This is a scroll for every rumor or tale you might here from a friend or in a bar.

Erda and the Tale of the Ice Caves of Melnor:

The Ice Caves of Melnor were vast, almost unending spirals and mazes of tunnels completely made of ice. The caves take up the entirety of the largest mountain in the mountains of Melnor, but no traveler has yet proved that. There are still adventurers that seek to find the staff buried deep within in the labyrinth of ice and to unveil its secrets. None of which have ever returned. How the staff found its way into the caves still remains a mystery. Some say it grew from the ice, and others say that Erda the Wanderer placed it their in her dying breaths. Here is one such tale:

Erda was a nomad that wandered the land in search of magical items and adventure. She had no real family, friends, or quest, only the drive to make herself known in the world. Throughout her days she collected, from what she claimed, 'magical' items, but none has been confirmed to have any real power. Until the day she found the caves.
The sheer ice covered the paths of the caves, which split in every direction. Enormous stalagtites hung from the ceiling, and ice-like flowers sprouted from the ground in all different shades of blue. As she made her journey down the caves, she found spots of ice that would seem to whisper to her. Whenever she tried to find the source of the whisper, it would stop. The caves were a cool temperature that never seemed to change as the tunnels grew their never ending tunnels.
Time went on and soon Erda found what seemed to be a maze of sheer ice. Voices from the walls beckoned her to them and whispered where to turn. Hours went by as she followed the voices through the twists and turns of the maze. Abruptly Erda reached a dead end in one of the passages. As she turned around, the ice turned into a mirror, as if not letting her out. Erda started to panic and ran at one of the walls. She passed through and fell, fell, fell, and fell, until at last she hit the bottom. The impact of the landing shattered both of her legs; a wave of pain shot through her like cold sword slicing her legs apart and turning her blood to fire. When the pain partially subsided and she looked around, she could dimly make out a pedestal ahead of her. Erda started to drag herself toward it when the voices came again:
'Erda, The One chosen by the Gods of Ice, come forward and place that staff into the pedestal'. She looked around in a crazy gesture and noticed the staff protruding from her backpack. As if controlled by some unkown force, she summoned all of her remaining strength and plunged the staff into the pedestal. When it was done, she drew her last breaths and died hearing the last words: 'The Staff of Veritas shall be forever protected untill The One shall call again'.

The Staff of Veritas has never been moved since then, though many people still try to find the lost relic.

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Its rumored that if a werecat gets bit by a werewolf it becomes a normal person again

It is also rumored that the only way to become a vampire is if you are bitten by one and then drink the same vampire's blood.

it is also rumored that if a dwarf gets drunk and starts a bar fight, the dwarfs will rally and slay all who oppose them. Actually no, thats not a rumor, thats a fact. I have seen it happen before, and it WILL happen again my friends. Dwarfs are very VERY mysterious creatures. Proceed with caution.

Its rumored that if you kill a dragon and drink its blood you will become a weredragon

You know the colony of wererats living under the city? I heard they have a hoard of gold down there - a king's ransom! - from all the years they've spent thieving off us honest folk.

I have heard by a good friend of a traveler I once knew that the blood of a Unicorn is very potent and magical. That if you drink the blood of a Unicorn you will become immortal.

'Did you hear the news?' The man is asking his friend while he is twirls a coin between his fingers.

The man next to him utters a slurred response as his face twitches, 'No...ur, what news?'

'The guest that was staying with Lord Hospis, the elven lord from Fledding. He's been murdered.' The man waits for a response and stops twirling the coin.

'Are you listening?' The man is loosing his patience.

'Huh?' The twitching man calls for another ale.

From another end of the bar two guards that just got off watch are talking to each other and like the attention they are getting from their discussion.

'I tell you, the Edmanciums are a bigger threat than everyone thinks.'

'Ahhhh, you are overreacting. The Edmanciums are just another rebel group that thinks they can make a fortune through fear and hijacking. They will be soon enough shown who has the true power. Lord Foxrin will not stand for any brigands near his home and will aid any of the Four Cities if they call for it.'

The first soldier shakes his head as he sips his ale, 'I fear we will learn too late. You heard of the latest caravan that was robbed on its way to Solar. The Solar roads are the best defended roads in all of Aros. Why then are they having trouble with a few brigands' He smuggly smiles and waits for an answer.

'I cannot say what troubles Solar that they cannot keep their roads clear. The rumors of the caravan were probably exaggerated by those that brought them to sound like they were heroes for the telling of it. I guarantee they got a few drinks from the telling of those tales.' He laughs heartily.

The other soldier nods his head, 'Yes, I suppose you are right. But Lord Foxrin is worried enough to post double guard duty and has called his militia to scout the country side. His prudence is well founded I would wager.'

Their conversation wanders towards the young girl that came through their gate earlier that afternoon and the small crowd that was listening in slowly dissipates.

Grothar leans over the counter as he pours you a mug of ale. 'You best stay for the show tonight. I got myself a new entertainer. She goes by the name of Amber...Amber....something or other. Never did catch her name. In and out with her companions like they were into something urgent. Got themselves involved with the seawolves that be plaquing our streets.'

'Yep, regular demons running around causing a ruckus. Bad for business I'll tell ya. I hear that they caught a couple of them already and they be holding 'em at the Temple of Sails. Having trouble finding 'em but they say they take to the sea. No chance of rounding them up out there. Not without the help of the mermen anyway and no one seems to know where they disappeared to.'

He takes out a towel and wipes down the counter with loving care. 'People around here are spooked and are ready for the end of it all. Don't want to leave their homes for fear of running into one of the beasts. Lord Foxrin is in an uproar I hear. Sent out the guard to be patrolling round the clock. Enlisting common folk to help hunt them down. Only problem is nobody knows how many of the devil-kin there are.'

