Draug the mul guard’s recollections
The last few days have been a nice change of pace. Ledopolus’ dwarven guards think nothing of bashing zombies day after day, all in the name of their bridge. While I also enjoy a good zombie decapitation, chopping endless zombie hordes for weeks does grow…tiring. An unusual feeling for we muls. So this week has been a welcome change of scenery. I’m being paid and fed well, and all I have to do is sit on a strange wood contraption and make sure nobody steals it. As if anyone besides this one dwarven crackpot even knows what it is or how to move it…
I was enjoying a mug of dwarven ale at the Bridge Pillar Inn when I saw what looked like the beginning of an old joke: a human, a half-elf, a halfling, and a thri-kreen walked into the bar. They immediately sat down behind me and began talking loudly. The halfling was burned and scarred by the sun and sand, and he wanted only to rest in town and build up his toughness. He tottered upstairs and was seen no more. The kreen rasped his desire to search for some…monastery? It’s so hard to understand those bugs. The kreen walked out of the tavern and was gone.
The human and the half-elf wanted to search the desert for the human’s father, who had apparently gone to look for HIM. Huh, good luck with that: Athas is vast and cruel. At least they showed some sense in deciding to hire some help on their journey. While they might not be raiders, the raiders would eventually find them. The half-elf displayed a surprising willingness to destroy any attacking raiders and scavenge their gear & supplies. Reminds me of an old gladiator “game” I was forced to play once.
I thought about opening my mouth, but the two got up and approached a dark stranger with odd red eyes at a back table. Everyone sat down and while I couldn’t quite hear what they said, they eventually shook hands and the stranger appeared to have joined their search.
Then they made the best decision they could have made: they came to my table. I needed a break, and so I agreed to join them. They’d pay me in ceramics for each day, plus they’d provide food, water, and shelter.
We talked about how to purchase and outfit crodlu and/or erdlu for riding and as pack animals. During the conversation, an eccentric middle-aged dwarf butted in and started prattling about his “sand skiff”. Apparently his contraption could use the power of his mind, and the wind, to move across the salt flats. Plus it was apparently faster than crodlu and not needing supplies. The group hired the dwarf, whose name turned out to be Krafke, and his skiff.
We rolled out of Ledopolus on the thing and we quickly zoomed northwest to Fort Kalvis. Krafke and I sat with the skiff while the group entered the fort. Well, I think they all did. The dark red-eye stranger avoided the entry fee by vanishing through a wall! Or maybe he went through a door—it was hard to see through the haze and dust. From what they said later, they met some chatty trader named Limrick who gave them some info on the human’s father. They must have traded with him, since I heard the clink of iron bars when they returned. I think they were offloading steel weapons and that they still have quite a few left. These guys must be a lot more powerful than they appear.
Next, we left Fort Kalvis on the skiff and sailed to Gulg. I later learned that they had again tried to get info on the human’s father, but the trail ran cold. They tried to sell some of their steel, but they were overly conspicuous in doing so. Eventually they were confronted by a Templar patrol. After some deliberation, the group made a “voluntary donation” to the Oba. Old man Hornswoggle was right when he used to say that nothing good ever comes out of an elven market.
Our next port of call was Fort Isus, a trading fort to the northeast. No trace of the human’s father. The group did sell some steel, this time without incident.
We sailed north and noticed a massive column of smoke in the air. Upon investigation, we found the smoke to be coming from a massive dwarven excavation pit. One of the dwarven miners said they were digging away when the pit exploded into flame, and kept burning. It was chaos: there were elves everywhere, many selling trinkets to the numerous gawkers coming from miles around. It was unclear exactly what happened or how it was significant, and eventually we sailed on.
We went north and then west, around the northeast rim of the Dragon’s Bowl to Urik. The trip, though long, was fast and uneventful. There wasn’t much excitement in Urik. Still no trace of the human’s father, and the group felt that if he ever made it to Urik, he must have left. There was a good chance he hadn’t gotten to Urik yet, as our sand skiff covers much more ground each day than a few bumpy hours on a plodding crodlu. So the group decided to sail back the way they came and try to meet him on his way to Urik.
It’s the good life for ol’ Draug. Fed well and paid well to sit in a boat. Let the good times roll.