War of Fire and Ice

The Right to Bear Grudge

The strange crew was herded into the recently re-purposed drinking hall / throne room. The filth of the alleged rat infestation had been cleared away, but Rockhome was badly in need of renovation. The clan gathered around in solemn silence, prodding with halberds, faces masked with brown woolens to cover the hideous sight of their barren chins, which, now that they had reclaimed their Clanhold, the Dwarfs of Rockhome were no longer obliged to display. There was a clatter of mugs on platters and King Thrain appeared on the throne, glowering from behind a golden mask. “What is the meaning of this? Why did you who so bravely helped my clan to recover Rockhome suddenly betray my hospitality with the foul murder of my kinsman and spiritual guide? It makes no sense, but blood must follow blood! I am King and Grudgebearer of this hall and I pronounce a Grudge upon you three that I will fulfill unless you convince me otherwise!”

Zann looked down upon them all, for he floated a few inches above the ground, his whole body still thrumming from the titanic power that flowed through him. He did not know how to appease this dwarf, but he knew what he had done was right.

After some explanations and negotiations, King Thrain gave the Hold-takers the benefit of the doubt and offered them the leeway of a year and a day to bring proof of this Shadowed Chain of Chaos Dwarfs or he would fulfill the Grudge, which he now had entered in a massive Book of Grudges, inscribed with a chisel. The dwarfs then herded the Begrudged out their front gates and slammed them shut.

The Timber Vale spread out before them. They walked down a switchbacked old dwarfen cart track, which still had strategic water basins at each turn, provided by small canals diverted from the nearby cascade.

Down to the treeline they trekked, and then, amidst the soaring trunks of the High Yellow Pines, they heard a damnable roaring, and the Chaos Warpbeast appeared on the ridge above! The heroes scattered for cover and hidden places. Roke ensconced himself in the very top of a tree. The Warp Beast did not seem to detect the party with all its five ratlike heads, until Orillion threw a rock at it, which then caused the beast to feast upon that tiny giant until his companions beat it to death.

The next day, the party traveled to Gardmore Abbey, where they decided to avoid the orcs and ogre at the front gate and instead ride upon the wings of a dragon to the very top of the hillock, finding themselves staring into the ruined walls of an ancient knightly barracks.

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