Grothar shakes his head with unease. 'I best be tending the rest of the bar. Be sure to give a holler as soon as your mug runs dry. Remember, show starts at 8:00...well, usually anyway.'

With a smile Grothar tends his other patrons.

'The new consort, have you seen her? Nobody is that pretty without magic. She has ensorsalled the King for sure. '

Did you hear about those four begining adventurers

Three grave robbers were killed when a 1,000-year-old Ancients tomb collapsed on them.

Four herdsmen from Inner Plains broke into the tomb, from the Liao dynasty that ruled in the northlands, with the intention of looting.

No sooner had they got inside when the brick-made tomb collapsed, killing three of the men. The lone survivor escaped from the debris and reported the case to the local magistrate.

There have been tales told in taverns and by caravaners that the city of Caulderon is once again in the skies over The Land.

You all know the story. The city was to fall in the sea. The alchemists and wizards made the city float. Now it is blown around the world by the wind.

Well some from the Western Coasts say that they have seen the island float through the sky. A city in the clouds. And that people riding Gryphons are raiding farms and towns, taking things up to the floating island.

It is all daft.

There have been complaints recently about livestock going missing and carcasses turning up days later, disfigured and mangled. They are focused on the local manor. Something strange is going on, and the tavern meets tonight to discuss a resolution: should we take the law into our own hands?

Players may be unwillingly dragged into a vigilante posse intent upon attacking this manor (which is either perfectly innocent or a haven for evil magics. Either way...)


Did you hear about those Dwarves that were in here the other night? They were looking for some 'tomb robbers'. Seems like somebody or a group of um, broke into an Dwarven City Tomb and did a good job looting the place. So the Dwarves, they are out to collect their 'Ancestor's Due' and clobber those guys. My Man, I would NOT want to be those guys.


'There be talk that the Queen's son is a bastard! Since all good-folk know it couldn't be the King himself thats responsible for that huge hairy child! That frail husband o' hers is incapable. Some say the blacksmith himself is responsible! The Queen always liked em' big afterall! Others claim the father is that slimy, shameless bard, Jemrolio. The little boyo has his sickly-green eyes, no less. Wouldn't that be a hoot! Throw down your coin and bet on who the father is! we're bound to get to the truth eventually! Pay attention I'm talkin' to ya'!'

See Kaboo 2388

'Singing Manticore'

'Did ya' hear about the singing manticore of Pefwen's Wood? I heard this from a halfling mind you, so shake some salt on it, but the little fellow swears up and down he heard the filthy beast singing with a beautiful woman's voice. Well no, I guess I dont believe that one either, but you never know! I heard a few fellas are heading out next week to see for demselves. Eh?..Yes, I said a Manticore! By the gods, I wish you would pay attention, so I wouldn't have to repeat myself!'

See Kaboo 2388

'Crows and Ravens'

' They say a murder of crows and ravens, huh..what?...yes both! Stop interrupting me! Flew in with the setting sun, they did, and headed for the Cathedral's spires. I saw a few myself, circling the tower of Gau'rrane, the high priest, circling with a purpose they were! Couldn't tell what that was all about, but they were no ordinary birds, those blackwings! Next day, I here from one the Cathedral's stable-boys, that Gau'rrane left at dawn, travelling west, with full retinue in tow. Thats all I know...wait, they mentioned something about a war. What do you mean 'how can i forget the war part'? Dont make me reach over and slap you!'

See Kaboo 2388

'Poisoned Wine'

' I wouldn't drink that if I were you!...why not? I'll tell you why not, because there's been talk. Remember that vintner's son? The one that died in that boar-hunting accident a year back? Rumor says twas no accident. At least not as the vintner's wife tells it! She's friendly with my Gladdys, you see, and according to her, the vintner says it was the king's arse-of-a-nephew's fault that the boar gutted poor young Haller. Whats my point? I'll tell you my point! according to Gladdys, who heard it from the vintner's own wife, the vintner has been plotting his vengeance, while deep in his own cups. On the King hisself no less! Somethin' bout poisoning every bottle in the realm if thats what it took! He wont rest till some kin o' the King dies, to make up for his own boy's death! Aye! now your spitting that wine up arent ya' boy? hehhe'

See Kaboo 2388

'Crying Swordsman'

' I heard from Pohg, who heard from Uyta, that the greatest swordsman that ever lived, is coming this way. Should be here on the morrow! He's travelling alone, and tears stream from his eyes as he rides. Must be real upset bout' somethin'. Uyta told Pohg, who told me, that they say he's challenging any man or woman he comes across to a duel. He tells them that if they kill him, they would be doin' him a favor! Can you believe that barmy bastard! Says you'd do im' a favor if ya' kill him! No one's managed it yet though, as ye' might imagine. Who? hehehe, you couldn' kill him if he lay down in front of ya' and went to sleep!'

See Kaboo 2388

'Evil Baby'

' Seems they found the body of a man and his wife, by the lake. Not a scratch on em'. No blood no nothin'! Nobody can figure out how they died, not even the coroner, though that one is so deep in his cups he wouldn't know a dead cat from a flying pigeon. Anyway, the couple had a baby with im' according to my Gladdys when they went to the lake, but the toddler wasn't found! What do ye' make of that? It gets stranger too. They say they found the tracks of a crawling baby, heading away from the corpses, to a willow tree, but they stop there. If ye' ask me the baby's a killer! Eh?.. you heard me you trout-headed lout! Remember when he was born? Had a caul, he did! And one eye closed. Gladdys says he was evil from birth that one! Keep laughing you twit! I hope he comes for you next!'

