Chapter I

Lord and Saviour

Thunce questioned Jonn after seeing a bloody gap in the rescued old man’s teeth, similar to the gap in the teeth of the kobold they thought was Red Tooth after performing a post-mortem ruby extraction. Jonn ushered the trio back into his home and comes clean about his plan. The old man was Jonn’s father, Lord Great Jonn the Red Tooth, one of the few powerful human wizards in his day, although old age has made him of unsound mind in recent years. Jonn suspected his father of unnatural dealings with the kobolds, and figured him either dead or turned traitor. He seemed relieved at the sight of the Great Jonn, despite his deformation.

The councilor then expressed his gratitude to the trio, dismissing their warning about the massive kobold army underground, and warmed up immensely, forgetting their tense first meeting. They celebrated throughout the night, drinking, dicing and whoring, and Jonn regaled them with tales of his soldier and adventuring days until the early morning hours. He also offered them another choice: he’d be willing to put in a good word with the Imperial commanders, using whatever sliver of status remained clung to his name, and let them return to their post to accept their fate as deserters, or show them a map to Hallowhall, where Pip had mentioned they were heading. Thunce and Baldor decided to continue to Hallowhall on Pip’s wishes, to return the sword to Lord Ben’s surely grieving widow.

Before leaving town the next morning, the trio restocked on supplies, happening upon a simple rope-maker, who dealt in all manners of fiber and hemp. After replacing their ropes, the rope-maker lowered his voice, and offered another sort of product, made from the byproduct of his hemp ropes. Baldor, a true priest of Moradin, politely rejected his offer, then proceeded to evangelize, spending a half-day talking, convincing and tricking the young man into forgetting his sinful trade. Utterly convinced, the rope-maker immediately set out on a path of holy redemption, beginning his own quest to travel to the nearest Temple of Stone, where Moradin’s worshippers gather, many dangerous weeks away. Then Thunce, being a true son of the North, robbed the man’s shop, coming across many bags of pipe-flower, and a secret basement garden holding rows of mysterious red plants. The trio picked a dozen of the dark green seed pods dangling from the plants, to determine their worth later, and set out back on the road, towards Hallowhall.



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