this little gang may be pretty well-funded.

Cavyon and I continued forward when suddenly the ceiling in a hallway partially collapsed. While not seriously injured (rocks killing a dwarf? Please!) Kayla was cut off from us and the passage was blocked. We continued forward to the burial chamber.

After defeating another group of kobolds in the actual burial chamber, I deftly snuck along the left wall keeping all of my senses alert. As I reached down to scratch a flea-bite, Deal-Breaker knocked against part of the wall and lo-and-behold a chunk of plaster fell away. I don’t think Cavyon noticed because he was doing the same sneaking style along the right side of the chamber. I knocked about a hole big enough to crawl through and found a secret burial chamber. On a pedestal, there was a golden scrollcase adorned with emeralds. Just the case alone was worth at least 500 gold pieces. I quickly ran up and grabbed the case and noticed a book alongside the pedestal as well. I grabbed it and heard a quiet whisper at the passage opening, “Hey Thor, did you find anything?” “Nah,” I replied. “Just another empty chamber.” grin

In a separate alcove off of the main one, Cavyon and I found something interesting. Two female kobolds held two halfling children at spear-point and demanded their safe release in exchange for the children. Cavyon was able to speak that strange hissing and clicking Draconic language to them, so he negotiated the release of the children. I was pleased that the children were safe, but felt that we should have taken the kobolds prisoner. They immediately scampered to the exit, when I realized something: the passage was completely blocked. I laughed aloud and watched as the females ran into the other burial chamber. I leisurely walked over to the other chamber…

The Tomb Wasn't Far
Finding the Tomb of Maeshowe

Following the halfling as she led us across the fields wasn’t difficult. Defending ourselves from the shrieking attack kobolds was. We continued to follow the trail the kobolds left. As a skilled tracker, Kayla didn’t seem to even hesitate as she led us directly toward where we needed to go. (Upon reflection, perhaps I should be a little more worried about Kayla Greycastle. Thinking back on it, she didn’t even glance very much at the ground as she unerringly led us to the tomb. Maybe she had been there before. I should probably keep an eye on the female halfling just to be on the safe side.) The three of us quickly slew the kobolds and recovered some interesting loot. These kobolds were fairly well-equipped. We took their gems and equipment and moved into the tomb.

A Halfling Village
Meeting the Mayor of Kirkwall

Mayor Ibbett Rook left less of a lasting impression on me than a weak handshake. “Welcome to Kirkwall!” is what he should have said. Instead… “Hi! Do you want some Boarsblood?” Apparently, this halfling was quite wealthy due to his businesses that he ran in town. Perhaps the person who had the most money was in charge. He came across as a figurehead; indecisive and easily swayed by a firm voice opposing him. We quickly told him what happened on the outlying farm and he didn’t really seem that interested. There was no militia or guard, so no investigation team was dispatched (at least, to my knowledge there wasn’t.) We were willing to attempt to eradicate the kobold infestation, but without a tracker, we wouldn’t be able to follow their trail. The kobolds than had run off would surely slink right back to their lair. The mayor recommended a halfling tracker by the name of Kayla Greycastle, a halfling with tracking ability. We found her at the local inn and after a brief introduction, she agreed to accompany us because, and I quote, “I like to kill kobolds.” No talk of pay, no share in spoils of war found, barely any conversation at all from her. Basically, she was an ideal halfling! She easily picked up the trail and we followed her lead.

Thor hates weasels

The remaining time to Kirkwall was mercifully short as the elf just wouldn’t shut up. He seemed to be genuine and all, but sometimes a dwarf just likes a little peace and quiet, you know? As we sauntered to the edge of the village, a high-pitched scream drew our attention. Moving quickly, we witnesses five kobolds dumping bodies in a small pond (what kind of village was this? No guards? Kobolds running freely?) Quickly forming a plan of action (meaning I would fight the kobolds and Cavyon would jump in the water to try to save the people) we rushed the little yappers and two quickly ran away (a dwarf charging in spiked armor has the tendency to do that to some creatures.) The battle would have been over in moments if an enormous weasel didn’t seem to materialize out of thin air and chomp directly onto my hammer-swinging arm. That blasted varmint hung on for dear life as I tried every trick in the book to get it to let go. It’s awfully difficult trying to swing a hammer with a giant weasel (I swear it was at least six feet long and weighed no less than 300 pounds) attached to your forearm. Fortunately, as Cavyon jumped out of the pond, he distracted the kobolds long enough to allow us to put a few of them down. After I wasn’t harried by spears, it was no problem putting the weasel down (sure Cavyon landed the killing blow, but after spending about, what, 5 minutes shaking a 300 pound weasel on your arm? My muscles were getting a little sore.) “Are any of them alive?” I asked. “Sadly, no,” replied Cavyon. “It appears they are all dead.” We fished the bodies out of the pond and laid them on the side, fully intending to report the incident to the local authorities.

Cavyon (as seen by Thor)
Cavyon's background (Thor's perspective)

“So Kayvion,” began Thor. “That’s Cavyon!” Cavyon said in an exasperated voice. “Cav-E-en. The emphasis is on the second syllable on the E-sound!” Thor turned his head and rolled his eyes so Cav-E-en couldn’t see them. Elvish names are always so whimsical. Sometimes the emphasis is on the first syllable, sometimes the second, sometimes the twelfth. “Sorry able that, er, Cavyon. So we didn’t get the chance to speak much since we first met. So tell me a little about yourself,” inquired Thor. The elf proceeded to began talking and didn’t stop talking for a long time. He would be considered a wanderer, but currently his mother and father had settled down in Almraven as magical item shopkeepers so he called that place home. Apparently his head was a little in the clouds as he enjoyed gnomish inventing so much he claimed it influenced him while growing up. He appears to be a bit of a dreamer and has delusions of grandeur as he aspires to be a creationist, either making magical do-dats or whatchamacallits. He even wanted to show me his book of sketches, but I politely focused him back on traveling before he could show me more than a few pages.