See Kaboo 2388

'Fish Tale'

' Well, well, well, head hurtin ya'? I told ya' not to drink that dwarven swill! Look at ya' boy! I've seen better looking corpses in the grave! Anyway, get this. Was talking to the river-boat captain. Know what he tells me? They caught a gar last week, the size of a horse she was! Twelve feet long if she was an inch, he tells me. What?...yeah, I know dem' fisherman lie, but the captain wouldn't lie to me. Shut up an listen will ya'! They say they gutted this monster, know what they found? A man's hand holding a key. I wonder what that key opens, I do. Some great teasure I wager! Captain says he's keeping it on his barge now for safe keeping. He says the hand had a brand on its palm, but the cap' aint talking further! What? heard that one? Then why didn't you stop me you mangy drunk!'

See Kaboo 2388

'The Shipment'

' Mindin' me' own business as usual I was, when I here two chaps talking in Stabbin' Spoon alley. What was I doing there? never ye' mind. And dont be telling Gladdys either! Anyway, these two are talking real quiet-like, and I hear em' talking bout' some shipment comin' in next week. Dont know nothin' from nothin', but these here boys don't strike me as glassblowers, if ye' catch my meaning, so I keep listening...pass me that cheese rind...where was I? Oh so this shipment is due to arrive at the Glassblower's Guild, but dem' boys got other plans! Wonderin' what I should do with this Ofcourse I think there's coin to be made here. And if ye' stop whistling like an idiot, I might be able to think of a way!'

See Kaboo 2388


' Here comes Wuther the barkeep. Know what happened to him? Three of dem' wizard types, stroll into this here inn two days back, and talk to him real quiet-like. Then, wouldn't ya' know, Wuther turns, without another word, and takes em' down to his cellar. Now there I was, countin' the minutes, but I musta dozed off, cause when I wake up, there's Wuther shaking me and tellin' me to go home to Gladdys. Not bein' the nosy type Keep quiet pebble-brain and listen! So off to home I go, but the next day I'm back, and there's dem wizards again, talking to Wuther all nicey-nicey, like he got somethin' they want. Its a mystery I tell ya'...wait shhh. here comes Wuther.

See Kaboo 2388

'Cheatin' Spouse'

' Gladdys told me a good one last night! Seems the wife of Arkalidus, the city-guard captain, has been doin' some eh...extra guard-duty on the side, if ye know what I mean. Eh? don't know what I mean? of course ye don't dolt! I forgot who I was talking to. Lean in closer boy...not that close, ye' reek of fish and garlic ! Looks like she's been loving up the sergeant, and a few of dem' other boys too! Can ya' believe that? Makes ya' feel safe don't it? I mean the captain suppose ta' be sharp as a needle, catching crooks and killers and all, but here's his misses, doin' her best to get ta know each guard real personal like, right under his beak of a nose, and he couldn't see it if he had twelve eyes like dem' bee-holders! Eh? has my Gladdys ever what?!...If my leg didn't hurt, I'd kick your poatato head for asking!

See Kaboo 2388

'Down at the Docks'

' I've been to the docks again. Dem boys always got dem' goose tales don't they? So I stopped to get me' Gladdys a fish, and who did I run inta? Saltheart, hisself! The only dwarf to ever sail the seas! You know me, I just wanted to get me' fish and git, but the barnacle-beard started talking. Says there's a strange ship that came in with the tide. A caravel, me' thinks he called it. Eh?...Whats strange about that? Whats strange about that beets-for-brains, is that there be no crew on dis ship! Did ya' hear boy? I said no crew. She just came in, and docked herself, and thats that. No one had the onions to board her, and before the harbormaster's men came to investigate, off she goes again! I wouldn't believe it if I saw it me'self, but dem' dwarven boys dont lie, ye' know. What?...why am I cursed with ye'. Next time she comes I'll tie yer arse to her prow, and then off ye' go!..hehe'

See Kaboo 2388

Much has been said about the strange creatures living in the Wild Lands. Some are just invented by fools, but many are not described even half as terrible as they really are. One of those that surely exists is a creature called Grullug.

Grullug, it is said, is not only an animal, it has also something intelligent and devious. It is fast and with its sharp claws cannot lack prey, but it likes to prey more on the naive souls that travel into those parts. Adventurers usually search for treasure, and treasure they will find...

Often, there are precious items to be seen, gold and jewels freely strewn around as if they wouldn't belong to anyone. Most often they are seen by one that is unlucky, who leaves his friends, and seals so his fate. The Grullug can feel, who will be most attracted by the glow of gold, and how to lay the lure. The creature hides skillfully, its victim will collect handfuls of treasure, only to die in its terrible embrace. The friends will find only blood and a few trinkets.

'The Secret'

' Lotsa folk comin' in for the festival. Lotsa good chant to go around. Here's one I heard from a visiting holy man. Seems the countess, Gressa of Whiteholt is looking for a husband. But not jus' any bloke will do! She's beautiful you see, eh? beautiful? what the devil you care? You aint bonified! Anyway, she's issued a bit of a challenge to her suitors. Ye' can only apply for her hand in marriage, if ye' can figure out somethin' called, The Secret of the Great White Elm. Eh? How in the seven hells would I know what that means! Thats why they call it a secret, simpleton! I'm just saying is all. You?..hehe. You couldn't figure out a secret if it was figured out for ya' and explained to ya' for a week!'

