Come, friends, join me around the fire here and let me tell you a tale. One near and dear to my heart, for, you see, it involves me.
It was the 12th of Aibrean, 1356, in the Age of Alliances. I was spending the night at The Wandering Dog tavern and inn there in Crossroads, and I had been woken up, too early in the morning, by an odd dream.
Myself and 6 others who I didn’t know, and, it seemed, who did not know each other, were in this well over-sized cave. I mean, you could have fit the town of Palisene in there, with room to spare. It was dank, dark, and dripping with ominousity. So there I was, holding a torch, no idea where we were, and no idea what was going on, when what must have been a thousand small eyes opened up, reflecting the flames in the dark. A frightening sight in the best of conditions, you can be certain of that. Were it that was the worst however. Not a moment later, this bloody big black dragon with nasty glowing wounds steps out of the shadows, and roars at us. Now, I say big, but you need to understand. It’s head must have been 18, 20 feet in the air. It’s teeth were longer than a knight’s blade, and it smelled worse than a discount Orcish street walker. How do I know what that – No, no, one story at a time.
As I was saying, this castle sized dragon stalks forward from the shadow, and roars at us. Issuing a challenge, no doubt. So I shout instructions at the group, you know, what best to do if we all wanted to stay alive, that sort of thing. Don’t remember the exact wording, and I pick up a rock the size of your torso, and I lob it at the dragon’s head. Didn’t even faze him.
The rest of the group were scrambling about, trying to hit it with spells and arrows, all ultimately useless, and but a moment later, the beast’s mouth opened up, flashed green, and we all died.
Well, no, of course we didn’t actually die, like I said, it was a dream. Anyways, so I startled awake, my heart pounding almost as heavily as the wind outside was doing against the shutters. It didn’t take me long at all to calm down of course, though I wasn’t the only one up. Heard a couple of others go downstairs. Probably woken by the storm and needing a sniff of grog to put their heads back to sleep. Either way I was gone again in but a minute.
The morning came and brought with it the promise of a fresh start. Bright sun, blue sky, fluffy white clouds bordering the horizon. I got up and was one of the first people awake downstairs. I chatted for a bit with the owner, a big ogre of a man named Tully. Nice bloke actually. Used to be one of the Three Wolf Moon Mercenaries, and as he’s still alive, I suppose that says all it needs to about how good he was at his job. Had to have been, considering he had the capital to not only purchase and take over the inn, but also to start up and run the caravan company I was traveling through. So we talked, I ate my fill, and afterwards wandered off across and down the street to the company’s lot. They already had the wagons out and getting loaded up, so I got my stuff into one of their carriages and rested my eyes for a bit.
What couldn’t have been an hour passed, and I hear some snarling outside. Took a peek through the door just in time to see this rough looking dwarf challenging Tully, who was towering over him in full battle armor. Overheard something about the dwarf not paying for damages to the bar, and then the two were going at it. Went and blinked my eyes though and nearly missed the fight. That dwarf must have been endowed with pure brass, because I’d have put my money on Tully even if I Hadn’t seen him drop the squattie in an instant. Oops, my apologies madame, I meant nothing by it. It’s just a phrase I’ve picked up in my travels. Wait.. Miss… Ahh.. she left.
Well, anyways, that excitement was over, the dwarf was loaded into a carriage, thankfully not mine, and shortly after, we were off.
Now, if you haven’t traveled through the Moddey Hills, I can assure you you’ve missed very little. The terrain is so bumpy that rarely can you see more than 100 meters away on the ground, the trees are sparse, and the grass is so long that were the area interesting enough to be home to anything dangerous, an unwary wanderer would be deep in trouble. Would have spent the entire journey napping, if not for a bard who was along with us. He was carrying more instruments on him than a northern barbarian has muscles, and was serenading our group as we went along. Not a bad musician, but his motley garb left me wondering if the poor soul wasn’t color blind. Eeriest thing though, I could’ve sworn that he was one of the people with me in that dream I mentioned. Oddest sensation, meeting someone in your mind before you meet them in reality, let me tell you.
Well, the day went on, the sun dropped down past the horizon, and the Moons came out to shine upon us. Well, the moons as they were, anyways. Gaishacht was nearly full, while Caevian was but a fading sliver in the night. Suppose that was fitting, considering what we now know. The caravan was circled round, and most of us were all sitting down by the fire. I recognized a few more of the faces there as having been there in that cave with me, but as I knew none of them, I felt I should keep my silence on the matter. Leastways until I could determine what was going on.
There were a handful of children running about, lacking for ways to keep themselves entertained, and as we were camping near to the edge of the Evershade Forest, Pell Castle was right within view, about 3 kilometers to the west. So, I told them the legend of The Moddey Dog, which I’m sure you’ve all heard before. Well, right as I was finishing the story, my words were punctuated by a howl, off in the distance. The timing was glorious and sent the children scampering to their parents. I may have gotten a few nasty glares over that, but one can’t always please everyone, heh.
Well, the night went on, the bard continued with his melodic demonstrations, and I went off to sleep. After all, we were to be getting going quite early the next day.