Dragolin Fables: Parables of Tangsgym

Hey, I just met you and this is crazy, but let me feel your abs maybe?

I’m not sure what it is about our band of merry adventurers, but we always spend an immense amount of time developing a near-infallible plan…only to completely ignore it.
Why should this ball be any different?

We all split up; the prince being in a private room upstairs rather hinders our ability to protect him, so we all take the opportunity to mix with the wealthy crowd. If we can’t prevent an assassination from taking place, perhaps The Enchanted Shield can at least be remembered as great party guests.

So far, so good.

Rindle is enjoying the food, while regaling those around him with some rather dinnertime-inappropriate tales… yet they seem to be enjoying themselves, as does he. I remember thinking he was quite adorable and intriguing when I first met him; fortunately for these ball-goers, they won’t be spending too much time with him that their first impression might alter somewhat…

Korath tries to get upstairs to find the prince – I see him having trouble at first, but he eventually convinces the guard to let him pass. Phew, that means someone can actually attend to his protection.

Andrin keeps looking around the room, as though searching for someone. Perhaps a long lost love who left his priestly life of sacrifice to be with a man with wealth and a title? Or someone else a bit more boring. Either way, it looks like he’s not having much luck.

Merora? No idea. Hoping she’s bathing in the bathroom sink is probably a little overly hopeful…

I successfully win over some of the wealthiest-looking patrons in the ballroom. It’s not hard to keep them amused – I have plenty of tales that settle well on the ears of folk unwilling to leave the comforts of their castles… a small, sweet taste of adventure is all they need.

The next thing I know, the prince is in the ballroom with Korath, and as I walk towards him, Balarion cuts in and asks me to dance. My loyalty is to the prince, but accepting Balarion’s offer is quite the snub – one which I hope benefits us in future. If Balarion thinks his wily charm has won me over, he might be a little malleable. I’m more than aware that’s rather ambitious, but if nothing else, rejecting him might give him more reason to slight the prince, which isn’t what anyone wants.
A no-win situation…though accepting his offer does mean I get to see what he’s like on the floor.
Conclusion; he’s incredibly adept at the tango.
I try to think of the prince…though it is difficult with such a muscular, dextrous dance partner.
I match his moves and charm, and he ends the dance requesting that we enjoy a rendezvous another time. Apparently my charm runs out here and I respond with a flustered “I’ll think about it”.

I feel guilty for doing that to the prince, so I try to make it up to him later by teaching him a simple waltz; he may lack the allure and dense muscular frame of Balarion, but he has his own gentle, innocent charm.

Unexpectedly, I hear the memorable melody of The King Fool, and suddenly the ballroom is filled with green mist and a tangible apparition of the long-dead, King Fool appears, dripping and rotting.
It’s up to us to take him down before there are any casualties.

I'm having such a good time; I'm having a ball.
Taken from Andrin's journal.

Incident Report #322
Location: Prince’s Trust Guild
Time: 15:35
Type: Altercation
Details: Group ‘Enchanted Shield’ engaged several hostiles after an unprovoked attack on Lord Greyhawke left him dead. Hostiles were from an unknown group. Leader escaped, no other survivors. No casualties to the ‘Enchanted Shield’ group. Major concern.
Result: Investigation launched into whereabouts of the unknown groups leader and motives. To be followed up periodically.

Woke up in darkness this morning. I guess our group has made some sort of name for ourself, if people are after us. The shifty man in the corner questioned us, and our allegiances. In situations like these it’s no wonder we were all cautious. No-one wanted to give this mysterious stranger any concrete answers, and I don’t blame them. After much back and forth, it transpired that he’s a member of a group that works for the city; an ally. I must say it greatly frustrated me that such a tiresome situation arose when everyone was actually on the same page. It this sort of rubbish I want stamping out, so that those in positions of power actually use it for good, rather than wasting time.

Have sent a message to Feign requesting that I be taken off following up incidents of no concern. It such a waste of time for me when I can be out there trying to do some real good, and from the sounds of it I’ll be needed shortly, if there is to be a war. The request is of course merely a formality, I shaln’t be chasing up petty theft or tavern brawls whether the old fart chooses to grant it or not. Of course I’ll still be looking after all incidents involving the ‘Enchanted Shield’. Someone has to keep us out of trouble with the guard.