See Kaboo 2388

'The Book'

' It wouldnt have killed ya' to have saved me one o' dem pies Dimwit! Gladdys, you believin' what I'm seeing? That no good nephew of yours just finished off the last one! Whaddaya mean never-ye-mind? Eh?...what about Pig-leg? Who told ya? Where'd he get it? Hmmm, if it be true he's gonna need im' self a fence or a partner he can trust. What's Pig-leg know about books anyhow? He cant read none! He tried to read once. Got hisself a headache so fierce, he was bed-ridden for a week, he was! Maybe I'll be goin' to see im'. Stop laughing and chew yer cud! I'd know what ta do wit it, I would! Take it to a mage o'course! Maybe there would be a bit o' coin, for ol' Kaboo..hehe. Cant be one o' dem regular books, not if Pig-leg aint lying. Dem regular books dont open up and close all by demselves'! And they dont be making no noises either! Mmmm... here comes the butter-loaf. If you touch it, I'll knife ya!'

See Kaboo 2388

'I heard from a friend of mine in the Guard that the Scholars are up to no good. There is some ruckus in the guild council about what they are doing. Seems like tommorow, they are going to lay siege to the place, call them out to cease and desist, then demand they surrender! '

'What could they be doing in their with all those books and things that would make the Guild Council so upset?'

'I don't know', *slurp* .. Ah... 'but it will be a sight to see won't it? The Guards marching all them scholars down to the Gaol. Most of them won't last the night in the Pit. '

'Maybe we should get some food to sell and some carts. That much ruckus will generate some crowds. '

'I like the way you are thinking. Spot on idea!'

'Deep In The Mine'

' Ye know I cant tell which is worse. The air that comes out yer mouth or the air from yer arse. Hey! That reminds me! Hear what happened to those boys in da' mine? did? No matter, ye probably didn't understand it the first time ya' heard it anyhow! I'll tell ya' again. Seems dem' boys were digging real low in the pit. I mean real low! You know dem' little canaries they bring wit dem? Ta see where da air is comin' from. Well a few of dem' little critters up and died, just all of a sudden-like! So dem boys, they git to running, figurin' the airs no good. They runnin' and runnin, until they get demselves up n'lost! It aint easy navigatin' dem' mines, ye know. Kinda like you findin' your way from da' bed to the chamber pot in da' mornin! Anyway, they come upon an old unused tunnel, and know what they find? A door in the rock! Not no normal door, this one is bleedin! S'right! Bleedin red as a rose, just comin' off it in droplets! Well the boys dont open it o'course, they just git ta gittin again...what? Nay, these boys aint no fibbers like dem' topsiders. If a miners' tellin ya' somethin' you can bet its true!'

See Kaboo 2388

'The Lucky Ranger'

'Ever hear of da' Lucky Ranger? Well, ya will now, wont ya? Dis here fella was a legend in his time! Eh?..why am I tellin' ya? Cause' ya' remind me of him o'course. Only in yer case, its incredible how lucky ye' must be to have survived all these years, bein' as stupid as ye' are! Anyway...give me that Oh right. Well, Tancy the Lucky they called im'! This boy could navigate ya' through the woods, like nobody's business, he could! All dem' beasties wouldn't be stoppin' Tancy from gettin' through. Never lost a man in all his years, he didn't! They say he cheated death as often as, often as ye' take a piss! Ya' ever hear of the ol' evil-eye? Well Tancy, he musta been given the ol' good-eye in his youth! A true hero! Never a misstep! Eh?...what happened to em'? Well...a tree dropped on poor Tancy, outta da' blue yonder, crushed im' like I just crushed that skeeter! But they say that sword o' his is still out there, they say it still calls to im''

See Kaboo2388

'The Giant'

'There is a cave in the Hills of Bezil, or so I've heard. In this here cave, dwells a lonely stone giant. They who says? they say! Thats all ye' need to know...I've just about had it wit' ya' by the by. Anyway, so they say that if ye' go there by light of day, the giant will kill ya' pure an' simple. Smash ya' wit' his fists, till ye' look like Gladdys' puddin'! But if ye' go at night the cave is always empty. He's never there when its dark, ya' follow? Must be out an' about doin' whatever it is stonegiants do when they canna' sleep. Maybe he be one o' dem vampyre giants, dat dem boys at the inn mention when they are deep in their cups. But I dont be believin' that. Vampyre giants indeed! What a load o' mularkey! hehe.. So anyway, I'm thinking...are ye' snoring?! How can ya' fall asleep durin' the best part?'

See Kaboo 2388


' So ye heard of were-badgers havent ye? Eh? no?...well ye've heard of badgers then I hope! Right then, I shoulda known...well, they be like skunks, but dont smell as bad, and can fight ya' like the dickens with dem teeth an' claws! Now these here dwarves, ye can tell em' by there white striped black cloaks by the by, have come to Marsuth, or so I hear. And ye' dont wanna be pissin' on these boys, cause when the moon turns right, they be turnin' into these huge ferocious badgers I be tellin ya' about! Heard they gots some bones to pick with dem' mercenary boys...em..uh..what are they calling themselves...oh right, the Wereslayers! Wouldn't want to be around when these two gangs square off, I can tell ye' that! Eh? what? hehehe. You'd be a were-cow if gods had a sense of humor!

See Kaboo 2388

Religious Issues

Did you hear about the fire at the Temple of Light? You know, that small thing in the Baker's Quarter. Seems the Temple of Light is what they are calling the accursed Azarian religion here. You know the Azarian's right?, those bastards that keep marching their god cursed armies across the border, laying waste to everything, burning it all. Religious fanatics all. God King! *spits*

Sure I guess there might be a couple of refuges here, but the priests, they are all wrong. Well I guess the wrong people found out and torched the place. Oh sure, they call it an accident, but somebody had it in for them. They managed to save most of the temple. Well I am sure someone is going to finish that job.

