An excerpt the mandatory travel journal of Dredge Jones, Marshal, Clad-in-Brass
I’d been watching the young’un for sometime as we accompanied ‘Silvers to ol’ North Star. The young’un is an over-eager pup, he is, that Temar, bouncing around spewing questions and never seeming to understand the answers. I knew the moment I saw him that he was the reason I was ordered to return to North Star. Wockhardt, by the smoke, was goin’ ta have me shepherd him. He knows what makes me tick, that ol’ goat! From what I’ve seen, this Temar will be alright, but he’s so young. By the breath, I hate having to wipe those kiddies’ bottoms for them.
Temar didn’t even stop to drop gear before he checked in with Wockhardt, damn the over-eager beagle! I told him the ol’ joke about the bulls but he doesn’t get plain speak like that and rushed on ahead. Ol’ smokestacks was just like I’d last seem him three years ago, perhaps a little less hair, but still more than me. Of course he had me tail the boy, given’ him a mission to pick a team for a simple retrieval; he even spelt out who the boy should ask. I’m guessin’ this will be a cush job after all, not like Wock’ but then again, the boy IS young.
Funny thing though. Not many of those people were around for the boy to collect. Almost seemed like they’d skipped town ‘fer some reason. The Academy’s smelting gear was long gone as was the school’s master mage but the little slip of a girl commanding the Academy in his sted had enough spit and gumption that she’ll do fine. Poof elf, so I can’t even start to say her name… Annie or som’ought, but tha’s alright. Sh’ain’t gonna make me run at least. Turns out she’s some sorta big wig mage herself – does HE have his hands in this? I wonder what happened to the Academy workshop that it’s in such disrepair?
The sheriff weren’t much use neither; he wouldn’t send any of his men with the boy. He said there were nasties out there and too much ice and snow… It’s the middle of summer, by the Breath! Anyway, turns out he let us collect a dwarf. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking, but this weren’t no tinker-tapper. This ‘rocker has a body strong enough to pull’in a whale with nought but a cork pole! Judgin’ by the trouncing he gave the bar folk that earned him his stay in the slam, he’s a stought addition to the team. ‘Es name is Valr and he’s right nice too. I’m wondering if he’ll still be that way when we’re out of town and away from the sheriff.
While freeing the ‘rocker from the slam our guide found us. Tha’ speaks volumes about what good fortune it will be to have him with us. I think we’re gonna need it. Funny thing is that he’s a dirt elf. You know, them folk who always talks with their hands. I figure I’ve got a lot to learn from this one. They say dirt elves never die, they just fade away into younger ones… I wonder how that works? Anyway, he’s more confusing then a grey snapper windin’ yer line around yer keel. If the boy is smart he’ll mind Rimon, or Two-feathers (don’t count the third!) as he introduced himself to me.
I know I’m raggin’ the boy awful, but he shows heart. Took in little stray girl and stood a strong guard with the dwarf when some townies came to repay the pub thrashin’. The boy’s band deployed nicely and there would have been a right smack-down if we couldn’t talk those poor folk down. They were right friendly once we showed them the light, but there was one fella, all robey, who did seem right goading. Don’t know why Wockhardt allows that stuff in town. Som’fing is defiantly off around here. I can’t wait to be on m’way, even if we have a greeny for a captian.
By the Smoke I need a dip. If only I can get more then four hours sleep tonight before I dream of Amarine. Kid will probably be bouncing off the walls waitin’ to get the quest from Ol’ Smokestacks. Prolly just be a pick-up since he asked for an Academy mage and a Circle member guide… Well you know what they say, in the begining even a giant starts of small, so a small start ain’t nothin’ to throw back in the water. Not yet, anyway. Maybe I’ll take Wock’ up on a smoke tomorrow… What happend to that little girl, I wonder?
End of excerpt