Met up with the Prince to discuss our next move. People outside were recruiting for this upcoming war. It seems that the group who attacked Greyhawke are trying to… resurrect? For want of a better word. Resurrect some ‘drowned king’. It was at this point that Vanya enchanted us with a fantastically sung poem telling the legend of this King Fool Character. The Prince informed us of a ball that he must attend, however we all suspect that this event will provide an opportunity for this drowned king group to make an attack. Through our adventures we have grown strong, and work much better together as a group. With adequate preparation, we shall attend the ball to thwart any plan of ill intent. Hopefully I won’t be writing up a serious report of it in the near future.

One bad one good.

Dear Mar and Pop,

I am sorry that I have not written to you as often as of late. I have been too busy as of late, but rest well in the knowledge that I spend my time making the world a fairer and better place and it is your teachings and guidance that drives me now. Which gives me the strength to fight to make the world the place it should be. I must admit that there is a poignant reason that I write to you now and I shall quickly recap these events so that you may understand the turmoil which I now feel.

I will not describe in detail the events which led to my friends death for fear of worrying unnecessarily, but it was I who fished him out of the cold depths of the murky dock waters and I shall confess that I lost all control at the sight of his cold lifeless body. I remember very little of the events directly ensuing that moment but what I do remember is doing my best to save our brave comrade.

I do not believe I have spoken to you much of the group with whom I now call my comrades and so I shall endeavour to tell you a little about each so that you may have context for future letters. Korath is a brave but gentle man, his heart warm and giving. I cannot imagine a man of equal generosity, save for Thirmore who you have heard such glowing commendations but in Korath I believe I have found an equally noble soul. Then there is Rindle a sweet but highly chaotic young gnome who believes he is a dwarf, the less I try to explain the better but he too is sweet and naturally talented with animals (he reminds me of that girl you told me of… Snow White). Then there is Vanya she is a little bit of an unknown quantity but she seems to an adequate human being, she likes music… Finally there is andrin, he is a kurt and straight laced fellow. I think his heart of ice is in the right place.
But it was korath who I fished out of the water and who I pummelled furiously trying to reawaken the life which was leaving him, as tears streamed down my eyes. Eventually I was pulled from him as the others carried his body away, I helped to guide his head gently.

I was in a bit of a whirl wind when we reached the guild and I agreed to accompany andrin to see lord silverhand. Having much experience with the corruption of power I can guarantee that Lord Silverhand is exactly the sort of noble that has caused my distrust. He is a conniving son of a dwarf maid wench, more so on this occasion as he confessed to hiring us as a distraction. It turns out we were never suppose to stop the boat, that which korath gave his life for! I was fuming and it was with much hatred that I left lord Silverhand’s chambers.

When we got back the funeral was about to begin and throughout the entirety of the pre-service and actual funeral I found myself pondering much of life’s woes. I was very nervous that undesirables might have penetrated our gathering and was on high vigilance to begin with but as I had not found anything of particular significance I eventually settled a little.

The service began and when rindle took centre stage something magical happened. There was a tree, sparks and bang there stood a scary monster but it was actually our korath. Though his sudden appearance caused much chaos amongst the audience, and sensing some particularly troublesome vibes from a group in the corner I chose follow them.

This proved to be correct as yet again we found ourselves fighting a bad guy, those maniacal bladstrikes never take a break! I feel I dealt some serious damage protecting the innocence and fighting those demons of hell, but the leaders escaped. They own powers that I do not.

I managed to sneak my way back to the group without taking too many hits, but it is these events that remind me of the love which has guided me on my quest. They remind me the importance of your teachings and of how important our relationships are. You are my guiding stars.

Until our paths cross again hold my memory in your hearts.

The depths of the blue (vine)

The blue. The deep deep blue. Everywhere, Blue. Blue…. Bluevine! I……my companions! Are they ok? The Black Irons! I did my best, I know that, never have I tasted battle like I did just then. Damnable drug fiends! Ruining the lives of so many in this city, that’s why…. that’s why we came. The boat. They were moving a shipment. I… what did… I took them out, drew fire away from my friends. The plan failed, our cover was blown. I knew I had to take them out, my magic fueled by the need to protect. They… what happened? They… they fell in fire and fury. Good, my friends are safe. The people of Tangsgym are safe. Rindle, Merora, Vanya, Andrin, I saw them all. Safe for now.

