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lstormhammer

The tale of The Five

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This Dungeons and Dragons game will use the Players Handbook, The Dungeon Master's Guide, and the Monster Manual. All are owned properties of Wizards of the Coast. Reaper Miniatures takes no responsibility for the contents therein. So don't sue, I'm poor.

 

---Begin---

 

Frederick the Elder, Greatfather to Greatfathers rests his ancient bones near the warm fire of the Inn. Eyes almost white with his years, he smiles as the barkeep brings his favored drink to his side. The children begin to gather around him, eyes wide and bright, sparkling in the evening fire's light. “Again! Again!” they chorus to him. His wrinkled features smile, for as his body succumbs to his hears as a warrior, the Gods have left his mind sharp as always. “Again?” he asks them, mirth bubbling in his voice. “What is this of again? Like a murder of crows you all yammer!” he chuckles, deep in his chest at his own jape. He knows the story these young, bright children wish to have. “The Five! The Five!” the chorus again, a wave of chuckles going through the common room as other patrons know the story to be told. “The Five, eh? Which Five?” he plays with the children. Cacophony rises as each child attempts to give him the details of which he knows by heart. Thin arms rise up to the air. “Enough! I know of which you speak, little ones! Now silence as I tell you once again...” The children quiet down, only on occasion squirming as they find comfort on the stones of the floor.

 

Frederick the Elder leans forward, his eyes intent as he speaks to the children. “Now, listen carefully, little ones. For the story begins on a day not unlike the day we've just ended...”

 

--

 

...The clang of the Blacksmith's hammer rings through the village, metal forged under heat and hammer. The scent of fresh-baked bread wafts through the buildings. A mule brays in the distance, quiet protest to its labors. Four long years have passed since the Fool's War swept this land in madness. Able-bodied men leaving, most never to return. Those left behind of too few winters, or far too many. But war brings death or manhood to those left behind, doubly so when the Orcish raiders from the north came sweeping through this village, burning the buildings and the famed orchards for which this village gains its namesake of Apple.

 

Lean, hungry years passed, long have the efforts been put forth from all corners of the kingdom to help those left here. The village survives, but a steep price was paid in sweat and tears. Only now does new fruit begin to hang heavy on the limbs of the trees, bright red jewels that can be seen from the center of town. New buildings are the order of the day, their wood fresh and unseasoned by the weather and time's passing. More influencial members of this town have stone buildings, the heavy blocks placed there by Human hands. The majority of the buildings are wood with warm, thatched roofing.

 

The village is a small crossroads, with a nice Inn that has seen better days. Fire gutted the building in the Fool's War, and only now is it coming back to its prior glory. Some folk say that in the deep hours of the night, you can hear the screams of those who passed on horribly from the fire that engulfed this building. As with many communities of Man, this serves as the community's center, the heart that beats and helps the whole thrive. Being daytime, most of the villagers work the fields of wheat, barley and oats. Leaving the Common Room bare for for a smattering of inhabitants.

 

But dark times are not far enough gone to be considered history, and still the villagers keep their eating knives sharpened and loose in their sheaths. A new threat begins to overshadow this land. Rumors mostly, at this time. A late shipment, missing livestock, an errant courier. Villagers will speak among themselves on such matters, but talk is nothing without actions...

 

--End--

 

--LSH

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The dwarf Rul sits comfortably on the front steps of the inn. He wears a durable set of leather armor that shows little sign of combat, though it show the dirt of many days travelling. A shortsword hangs comfortably from his belt. His shoulder length brown hair and two hand long beard are just now starting to pick up the grey that colors the beards and hair of most dwarves. Rumors of brewing trouble have brought him to this small crossroads hamlet. He bites into one of the towns famous apples and the juice runs down into his thick proud beard.

 

He thinks to himself,"The is promise of treasure hear, ancient and modern. Perhaps some new friends as well."

 

Rul smiles as one of the locals passes into the inn. He takes another bite of the apple and stands up breathing in the scents if Apple.

 

"Soon," he thinks,"I'll be on my way to fortune."

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The Halfling named Essieu Rose sits on a stool on a table by the fire, bent low over his lute. His fingers blur over the strings as he grinds his way through the ballad "Enfant doux du mien", a favorite from across the kingdom.

