Stories : Diary of an Angry Dwarfette
Entry the First
It is not without some trepidation that I here put pen to paper. The deeds which I am about to recount have no doubt made me enemies, and it is only by reading this account that they might learn just whose arrows so thoroughly laid waste to their plans.
I first began my crusade in the island of Korthos, seat of the now diminished House Cannith, with the help of a...frisky halfling and his stalwart companions. I still keep in touch with Lady Villuhne – but you can read of their exploits a plenty elsewhere, such skilled adventurers as they are.
Upon my arrival into the village, I beheld a sight to darken anydwarf's brow; the people vainly held back their despair, yet I could taste it, and I smelled their fear. Also, I smelled their fine food; I was never want for a good meal in Korthos. Perhaps I had too many roast codfish. Hm...
The locals had an infestation of undead in the Cannith family crypt. The distressed harlot who is the innkeeper's daughter begged me to remedy the situation. For the sake of her father's good cooking – I mean, good will – I conceded. The sahuagin I discovered were annoying, but I had my faithful animal companion along to bite a few throats. Scalebane, I call him. He is destruction on four paws. We did not suffer the scum to live.
I did not bring the proper weapons to combat the undead, however. Luckily some fool left their mace and longsword behind when he laid down, no doubt tired from the spear in his belly.
I was surprised to find the harlot had a reward for me. I had not thought her bosom large enough to conceal the amulet she gave me. Needless to say, I sold it. Dax Boon was very anxious to take it off my hands. I was quite fortunate I told him where I – acquired it.
Her father's gratitude was of more use to me. I feasted on codfish that night, then did a little 'night fishing' as he requested. I took the heads of both the sahuagin caster and its pet, Waxhand or Axelwheel or whatever his name was. I made a collar of his teeth for Scalebane.
My next good deed on the morrow was to return some scroll about dragons to the fat man. I wonder if they village protectors are aware of how easily the reptiles are invading their buildings? Its getting ridiculous.
Anyway, the scroll had nothing to do with dragons, but it did contains a very athletic elf female. Well, as athletic as those poetic weaklings get. The fat man paid me well not to divulge the contents to anyone. Scalebane ate steak that night. Next, we venture outside of the village.
Entry the Second
Drexel or Wexel or Weasel – the traitorous undead fellow – he proved to be a hard human to kill, worthy of my ire. I laughed when he tried to insult me without teeth. I asked him how he had gotten his head from me. He could not give me an intelligible answer with only his rotting gums. I did not finish his sorry existence, however. A gleaming khopesh cut him from navel to nose, and then a burst of light disintegrated his last lisps. Before me stood a woman in heavy armor, a sinister scorpion clicking at her side. That was how I met the Cleric of Questionable Alignment, Maethyn Eledin.
She shared my love of adventure. Our pets, my Scalebane and her Deahdew – the latter being her poorly-named bug – gut along well together. It was even amusing to watch them play their games. Deathdew would click his claws rhythmically and sway his tail, and Scalebane's eyes would glaze over, and then he'd start dancing or something. I once asked Maethyn what her pet was up to. She jokingly answered, “Posessing.” I laughed and asked her what it was really doing. She blinked at me.
We killed many cultists together, and we became good friends. Maethyn even confided her insecurities in me, such as when she asked me if I ever heard voices in my head.
“All the time,” I answered sincerely. “What do they say?”
She said something about world domination, but then some rather large rodents ambushed us and we forgot the conversation. Maethyn killed one with her khopesh and wrote on her blade with its blood.
I am becoming increasingly concerned about my new friend. This morning over breakfast she told me in three voices that she was going to eat my heart. I asked her why she couldn't heal her cold, as there was obviously something ill about her voice. She replied, “What cold?” I shall have Scalebane keep close watch on her.
We finally found the harlot's benefactor, Lars Heyton. He didn't want to help us with the dragon he was supposed to know so much about. I threatened to tell the innkeeper about his lascivious relationship with Kaja, and the man came along quietly. With his help, we made it to Misery's Peak.
Now, I consider myself in possession of an excellent sense of direction. I am rarely lost, especially underground, but in these caverns, I had little sense of where I was going. Fortunately, there were plenty of enemies to show us the way. We just followed them, killing as we went.
I sniped the ice-spiders, and Maethyn banished the undead. Our pets made short work of the cultusts, but the demon gave me a spot of trouble. Maethyn suddenly had to go buy a dog or something, and I had to fight the thing on my own. My cleric reappeared soon after, and we were on our way once more. It was only when we reached the end and Lady Villuhne offered me condolences on the death of my pet that I realized Scalebane was gone. I bade Maethyn to leave ahead of me and backtracked to try to find my beloved companion. He had been gone since the ice fvlenser. I found him with a large dripping hole in his side – the work of a scorpion, I would guess. I must have searched the entire mountain looking for it, but I never found the culprit. I asked Maethyn to come back and maybe her scorpion could find the one that killed Scalebane. She said the voices told her no. With a heavy heart, our voyage to Stormreach began.
Entry the Third
Dwarves and water do not mix well. Rather, dwarves and the ocean are inherently incompatible. If I ever leave dry land again, it will be too soon.
The voyage to Stormreach was miserable. I spent my time being ill and mourning the death of my friend. Maethyn seemed to be handling the trip much better: she spent her time clearing the ship of its rat infestation. She really is incredibly considerate, it is small wonder she is the chosen vessel of her god. I could not ask for a better compatriot.
When she wasn't committing selfless acts of kindness, Maethyn spent her time in her cabin. Sometimes, I think I heard chanting and squeaks. I do not know when she had the time to get rid of the rats she caught. Perhaps Deathdew ate them? I am not sure what that monster eats. Perhaps extraplanar creatures do not eat. I must research this.