The Captain, he came from the ship. Furious, hating. No compromise. I tried, I did. He saw only the red of a lost drug deal. The red of flames upon the hull of his vessel. I exchanged blows, my magic dwindling, but still enough to keep my blade honed and my ward high. He fights like a demon, I barely match him but… I do. My training pays off, I think. I cut the pontoon free, cast him into the water, but he makes it to the ship. I hear Merora, she struggles, Vanya maintains her disguise, Andrin… I call for Andrin but Vanya comes. I hope he prevails. And Rindle is…Rindle is a spider still I think. I will miss him. But why would I miss him? I am… I am not willing to let the Captain flee and carry on his evil. I freeze his legs, weigh him down but he climbs to safety. The Ship begins to move, I will not let him get away. I use what little I have left, lightning pulling him off the boat into the deep.

But he lands. He is next to me, fighting. More swords, the clash of steel ringing. Merora surprises him, blinds him. She fights well, my companion. I slash, leg bleeding, crippled he falls. I kick, push with all I have. He falls, water embracing his evil with glee to … drown…choke….

Choking… I’m choking. He grabbed me. The bastard pulled me down. The fog, I couldn’t see him. I fight for every breath. I fight, my dagger cutting, slicing but I…weary. So weary, he falls but I’m deep. So very deep. Upwards, upwards, my thoughts urging me upwards but…to what? To where? I am, peaceful. My friends are safe. The drugs, the deal disrupted. The people are safe. I have something for them. The people. For my friends. The Captains. I took it, in my hand, he fell. Into the blue. But the blue surrounds me, I think. I see a forest. The forest. The great forest. Is this Corellon’s embrace? The bladesingers speak of him. Mother speaks of him. I follow him. I feel the peace, the magic, the forest. I have never known that peace. No. I must stop the Blue. Stop the Bluevine. Protect. Always…. always protecting. I’m tired. So tired. But someone wants to protect me. Corellon wants to protect me. Do I… Do I even have a choice? Maybe…. Maybe I do.

A carved crystal case holds hundreds of handwritten letters.


Time has passed swiftly since I departed the Stone Forest and you. I think of you every evening as the dreams take me and each morning that I rise and realise you aren’t here. You would love the City Bel. Everybody has a story to tell and a reason to be and despite hardships they try to make the best of the life that they are given. I have tried to offer what semblance of hope I can to those who have been unable to help themselves but things are sometimes murky and muddled. Often death and blood is seen to be the only path worth walking. But as I say, memories endure and roots grow deep. I mourn the death of my friend Nigel, but celebrate his spirit and know that he now nourishes the earth I stand on.

I’m starting to feel more like a Stoneshed Beetle every day that I remain in Tint. As if I too am beginning to develop a rigid outer shell. I know ultimately that I must let this transformation occur if I am to continue on my quest and complete my list but where once I saw vivid colours I now see muted tones, shadows and secrets. My friends are each strong and determined to do what is right but sometimes I worry that they would embrace destruction, whilst ignoring life’s potential. I know too that they care for me but often I sense their frustration. To them I am but an autumn leaf, a fragile thing that is easily swept aside. But in truth, I have a soul born of the mountain. I will keep fighting for us Bel and hopefully soon we shall be reunited.

You should see what I can do with my projections now, their strength seems to grow each time I craft them. I am hoping that I can use them to assist Vanya Aeroniel, she got a whiff of some Blue Vine and it didn’t seem to agree with her. We had to restrain her after she lunged at Merora Baggins with a dagger. The men at the Tavern didn’t seem too pleased either, luckily we managed to escape but I suppose they won’t be happy till they have dealt with us. I think I will need to cheer Vanya up. She has had a rough time lately; she nearly lost her hands to frostbite and it seems she was once a slave. I don’t fully understand what that means but everybody seemed quite upset so it must be pretty bad. I will have to remember to ask Korath Alaskar about it.

We are off to hunt down the makers of the Blue Vine. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to study it, from what I have heard it seems herbal in nature. Turns out the shipment is being sent via boat. I can’t wait to be on the open waters again, hopefully there aren’t too many sharks. Anyway hope you’re enjoying your rest and that you enjoy reading this. Know that I miss you and hope that I can return to your side soon. May the stones forever guard your soul little brother.



Ever the Optimist.
A hand scrawled list of ingredients hidden deep within Rindle's satchel.


