Episode 11 Path of Fog and shadow

Dro the dwarf path
Dro revenge served cold

That Evening after the tavern and seeing Kron leave, they linger in the taven some more after stretching their legs.
Mira comes over to their table and motions to a couple dwarves in the corner drinking. “Those 2 have been in town for about a week, keeping to themselves. Just thought you should know.” Jade slides a coin over and smiles and nods slyly at Mira in agreement.
Dro gets up, and stretches his arms, “It’s about time I go over and make myself presentable to some kin. I would like you guys to stay here till I get back and cover my back.” Burps and saunters over to the 2 dwarves in the corner.
Nods and stands at the table and the 2 dwarves invite him to join them. Dro gladly sits down and in a short time they are deep in conversation, trading news and rumors of the dwarven lands. Some laughter and whispers down as always between Dwarves and plenty of ale for the 3. A couple hours pass and Dro shakes hands and saunters over back to Jade and Zalbak.
Dro motions for the other 2 to listen more closely. “ They are 2 of our brethren, but not from any clan I’ve heard of.”
“Must be of the northern clans,” as Zalbak burps loudly.
“Aye, but one little wrinkle with them. They are waiting for Stephen to return, and just spending time in Gouf here till he arrives.”
Jade sneers a bit from the name of Stephen and looks over at them, and then waves happily to them till he turns back and grumbles.
“They are wanting information of their 2 kin, who Stephen said were killed in an expedition. Seems like the same expedition me and my group dispatched up north. So the quicker we get our coin from Griz the faster I can distance myself from them.”
Jade burps and nods and Zalbak whispers, “Agreed.”
The night burns long and they retire to a room that Jade paid for and sleep soundly. With Jade and Zalbak sleeping, Dro looks at his Gem again and sees the vision again of a misty figure in the smoke, and then turns to sleep himself.
Next day comes and not much is going on. Mira meets them for breakfast and says she will show them around if they wish. Dro says they want to see where Kron lives. Mira tells them Kron stays out of town in a 2 story building with 2 of his muscles and 2 dogs protecting the place. She also tells them that Griz and now Kron use the house sometimes to keep hostages or kidnapped people till they get paid, or dont need them anymore.
Morning turns to afternoon and evening approaches again with Dro, Jade and Zalbak once again in the tavern, with Jade spouting stories to others as he generally does with a crowd around.
Mira tending tables again motions to the door as Kron comes in again and takes a seat. A bit later the other 2 dwarves enter, and Kron motions them over to sit with him. Dro watches from over his ale drinking them, converse with Kron for a bit and then get and leave. Kron sitting by himself once again with the locals all around drinking, laughing and talking.
Jade stands up and stretches and belches. Looks down to Dro and Zalbak and says,
“Follow me boys, time to get paid.” Jade walks over to the table where Kron is and sits down followed by Dro and Zalbak.
Jade looks at Kron and smiles, “We are here to see Griz.”
“He’s not here, won’t be for awhile,” grunts and sips his ale.
“I’m informed that you are the person under Griz to get my coin from. My companion Dro here ran an expedition last winter and wants his 4000 gold.”
Kron lets out a belly laugh and spews ale in the air, “ Oh my Noene, you’re the fools who chased after that hoax? You and your stupid dream of getting paid will sleep as lovers tonight.” Kron is still laughing and everyone watches and then resumes their conversations.
Jade smiles, “So I would assume you’re in charge of the Griz organization now?”
Kron slaps the table, “That’s the first smart thing you said all night.” smiling.
“Then you’re a stupid little man, if you can’t honor Griz promises. You won’t get another job or client ever again, once they find out that Kron is so stupid and not a businessman.”
“What are you talking about bearded runt?” Kron’s face starts to redden from Jade’s words.
“ I cant believe someone as stupid as you would be here in place of Griz and cant even honor the contract he made? Were you born this way? Oh wait, yep, this kind of stupid could only be born.” Jade smiles as he makes his verbal jabs.
“There is no money for you, or ever will be little man. I’m here now and Griz isn’t coming back in a long long time if he does.”
“Well kron, it’s a wonder you can even wipe yourself, you’re so stupid.”
( combat begins. Power vrs speed. Kron power vrs Jade speed. Kron wins)
Kron in one motion grabs Jade’s beard and slams his head to the table, and Jade’s head bounces off the table. Everyone in the tavern stops and it’s silent. Jade shakes his head, as Kron looks around and then stands up, and squeezing his fists, walks out of the tavern.
Dro looks at Jade. “Well that worked out good.” Dro burning inside from the thought of the whole expedition was a joke and Griz was never going to pay them. Watching Kron head for the door, he looks at Zalbak his brother and tells him to run to the room and get his crossbow.
