As we look into our world of Talead, trouble is brewing for the dwarves of Undin, a smaller, yet important town, in the eastern reaches of the state of Belelia.
A dwarf, Dorarbid Hillcarver “The Old” is his name, is awakened from his slumber by a commotion outside his open window. You see, this dwarf is the leader of the town and one of the nobles of Belelia, and so he likes to look out at the people he speaks for and get word of anything spectacular quickly through the window. This night, however, there are no amusing spectacles, such as the troop of performers who came to town with a caravan a few days before. Instead, Hillcarver looked out to see fires spread across the outskirts of his town. The hollering isn’t from the throat of a normal person, only a malformed monster could muster this tormented cackle.
As Hillcarver watches in disbelief as his town burns, an armored dwarf enters his room.
“Sire, " the dwarf utters sternly, “we should get you armored and move you to a place of safety.”
A haunted look comes over the old dwarf as he rounds on the unsuspecting soldier, “I shall meet these terrors in battle, not hide like a spoiled brat child!”
A few minutes later the old dwarf rushes down the street from his housing towards the flaming ruins of his town. An entourage of his best soldiers trying their best to keep up with him. As the old dwarf nears his foes he charges with speed unmatched by most dwarves and with a roar that would put the fear in a wyvern, he smashes the head of the first creature he comes upon. His soldiers following a few seconds behind him.
As the dawn breaks, the town lies partially in ruins. Townsfolk are running frantically with buckets trying to put out the fires that have yet to burn themselves out. A few clerics tend to the wounded, as a few others close the eyes of the dead, more than one of their own among them. Many of the townsfolk sit or wander the broken streets looking aimlessly around. A tight knot of soldiers stand in the ruins of a church, Hillcarver in the center.
“Send word to Caliminorn that we need assistance now!” the old dwarf bellows out to those around him. “And let us begin planning for the next attack.”
A pale elf sits at a table, scribbling frantically at some reports. The sun-beam through the barred window casting just enough light on her arm for her polished shoulder plate to gleam. Suddenly, the door opens with a loud ‘crack’ as the handle strikes the wall, scattering splinters of stone across the floor near the wall the door so unceremoniously struck. A fat and annoyed looking halfling woman stands in the doorway, a parchment in her hands.
“Undin has called for help. Something about a gnoll attack.” She hurridly spits with a mocking tone. “And Hillcarver has the nerve to ask us for assistance. Can his elite dwarven soldiers not take care of a few gnolls anymore?”
The elf soldier looks up, concern and surprise on her face, “I’ll dispatch a team of guards immediately!” and begins to rise.
“No, no, no. We can’t be sending out our soldiers every time there was a border attack. I was just notifying you, so if you received another message you would know we have already decided to not send our own defense.” the halfling says, waving the parchment at the elf as if admonishing her. She promptly turns and marches out of the room, knocking a sword from its place by the door as she goes. She never turns, even with the shear sound of metal on stone as the sword slams to the floor.
Another soldier approaches cautiously, “Is everything alright mam?”
“Please go fetch Ren for me, will you?” the elf responds as she begins tidying up her office.
This Ren, the person our good elven watch captain Lylwar Cleburril sent for is a newer recruit to the Caliminorn town watch. Though, she believes he shows much promise. From the line of dwarven kings, and a half dragon to boot! He is decidedly over qualified for his current role. When he arrives at the captain’s office, she informs him of danger at Undin, and instructs him to attempt to gather a group of citizens to assist, since no military assistance can be spared at the moment, per the order of the noble, “The Fat” Seraphina Grub. Ren seems concerned at this decision, but agrees to go to Undin immediately.
Ren stops at a local tavern on his way out of town, hoping to find a group of mercs he can pay to assist. After approaching everyone present in the tavern, he leaves with two companions. A half-elf, Gwyndolyn, looking as if she spent her entire life in wild. She looks at every building, cart, farmer, and rat as if they are wondrous things as they leave town. The other, Akhazriel, is half angelic, an aasimar as they are called. He doesn’t turn for anything, looking as if this existence bores him (and also a little like something is obfuscating his mental faculties at the moment).
This hodge-podge group quickly makes their way eastward on a seven-day trip to Undin, to find the town nearly all burnt to the ground. The party wastes no time in assisting with repelling a gnoll attack. Afterwards, they discuss the situation with the few soldiers still standing, eventually making their way to the old Hillcarver. He is delighted the party came to help, but his delight quickly turns to fury as he learns that the noble Grub had forbade their assistance.
The party stays the night in the ruins, Gwyn spends half the night encouraging flowers to grow all over the city and making good-berries for the townsfolk. In the morning the party discovers another misfit among the ruins of an inn. An elf, by the name of Thomar. He instantly looks for any way make a profit off the group, but is convinced to assist in the search for the gnoll leader.
The party stumbles upon the gnoll leader by accident, and Ren falls to the ground quickly. Thomar nearly joins him after charging head first at the gnolls, the wizard is clearly not built for close encounters. Akhazriel and Gwyn manage to deal most of the damage during this scruff, and dispatch most of the gnolls and their leader to the underworld. Those that survive scamper off into the countryside, presumably to spread the word of their leader’s death.
The party returns to the ruined town and delivers the news. Hillcarver is thrilled, and the rest of the townsfolk seem relieved. The party remains in the town for the night, and then sets out on their week long trip home to Caliminorn.
Upon returning to the city, Ren instantly reports to captain Lyl. Thomar disappears for the day, while Gwyn wanders the marketplace. Akhazriel mutters something about forgetting some story about gnolls, and sets off towards the library to bury himself in some books. Eventually turning up some ancient lore about the origins of the gnolls.
And with that Undin was ‘saved’. Though, our group of misfits is far from finished saving the day together.