(Note to self, potential lead with father as customer for precious metals contract.)

Thor's Perspective 7/3/11 game (Aaron absent)
Thor and Cavyon

“Hmmmm… maybe Mosstone will be a good place for me to establish a foothold in the region after all,” thought Thor after he finished popping Scott Ramsdell’s shoulder back into its socket. The prominent people of the town frequented the Tradeway Inn readily and Thor’s gamble to provide healing services had paid off. Not only did he receive promises to refer business to him, but he successfully negotiated a metals contract with Scott, the owner/proprietor of Tradewat (pronounced Trade-Wah-tih), and another metals contract with a dwarven blacksmith of no minor skill. “At this rate, I’ll have cornered the market by the end of the month,” thought Thor happily.

Another day passed and Thor enjoyed the time he spent among the locals. He was greeted by name either with a smile or bow as the people around Mosstone slowly warmed up to him and heard tell of his healing prowess. The owner of the Tradeway Inn soon helped put a bee in his bonnet though…

“Please forgive the interruption Master Thunderbeard,” said Selandra Worthington. “Azkain will not be able to see you today as he is away on a diplomatic mission of great importance. I’m sure you can appreciate sensitive diplomatic negotiations,” she said with a smile. “Hmmmmm,” grumbled Thor into his beard. “Why can’t a wizard just say his peace and be done with it? Why does everything always seem to drag out, never-ending as we wait like puppets dangling from a string?” “You came here of your own accord, yes?” asked Selandra. “You were not forced here, so I hope there are no hard feelings toward Master Azkain, who in fact is an excellent example of a human being. He does many good things for the town and for the other towns around the area. I certainly hope that you still wish to assist him with whatever tasks he has in store for you.” Thor muttered into his breakfast something about not wanting to upset a quarry cart and for more breakfast ale please.

“Speaking of tasks,” said Selandra. “I’ve been instructed to pass along a message to you and your friends…” “Ah, that’s esteemed companions,” interrupted Thor. Let’s not get too chummy with these elves in case they have a bad reputation or even a couple of screws loose he thought. “I apologize,” smiled Selandra. “If you and your esteemed companions would be willing to assist with an issue that has arisen, it would greatly benefit the area. The village of Kirkwall has been raided by reckless kobolds who seem to be slightly better organized that your average run-of-the-mill kobolds. If you would, they could certainly use your help.” Thor slammed the rest of his breakfast ale and polished his palms. If there was another opportunity to perhaps establish a foothold in a new village, he wasn’t going to let that chance fall by the wayside…

Thor Thunderbeard and Mosstone
Thor cleans up around town...

After the uneventful journey back to Mosstone, Thor and his elvish companions became a bit lackadaisical with their sense of urgency. The village of Irydell had showered praise and prestige upon the fledglings adventurers and it seemed to go to their heads. Thor was used to receiving accolades for succeeding during difficult merchantile negotiations, but this was a different type of praise. Having been on a brief adventure with a couple of elves certainly would be something for the dwarves back home to chuckle about. The half-elf seemed to handle himself alright in a fight, but the other elf was knocked out during the scuffle. Thor would have to keep an eye on him to make sure he didn’t meet his deity Gond sooner than expected. The life-or-death element seemed to bring out the seriousness of the situation. The adventures seemed content with basking in their accomplishment for as long as the danger was minimal and the drinks were free…

The wizard Azkain seemed to be holding something back. There was a power about him, that was certain, however; there also seemed to be pain behind his eyes. Thor wasn’t able to get as clear of a read on this wizard, perhaps due to a spell, but perhaps not. It’s not like the lands would be doomed if they decided to decline whatever offer or task the wizard had for them.

Thor shook off the celebrity status haze shortly after returning to Mosstone. He decided to take action and once again attempt to use the prestige increase to foster a positive relationship with the local merchants. After learning a bit more about the Mosstone trade-route from local townsfolk, Thor’s perception of the town changed a bit. Maybe this wasn’t backwater stop as he originally thought…

Eager to get in good with the locals, for an hour or two a day Thor chose to spend his time offering basic healing services to villagers. For only a copper piece to cover expenses, Thor reset broken bones, put poultices on nasty bruises, eased aching tooth pain, brewed bitter teas to ease coughing, and dressed wounds with clean, sterile bandages. Thor knew that by earning the goodwill of the people, he would have a better chance to receive information in the future.

Next Adventure???

After returning from his journey,Azkain was hoping to offer the adventurers more information to let them understand why they were brought here. He realizes his desire to uphold his promise to the lands around Mossstone, weighs heavy on his soul. He hopes these men will fulfill their destiny of greatness, that is instilled in their being. Each one has so much to offer the lands of Faerun, not even knowing it yet. I hope the more they are working together will help build their form the unbreakable bond that is needed. Azkain hopes the secrets that will be revealed will not drive them to leave, because with out them he fears these lands are doomed!!! Only time will tell!


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