Spring, 7th Day of True Omens, 4,028th Cycle
A pall seemed to hang over the sleepy town of Northpoint.
The town bordered the Ridgeline Mountains beyond which can be seen the Jagged Reaches to the north. People went about their lackluster lives with little real drive or purpose. An aging wooden sign next to a small well in the village square pointed to the major points of interest in town: The Shattered Sword, Templeton’s General Goods, and Ana’s Apothecary.
Whiteshroud, an emaciated human man in dirty, white robes, led the heroes into the middle of town where Northpoint’s only town guards, the twins Samuel and Elijah greeted them all with spears at the ready.
“Put those sticks down before you hurt yourselves.” Whiteshroud ordered, his worldly possessions on his person clanged together: a cup, a plate, and a fork, all dangled like talismans from a crude leather necklace.
“Well, now,” Elijah said lowering his spear at the sight of the cleric. “No need to get upset. We were just doing our jobs protecting the town, is all.”
Ser Derrick introduced himself and the others to the two guards and asked to meet whomever was in charge, but not before he insisted on dropping by the general store to try and sell the five dead black wolves the group had slain earlier in the morning.
Whiteshroud left the heroes to go back to his church. He thanked them again for saving his life when a pack of ravenous black wolves attacked the cleric while he was out on one of his usual morning walks in the forest. He offered to help the heroes with healing if ever they needed his services.
The twins happily led them to the Templeton’s General Goods where they were greeted by Oliver Templeton, the fattest man in all of Northpoint. Templeton trundled when he walked, and wore only a petitioner’s robes and sandals rather than typical merchant attire. His thick fingers were adorned with gaudy rings, and he wore silk ribbons in his curly, shoulder-length hair. A small, gilded dagger was barely visible on his belt, hidden as it was by the large fold of his stomach that hung over his belt.
After some haggling, the group handed over the wolves’ carcasses to Templeton for a small amount of silver coins.
After, the twins led the heroes to the Shattered Sword Tavern and Inn where the town’s magistrate, Hiram Mirth, was busy meeting with several of the town’s folks.
“You wanted us to get results? Well, how’s this?" The twins said in unison as they entered the Shattered Sword. "We found a whole lot of heroes for you to sort things out!” They then turned on their heels and left.
The heroes introduced themselves.
Hiram Mirth, a human man in his late sixties, had shoulder-length hair dyed a deep black, soft features, and a smattering of beard that was greyish-white. He dismissed the others in the inn’s main room except a dwarf and the proprietor, a human named Sebastian Shaw. Hiram introduced Dorin, a local citizen and adventurer, to the group.
“Well met, strangers," Mirth said. "You’re probably passing through on your way to the Jagged Reaches in your quest for real adventure. Granted, Northpoint is usually a sleepy little town – and we like it that way – but lately… well, lately there has been a great deal of trouble. Chapel is missing, the dragon is dead or mad or worse, but what’s worse than dead, really? And we’ve seen black wolves in the forest of late. Shamans of the Red Hand use wolves as forward scouts, it’s been said. Will you help us? “
When asked about the dragon, Hiram added that the town was under the protection of a dragon named Clipwing. He told about how over seventy-five years ago, the dragon, Clipwing, saved the town from the dark dragon, Nemesis. The dragon of light was sorely injured in the process, and his wing never properly healed. He was never to fly for great distances again. The town’s hunters encountered him groaning in pain, and they worked out a deal with the dragon. The town supplied him with a favorite drink of his, Ridgeline Whiskey from the dwarven cities, and he kept the entire town free from The Iron Legion and other threats. Hiram admitted that the town’s folks, under Clipwing’s protection, had grown complacent, and soft. None of them realized how dependent they had become on Clipwing until now. He hoped that Clipwing and the boy were alright.
He went on to say that Clipwing selected a young ward who served until the dragon deemed otherwise. Delivering the whiskey was considered an important task, and being the dragon’s ward was a great honor, as this service had always been rewarded in the past. Chapel had just become the new ward, and this was his first delivery of the tribute.
The heroes all agreed to help. Hiram offered to pay each of them 100 silver coins for their effort. Ser Derrick, under advice from Rexx, attempted to persuade the magistrate to add a little more coins for their effort. He was rewarded by Hiram offering to go ahead and pay each hero the sum of 105 silver coins each! Hiram also sweetened the deal by promising the adventurers a twenty percent discount on all purchases made while they were in the town.