The Mongoose, the Bard and the Bluevine

Morale is low. Nigel Brians, our trusty housecarl, is dead. The funeral was a humble affair for such a hero; with more time, Nigel could have climbed the ranks within the Prince’s guard, and would have been heralded a great man. It’s a loss to have such a kind soul taken from Dragolin, but that’s what happens when you put other people first.

We stand there, awaiting news of our new housecarl – Merora is keen to get someone onboard before Nigel’s body is even settled in the ground. We get allocated the bookworm Merora ran into when we visited the Mage’s tower.

He informs us that there are a couple of people interested in our services.

Of the two options, we choose to see Silverhand. Lord of Little KItswald and treasurer to the Earl. He doesn’t actually have a silver hand, unfortunately. That could have made the whole debacle more interesting.

The building is grand, to say the least. Naturally this upsets Merora, because anything that size and value that doesn’t positively affect her fellow hobos, is a waste. She couldn’t just appreciate the fine architecture and history of the place. Oh well – a quick elbow to the ribs successfully keeps her quiet.

The butler recognises us immediately – The Enchanted Shield has quickly made quite the name for itself.

The visit is purely business. Siverhand asks us to get rid of the Black Iron Gang; ‘bad eggs’, as Andrin so eloquently states. They’re the reason drug-addiction is growing rapidly like a malignant tumour across Tint.

Rindle and that marble-like orb; his naïve sense of morality has recently become irritating as it holds us back from effectively accomplishing simple tasks. Though he now wishes to return the marble to its original owners, he allowed the jackel to eat it. Now we wait for the beast to excrete it – such a valuable item, desired by many… including the Eye.

Originally the Druid showed such promise, but these days he just perpetuates disappointment. Though I’ll admit he livens up the ‘meeting’ by bringing Wiggly out to play on the map Silverhand has on display. He seems to be imagining Wiggly taking over the city.

It’s ridiculous, I know, but I get the creeps when Wiggly is out… a strange sense of some kind of evil. Almost like if he was bigger, he would stop a nothing to destroy us all. It must just be my bard’s imagination.
…I might have to write a song about it, to try and get it out of my system.

The talking continues for some time. Politics this, justice that. These people have no idea how to embellish a story and make it interesting.

We finally leave and get to take action.

Nobody really knows where to go to start looking for them. I suggest a particularly pitiable cesspit I’ve had the misfortune of drinking in the past. Let’s hope I don’t lose too much of the group’s respect for knowing about this dump.

We decide to split up; Korath goes in alone, acting every bit the ignorant rich man who has the money to pay for an array of drugs, while Merora and Rindle go in together, to make subtle inquiries and see what information they can gather. Andrin andI go in together – two desperate half-elves desperate for their next hit. That’s what I make us look like.

It works.

I find a shifty looking man in the corner and twitchily approach him to ask for the product. He says he can provide.

That’s when Korath comes over, too, offering to put money towards the purchase of the product. Unfortunately this put the shifty man on the backfoot and he runs off. He might have been trying to help, but this slows things down. I think I can still make this work though, regardless.

I run after the man, who has gone outside. For some reason the mongoose fighting has ended abruptly, and I hear people scrabbling about to find where the mongoose has gone. Can’t help but wonder if our friendly neighbourhood Druid has something to do with it.

After desperately agreeing to pay double, the dealer leaves me to pickup the product I requested. He takes quite some time to bring it back to me. I can hear some trouble going on – it wouldn’t surprise me if that grubby Halfling has something to do with it.

He does eventually bring the product back to me. I try it. It’s legitimate.

Can’t wait to regale this tale to my fellow bards; they’ll undoubtedly applaud my convincing performance and give me the recognition I deserve for it.

Until then, though, I’m getting high… perks of the job and all.

Graduation Day
The naked conversion hypothesis

I woke up groggily with the feeling that I had just had one too many drinks, save for the memories of adventure prior to my concussion. No one else was to be seen so I assumed that they were either resting up or carrying out what ever task they desired. Normally I would be all up for looting the joint but right now I could barely think straight.

That was when Korath entered the room requesting aid which I was more than willing to supply, am I getting too soft? I barely question Korath’s judgement and leadership any more. By his side we went to go find Rindle but the little chap seemed out of sorts so we left him to himself.

