Friday, February 3, 2012

Chapter 1: Party Time, Part 3


Up through the Unguard Tunnels; past the Molten Doors of Azzail; into the ruins of the temple of Nomolos and back out again; across the Desert of the Jeshuman; and finally down the slopes of the Seventh King's Mountain. All this and I'd left the Dwarven capitol and its kingdom, entered the Human lands, and I still had miles to go before I could rest.

It had taken me the better part of two months to cover the terrain, my left hip throbbed from where Thoragrim had marked me, and each night when I laid down to sleep it was swollen and the mark burned red. The mark is my curse, but I do not regret it for the power it has given me.

The adamantine on my left arm had continued to fold and articulate as I'd walked, now resembling a nigh-organic gauntlet covering my arm from elbow to finger-tip. It feels like a second skin, it warms in the light of the sun like metal, but makes almost no sound as I tap my fingers against my thumb. This was one of many gifts Thoragrim had given me, proof that I'd done the right thing.

The temperate lands of Miiska are a pleasant change, the Dwarven lands are so torturous that we took to living beneath them. Only the Gnomes are fool-enough to live top-side. Chewing on my last ration I tossed away my worn out sandals and took in the damp soil, the tall grass blending between my toes. The terrain was full of high-sloped hills. From the top of one you could see for miles, but like a dune-filled desert there is still so much hidden behind the hills and in the tall grass.

I didn't notice the winding road until I'd nearly begun crossing it, and as I placed my metal hand against the road I could feel vibrations coming from the west. Out of food, low on water, and honestly doubtful of my ability to hunt with only a hammer, I wait at the road side and hope that I'm not waiting on a group of bandits to come past.

About ten minutes of waiting rewards me, as a caravan of seven carts comes around the hill and comes to a stop about twenty feet before passing me. A Halfling pops up from the drivers seat and calls out, "Amicha no stewar?"

"What?" I call back in the Dwarven tongue.

"Neee, Alenor!" He waves both hands as if pushing air towards me. "Vash, vash." He then turns to the carts behind him and shouts in a flat yet shrill voice, "Alenor! Broksen Alenor!" He turns back to me and holds up one finger, I guess he means to wait.

In retrospect, learning the halfling language would have been a great idea, but who could've taught me? If this caravan had found its way into our tunnels my father would have ordered them killed on sight.

Another Halfling comes running down the road along the side of the wagons, iron beads sway from his over-grown side burns. A Dwarven axe hangs from his belt, crafted smaller than it would normally be to fit his hands, and he calls out in Dwarven, "So you don't speak Halfling. Lucky for you I speak the Dwarven tongue."

"Indeed I am lucky. That's a fine axe you have there."

"Thanks! What are you doing out here all alone?" He smiled friendly, but his hand rested readily on his axe.

"I am but a humble pilgrim. I've run out of food, I'm low on water. I'd offer my services in exchange for your aid." I opened my hands outward in a sign of peace.

He looked me up and down. "What skills do you have? I know Dwarves are a warrior people, but we have trained soldiers and you have no armor besides that fancy glove of yours."

"I am a skilled healer, and I'm not a stranger to hard labor. I can do many things, though cooking may not be my strong suit compared to your skilled hands."

We both had a laugh at that.

"Let me check with the caravan elders, if they say we can take on a healer then we'll add you to our ranks until we reach the next town."

"And what is the next town?"

"Edton; it's another eight days from here, but the road is full of bandits and I think there'll be ample use for you as a healer, warrior, or moving heavy bodies out of the road."

"Well then, let me know what your elders say, but one more question: What does Alenor mean?"

He turned to walk back along the wagons, "It's our word for your people, but it roughly translates to 'a hairy talking boulder'." And with that he vanished behind the first wagon.

I doubt they'd turn me away, but I don't know how much I like being called a hairy rock.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Chapter 1: Party Time, Part 2


Ah Edton, one of the many cities belonging to the Ascents. All of them walk around being so proud of their short lifespans and overconsumptions. It sickens me to watch the Ascents trounce about. They use too much stone in their buildings, too much cloth in their clothing, too much food in their meals, all because they're "bigger" than me. Well if by 'bigger' they mean that they somehow are oblivious to the fact that they walk around with their butts at nose-level for me then yes, the oafs are bigger. And disgusting.

