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Library: Bravery and Wariness

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Author: gilead
Date:May 4 2004

Come, sit down by the fire for a while, and listen to the story I wish to tell
of bravery and wariness..

It all happened a long time ago, in the early days of my adventuring days. At
that time, I was part of an adventuring party named Wolves of Midnerbam. Our
group consisted of Merissa, jolly and cheerful female halfling rogue, Cedric,
quiet male half-elven ranger, wanderer of the wilds, Rhigol, zealous male
human cleric of St. Cuthbert (eradicator of all that's evil), Fras, muscular
and short-tempered male human warrior and, naturally, story-teller
extraordinary, exceptionally impressive minstrel, a bard with a big mouth,
yours truly. We were all full of the might of our youth and quite foolhardy.

Lately we had been making our living in a restless borderline area as
sell-swords for merchant caravans and catching thugs and brigands with rewards
on their heads. We knew of an kobold band ambushing merchant caravans in the
area and after hearing of the substantial reward we decided to take care of
the problem.

We set out at dawn. Our ranger lead us to northern forests, where the kobolds
were known to take residence. Soon we found tracks which led us straight into
the ugly camp of these filthy and lazy beasts. Their guards managed to scream
an alarm, but only seconds before we hit the camp. Battle was quickly over;
some of the barely awaken kobolds tried to resist (but were quickly slain)
while some tried to run, only to fall into arrows of our ranger. Last kobold
fell to a crossbow bolt shot by our priest. The camp wasn't big and there was
no sight of the merchandises taken from the caravans. After counting twelve
kobold corpses (and snipping their ears off, naturally) Cedric continued to
lead us deeper into the forest. After some time of walking (a river or two,
numerous rocks, great number of trees - every forest looks the same to me) we
slowed our pace and Cedric whispered "We're getting near, wait here". Cedric
returned from scouting after a while and beckoned us to follow.

There was an extinguished fireplace but no guards at the entrance of the cave
-  and ashes were still warm. Merissa, our rogue, looked a bit troubled but
there was no reason to turn back now. We divided into two groups, ranger and
thief scouting ahead and me, Rhigol and Fras in their heavy armours clattering
behind.

We advanced into the cave without a problem. There were lit torches placed in
the holders on even intervals. Noise and rattle from the armours of the cleric
and the fighter was frighteningly loud in the silence of the cave. Suddenly we
heard Cedric screaming in pain from farther off. "Onwards, in the name of holy
Cuthbert!", Rhigol shouted and started running with Fras. Their way was
quickly cut off, though, by humanoid-like creatures wielding clubs and shields
who stepped seemingly out of the shadows. They had reptilian skin, broad
forehead, a muzzle and a tail! "Thee are oursss now!", they laughed and
attacked. Our brave fighters leaped right into the fray, me running right
behind them, when something suddenly hit the back of my head and everything
went black.

I awoke in dim and gloomy room, lying on a hard rock floor. Someone was
shaking me and my head throbbed with pain. The pulsating pain mellowed out a
bit after I heard our cleric mumble some prayers. Besides me and Rhigol, Fras
was there, with his left arm bandaged. Our weapons or armour were nowhere to
be found. The room we were in was a cell and the door was locked. While
cursing how easily we fell for the enemy ambush, Fras told me that the battle
had not lasted long and neither of my companions had seen anyone afterwards.
We had just started to discuss about possible ways to get away from our
captors when a dark figure appeared in front of the bars.

The figure hushed as Fras was about to yell and Rhigol raised his hand to
silence our fighter. Mysteryman twiddled his time with the lock of the cell,
opened it and stepped in. Lifting her hood she revealed the smiling face of
Merissa. "Don't look so gloomy and scared. We'll be out of here in no time!",
Merissa smirked. Behind her in the corridor stood Cedric and an old man with a
stooped back wearing rags. "We took him along from our cell. He told us of an
way out", Merissa whispered.

Merissa took care of scouting and the rest of us sneaked in the back to our
best ability. Apparently the gods were on our side and we didn't had to use
clubs and spears we picked up from a weaponrack along the way. Two guards we
encountered along the way were dragged into dark corners with Merissa's small
daggers in their necks. At last we saw sunshine and rushed back the village.

Later on the man we rescued told us that the lizard-like creatures were
responsible for attacking the caravans and that they kidnapped humans and used
them as their personal slaves and also sold them to southern countries. After
restocking our supplies and equipment we joined forces with another band and
set for the caves again.. but that, my friend, is a whole different story..


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