The Bet

The Duke and The Earl have The Mad on. Remember the May race, when the grand charger in the lead tripped and fell? It was magic foul, it seemed to me and most. Well there was much gold placed on that there race. Bets were not payed off because the race was not fair in the paces. Words have been exchanged. Serious words, they be. Now a couple of the Duke's and Earl's men have had at each other in the plaza this morn. A cousin of the Duke was slain. Now that it is family blood, I am afraid vastly more is going to be spilled before this is through.

overhead at a bar....

'Are you daft! It is not dog leather you idjit! It is just a jest. They just call'em DogBounds.'

'I was in the Brokeback Donkey down on Cattle Price street the other day, and I heard this from a Knife Chewer, so you know it's true... They say that the Great Emperor is sending a huge fleet from across the sea, and their gonna' invade the Coastal Republics on imperial charges of piracy!'


'Yes! And they're bringing two-thousand blood-thirsty Jjekki warriors with the fleet, and the Chewer even said they might try to come south and take over the Cities again.'

'It'd never happen. The Empire doesn't care about us, and we don't care about the Empire.'

'The Elf'

'So ye know me' luck, by now. Ye know how I dont like dem elves! all high-n-mighty with dem pointed ears! So o'course, guess who starts chanting at Ol' Kaboo at the Heathen Den? Eh?...whaddaya mean who?! Ye know, ya' might as well go to sleep, it'd be da same talking to ye' then! An elf o' course! So just as I was about to tell im' where that pointy ear o' his would be a good fit..hehe..he asks me for some directions. Now ye know I know Marsuth, like a hangman knows his noose, so I hold off with me' insults, an' tell da skinny fella where ta' go. Know where he wanted to go? Seskopo's Sweet Meats!...Huh? because thats the front for dem' hired killer boys thats why! Aint a secret to Kaboo! So I woulda not paid no mind, but then I noticed me somethin'. Dis here elf had his hands leaning on the iron stove the whole time I be tellin him where to go! Eh?..well, this stove was lit! And roasting meat since dawn! Ye dont get it do ye'? Never ye mind, never ye mind'

See Kaboo 2388

'The Coin'

'Gimme all your coin!...Eh? No pigeonhead! I dont want your three coppers! I'm tellin ya' a story! So thats how it started when the Gassers tried robbing dis here caravan comin' in through Pefwens Wood. Ye know the Gassers, they is feared in dem parts by travellers. But not dis here traveller. Heard that he just stepped outta his covered wagon, and faced the dozen or so boys by hisself! Showing no fear, he passes dem' a coin, a sigle coin, an' tells em', thats all they be gettin' and thats all they ever be needin' and that he hisself wont be needin' it anymore! Now I havent seen the coin, so I canna vouch for dis, but Guhkil the Spoon, says he ran inta one o'dem Gasser boys! Know what he says? He says the boys harumph at first and git ready to knife the stranger and search the wagons, but then they looked at the coin, forgot the traveller, and turned on each other with bared knives. Guhkil says da' one he ran inta was the only one left alive from all dem' Gassers! And git this! He was begging Guhkil to take the coin from im'! Eh?...I dunno, Guhkil's a known liar! Why da ya' think they call em' the Spoon! wait, that be a different tale.'

See Kaboo 2388

'Ach welcome, welcome. We are under new management now. I am Brawn Hammerstein an adventurer of many years, I could tell you a tale or two, the things I could do with a donkey and a carrot.. ach those were the days.

Mind that table, yes you can seen that we are still under con..

Morgan watch where you throw those blasted til.. don't give that boy or i'll ^%#&^^$ come up there and beat the *&^% out of that small head of yours.

Apologies it's hard to find good help these days. Where was I oh yes - under construction, dusty here ain't it.

Last stop you get though before you reach the mountains to the East, There's the woods to the South and the port nearby, Although between you and me sailors always smell of fish and I don't trust people who call floating on blasted bit's of wood a living. Yes there's been quite a bit trouble with the woods lately, wolves mostly, getting a bit daring these days.

I have to leave you now, I haven't recieved the barrels from Isocarta yet, blasted expensive the Taverns down there. And the barmen,.. wouldn't trust em as far as I could throw em, and believe me that's some distance. Now where have those blasted monks got to.. MORGAN!? blasted quite

they are.... when I find th...... MORGAN?!'

Hugghhh der still be much grumbling from dem people on the plains, more sightings of flying things, and now sandstorms too, come out of nowhere rage for hours and den vanish at the blink of an eye. As if dat should be bad der been funny business about dat Talan puddle too, been more

sightings of dem water things, creatures made of water, rising and sinking, it not be right I tell you, it was enough to have a few sightings now and den, but every body that pass dis way from the Lake tell of sightings. Me bones a creakin at der thought of it, something bad is a coming.'

'Ah me friends welcome, here ave a draught on the house. You've come at blasted bad time. There's been nuttin but bad omens around for weeks, first dem blasted raids by those so called Edmanciums and now..

By Ventors beard had I been there..

A guest has died in der house of old Hospis, der lord, he's been a raging for day's I pity der blood stained hand of him who killed him. Blast his eyes I do not, I would hunt him myself if I we're not tied to this place.

Hospis has called out the guard, too stubbon he is to call for help from Foxrin and dem other Lords. It be a slur to his name, a guest dyin under his protection.

But what be reason I say, the Edmanciums are bringing themselves up for the wrath of four lords if this carries on.

Achh it be bad times, ders also been rumours from the steadings to der west, strange sightings they says. Strange looking birds over the plains and fires in the night, goats missing and the like. Although in dem plains it be no rare thing. Dey be soft and moan like women but with the recent happenings...

