It’s now 1489 DR, and Brodin Sigurd has begun the reconstruction of Thundertree, his home town. One of the first buildings being built was a small manor, in which he would reside from time to time. It was not finished, however many of the rooms was already sturdy enough to live in. In-between planning and procuring supplies, he takes some time off to meditate in one of the empty rooms – an exercise which his teacher, Talin, had instilled from the very beginning. During one such meditation, his mind drifted along the memories he has of his quest for The Lost Mine – where all of this started. He remembers the treasure map they found deep within the Wave Echo Cave and the abundance of wealth it promised. A thought struck him, and he opened his eyes. “It probably won’t be easy” he muttered to himself, but he thought about how much more things it would speed things up with the Thundertree’s restoration. Sure, Tarkus and The Order of the Gauntlet has elected to help wherever they can – but even then, there’s only so much of coin they’d be willing to offer. He needed to assemble a team, and he knew the perfect group for the job.
He penned a letter, and addressed it to his former companions: The Hunter-Killer Aseir Liadon, Cleric Flint Rockseeker, Tracker Alfric Snowtide and of course, the thieving J’zargo – whose last name had somehow fled Brodin’s memory.
The letter said thus:
Almost a year has passed since we last met, and I pray that you are in good health. I would have you know that I have begun with restoring Thundertree to it’s former glory, and I assure you that once it is complete it will be a marvellous sight, indeed. Now, I have here with me, the treasure map we found deep within the Wave Echo Cave – and I feel that our journey is not yet complete. What do you say to putting this map to good use? It speaks of treasure within the cave, which I’m sure is something we all can benefit from!
I will wait for you in the town square of Greenest, exactly one week from now. We will gather supplies and prepare for the adventure ahead.
It would be good to journey alongside you all once again.
He presented the letter to his Order’s scribe, and asked that 4 copies of it be sent to the last known locations of the would-be recipients. He also provided a sufficient amount of coin to ensure the courier can gather enough provisions and security for such a trip.
Then he returned to his work, eager to test his new-found skills in battle alongside his companions when the time comes. He hoped the letters would reach them.
Surely enough, they came. First to arrive in Greenest was Aseir, followed by Alfric then and Flint – the latter looking very distressed and without any adventuring gear at all. “Flint!” exclaimed Alfric. “Long time no see”. Aseir was leaning against the wall of a nearby building. He raised his eyebrows and asked “Is something the matter, Flint?”.
“H-hello, hello!”. He dodged the question. “I’d hate to rush things, but I think it’s best if we head towards the town square as soon as possible. I don’t like it here”. Alfric could smell the ale on Flint’s breath.
“We can’t leave just yet” said Alfric. “J’zargo hasn’t arrived-”.
“Who cares about the stupid Cat? I’ve been waiting here all morning, and I don’t want to waste any more time.” Aseir wasn’t interested in waiting. “When he gets here he’ll find us”. He started towards the center of town.
“I agree!” said Flint, worriedly looking around him before proceeding to follow Aseir. All Alfric could do was shrug and let them lead the way. After all, nobody even knew if J’zargo was still alive.
Greenest was a busy town – today especially, marking the end of the cold seasons and reeling in people from all over. Traders, townsfolk and even adventurers from afar lined the streets to go about their daily lives and embrace the sunlight after those cold nights in front of a fire. Flint had a difficult time avoiding people in the street, and would often bump into someone, sometimes causing their hard earned goods to fall to the floor. “I’m awfully sorry about that!” was what he’d say before scuttling off ahead. He wasn’t prepared to get into any kind of trouble today – though that didn’t stop his companions from suspecting him of odd behaviour.
Alfric was enjoying the sights and sounds when a young woman – a brunette in a lovely blue dress, approached him. “Excuse me, Sir…” she said, before she stopped in front of him and and blocked his path. “Do you have time to talk about our Lord and Saviour Bahamut?”. She let out a big smile before handing out a pamphlet to him with both hands. Alfric, looking very confused, slowly took the pamphlet from the girl and said “Ehm, uh… Who?”. Aseir and Flint weren’t pleased with this disruption.
“You don’t know?” She looked shocked. “He is the greatest and most gracious of Gods. Bahamut is the son Io and sister of Tiamat, His evil twin sister! He is stern and very disapproving of evil, but He is also compassionate and takes good care of His followers, l-like a wonderful Father!”. She beamed at Alfric and spilled even more information about Bahamut as he looked over the the notes in the pamphlet. A few of the words instantly stuck out as he said them aloud.
“Dragon God… Bahamut.”
Aseir became infuriated when he heard that. “Filthy dragon worshippers!” He snapped as he shoved the girl aside and strode ahead. Flint gave a hurried bow to the girl as an apology before moving along. “See how you like it when this dragon you glorify ends up burning your town to a cinder!” was all the girl heard from Aseir before he disappeared among the large crowd ahead.
“He… He wouldn’t do that.” was all she could muster in response. She looked at the ground – Alfric could tell she was upset. He did the best he could to comfort her. He lightly placed his hand on her shoulder, causing her to look up at his face and catch him mid-grin. “Ignore him.” said Alfric. “I’ll be sure to give him a boot when he’s not looking!”.
He left the girl, who was now back in a joyful mood, running in the direction his companions had gone. Alfric stuffed the pamphlet in his pocket as he dodged and whiffed the townsfolk around him, making a mental note to read it later. He eventually reached the center of town and was greeted by the sight of dozens more people bustling about amongst the stalls. In the middle was a large fountain, and at it’s base was some familiar faces: Aseir and a deflated-looking Flint. Brodin, in what appeared to be standard leather armor, extending his hand to greet the two. In the middle, sitting against the fountain was a larger, grey haired man in iron armor. He looked directly at Alfric and waved him over.
“Alfric, it’s good to see you!” Exclaimed Brodin. He extended his arm and clenched his fist towards Alfric, who responded in kind – their fists making a slight ‘thud’ noise after making contact. “How is Nilsa?”.
“Likewise, and she’s good. She sends her greetings. I hear you’ve become quite the holy warrior in our absence?”. Alfric felt good to see a friend again.
“Ha, Excellent! And yes, I’ve had exceptional training the past year. Which brings me to the next introduction…”. The man in the iron armor stood up and extended his hand towards everyone. “This is my friend and mentor, Tarkus of the Order of the Gauntlet”.
Tarkus let out a hefty laugh and shook the hands of Aseir, Flint and Alfric. “Hello,” he said “It really is good to meet you all. Brodin has spoken much about your adventures together.” He looked around and studied the adventurers closely, until he noticed something was missing. “I was told about three Rangers: The Hunter, The Tracker and The Thief.” Tarkus remembered Brodin’s talk of the catfolk that caused an abundant amount of trouble for the party.
“I take it J’zargo hasn’t arrived yet?” asked Brodin.
“Seems like it.” said Aseir. “Either that or he’s sneaking around town. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s watching us right now from amongst the crowd, plotting some stupid prank”. All of them looked around after giving some thought to this possibility. “Sounds like something he’d do” grumbled Flint, who became more agitated with each passing minute.
“No matter.” sighed Brodin. “He’ll show up eventually. Come, I’ve taken care of your accomodation for the night. Allow me to show you around, then we can discuss our plans over some ale!”. Everyone nodded in agreement – especially Flint.
The party made their way out of the town square. Alfric turned and looked behind him as he walked on. He felt like he was being watched.