Korath’s request for help was to explore a dark mysterious passage way. The air was thick with the sense of danger and I was keeping a keen eye out when all of sudden I saw a mass of spiders descending from the ceiling. I look for a weak spot on the wall and found none. Unsure as to what I wanted to do I stepped out the way and let Vanya and Korath deal with it. The spider family was dead in a matter of minutes and though I knew it was necessity for us to defend ourselves I could not hel but think what would Rindle think.

Vanya and Korath tried to hide the bodies before we continued our examination of the hall way. We found a crack in the wall which my short dexterous body managed to squeeze through. On the other side there was a boring secret room, the only interesting part of which was a door which I opened. Upon opening this a bedroom appeared but what was very clear to me was that there was a secret cupboard behind a bookcase which I unwisely opened.

As I opened the cupboard a heavy bony figure fell a top of me and I let out a blood curdling scream of terror as it knocked me to the floor. This rallied the rest of the gang to my side including Rindle. Once up I was too shaken to immediately be of use and was recalled to the room by Korath’s request that I help to open a lock, an easy job for someone with my talents. Inside there were bundles of papers which I left Korath to sift through as he is the book wormy sort and I have found that studying has little advantage in this world.

I wondered over to Rindle in another room and back to Korath and Vanya idly scanning the rooms which is when I heard Vanya instruct Korath to follow her. As the only member I am still somewhat decidedly unclear about I decided to follow Vanya and Korath and we ended up in a store room which Korath inventoried as we proceeded to carry items back to our cart and once loaded up and the party reunited we set off for the guild.

Upon arrival the Prince was waiting… I am sure I say Vanya’s chest flush and her checks darken a shade or two on perceiving him. He showed us to a room, his chamber and proceeded to congratulate us on a fine job. I sat quietly waiting to be out of the room, thoroughly unsure how to behave when in such grand company. However I had learnt one valuable lesson: do not attempt to steal from people when you fear the repercussions that they maybe to inflict upon you. So I sat patiently for the congratulations to end however upon receipt of reward I was drawn back to the conversation as the prince handed us two gems each. They sparkled in the light and were worth a small fortune.

Upon the end of the conversation I asked the Prince if he knew of anyone who could deliver valuable items to out of state areas, he instructed me of a delivery system that I could use which was located within the guild hall itself. Then I was most delighted to see Vanya begin her wooing attempts and I jumped straight to her side in my attempts to help. Though the conversation did not seem to be going particularly well the overall ending was satisfactory as the prince offered to take the shield to dinner in the evening, but both me and Korath decided to politely decline finding ourselves ‘busy’ with other plans. After a little thought and maybe a little persuasion light throttling Rindle decided to decline the invite too.

Korath was most anxious to make it to his graduation and to deliver the Growing Kobold’s stolen produce to Bert so once out of the Prince’s company I had but a few moments to speak to the delivery man I had been informed of. With Vanya’s help I procured an agreement for the two gems I had been rewarded to be sent to my family and we rapidly departed heading to the growing Cobalt and then onwards to the magic university.

When dropping of the stock to Bert he suggested that he required a change in premises and it was upon hearing this that the plan was hatched to purchase the Growing Kobold and set it up as our groups HQ.

It was at this time that Vanya approached me with the offer of a celebratory drink. I agreed and followed her to a private quarter, here she showed me a note that I would have believed to have been crafted by the black iron gang. It cryptically spoke of the orb which was in Rindle’s possession and requested our compliance in handing over the artefact.

We chose to meet the note’s writer in the market place in the afternoon to ensure that the meeting was out in public. I tried to hide my involvement in the conversation until near the end when Vanya broke my cover, which is when the conversation changed foot. I am not one for being taken advantage of or for showing when I am intimidated. Believing myself in the presence of Black Iron gang I was very tart, trying to hide my anxiety and curiosity, however our companion informed us that he was not a member of the gang. He spoke in riddle of the court of miracle and suggested that if I was worthy I would know the name of the people he spoke on behalf of. I bluffed a bit and suggested I would find out.

I tried to find out who they were by speaking to Thirmore (Morey) but I had little to go from. He told me that he would help but in return I should owe him a favour, I agreed without a second thought. Being my oldest and most beloved friend I would have done him any favour without any sort of repayment. We left the meeting and I felt most delighted to be of use to Morey.

We then proceeded to the college it was time for the graduation ceremony. Korath and I were both greeted and commended on our graduation. Korath turned to me perplexed that I should too be graduating when I had not studied with the university but our entwined fate was explained to us. I am now officially a seeker, basically I find magical stuff and retrieve it. I get to steal things for the good of society, I can’t say no to that. The world needs someone in its corner I can be that half of a person.

