Tywane and the Rescue of Daush Grey
Tywane and the Rescuing of Daush Grey
Gather around the fire in Tywane’s Inn and let me tell you a story on this cold winters night. What would you like to hear tonight my little ones? Ah the rescue of Grey the Dwarf? Yes, that’s a good one. Where to start it though? From the beginning you say? No, that would take lifetimes to tell, for all stories are linked together to form an endless chain from the beginning of all life, to the end. So, let me start from the night before…
Like all tales worth telling, this one really starts in the grave yard.
We’d been sent by the King to clear out Castle Grey and its surrounding area in preparation for the coming of the king’s forces. Back then, the castle was in some disrepair, the village was deserted, and the graveyard was dark and forboding.
We poked around a bit in the village before heading to the castle, but didn’t find much. We then watched the captain of the dwarves kill off a bunch of kobolds (he gets the urges sometimes). That soaked up so much time that it was getting dark, so we holed up in one of the old watchtowers that was still standing and slept.
I had the morning watch, and as I sat there, shivering and cursing the King for sending us out here in January, I noticed some shapes moving through the mist. They seemed to be heading out from the graveyard, past the castle, and into the forest behind. I told the other person on watch, the dwarf Clumsy, what I saw and took off after them. As I got closer, I could see that they were little demi-humans; more kobolds? I couldn’t be sure, since they all seemed to be wearing pointy hats. I followed them until they suddenly vanished into the mist. I mean, really vanished.
The rest off the party showed up, Morph the ranger following my tracks and the tracks of those I was following. He noticed that they were kobold tracks, but not real ones. They seemed to be made by false feet worn by someone about kobold size. I told him I’d noticed some pointy hats among the group, and we came to the conclusion they must be Gnomes.
Gnomes! Ok, so we followed the footprints, a bit more cautiously, and found they ended at a tree. Actually, more like vanished at a tree. We circled it, climbed it, knocked on it, but could find nothing, no trace, nadda.
We back-tracked the footprints to the castle, into the graveyard, and up to one of the crypts. The rest of the party mucked with it, while I started fishing old coins out of the wishing well. Hey, it’s not like anyone is using them! Remember kids, never let a coin just lay there, it’s unnatural!
The tomb was solid stone with no apparent door. They all looked, but couldn’t find a way in, which is unusual for dwarves and stone. The called me over to check, since I’d been known to get into the odd locked enclosure, and I agreed; no way in.
Morph, who used to have a crush on an illusionist named Buffy (though he denies it) decided the wall was an illusion, and walked right into it. Bam! Ouch. So he couldn’t make himself believe it. But, he did manage to convince Grey Daush, one of the dwarves, to give it a try. Grey, actually, most of the dwarves, are really thick-headed, strong willed folks, and he walked up to the wall, squared his shoulders, to a stern look at Morph, and walked right through. Zip. He was gone within! It was an illusion!
The Captain tried next, and made it. He called back for a rope, and for us to get in there cause Grey was gone. Morph bashed his nose against the wall again while I brought in a rope, passing through with no problem. The Captain was straddling a huge hole in the floor with a madly rushing river under it. Grey had apparently fallen down there! Oh, bad. Very bad. Now sometime back, Grey had fallen down a 60 foot waterfall and survived, so we thought there might be a chance he was still alive somewhere downstream. So, we set up a rope system, anchored it, and lowered it down the hole. We must have added 200 feet to the rope, all calling down to him while we worked, but there was no answering tug, and no Grey when we hauled the rope back up. We tied some water and writing supplies in a water skin and lowered it back in on the rope, hoping Grey would be able to find it. We set the dwarf Case to watching it.
Now, Morph took this worse than the rest of us, since it was him who suggested Grey try the door in the first place. He went over to the wishing well, tossed in a Platinum (that’s right, a Platinum!) piece, got down on his knees, and prayed to his god for Grey to be alive and safe. There was a slight hum from the fountain (or whatever happens when you roll an 01 on a wish) and a sudden tug on the rope. Case shouted and we all ran over.
