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Tales from Grandpa - Chapter 2
--Grandpa, grandpa tell us another story,
--Oh all right. What'll I tell you little buggers about this time.
--Tell us what happened to the dog that wasn't a dog!
--Oh him, well that's a long story kids and it's getting kind of late and....
--Oh okay, but like I said it's a long story and I'll have to tell you what happened after
we'd rescued him from the ogres. You see, it happened something like this...
We'd fought them ogres and their fiend and managed to survive relatively
unscathed...well except for that Storm Bull that got ripped in half by the fiend that is,
and Stikklebrix's leg wound and...oh, nevermind.
Well we'd survived and managed to keep the Storm Bulls from getting too pissed off at us
over the lack of loot by paying to resurrect their boy and buying em a lot of beer.
The next day we made our way into the Rubble to the place where we were to meet Sax
Bolderson and pick up the package we said we'd deliver for him. It was Storm Season so the
sky was pissing away as usual. The plan as Hallelujah'd told us was that Sax would have
three separate parties delivering identical packages for him to reduce the chance of the
package being intercepted. When we got to the meeting place who did we see but that bugger
Stikklebrix and a bunch of stinkin' Pol Joni waitin' there on their stinkin' taboo horses
lookin' as cocky and self-satisfied as a Lunar tax collector backed up by a Tax Demon and
a coupla units of Lunar hoplites. Sax hisself was there with these horrible claw marks on
his face that kept slowly oozing blood. (He'd told his sister Hallelujah
Harnsdottir, the Barbeester Gor, that they'd been made by a troll. All I knew was that I
didn't want to meet the troll that done that).
There was a third party there as well, a little spook covered from head to toe, all
dressed in grey with even his or her face covered. Hallelujah, Stikklebrix and the spook
went over to talk to Sax.
He was sitting on that thing he rode-(meanest critter I ever seen anyone ride. It looked
mostly like a taboo horse when you looked at it dead on but if you looked at it out of the
corner of your eye sometimes you'd get a different view of it. I heard that a Lhankhor Mhy
looked at it once with shaman's vision and fainted dead away. All I know is that anything
that was as fond of eatin' human flesh as that thing wasn't a horse and wasn't anything I
wanted to either snuggle up to or try and ride. The general consensus among the local
kahns and shamans was that this critter wasn't a horse (no matter what it looked like) so
it wasn't taboo to ride.
Anyway, Sax told the three of them where the packages were to be delivered to, who to and
by when. Lou, err Hallelujah took one, Stikklebrix took another and the spook took the
third. Stix tied his to his horse while the spook hefted its box, sort of turned sideways
Lou came back to our group with her box which was about the size of a human torso.
The box had been covered by green hides stitched together which were then
left to dry so the box couldn't be opened without cutting the hides off. It was real heavy
about the weight of all the junk those Sun Dome templar wimps regularly schelp around. She
stashed the box on the back of Greystone's bison and we got ready to leave. She was just
about to quietly tell us where we was to go when that idiot Stix makes his horse rear up
and shouts, "Off to Corflu!" Then the whole bunch of Pol Joni tear off towards
Yelm's breakfast nook whooping their fool heads off, yippin' and waving their weapons
about. Morons. Kids, let me tell ya the only good horse rider is a dead one. Na,
forget that there ain't no good horse riders!
We got ready to go and quietly headed off towards Garhound. We had enough grub for a week
which we figured would get us to Rabbit Hat Farm where we could replenish our supplies.
Lou told us that we were supposed to travel to Corflu before Sacred Time and deliver this
box to some priest there. We figured this would be pretty much a cake walk. Ha!
The trip to Garhound was quiet and we had a nice reunion with Caryllon Squally and his
wife Melisande and the triplets. Damn kids were as big as five year olds even though they
were only two or so. Weird kids. We spent a nice evening sitting around drinking and
swappin' lies. We were just getting ready to sing "Cold Wind over Sartar" when
we heard the drums. Bloody Zorak Zorani war drums. Guess the trip wasn't going to be as
much a cake walk as expected. Since we were planning on travelling right through Sun
County we didn't think we'd have too much trouble.
The next day we travelled down to Harpoon where we were going to spend the night.
This is where the first real snag occurred. They (meaning the sun lover in charge, some
old geezer by the name of Valdus Creakylimbs or something like that) wanted the box opened
so they could inspect it for contrabrand. And us travelling with a Sun County noble,
(Baron Durnfal Strongspear of the Five Ears Fief), and having faithfully performed
services for the son! We didn't know what to do. Sax hadn't said that we couldn't open the
box but we was reluctant to. Valdus, the old priest who'd been left in charge in Harpoon
(the rest of the chief stick-up-the-butt types were at the main temple for some big
meeting) said that he'd perform a divination the next day to get an idea whether the box
contained anything of interest to the cult. This wasn't good. We didn't know what the hell
was in the box nor whether it was something the Yemalio cult would value. If it was
something they wanted would they grab it? You bet your llama they would. The
We all met in the "baron's" room to talk about it. Graystone cast a detect magic
and discovered that the box was a very powerful magic source. I cast a detect gold and
found out that the box was full of gold. This was looking worse and worse and those damn
drums throbbing away in the swamp down river weren't helping much.
