Part 1 : Golden Sands
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Posted 27 October 2002 - 05:50 PM
Twilight Part 1: Golden Sands
"There they are," Vierna whispered.
"I could have told you that, Vierna," Gerty said.
"I don't see how a bunch of hobgoblins could have caused so much chaos," Shivon wondered.
"Isn't it obvious?" Glyill added, in her usual mysterious voice. "They must have an outsider with magical talents who is sponsoring them..."
"That explains why they're operating so close to the city..." Lenny said, while grasping his spear a little tighter.
Vierna and her friends were lying belly-down on a plateau of rock overlooking a desert camp consisting of dirty tents and some small buildings. The camp itself lay in an inlet of a ridge of rocky hills which lay between Calimport and the deep backlands of the great Calim desert.
Vierna and her friends had come to the city of Calimport five days ago. Though impressed by the exotic beauty and splendour of the city, they had very little time to play tourist and explore. Almost immediately after booking a two month stay at a nice inn in the Caravans Ward, they were approached by Muzar Zabbir, a burly fighter, and captain of the cityguard. He was seeking experienced adventurers to solve a problem for which he had not enough manpower to spare. Apparenly, caravans had been raided systematically not far out of the Calimport gates, and no one of the caravan runners, were never seen or heard of again. Of course, after taking the necessary preparations, Vierna's party rode their horses into the desert, looking for clues.
It took a significant effort on Vierna's part to find and track down the raiders. Tracks and clues where few and far apart, and a desert floor was very different for a forest floor. Still, in the end, Vierna's uncanny tracking-skill found a trail which eventually led them to a mountain-ridge, which they followed until they found the hobgoblins...
The Golden Sands of the Calim desert was new territory to all partymembers. Everyone wore a white cloth which was strapped to their forehead to protect keep the insides of their skulls from boiling up. Gerty also had her large gnomish nose protected with a white glob of herbal sunprotector which Vierna had prepared for the occasion. Being a red-haired gnome didn't help Gerty either, but she told her friends that, 'endlessly retelling tales of the exploits of her expansive family kept her mind off the raging heat', much to her friends' chagrin. Lenny was the kind of person who never complained about physical discomfort, but this time even he had to admit the metal Full Plate he wore was slowly turning him into deep-friend paladin-steak, so eventually he removed it and slipped the armor into Vierna's Bag of Holding.
Glyill was having less problems with the heat, and did not even bother to change her usual black leather into armor of another, lighter color like Muzar had suggested back in town. She did, however, wear the headgear, if only to stave off heat-induced insanity. When asked why she allowed herself to bake in the sun, she only replied that : 'The fires of the Abyss burn much fiercer...'.
And Shivon... He will probably go in history as the only mage who has ever cast Cone of Cold on himself..
Vierna was having problems of a different nature. The dark hue of her skin absorbed the heat of the sun three times quicker than the others did. Vierna wore a white cloth that completely covered her face, save her eyes. She had put her Red Dragon Plate into the Bag of Holding and wore a simple studded leather armor she had borrowed from Muzar for the occassion. White velvet gloves were on each hand to protect her from the heat even further.
The only one who was clearly enjoying the sun and the heated sand was Brimstone. The huge Hellhound was exceptionally cheerful and often ran ahead only to happily roll through the hot sand before continuing on his path.
But what the party was most unprepared for, was the day and night cycle of the desert. What was boiling in the sun during the day, became stone-cold during the night, forcing the party into warm clothes and leaving a formally cheerful Brimstone to curl up near the warm fire.
"Ssssh," Glyill said. "Do not underestimate them. They might be idiots, but I gather they have powerful friends."
"So has my Uncle Jan," Gerty added with a grin. "You see, we were crossing the street one time, chasing a chicken and..."
"Gerty!" Lenny hissed. "Not now! Look, there's activity..."
After almost a full hour of observation, they had noticed very little in the camp aside from the usual guard-patterns. The usual 'seen-one-hobgoblin-seen-'em-all'-principle was in effect here. They wore tattered rags and grunted in a threatening fashion. Vierna gathered that if the wind would change, she could smell them from the ridge, almost three hundred metres away. Then, a shaman with disgusting brown bodypaint stepped out of largest tent and stepped to a bloody slab of stone. Immediately, the two guards snapped to attention and started to drag a sack towards the makeshift altar. They slammed the sack unto the altar and opened it for the shaman, revealing a human body, obviously from one of the caravans. Immediately, the shaman took a sacrifical knife from his belt and started chanting. A few moments later, the shaman slammed the knife down and pulled out the dead, rotting heart with one foul stroke.