Now, I admit I had been eyeing the coin in the fountain when Morph first threw it in, and he offered two of the same if I would leave that one alone. Well, I wasn’t about to touch the one in the fountain, but took the two Morph offered anyway, so he would feel better.
We went back into the tomb and slowly pulled the rope up. Attached to it was the water skin, and inside was a note. “In a cave, laying on moss, loosing consciousness.” That was it.
OK, so now we knew Grey was alive! Now we just needed to figure out how to get to him. We looked around the tomb, and found that the gnomes had been very busy. They had constructed a tunnel behind a false casket door. It lead to the grave sites (except one blocked by some nasty roots) and something heavy had been dragged from each one. Hmmm. Just what was in these graves anyway? We searched around, finding a hidden tunnel with the remains of a gnome, but no way down to Daush.
So, it was find another way, give up on him, or go down the hole after him. When they said ‘down the hole’ everyone looked at me, so I suggested searching the town; perhaps there was a basement that could intersect the stream, or another way into the cave.
We checked the church first, since it has the only concrete foundation. There is a basement, with windows. It appeared to be flooded, which we took as a possible good sign, so, in we went. Turns out the place was infested with killer mosquitoes! We all took some nasty bites and lost a bit of blood before we made it back out of there.
OK, so the church was no go. We looked around the town some more, but didn’t find any other promising buildings. The next step was the castle. We approached the main gate, but the bridge was up and there was no obvious way in. We tossed a rope over the wall, and I skinnied up it to looked around a bit. Seeing it was safe I called below and the dwarves made their way up the rope. If you’re ever bored and have some dwarves and some rope, it’s a highly entertaining way to spend an afternoon.
Instead, I lowered a rope to the rear damaged portion of the castle, where even dwarves could easily climb. After we had everyone up, we began exploring from the top. We found the king and queen’s chambers, several other rooms, and several orcs. Yeah, it was a surprise to us as well!
They were in the kitchen cooking, and had no clue we were there. So we snuck up and got some of them by surprise. A furious battle ensued, in which several of us were further wounded. Turned out there were more orcs than we thought, maybe a dozen all told. We battled through and won the day, but we were pretty beat up by the end, and no closer to finding a way down to Daush.
We searched the rest of the castle, working our way ever lower (we came in through the roof, remember), coming upon a locked gate in the court room. We began to rattle the chains to see how we could open the door when an unearthly howl come from below. A hellish dog raced to the top of the stairs and began throwing itself against the gate. We all stepped back, drew our bows and began firing at the beast. It breathed out fire, causing some damage to the room as well as us. We continued to shoot it as it began to bash down the gate.
Finally the gate went and the beast was among us, breathing fire and raking us with it’s horrible claws. Our poor group of dwarves and Morph the ranger were already beat up from the encounter with the giant mosquitos and the orcs, so it was a luck moment when Morph hit it a critical blow and killed the beast!
We took a moment to tend to our wounds and beat out the worst of the flames, and then decided to risk continuing downward. We figured that nothing else was alive down there, since it would have been either been killed by the hell hound or have killed it. We found a dungeon and a few other things, but none led a way down to Grey. By now we were getting quite worried about whether we would find a way down to the dwarf at all.
We checked the crude map we’d made of the castle, and realized there was only one tower we hadn’t been in. We searched all over and eventually came across a closet with a thousand drawers. Up above was a concealed door, and we realized there must be some secret combination of drawers that would open it up. Of course, when you’re with several dwarves desperate to rescue their companion, you don’t have the time for subtle puzzles, so they smashed their way through the roof and into a chamber of mirrors. This was in one of the towers, so we surmised they must all have similar rooms in them.
The mirrors turned out to be doorways, and only through the diligent work of Morph and the cleric, Godforge were we able to figure out their secret to getting us into the fourth tower. So, Morph went, and then Godforge. We decided I would wait a few minutes and then follow. I watched them disappear and then started counting. It was rough, just sitting there not knowing if my companions were dead or needed my help, but finally the counting was done, and I dove through the mirror, ready for who knew what.