 

He is outlandishly dressed in white shirt with poofy sleeves and trousers that should not be allowed near anyone with taste. With black hair and handlebar mustache, he is totally engrossed in his playing, save when he grins at the patrons between stanzas.

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Oskarr Stonebreaker, the brutish and barbaric dwarf, with no more than fifty odd seasons to his credit, grumbles impatiently to the inn keeper about refilling his mug for the tenth time. He wears studded leather armor, bearskin boots, and a freshly tanned bearskin cloak that still carries the thick musky scent of its previous owner. His head is shaved on the sides, but a thick reddish mohawk can be easily be seen rising well off his scalp held stiff in place by an unknown greasy substance. His beard is longish and tightly braided in several spots. Underneath the dirt and grime that cover his entire body can be seen numerous dark ink tattoos, but otherwise few scars can be seen. A small black leather patch covering his left eye is the only discernable wound on the young dwarven berserker. He carries a worn pack, a bedroll, and a few other simple items. Strapped to his back is a large waraxe of dwarven make and in his belt hang two heavy kukri daggers, one on each hip.

 

The wilds are no stranger to Oskarr. He has been alone now for almost four years. All that time he has wandered the forested mountains and rocky grags that his clan once called home. It was home, before the great war, The War of Fools. Now where young Oskarr lays his head each night changes, but he always manages to calls it home.

 

Oskarr has come down from his mountain territory for the day to re-supply and have a few mugs of rich dwarven beer. That was ten beers ago.

 

"New y'll be purring me a'nother one me frind kerz' I'm jus' gettin' stert'd... Mumble grumble... DERG NERBIT, COM 'ERN NEW! HO 'BERT ME R'FILLERS? Mumble mumble grumble..."

 

SK

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Roderick Greywing wanders into the tavern and finds a seat at an unoccupied table in easy hearing of the halfling musician. He seems a little young to be in the tavern, but none of the locals seem to make notice. The boy is clearly on the verge of entering manhood. His cheeks have the fuzz of a beard desperately trying to be born. His long and rangy frame is a couple years short of filling out into his adult form. His hair is a little unkempt and his cheeks are flushed as if he has run to the tavern. He does not appear to be carrying anything on his person but a sturdy knife. His clothing seems well made and in excellent repair although it has clearly seen some wear. A server comes by and brings him a mug...of Water!?!

 

He sits back into his chair, absorbing the musician's tune, tapping his foot in time. You notice that he seems to be acutely aware of most everything going on around him. His head swivels about as he catches bits of conversations and stories going on about him. Whenever the conversation drifts to some tall tale or someone boasting of an adventure, it seems to hold his concentration. You've seen wide eyed kids like this before. Dreams of adventure and heroism dancing across their eyes. No one really seems to bother the kid and no one seems to pay him much mind. You'd reckon he probably comes here a lot to listen to the travellers' tales as they pass through.

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Hi all.

 

Yes, I know this is a short one, but gimmee a break, it's been a while since I've done this...

 

--begin--

 

The Hin's playing has given a light mood to the room. The innkeep brings rounds of ale for all. “Keep your hat on, Master Dwarf. Here's your drink.” taking the few coppers for his efforts, he continues around the room. To the fresh-whiskered lad at the table, he drops a mug of water, laughing at his own jape. “Nay, lad. Here's your drink like any other.” he drops a tankard of ale before Roderick, the lad's coppers are as good as anyones.

 

The hard hooves of horses can be heard, riding like thunder in the distance, then calming as they come closer and louder to the front of the Inn. A Dwarf can see the actions of three Men, dusty from travels and with a hungry look in their eyes. They look around, taking in their surroundings before entering the Inn without so much as a look or how-do-you-do to the Dwarf on the steps.

 

“Ale!” these hard men cry out, their clothing sturdy but of common cloth, the film of dust deeper than a day's ride. Each man dresses in their own way, but their unifying item is a dirty red sash, wrapped around their waist.

 

They take up a seat a table over from Roderick, one man giving him a gap-toothed sneer before the three of them are deep in their own conversation. Knucklebones can be heard rattling on the hard rag-polished wood.

 

The perceptive of the patrons in the tavern can see a dark cloud has blanketed the liveliness once masterfully crafted by the Hin. Townsfolk whisper into their mugs, and the Innkeep's lips press into a hard, thin line. Per the Men's request, he brings them their drinks, only to receive too few coppers for his efforts, and rude words as he departs.

