Dro wipes the grime off his hands and sits down. Okay where was I in my story?
Oh I remember now, I was traveling with my friends up out of the wilderness, keeping away from the natives hunting people, and the big forest fire. Well we made it back to Phiville and these dwarven feet were dying to get some rest. Once we got into town, Jade asked around and we made our way down to the dwarven quarters. At the Inn, Jade ran into a fellow expedition leader and competitor and they got all chummy. His name was George and he invited us 4 to his place to lodge. We decided to go and spend the night. The next morning myself and Mira were asking around the dwarven quarters for the name Coal Thunderhill. Luck would have us, someone knew someone, who knew someone who knew someone. There was a Thunderhill staying in a village ½ day out of town. So Kira and myself traveled out to the village. We came upon a villager who said he knew him and led us to a graveyard, where the tomb of Coal thunderhill lay to rest. Thinking our quest was over, Mira saw some children playing and watching us and talked to them. One of the kids’ parents rented a room to Coal.
Followed the kid home and talked to her mother. Coals shack was out back and they were looking for the last month’s rent. I pulled out some coins, and paid it up and we went to the shack. The shack inside was covered with papers and scrolls with unrecognizable scratchings and the ramblings of a madman. Large scribbles of the word “Yag” were everywhere, but no diary, or writings we could decipher. Giving up hope, I looked at the wall once more and saw a wood carving of a ship. Closer inspection saw it to be a dwarven whaling ship called the Unicorn.
The Unicorn! That was the name of slate upon his death words he spoke to me. I pulled it down and saw there were writings on the back also. The type or setting of the words were familiar. Remembering one of the expeditions in the past, it occurred to me it might be fire writing. Quickly I told Mira to make a fire in the fireplace. Once the fire was crackling and going, I threw the wood painting in the fire. The fire engulfed the painting and then the blue shim of magical fire writing became evident and visible. Hurriedly I pulled it out and looked at MIra who could read and asked her what it said. Mira read it and said to me, “Ships log” . Eureka, so that was it. Coal and Slate must have been on a whaling ship Unicorn and found the dragon treasure somehow. Now all I needed was to find the ship’s log and I would have it. We hurried back to Philville with the painting. In the small village we spied a couple other dwarves watching us, and following us from a distance. We shook them off our trail, once we got back to Phillville and our group.
Jade was getting nervous about his friend George, and his questions, so we decided to travel to Jade’s company headquarters a couple cities away. We were being followed by other dwarves so we decided to stagger our entry into the existing cities so we could watch each other’s back. All went well till we got to the city gates of the next city. Jade went first and made it easily thru the city guards questions and warrants. My younger brother Zalback had no issue, as did Mira. I, however, was stopped when I gave my name and it was cross referenced with a warrant for my arrest of debt not paid to Stephen. No way out of this situation was i was supposed to give up my possessions and be arrested. I had the dragon gem and map still in my possession. What was I supposed to do? Standing in front of the man to give up my possessions in a small room, a vision appeared and this happened.
The eye looking from the gem is seen again. This time closer and you can almost feel intense heat from it, oozing into your very soul. The fire feels hotter than the furnaces of the dwarven smiths, making you sweat in the real world.
The booming voice you have heard only as thunder now is audible and closer. The boom now has meaning and understanding.
“Fool, you now make me show my hand now. Put the items in the bag, you fool, and I shall keep them from knowing its true form.”
The heat is still felt, through the vision, sweat runs down your face and beard, and when you look at the jailer with the bag open, you shudder. The jailer’s eyes slowly gloss over and are milky white as he stands there.
“Be quick about it” the thunder rolls in your head.
But a moment later the eyes of the jailer clears up and it seems he is none the wiser as to what was seen or not seen.
Sent to jail my friends finally figured it out. They desperately tried to get my possessions back but couldn’t. The trial was a farce. Stephen or his cronies paid off the judge and I was sentenced “ to the discretion of the governor”, meaning indeterminate time in jail.
Time went by slowly and I was finally visited by Stephen twice wanting information on a Mr. Tibbs and the whereabouts of my past companion Tha’pop. I told him nothing. The cell was dark and very light from the passing jailkeeper candle under the cell door, let me know time passed. I learned later I was there for 6 years. In my 6th year the cell door opened and I was to be questioned again, but when I saw the torch and the eyes of the keeper look at me in horror, then the door slammed shut and the word “Leper!” was heard.