There I found Morph and Godforge waiting for me, sitting calmly on a treasure chest. But, before we could talk a ghost came rushing at me. They moved the treasure chest aside to reveal a trapped door underneath, and I dove through. The tower was hollow, and there were several glow-stones which lit the way down to a spider infested room. On the floor was a huge golden figure, a fat man who had slapped his cheek to kill a spider. Suddenly it clicked what the gnomes must have been removing from the graves! Solid gold people. Suddenly, we knew who’s castle this was, and who must lay here before us. King Midas!
Beyond that man was a room ripped from my deepest dreams, and enlarged past anything I could have imagined. It contained thousands of items; tools, clothes, weapons, creatures, and even a small figure of a child, all solid gold! Quite a room for someone such as me to stumble upon. I don’t know how long I was in there, staring and touching everything before the others came in a drug me away. We still had a dwarf to rescue, but oh, I would be visiting that room again!
Outside this magnificent vault was a dungeon and a torture chamber. In the torture chamber was a sink and under it was an entrance into the fast moving underground stream. There! At last a less treacherous entrance to the underground stream system. As near as we could tell, this one would meet up with the other stream (If it wasn’t actually the same) and could indeed take us to rescue Grey. We sent down a rope with a water skin on it, and pulled it back up to make sure the way was clear.
The skin came back easily, so nothing left to do but jump in! I handed all my stuff to Morph and Godforge, tied a rope around my waist, strapped on a gnomish short sword I had found, and they lowered me into the hole. I took a deep breath, and in I went. Why me, you might ask? Well, the same thought kept crossing my mind. I mean, who was this dwarf anyway? Why should I risk my hot blood for his? I tried to think about it, but all that came to me was that room full of gold. It was kind of like, after seeing that, what really mattered now? I’d spent almost my entire life poor, and an outcast, and so I sought wealth to help insulate me against both conditions. But then, here was a room so full of gold that, should it be released in to the economy all at once, it would seriously devalue all currencies for a while. Heady thoughts for a humble half-elf heading into the rushing water.
Let me tell you this, it was COLD water! The initial shock of it almost took my breath away, but I managed to hold it in as I was swept away by the current. After a moment of dark walls rapidly moving past, I spied a split in the tunnel with my infra-vision. I took the right one, hoping it would take me to Grey. Suddenly the water was going much faster, and some fast twists and turns were coming up. I did my best to avoid them; I never appreciated the time I had spent as a street acrobat as much as I did that day. I tell you, it completely saved my life! As it was, I was knocked around pretty hard by the fast moving water smashing me against the rock walls.
After what seemed like 20 minutes of this, the stream shot me out into a huge cavern. The rope was not quite long enough, so I dangled in the waterfall for a moment, then cut myself loose to drop to the lake below. There were several entrances into this cave, many by waterfall, some by river flowing out, and a small tunnel. I looked around and spotted one soggy looking beat up dwarf laying on some moss, unconscious. It was Grey!
I swam over to him, and noticed something moving through the water. It seemed attracted by my splashing, so I did my best to be quiet until I reached the injured dwarf. Once there, I checked him out; he was pretty bruised and battered, and it was a miracle that he was alive at all. He seemed stable, though. I gave him some water and gently moved his short legs out of the lake.
OK, so part one was done: Find the dwarf. Now came part two. Rescue the dwarf. To do this, I made my way first to the dangling rope I had left behind. It seemed longer, and there was a water skin tied to it with a glow-stone and some writing utensils. I took this and wrote a note saying that I had found the dwarf, and we were both OK.
I then climbed the wall as best I could over to a small tunnel that headed in what I hoped was the surface near the castle. Every rock I dislodged as I climbed the crumbling surface made noise and attracted the monster, who moved in my direction. A few times I slipped off and hit the water as well which drew it ever closer. It looked angry, or hungry, I couldn’t really tell, and I was not staying to find out.