Go south if I was you, find the Last Stand Tavern in Isocarta, me old friend Grothar might know more. Tell him from me dat business here be flowing freer then his watered beer, AH HAAAAA ahha ha'

'It has been a long time my friends, no doubts you been out saving the Land of Aros and such, hehe.

It has been quiet, I thinks dat der king has those Edmanciums hiding for now, blasted cowards. Goblins be better, dey at least will fight in der open, not run and hide.

It be der forest, too many places to hide, dem lords should hire more rangers to patrol dem, adventurers to clear it. Ahh if only I wear a young lad again, there'd be nowhere to hide. It seems that the trade from Isocarta be slower then it twas too, probably fear of dem bandits.

MORGAAAANNNN bring me a tray of ales ya lazy oaf!! Ventors beard.. he's been a mooning after that lass at the bakery again. She be after the blacksmiths apprentice.. hehe dat las knows how to sweet talk men, humans I will never understand. I was a talkin to Landra a while ago, now that be a woman. Break your arm with a finger she could, ahaha, not bad for a human she agreed to take him into der guard to train im. That be the women to talk to about troubles in der city.

Here sup on this draught.

The loud noises of warriors returning form a long hunt fill the air. The timberwolf hunt was a success and the town should be free of their constant aggravation until next spring.

The shouts of men buying drinks for each other fills the Tavern. Screaming and shouting about the kills each had drowns out all but the loudest of guests. A constant roar fills the place.

As the noise continues a man slams open the door and enters the room with fear and sorrow in his eyes. He yells at the top of his lungs, 'THEY ARE DEAD...ALL OF THEM!'

A hush falls over the Tavern as these words are announced.

'They are dead,' he repeats with tears starting to sting his eyes. 'The Toral family has been murdered!'

'The Torals,' a man shouts, 'I just saw them this morning. They were going to come in late from the hunt. Alin Toral wanted to show his son where the timberwolves main lair was. We killed all those timberwolves. Who murdered him?'

'It was no animal that killed them. It was bandits.'

Shouts and calls are made at this. Solar prides itself on keeping there land free of danger. The town is centralized around an organized militia. It is insane to say that brigands have infiltrated the protected forests of Solar. Many men remark in this way all jumbled together.

'It was bandits,' the man repeats. 'Alin killed three 'fore they took him and his family. The slimy bandits had a nasty tatoo on there back. It was of a wierd dragon shape or something. The council gathers now to discuss the situation. If only our king were alive. 'Tis a shame he met his fate at the hands of an accident.'

The group leaves the bar and makes there way to outside of the castle to find out what exactly has transpired.

The bar is filled with the celebrating of the good people of Solar. A celebration like none have ever heard of in Solar is taking place. Wenches scurry from table to table not moving fast enough for all the orders called at them. The entire place is filled with excitement.

Someone near the back stands on a table and motions for silence. Quickly the entire place calms down as everyone directs there attention to the man standing on the table. Whispers heard tell that it is Glendor Grimdor, the head of the militia in Solar.

Glendor puts his hands over his head and announces to the gathered. 'Today we have met a great victory. We have overcome the Edmancium in this great battle.'

He is interrupted by mighty cheers and hollers from the bar and it takes several minutes for them to calm down.

'But this is only one battle. We cannot hope that we have rid the Four Cities of this foul clan. We must continue our vigil till every caravan and traveler feel safe to walk our roads. We must remember our losses also. The ones that gave their lives to provide us with the security we expect. Let us give a moment of silence in honor of the few who fell in battle. The greatest honor

to be given to a warrior of Solar.'

The place falls silent and is broken a few moments later by Glendor.

'In your celebrating keep in your minds those that have fallen, and remember the ones who have taken them. The coward mage who hid during battle only to attack with cowards magic and then run away. He knows the might of Solar and ran from it. But we will chase him my friends,' he continues yelling over the calls for revenge. 'He will find no solace in his travels. Not until he rests, buried in the earth.'

Glendor picks up his cup and raises it to the air, 'To revenge. All the sweeter for the chase.'

Yelling loud enough to deafen errupts in the bar. Not one person is left in their chair as they all call on the death of their enemy. Vows to not rest until the land is free are heard intermixed with calls of death to all that oppose Solar. The look of madness is in many eyes. The wenches hide behind the bar, scared of what has turned from a joyous celebration to a call for revenge.

Glendor lets out a mighty yell and jumps from the table and walks swiftly out the door. The bar quiets down and returns to what it was at the beginning.

As you enter the smoky bar the smell of meat and ale assail you from all sides, it is still early evening but already the Tavern is bustling with activity. The Barkeep is busy filling tankards while the serving maids run from table to table, giving an adept slap of the hand now and again.

The place seems very reserved, the crowds not yet drunk from an excess of beer, mostly patrons there for a meal.

As you stride towards a seat snatches of conversation drift to your ear.

From a table to your left a well muscled man with a long sword laid on the table is talking to a dwarf sitting opposite him, pausing only to drink from his pint. 'I tell you there's a fortune to be made in the North, Solar is being over run by timberwolves at the moment, a job would be guaranteed. What do you think?'

The dwarf seemingly oblivious to any thoughts at all apart from the haunch of venison in front of him grunts through a mouthful of the meat.

Nearer to the bar a small man with a love of tasteless gold rings berates a young woman, his voice high pitched and nasal. 'You know better then to think of seeing that woodcutters son, why, they say that the forest is crawling with all manner of creatures, werewolves no less and other strange creatures..'

You sigh in sympathy for the girl who sits with her head down avoiding the mans gaze.