Dro looks over at his companions in the dark around the fire and stirs the fire. Yep a leper, didnt know a dwarf could get leprosy, did ya? Neither did I.
Well being a leper did get some movement out of the jail in Philville. One day they escorted me to a prison wagon with a human and orc, both with leprosy. Learned that we were being transported to a prison where a leper colony existed. Took us 1 month by wagon ride and 2 by boat to get to the desert sands of the prison. Learned that orcs from Zoran considered leprosy a blessing of the gods to those only worthy of suffering. Go figure.
Made to the prison and we were lowered in a basket to the side of the prison where the leper city was at the bottom of a vast stone quarry. Wandering around, Zoran told us he had cousins here in leper town and they would hook us up with shelter at least. Being the only known dwarf I knew of, except for the legend of stonemist Gerysome, I kept myself under bandages as best as I could.
I could go on how Marcus was actually Griz and plotted my demise, or could go on how I was being chased by orcs, or that I was being watched by a group of Trolls living in a cave with a mysterious overlord called “the Under”, but hey, don’t want to bore you.
Dro sticks a stick in the fire stirring up the embers and looking at the 2 figures outlined in the night glow, before sitting back again and continuing his story.
Where was I? Oh yes, well eventually after a few days of finding out nobody escapes and being lepers where would we go, things were bleak. With Marcus still plotting to use me to my complete ignorance, “the Under” was extremely curious of me. So eventually we got an audience with “The Under” in the troll lair.
So we exchanged pleasantries of sorts and the “The Under” was a female troll witch who was ancient. Nothing to lose. I told her about my quest, but left out the gem and map part, to be on the safe side. When I mentioned Yag she perked up and our conversation took a turn. Seems Yag is a Troll legend and she gave me the tale of which she knew.
Tale of Trollyeim’s Son Yag
Many know of Yoeg, son of the god Trollyeim, who howls for blood to flow unending and crushing of all who are not of trolls and orcs. But this tale is of his brother Yag. Eons ago when Morth, concubine of Trollyeim was made ready, thunder ripped the earth for the first time. In Morths anguish and pain the earth thundered, the sky was ripped asunder, and the twins of Yoerg and Yag came to be. Yoerg, the first twin,grew up in Trollyiem’s favor, hunting monsters riding dragons in the sky.Yoerg is the god of war, pain and suffering to both Troll and Orcs alike. The other brother Yag was a hunter like his brother,but also a trickster and favored by Morth. Yag would use laughter and merriment to please his mother, and make her happy. Yag being the second born of thunder was given less in all things from Trollyeim in power and honor. The Titans and Dragons under Trollyeim saw unequal treatment and joined in to ridicule, tease, and belittle him as Trollyeim had. Yag being a god, and above these mortal creatures, merely laughed the more. The more they ridiculed, the more Yag laughed. In time, Yag formented a scheme to have his tormentors pay for their cruelty and laugh at them for eternity. Yag made a great feast under the heavens, the biggest the world had ever seen, and invited all Dragons and Titans to come drink and eat to their heart's content with Yag. All of them came who were invited. Dragons and Titans ate, drank and cast insults continuously at their guest Yag for years as the feast proceeded, and laughed, and inwardly were proud, at their power to publicly humiliate a god. Yag endured it all and waited. When the guest grew tired and slept upon the floor of Yags' feast room, he arose and gathered his servants the Gortrungs. Swiftly Yag and his servants stole all the treasure of the dragons and the dragon saddles of Titans. Yag and his servants hid it in a mountain and returned to the Feast before his guests awoke. Yag awoke his guests and laughed.Standing before all his guests, Yag boasted of his theft and how justice had met them to try and humiliate a god. Yag roared and laughed his last laugh or so thought. The guests realizing the trickery was real, of Dragon treasure gone and Titans losing the power of teleportation, drove them all mad with fury. They attacked Yag in the feasting room. Yag laughed the more, taking no wounds or pain from the attacks. Mad with fury and humiliation the Titan Jupiter, broke off a piece of Yags tooth in this struggle. Yag, who was immortal to any outside attack by mortals, was vulnerable now to the internal. Jupiter stung Yag in this one spot of god weakness, and poured the wrath of dragon and titan all, into the body of Yag. Not stopping they fought and killed Yag from the inside out and in their drunkenness of madness destroyed the body of Yag as he laughed to his death. Dragon and Titan mourned their loss and destruction of Yag, for now the treasures of Dragons and Titans were lost.