"Eeeeeewwwww," Gerty whispered. "Geez, what'd he do that for? There are plenty of other ways to tithe..."
"No doubt you'd try to bribe your god with a turnip," Glyill snarled. "That is, if you even HAVE a god to worship... But, no... I do not sense any devine powers at work here..."
"Maybe he's just a collector," Vierna said as she noticed the shaman put the heart in a jar and put that jar in a potionbag which revealed dozens of more of heart-filled jars.
"No," Shivon said with an unusual sadness in his voice. "Spell-components..."
"Yikes!"Gerty said, a little to loud for everyone's liking.
Then, the shaman cast another rite and the rotting corpse desintegrated into sand.
"Well," Lenny said. "That explains why no bodies were ever found..."
The Hobgoblins apparently hadn't noticed the noise and continued on with their business, while Vierna and her friends were getting ready to strike. Just as the hobgoblins had ripped the heart from a second body, a shimmering portal opened just behind the shaman. Surprisingly, the hobgoblins bowed reverantly as a mage wearing a black cloak stopped through the Dimension Door. All his features were obscured, but his step betrayed a regal grace.
"I think we're in luck," Vierna whispered to her friends. "It seems we'll get the mysterious leader as well..."
"I sense great power from that man," Shivon said.
"Alright," Vierna whispered. "We crawl in a little closer to the camp and if we're really careful we can get the jump on them. Gerty and Shivon, you cover our descend and strike them from the air... Glyill, we will be counting on your 'Hold Person'-spells... Lenny, Brimstone and myself will jump into the camp behind the shaman and engage them directly... Alright, get into position and wait for my signal... Try to get that wizard alive if you can..."
A few moments later, the call of an owl sounded across the rocky surface of the mountain-ridge... followed by the warcries of several experienced adventurers. The ugly shaman turned around to face the intruders, but soon found himself impaled by Lenny's spear. The stunned shaman was flung over the paladin's shoulder, and only seconds later, the paladin was knocking down another hobgoblin with the butt of his preferred weapon.
Shivon's magic and Gerty's exploding crossbow-bolts rained destruction and chaos on the camp, while Glyill's spell froze roughly two-thirds of the Hobgoblins... For the fighters of the group, it was like shooting fish in a barrel. Brimstone breathed a large flame, setting three hobgoblins ablaze, while Vierna slashed one of her father's swords across the throat of another warrior. In the background, Brimstone mauled the face of a hobgoblins beserker, while Glyill slammed her holy mace in the side of yet another warrior, which would be dead before he hit the ground.
The mysterious wizard managed to make use of the confusion and had apparently cast a 'Haste'-spell on himself. Immedately, the speed of his movements double and her tried to make a grab for the potionbag containing the hearts.
"Oh, NO YOU DON'T!" Vierna screamed over the battlegrounds when she noticed the wizard was headed back to the portal. She prepared to jump on the wizard's back, but misjudged the speed of the man and landed behind him. Sensing she only had one chance to stop the wizard, she made a wild grab for the bag. She clung on, but due to the speed and strength of the wizard, as well as her own light weight, ended up being dragged across the hot sand until the leather band on the bag snapped. The wizard briefly considered heading back to fetch his prize, but decided against it... Three exploding crossbow-bolts and ten magic missles, courtousy of Vierna, Shivon and Gerty, followed the wizard through the portal before it closed.
"We haven't caught him..." Shivon said in disappointment.
"It doesn't matter," Lenny said while he surveyed the carnage. "There won't be anymore caravan-raids. At least not from this lot..."
"Right," Vierna said, clearly disapointed that the wizard got away. Brimstone sensed her feelings and nudged her with his large head, receiving a scratch behind the ear in return. "Let's search the camp for documents or anything that might tell us who that cloaked bastard is..."
"I dunno," Gerty said. "I don't think these smelly dorks could even read..."
"I will be praying for the souls of the fallen," Glyill announced.
"Well," Vierna said, while glancing to the bag of hearts in her hand. "Let's take this back to Calimport so the victim's families have something to bury... I'll get the horses..."