As quickly as I could, I headed toward the tunnel, the shambling monster hot on my tail! I reached the tunnel entrance just before it did; I could feel it’s tentacles reaching for my feet, and could smell it’s horrid, rancid breath behind me, inspiring me to new speed! I crawled up the tunnel out of it’s reach. Whew! That was close!
I made my way up the narrow tunnel and thought ‘No way we could bring Morph down here’, but the dwarves could make it, probably walking. After some time scrambling, I saw a glow up ahead. Daylight? A light cave? No, it was an eiree green glow, not the kind you like to see in a darkened cave. Then I heard a ‘poof’ sound. Now, I’ve been around things that go ‘poof’ before, that’s how my face ended up like this. (not now, that’s another story for another night) Where was I?
Oh yes, creeping up towards the light. The tunnel opened up to a cave, and I could see several mushrooms (most likely the source of that ‘poof’ sound), and a pool of still water. There was a rope tied to a ring above the pool, and anchored on the far side, away from me. No way I was going near the mushrooms, and the water looked too calm to be safe, besides, why would there be a rope to cross it? So, being the able climber that I am, I went up the rock wall of the cave to the ring on top, and slid down the rope to the other side. As I landed I heard another ‘poof’, so I hurried away from the cave.
After a bit more crawling, I began to hear really bad singing, and could see a proper light up ahead. As quiet as I could, I crept up towards the light, making sure to stay in the shadows. Eventually I made it close enough to where I could see the singers. They were gnomes! About a dozen of them. And a Pixie as well. I looked around and saw another cave, a door with a lock, and stairs up and out. I could see roots on the stairwell, so I knew this had to be where the gnomes had gone when they disappeared near that tree.
I watched them for a bit, seeing what they were on about, when suddenly a few more gnomes burst in with a piece of parchment.
The Bookkeeper looks up from his books at the gnomes on the stairs. He glanced around at the cave and noticed nobody is working and everyone is looking at them as well. He then yells out, “What’s going on up there?” One of the gnomes steps up and said, “Sir, we just discovered this note on the gate of the keep”…..he then holds up the parchment and reads the following.
“Dear Gnomes,We, the representatives of the Lord King
Afton Barr, King of the Dwarves, wish to be in
contact with you concerning the town of Greycastle
and it’s keep. We have a proposition for you that
could prove financially beneficial. Please feel free
to meet us at the keep at your convenience.
Representatives of the LKAB.
Apparently Morph and the dwarves had been busy in my absence.
They gnomes all stood there silent and motionless for a moment….looking at each other. One of them finally said…”What’s an El Cab”?
“There’s a king of Dwarves? When did that happen”?
Another said,“Has anyone even SEEN any dwarves recently?”
Another,“Maybe they think we’re dwarves…wouldn’t be the first time. You know humans….pixies, elves, dwarves, gnomes…we’re all the same to them”. “But it says “DEAR GNOMES”
“If they think we’re dwarves maybe they think this El Cab is OUR king”.
“We have a king?”
“It says G-N-O-M-E-S!”
“No! We haven’t had a king in a hundred years.”
“No…we HAVE a king! I heard there was one down south”.
“That’s a myth.”
“Is NOT! My brother’s friend’s mother’s second cousin went down and enlisted.”
“I said it’s a myth”.
“I think we’re off topic”……
A series of seemingly connected and yet disconnected conversations began as the book keeper and the “chemist” looked at each other with frustration. This continued for a few minutes. It seemed any excuse for a distraction brought up a number of “conversations-in-waiting”. The chemist and the bookkeeper seemed to have been dreading this moment as though it is not uncommon, and a terrible burden….probably to productivity.
I decided, for some strange reason, that this would be a good time to step out and say something. I stepped out of the shadows and stood as tall as I could.
“My name is Tywane, royal scout.” I began, addressing them all, since I really couldn’t figure out who the leader was.
