I just left home a short while ago. I don’t expect to be waiting for good old Fycan Jasperroot for very long. Actually, just as I am reaching Seaworthy Hill’s tunnels, I can already hear his voice! I hope he hasn’t been waiting for me. While I can hear him speaking, obviously, he’s not talking to me. I only just arrived, for one, and two, he’s taking up tones like I’ve heard him do when he’s entertaining a crowd. Now that I’m closer, I can hear that he’s telling a tale about Graywort the Slayer. I remember this one from when I was small…er. Smaller. The head priest doesn’t often make it a point to request an audience of me, so forgoing a fishing trip to the sea today in order to meet with him is the very least I can do. I know my mother understands; he wont have a problem getting at least one of my siblings to pick up my load for the day. She and I both know whatever Fycan has to say must be important.
Reaching the end of the tunnel, I arrive into the sunroom. Fycan’s not too hard to spot, what with his great big red tuft of hair looming over his head like an angry flame – but he seems to be in the middle of it with an audience of little halfling children. Poor Fycan. Being the eldest of nine, and the one skewered with the brunt of the home-oriented responsibilities, I never liked children. They’re almost like leeches. I tolerate them well, obviously. But they do grate at the nerves. For this reason, and for the want of not being rude, I hang back to allow the head priest a few moments to notice me – or at the very least, to finish up with his leeches. Er. Children.
Once his tale seems to meet its end, I wave at Fycan, and kindly maneuver out of the oncoming paths of destruction of the scattering miniature hobbits. Soon as I spot a clear path, I am making my way over to him. He seems extraordinarily relieved to see me – which sure offers my ego a nice fluffing. Though he does seem to be a bit wrought-up. Quickly I find out why!
It’s the Weylic army that has the poor old Fycan on edge. They have crossed Dvergerdale’s borders it seems – sufficient reason for the head priest to be fretting, I should think! Following Fycan’s lead, I do my best to retain my composure so as to not excite the children departing. Fycan explains that – according to rumor – Weylic soldiers are going to invade us. Seabotl. Already they have crossed Dvergerdale. And the Dorlish! The Dorls have have crossed the March River, geared for Seabotl, too, I think. And they crossed a week ago, at that! With these last details, it’s a mite more difficult for me to reign in the shock, but I do handle myself handsomely. Fycan tells me that Rosyna will have us fight, if it comes down to it – though we are ill-equipped. We’ve nothing to protect us. No real defenses. Just when I think this news can’t get any worse, he also informs me that, on top of the oncoming invasion, the kobolds in the mountains have become riled thanks to all this activity. They are being spotted on the farther-off farms.
Though likely I will have simply offered my services, not wanting to be useless in the least, Fycan soon asks me to go and investigate. Though this is all very overwhelming, I agree to it whole-heartedly. He says that the kobolds require the most immediate attention; the nearest of the soldiers are yet a few weeks away at their fastest. Even if they are weeks away, I almost cannot even believe that this is happening. Just as I am wondering if there is a way for us to wiggle out of this, Fycan seems to read my mind. He offers a solution that at once ropes in my rampant thoughts and steers them at a more heartening plan. He says Seabotl needs to seek help from the Order of the Sword Militant.
Before I can even help myself, I am accepting this task as well. I really am in a bit over my head, I think. It doesn’t much help matters that Fycan advises that, should the event occur that the Weylic arrive before I do with help, that I not return until the war is finished. I don’t like to think that this will happen. Though it is frightening that he is even considering this, I interject some lighthearted jest into this conversation to reassure him. With this, he bids me leave, and, after fetching my trusty mule, Thistle, and the supplies I think I’ll need, I do.
As I head out of town, the serious reality of the situation gradually sinks in like I’m a bit of petrified sponge. It sure is hard to imagine that anybody – Weylic, Dorlish, or not – would want to invade us. What have we done? We’re not harming anybody here. The idea in and of itself makes me a bit indignant. But being surly never did anybody any good now did it? Though, when I do take a more practical approach to this, it sure does seem a heavy task for somebody like me. Fycan should have hired someone better equipped for this. I’m just Rowan Brinesworth, a mediocre Roseheart cleric at best. Even if I am a bit of a… what was the word? Kiss ass. But again! A hobbit never got anywhere by taking the I-Can’t route! And a cleric of Leesha Roseheart does have her duties.
Once I am long since clear of the town, towards the fringe of Seabotl, I do witness an odd sight, breaking the monotony of countryside. He is a fellow halfling – and a farmer, too, by the look of him. I am ready to offer him a word of greeting, but I stop short. Something’s not right with him. Unless it is a favorite past time of farmers to slump against stone walls like they are intoxicated. Just the same, it is well of me to make sure he is, in fact, as drunk as he so looks. As soon as I approach, the man face vaults – as many a drunkard does, I’m sure. But then, drunkards don’t mosey around with arrows lodged in their backs for good fun, now do they. I don’t exactly see any danger around, though still I jump off Thistle, and drag the farmer to my sturdy old mule for cover. He’s mumbling something now. It’s hard to make it out, though it sounds an awful lot like ‘letters?’ What does that mean? Perhaps I might have tried to prompt him a bit more – if it weren’t for the disturbance now sounding off in the field. Ah! Kobolds! I think? Just as I am thinking here, an arrow hisses passed me. Not waiting for the next one to find a home on my person – or this stranger’s, I manage to haul the unconscious farmer up onto my mule.
I hear shouting and a loud bang. And then discover a smell like burning flesh. It makes my stomach twist. Really, I’m not too keen on finding the source of this commotion. Hopping back on my mule, I begin to backtrack at once. The moment I do, I am seeing a man – a wizard? – with a staff and a big black beard approaching me. He doesn’t seem like he’s trying to harm me – he even claims as much. Though I am not taking my chances. I procure my sickle. Weapon in hand, I smile at him, though I am suspicious. He quickly relays to me that he has just finished off the last of the kobolds. Ah! So that explains things! His name is Orvius Kavalson, and, upon discovering that I am from Seabotl, Orvius informs me that he’s news for Fycan – urgent, war related news at that. Thoroughly convinced that he’s playing on the right team here, I tuck my sickle away – sure not desiring to put off any friend of Seabotl, for clearly that’s what he is. He seems to have news about the Order, and this adventuring group called Sword and Sorcery. I’ve heard of them. After introducing myself, I begin to lead him back to Seabotl. This back and forward is sure wearisome, but at least this kobold affair is all taken care of. It’s the least I can do to escort Orvius, considering the immense help he is being. And with the kobolds gone, it sure will allow for me to get right to seeking out the Order.
Alas! Seems Orvius has different plans for me yet. He tells me of the grave danger that the Sword and Sorcery adventurers will be in when they emerge from Smalwood, of how the Dorlish already have Redhorne surrounded, and of the siege that the Order will soon be under. I cannot say the last part will make my task any easier, but I didn’t much expect for this to be easy. I tell him I’ll warn the Sword and Sorcery group, since I am now heading for the Order – and Smalwood is on the way anyway. Who knows – perhaps these famed adventurers can help me to the Order safely. Maybe even lend a hand to Seabotl? If they are everything they are made out to be, I’m sure we could use the help. I ask the wizard that he inform Fycan that the kobolds are done and delt with, and that he also take see the farmer I’d picked up to Fycan. I don’t know what can be done for this poor fellow, but it is the least I can do, as a Roseheart Cleric, to try and get him some help. Fycan is his best bet, I think, if he can be helped. We go our separate ways now.