They have one redeeming value, one thing which keeps me and my people from wiping their sad existence as a blight on nature from nature. They know how to party. And nowhere near Edton can party like the Cracked Flagon. Three stories, it's one of their five biggest buildings; the top level is full of inn rooms, but the bottom two make up a magnifiscent tavern. The ale, wine, and wiskey flow like water from a fountain, and they make amazing roasted pig, hard-crust bread, and import amazing cheeses.

So after I rode into down in a grain cart and offloaded my payload at Fantastic Mel's Shiny Accessories, a nice payday indeed, I made haste to get to here with as little contact with the crowd of Ascents as possible. I took up a small table on the balcony above the bar and had a beautiful Halfling waitress serving me wine and cheese while I listened to a group of musicians play a jovial tune.

My seat was fantastic, I had my back to the wall and to my right was a clear view over the balcony to the front door so I could see everyone who entered. Of course most people who entered were disgusting as they were tall, but when slightly pointed ears poked out of a head of curly auburn hair it caught my eye. See, there is nothing worse in the town of Edton than the Ascents, so when they go and mix their blood with another of the lesser races it can only result in improvement from the pure filth of their own gene pool.

She carried a bow on her back, which caught my attnetion in full. The curve at the tips of the wood were neither Elven, nor the the work of Ascents. It was far too large, but that bow was made using the perfect techniques of Halfling craftsmen. I had to talk to her. I turned to my waitress.
"Have a bottle brought to her table please."

"Sure thing short stuff." She winked at me. What can I say, I have a way with the ladies.

I got up and walked over to the edge of the balcony, leapt and swung down along the rope lanterns hung from. No sooner had I begun to lower on the rope than the door opened again and another woman walked through, followed by a second. The first had grey skin and tusks, clearly carrying Orcan blood. Well I guess not all mixtures are a step up, but she looked stronger than almost any other man in the bar so that's a fight I'd pass on. The second wore a lovely blue dress that completely concealed, wait, wait. Holy shit! I swung upside down from the lantern and pointed at him,

"Wait, what are you doing wearing a dress? Does it just make you more free?"

The bird on his shoulder cawed and I felt Phillip squirm in his pouch.

"It's not a dress! They're robes ya friggin midget!" He took a swing at me, and missed by about six inches.

"Slow, clumsy, and bad at aiming. I'm scared now!" I dropped from the lantern and landed on my feet. I took a bow, "Well I have more important things to do than embarrass you further. Good day."

I walked over to the table the half-elven woman had gone to and hopped into the chair to her left; the one on her right had her bow and quiver leaning on it.

"Hi there, I'm Roscoe, who're you?"

She rolled her eyes at me, "Why is everyone talking to me today?"

"I don't know anyone else's reasons, but I noticed your bow, and I was wondering what a young woman like you was doing with an oversized halfling bow?"

"Oh, um, well I was taught by-" She looks up from me as the half-orc sits down at the table with four large tankards clutched in her hands.

"Look, I'm sorry, that was rude of me back at the taxidermist's. I bought you an ale, and since I saw you have an admirer I bought him one too." The half-orc smiled. She seemed a whole lot happier to see me than the half-elf was to see her.

I offered my hand, "I thank you for the drink. Roscoe Redbottle, expert in item recovery and treasure reallocation. And you are?"

"Challa Axeborne, ranked third in my class at the Hexagon War Academy."

"Impressive, I guess." I turned back to the half-elf, "And you mistress archer? Or would you just prefer Mistress?" Her eyes widened and her lip curled up at the line, as I expected, and thank the gods she didn't show interest in me. I'd hate to break her heart.

"Sam Fletcher, no credentials."

The thing-in-a-dress joined us at the table. "I took the liberty of ordering food."

Challa chimed in, "Sorry, this is Larry. Larry, this is Roscoe, and you know Sam."

Larry cleared his throat, "It's Lawrence, son of Logos, magus of the Raven's order. I'd prefer you not call me as anything but my full name."

"Larry Sawnoff Logos, your name is way to long for casual conversation. Thanks for the food, I ordered us a bottle of wine. So how do you all know each other?"

Sam rubbed between her eyes. "They tried to recruit me, but I already told them, I work better alone."

"Well that makes sense to me. I too work better with just the one partner. Team jobs tend to carry way to much danger for my style."

