What a long day it has been and I’m barely keeping my eyes open and fingers writing to retell it. Where should I begin…
So, as most stories begin, especially with dwarves, I was sitting in the tavern, having a healthy drink of stout. This stout was mighty fine but sadly not the cheapest and so I was feeling in a good mood save the dwindling pocket money and then decided I best try to make some money. It just so happens I was having a stay in the small and crumbling fortess of Stenhold which has some mighty fine Ryott bread and stout but sadly the place itself is falling apart. Anyway, it was here where I hear the need of some mercenaries for the Arl of this town and knowing my need for some sovereigns and my use of the maul, I figured I would make a fine addition to any ragtag group. Also, those darn Darkspawn were starting to breath down the towns neck being so close to the wilds and I hoped I could get away from the awful wretches.
So I answer the call with a group of four others and am greeted by this unworldly mage, pthu!. She is direct and too the point at least and not as wordy as most mages seemed to be, so I was starting to believe I might grow an acceptance to her but sadly, this was never the case, she just had something off about her. Well she’s leading us to meet the Arl when she drops a gold sovereign. Another dwarf I was with, who I would expect to have more manners, tries to step on it to pocket (lousy thief). Of course, knowing his weak muscles, I easily brush him aside to pick up the piece and give it back to the woman. I would expect a thank you at the least for such an action but what does she do? Mutters something about honorable mercenaries like she’s ungrateful. GRRR. That rotten woman doesn’t even have the manners to say thank you! I tell you, if I was raising her, she’d have gotten a whipping for being so ill-mannered but I digress. Anyway. She dropped the sovereign and I return it and we finally go to speak with the Arl.
Inside was a man I could respect. Arl Voychek Neruda was a short human and was a little rough around the edges just like most dwarves, but the think that I saw was his focus on duty. He had children in Denerim that needed escort and instead of forsaking his duty to his people, he keeps his men where they are needed, defending the borders. Anyway, he garners a deal with the lot of us for half a sovereign upon his childrens return to Stenhold. Of course, when we were leaving, the mother gives us an extra sovereign to split between us as a sign of her gratitude. Well with that though, we were off.
We are heading to the apparent meeting point, the unnatural woman leading the way when she leads us to a non-existent bridge that is actually an ambush spot for the foul Darkspawn. There were 6 glenlocks, one of them seeming to be tougher than the other wretches, but nothing too tough for me. They were dispatched pretty easily even leaving me with a new piece of armor and now all that was left was to find a way to cross. Of course, I figure the use of a tree near the edge will work, but sadly the other fools can think of nothing productive to do, so I have to beat on a tree for nearly an hour by myself before I can get it felled across the chasm. I do eventually get some help from one person before the end and we are able to drop the tree properly, but the others just stand stupidly and watch. Of course, I look at the people and think it best to send the rogue, who should be able to balance, across. He actually also had a rope and was going to use it to help others, like me across but I’m sure he would have charged a toll.
Anyway, he is inept and nearly falls and cannot even cross the stupid tree and the stupid mage Alenka falls to the bottom and nearly dies. An elf, who had also fallen, but had the luck to catch herself, also had fallen and so was close enough to rush to her aid and save her as she was dying with the use of a healing kit a male mage happened to be carrying. I feel that she would have been better off dead now, but she knew where we were heading and at the time, I was glad she was still alive. Anyway, she was alive and I was done with the dwarf rogue’s foolishness and had already easily crossed the tree myself. I let my rope down and allowed those stuck at the bottom of the chasm to climb back up and we were all ready to go except for the lone male mage, erm, what was his name again, Whittle, I think. Anyway, he was still lollygagging on the otherside when what do you know, another set of Darkspawn appear and he is nearly killed outright. Of course, I have a decent sight and since he had allowed me to use his healling kit, I decided I’d help him out this once and use my aim to take out the vile creature.