“The letter you hold basically says the new dwarven king (yes, there is a new dwarven king) is coming here with his armies to wipe out all opposition and secure the ancient dwarven lands, including here.
“So, before that happens, we’re here to cut a deal in the name of the king, with all the enterprising folks we find. Now, since the orcs and kobolds didn’t seem to keen on the kings offer, they were killed. No loss, since they really don’t produce much anyway, and can be quite a chore to deal with.
“Now, I can tell by looking at your operation here that you folks know what you’re about, and have a good eye for a good deal. So, my colleagues in the keep sent me to scout out where you folks lived, and to make an opening. Sort of find out what you’re interests are. We can offer you a substantial quantity of gold artifacts, as well as deeding you the rights to the land that you’re currently working. We have no desire to make trouble for enterprising, hardworking folks such as yourselves. Or, if that’s not to your liking, we will entertain other ideas and suggestions that you all may have.
“So, I recommend that a representative or two or, you know, however many you feel comfortable sending, escorts me to the keep to meet with the dwarves and their human allies. I can get us all in without being shot, and bargain in your favor. I’ll even forget to mention the little business you folks have going on in the crypts. The rewards will be substantial.
“Or, you can kill me now. Our wizard and our ranger will easily trace me down, and the dwarven army here will slaughter you all. Sorry about that, that’s just the way it is with dwarves, you know…”
I made my announcement and for a moment there was minimal change in the now raucous discussion, then…. everything went slowly silent as the heads of all the Gnomes turned. They looked at each other briefly ..then, puzzled, back to me. The gnomes on the stairs looked at the note, then back at me.
Suddenly a series of small cross bows were drawn and cocked from multiple directions. The “chemist” seemed to dissipate before my eyes and the bookkeeper suddenly sprouted four identical twins. The one carrying the pillows seemed to have disappeared … very thief-like I would wager, and the one with the moss simply looked at me with a jeweler’s monocle and a stern frown on is face….. The pixie reappeared from the lower tunnel across the cave and glowered at me. I didn’t feel at all welcome, and was suddenly wondering if that had been the right thing to do. Too late now.
One (with a cross bow) said: “Is that an elf”?
Another: “I think he’s human”.
Another: “Is not”
Another: “Do we kill it”?
Then the bookkeeper broke in. "No. Hold on. Tell me burglar, how do we know this letter and your statements are true? What right do you have to bargain for this “KING”? It seems unlikely an elf..of any degree….would do such bidding for a Dwarven king; especially and Elf is such a state as yourself; unkept, unannounced, and … unguarded." It seems more likely you are hear to steal from us and this is your ploy to save your hide and provide a diversion and escape".
I don’t know where that thief comparison came from, perhaps from my disheveled condition due to having been bashed around in a river and chased by a shambling monster.
I took a deep breath, slowly spread my hands palms out, and addressed the bookkeeper:
“You have a valid point; I’ve obviously come in the back way, and my appearance is not in the best condition, owing to the adventure I’ve just experienced.
“I’ve been attempting to rescue a fallen comrade, a dwarf (Yes, that’s right, a dwarf!) who had been swept away by the underground river system. I’ve been through life threatening rapids, battled a huge shambling monster, avoided various pitfalls, and made my way here looking for the surface, and my companions; a human and several dwarfs.
“As for me, I am no elf, though my mother was. My father was a human, so I am outcast from both societies. The dwarfs, however, don’t care about that and are in need of a good scout, and their coin is solid. As long as they pay me, I am in their company.
“As for the king, he is very real. He’s been clearing out the old kingdom and calling the dwarves together under him. He’s been stomping out all that is dark within his this realm, to better serve the people under his rule. He’s always been fair with me, and honored all debts, and the dwarves and human speak for him. If they make a deal or create a debt, the king will honor it. He wishes no war (though he’s won several), and is willing to make alliances with all he finds within his realm who wish to live peacefully.