Challa jumped in, "They also tend to pay a lot more little man. Larry and I just pulled in a cool hundred gold pieces. With an archer," She nodded at Sam, and then looked back to me, "and a skilled 'securities specialist' we could pull in three times that."

I looked up as if in religious exaultation, "I've seen the light, my mind has changed." I turned to Sam, "I don't see why we shouldn't join up with them."

She looked down at me, "First, there is no 'we'. I work alone. Secondly, if I wanted to take on a team and watch them get killed because they couldn't keep quiet I don't think I'd choose this hodgepodge."

The waitress walked by and dropped off four platters of ham, white goat cheese, steaming sliced bread, and fresh fruit. If I'd doubted Challa's claim about deep pockets, this cemented me. She'd probably had to spend eight gold pieces to get this spread, more than most would need to eat and sleep in an inn for a fortnight. The waitress also had my bottle of wine and four clay cups.

I began to pour the wine and pass the cups, "Well Sam, way I see it you've just been given a tankard of fine ale, a platter of high quality food, maybe the best in the house, and I promise you this wine is astounding, as a recruitment attempt. Why not do one job with us, and if you don't like it then you're free to walk away and Challa will never bother you again. Right Challa?"

"Sounds fair to me," Challa shrugged.

Sam smeared some of the cheese on the bright red berry.

"Alright, I will give it a shot, but on one condition. You three have to go find us a healer. I'm not putting all of our lives on the line if you don't first get us a holy man."

"Sure thing, I mean, how hard can that be?" Larry said.

My jaw literally dropped, "Do you make a habbit of saying things like that, because if so then I'm going to have to ask you to change your battle cry to 'I'm invincible' on principle."

Chapter 1: Party Time, Part 1


The market streets of Edton are always packed during the day. Hot food stands mix the smells of their food into the rest of the crowd of scents from dirt, hay, and animal droppings to fruit, coal smoke, and incense. I like the market because it is diverse enough that I don’t stand out; halflings, dwarves, humans, and the occasional gnome move about the market and the diversity makes me less self-conscious of being a half-blood.

With my bow stashed in the long quiver on my back and the hefty axe looped through my belt I weaved through the crowd pulling a large burlap sack over shoulder. The bottom of the sack was stained a dark brown as the blood had dried over the week’s journey back, and begun to smell fiercely. The crowd gave plenty of room to move.

At the south end of the market is McGorin’s Taxidermist. Not only does he stuff trophy busts, but Daren McGorin also acted as a front-man for most of the bounties in Edton. The sign hangs from the second story window, a large wooden circle adorned in animal horns of all sorts and emblazoned with an arrow crossed over an axe. I like Daren, he’s good people.

I push the door open and walk into the storefront of Mc’Gorin’s, large trophy busts hang from the walls all around the room, a chandelier of antlers adorned with candles lights the room. It looks more like a hunting lodge than a store. Daren is sitting behind the counter eating a sandwich. “Well if it isn’t little Sammy. What’s in the bag?”

I heft the sack on to the counter, giving a few feet between it and his sandwich, and reach in, “Bugbear chieftain, and a few extra for the promised bonus.”

“Well if that doesn’t make my day I don’t know what will!” Daren reached under his counter to pull up some coins. I’d bet my pay that he keeps a powerful crossbow right next to the purse.

The door burst open, and standing in it is the biggest women I’ve ever seen. Behind her is a blonde-haired man in a dress with a bird on his shoulder, she however is wearing a solid steel breastplate and has a massive axe in a thick leather sheath on her back. In her hand is the biggest severed head I’ve ever seen, and I doubt the two are not related.

Her voice is thick through the tusks jutting up from her lower jaw, “Good news Micky! Larry and I got that Ogre you put up the price on. Here ya go!” She tosses the head through the air and it lands with a wet thump on the counter. I wince, it landed on Daren’s sandwich.

“That- that was a good sandwich. The mutton was lean, the tomatoes were perky.” Daren seems to deflate as he looks at the ruined sandwich.

“Oh whatever, take it out of my pay. Hey who’re you?” The half-orc looked me up and down, “Nice bow, can you use it?”

My eyes narrow at the thought of questioning of my skill. I reach into my sack and pull the chieftain’s head out, his right eye missing from where my arrow pierced it, “He thinks I shoot just fine.”

The woman laughs and offers me a hand, “Challa Axeborne. We could use an archer, you should join up. Larry here is a wizard.” She wiggles her fingers like casting a spell at me as she says wizard.

I shake her hand, “Sam Fletcher. Why would I run with you? I make plenty on my own.”

“Oh come on! We work together and we can handle the bigger targets. Bigger targets means better pay days, oh and glory! We can become known as heroes instead of just hunters. Who doesn’t want to be a hero?”

She talks a big game, but her passion is almost infectious. Almost.

I pick up my payment from Daren, “Sorry about your sandwich Daren. I’ll be back tomorrow for another job. Nice to meet you Challa, but I work alone.” I stepped around her and back out the door.

With a few gold in my pocket I head back into the market and for the Cracked Flagon tavern.

Character Profile - Lawrence, Son of Logos

—Name: Lawrence, Son of Logos —Race:Human —Gender: Male

—Class: Witch —Height: 5'8” —Eyes: Grey —Hair: Blonde







Use Magic Device
Sense Motive

The fire crackled in the early morning and Ignish, my red-tailed raven, stood on the ground warming his feathers. Challa laid in her bedroll on the other side of the fire and slept eerily quiet. I looked down at him and spoke in the pops, hisses, and low groans which make the Ignan language of fire elementals.

“Challa is dangerous Ignish. I know she sought us to cover her back on these adventures, but I can’t help being unsettled. Orcs aren’t supposed to be that smart.”

Ignish turned his head toward me and stared.

“The way she handles things, it’s a threat. We gave her a ten second head-start on the cave and she killed an Ogre. What’s more, she did it without a scratch. That’s not just strength, she’s smart. Smart enough to have learned magic I bet. Our magic is great, but how can we be certain she won’t turn on us? Perhaps we should handle her first.”

Ignish stared at me and responded in the same pops and hisses, “Well that’s just stupid.”


“Killing Challa. Stupid. Her axe is like an extension of her body. She’s not some berserker who mutilates the dead for trophies, that girl has been trained by a master axeman. Yes she’s smart, and that’s just fine. Smart allies are worth more because they’re less likely to be swayed by greed or clever words. Of all the stupid things I’ve heard from you this is one of the worst.”

“Ouch. I’m plenty smart you know. I’m just concerned for our mostly squishy hides. I’d rather not get an axe in the back when she decides she wants to keep our share of the loot.”

“Oh yeah, you’re a real genius.” I swear his beak literally dripped with sarcasm.

“What’s that supposed to mean?”

“You’re learning magic from a bird.”

“A bird who speaks Ignan.”

“Alright, an exceptionally smart bird who know magic spells, but still you are being mentored by a being who’s greatest weakness is something shiny.”

“You never fail to insult yourself as much as you do me Ignish.”

“That’s what makes us a good team Larry.”


“I’ll call you what I want, apprentice.”

“Sure thing Iggy.”

“I will teach you a spell to make your head implode and tell you it creates a protective shield.” Ravens aren’t supposed to be able to give death-glares, but Ignish was giving a remarkable attempt.

“Then who’d you teach magic to?”

“You said the orc was smart.”

My jaw dropped. I don’t think I’ll ever call him Iggy again, but then again we’ve gone at it like this since we first met and he started to teach me.

Challa shifted her shoulders inside her bedroll, “Stop talking to the fire Larry, it’s starting to sound annoyed.”

Ignish gave a peel of caws that sounded all to similar to laughter, and I once again found my mouth agape. “Sorry Challa, I thought you were sleeping.”

“Not with you talking all morning to the campfire. Weird language.”

“I’ll try to be quieter, also I prefer to be called Lawrence.”

“That’s nice, I’d prefer to be asleep, but I guess we can’t always have what we want Larry.”

Ignish laughed again. I’m telling you, some times I feel like I get no respect.

Character Profile - Challa Axeborne

—Name: Challa Axeborne —Race:Half-Orc —Gender: Female

—Class: Fighter —Height: 5'11” —Eyes: Brown —Hair: Black







Sense Motive

An Ogre stands roughly 12 feet tall, which gives it an arm length of approximately four-and-a-half feet; The tree trunk he’s swinging looks to be around 8 feet long, and is probably adding another 7 feet to his reach. The amount of force he can carry in a single downward blow could shatter the bones of most men even with armor; suggested strategy: Don’t let him hit me.

