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So this is what it was like to be an adventurer?

Maria found herself more then a little disappointed, it was nothing like what she had expected.

It had been three months since she had left the Mere and her small village of West Harbour behind her and yet, she was about as close to achieving the task her father set out for her as she had been that day. Since arriving in Neverwinter all she had done was run errands for the watch, hoping at some point they would fulfil the promise they made and let her into Blacklake.

At one point she had become so frustrated she had thought about defecting and joining the thieves, but she doubted they would have her after all the things she had done to hinder them, even if her morals would allow it.

And now here she was again, running an errand for the watch and hoping it would be the last.


She was snapped out of her thoughts by one of her companions, it was the dwarf Khelgar.

“We’re here,” he said pointing at a scattering of tents and wooden sentry towers, “It’s old Owl Well.”

The young Wizard smiled at him, ah what a motley crew she had assembled. She didn’t know why they insisted on accompanying her though she was secretly glad for the company. Still with a thieving tiefling, a battle ready dwarf who wanted to become a monk, a cryptic druid, a pyromaniac sorceress and the latest addition to the group, an insane gnome bard – things were going to be very interesting indeed. Especially with the constant bickering between the tiefling Neeshka and Khelgar.

“Finally!” moaned Qara, “All this walking is giving me blisters.”

The young wizard rolled her eyes and sighed,

“You insisted on coming, this isn’t like the academy where you can walk around in silk slippers all day.”

“Well, you’d think they’d have given us horses or something,” grumbled the sorceress.

“This is a low profile mission, we can’t have anything giving us away and horses leave tracks, besides on foot we can go places horses can’t.”

“Alright,” Qara resigned, “This is better then staying at the Inn cleaning floors and wiping tables anyway.”

The elfin druid Elanee motioned toward a stout dwarf talking to a young man, he wore armour that marked him as one of the Neverwinter nine and he had a long auburn braid down his back.

“I want those walls up by evening! No excuses,” he barked, “The orcs aren’t going to stop attacking just because we need to catch our breath.”

“But sir, the men are having a hard time finding the materials we need...”

The dwarf looked incredulous,

“You’re telling me they can’t find any stones? We’re in the middle of the blasted mountains!”

The greycloak looked sheepish,

“Unless you’d like to report to Nasher that we’re overrun because we couldn’t find rocks, I suggest you drive some sense into your men and get that wall built.”

The man saluted and scuttled off and the dwarf sighed and rubbed his eyes, it was then that he noticed the girl staring at him.

“And who are you supposed to be? Reinforcements?”

It took Maria a second to realise he was addressing her,

“Er – I’m looking for the person in charge.”

“Well that would be me, I’m Callum, Commander Callum to you. What are you doing here?”

Why did she feel like she had been caught somewhere she wasn’t supposed to be? Like a child doing something naughty.

“I’m here to escort the Waterdeep emissary to Neverwinter.”

She tried to sound official, it irked her to be treated like a little girl by someone half her size, even if he was her superior.

“He hasn’t arrived yet, he was supposed to be here a tenday ago. I’ve sent a scout out to look for him.”

Suddenly realisation dawned on him and she saw a little respect enter his eyes and his demeanour changed.

“You’re the one from the City Watch aren’t you? I must say you aren’t what I was expecting.”

He eyed the Aasamir critically, as if sizing up her potential.

“Of course, because anyone who can make headway with these Gods forsaken people must be a giant tough man that breathes fire,” she muttered to herself.

“My scout hasn’t reported back yet but I expect him soon, in the mean time you will help in our defence of the well against the Orcs-“

As he said these words a strangled cry rang out from behind them and a lean young man sprinted into the camp.

“Sound the alarm, the Orcs are attacking!”

“Wouldn’t you know it, not a moment’s rest,” muttered the Commander with a grim smile on his face.

Maria had never seen an orc before and fighting them was alot different to fighting humans. They were twice as tall, three times as strong and surprisingly quick, more than once the girl had to dodge a blow that would have decapitated her.

“Another orc raiding party,” Callum spat in disgust, “We’re lucky they haven’t attacked in full force. Just wish I could make contact with whoever has been out there distracting them.”

Maria was confused,

“Someone else has been attacking the orcs?”

“Yes, someone is out there taking out patrols and its giving us a chance to build up our defences.”

“So they’re on our side?” asked Elanee.

“Count my blessings and all that eh?” replied the Commander, “ I’m a believer in being able to control the battlefield, and without being able to contact him I can’t control him. The orcs have a name for him – [/i]Katalmach[/i]. They say he attacks without warning- and without regard for his enemy’s numbers.”

“Sounds like someone else we know,” whispered Neeshka eyeing the young sorceress.

Maria had to hide a smile.

“That’s not a name the orcs give lightly,” said Khelgar clearly impressed, “Its a name they give to warriors who lose themselves in battle.”

“Maybe this ‘kettle-head’ person simply lacks basic math skills,” added the gnome Grobnar, “You see, if we were to face three hundred orcs, the odds..well, if you carry the two...might be...”

Maria just looked at the gnome with exasperated amusement, he would prattle on for hours if he wasn’t distracted.

“This is fascinating and all, but can we please get back to the matter at hand?” drawled Qara as she inspected her fingernails, “I don’t want to be here any longer then I have to.”

The scout that had returned explained that he had not found the emissary but his escort had been slain to the last man. Callum directed them to the most likely culprits, the tribe of Yaisog Bonegnasher.

“Great, a mission within a mission,” the wizard muttered to herself blowing a lock of chestnut hair out of her face in her frustration, “Will it ever end?”

As they headed out Callum called out to them.

“By the way, if you run into that madman who’s attacking the orcs out there, let him know I’d like to have a little chat with him...”

Planetouched © slydfox

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