The Adventures of Alaric Ironclaw
On to Haven:
My companions and I signed on as guards to the caravan and were assigned our stations. Forest and the half-orc with the unpronounceable name were sent ahead while I, Sherlock and Henryk were assigned to stay with the caravan. We were not long on our journey before a band of felons attacked us as we passed through a narrow gap betwixt two hills. I could hear the sound of fighting and was eager to rush forward to lend my sword to aid our two comrades in arms. Cries of "Take that you rotter” and "Watch yourself, he’s got a knife” could be heard. Eventually we saw our two friends marching triumphantly back carrying weapons taken from dead bandits or those dropped by fleeing cowards. We continued on without further mishap.
As we approached Haven, traffic on the road became heavier. People were flocking to the city to sell whatever they had and to buy whatever was available. I had never seen such a concentration of people of different races having come from the northern wastelands. There were merchants, farmers selling their livestock, entertainers and musicians, people selling food from stalls in the street as well as inns and ale-houses aplenty. I was surprised when a rather friendly young lady approached me and offered to take me to a warehouse. At least I think that’s what she said, but the crowd was very noisy and I didn’t quite catch her.
We eventually reached the caravan’s destination and we were paid our wages which we all immediately took to the nearest inn. The day wore on and I decided to go and have a wander around the streets. I gazed once again on the myriad sights the town had to offer. I came upon a board in a square with papers pinned to it. I sauntered over to have a look. Someone was looking for a dire weasel they had lost, another was offering a reward for the head of some criminal. I was going to take that job when something caught my eye. A wizard, Magalor by name, was seeking to recruit adventurers for a quest. Well, I immediately tore it down and rushed back to the inn thrusting under the noses of my new companions. "Anyone fancy trying this?” I said eagerly. As one they nodded and we set off to find this mysterious wizard. Magic users, you see, are an uncommon breed, only the cleverest of people are recruited into there ranks. I had never met one nor had any of my friends.
There was a long queue of men, women, dwarves, elves, orcs and several beings I had never come across before waiting at the wizard’s door. Every now and then the door would open and a party of adventurers would go in. We were far back in the queue and it would take ages for us to reach the head of it. We resigned ourselves to a long wait. Then we caught sight of some barging there way through. "What the hell, they’re no better than us, we’ll force ourselves to the front” we decided, and so we did.
We knocked on the door and it opened, as if by magic. Well, not ‘as if by magic’ it really did open by magic. We walked in and were faced with a large staircase. We began climbing but never seemed to reach anywhere. We wandered up and down stairs, along landings, around corners for what seemed an age. Eventually the half-orc with the unpronounceable name said "I bet this is an illusion, after all we are going to meet a wizard.” As soon as these words were spoken a door appeared and through we went. There to greet us was indeed the wizard Magalor.
"Congratulations adventurers, you have found me.” This was the first time I had seen a wizard. They had only featured in stories told by the light of a camp fire to while away a winter’s night, never did I think I would meet a real one. I listened attentively as he spoke.
"You are about to go through a test,” he said "a test which will show me if you are worthy to aid me in a quest for an item of great value.” He turned his stare on each of us in turn. "How say you, are you willing to undertake the test?”
We looked at each other and nodded in agreement. "Yes we will take your test.”
"Very well, just go through the door on your left.”
On going through the door we found ourselves in a large room with numbered doors along its walls. At the far end was a set of twenty keys each hanging on its own hook. We walked up to it and took a key at random, number 19. This would be our first foray into Magalor’s dungeon.
Stay tuned for more.....