You all stand in what you presume to be a pasture, a large fog cloud floating ominously around a sheep herd. Dead wolves lay strewn about. You brush yourselves off and check each other for wounds and bite marks. Luckily no one is badly injured. You hear the sound of sheep bahing calmly inside the fog cloud, and the sound of acid crackling as it continues to eat away at the wolves skin where it hit.
The fight with the wolves was quick and victorious. Ra’hul turns away from the melting carcass of the wolves and looked down at his feet at the wolf with his Mace still embedded in its skull. He stepped on the head to stabilize so he can pull the mace of out of the skull. As he grips the mace and cracks it upward his body goes rigid and he appears to go into a trance like state, his eyes head back, his eyes open wide, his mouth hanging agape.
As Ra'hul deals the final blow, a shock runs through his entire body from his mace, and his mind is snapped backwards, outside of his body, and back into his past. He stills himself on the field quietly, a divine rage pooling within his reptilian eyes, the only sound the heaving of his heavy chest, hot breaths escaping his clenched jaw... The body of the wolf has just crumbled under his weapon and the suffering pain of its acid reckoning. With a final sad sound it shakes and dies. He can feel blood on his hands, fresh and warm, but it doesn't belong to this beast... He can feel bone crunching... There's a blood-curdling scream under his fingertips, inside of his head, right behind him... Ra'hul snaps back into reality, his massive neck twisting about to survey his area as if looking for his own murderer. Finally he catches Travok's stare. Cold... Wood... Forest... Travok…
Quickly, Ra'hul, is charging at full speed towards the dwarf, his hulking body on top of the man like a storm, and then tackling him with his body's full force, bringing the two to a ground-hitting skid that shreds grass off of the dirt. He moves with a red-hot energy, as if fighting for his life, as if looking his own precious honor in the face. He looks down at Travok, pinned down under him with his chest cavity vulnerable under Ra's massive knee. The screams inside of him are bubbling up to the surface, until they release into his next breath, acidic saliva dripping on the dwarf's face as his thunderous scream leveled the field.
"WHERE IS IT?!" he bellows at Travok. He swore he could feel the sound smack the smaller man in the face when it hit him. He clasped both fists together, swinging them up and then bringing them back down again with all of his weight, smashing down right above the dwarf's skull, feeling the ground sink beneath him. If to intimidate, or scare the man into the truth, it made no matter. He could not let him escape, not ever, although he didn't know for what, this was his one chance...
Everyone stands in silence, confused at the outburst.
Travok tries to push Ra'hul off him, shouting "I don't know! What are talking about?!"
Ra’hul , as he watched the commotion that spread to the others in his group, briefly raised his head up to them, chest heaving like a wild animal, although being careful not to let Travok loose from his hold.
"This man is hiding something from us," He growled, duty burning in his eyes, as he looked first to Salleek, pleading that the man would fight for what he knew was right, his only friend, and then around to the others. "He... I... I don't believe that you're as clueless as you pretend, dwarf," He nearly spat, he could feel himself holding back the urge to hurt. "And whatever you know, it's my duty to finish it... The map... Tell me what you know. Tell me where it is."
Travok feels the acid from Ra'hul's burns his face and he kicks and squirm to get away from Ra’hul, shouting, "somebody get this fool off me!"
"Tell me what you know and then you can run away." Ra’hul growled.
Salleek is completely shocked by this turn of events. Just what was going on here?! Salleek found his own body resisting his mind's attempts to make him move, to do something to help the dwarf, and then Ra'hul gazed at him with those eyes. He felt as though his blood froze in place with that one look. Fear, despair, and other feelings that Salleek couldn't quite place bubbled around inside him. After a moment, though, he finally willed himself to move, rushing towards Ra'hul and trying to ram the Dragonborn off Travok. "Knock this off!"
Travok scrambles to his feet as Salleek knocks Ra’hul off of him, "I told you what I know! There's this damn map I was given by my father and I don't know where it is! Now let go!" he shouts at Ra'hul, huffing and winching in pain.
Ra’hul huffs angrily, noticing everyone crowding around him, and fearing another accidental magic explosion, gets up, crossing his arms over his chest. "I know that it is my duty to find him, find his map... And I also know that my duty is pure. So it is just as much my responsibility to find this map as anybody."
