New Category

This is a new category I’m starting on Winged Wolves. I play Dungeons and Dragons with two distinct groups: one at work during lunch and one at a friend’s house every other Friday. I am currently running both groups and in an effort to keep things fresh in my mind and to keep me interested in both stories, I’m going to attempt writing up the adventures on a regular basis. This was a flavor story to give some background for my work group. I wrote it quite a while ago but decided to post it to get things started.

It started with the fortuitous meeting in Arabel, four very different youths each seeking safety in numbers for a journey to Winterhaven. The first to enter the Grey Goat was of the dragonborn race. The barkeep looked up curiously from scrubbing a table. It was unusual for a dragonborn to pass through the city and rarer still for a dragonborn to bear the accoutrements of one dedicated to harnessing the might of demons. She took a place at the bar and asked for a mead. When he brought her a mug, she asked Otis if he’d heard of anyone seeking passage through the Thunderpeaks.

“Nah. Merchant’ll be makin’ ‘is way up there in a pair o’ weeks though. Be safer to wait for ‘im than try it yesself, ma’am,” the balding barkeep suggested helpfully.

“Blast! Let me know if you hear of anything sooner, I’d like to get there as soon as possible,” she growled in response.

“Yes’m.” He bobbed his head agreeably.

She hadn’t quite finished her pint before the door opened again and a dwarven man stomped in. “And my axe!” he bellowed over his shoulder.

He turned and looked at Otis, his face softening as when one encounters a good friend. “Oy! I need an ale! The best yeh have! I’m plannin’ to get nice and drunk tonight before I start tromping through the Moradin-cursed Thunderpeaks after ol’ Douven. I can’t believe he’s gone and got himself lost up there in Winterhaven.” He unleashed a stream of dwarven profanity under his breath.

“Did you say you’re headed to Winterhaven looking for Douven Staul?” the dragonborn woman queried incredulously.

“Aye. I’ll be making my way up there first thing tomorrow. What business be it of yours?” he replied gruffly.

“I’m looking for a group to travel with for the same reasons. Douven changed my life and I received this letter from his wife a week ago asking for help finding him.” She pulled a scroll out of her pack and displayed it for the dwarf to see.

“Aye, I received a similar one. Be glad of your company if yeh want to join me. Name’s Oskar.” He proffered a hand.

“I’m Raziel. Pleased to make the acquaintance of any friend of Douven’s,” she said as she shook his hand.

As Oskar sidled up to the bar next to Raziel, the door opened again and a cloaked figure slunk in, walked over to a corner table, and sat down. Otis walked over to greet the newcomer and offer his goods. The two at the bar weren’t paying much attention until they overheard him say, “Those two at the bar are headed there tomorrow.”

They looked over to see Otis pointing at them. The figure threw back the hood on his cloak to reveal the mixed-race features of a human and elf heritage. “Joridyn at your service. I understand you’re headed to Winterhaven? I’m seeking an old friend there.”

“Yer ol’ fren’ wouldn’t go by the name ‘Douven Staul’ by chance?” inquired Oskar.

“Why yes! His wife sent me a letter asking for help finding him.” replied Joridyn with surprise.

“Welcome to the club. Name’s Oskar.”

“And I’m Raziel.”

“I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that Douven has influenced others who would be willing to venture into danger for him. He is a great man,” said Joridyn as he arose from the table and joined his new traveling companions at the bar.

“Aye. Let me buy yeh a pint! Otis! One for my friend here. And one for the next person to walk through the door, too. Seems as though everyone walking in here is lookin’ for ol’ Douven tonight,” shouted Oskar boisterously.

As if on cue, a small halfling man walked through the door.

“Ha! Welcome wee one! Come join us at the bar. And if it’s a journey to Winterhaven yer lookin’ for, yeh’ve come to the right place,” laughed Oskar.

The small man startled. “Surely Pelor has blessed me this day. To find such a warm welcome in a strange city is a blessing, but to find a warm welcome accompanied by an invitation to Winterhaven. . .surely only He could have prepared my path. I accept your invitation friend dwarf. Let us praise the Gods for bringing us together.”

“Sure’n that’s a good thing. M’name’s Oskar, this here is Joridyn and Raziel,” said the dwarf as he pointed out his companions.

“I’m Niloc; very pleased to meet you. Now I know why Marla assigned this mission to me alone. She must have known that Pelor would grant me bold companions to seek out and destroy this death cult,” said Niloc humbly as he climbed his way onto a barstool.

“What?” roared Oskar. “By Moradin’s beard, there’s a death cult in Winterhaven?”

“Yes, I’ve been sent to investigate it. And Pelor has sent you to me for assistance!” explained Niloc.

“I. . .I don’t think that’s necessarily the reason. . .” began Raziel.

“Maybe the death cult has captured Douven for its nefarious purposes,” interjected Joridyn.

“Those bastards!” shouted Oskar. “How could they?!”

“Does this mean you’re agreed to investigate the cult together?” asked Niloc.

“Of course it does, wee one!” exclaimed the dwarf as he clambered up to stand on his barstool. “We will terminate those skulking goblins or death cultists or whatever, and we’ll get Douven back or I’ll be a bald gnome!”

“Yes,” said Raziel as Joridyn nodded his agreement.

“Excuse me. Could you please explain who Douven is?” asked Niloc politely.

“He’s our mentor. . .” began Joridyn as Raziel said, “He freed me from a horrible fate in my homeland.”

“He’s our friend and we’re going to rescue him.” said Oskar.

“That sounds very fine. The four of us can surely bring about the end of this death cult and find your friend together,” said Niloc agreeably.

“Indeed,” harrumphed Oskar has sat back down. “Another mead, barkeep!”

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