We didn't want to turn the box over or let them open it so we
decided to bug out. Only one obstacle. The "baron" refused to leave and was
threatening to call the militia to keep us from leaving. What could we do? Talk hadn't
worked so we jumped him. Unfortunately it was kind of a half-assed effort at
jumping. I befuddled him but he shook it off right away. Then Lou jumped him. (A scary
sight, a Barbeester Gor almost two metres tall jumpin' you). Unfortunately Lou only had
her fist and Durnfal had his iron kukri (sort of a crooked little sword kids). He parried
her first blow and then chopped her in the leg which knocked her down since she still
hadn't recovered from the acid burns the Cacodemon priest had given her. The Baron said
he'd kill her and anyone else if anyone tried any thing fishy. He said that we could go
and that he'd give us till dawn before he'd raise the alarm.
We healed Lou up, gathered up our gear and headed down to the river. We managed to
persuade a boat man to take us as far as Chomorro where we could get off and head overland
to Rabbit Hat farm. Had to pay the bugger 2 wheels to get him to do it. We took off and
headed down the river.
Well we'd got away from Harpoon and headed down the river towards Helmbold. We travelled
all night (sleeping all the way while the poor boatman had to stay awake to steer) and hid
out in the swamp just north of Helmbold. Meanwhile, in Harpoon Durnfal waited all night
like he promised and at the crack of dawn he went to the old priest and spilled the beans.
The old priest sent a vrok hawk carrying a message about us to Sun Dome and cast his
divination. He discovered that the box did contain something important to the cult.
Durnfal said he would head to Chomorro and try and head the party off. He
went down to the water front and used his status as a River Voice and his meager oratory
skills to persuade the boat people to help get him to Chomorro. They believed his spiel
and agreed to help him. Relay teams of riverfolk sped him down river to Chomorro and the
bugger even beat us there. When he got there he was told that Belvani, the Light Son's
Lieutenant and 18 templars would be force marching down to Chomorro to "apprehend the
We got off the boat and marched around Helmbold. The boatman headed past Helmbold, picked
us up down river and then we decided that we would spend the day hiding and then travel to
just before Chomorro, get off the boat and head cross country to throw off the pursuit.
We slogged cross country to the edge of Vulture Country. Quite a change from the last time
we'd been in this area back in Fire Season. The dash across country was pretty uneventful
and once we hit the edge we turned south and skirting the edge of Vulture Country avoiding
Lunar homesteaders. It took us about five days to hit the edge of the river delta and the
marsh along the shores of the Rogazzi Sea. Then, like the bunch of geniuses we was we
finally remembered that Corflu was on an island! We decided that we'd wander along the
edge of the delta, through the marsh and then turn west along the beach until we reached a
point south of Corflu and then head north somehow.
I never want to see that damn marsh or delta ever again. It was a nightmare. Picture it
key mile after key mile of water and mud, mosquitos as big as tick birds, leeches as long
as your leg, and every other kind of stinkin' bug you never want to see. Thank Waha it was
winter or it'd been worse. I still shudder to think what worse would be like. Nowhere
solid to rest your butt and walking like a slave. Stupid little islands that look solid
enough until you try and walk on em. We was down to short rations since we'd been planning
on stopping at Rabbit Hat Farm to resupply. Nothing to eat unless you like cattails or
leeches. Nobody in our bunch could catch a fish to save their life. It took us two days to
wade through the muck. Worse two days of my life. Well almost. I was so happy to see the
dunes along the Rogazzi that I lay down and kissed the sand. We headed along the beach
eating raw crabs and sleeping in the rain. At least we was out of the marsh.
At the end of our second day on the beach we was hailed by some burke in fisher folk garb.
We told him we was looking for Corflu and he said that maybe his folk could help us. He
was cautious around us until we indicated that we was River Voices. Then he said (cheeky
bugger) that for 2 wheels he'd head back to his village and bring enough coracles to take
us there. We waited another day until six fisherfolk in coracles returned. As usual
that bloody Humakt Svart Ulfsson was suspicious of an ambush but these simple buggers
weren't any threat to us. (Sigh, back into the damn marsh). We paddled away in these tubs
and towards nightfall we reached this village of stilt huts. That bloody Humakti was
nervous again but the chief greeted us and offered us salt and fish. We settled down for a
welcoming feast. I was never so happy to eat cooked fish as I was that night.
The next day we talked to the headman and asked him how far we was from Corflu. He told us
we was all the way on the other side of the delta from it. We asked whether he would send
someone to Corflu to check whether Amur An Zed was there or not. He agreed to send
somebody and we asked him to take Ratbane with him to scope the place out. It took him a
week to travel there and back and when he got back he told us that there was no sign of
the priest and that his ship wasn't in the harbour. There was however definite signs of
the bloody sunny spear holders. About twenty of them including that bugger Durnfal. Livin'
high on the hog at the one inn in town, dining on fish eggs, newtling tails and diddling
serving wenches (devout follower of Yemalio my ass!) We decided to wait a week and then
the lot of us would head to Corflu. We spent the next week helping out as best we could
with the day to day life in the stilt village, eating fish and cattail biscuits, cattail
stew, cattail stir fry, etc., bloody, etc.