Across from them an old woman complains to an old man who sits there nodding absently at the woman's ramblings as they whistle threw her teeth. 'Ah it's not right I tell you, his daughter goes missing and what does he do? Nothing, he is the Lord Mayor he could have the town guard to look for her, and talking about him, his new taxes......'

As you reach your seat a serving girl approaches you. 'What'll it be then?'

You walk towards your usual table, it has been a hard day and you are tired and in need of some food and drink. The bar is empty at this time of day and conversations and mutterings fly across the room.

A crash draws your attention before you can order. From across the room you see a two men facing each other, chairs and mugs lie on the floor. One has the look of a marked veteran, the other the touch of youth in his features.

The young one stands with his back straight and seems furious at the older man. 'It twas not my fault I tell you, I was awake at my post and I heard nothing! They came out of nowhere, all those damned trees how could any one see anything, the roads within this forest are no longer safe to travel even for an armed escort.'

The veteran seems taken aback at the vehemence in the young guards voice. 'Then you failed at your job lad, we were hired to guard a caravan and failed.' His voice rises as his own anger boils to the surface. 'Do you know how hard it will be to find work now! We have been disgraced, and you then have the gaul to tell me that they ran away not on two feet but on four.

Do you know how that sounds, and they ran as fast as wild dogs. It is not even a full moon lad. Lucky for you that you had the sense to shout for help, we may all be dead now.'

'They did run on four feet, I saw them.' The youths shoulders slump, as he picks up a chair and sits again.

An elf walks over from a nearby table and pats the youth on the shoulder. 'Do not be too disheartened young warrior, in the forest it is told of strange illnesses that can turn the minds of men into that of a raging beast. It is also extremely hard to see within the canopy of the forest. We elves too can feel the change in the forest, what with the threat of these Edmancium raiders and now strange sightings being reported in the forest, we are all a little uneasy.' He reassures the young man before helping them pick up the strewn plates and mugs.

The attention of the crowd draws away from the scene as calm returns to the table. As you look round you can see that the unease is not limited to the three in the corner, all around people sit uneasy at their seats sipping at their drinks and eating slowly and grudgingly.

The table next to you seats two men, both merchants by the look of their gaudy clothing, one feral faced and the other with too much weight and beads of sweat on his brow.

'Times have become desperate.' The thin man remarks to the other, glancing towards the scene of the incident. 'It was a pity about Shad's caravan being raided like that, lucky he did not lose too much.'

The other mops his brow and interjects. 'But he lost four guards. We should be more careful, hire more guards. Perhaps we should travel in groups. No, no that would be too big a target wouldn't it. Should we ask the lord for..'

'Bahh, rubbish. Guards are two in a dozen, most you can hire today aren't worth the scraps under your feet. As to the lord, what would he do, send his own private guard as escorts, heh, no. We are the life blood of the four cities and we are becoming the targets of every bandit and thief in the forest, and what do the lords do, nothing! I tell you we should move from here, trade between the eastern lands and Solar. We are becoming isolated so far in the woods, blocked on all sides.' The mans thin body shakes as he wheezes.' The fat man nods energetically, between bites of food, at his every word.

Your attention is drawn away by the serving maid as she drifts over.

Overheard beside the Monument of Hetaira on the Promenade of Crimson Suns

'...assume that you have heard tell of the priests called Khaitarae, who dwell on the Isle of Khaitos in the Southern Sea?'

'I think so; are they not they who despise more wholesome priests, and who ban from their shores all images of the Phoenix and of Shin, the Moon God, and of the God of Carmanians?'

'The very same! Allow me to tell you, friend- I have seen their isle, and them as well, and I swear upon my name of Stachys...'

'Stachys? What sort of name is that? It has the ring of the south in it. Is it Khwarezmian?'

'Nothing so exotic! It is Pisidian; I am named for the city of Stachys, which is the seat of my land's beloved Autarch (whose brow-sweat is as gold to his people, may his name be blessed). But it is of no consequence. Will you now listen?'

'Yes, yes, do not be irritable.'

'I was hired from the docks of that city of Stachys for a sail upon a Parsic merchantship, and in the fourth day of our voyage, as we sailed the islands, we lost most of our fresh water in an accident; the captain (one Dasharga, a huge and bellicose Parsic) was a man of scepticism...'

'Do you mean he was an Atheist?!'

'No! No, of course not. But he was not inclined to believe in such things as hungry ghosts and so on.'

'Then go on.'

'Yes. In any case, this Dasharga was a man of scepticism, and decided that we would put in at the Isle of Khaitos, for it was not far, and ask the priests there for water; they held no fear for him. We put in there, in a beauteous harbor of natural design; above us was the steaming jungle, and the most fantastic peaks, jagged, and worn with ages of rain!'

'You sound like a poet!'

'Why thank you.'

'It is not a compliment in this land; but take it as you will. Go on.'

'We went up the shore, looking for a sign of human manufacture, of which we found nothing. But then, as we advanced up into the edges of the jungle (at the orders of Dasharga, who became quite irate, particularly when a black-skin and a Mysian became fearful and fled), we were approached by a party of outrageous creatures!'

'What were they?'

'I shall tell you, if you will cease interruption!'

'Apologies, my good Pisidian; I have simply had too much to drink.'

'Now I shall tell you what these creatures were; they were those solemn creatures who are termed gorira by sages, and...'

'No! Do you speak true?'

'Yes! Would I lie to you? Now, this creature, the gorira, is like a man and ape combined, but huge and hairy with black fur and a solemn, old face; I have been told that they are the offspring of apes and human women, but I do not think this true, for if it were, they would be more brutish. But these gorira (there were four) were gracious and dignified, and with hand-signs made it known that we were to come with them into the mountains...'