The ceremony itself was way too fancy for my taste and waiting for my name to be called was nerve racking but as I approached the stage everyone in the crowd was suddenly naked. This was mortifying as I was on stage with Korath and was handed my certificate by an elderly wizard whose shrivelled privates were enough to turn any woman.

I quickly hurried off stage to which I was greeted by the gang all attired in there most delightful birthday suits. The prince was there too stood next to Vanya and I was very much surprised to realise that his show of power and grandeur was definitely compinsating for his lack in other ‘talents’, which I touched upon with Vanya briefly. I was soon in an even more uncomfortable position as a master wizard came up to congratulate me, his scrotum so loose and wrinkly that it resembled the skin of a prune. It was a ghastly sight as I he began to embrace me my face was inches away from his over growing main of downstairs hair. However once I had endured that ordeal everyone’s clothes reappeared, I guessed that Rindle had something to do with this unfortunate event and was a little peeved. I needed a drink.

We headed to the cocktail bar as Vanya departed for her date and once there I was about to order waters (as Rindle had brought us to the most expensive tavern in the whole of Tangsgym or so it felt to me) but he cheerily offered to cover the tab, so instead I offered a fine spirit. There was however some confusion with the bar staff who Rindle seemed to be having some difficulty with but that seemed to be soon resolved.

We were taking a spot in a room on the second floor of the tavern when there was an horrific sound from outside. Korath rushed out leaving his drink and so I simply downed them before following him out, never let a fine drink go to waste is what I have been taught. I drunkingly wobbled and tumbled down the stairs to find a most confusing sight. A dead body, Vanya look most horrified and an intimidating figure who was obviously the cause of the raucous. I was not appreciative of such an interruption but it was soon ended as the violent creature disappeared into the night.

It turned out that the dead body was that of our Carl (Nigel Brian) who I had no attachment to but the rest of the party seemed rather shocked and horrified, Rindle took it particularly badly exclaiming that everyone he cared for kept dying. I felt a pang of pain at his heartbreak but when you are as soft and squishy as Rindle you must get attached to whole bunch of people and that makes the odds of them dying way higher.

Along came a Spider.

Who would have thought that being an actual spider would be that difficult? Turns out that attempting to make all eight legs move in unison is rather tricky, add to this the fact that they seem to become attached to everything and that they move considerably faster than my own humble dwarven legs and you can see the dilemma I was stuck with. In the future, I must remember to give more consideration to spider-folk. You know, spinning webs is a delicate business, an underappreciated art form I would say and here I was traipsing through them, arms flailing.

Turns out, nobody suspects a spider though. Rindle Webspinner is what they will call me. Ha! Not only did I manage to sneak into the establishment undetected but I also managed to discover a top secret underground dungeon. Perhaps I should be offering Merora some tips, although I doubt she would like that and I’m rather fond of my kneecaps. We go way back. Anyway, I don’t like to picture that place, no more write about it but it continues to invade my sleep and lingers on my thoughts like the retched stink of a Bog Troll. Sometimes I wish I had remained in the Stone Forest, no unsightly views there but then what of all the wonderful things I have discovered and the friends I have grown quite fond of.

Now let’s see, where was I Wiggly? Oh I know. The bad men. I remember thinking enough was enough and then a metal door creaking, followed by footsteps, as three men emerged from the staircase carrying a fourth. Korath! Such an inopportune moment to catch up on lost sleep, unless this was in fact an ingenious battle strategy. Beasts from back home did it all the time, pretending to play dead to avoid capture or worse. As saliva began to dribble out of his open mouth however, I quickly ruled out the latter explanation. They wanted to eat him, I think, or make him into one of them. I questioned their judgement. Korath was far too stringy to be an appropriate meal choice, plus I saw no condiments or herbs for seasoning anywhere.

I thought to befriend one of them and share with them my gastronomic secrets but before I could say rosemary there was a sudden flash of light and a booming voice. “Step away from my friend!” The three men suddenly turned towards me and I thought I’d be spotted and eaten for sure. In fact they would have if it wasn’t for the mighty dwarven Wizard, Krindle Dragonfire- I believe was his name, who had obscured their view. A look of confusion and horror painted their faces as they regarded the Wizard- who had suddenly conjured two hissing balls of emerald green flame into his wrinkled hands.