A three day trip back to Calimport later, the group overlooked the city from another ridge. It was a beautiful exotic city, consisting mostly of narrow streets, medina-squares and main roads which connected the sabbans of the city. Many of the buildings had golden colored domes on top of high towers, giving the impression of Calimport being a very wealthy city indeed. The first thing Vierna noticed when they stepped into the city is that there were no bricks to be seen in any building, but that those had been covered up by thick layers of multi-colored plaster, often adorned with inticrate patterns of color.
Calimport was a desert/costal-city, surrounded by sea and desert, making the city almost completely dependant on trade for food, since the fishermen wouldn't be able to feed the city.
Vierna and her friends followed the rocky path down, entered the walls of the city and moved towards the stables, where they were greeted Muzar Zabbir. He told them the raids had stopped three days ago, and he had deduced Vierna and her friends had been succesful. He also passed along the ivitation to the royal palace of Calimport to report her succes to the caliph himself.
"Honored Caliph," Vierna greeted with a reverent dip of her head. "I understand you wished to see us?"
The group was led across the compound of the palace all were amazed by the sheer wealth that was displayed here. Everywhere they looked were golden statues, lavish tapestries, jewel-encrusted objects and rare works of art. It took Lenny more than one harsh glare to get Gerty to keep her nimble fingers to herself.
Finally, they arrived in a large room with walls, floor and ceiling completely made from shiny marble. At the back of the room, near three large open windows, a throne was surrounded with hundreds of soft and fluffy pillows. On the throne, sat the newly crowned caliph of Calimport Harun el Poessah, a middle-aged, idealistic man, who was well-known for his plans to convert the city's rampant use of slave-labour into a normal wage-labour force, and he had worked out a detailed plan to achieve this goal in less than three generations. He had sold his plan to the nobles as a way to achieve even more wealth, since ex-slaves with new money would be able to buy items, which would in turn improve trade and overall prosperity.
"Ah, my young adventurers!" the sultan greeted. "I am happy to hear that you have dealt with these hobgoblin scoundrels and have restored our good name. For a city totally dependant on trade, having a bad reputation can be devastating to say the least..."
"We were happy to help, Caliph el Poessah," Vierna smiled.
"I have been told of your report to my guardsman Zabbir," the Sultan continued. "Do you have any clues to the identity of this mysterious wizard?"
"None whatsoever, I'm afraid," Vierna said and shook her head over this failure. "I have no idea where to even begin the search for him."
"What about the hearts?" the sultan asked.
"Spellcomponents for dark rites, as my lo... companion Shivon told me. There were about thirty hearts in that case, which accounts for five of the twelve missing caravans," Vierna said. "Considering the trouble the wizard has gone through to get those hearts, he probably wants them back, so it might be a good idea to keep them under lock and key until they can be destroyed after their families of the previous owners of the hearts have had a time to mourn..."
"An excellent suggestion, young adventurer," the sultan said, despite the fact that he and Vierna were probably of equal age. "Now, let me thank you on behalf of the city and hand you this ten thousand gold reward."
"WOOHOO!" Gerty suddenly exclaimed. "REWARD! Now we're talkin'!"
A muffled groan sounded when Lenny silenced her with an elbow-jab into her side.
The rest of the day was spent exploring the city and finding ways to spend their reward. The next morning starting in the 'Smiling Camel Inn' , a nice and quiet little inn on the outskirts of the Calimport harbour district. It was a relatively small and medium-lit inn, but there were plenly of alcoves and pillows. The food was good and the walls were beautifully adorned with trophies and other adventurer-paraphernalia. Gerty and Lenny were the first to get down from their perspective rooms and ate their breakfast sitting on the soft pillows at one of the low tables.
They and some of the other guests were lovingly served by Daoud ben Abdul, a retired adventurer of desert Bedouine-stock. On his face was a perpetual smile, as well as a short, yet bushy beard. He wore a wide robe which amply covered up his large belly and on his head, he wore a fez which was WAY too small, often making guests wonder how he managed to keep that thing to stick to his head. He was a kindhearted fellow, always game for a friendly chat, a story or a good meal. He did all the work in the inn himself, from cooking to cleaning and making the beds.
In the corner of the room, sat Kasim, a smiling Kobold, also wearing a fez, who spent all day playing atmospheric music from all over the Realms on his Sitar. Next to Kasim stood a cup which was almost always filled to the brim with coins, next to a sign which said : 'I do requests, do not hestitate to ask for one'.
"I tell you, Daoud," Gerty said. "I wish those walls weren't made of plaster. I had the room next to Shivon and Vierna and, well, ever since they started playing kissy-face..." Gerty said and whistled in amusement. "Like rabbits!" she sighed. "Which is fine as long as you don't have to sleep in the room next to them..."
"Gerty!" Lenny hissed. "Please have a LITTLE discretion!"
"Discretion is not in the Jansen dictionary, my paladine love-puppet," Gerty smiled and batted her eyelashes.
Ignoring her, Lenny shook his head.
"I am so sorry to hear that, memsahib," Daoud said in a friendly fashion. "I will make any effort to see if I can get you another room... And the room on the third floor is still free. It's for two, so it might be an adequate solution for Vierna and Shivon."
"Just oil Vierna's bed," Gerty said. "That'll be good enough for me..."
"Will do, memsahib," Daoud replied.
A moment later, a moderately rested Vierna stepped from the staircase and headed for the table. She noticed Brimstone lying on his side near the dying fire in the back of the main room of the inn. She thought it was very nice of Daoud to allow Brimstone to stay at the inn, since she was unwilling to leave him outside this city. Brimstone rose his head from the ground and wagged his tale a little to greet his mistress, but soon closed his eyes again and once more dozed off. Vierna smiled to herself. The cold of the desert assaulted even his place, and the cold always made Brimstone drowsy. After petting her faithful friend over the back she joined her friends at the low table.
"Slept well?" Gerty greeted with a sly grin.
"Yes and no," Vierna grinned in return. "Shivon is sleeping late, and so is Glyill..."
"I can understand why Shivon is sleeping late," Gerty said. "I'll probably take some hours or so before he can walk again. But Glyill?!"
"She says she's had a nightmare and was up most of the night," Vierna said.
"Oh, memsahib Vierna," Daoud said. "The weaver has delivered your package early this morning!" Daoud picked up a large cylindical package wrapped in sturdy cardboard."
"You bought a carpet?" Lenny asked.
"A tapestry," Vierna smiled. "I've used my share of the reward money to buy a lavishly decorated luxurious tapestry as a present for my momma. She'll love it!" During her adventures, Vierna had been sending gifts of luxurious items back home to her mother, who had decorated an entire room in the keep with all those presents.
"I have the proper connections to have this gift delivered quickly and reliably," Daoud offered. "Shall I take care of the details, memsahib Vierna?"
"You're a saint, Daoud," Vierna smiled. "It has to go to De'Anese Keep in Amn, and has to be adressed to Lady Viconia DeVir and Lord Karis... I have a letter that goes with it..."
"I'll take care of all, memsahib," Daoud smiled.
"So, Daoud," Gerty asked. "You were telling us of local urban legends last night, how about some more? I'm always eager to expand my repertoire!"
Knowing how wonderfully Daoud told his tales, Vierna and Lenny sat up straight as well and looked at him expectantly. Daoud cued in Kasim to play a melanchonic song and started to tell some tales.
"Three score year ago, the ill-reputed wizard Zahmir Shamazzer was locked in a deadly feud with his sister Zayishah Shamazzer, a sorceress of some reknown. After their father died, they had been locked in a fierce argument over the inheritance. Zahmir wanted all the gold, while Zayishah insisted on an equal share for all, including their three younger sisters. Often enough, their arguments turned into magical duels which always ended in a stalemate. So, one day, Zahmir decided to resort to dark curses to get rid of his sister, but three times, Zayishah managed to find a magical loophole to escape this dark fate at the last moment. Enraged, Zahmir decided to create a magical curse completely void of loopholes. For many weeks, he toiled in his lab to create the perfect curse. Then, on the battlefield of mages, Zahmir decided to use his curse, which promply turned on himself after it bounced of Zayishah's spell-shield. Poofed Zahmir into an Ardvark on the spot, you see... And no wizard in Calimport and not even Elmister himself, it is said, could find a way around Zahmir's own curse. Zayishah sold Zahmir to a zoo and shared the inheritance between herself and her sisters... It is said Zahmir still dwells in waterdeep and swore revenge on his sister..."
"Neat!" Gerty said, while Daoud began his second story.
"About three hundred years ago, a power and well-known paladin of the Tyrran faith came to our fine city from the north, wearing shiny full plate, riding on a white horse. He was known as a destroyer of slavery and many vile slave-traders of Calimport feared his coming. For years he had devoted himself to the ending of slavery in all its forms, and he had destroyed or ended the career of many slavemarkets in the northren towns. Unlike our good sultan Harun el Poessah (may he reign forever), however, this paladin was bent on freeing the slaves immediately, without considering consequences, which made him very unpopular with our people and our nobility. Every measure the paladin took was negated by the nobles living of slavetrading or slavelabour, so the paladin decided they had to be destroyed to be able to free the slaves. He invited the nobles to a faux-gathering, and when they had all entered, he magically sealed the door and proceded to slaughter them all without mercy, including their innocent families. He was chased from the city, and his fate is sketchy. Some say he founded a band of bloodthirsty mercenaries... Others say his god Tyr cursed him for his act of evil... One thing is certain, though : He has vowed revenge against the city of Calimport."
"A foul deed," Lenny mused. "Slavery is bad enough, but murder is even worse..."
"Another tale for you. Once upon a time, a young woman received a signet-ring of her mother, wealthy and succesful, on her deathbed. Soon, she would find out how a single woman could attain such succes in business, for in the ring resided a kind Genie. The genie made the young woman's life very comfortable, and she made all the hearts she touched happy and joyious. Soon, however, the young woman noticed a handsome man called Habib who was a wealthy merchant from the next sabban. Eventually (with some help from the genie, of course,) they were wed, and the merchant Habib became even more wealthy due to the almost godlike insights of his new wife. Unbeknowst to the young girl, however, habib was a powerful and evil wizard, and out of jealously, vowed to find out her secret. He scryed her, and eventually spied on the young girl conversing with the genie. Three days later, his summoned Invisible Stalker stole the ring... Due to Habib's dark nature, the genie turned evil as well, and soon enough, Habib controlled the enter city of Calimport and owned all the city's wealth while the people lived neglected in squalor. A revolt was eventually organized and just as the wizard Habib stood on the parapet to wish the rioters into oblivion, his ring remained silent, for his wife had swapped the ring for a replica in the night. The wizard was shot and maimed dozens of times over before he managed to escaped, and the young girl called Sheherazad el Poessah became the first female ruler of Calimport and the first in a line of great rulers! The wizard habib..."
"...vowed revenge on the city of Calimport," Vierna finished with a smile. "Why do all these legends end with a vow for revenge?"
"It adds to keep the suspense even after the story is finished!" Daoud laughed, a deep sound coming straight from his bloated belly.
"Those were great, Daoud," Gerty said, making a mental note to steal the best parts of the tales for use in her own.
"Well, you just stay here," Vierna said. "It's still morning and cool outside, so I'll go over to the gaol and find out if there's still some work for us..."
After a short stroll across the sabbans, Vierna arrived at the Gaol of the city-guards of Calimport. It was a tall, imposing structure compared to those which shared the medina with it. The streets of Calimport were slowly coming to life and merchants set up their many stands while people flocked out of their homes. As soon as Vierna stepped into the empty building, she gathered most guards were on patrol already. The cells were practically empty, signifying an slow night. Immediately, Vierna's attention floated towards the message-board on which several notes with jobs for adventurers pinned on it.
'Adventure usually find the adventurer, but sometimes the adventurer must look for adventure', Vierna mused with a smile and skimmed the board. 'Missing cat, gather spell-components for 100 gold, guard-duty during a wedding... Geez, slow day...' Vierna grimaced.
"Ah, Vierna!" Muzar Zabbir greeted her from behind. "It is good to see you again. Are you looking for work?"
"Yep," Vierna sighed. "But the pickings appear to be slim..."
"Yeah," Muzar said with an apologetic grin. "Most of the juiciest jobs were taken yesterday."
"Sorry," Vierna said. "We really wanted to get some rest and explore the city."
"Don't apologize. Truth be told, I am glad you and your group are here," Muzar admitted. "Most of the adventurers we had here lately are rank amateurs, and we usually end up having to pull them out of trouble... if we even can find them again, that is... I've really had enough of seeing so-called charismatic leaders boasting about having armwrestled with beholders, however that's done, and dragging along inexperienced young kids to their deaths in the process, when they take WAY to dangerous quests..."