Couple minutes later with a crossbow in hand and Zalbak with a hammer they exit the busy tavern also. In the dark they scan the streets for Kron and Zalbak (perc roll, success) sees Kron moving down the street. They follow at a distance and then see Kron move to a house, and knock. Without thinking Dro pulls up his crossbow ( fight, rolls and hits and adds to the damage). Dro lets a bolt go and hits Kron in the back. Kron stands there for a moment and then slides down . Kron drops dead. Jade and Zalbak are surprised and Jade runs across the street to Kron dead body and motions for Zalbak to help him drag it around the corner.
They pull Kron’s body in the dark alley beside the house. Dro searches the body and finds nothing of use or worth.
Zalbak looks at Dro and whispers, “Why did you do that?”
“Two reasons.First, I’m not ever going to get paid what I’m owed. Second, Kron is better dead and us looking at his grave, rather than him looking at ours. We will check out his house tomorrow morning. Okay?” They both nod and quietly head back to the tavern and their room above for the night.
Later that night a knock on the door and Dro gets up and answers the door. Mira is out of breath and tells them that Kron is dead. She also tells them that 2 of Grizs henchmen are dead and 1 of stephens. She asks them if they know anything about it. Dro shrugs and asks Mira if she could take them to Krons house on the edge of town in the morning. She says she will.
Next morning people are milling around and chatting about who killed Kron, and the turf war now being waged for control of the town between the rival gangs and groups. Dro, Jade and Zalbak just eat their breakfast in silence waiting for Mira to show up. Mira shows up and they head about a quarter mile out of town to the house. They watch the house for a while and see no movement of people except for the 2 dogs outside chained up to keep people away. Jade munching on a turkey leg still gets up and saunters over the edge of the dog’s chains. Throw them a piece of the meat and they greedily wolf it down. For the next 10 minutes. (success of animal husbandry ) they seem friendly to Jade. Dro loading up his crossbow gets closer to the house and hears scraping noises from inside. Jade quietly unties the 2 dogs, now his friends and waits by the door also listening. Scraping noises can be heard, and they ponder their next move.
Jade opens the door and Dro raises his crossbow up and shouts “ come out we have you surrounded”. Nothing is heard but a scraping sound still. Zalbak and Jade move thru the door expecting a fight and ready for it. Its dark in the house and no threat awaits them. When they scan the room they see in the far corner a woman child by the kitchen. Upon further viewing the woman has a metal chain hooked to her ankle to the floor, making the scraping sound they heard earlier. They motion for her to stay silent, as Dro moves up to the loft above. Few minutes go bye and he comes down and gives the all clear sign. Mira moves in and sees the woman and child and goes over to them. Dro looks at the woman closely and she resembles Mook somewhat. Dro takes a gamble and says the word “Mook”. The woman’s eyes grow big as to signal she knows the name. Dro looks at the others and says, “I wager this is Mooks sister and niece, they’ve been holding her as blackmail to Mook.”
None of the dwarves can understand or be understood by the woman and child, however Mira uses her experience (foreign languages) and in short while can crudely converse with them both. She finds out she is Mook’s sister and has been here for a long time cooking for 3 men. They haven’t been around since last night. She and her child are alone and when Mira tells of Mooks death, she grieves loudly.
“Damn it”, curses Dro. Fuming and stomping around the house he vents out his anger.
“No griz, no money, and no way to get paid for what was owed”.
“ Jade pipes up “Friend, you were never going to get paid by the likes of these criminals. They just used you and your party to search for treasure that chances were, you wouldn’t find, or die trying.”
Zalbak kicks a pot, “Now what?”
Dro seething but now seeing more than anger, and the fog lifting from his mind says, “ We find the other brother thunderhill and take the job Jade has back in Philville to bankroll our venture. What say you Jade?”
Jade nods in agreement and throws a piece of turkey to his two new dogs, who are wagging their tales.
“Zalbak points to the 2 people now free from their shackles, “What about them?”
The group decides to free them both.
Once outside again of the house, they see smoke getting worse in the air.
The group decides to let the 2 survivors join them till they can find a place to let them go safely on their way, in this dangerous world. Mira stops a passerby and finds out a forest fire is approaching the town and people are fleeing.
The group decides to leave town and gathers their possessions with Dro upset at not finding his payment and Griz gone or missing.

In the ensuing 3 months, the group finds the river barges lost, and follow a group of merchants further south than they intended to go. They arrive at a frontier river town and wait another 2 weeks for transport and end up in Philville 6 months later than previously intended.

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