 

Such foul jackanapes would never be allowed anywheres near the finery of civilized lands.

 

--End--

 

--LSH

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Essieu's brow furrows as he glances at the newcomers, but he makes no comment, merging smoothly into the jarring dischords of "Dégagez la Chienne", a satire from the outlands.

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"this looks promising," Rul thinks to himself. He stands tossing the half eaten apple idly aside. He walks into the inn and looks around. Spotting the empty seats at a table occupied by a young human, adjacent to the new comers, Rul strides up and pulls out a chair.

He addresses the human,"Mind if I sit youngling?" And promptly sits down and waves for service. He looks once more at the human and smiles,"I've always hated this song, what about you?"

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Pulling a black squirming tick from his beard, Oskkar crunches down on the blood sucking insect and washes the tidbit down with a slosh of ale.

 

De-lushious...

 

"Aye, n' thanks yer kindly", the dirty dwarf mumbles as the innkeep refills his mug yet again.

 

 

“Ale!” these hard men cry out, their clothing sturdy but of common cloth, the film of dust deeper than a day's ride. Each man dresses in their own way, but their unifying item is a dirty red sash, wrapped around their waist.

 

With their entrance Oskarr turns his head slightly and slowly moves his freehand to one of his Kukri on his belt...

 

"Durn bandits, mumble, grumble, blersted bullies... Oskarr's ni' en tha merd fer yer bullins'... BLERSTED THUGS...", mutters the small barbarian just loud enough to be heard by those around him.

 

"this looks promising," Rul thinks to himself. He stands tossing the half eaten apple idly aside. He walks into the inn and looks around. Spotting the empty seats at a table occupied by a young human, adjacent to the new comers, Rul strides up and pulls out a chair.

 

Oskarr's attention is drawn once more as another of his kind enters the inn.

 

Don't know that feller, maybe he's with them cut throats... Stay calm Oskie, yer jus' gunna finish yer ales n' be en yer own ways.

 

The young dwarven berserker shifts his eyes back to the humans and waits for the right time to walk out the door.

 

SK

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Roderick smiles sheepishly up at the barkeep as he delivers the ale.

"Uhh thank you sir. But I prefer the water. I've not much a head for the ale, but I'll pay for the cup for your efforts." And slides the coppers over to the keeper.

 

Roderick's good mood is suddely soured by the loud and brusque arrival.

 

As everyone else in the inn, Roderick's head swivels when the band of men enter the tavern. A frown fleetingly crosses his brow as they saunter into the tap room, disturbing the musician from his tune. Roderick watches the men enter and sit near him. The man's sneer alerting him that he was staring. With a slight flush and a lowering of his eyes, Roderick turns his gaze away and looks at the scratches on the table top. A frown returns to his brow after he hears the poor treatment the men give the inn keeper. The man has always been polite and good natured to Roderick, he doesn't deserve such treatment. The red sashes caught Roderick's eye as they sit. Biting his lip, he searches through his memory for anything he may have overheard or read, ears alert for any clues they may give him.

 

He addresses the human,"Mind if I sit youngling?" And promptly sits down and waves for service. He looks once more at the human and smiles,"I've always hated this song, what about you?"

 

So deep in thought did Roderick sit that he completely failed to notice the Dwarf sitting at his table until he spoke.

 

"Umm...Oh....Ahhh...." Roderick stammers, his concentration broken by the dwarf's arrival. Roderick closes his eyes tightly and exhales deeply. In excellent Dwarven, Roderick greets his new guest. "Good day Master Dwarf. I must apologize for my rudeness. Please, welcome." Smiling warmly, Roderick returns to the Common tongue. "I see you've already taken a seat, so suppose the welcome is no longer needed although its sentiment is still there. I was quite enjoying the performance until the new song. It's unfortunate that the musician has opted to switch to a more jarring piece, but I don't know that it's unwarranted."

 

"Please, help yourself to the ale. It seems the inn keeper brought one to me although I don't rightly recall asking for one. He's pretty busy though so you can't blame him. I've not much of a head for ale. My Da has always said that too strong drink can make you stupid, and I really do not want to be stupid. I don't mean to imply that you are stupid if you want the ale. But. Oh."

 

Roderick stares down at the table again, a blush creeping across his face in shock.

 

"My name is Roderick. Pleasure to make your acquaintence Master Dwarf."