Pieces in my mind fell into place. The Troll witch said I was touched and destined to seek out Yag and the treasure. She gave me an offer I couldn’t refuse. She would heal me of leprosy ( she forgot to mention some problems with that) and help me escape. She must have considered healing and helping me to some part of the troll destiny, I don’t know.
So with pain unbelievable and passing out quite a few times, her troll magic disguised my leprosy.
(The Troll spell that cured you is not really a cure spell. It hides all the effects of leprosy and signs of it.
However it’s still inside you and can be brought forth through great effort to become a leper again. The person can transfer from Leper to someone appearing to be cured, but it takes 24 hours to complete the change from one to the other.
Other Troll Witches and Orc shamans can see this spell on you if they taste your blood. )
With that we made our escape, however Marcus up to his no good, poisoned me in order that 3 of us escaped, not just myself from the leper prison. Dont remember a lot, but we got out, met an orc guide and 3 months later thru grueling travel saw the Trollback mountain range, where Zoran said his goodbye and we carried on. After the Orc guide left us on the outskirts of civilization, Dugle led us to the outskirts of a city, where we were ambushed. Well, i was ambushed, not Marcus. He had got word out somehow thru a prison guard and had his posse meet up with us. He joined his crew and told me he was Griz, and thanked me for getting him free. I was furious, but could do nothing as he rode off. Alone, I continued on and finally got back to Philville. Not wanting to go in the city gates, I became a leper again thru the troll spell and met up with some lepers on the wall and then led me in thru passages that normal people know nothing of. The world of lepers is a society in the open, but hidden. You see lepers everywhere, but they hold information and are powerful in the underworld.
Needless to say, through circles and help I met up with the people who still had my possessions of map, amulet, and map still. They were part of the Dragon cult. (That’s a long story on how I found that out, but that’s for another time)
Needless to say about 2 weeks later, i was ushered into a darkened room with a hooded figure giving off steam across a table. This was the infamous Mr. Tibbs, some have heard of, but none seen. He was the source of my visions in the past, and he threw a bag with my possessions on the table. Mr. Tibbs you see is a true dragon, in the sense of all the child and history tales. He has been looking for his treasure since Yag stole it and wanted me to continue this quest, with some help from him and of course a part of the treasure in return. I was in no place to negotiate with a dragon, so I said yes. He asked me where I wanted to go next and I said to the city where Jade lived.
It took the span of half a day, when a knock on the leper door told me to meet a dragon member on the roof of such and such a building, which the lepers knew of. On the rooftop I was put in a body bag ( yea doesn’t sound good) with a hook in the middle and told to lay down. Everyone left the roof with me squirming in the bag, till all of sudden I felt a mighty wind and was jerked up in the sky. All thru the night I kept waiting for my death by plunging to the ground, but it never happened. A few hours later, I was plopped on a rooftop and the dark wings were gone.
In the morning Jade found a leper in a body bag on his penthouse roof. I convinced him I was Dro and not to kill me. Thankfully Jade, being an explorer, decided to wait and trust me and in 24 hours I was Dro the dwarf he hadn’t seen for many years. We caught up on news and next day he told me my brother was working with my mortal enemy, the Greybeard clan in exchange for Zalbak gaining power in the clan. Then I heard that last night 2 dragons above philville were fighting in the sky. Something that only legends had told of before now.
Through some information, I found out that the ship’s log I was seeking was in fa dwarf village named Seafoam. Jade rounded up 2 trusted dwarves and us 4 with the help of a dragon cult member who owned carriages, set off.
Okay this next part, well, its good and bad, Ill just leave it at that.
We arrived at Seafoam which normally has a population of 300. We had arrived during the Whalers festival and there were 5000 people in the village. We discovered that the ships log was locked in the upper room of the Captains Lodge. Under lock and key and not easy to get to, we found out that during one night in the festival, tours of the captains library and dance was organized. We got one of Jades’ people who is a thief up in the library during a tour and got the log. So we set a fire on the outside of the building to distract people from her jumping to the next building and getting free. The good part, i got the ship’s log and now can figure out where the map is made from. The bad part, well…the fire spread and it was the worst disaster on the coast, killing 400 dwarves.
Dro gets up from the fire and shakes himself off. Thanks for the food and drink, Ill be heading back to Creekstone to meet some friends. As Dro walks away the glint of blood can be seen seeping from the neck of the 2 figures that were sitting around the campfire, dead.