When Hiram left, Sebastian Shaw spoke to the heroes. He thought that everything could be connected – the missing boy, the derelict dragon, and the random attacks on the town. He pointed them toward Templeton. “I was taking a break from the bar to get some fresh ginger in the woods, when I came across Chapel and Gristle arguing in a clearing. Chapel owed Gristle money, and promised to pay him. I think Gristle was about to rough the boy up when he heard me. I took off running, and didn’t look back. Maybe Templeton knows more. That’s who Chapel worked for. Gristle, he keeps to himself for the most part, and we don’t usually see him around town until after dark.”
When asked about who Gristle was, Shaw said Gristle was a dwarf who hailed from the east. He recently arrived in town and quickly made friends with Chapel. Gristle, who lives somewhere in the woods, rarely comes into town and only does so at night.
The adventurers decided to pay Templeton a visit. With the money they each received from the magistrate, visiting Templeton’s General Goods would also provide them the opportunity to buy some much needed adventuring gear.
Inside the store, Templeton offered what information he had.
“I know the kid owed Gristle some money," Templeton said. "Gristle, a dwarf he’s been associating himself with lately, came around here a LOT. Always to see Chapel. I finally asked the kid what the story was, and the kid said he’d figure it out, and asked to run extra errands, but there is only so much work to be had in a little town like this. I had him straightening up the stock room—-” His face pales for a moment. “You don’t think the kid would’ve gone so far as to steal from me, would you?”
Templeton went to check his inventory of supplies and discovered that he was missing three kegs of whiskey. The learned that the missing kegs of whiskey were from the south and not the Ridgeline Whiskey the dragon loved so much.
When asked about the dragon, Templeton said that he knew of the Clipwing Compact and how the dragon selected a young ward. He never really made the connection, but he noticed that every ward who finished his—for it was always a young boy who was chosen—duty to the dragon, the wards would always end up leaving Northpoint as adventurers. For it seemed that every ward would somehow develops skills in the art of magic and became wizards after serving the dragon. Although he couldn’t tell for sure, Templeton had heard that it was rumored that only one of the dragon’s wards had ever stayed in Northpoint. However, he has never found out who the former ward could have been.
While everyone was talking, Templeton noticed scratch marks on the floor leading outside. It seemed that something heavy, but small—perhaps the three missing kegs—had been dragged outside.
When the adventurers went outside, Glint was able to spot a set of wagon ruts that led towards the distant woods to the east. Glint was certain he could follow the tracks into the woods.
But before they left for the woods, Brother Silas suggested that they pay a visit to the apothecary to procure some healing salves.
Inside Anna’s Apothecary, the group was greeted by a young human female named Mary Anne, who said she was the assistant to Anna. Mary Anne then went upstairs to tell Anna she had customers who also wanted to speak to her.
Upstairs, the group was met by a slender female wood elf. She introduced herself as Eliana. She was both beautiful and graceful, with captivating green eyes and soft, tawny hair that cascaded down her shoulders.
The heroes asked the elven woman what she knew of the troubles Northpoint was having.
“You seek a boy who has gone missing and a dragon that, it seems, is absent as well,” Eliana began. "Perhaps the two are linked and not mere coincidence? It seems the common connection is the keg. Perhaps it is missing too, or did the dragon get it and decide to shirk his responsibilities? If so, then why now? It seems just too many things to be chance. Go to Chapel’s bolt-hole. I’ve been there before; it’s not hard to find. He is very kind and misunderstood. It is not surprising. He has a very old soul.”
She drew the heroes a map which would lead them to Chapel’s bolt-hole, a cave he turned into his home soon after both his parents were killed in a tragic house fire. She also offered to give each hero a Potion of Vitality which after consumed would take away any feelings of fatigue.
With Anna’s map and the wagon tracks they could follow, the group decided to head east into the woods to find out once and for all what happened to Chapel and to seek out the dragon, Clipwing to find out why he was no longer honoring the Clipwing Compact.
Brother Silas “The Steadfast” Tomkins (Human Cleric)
Glint “the Axe” Red (Half-Orc Assassin)
Rexx of the Gray Marsh
Ser Derrick Williams, Knight of the Golden Valley