Title: Prophecy Revealed By Önundr Tyggrason
Regions: Hralfsted, The Kingspyres
Two hill giants and a bear emerged from the trees. It took some time, but we managed to kill one of the giants and the bear. We pursued the fleeing giant down the path, but couldn’t find him (amazingly enough). He didn’t get as far as where we kept our animals. It must’ve run headlong into the forest off the hill. I found an old dwarven waist cincher on one of them. I threw it in my pack. There were a bunch of other miscellaneous items we grabbed while Renardo and Demyan brought the animals back.
Once the horses were secured to the wagon, we were off. We took a wrong turn somewhere and had to backtrack. That wasn’t easy as the wagon had to go backward slowly until we could turn it around. When we made our way up again, Demyan saw another marking post. It read, ”...so to all who comes to Hralfsted.”
If this was a warning, we ignored it. We spotted a depression off the trail that ran parallel to it. Renardo went down to scout it out. It opened up to a paved plaza. It was getting dark and the plaza offered shelter, but it looked too good to be true. We decided to set up some eyes of alarm and camp on the trail instead.
The next morning was filled with the smell of bear meat over a fire. Demyan was cooking up a fine breakfast. With our bellies full, we explored the plaza. A great battle took place here a long time ago. The gates were smashed in. Hints of magic hang over them. Navi saw something glint in the sunlight. It was a fallen dwarf in armor killed by the collapsing building on top of him. It wore a necklace. I picked it up and noticed it was a holy symbol of the Dagda.
We decided to send a scouting mission below. Renardo and Navi accompanied me with the magic lamp. More remains littered the hallway. Corpses of dwarves and giants were everywhere. My people paid a heavy price for every inch they gave up. After descending a hundred feet, a large stone door cut into the rock opened into a giant plaza. I could see the forge to the right. There were even more corpses down here. The entire place had been looted eons ago. I performed hand of fate to ask which of the three passages would lead to my mother and father. One passage would surely lead to the residential area, another to a mine, the third is anyone’s guess. It could possibly go to other towns. The hand pointed toward the passage that likely led to residences. I asked what direction and it pointed downward to the left. Again, this would seem like it would be from the residences.
With our scouting finished, we made our way back to the surface. The plaza was empty. There was no sign of struggle. Maybe walking through the door teleported us somewhere. There were some tracks. We followed them around the corner. They were drinking. What the hell were they thinking moving the cart out into the open like that?
We told them what we found. Before going down, Almador pulled me aside and looked at me more seriously than I’ve ever seen him. He asked what he should do if my parents are in jeopardy. Everyone else stopped what they were doing and listened. I had been dreading this moment almost as much as the confrontation below. How could I ask my friends to surrender when their lives are not what my enemy wants? In the end I could only tell them what I would do. If I see my parents are going to die, I could not watch that. I would sacrifice myself for them.
When I finished, a voice behind us rang out saying he’s glad to hear what I just said. We turned and saw our assailant with the hood from Tumbledown. He somehow managed to find out about our arrival and ruin our surprise. He told us he wanted me to follow him down below. Then he pulled out a coin from a back pocket and said if there is any violence, he’d signal to kill my parents. I said I’d only go down accompanied by my companions. He said it was acceptable as long as there is no violence.
We cracked some sunrods and followed him back down into the plaza. Six dwarves with crossbows surrounded my father. He looked unharmed. The look in his eyes was happy, but then it turned to sadness. He mouthed, “I’m sorry.” There was a lot of shouting and demands. Finally, our enemy gestured to led my father come forward to tell me “the truth”.
I told me I was adopted, that I’m a fourth son from the Blackrock clan. My name appears in her lead book; therefore I am cursed. LIES! All lies! How could my father and mother not be just that? These fanatic followers of the Dagda must have forced father to say such hurtful words. I wanted to strike them all down as they stood, but I could not. My father would surely die and my mother was nowhere to be seen. They wanted to take me and my father to her. The hooded man swore he would let my parents go back to their lives if I exchanged my life for theirs. What could I do if I want to save them? This must be one huge misunderstanding.
My comrades were all twitchy as they couldn’t understand what was being said. I finally agreed to go with them, but asked that I be allowed to escort them to the surface to part ways before returning. He allowed us to go.
Once up top, I briefly filled them in on the situation, omitting the part about being adopted and all that. I was going to give them most of my gear and go back down alone. We argued a lot, but I couldn’t let them die for me. I angered Don Renardo so gravely that he said a few cutting words and walked off. I prayed to Hrumnir for some guidance, but there was no response. In a desperate attempt, I made a sending to my mother. “Respond in twenty-five words. Will they let you go if I come with dad? How can I save you? I am at Hralfsted with Dagda.” Her response was that she had lived a full life, that I should live on, and that she loves me. I could never say no to my mother. She always knew what was best for me even I thought I knew better. As I became older, I understood her wisdom and aspired to be like her. I hope that I can now be humble and selfish enough to accept her wisdom one last time. No child wants to see his parent die, but even more tragic is the parent who witnesses their child’s death. There is no guarantee that any of us will live or die during this ordeal. I know the stories of old of fourth sons. I read Kier the Destroyer over and over as a child. Some were great heroes while others fell into infamy, but most amounted to nothing, assassinated by a rival clan or crushed under the burden to create a new dwarven golden age.
After receiving the sending, I fell to the ground, tears streaming down my ashen face. It took several minutes to gather my thoughts. “My mother replied. She wishes that I live. If it is true that I am a child of prophecy, we have stories and songs of great heroes from our past. I do not claim to be any such hero, but I do believe I have a choice to do something positive for my people. Hrumnir would not have chosen me to represent him if this was some cosmic game. Our gods do not war amongst themselves like others – at least not after the godswar eons ago when Duer betrayed us and was forever banished to the darkness. If I give myself up and my parents are returned to their home, what would happen to them if I am able to escape? It is time to end this nonsense! My friends, if you are still with me, will you stand with me to end the madness below? I would like to save my parents if that is possible. Maybe my church can protect them. Hrumnir called me for a purpose. I think my mother understood that. Whatever the outcome, if I live, I’d like to speak with Priestess Gudrun in Portti Linnoitus. She was the one who sent me to the world above when this all began. I’d also like to speak with Abbot Tasgall in my home town of Kolme Puroihin, but it might not be prudent to journey so far into my homeland if there are others who are seeking me out. Let us draw up a battle plan and return quickly. We have delayed for too long.”
|XP: 550 each, 50 for snacks|