Stachys begins to whisper into his companions ear

'Have you heard?' One merchant asks another as they enter the town market together. 'I've heard tell of a great wyrm deciding to make his home in the lands around the Four Cities! And I've heard tell he's none too fond of the rebels harassing him for aid - he's even eaten a few who provoked him with threats!'

'Ah, you're just hearing rumors. There's no wyrm, and if there were, what'd he want with a forested land like this? It's not like dragon lairs are common hereabouts.'

As two dwarves walk along...

'Did ye hear tell of the black sheep of the Shalecliff clan? Word is, he's bred some new type o' fungus, 's as good as a full meal and just as tasteful.'

'Aye, I hears of this fungus... An' I hear tell it's a drug. Powerful one, but deadly.'

'I heard none o' this...'

'I hear tell that Rock Jaws is back.'


(Interrupting loudly)'Oh yes!'

'And right on the teeth 'o' the worst storm season since the Year 'o' the Blue Wolf!'

'Suppose we won't be seein' any more tradin' wagons this year...'

'I heard that Jukal of the north is caravaning this way riding the storm.'

'Jukal? No way, he has never come down here.'

'Kio said that was the rumor that came down on the last three caravans of the fall. Three I tell ya. Not all of them could have made up the same lie about Jukal!'

'No, but Kio could have. I bet he drank like a fish and didn't have to buy one drink while telling all of Jukal coming.'

'So what? What if Jukal really is coming and Rock Jaws meets him?'

'I wouldn't want to be anywhere near that! Not for anything. I need a drink. HEY WENCH!'

With special reference to the plot 'The Deterrent' or just generally overheard to demonstrate superstitious extremism after a few pints:

'So what d'you think, Kjurd?'

'I'd heard it was nearer sixty thousand, all be told.'

'Sixty thousand!? Now yer talking sh...'

'No serious. They breed them. No! They do, really! They have whole castles full of 'em, just waiting for the word from the King and then...'

'And then?'

'Well...they'd release them, I suppose.'

'And how's to know that a horde of sixty thousand dragons wouldn't just fly down and start attacking us? Our country?'

'Well I suppose they must feed them on Stanic flesh.'

'Or make 'em smell Stanic food so's they can sniff the place out?'

'Yeah, or maybe they're like racing pidgeons...'


'...well they'd know where to go...'

'Are you tellin me that a horde of sixty thousand fire-breathin serpents is like a flock of pidgeons?'

And more such typical tavern conversation-observations.


what about royalty rumors

they said the king is a doppleganger or changeling

they said the king is evil or controlled by a demon

they said the queen is a vampire

they said the queen take a bath with human blood because she thinks that will keep her young for ever

and so on....

Did you see what happend to one of the Charcoalers? It was out in the East Woods where it happened. Dang near two parts of him by all good accounts. No bear done that. No sir. Something wrong be there. There been unnatural things out that way for a time now. Some say, somehwere in that baleful woods is a HellPit spawning all these problems.

'They say that young girls are being taken up to the Palace and never return, and that one mother saw her daughter dressed in the royal clothes and jewels of the Princess herself. Myself, I think the mother was just seeing things...

(Overheard in a tavern full of thieves)

'Last night my friend Jake and two of his friends decided to rob Vallermoore Cathedral and asked me if I would come along. I told them no, I didn't rob sacred places. Well, late that night there was a knocking on the door and I came down to see who it was. It was Jake and he had been wounded. He told me that a knight of stained glass had leapt down from one of the windows and sliced his friends down, and that he was lucky to escape with his life! Personally I think that he and his friends came across a city guard patrol, and that he is too embarrassed to admit being caught by the guards.'

(At a border post.)

'Why have I fled my country? Because the King has a magical staff that talks to him and orders him to execute people, and he obeys it without question. I was a courtier-do you really think that I would choose a life as a refugee voluntarily? No, I am not wanted in my home country for any crime whatsoever.'

'He begged on his deathbed not to be cremated, but to be buried as he would have been had he died in his homeland, but they put him on a pyre anyway. The next evening the priest tripped whilst taking his urn to the temple, and and a cloud of ashes came out and took the shape of a human! The priest tried to run, but the thing cut him off, attacked him and then seemed to collaspse into dust. I saw the priest's eyes and they seemed...blank. Then the priest worked away strangely like something was controlling his movements from inside, and noone has seen him since.'

'It seemed a great ring at the time, but soon after wearing it I got so tired that I could hardly be bothered to get up in the morning. When I found out that it was the ring I threw the cursed thing away and then ended up running around crazily doing all the things I should have dome before. I'm not buying anything from that shop again, that's for certain.'"'>>

'They say that a mad babbling voice can be heard from the tomb of King Arkon...that his spirit is trapped and begs for realese. Myself, I think it's just the wind and someone's overactive imagination.'

Have you noticed that there be a marked increase in pointy hat and staff types?

Yah. Look at them over there... some trying to be mysterious in the corner.. those others gabbing it up like old war vetrans swapping tails. And it isn't just here. I saw them turn away a few at the Black Swan near my Forge. Inns full they said. Furious the magicers be. I was amazed they didn't turn old Chelkin into a frog or something.

So why they all be here?

Birds have been dying for weeks, damndest thing you ever did see. One moment they be flocking and ducking and the next they be falling right at your feet. Not natural I say, not natural. Somes have had the fortitude to try cooking them up. Heck, in these times it might be hard to resist, I don't view them any worse, just saying I wouldn't never be trying them as my main dish. Anywhos, they did get the sickness not long after for their trouble. Few died from what I hear, but they don't stay dead. Now, these are just things I been hearing I'm telling you. But my door be locked tight an night from now on. I am just fine hearing about them, not wanting to see none of it for myself, that is for certain.