June 9, 2011

An excerpt from Balen's missives home (translated from Dwarven):

Mother & Father,

With Master Brim dead and his killer apprehended, it was time to regroup and decide our next move. The rest of the group had secured prisoners and a surprise ally. Evidently the Hobbo woman used to sail with the leader of this group of brigands. There seems to have been a disagreement amongst the bandits just prior to our arrival and this “leader” named Krank turned against his own people to side with Patch. I don’t know if fighting against bandits and sparing the Elf’s life makes up for turning against his own kind, but that wasn’t for me to decide. Krank had turned himself over to be bound and judged by the Truthseeker we had traveling with us.

I was surprised that the Truthseeker’s judgment was fair and swift. I had expected the Human Truthseeker to release the <near untranslatable slang for female dog so dishonorable that no stud will breed her>. All the prisoners, save Krank, were sentenced to execution. I took Master Brim’s weapon, a Great Warhammer, and felled two prisoners immediately. While I felt some relief executing Master Brim’s killer, there was no honor in it. It was simply a task needing to be done. I have decided to keep Master Brim’s hammer and use it in his memory until such time that it can be returned to his family. It is a fine weapon made of Dwarven Steel and is named Norkrak.

Should Norkrak be delivered to you with word of my death know that he belongs to another and see that it is rightfully returned to Master Brim’s clan. Many details are etched onto Norkrak

Zaki Grom'Okri had been able to join up with us, having been held behind to receive and extra parcel that needed to be caught up with us. He arrived just in time for the Judgment and our deliberations on what to do next. Krank reiterated what we had heard about this bandit group’s brutal treatment of prisoners, but he also gave us some additional information that we did not know. This group we faced was but one cell of a much larger network of almost 400 brigands led by a dark mage and a Hobbo that was a leader of the enemy at Kadir Ridge. Although it was only a decade ago, thoughts of our exodus from our homeland immediately stirred in my mind.

By our guestimation, we had killed about half of this cell. The other half was holed up in a small ruins to the South, along with some prisoners taken earlier. I know my duty is first to the wagon and our shipment, but we have to go and assault those ruins. During the failed ambush one crossbowman was able to flee, so we have to assume that the rest of this bandit cell knows that we prevailed. We will not get this shipment through safely as we are slower than the bandits. “Pushing Through” is just not an option. There is also the matter of the prisoners. We are not duty-bound to assist them in any way, but since we cannot afford to ignore their captors, we should do what we can to assist. I will not lie that it gives me some small measure of pleasure that I might be able to stick a thorn in the side of one of those responsible for Borli and Elta’s deaths. It is just fortunate that all these actions are congruent.

Krank was very accommodating with the intelligence and I think that he can be trusted with a weapon in the upcoming fight. I don’t doubt he would turn on us in a second, but for now his fate is sealed with us. Between the bandit’s argument and the fact that one fled to inform the others, I think he has been marked as a traitor. Should we get overwhelmed with superior numbers he is likely to turn against us, but at that point we would already be doomed. Hopefully Fate will catch up with him, and he need be judged for his previous crimes, but if his help to us is worthy, he judgment will not be at our hands.

We turned the wagon South, bypassing the felled trees from the ambush, and traveled for several miles. Krank indicated when we should pull the wagon over and conceal it. We left two men behind to guard the hidden wagon as the rest of us moved forward. The Hobbo and the Elf snuck forward to get a layout of the guards and the ruins. They returned after dispatching one sentry and set back out. All of a sudden an alarm was called out and we were again set to battle…….
to be continued……..

No comments: