I took care of an item or two of business yesterday. In relation to my mission, I prepared a note for Nyx for him to carry on if I should fall. Of all of us, I think he is most likely to get away alive should some sort of disaster strike. He also will be best able to deal with the people at the other end of the mission. I may have to ask for his assistance anyway, and so there is not much loss of secrecy. Of course, I did not tell him anything more.
The second item involved Veritas and that Orium dragonborn back at the other camp. I grabbed Gabriel and Warryn to back up my story and we described the events surrounding the assassination of that warlock. Like the assassin, Veritas knew who we spoke of, but stated that he was “slippery” – meaning “acting with ordinary prudence when scheming” – and that no-one had yet had concrete evidence enough to do something about him. Our own testimony, by implication, being worthless. I would guess that only that of a dragon or dragonborn would be enough. A pity that ours was drunk that morning.
Nothing could give me better satisfaction than hearing that that officer had been hanged for treachery, except to speak to him beforehand and explain that the reason that he was going to hang was that he had dragged me into his schemes. I remain alert for the opportunity to arrange it.
Eventually, we arrive at our destination – the dwarven fort of insert name here. It is worse than I imagined. I had supposed we would be shunned, assigned a barracks little better than a cell, and that our superiors would do their best to forget us or to assign us missions that would get us killed quickly.
Instead, we are fêted and celebrated everywhere – the mighty dragonslayers. Strangers know my name – I could cheerfully strangle Nyx (our bard), but it’s too late now. While the reactions of many of the dwarves are what I should expect, some of the younger ones attempt to engage me in conversation. I avoid them all as well as I can – a difficult task.
Having handed off our cargo and being given no orders, we inevitably arrive at a bar. I accompany. Much as I dislike it, I would dislike being alone in a dwarven city even more. There are passages to deeper caverns, but they seem well guarded. Still, I cannot help but be nervous – both about the guards, and about what they ward against. I can never return home.
My companions drink and make merry. The bugbear is permitted to drink, but no disaster ensues. Our half-orc attempts to procure a whore. I advise him that he would find better satisfaction boring a hole into a boulder and fucking it. The advantages of sex with a dwarven female are only two: firstly, she is a good height for servicing you while you stand; and secondly, you can hang onto her beard while she does it. We do not have sex with dwarves, except as a gambling forfeit or a punishment. And not for the dwarf.
The surfacers, of course, are thrown awry without the sun overhead to tell them when they should wake and when they should sleep. Without orders, they look for trouble. I suggest to Gabriel that we should look to moving on to the capital. There are a variety of good reasons – it is safer and we can lose ourselves there – besides my mission.
I also …
In any event – success. We find hire with another caravan heading in the direction I wish to go.
And here we are. There was a fight last night – giant centipedes. I ward our campsite each night, of course, and it proved prudent. While most of us dealt with the centipedes, I attacked a wolf-man of some description that appeared to be controlling them. But I was overmatched. I returned to the wagon and joined the fight. Once the centipedes were dead, our assailant ran off.
I am not entirely sure how far ahead capital city might be.