I remember he demanded they surrender and so they did. At which point Merora, Andrin and Vanya burst through the door and Korath rolled off the table to the floor, apparently assuming consciousness. It seemed Drenches Tint’s apprentice was equally as formidable as he himself was famed to be and also incredibly timely. Before I could ask the whereabouts of the Wizard’s sock drawer however one of the men began to pant wildly as he transformed before my very eyes into a snarling jackal beast and launched himself at the Wizard. The vicious blow was deflected by some mighty magic of sorts. As retaliation, green flame exploded in the creatures face and Merora’s blade once again tasted blood as she manoeuvred herself through the fray. A glistening frost crept up Korath’s curved sword as he slid unerringly across the table and struck deep into the breast of the beast. Howling, it turned and swiped its bloody claws catching Merora in the side. At this point, I peeped through my fingers which I had raised to my eyes, as Andrin strode forward to place his hand calmly on the exposed flesh of the beast. A sickening crunch and scream followed by a gurgle and various splattering noises replaced the sounds of combat and then the room grew deathly silent.

I really wish he wouldn’t do that. Perhaps I could try to convince him that not all of life’s infinite challenges should be solved by turning a person’s insides into outsides. Remind me never to shake his hands Wiggly and you shouldn’t either!

Seeing that the situation was contained and that we were in fact able to protect ourselves, the Wizard bade us farewell and extended a gracious invitation to Whitewall whenever we wished it. Such a nice fellow, I will have to take him up on that offer at some point. With invitation extended, he impressively vanished in a flash of flame and ash. Everybody must have been overjoyed that I yet lived as they kept staring at me and asking me inane questions. The professionalism of this group of individuals does quite often vex me Wiggly, we are on a life or death mission, save your questions for the tavern. Sheesh!

Turns out the Bartender is a stand-up guy, I mean apart from the possible murder and kidnapping. He seemed incredibly friendly and even offered to tell me everything he knew. He spoke about his jackal children, must be some sort of city lingo and that Granny was visiting later this evening. Quite frankly he seemed incredibly family orientated and a respectable gentleman, perhaps we will have time to meet Granny too. I never had a Grandma. Shame really, they sound magical, offering various knitted garments, cakes, biscuits and miracle cures. I could have chatted to the man for an age but the others seemed impatient. They locked the others in cages, even one with a secret exit and then began ushering me to the tunnels.

I will always remember the darkness like a shroud and screams echoing in the distance. Thankfully Andrin was there to guide us through the tunnels with the light of his God. Taking care to avoid damaging the webs surrounding me and imagining how long it might have taken to weave such a design I remember a stifled scream from Merora as from the darkness emerged eight piercing eyes and several hairy legs. This spider was big. He must have eaten a lot of flies to grow that size. It’s the kind of violent response that followed, which made me hark back to my own spider days. The poor guy didn’t really stand much of a chance, I urged him to run and hide but before he could comprehend my words a searing golden light descended upon him, burning his flesh. A thrust to the abdomen from glinting steel and a blade cloaked in lightning ended its sorry existence. His only lasting imprint on the world, a bite wound to Andrin’s shoulder.

On we went, following the muffled weeping sounds until eventually we came to an open cavern filled with what can only be described as the liquefied remains of what I hoped were evil gremlin creatures, not innocent victims. Seems upon venturing bravely into the chamber, the others had the fortune of locating the Mayor’s daughter however they also had the misfortune of stumbling upon a most unnatural and putrid creature. Elder Nutrub spoke of such profanities and abominations in his teachings but I couldn’t ever quite grasp my head or heart around their actual existence in the world. I could only watch as the creature slithered its way out of the depths. Entirely composed of chattering razor sharp teeth set into hundreds of gaping mouths it confounded all my imagined fears.

I imagined Korath and Andrin bravely battling the monstrosity but as I peered into the cavern I saw that they stood like statues attempting to cover their ears desperately, while Merora frantically bombarded the beast with arrows. It wouldn’t be enough. I saw the beast consuming them, tearing them apart and in that moment I recall asking myself one simple question. What would Wiggly do? I did my best to wade through the revolting water and just about managed to plug Korath’s ears with a piece of baguette. The rest I try not to think about. Safe to say we defeated the beast but almost at a great cost. Elder Bushlash always said that a handful of berries could spell the difference between the life and death of a person.


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