The Heroes of Tolmurr

The Saga of Fargrim, Pt 2
Setting: Thirsty Camel Roadside Inn, several miles outside of Milton

It was a regular Thursday evening at the ol’ Thirsty Camel for Roric Gray. As with every other night, he headed to the Thirsty Camel after a long day working at the lumbermill and before heading home to his lovely, so he keeps reminding himself, wife Hilda. A few rounds a the ’Camel helped remind himself of just how lovely his wife was.

The patrons of the camel never really changed: a collection of farmers, fishers and farriers from the surrounding lands. Interestngly, there was a new face in the tavern tonight: a burly, orange mohawked Dwarf sat in a corner table surrounded by no less than seven roasted chickens, a hind quarter of pork and a flagon of ale which was dutifully refilled by Linda the barmaid. Patrick couldn’t help but notice that leaning up against the wall next to the dwarf was an assortment of different weapons, mostly axes.

“Bit ov a funny wun to ‘ave in the camel on a Thursd’y, I reckon” Patrick said to the barkeep.

“Yer tellin’ me, Patty my ol’ boy. But he pays ‘is tab an’ scares away those wot might be lookin’ for trouble” replied the barkeep while absent mindedly wiping the same flagon he had been whiping for most of the evening.

Patrick paid no heed to the dwarf and focused intently on the ale before him. However, the Dwarf then began to sing:

“Pound the tables, throw the chairs
Take the ale and leave the swill
Break the mugs and throw them out
Down the beard my ale goes!

Drink and sing ‘neath stone and gold
Fetch me hammer, tongs, and bellows
Forge the ores in scorching coals
Down the beard my ale goes!

The time to drink is here again
Knock yer heads back, drink it down
Til our women don’t have chest hair
Down the beard my ale goes!

Diamonds may gleam like starlit nights
And gold may shine like bright of day
But Ale is more than either or
Down the beard my ale goes!

Pound the tables, throw the chairs
Take the ale and leave the swill
Break the mugs and throw them out
Down the beard my……"

The Dwarf was interrupted by the tavern door being smashed down off its hinges. Walking through the now gaping whole in the tavern was half a dozen brigands. More than just your average highway thugs, these men had armour and swords. Patrick suddenly wished he was at home with his ‘lovely’ wife….

“Right. We here are members of the Bandits of Barnoth and we have come to relieve you of your valuables. Hand them over and no one needs to get hurt” said the lead bandit, an Elf who was missing an ear.

One of the patrons, a miner at the stone quarry, stood up and swung a clenched fist at the nearest brigand. Before the blow struck, the bandit leader nimbly stuck a long knife through the miner’s eye.

“Now that, my dear friends, was a mistake. Now hand over your possessions” ordered the leader as the rest of his men started to shake down the patrons of the Inn.

“mumph mrmbl grmph phmble rmble hrm! yrm frrm cphm!” said a voice from the corner of the room.

“What??” questioned the bandit leader.

“I said” replied the voice as he swallowed the last mouthful of food, “that killing that man was a great mistake and that once I finished my food I would take my axe and kill every last fucking one of you”.

The last thing the bandit leader ever saw was the image of a mohawked Dwarf leaping over a table of roast chickens; two handed axe raised above his head.

FAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRGRIM” the Dwarf roared as he soared through the air.

STOOOOOOOOONEBOOOOOORN” he bellowed as his axe separated the Elf at the waist.

The remaining were similarly cut down in a brutal fashion. Patrick marveled at the way the Dwarf moved: a seemingly endless flurry of axe blows, headbutts and kicks. It was as if every part of him was a weapon. As the last bandit fell the Dwarf stood still, chest heaving, and looked down at a dagger which had somehow found its way into his shoulder.

“Cunts” he said as he removed the knife from his shoulder.

“uhhh, I don’t suppose any of you know if he had a family?” the Dwarf said to the Inn patrons as he gestured a thumb towards the dead miner.

“.. a wife…and kids, I think. Live near the river” replied Patrick, still quite shocked by events of the last few minutes.

“Right, well, make sure they get this then” the Dwarf said as he plucked a coin pouch off of the dead bandit leader and chucked it to Patrick.

The Dwarf then dragged the bodies outside and put them in a neat pile, scrubbed the floorboards of the tavern, paid for his meal and fixed the door. Then he left. That was the last time Patrick saw the Dwarf.

