Part 3. The Story of the Adventures of Roi; a pleasant yet introverted, middle-aged Dwarf who is not intrepid but who has to overcome his fears to begin an unwanted life as an Adventurer.
Roi needed a piss. All of the adrenalin in him ebbed away with the steam emanating from the longest piss he had ever taken. At least he hadn't shat himself. It also gave him a moment away from Kharmur, so he could compose himself and gather his thoughts on what had just happened with the Goblin ambush; would he have managed to look after himself and take those greenskins down? Will he now be in Kharmur's debt for effectively being saved? He didn't want to be and didn't think that Kharmur would hold it against him or raise the subject. As these thoughts were drifting across Roi's mind he suddenly felt the strong pressure of a leather glove across his mouth, initially thinking it was his friend telling him to remain quiet but very quickly realising their was an aggression to this hold that would not have been applied by Kharmur, regardless of whatever danger there theoretically may have been. This was hostile.
The close, warm breath on his cheek whispered that he'd better not fucking move, or else the knife which he felt against his other cheek, pricking his skin, would be pushed harder. With his back to his assailants, weapon leaning against a tree and now his hands tied behind his back there was no chance for a struggle. Now Roi wished that his friend really could rescue him from this mess; a second ambush in less than 10minutes, what the fuck? A gag was quickly put over his mouth and Roi wanted to vomit.
A coarse linen hood was put over his head and he was marched away through the grassy landscape, blind. Roi vaguely wondered where his buddy was and why he had even been taken prisoner. Then the fear kicked in and his legs went wobbly and down he went in a heap. A half-hearted kick to the rib cage made him roll into a ball and then he was pulled up, heavy-handed onto his feet and marched off again along rolling country paths. Stumble, stumble, trip.
Kharmur wondered if he had been a bit too eager to shoot at those Goblins, perhaps he should have given Roi a chance to fight, but he hadn't fancied his friends chances, not because the Goblins were capable but more because he thought that Roi had frozen and given the initiative to his assailants. He wasn't sure though. Kharmur used to trust his instincts and never self-doubt or over analyse but perhaps these were two more traits to add to the changes of age. Or perhaps he just had too much time on his hands now, unlike when a youth when he just acted impulsively and never really thought too much beyond what he was doing later, who with and where. Battle had been instinctive though back in those days and the attack on the Goblins just then had taken him back to those heady days. He smiled to himself; they were more than decent shots with his blunderbuss; he still had it.
As he reminisced he cleaned his weapon. He hadn't even noticed his reloading of the weapon or his cleaning of the barrel, so vivid was his nostalgia. So it was only a mild curiosity when he couldn't see Roi initially. But his mace was up against that tree over yonder... He got up, collected his belongings and waddled over, something was wrong. The waddle quickened. A series of footsteps had crushed the grass around the tree and instantly Kharmur's heckles were up. He grabbed his friends mace, took a deep breath (quickly exhaling when the smell of Roi's piss went up his nostrils) and then tracked the footprints through the long grass.
Kharmur arrived at the town of Felsburg about an hour later, confident in his tracking ability, but at the cobbled road the trail stopped. He wondered into the town, senses sharp, looking for any clue to guide him further. But after another hour he wavered in his approach and stopped and collected his thoughts. What did he know of Felsburg? There was a barracks, a tavern (the Spotted Dog?) and some rich merchants houses that he could explore. It was getting dark and he was thirsty, so the tavern seemed like a good bet, even though it was on the far side of the town, so off he set.
Walking through the merchants quarters, he heard a soft metallic clang coming from behind a couple of large buildings. Silently edging around the corner he could see a Dwarf with collecting a grappling hook from the floor, obviously having missed his target the first time. Kharmur watched as a second attempt was made at aiming for the obvious target of a sturdy wooden eave and again was missed, this time by some distance. Clatter. Kharmur laughed and the Dwarf turned towards him, angry. And obviously a bit annoyed. "What you sniggering at?" he was asked. Kharmur retorted "A very shit thief, by the look of things, I'm amazed you haven't been caught yet!" "That's because I've never done this before, you dick, and I'm learning my trade". Kharmur bit "A little late for you to start a new trade old man, I would have thought, but fair play. Want some help?" Kharmur ventured. "Yes please, I'm good with an axe, but this dexterity thing ain't for me. Besides, I'm getting assessed on this by the Thieves Guild, so they can let me in. Not going so well at the moment..." Kharmur chortled, he liked this guy' "Here pass it here, I'll get it up there for you, but that's it, you're on your own after that" and with his first attempt he latched the hook straight onto the beam. "Good luck. Names Kharmur". "Cheers", replied the thief to be, "Barri".
And then arrow shots were fired at them, Kharmur shouldered his blunderbuss and scarpered towards some barrels for cover. "Oi, fuck off interfering with his assessment", came a hidden voice, "do one, or the next one hits you in the gut". Kharmur slowly walked away.