We headed off after the week in six coracles (one for each of us and
an extra for the package). It must have took us a couple of days to reach Corflu. We sent
one of the coracles on ahead and he came back and told us the priest's ship was in looking
rather the worse for wear. He also told us that a squad of Lunar marines was guarding the
ship and that there was a couple of boat loads of Lunars rowing about with torches. We
decided that Greystone and Gerhardt would "sneak" up towards the ship at night
in coracles and Gerhardt would try and mindspeak someone on deck to see where the priest
was at. The rest of us held back in our coracles just within his spell range near this
little island that the boatpeople told us was the site for a Magasta shrine. We could see
the Lunars in their boats and the Churner (that was the name of the priest's ship-not that
it was his ship mind you) tied up at one of the deep sea docks.
The two coracles (no wait it was three, the package went as well!)
got within range and Gerhardt cast his spell at a bloke on deck. Well, who should he
mindspeak but the captain of the ship some bugger named Barran the Monster-slayer. Barran
told Gerhardt that the priest was on board and that he'd make arrangements to pick up the
package. He went down into the boat and after a little while he and these two other burkes
came up and one of them slid into the water. A little while later a merman stuck his head
out of the water and asked for the package. They handed it to him and turned to leave.
Just about then the Lunars spotted them and all hell broke loose.
They started rowing over shooting "Surrender in the name of Moonson!" Us lot in
the back couldn't really tell what was going on but later on Greystone and Gerhardt told
us that they both decided to try the water at the same time. Good thing they were both
River Voices. They cast their spells and slipped into the water. Literally. Daft buggers
couldn't swim to save their lives. Literally. There they was, able to breathe water and
see perfectly, slowly sinkin' into the 12 metres of muck at the bottom of the Delta.
Gerhardt told me he actually managed to swim a bit but it wasn't good enough.
Fortunately for them the merman or another merman from the ship came and saved both of
them. (It's a good thing they was already in the water. Probably made cleaning their
britches a sight easier. I would have had to change mine alrighty).
Meanwhile the rest of us was sitting tight as our coracle boys paddled off. That is until
they realized that the Lunars was gonna catch us and one of em took a crossbow quarrel in
the side. That reduced their enthusiasm somewhat. The lot of them dropped their oars and
surrendered right then and there. The Lunars rowed up all cool and collected and demanded
that we throw our weapons into their boat. That fool Humakti refused to do so saying he'd
be on his honor not to put up a fight. Well, them Lunars weren't buying this and told him
he had two choices do as they says or they'd run over his leather washtub and send him to
the bottom. He changed his tune but he wasn't none too happy about it I'll tell ya.
The next thing we know the three of us ( Lou, Svart and me) was tossed in jail. The red
cloaks was pretty nice I must say-for red cloaked, chaos loving scum. Just cuffed us a bit
if we was sassy, made some crude remarks about Lou and then left us alone. They left us to
rot in jail all night not knowing what had happened to Gerhardt or Greystone. We were
separated from the boatpeople and later we heard that when Durnfal and Belvani went to
talk with them (intending to play good town guard/bad town guard) they sang like tick
birds spilling all the water in the bag to the last drop.
Meanwhile Gerhardt and Greystone was taken to the Churner by the merman and helped aboard.
Barran the Monsterslayer had em dragged below and locked in a cabin until morning. He met
with Belvani and Durnfal the next morning and told em and the Lunar authorities that he
only needed what was in the box for one short trip and then he'd return em. Them being
these three torches of everburning that Cragspider crafted from the living blood of the
god Yemalio hisself shed at the Hill of Gold! Didn't our jaws drop when we heard that. The
reaction of the Yemalio Belvani and the Lunars puzzled the lot of us cause they seemed
reluctant to do anything about Barran having the torches. Durnfal explained it to us
later in that snotty tone of his. He said that we (meaning the Yemalians) had just
as much power in Corflu as the Lunars were prepared to give us (meaning none) while the
Lunars weren't ready to rile any deep sea captain in case the rest of them started staying
away from Corflu. Besides, Barran paid his taxes on the torches and that was that, no
Lunar laws had been broken after all. So the trade was on, Barran got to use the
torches for one trip, with Durnfal going along to make sure he returned em (seems Belvani
didn't care for sea voyages) while Barran kept his two guests and got the use of the three
prisoners the Lunars had. (They'd let all
the boat people go after warning em not to do it again and chopping the little finger off
of all their left hands to mark em as troublemakers).
So there we was, on this damn boat with our buddy Durnfal agin wondering what some crazy
burke nicknamed the "monster killer" wanted with us and three torches that kept
burning no matter what.
Now piss off and let me sleep!
On to the Tales of Grandpa 3
Last updated October 07, 2016
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