Sigurd Ironhammer shivered in the cold night. He didn’t like it here. Boatman’s Ferry was a godforsaken town in a godforsaken province, and if anything, the dirty alley behind Felldragon Inn, in which Sigurd Ironhammer currently found himself, was even more godforsaken. Every second he could be mugged by bandits, or worse, get the contents of a shitpot tossed at him from one of the upper floor windows.
He tugged at his coat. Baldur was late. Typical of a dwarf.
It took half an hour of Sigurd worrying about raining feces, before a horseman came trotting slowly down the alley. The rider was slumped in the saddle. An ominous sign.
Sigurd rested a hand on his sword and approached the rider. It was Baldur alright. Sigurd grimaced; The dwarf had three crossbow bolts sticking out of his chainmail shirt.
Oh well.. Sigurd thought to himself, …Guess I’ll have to find ano-“YAAATARH!” his thoughts turned into an exclamation, as the dead dwarf suddenly grabbed hold of his coat. Baldur held his gaze and spoke, his voice a feeble rasp; “Shadows in the mist. Death from the darkne- cough cough all dead, they’re all dead…”
“All of them, eh?” Sigurd asked, disappointed, “I thought you were the best?”
Baldur spluttered “…The pass at Strongfall, our elf ranger died there, brave though she were, gutted by the blades of the Black Orcs… The savage monsters of Coldmarsh claimed our noble barbarian… The cursed Fenbeast of Black Pines took our wise wizard… Our thief cough cough our thief was lost in the deadly traps of Ravenflight…”
Sigurd poked his ear in irritation “I don’t really know any of those places, old friend, but did you at least find the… you know, the amulet?”
“No, and damn your amulet. " Baldur gurgled and slumped back over the saddle.
Unfazed, Sigurd tried again “Perhaps, when, or if, you recover, I could talk you into leading another quest to recover the amulet?”
Baldur feebly raised himself “Damn your suicidal quest, Imperial. If I survive, I’m going back to gold mining in Tavastia.”
Sigurd sighed and conceded defeat to the quarrelsome dwarf “Oh well, thanks for your time. Sorry for the mortal wounds and all.”
“Actually, I think I’ll make it.” Baldur said and instantly died.
Sigurd was annoyed, his entire band of merry adventures had met unfortunate ends… again. This was, like, the fourth time that had happened. Baron Theodemir was getting impatient. Oh, and doom was approaching.
“Yes, we’re doomed alright.” Sigurd said to himself.
Shaking his head, he left the dwarf and his horse in the alley and entered Feldragon Inn. He would need a big mug of strong ale after this recent setback. Heck, he’d never find another group of hardy and reckless adventurers in time. The last four groups had been good, but Boatman’s Ferry was rapidly running out of adventurous strangers – oh wait, nevermind, there was a new bunch of adventurous strangers, right there in front of him!
They were perfect, totally perfect. A rough loincloth-clad and well-muscled barbarian with a terrible-looking broadsword seemed to be the leader of the group. A black-bearded dwarf, wearing a chainmail shirt, with a mug of ale in one hand and a mighty warhammer in the other, was quietly talking to him. Add to that a scantily clad elven female of seductive beauty, with a bow and arrow, and a mysterious looking thief, clad in black and with a glimpse of a sharp dagger tugged into his sleeve, not to mention the wise-looking pointy-hatted wizard with a look in his eyes as if he had seen beyond eternity and understood the secrets of the universe. Perfect indeed.
Sigurd made a little dance and approached the group.
“Salutations” Sigurd began, “…brothers and sisters of the Empire. I come to you in dire need. The Empire is threatened by Doom… Doom from the east! Do-” The seated barbarian calmly interrupted the speech with a raised hand. “I’m sorry, sheriff, but we’re not interested in what you’re selling.”
Sigurd blinked in surprise “But, what?… but I come to you with adventure! With dangers! With gold to be looted! A battle against evil to be won! Wi-”
“Really, sir..” the barbarian said “…we’re not interested. We’re pacifists, actually.”
Sigurd blinked in disbelief.
The scantily clad elven female interjected: “and we’re absolutely, positively, not interested in your quest, we all know what happened to the other fellowships who tried.”
Sigurd was amazed. But he didn’t know what to say, so he just blinked again.
“And the weapons we carry…” the dwarf continued “…we are carrying to the Temple of Shara’s Mercy, where they will be smelted into chalices, never again to be used to strike death into living flesh.”
“Shame on you…” the wizard said “…for assuming that you could lure us into mortal danger for mere gold. We are not mercenaries to be bought.”
“Yes…” the thief added “…why do you people always assume that we just sit here, all day long in the tavern, just waiting for some pompous fool to drop by with a silly quest? We have jobs you know.”
Doomed indeed. Sigurd’s brain was trying to jump out of his skull through his eyes, hence some rapid blinking. This was impossible. He would have to return to Baron Theodemir. With a sigh, Sigurd backed away from the crazy people at the table and walked out. He might as well give up.
He spent the next few hours walking around the streets, cursing his piss-poor luck, cursing barons, amulets, and approaching doom, and sighing some more. It was early dawn when he found himself at the dock and the ferry arrived. A band of adventurous-looking characters stepped ashore. Hope? They definitely looked like adventurers… Actually they looked a bit shabby.
Well, it wouldn’t do much to be picky at this point. Sigurd sauntered towards the new arrivals, readying his recruiting speech for the umpteenth time…
- Speak to Sigurd Ironhammer
- Become heroes
- Collect loot