26th Day of Sarailah
Another day dawned and found me waking up to the sound of festivities, music, stale beer, and unwashed sailors. I really should not have let Erland pick out the inn, but at least the food was good even if it was slightly tainted with the smell of fish that permeated everything around the docks.
After spending the early hours transposing another scroll into my spellbook I headed into the common room for gnomish sized breakfast; which is a lot larger than one might think; we may be small but we can sure pack away the food.
After inhaling at least two human-sized portions I headed for the docks to meet up with the others. We passed games, and vendors, and all sorts of contests going on. I was reluctant at first to get involved and more content to watch. Erland and Coarvyn both entered an archery contest and I was suprised to see that Erland won. It appeared the warrior was not limited to skill with sword alone.
Temptation finally won me over as we happened upon a group playing chess. I decided to have a seat and entered my name into the competition. Naturally I won being of keen gnomish mind and accepted the grand prize of an illustrious bright green feather! It would serve me well as a handy bookmark.
I tried my skill again at some kind of log wobble contest or whatever it was they called it. I would have likely succeeded too if Erland hadn’t smacked the log with a club and knocked me off! I vowed that he would regret that some day.
Coarvyne entered another archery contest and this time walked away with a prize. Erland out-drank a handful of stout looking dwarves to win the drinking contest and ended up with a bejeweled stein.
Once again I showed off my mental might by taking home an enormous purple scale. “Its a dragon scale”, they tell me, though I do not recall having heard of any purple dragons I was willing to believe it if they were. “I claim this prize in the name of Mormy the Magnificent!”
As if my fame could not be solidified enough I won another contest of horseshoes with but a single toss! I was unstoppable! Fenella tried her hand after me and won a book but it seemed to be missing the last chapter.
Coarvyne won the pie eating contest but only by a very near margin. Had I not had such a big breakfast that morning I am sure I could have taken him.
Then the final archery tournament arrived to cap off the evening and Coarvyne was eliminated in the first round. Likely he was feeling bloated from all those pies he had eaten and it was throwing off his game.
As the evening was coming to a close we passed a cart vendor selling some curious items. I traded my ring for a couple magical stones and an emerald and would soon be putting them to good use.
Another cart was selling some gnomish made wonders. While Coarvyne was drawn to a mini hand-sized cannon called an arquebus, I made good with a pair of fountain pens.
By the end of the evening I was in a very good mood! The day had ended with both fame and fortune! It was such a good feeling that I decided to pay a little of it back by making a modest donation to a local orphanage. Having spent some time living in the streets both penniless and hungry I felt pity for the wee lads that endured such misfortune day by day. Of course just because I was feeling generous did not mean I was going to spend my own money. I had to eat too you know!
So I looked for a nice wealthy patron whom I felt would not mind sparing a few coins and relieved him of his purse. While he was non-the-wiser for his generous donation I felt I might have been spotted by another dark shadow hovering in a corner.
I don’t know if he or she spotted me or not but if they did then they did not raise any alarm. Likely it was due to my new found fame. I was a celebrity after all!
27th Day of Sarailah
The next morning found me waking within the same inn along the docks; the Crusty Barnacle. Why I choose that same place rather than looking for lodging more suitable to my new lofty status I don’t know. Perhaps it was the food, which was still quite good even if it did taste a little fishy.
As I headed towards the docks to meet up with the others I spotted Coarvyne arguing with the vendor from the evening before. Apparently he was less than thrilled with his new toy cannon and wanted his 500 gold back but the vendor would hear nothing of it. I for one was still quite happy with my new toys, but then not everyone can embrace life with all its twists and turns like we gnomes; apparently not even halflings it would seem.
I was looking forward to our journey to come and when I spotted Fenella I asked her to join me to pick out a couple of horses for our trip to Mt Kalock. She seemed to have a much better eye for horses than I did and she managed to pick out a nice pair. I picked out the biggest for myself of course. After all the new Hero of Eastport had an image to uphold and I could not be seen riding out of town on the back of a mere pony!
8am came and found us Westward bound, with the buildings of Eastport falling away behind us. By noon we arrived at the Felfallow Bridge; a wonder constructed of dwarven braun and gnomish brains. The bridge was drawn upwards when we arrived to allow for ships to pass through so while we waited I once more worked on my scrolls while Fenella and Coarvyne foraged for herbs.
Two hours later we were once more on the road. By dusk we decided to turn towards Kresh. The comforts of a soft bed sounded more appealing than a hard ground. I will leave the stargazing to Coarvyne, the back of my eyelids pressed against a soft pillow was more to my liking.
Kresh was another dwarven marvel; a city that was carved out of the side of a mountain shaped to look like traditional buildings in stone relief. As we passed through the city we were questioned about a caravan that was expected from Mt Kalock but failed to arrive. We promised to keep an eye out for it on our way to the city and proceeded to make our way to Hammi’s Inn for the night.
28th Day of Sarailah
The next morning we soon came upon the missing caravan. They had been attacked by imps and their horses slain, and much of their supplies had been carried off. Other than being stranded with a wagon with no horses they did not seem to have suffered too badly.
With the day still young and Mt Kalock only a handful of hours away we decided we had plenty of time for a short detour so we headed East into the woods looking for the imps. We came to a large cave-mouth near several smaller caves. We picked the biggest one and left the horses with Farland as we proceeded inside.
We did not make it far though when we heard shouting from outside. We turned around and headed back outside to investigate. What greeted us was a curious sight indeed!
It looked as if some god-child had gotten bored of his toy dolls and ripped a pixie in half and shoved its upper body on top of a headless horse!
“I am a hybsil,” the creature answered. I wondered for a brief moment if he had been reading my mind when I realized he was answering a question one of my companions had asked.
Chester, as the hybsil called himself, warned us of the dangers of the caves and claimed to have seen a green dragon. Chester styled himself as a would-be dragonslayer on a quest to prove himself.
With Chester the imp-taur joining us we headed over the hill to a small clearing in the forest and found another half-buried cave entrance and made our way inside. We crossed a large cavern and followed another tunnel until Fenella heard a clacking sound. As we paused to listen we could faintly make out what sounded like claws tapping against rock. Hook Horrors!
We proceeded further until we spotted the massive beasts. They looked like vultures with hooked claws where their wings should have been. Chester cast a spell that blinded one of them, and then the battle began.