DDA3 – EYE OF TRALDAR
8 THAUMONT OF 1005 AC
The Tale of Reed Nimblefoot the hin
The last days’ thunderous and incessant rain now becomes a mere drizzle. At last, the raining season is coming to an end. I’m aiming for Specularum, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Karameikos, back from the city of Luln.
The lousy little town, located along the Western Road, two days’ walk from the city of the Mirror, is beyond any doubt one of the most unpleasant and ugly places I’ve ever visited in my short hin’s life.
If it wasn’t for my father’s direct order and to protect my family business, that has been dealing for years with the exportation of Counties’ fine wines, the idea to set foot in a place like this would never remotely cross my mind. But “Money is money,” says always my father. “They may have different shapes and colors but their sound has always the same pleasant ring!”
Two men of the company travel with me, they’re two Traladaran humans we have looked upon for some time now. They managed to independently bring some shipments of wine to the West of the country and it seems that something didn’t go exactly as it should.
We received complaints for wine’s quality and stolen money. For Nimblefoot, my family, it would be a shame our business could hardly survive! I was sent in the Grand Duchy to keep an eye on them, to see them in action. For them I’m just the new sales manager for the southern area of Karameikos. If they should discover I’m part of the management… In any case, for any circumstance, I protected myself by hiring two mercenaries. One is a crazy dwarf from Highforge or, at least, this is what he says he is. I doubt that any sane dwarf would accompany this guy, Tordek. He has wild and insane eyes. Just looking at him gives me the creeps. He does not talk much and he does not cost me a lot of money: without any doubt the right person for this short trip. I must confess that I hired the other one , Undir, just out of curiosity and as a companion. Indeed I don’t even know which talents he might have and how this minute little boy, who said to come from the far east of the continent of Skothar, might be useful to me! An interpreter, he introduced himself. There’s something fascinating and mysterious about him. Probably this traits convinced me to hire him.
The humidity is now more intense with nightfall. Fire warms little or nothing. The hot slop prepared by Sergej, one of the Traladaran men, is disgusting, bordering on the vile. Through the flames, that seem to be about to quench, I observe the man who joined our group some minutes ago. When he appeared at the limits of my acute hin view, for a moment I mistook him for the shroud of a phantom.
He advanced with unsteady and lame steps, wrapped in a dark cape and with his face covered by an hood of the same dark color. I would never have agreed to him to join us if he didn’t introduce himself as a cleric inquisitor of the Immortal Ixion. Not that I’m a devotee hin and particularly attentive to the cult of this immortal instead of some other… only Asterius, patron of merchants, has my respect, but I digress.
It’s better, anyway, never to antagonize a cleric even if this is really weird. Another really original subject to add to my mixed up party. He has reddish skin, burnt by too much sun, I may say.
His eyes, they don’t lie, are a young man’s eyes but the face, emaciated and suffering, is an old man’s one.
I wonder what happened to him.
Francisco something… He’s got too long a name to be pronounced, even by an educated halfling like me. He came from Narvaez, a Barony of the Savage Coast. I’ve only heard about it. It’s too far, to the west, to be within the business plans of my company. I look at him with curiosity while he swallows the hot slop I offered him, as it was the delicious pumpkin soup made by my poor aunt Lin. Coberham , Shadowglint, rest her soul in peace. Probably he hasn’t eaten in days.
The rain seems to be completely gone and a light breeze, which blows from the north, from Black Peak Mountains, moves the clouds revealing the crescent of Matera. I wrap myself in a blanket.
The man of Narvaez seems to notice my shivers and to the astonishment of all, with only an extended hand in the direction of the fire, he revives the flame as if he is able to dominate it. Is it sneer of satisfaction, spreading on his face like a narrow scar, in front of our surprise? The question remains suspended.
Distant barks, screams and the uproar of galloping horses can be heard closing fast on us.
A quick exchange of glances and it is clear for everyone that soon mayhem will be unleashed on our camp .
Quickly I grab my light crossbow and in a flash I’m already an invisible shadow under our cart.
 Immortal patron of the hin people, Protector of the Five Counties.
 Matera is the moon of Mystara.