Age of Heroes

Fools and Heroes

A private letter

My beloved E.
Opportunity has indeed arisen for a halfling of my talents. The raiding I mentioned before is part of a larger threat to Riverbrook. A threat so dire that a whole century of the kings soldiers are now barracked here. That is a lot of mouths to feed, and without food they are more burden than boon to the town.
Thus the new commander, Esteban employed me to scout for a small party investigating missing supply wagons. With me were a dwarf serving under him, an imposing but friendly enough fellow named Ignar Fireforge. Also one Landar Stormwind, a gruff mercenary bowman with no love for orcs. Completing our group was Torinn Nemmonis, a massive dragonborn priest recently arrived with the tide.
On the road we met an odd party on their way to Riverbrook. Three more of the king’s soldiers, travelling with a lady and half a dozen retainers. At first I took them to another officer like Esteban, but now I know it was just some nobleman playing at soldiery with his entourage. A foolish and dangerous game.
After exchanging greetings we were about to part ways when a large group of lizardmen ambushed us from the trees! I saw them coming and was able to take cover behind Torinn, but most of the big folk were slow to react. Once they realised what was happening however we were able to defend ourselves admirably.
Landar and I helped keep them pinned down in the trees, while Ignar and Torinn dealt with a ferocious dog-sized lizard. The other group fared adequately, but for all his bravado the nobleman needed his men to rescue him after foolishly charging forward alone. Obvioualy a great tactical mind that one! The lady (his sister) is practiced in magic and after blasting the creatures from the road was the first to notice that Landar had been badly injured in their attack. In the aftermath the soldiers identified the lizardmen as kobolds, which are a kind of reptilian goblin I think. I found a nearby pit with the bodies of the supply wagoneers, and an obvious path through the undergrowth where Esteban’s wagons had been taken away from the road.
We implored the other soldiers to join our investigation but the loud-mouthed noble insisted they had orders to report to Riverbrook. We tried explaining that this would only be a short delay to their journey and to benefit the whole garrison, but his pig-headedness could not see reason. If getting to Riverbrook as soon as possible was so important, why had they just been trotting along the road with half a dozen porters and not travelling light at a canter? Sometimes I really don’t understand big folk! His sister at least has some sense about her and left them to follow their orders to the letter, joining us on our mission.
Following the wagons path of destruction we came to a clearing where the wagons were parked up, and the horses had been slaughtered. Atop one wagon were several more kobolds but no other signs of life. Cautiously Landar and I split around the edge of the clearing to check and I spotted another of the dog-sized lizards asleep under that wagon. With the others duly informed we crept back around and once our less subtle colleagues attacked we skirmished from rear and quickly felled them all.
Scouting around we found a tunnel hidden under a large rock, and our magic-using noblewoman also noticed some crude carving on the rock were most likely an effigy of the creatures’ deity, the evil dragon god Tiamat. Most of the garrison’s food was still on board the wagons so we sat down to rest for lunch, and plan how to best get the wagons back to town without draft horses.
Bellies full we investigated the tunnel. I went first as kobolds are of similar build to us and had ceilings no higher than necessary, which aggravated our big folk no end! The lair was a couple of caves, and just inside was a crude alarm of coins hanging from the roof to make a noise if anyone big came in. Sitting on Torinn’s back to reach, I easily removed them without making a sound. In the first cave were a few more kobolds and lizards, half of whom were restrained in an enchanted slumber by our magic-user while we quickly dispatched the others before culling the sleepers. In the second was their leader, a winged kobold with a much larger pet lizard. I drew the lizard back to the first cave where our party surrounded it and eventually hacked it to death, but not before it had savaged them and nearly killed poor Landar. Our unlucky ranger was having a very bad day, which would do nothing to better his typical surly mood.
Seeing his creature bested and his tribe dead about the cave floor, the winged kobold surrendered. Whilst the party restrained and interrogated it, I checked the second cave and found loot and a clue! In a locked chest that was no match for my nimble fingers was a large pouch of gold coins and a crude map of the area around Riverbrook. The kobold confessed that stealing the food wagons was part of a larger plot by an orc boss from the eastern mountains. He gave up the orcs name and rough location before apparently trying to attack our magic-user. At least that’s what she claimed after blasting it’s face off!
We then manhandled the wagons back to the road which took the rest of the day and camped there overnight. Halfway back to Riverbrook we encountered the noble soldier and his associates again, who Esteban had sent with fresh draft horses to find us. Ha-ha! For all his heirs and graces that fool’s first mission for Esteban is that of stable-boy!
Upon hearing our report Commander Esteban has said he wants our party to continue to work together, dealing with these more unconventional jobs that the common soldiery are unsuited for. The work is challenging, the people interesting, and the risk acceptable so I’ve taken up the offer. As it’s technically a military unit he’ll most likely want a soldier in charge, so I’m recommending the dwarf Ignar for it. He showed iniative and common sense on this last mission, as well as strength of arms. We need a leader who can give sensible orders, not just follow them blindly.
Forever yours,
P.

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bakaryu HackMonkey

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