I circled the creature, rolled my shoulders in loose circles as gripped my axe, and waited for him to swing. When the tree came down I spun to my left, feeling the wind and smelling the freshly up-rooted soil as it missed by inches, and took off circling to his right immediately. He lifted the trunk and began to sweep to his left to catch me as I ran behind him. He’s big, but not terribly bright.

I jump and kick off the trunk as it comes around to me, rotating my weight in a mid-air roll and coming down with the axe into the side of his neck as I soar past. 11 feet is plenty of space to place my strike as I reached him. The axe lodged into his spine and the blade rotated as my weight pulled, drawing the gash even wider and spraying the dark, thick blood around the darkened cave. I stumbled as I landed, his body shaking the ground a moment after my boots touched down. “And down you go.”

A light appeared at the entrance to the cavern and Lawrence surveyed the wreckage that the ogre had become in the dark.

“Thirteen gods Challa, you sure know how to make a mess.”

“Larry! What took you so long? You missed out on all the fun.” I took the brown sash from around my waste and added the Ogre’s blood to it as I wiped my axe clean. Overall, this was just another day, and I love being an adventurer.

Character Profile - Roscoe Redbottle

—Name: Roscoe Redbottle —Race:Halfling —Gender: Male

—Class: Rogue —Height: 3'4” —Eyes: Blue —Hair: Brown







Disable Device
Escape Artist
Handle Animal
Sleight of Hand
Use Magic Device

“I don’t know what he was thinking Phillip, this is a piece of cake.”

Phillip just stared blankly at me.

“Oh don’t give me that lip. I let you carry all sorts of magic, so don’t act like this is less than the perfect situation for us. We are not having this argument again.”

Phillip continued to stare; I turned away and slid the second hook into the lock. The familiar click of the tumbler fell resounded through my perfectly pointed ears.

“See Phillip, piece of cake. Now hand me the last hook and the jewels are ours.”

Phillip blinked, climbed up my bandoleer and pulled another hook from my belt with his teeth. He then climbed back down and passed the hook to my hand.

“What a good rat you are Phillip. See we’re lucky to have each other. Dad wanted me to be a wizard. ‘Follow in the family,’ he said. Please.” I took the hook and scratched behind his right ear.

“This thief work is good for us. It pays just as well, nowhere near as much schooling, and look at you. You could have been stuck as a familiar, a lackey to my wizardly whims, but no, I thought more of you than that. Now you’re my partner buddy.”

Phillip just stared at me. He does that, but it’s not like I expect him to talk. I already knew what he meant.

“Sure, the classmates would have been fun, but we’ll make new friends. Just you watch, with our new little ‘trust fund’ we can afford to go see the world and have adventures.” The last tumbler snapped into place and the lock clicked open. I began to open the box with my perfectly agile hands, but my keen eyes saw the edge of the rune.

“whoah, that was close. Okay, time for some of that magic you love Phillip.” He just stared out of his beady eyes at me. “Pass me the solvent, pouch three, garlic cork.”

Phillip scurried back up to my belt. My head was starting to get a bit of a rush from hanging like this, but my legs weren’t even tired. That’s the amazing halfling strength for you. I’d used different oils and herbs to scent the bottles since Phillip is color blind, and sure enough he brought me the arcane solvent. I run a couple drops down one of my lock hooks and it sizzles across the alarm rune.

“Fantastic,” I slide the box open and see the four gems delicately laid on the red plush interior of the lock box. I delicately draw each gem out of the box, handing them off to Phillip, “put them in pouch one Phillip.” Sure enough he carries each one into my bottom-fed pouch, which I’d set up for just such a situation. I’m such a genius.

I pulled my body upright and swayed on the rope for a moment, “What a rush. C’mon Phillip.” He climbed up onto my right shoulder and I climbed back up the rope. Once I reached the roof I untied the rope from my ankle and gathered it back up and into my pack. By the time they discovered the theft I’d be long gone.

“Let’s go Phillip, now our adventures can really begin!”

Character Profile - Brenalor Heavyhammer

—Name: Brenalor Heavyhammer —Race:Dwarven —Gender: Male

—Class: Oracle —Height: 4'4” —Eyes: Brown —Hair: Black







Sense Motive

“You have disgraced the Heavyhammer name, you Thorgarim-damned fool. Sparing the lives of those things could endanger our people!”