When we disembarked, Maethyn said she had a line on a woman who could give us gear, to help us manage our adventures. As it turned out, this 'Mari Mosshand' person was handing out little bags which I thought to be incredibly useful – until we tried to obtain them. She was fresh out. A fellow dwarf – barbarian, but the looks of him – had taken the last one. He waved cheerily at us as he skipped away. Maethyn sent her scorpion after him: Deathdew returned with one of the dwarf's toes.
Not feeling particularly adventuresome, nor cheered by our grisly trophy of petty vengeance, Maethyn and I then strode along the docks where various Masters waited to teach the worthy their knowledge. Good thing, too: a kobold attempted to infiltrate their number by posing as a sorcerer, but my axe ended his threat. Maethyn wrote on her blade again: a good healer and faithful companion she may be, but her sense of style is something I do not understand.
We listened for a time to the Master Bard's song, until he stopped playing and asked us why we looked so sad. Maethyn told him of the gear we failed to obtain. I told him of poor Scalebane.
The Bard said he couldn't do anything about my unfortunate pet's fate, but he did know someone who could help us with our other problem. He referred us to a friend of his, who spent her evenings in the Wayward Lobster. He said she had funds and contacts, if we cared to ask her help. After getting directions to the place, my cleric and I went looking for this tavern. On the way, we helped a man with his spider infestation, and also a pitiful kobold whom I only spared because he asked me to remove some animals humanely.
When we finally got to this tavern, a holy place of liquid worship, I could not help but feel refreshed. Korthos village's tavern had been sadly lacking in cheer and patronage, but Stormreach was a fully-fledged city, and the Wayward Lobster was much more cozy. There was a sizable crowd off to the side, and the Bard told us that his friend liked an audience, so we tried there first. I will never forget what I saw.
If I had thought Kaja a harlot, this woman was the Goddess of Seduction. I swear she was dancing in her smallclothes. Also, playing a lute and balancing a bowl of soup on her head. I almost didn't notice that she was a drow.
The drow finished her song, swept the bowl of soup off her head, and gave her audience a flourishing bow. The spectators cheered with gusto and clapped. The crowd began to thin and, against my better judgment, we approached.
The woman dropped with great drama into her chair, setting the lute aside. She took up her spoon and sipped at the miraculously unspilled soup. She did not look up when we came up to her.
“May we sit?” Maethyn asked.
Our supposed contact licked clean her spoon, stuck it to her nose, and leaned back in her chair to regard us both with curiosity.
Oh yes. She's a lunatic.
“You may,” the drow bade, propping her bare feet on the table. We sat.
“The Master Bard on the docks sent us,” the cleric continued.
The drow looked very serious of a sudden. “Oh, no. He doesn't want his shoes back, does he? I only took the left ones. I left him plenty to wear!”
I told Maethyn we had to leave, or I was going to add 'drow' to my favored enemy list, if you know what I mean. She did not move.
“He said you could help us. We only just came to Stormreach, and we need gear to help us in our adventures.”
The drow grinned behind her nose-spoon. “Why didn't you say so! I'll set you up as soon as-”
There was a commotion over by the door which seemed to draw all her attention. The patrons of the tavern hooted catcalls, and a tall, ruggedly-handsome yet disappointingly-lean human man strolled up to our table. He ignored Maethyn and I completely. Judging by his smile and wink, I was rather glad of that.
“Didn't put this show on just for me, Eg, did ya?”
The drow tossed away her spoon and leapt to her feet with a big smirk.
“Of course I did, teddy bear. I heard you were comin' 'round tonight.”
The man pulled a golden pendant out of his jacket and dangled it in front of our host, who followed it with enraptured eyes.
“How about we discuss this upstairs?” he suggested.
The drow grinned and offered him her arm. They skipped away without another word.
I looked at Maethyn. Maethyn looked at me. Deathdew scared a woman two tables away by crawling under her skirt.
“This is ridiculous,” I said.
“She seems nice,” Maethyn shrugged.
Meanwhile, the barkeeper brought drinks (“Anyone at Eg's table gets one on the house!”) so, I deigned to remain in the establishment for some minutes longer. I asked if there was cod on the menu. The man brought some.
About ten minutes after her ribald disappearance, the drow woman returned, this time fully clothed and humming a tune. Her fashion was certainly – colorful. Ostentatious is a better word. But fully-clothed, and that was the important bit.
She flopped back into her seat and dropped a bag at our feet, looking proud of herself.
“Here ya go.”
“That's quite the favor you've done us,” Maethyn said, opening the bag and taking inventory of its contents.
“It's got blood on it,” I said.
The drow waved a hand. “Just wash in cold water, that'll come right out. Always works for my lute. I'm Egelpha, by the way. But everyone calls me Eg.”
She grinned toothily. The bag she gave us smelled like the man who she'd left with.
Maethyn introduced herself, and then me. Egelpha cooed over Deathdew when he came scuttling over. Honestly, drow and their bugs. It's unnatural.
“Say, would you like to help me with something?” the lunatic asked when she was done groping Deathdew's chitinous tail.
Maethyn horrified me by nodding.
“I've gotta go take care of some orcs for a friend of mine, and I could use some backup. Those orc casters don't find me pretty.” She actually pouted.
“Ng,” I said, my eye feeling twitchy.
“Orc magic, hm?” Maethyn looked quite interested.
“I like you girls!” Eg laughed loudly, raising her mug of beer. “To the beginning of a beautiful friendship!”
Famous last words, those.