 

He smiles warmly at the dwarf. Roderick glances around the room quickly, hoping his lack of manners wasn't noticed. Mother would kill me if she found not only was I here and buying ale, but then forgetting my manners on top of it. Ohh please don't be cross mister.

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"Please, help yourself to the ale. It seems the inn keeper brought one to me although I don't rightly recall asking for one. He's pretty busy though so you can't blame him. I've not much of a head for ale. My Da has always said that too strong drink can make you stupid, and I really do not want to be stupid. I don't mean to imply that you are stupid if you want the ale. But. Oh."

Never one to turn down a free drink, Rul takes the tankard of ale.

"Danka Shein, my young friend. Rul Bauschlosser at your service." The free drink allowing Rul to forget any unintended insults from the young man.

Taking a big swig from the tankard Rul settles back to see if he can over hear any of the red sash groups conversation.

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Roderick sighed a deep breath of relief. No offense given, he called me friend.

 

"So Mr. Bauschlosser, I haven't seen you here around these parts much. Are you new to town? Most folks that are new to town tend to come here. Since it's the inn, this is where they tend to stay too. I love to sit here and watch all the people coming and going. It's so fascinating. I love the wandering bards that come through here. They always have such great stories to tell. Sometimes, it's like the books I've read and you see brave heroes coming through the town, having just done something heroic." Lowering his voice so only the dwarf could hear. "And sometimes it's not the heroes who come into town either, if you know what I mean."

 

Roderick surreptitiously darts a quick glance over to the table of red sashed men.

 

"Apple, it's a pretty nice place to live and all, but there just HAS to be more in this world to see. It's pretty boring around here a lot, least for me. Lot of kids my age have already been sent off to their apprenticeships, and the others are just too little. Da used to go off roaming the woods around here hunting and travelling. He always says, " Roderick changes to a stern paternal voice, "It's good for a lad to get some miles under his boots and see some of the world before he decides what kind of man he wants to be." Smiling at his little joke, Roderick continues. "Mother doesn't want me to leave just yet, says I need to get some more sense in my head before I go running off on some fool's errand. Da says I'm the same age he was when he took to the roads. I want to go pretty soon though. Sometimes Mother is able to convince Da about stuff, like when she made me go try and apprentice for some boring old wizard. No magical talent he said. Who needs that kind of stuff? Da says a strong back and hard work is for real men, not waving a wand and stuffing noses in books."

 

"Your clothes look like your boots have seen a lot of miles under them. Where are you from? How long do you think you'll be staying in town? I know dwarves live a lot longer than I do, so I bet you've seen a lot of neat stuff in your years. Do you have any interesting stories about your travels?"

 

Roderick pauses and drinks deeply from his mug of water. "It sure is dry in here. I'm parched." While he lifts his mug, his eyes dart back to the table of red sashed men and he continues to try and pick up snippets of their conversation while not breaking his focus on the dwarf at the table. His foot has continued to tap in time to the beat of the music.

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Rul smiles at Roderick, " Just like a young pup always full of questions. First off call me Rul, my clan name I reserve for professional use." He takes anothe big swill from the ale and continues."I am new in these parts, and the many furlongs these boots have seen were mostly coming here."

 

"Like most dwarves I spent much of my life learning my fathers trade, that of a locksmith if yer wondering.We tend to take things a bit slower than you short lived folk, tis why our weapons and armor are better."he winks at the boy."The little mountain town I hail from is fairly similar to Apple, quiet and quaint. I came to realize that if I were to ever make a fortune I'd have to set out."

 

Rul glances at the group with the red sashes. He leans towards Rodney and whispers," as to your bordom problem, I think it'll be solved soon, may not stay here in Apple but if we stick with it I'm sure there's some gold, ehm excitement to be found."

 

Sitting back up Rul fishes a silver piece out of his coin purse and throws it toward the bard. "Play something good, like "Schlacht des schwarzen Berges."

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Rul grumbles somthing that may have been,"Stupid bards don't know any good songs."

 

"Ok, heres how it goes." Rul begins to sing, off key." Ein autum vor langer Zeit, in einer Gebirgsstrecke nicht weit weg, A furchterregend Schlacht wurde gekämpft und gewonnen, dwarven vorbei Armeestärke alleine."

 

"Does that sound at all familiar?"

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