“That said, we travel under the king’s protection. He’s brought an advance host of dwarves to scout the area, with the rest of troop to follow. To fight us will be very costly. To work with us could be VERY profitable. Very.”
“Hmmmm…” Said the Bookkeeper. “What you say could be true.” He then turned to the small group of Gnomes on the ledge. “Grim, take your men and scout the keep. Come back with complete numbers. If you are seen, announce we have the half-elf and are willing to bargain. Hurry. If you’re not back soon we’ll have to kill this man-elf.” He paused and looked around……“Spider?”
The gnome who had seemed to “vanish” poked his head up from behind some pillows and tools stacked very near me. “Yes”, he said sheepishly.
“Take the tunnel to the cave and see if there is a dwarf there.” Said the bookkeeper.
“Yes, sir!” He nimbly started to scoot past me, but before he could disappear into the darkness of the tunnel, I stopped him and addressed the Bookkeeper:
“Could you have … Spider, was it? … bring the dwarf some food? That would be great”
Spider looked at the bookkeeper, who noded. Spider then got a small pouch and filled it with the remains of a plate on the bookkeepers table.
“And as for the dwarves in the town, tell them Tywane (I pointed to myself) is well, or well enough, and I’ve found, Grey and that he’s alive. Barely.”
As soon as I said this, the Bookkeeper nodded to the Gnomes on the ledge, who then hurried out of the upper tunnel.
The bookkeeper turned back to me. “And you, sir, why don’t you take a seat.”
He motioned to a chair against the wall. “I’m sure you won’t mind waiting while we check your story. Assuming you are not lying, we may be able to work a deal with this king of yours. If you ARE lying…..well…..then these are the last moments of your life. Would you like anything?”
“Something to drink would be good, but not water; I’ve had enough of that for one day!” I said, and then took a seat in the proffered chair.
The bookkeeper then sat down and rummaged through a drawer at his desk. He pulled out a fairly small hour glass, tapped it a few times to make sure all the grains were in one chamber, then turned it over and placed it on his desk.
The pixie flew up to me and gave me a disgusted look, so I gave her a leering wink. With a harumph, she flew back over to the lantern, and perched there, watching me.
Everyone else slowly resumed what they were doing. What were they doing? They were stuffing mattresses and pillow cases with moss. We had seen the same moss growing in the grave yard, and again under the huge gold statue in the spider cave. Also, Daush had been laying on a patch in the cave. I know that Daush was doing way better than any dwarf had a right to, especially as beat up as he was. So, I decided to pass the time asking a few questions.
“Quite an operation you’ve got here. Big market for self-healing mattresses?”
I thought they would be interested in talking a little shop. I thought wrong. They didn’t even stop to glare at me; it’s like I wasn’t there. Except the pixie; she was all glares.
They brought me a tankard of something and some food on a plate; cheese and some bread. I hadn’t eaten in quite a while, so I got busy. It didn’t really matter if it were poisoned; I felt like they could dispatch me fairly easily if they needed to. A thought that didn’t help my stomach any.
The wine was light and sparkling, and definitely better than my normal drink (that being ‘whatever was cheapest’). So I sat there in a pretty good mood despite my situation. Since I was told this was fairy wine, I raised the tankard to the pixie as a way of saying thanks, and perhaps offering a truce. She pulled out a small dagger and began cleaning her nails and looked menacingly at me. Not an easy task, I’m sure. She kept glancing at the hourglass and back at me. I glanced too and was surprised to see it halfway through. Hope those gnomes didn’t get lost or distracted on the way!
The gnome who went to check on Daush, Spider, came back up.
“I found the dwarf, right where he said it would be, and yes, he’s pretty bashed up. Mr. Wiggly is pretty upset by the whole thing, too.”
“Mr Wiggly?” I asked. Once again, it was like I wasn’t there, so I helped myself to some more wine.
The book keeper thought a moment, and then said, “We’ll wait to see what is about with this ranger and his friends above. If it pans out we will bring the dwarf up and tend to him. If not….give him to Mr Wiggly.”
