It seems that surviving the flame filled airship plummeting to the earth was the high point of this journey so far. After a night spent huddled in a dark hole in the ground, waiting for a specter to reappear, my companions and I headed out toward Dalaran, taking no road but that seen by Wiggles’ trained eye and the sand stretch of shore. This turned out to be a mistake.
As Younghoof and I spoke of this group and the possibility that they could be something more, fate saw fit to grant our undead’s heartfelt wish, to see Merlocks. Slack jawed with touristic glee, he was caught unaware when they charged us, flying towards us with crud driftwood spears. Luckily for Syrnek, the forsaken seem remarkably resistant to spears, as they have few organs, and those they do have serve no virile purpose.
Wiggles, my ever stalwart ally, brought the first of the creatures down with his bow, and my moonglaive wounded two, but sadly my magic was not yet puissant enough to slay them. Younghoof and Chizbolt, yes yes I know I said I would refuse to refer to the goblin by his name but he has become a worthy ally, slew a number of the seafolk and then the Tauren charged to my aid. Even as the last merlock fell, the sound of hooves overtook the bluster of the surf.
Grievously wounded but alive, I was able bury Syrnek, as a precautionary measure, as a company of mounted warriors rode down on us. Bearing the mark, ratty and torn as they were, of Stromguard, their commander Gyrim, informed us that we were trespassing in the lands of one Gallen Trollbane. Pretentious humans, they believe that all they land they claim is inviolate, whether they have the ability to defend it or not. I tried to explain that as a part of the Alliance, they had no recourse to waylay us, but they cited the strength of their arms, and soon we were in the Trollbane camp. But not before Younghoof left a gruesome warning that these beaches and their inhabitants were not to be trifled with. I hope that the rotting heads of their loved ones staring out into the sea is a blatant enough message to the merlocks.
It was a rouse. Gyrim turned out to be Gallen, for reasons that are still beyond my intellect to comprehend. He named a need for security, as if outnumbering a group of five travelers fresh from a fight with sea scum was not security enough. Gallen presented an impassioned plea to aid him in recovering a ring, a rightful sign of his lineage to the rulers of Stromguard. It seems that this ruler in exile has been driven out by ogres and bandits from his city. One of these bandits stole said ring, how is beyond me. One would think that you would keep tokens such as this on ones person.
Gallen offered us passage through his “lands” in return for retrieving this ring from the bandit known as Daric Lightfinger, as if this were his leave to give. But I negotiated for provisions and horses on top of this, which he was quick to offer. After a short rest in their bivouac, in which I possibly learned a spell or infact wasted my time with a crazy lady, we headed into the ‘city’ of Stromguard.
If this Gallen wants this city, he is welcome too it. The fighting has taken its toll on this place and I had no wish to linger. It reminded me of my homelands, and the desire to see them restored. But restoration doesn’t come from minor skirmishes or a protracted war. I can see this clearer now. I am more convinced than ever that the runestones hold the keys to reestablishing my lands to their true glory once again.
Once in the city, Wiggles and Chizbolt scouted our route through the streets, endeavoring to find Lightfinger and to keep us out of the paths of the occupier’s patrols. Younghoof was separated from the group for a time, and when he returned a strange fire lit his eyes, his spirit shone brightly behind them. I must speak to him about what happened, but there was no time in the heat of this mission.
Chizbolt found the bandit king, and he and I snuck around to aid Younghoof and Wiggles in flanking their camp. While Lightfinger and his lackey’s preened and pranced, Chizbolt revealed one of his adroit creations that he had crafted from scavenged scrap, a bomb. With silent elation, the goblin hurled the explosive device at the largest group of the bandits. Between that and my flame hands spell, we make short work of 4 of the humans, while the rest of the group mopped up the few remaining. A short inspection of the camp lead us to finding the ring, and a handsome sampling from the bandit’s plunder.
Heading back, and the journey to Dalarn still lay before us, so we gathered out breathe and strode back out into Stromguard.