Vierna nodded in sympathy.
"Say, I was just about to pin these two messages on the board," Muzar said, changing the subject. "I'll let you have first choice. One is a job for a monster-slaying in the University-library, the other job is to clean out a new tunnel we've found in the Muzad."
"Wasn't that job on the board last week?" Vierna asked. "I saw it right before we left to find the hobgoblins."
"Yes," Muzar said and shook his head. "But the poor kids who took the quest were never seen or heard from again..."
"Damn," Vierna said. The Muzad was the lost undercity of Calimport, the ruins of the past that had been created over the last ten thousand years. It wasn't a constructed dungeon, but more like a wild and wooly collection of sewers, ruins and tunnels. Some of the Muzad was thousands of years old, other parts merely a decade. The Muzad was the haunt of thieves, vicious Drow, ancient Beholders, sinister lycanthropes and many more horrific creatures and people. Unlike a sealed of dungeon, this structure was alive and in constant use, thus constantly changing shape and form... An adventurer's dream... Or nightmare...
"I think I'll take the monster-slaying," Vierna said after thinking it over. "That seems to be a more immediate threat."
"Here you go," Muzar smiled. "And have fun..."
"Then I'll take the other assignment!" Vierna heard a cross voice snarl from behind. Turning around, she came eye to eye with the haunty face of the Waterhavian human fighter known as Tipper Quickfist, a hot-tempered and arrogant man, as Vierna had learned. He was flanked by his usual toadies : a angry-looking dwarven beserker, a snarling half-elven thief, an ugly half-orc cleric of Talos and another human wizard which had a face like a rat. Vierna and Tipper were at odds ever since Muzar had chosen Vierna's party of his, due to her gentle nature and her good reputation all over Fearun. Needless to say, Tipper was not amused when he was being bumped in favor of a Drow elf... and a female Drow elf at that...
"So," Tipper taunted while Muzar sighed heavily. "The tiny Drow is going to kill a monster. It's a good thing I'm not a paladin, or I might have to kill you for being a monster yourself, DeVir!"
"You'd never pass the entrance exam, Tipper," Vierna taunted. "You have to be strong, pious, honorable and kindhearted to become a paladin... You only have a stinky toupet..."
"Hey!" Tipper said. "My hair is real! And I didn't have to ride my father's coattails to get a reputation!"
"At least I know who my father is..." Vierna taunted again, while Muzar snickered. "I bet you have the milkman's eyes, pretty boy!"
"Shut up, shorty," Tipper shouted. "As soon as I pull on your nose-ring, Drow-bitch, I'll bet you'll go hide under your mother's skirt!"
"My mother has never, ever worn a skirt in her life and would kill you where you stand for even implying she ever did wear one!" Vierna laughed.
"Let's see how tough you are, Drow!" Tipper snarled and made a grab for his sword.
"HEY! You can't!" Muzar started to shout, but Vierna beat him to it. With the speed of light, she went for her own sword and quickly slashed through Tipper's belt. Immediately, Tippers way too big parachute-pants hurtled for the floor... And it became painfully obvious that :
"Geez!"Vierna giggled. "You forgot to put on your underwear! Mind you, you don't really need underwear to cover up something THAT small! Hmmm, must be the cold air in here... it looks like a frightened turtle..."
Tipper, being quite anxious to pull up his pants again, snarled a red-faced reply to the giggling Drow, as he bent forward and to the floor. "I'll GET you for this, DEVIR! I swear it! Someday, when you step in a dark alley, you won't come out alive again!"
"What?" Vierna giggled, while Muzar belly-laughed in the background. "You'll kill me with your bad breath? PEEEYYYYUUUUHHH, it smells like a camel has died in your stomach!"
"That's it, DEVIR!" Tipper said as he hobbled to the door with his toadies in tow. "YOU'RE on my LIST!!!"
Vierna said nothing, but stuck out her purple tongue and made a very rude noise.
"Come on!" Tipper told his toadies. "Let's go buy a new belt and kill some monsters." The toadies directed one last poisonous look at Vierna before walking out as well.
"Thanks Vierna," Muzar said, while recovering from his laughter. "You just made my day. You don't know how much they nagged my head off just after you left to find those hobgoblins..."
Vierna smiled and said goodbye, and set out to get ready for a monster-hunt.
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