Well, I couldn’t let that pass unchallenged, so I said:
“I would really recommend taking care of him. He is one of the Kings subjects, and Mr. King is VERY protective of his people. Oh, and thank you for bringing him some food. This wine is great, by the way. You could sell this to the dwarves for quite a price!”
Finally, I got a reaction. Several heads swiveled my way at the sound of new commerce possibilities, then they turned and looked to the bookkeeper. He seemed not to have heard, so they went reluctantly back to work
I’m trying not to notice, but the hour glass is getting pretty low. Not critical, but very disturbingly low. The pixie noticed it too, and finally smiled. I think I preferred the menacing glare. The bookkeeper seemed not to notice any of this, and continued his work. The sand kept on falling. My life running out. I was getting pretty nervous by this point, and I noticed some of the other gnomes were as well. Potential allies?
It occured to me that Grim and his group may not make it back in time, so I started formulating a plan to get me out of there, just in case.
First, I got up to stretch, just to see how far I could go, and how close I was being watched. Immediately the whole room turned to look. The chemist began moving his hands about (spell like), the others stopped what they were doing, I noticed Spider move back into the shadows, The pixie/fairy looked indignant. The bookkeeper looked at the glass …. it seemed stuck. He taped it gently and more sand began to fall. He motioned everyone..including me …to sit back down. He seemed unconcerned.
He said to me… “Worry not thief. Even if you’re lying I still need to find out your purpose. You won’t be disposed of immediately.,,,unless you force us on that point. My little friend here seems anxious to have her way with you. Let’s not give her cause. Let’s not be hasty about things.”
The pixie gave a loud “HARUUUMPH!”
Fine, I just had to try. Obviously I was being closely watched and had little chance of getting out without a serious fight.
The hourglass got lower and lower. Things were becoming really tense, when I heard a thump from the upper tunnel and the gnomes came back in. There was a palpable release of tension in the cave as seconds later the sand ran out in the glass, and the head gnome spoke"
“Umm…we can confirm the Thief’s story. We found one human, probably ranger, and three dwarves we could see….possible one or two more. The ranger confirmed they can make a deal with us for this new king guy. It…was…uh…a bit awkward. They said we should approach the keep to discuss it. Something about knocking on the door.”
The Bookkeeper then looked at me, and said:
“Well, it seems you may be telling the truth, thief.” The Pixie got really indignant at this, and flew out of the tunnel on the opposite of the cave. He then looked to the group, “Gentlemen…I would like the four of you to accompany myself and the thief to the castle. Spider….you’ve got out backs.” The rest of you….if we are not back an hour…assume the worst and do as you must. Thief…it’s your lead. We’ll need to blind fold you to leave the tunnels".
“Why, don’t you trust me?” I said, more out of relief that it seemed like I’d survived another of these dang adventures. I winked an aside at Spider, whom I felt was a kindred soul.
I submitted to their silly blindfolding and headed out with them. Of course, I was trying to peek out, keep a mental direction about which way we’re going. Count steps, pay attention to up and down. All that sort of stuff in case I ever wanted to find it again.
They blindfolded me pretty well before we went up the stairs and into the woods. I could hear the creek and giant frogs near by. It was cool and dark out. They walked me across the forest until I could tell I was in an open area, then they removed my blindfold ….. revealing the backside of the castle. We all marched up to the drawbridge and I hollered:
“Hey, open up! I found Daush Grey! (dang dwarf)”
After that, the door was opened, the captain negotiated on behalf of the king to start up a trade and, of course, have them bring Daush Grey to the surface.
He showed up a day later, and Godforge began the long process of healing him. He said it was a blessed miracle that Grey was alive at all. Clerics talk like that normally, but this time, I really had to agree with him.
And now? Well, Grey has headed off with his band of warriors on another adventure, risking life and limb for their king. As for me? Well, I’m happy here, just to be…
So that’s it. I didn’t die in the end, after all. Well, not yet, at least… but that’s another story.