With that done, the mage finally gets his thumb out of his rump and gets over to the other side and we are ready to go once more. Well, we end up stopping for some reason, I cannot remember why (probably to eat) but the worthless Alenka insisted on it and thought I should go keep watch. Not trusting anyone else to, I decided I should, but looking back on it, I’m sure she was just trying to talk with some of the others about some plot.
Anyway, it was uneventful and we resumed the trip and its getting dark when we are traveling though this lightly wooded area when we are set upon by the massive owls. Two owls the size of hunting dogs, not Mabari, but dogs set upon us and with their red eyes and their jet black feathers. The wretches kept circling and diving, trying to take up out slowly so I’d have to wait for the right time and smash them with my maul. I wasn’t ever able to get a good hit in on them to hit a vital or drop them from the air, but after enough whacks, we were able to do them in and continue on.
Finally are able to make our way to the waypoint we are to meet at and low and behold, the children have gotten themselves into even more trouble. They aren’t there, their caravan has been attacked and all there were dead. We were just starting to wonder where the children might have gotten to when we hear a scream and we don’t have to wonder anymore. We rush through the thorns and thickets of that forsaken woods and emerge looking at the children with two knights trapped on the hill. In front of them, they have encountered the viled Darkspawn and behind them emerges blight wolves.
I of course rush across the chasm through the thick of the thorns and steep hillside to start smacking the creatures away from the children. Now, these children are stupid, and while they might think of themselves as brave, they keep running up and trying to attack the wolves and Darkspawn but sadly are doing little more than scratching the leather these beast are wearing. Little ones shoudl know their place and take cover like the old and feeble ones that they are. Anyway, one of the knife-ear warriors that was with us keeps some of the creatures at bay, but sadly, he doesn’t seem to have the true trimmings of a warrior because his attacks are horrible, missing nine-times-out-of-ten, and getting so banged up he nearly dies. The mages by this time seem to have used up all of their unnatural spells and are doing little more than spitting on the creatures, so it is left to me, another knife-ear warrior and the lack-luster dwarven rouge to dispatch these creatures. After a tough fight, we are finally able to rid ourselves of the last of them.
We heal up, without having lost a single person and now I’m informed of something that makes no sense. I’m told that the idiot mage woman was told it was too dangerous and we were suppose to take the children back to Denerim instead of back to the Arl. I found this peculiar and so try to get to the bottom of it and apparently I’m not the only one who finds this weird. Only two others were told in the party, the male mage, who I don’t trust as far as he could throw me, which looking at his physique, less than a hand, and also the dwarven rogue who already showed his lack of honor earlier. This make only the knife-ears and me who didn’t know. Now, I can understand the knife-ears not knowing since they are basically useless most of the time anyway and definelty below us, but that doesn’t explain why, I, the one who was getting us through most of these difficulties wasn’t told. Apparently, the other two were told when we made camp, but I was only a little ways away as lookout, and could easily have been told, while of course the knife-ears were doing as they should and getting us food.
Well, after questioning them, something still didn’t feel right, the things they were saying didn’t add up and while I started to believe the things the rogue was saying I realized later that night when I thought about it, that he probably has a serpent tongue and was just telling me what I needed to hear to get me to believe him.
All of this talk left a sour taste in my mouth and while we were equally close to both Stenhold and Denerim, we were going to go back to Denerim. This didn’t make sense to me and sadly even the elves agreed with me, but we couldn’t get the other to agree and so we took the kids back to their cousin in Denerim.
Finally, after all of this, I decided I would have leave it be and try to follow the wretched female mage around, but I dismissed this thought as soon as I had it for I knew I was no match to her speed, her having such fleet feet to run away. So instead I got a better idea, why not go back to Stenhold myself and find out if what she said was true. After all, she already said my job was over, so I had only to try traveling there to see if my intuition was right.
So, rather than wait, I left out that night and even though the battles had tired me I was able to make it back to Stenhold by traveling all through the night and was able to seek an audiance with the Arl.