Unbeknownst to me, it had rained the previous night. The streets in town were muddy, and soon my boots were too. The sun hadn’t yet risen in view, and the few of us out and about were moving very sluggishly.
A peasant town guard yawned as we left through the gates back into the wilderness path. Our task today was to take Teser, the halfling, to the orc lair where we had been yesterday. If we did not then we would not get our reward.
On our way there we came across the carcasses a patch of blood where the carcass of the blink dog we killed yesterday was supposed to be. There were signs that the carcass had been pulled into the woods beside the path. Some other beast or monster must have fed on it, not that any of that concerned us. The carcass of the giant fly was still there slowly being eaten away by other smaller insects.
“Did you do this mess?” asked Teser.
“Of course,” replied Dazai, the dwarf, satisfied by the violence we had committed.
“Not bad, then,” replied Teser.
I asked Lyndis something that had been going on in my mind.
“Where did you get those food rations you ate yesterday night?”
I thought she didn’t have any.
“The tavern lady lent me some food, for which I will have to pay her later,” she replied.
I guess Helen was not such a bad person after all. No, scratch that she tricked me into paying for Lyndis’ entrance fees!
We were finally close to the orc lair we had cleared yesterday when I clearly heard some noise coming from the entrance to the orc lair. The others clearly had not heard what I had, so I stepped up and moved in front of them.
“Stop!” I said, blocking the way with my outstretched arm. The halfling and the dwarf simply passed beneath my arm so I had only blocked Lyndis who looked annoyed. I turned forward towards and looked down at the halfling and the dwarf.
“Listen to me! There is someone at the entrance to the orc lair.”
“Who do you think I am?” replied the halfling. “Do you think that I would let them notice me?”
“Exactly, we need to check out that! How else, am I going to get my hard-earned gold!” added the dwarf.
There was nothing I could do to stop them, from trying to sneak up on whatever was there, so I just let them go. The halfling and the dwarf slowly sneaked up to the rock in front of the entrance to the orc lair.
Dazai motioned us to come to where they were, so we made our way over there. There were six gnolls standing in front of the lair. Gnolls are hyena-headed, evil humanoids that wander in loose tribes. These gnolls had dirty yellow or reddish-brown fur. They are about seven and a half feet tall, with the shortest being about six feet tall.
There was no way we could defeat them all at once! The only reason we were able to defeat the orcs was that although there were more of them than us they were all divided into small groups which we could take out bit by bit.
I motioned with my thumb, and my face as best as I could, that we should retreat now! Teser frowned and whispered to us.
“If we go back without finding out what is going on in that orc lair then none of you will get any reward. Do you understand!?” He asked.
This was unfair but there was no point arguing with this stupid halfling. My bardic father used to sing that halflings were short so that they could be closer to hell. He doesn’t seem to have been too far off the mark.
At this Lyndis took her staff and pointed it at the halfling. Dazai himself was red with anger as any dwarf would be when his treasure was about to be taken away. I guess the two of them were not so eager, as I was, to be a doormat to a halfling with hairy feet.
“Get this pointy-eared broad of yours to take her staff out of my face, and I will double your reward,” said the halfling turning towards me. If only that blue-haired, large breasted, tavern creature Helen was there to smooth things over, but she was not there, and now I had to do what I hated the most – I had to make a decision. That wasn’t going to happen of course.
First I turned to Teser, the halfling to reject his threat/offer.
“First of all, that staff is not in your face but in her hand,” I said, trying to be funny. Nobody showed any sign that they were humoured in the least bit, as usual. “Secondly,” I continued, “I am afraid that I will have to decline your offer to double my reward, Mr Teser.” Then I turned to Lyndis and pleaded with her. “We might not even have to fight the gnolls. For the time being, let’s just have a look at what they are up to.” I said trying to be as convincing as possible and having the exact opposite effect.
I pleaded with her but it was no use she was not going to put her staff down. Far from it, she raised her staff higher. Dazai still seemed angry but he closed his eyes and took a deep breath in.
“Maybe the idiot is half-right,” Dazai said to Lyndis. “We may not be able to get out of this without a fight as he claims but if we wait until some of the gnolls leave then… we might have a chance to crack some skulls, which is always welcome, isn’t it, Miss Lyndis?”
Lyndis finally listened to the dwarf and put her staff away.
“Such insolence,” the halfling cursed. “I should have all of you banned from all adventurers’ guilds in the realm, so be grateful that by my grace, I will not.”
During the next hour or what felt like an hour, we noticed that the gnolls were taking out the bodies of the orcs we had killed yesterday, and piling them outside the cave which was the entrance to the orc lair.
Alhwald Tillyworth’s Character Sheet
|Money||244 gp, 3gp|
|Equipment||Chainmail, Shield, Long-Sword, Backpack, Rations-6 days, Water-skin, Tinderbox, Flint and Steel, 50′ rope, Tin Plate.|
|Spells/Abilities||10% bonus to all XP earned.|
|Paralysis or Petrify||14|
Lyndis Hersandoral’s Character Sheet
|Money||10 gp, 3sp|
|Equipment||Quarterstaff, Shield, Long-Sword, Backpack, Rations-6 days, Leather Armour, Water-skin, Tinderbox, Flint and Steel, 50′ rope, Tin Plate.|
|Spells/Abilities||60′ range Darkvision, 1-2 on 1d6 to find secret doors with just a cursory, immune to paralysing attack of ghouls, less likely to be surprised in combat by 1 in 1d6.
Cure Light Wounds, Detect Evil, Light, Protection from Evil, Purify Food and Water, Remove Fear, Resist Cold. No Spells until Lv 2.
|Paralysis or Petrify||14||+1|
Dazai’s Character Sheet
|Money||21 gp, 1ep|
|Equipment||6 days of Rations, Thieves Pick and Tools, Hemp Rope 50′, Backpack, Sling, 58 Bullets for Sling, Dagger, Leather Armour, Tin Plate.|
|Spells/Abilities||Darkvision with a 60′ range, able to detect slanting passages, traps, shifting walls and new construction on a roll of 1-2 on 1d6 (a search must be performed before this roll may be made). It takes a turn for the next abilities: Open Locks, Remove Traps, Pick Pockets, Move Silently, Climb Walls, Hide, Listen, and Sneak Attack.|
|Restrictions||Cannot use large weapons more than four feet in length like two-handed swords, polearms, and longbows. May not wear metal armour as it interferes with thief abilities.|
|Paralysis or Petrify||13||+4|