Curiously, the next evening a cloaked figure entered the Inn looking for Fargrim, then he left.

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URGENT - Update on state of affairs in Tolmurr
An excerpt from a series of documents

Established communication with local adventuring party – note, all acted as a beacon from the sky, as it was apparent even from a distance that they all bear The Mark that we have identified to have some connection to the Wall of Prophecy. This in itself immediately begged further inquiry; as an upstanding representative of the Emperor – may his light guide us all to righteousness – I took it upon myself to set aside my primary objective to assess the bearers of these marks.

Indeed, truly the Emperor’s hand guided me here, for not only did I discover a direct connection to the very aim of my primary objective (see Addendum 1A below), they also had among them Ricardo, who it would seem has abandoned his assignment upon losing his memory and joined with this band of individuals in lieu of any other, immediately pressing objective (see Addendum 2A in the sealed letter attached for full party analysis and suggested actions).

I attempted to establish my clear authority over the party to efficiently process each member’s discrepancies with the laws of the Empire (even on cursory introductions, there were obviously several to be addressed), but was ultimately denied recognition of said authority; I have undertaken further surveillance and monitoring services in the guile of aiding the group until such a point where sufficient support can be provided to enforce these laws and assume formal control as an officiated Adventurer of the Empire.

Allowing the party to believe I held no authority over and posed no threat to them as a whole, they returned to their original direction – apparently, a sizable portion of the local population had been kidnapped and imprisoned by Khal Fengell Gold Fist of Shangri-la, who nefariously betrayed the Empire’s generous trust to ally with the Confessors in what I can only assume in my professional opinion to be a desperate, wholly misguided bid to seize control from further land and power fairly assigned to other local factions by the great wisdom and even-handedness of the Emperor.

Meeting with PM (where I formed first impressions – see Addendum 1B) to coordinate rescue efforts, we naturally rescued as many of these local peasantry hostages as was possible without jeopardising successful extraction, with only minor hiccups involving an unintentional run in with several of Khal Fengell’s foot soldiers (see Addendum 1C). The most important object of note discovered during this stealth and reconnaissance operation was the presence of an additional large Vis Crystal in the possession of Khal Fengell – the warlord appeared to be attempting to crudely charge the shard with the sacrifice of a handful of the hostages on hand, with limited visible success.

In conclusion, the situation in Tolmurr appears to be far more dire than initial reports suggested, and Confessor presence has been undeniably confirmed; I will continue to attempt to manage the situation until receiving further orders, as outlined in our collective mission objectives.

Communications may be moved through the standard channels. May the Emperor watch over you.

Mira Silverfoot
6/3/1008

Addendum 1A: Group seems to have goals in line with current prime objective – that is, to track down and put an end to the Confessors following their brazen assault on the Academy and continued, unrepentant disregard for the fair and just laws of the realm, which in itself is a gross insult to the wisdom and benevolence of the great Emperor, may he live on in glory.

Addendum 1B: In particular, the party has grown close to the subject of my investigation in Tolmurr – a crazed wizard with a strong, latent talent for manipulation of the weak-willed and small-minded, bearing a large, red crystal of similar design to the crystal used to engineer the attack on the Final Exam; this is in line with the reports I submitted following initial survey of the area. While subject (Self-ID “The Puppet Master”, hereby referred to as PM) seemed repentant about his immoral and illicit past involvement with The Confessors, his mental and emotional states appear to be, at best, confused, and as far as I can tell are in a constant state of flux; further investigation is required to determine his true loyalty and potential value as a reformed barbaric asset of the Empire. The Eye of Vigil, as he refers to the Vis Crystal set into his back, has clearly affected his cognitive functions; pending further investigation, current recommendation is to extract the crystal and, assuming PM survives the process, commence formal questioning once his mental state has stabilised.

Addendum 1C: What should have been poorly trained foot soldiers posing no real threat to a trained representative dedicated to the defence of the Empire were revealed in short engagement to be shockingly competent and well-equipped – on the scale presented, this army could, in extreme, but not inconceivable circumstances, pose a threat to the safety and stability to the Capital, it being my belief that Khal Fengell has the intention of carrying out his machinations to the heart of the Empire. Dispatch of assassination squad is not being formally requested at this point, but it is my suggestion that one be prepared and placed on standby to disperse clear leadership positions should this situation escalate any further beyond the control of a single agent.

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