He’d been yelling at me about this for quite awhile; I knelt there with my hands in shackles, the chain between them running through a bolt to the floor. The king-priest had taken my armor, my hammer, and my precious rope. Now he stood over me. My left hip throbbed.

“Please sire, you do not understand. Those things were humans, and they were peaceful! They could be our allies if we didn’t kill every one of them who come to our lands. I ask mercy sire.”

“You do not decide who receives mercy and who does not; Thorgarim’s beard you do not respect the boundaries set before you!” He bellowed, “I should have you killed in the great hall for all our people to see, then perhaps they could learn from you Thorgarim-cursed fate.”

My blood boiled, “You need to stop that sire, Thorgarim does not appreciate his name used in curses. Beware crossing the boundaries set before you.”

The king-priest back-handed me across my jaw with his gauntlet made from adamantine, the blessed metal of our god, and I collapsed onto my side. I felt the power swelling in my chest. “You insignificant traitor-blooded wretch! You dare challenge me on what Throgarim commands?! I am his mouth, I am his eyes! I will have your Thorgarim-begotten beard shaved, and execute you before all our people with your own hammer!”

My own hammer. There is no greater dishonor than to be killed with your own weapon to my people, but this is not how Thorgarim works. He is a god of community, of strength, and of protection. I feel as his will overwhelms my own, like my blood is on fire. I feel my strength surge and the chain shatters as I tear my hands free from the bolt in the floor.

“You were his mouth, you were his eyes! I am his hand!” I get to my feet, but not smoothly. My left hip still throbs as it has since Thorgarim touched it. “I will leave your people and you shall enter a time of darkness. You have cursed by Thorgarim’s name and so you have lost his blessing! You do not deserve to wear his metal.” I placed my palm against his chest in a thrust, his eyes still wide at my freedom and words, and the Adamantine breastplate folded off of his body, buckles and clasps snapping, and wrapped my forearm. I reached out my other hand and my hammer launched across the room and into my grip.

“Good bye king.”

“How dare you?! You cannot stand before me!”

“No, it is you who should not stand.” I pointed my Adamantine wrapped fist at him and clenched it tight. The armor plates around his knees crunched inward and he screamed in agony. I turned to walk out of his chamber, “Good bye father.”

I left the Dwarven kingdom, and have never returned.

Character Profile - Sam Fletcher

—Name: Samantha Merilynn Fletcher —Race:Half-Elven —Gender: Female

—Class: Ranger —Height: 5'6" —Eyes: Brown —Hair: Auburn







Sense Motive
Craft (Boyer)

Thirteen gods you all stink. I’m going to wipe my blade off on your shirt, but I can’t see how you’d complain. I wipe my knife off on his shirt and sure enough, no protest. I stand and look around me as I slide the blade back into it’s sheath. Two orcs dead thirty paces north, an arrow in one’s chest and another in the other’s eye. Three more dead, surrounding me. One with an arrow in the throat, the other two with numerous slash wounds. I double-checked myself for wounds; nothing threatening, but a good sized cut in my armor. Damn, I’ll need to see a leather worker in the next town.

I began uphill toward the two fallen to see if I could retrieve the arrows. No reason to waste them. My father was a fletcher, and I learned the trade from watching him. My step-mother had always wanted me to be a lady.

I pulled the arrow out of his eye socket and examined the head, yeah I’m really not much of a lady. I wiped the arrow off on my trousers and slid it back into the quiver. The one in the orc’s chest was a lost cause snagged on his ribs.

I took a moment to admire my handiwork, before rifling through their pouches and gear for anything I could use. Orcs are a blight on the forest, but there’s no standing bounty on their ears. Some shoddy arrows, a few coins, a hefty axe, and a string of ears. Trophies I guess, no markings to dictate them as bounty rewards. Three humans, a dwarf, and a halfling.

Can’t help but think of Tobin, little Tobin who gave me my first bow. Tobin who came back to my fathers shop for short arrows ever two months, who when he found that Samuel, my father, had broken the bow he gave me taught me how to make one so that I wouldn’t ever be without a bow. It can’t be his ear, it has no piercings and Tobin wore three silver rings in each ear.

“Well that’s enough nostalgia. I’ve got a bugbear cave to find.” Great, I’m talking to myself. Yeah, that’s healthy. I decide to keep the axe with me head back to the trail I’d been following before this ambush became a nice, neat little pay bonus