The group eyes Ra’hul suspiciously, not accepting the answer for a reason for the attack.
"You call that pure huh.." Meri says, looking at Travok with concern.
"Is that what that was? Purity?" asks Mualia at the same time.
Travok backs away quickly, still facing Ra'hul, glaring at him, "That map ain't yours, you know it was given me by my father, you could just be some greedy thief for all we know!"
"You and your father are not so important compared to something bestowed upon me by some... higher power. If this was not our destiny, why do we have these powers...?” Ra’hul responds, “ I know that it is my job to protect the greater good, and once I am done doing that you can hold your precious father's map all you wish." He mutters the rest of his phrase quietly as he sees a group of farmers and the young dwarven boy returning to the field, all of the farmers have large tools of some short, woodcutting axes, pitchforks, shovels.
The group can hear them shouting in the distance “Come men, let us protect our flock!”
As they get closer to the carnage on the field you see them slowing down as they see the great fog cloud and stopping in their tracks completely as they realize the wolves are dead.
“My lords,” you hear one whisper, and goes to one knee. The rest unsure of what to do follow suit. This is a varied group of men, you see dwarves, halfings, and one half-orc as you look upon them. “Are you sent from the Governess, my lords, has she heard our pleas and finally sent you find men to help rid us of this danger that haunts our small town?” one speaks, out loud to the group.
“We were not sent by the Governess, but by a piece of paper promising reward for their slaughter,” Meri responds.
Ra’hul smiles broadly at the farmers. "You need not thank us, but the God of Lux for giving us the means to aid this town. And as for the sheep, we did our best efforts to preserve their livelihoods as well."
As they watch the tiny gnome wave her hands in the air and the fog disappear and their sheep magically appear in its you hear an audible gasp from them.
"PRAISE THE LORD OF THE LIGHT THE LORD OF LUX" you hear one shout. The farmers move passed you stepping over the dead wolves bodies and move to collect their sheep, but one stays behind.
He is a stocky dwarf with gray beard and bald head, and he chews a pipe in his mouth as he speaks. "And who may we say saved our livelihoods from these wolves?" he asks.
Meribonk responds, "We are the Pathseekers! As we'll be sticking together for a while, and doing what needs to be done around here. So write that down, friend."
The older dwarf nods, “My name is Rede, and I am one of the elder farmers in this small town. We do not have much to provide you, we are humble farmers, the United Sheep Farmers coalition of the Greater Kingdom of Sembia is offering a reward for the slaughter of every wolf in the kingdom. I am sad to say this pack" he points at the dead in the field. "is not the last of them." He then digs into his side pack and produces a coinbag, "however, our sheep are our lives, and this is what I can offer you," he pulls out a bag of coins from his pocket. "the others are broke, they have no coin, and this is the last of mine. But it is deserved. I will find a job at the mines to replace it"
He holds the coinbag out , half heartedly, you can see that while he wants to do right by you it is a struggle.
The group feels conflicted about taking the money, but eventually Ra’hul moves forward and takes the coinbag from the dwarf’s shaking hand. “Thank you, good sir”, the Dragonborn says as he does.
As the coinbag is taken the older dwarf turns away and the younger dwarf that had notified the town of the woods moves towards the old one and takes his hand. You hear him say, “It's alright papa, I can go to school in Cormyr next year."
The group moves on and attempts to skin the pelts off the wolves taking in their count of the battle, Salleek jotting down notes on his papers about the anatomy of the wolves and their process in the attack. Out of ten sheep, only 2 perished from the wolves attack. Out of 7 slaughtered wolves, were not touched by acid damage and salvageable. They were able to extract a small amount of pelts, barely enough to cover Merribonk.
As the group gathers their things and moves back towards the Tavern, Mualia moves to check on Travok, as she can see the Hill Dwarf is still shaken from the encounter. As she puts a hand to his shoulder she feels a flashing of memories in her head.
Mualia is in the cold. All around you is white. The ground is white. The sky is white. In front of you looks like nothing but a white wall. You are cold, freezing. You must move forward, step after step. Your feet sink into the snow up to your knee. You are bundled in large furs, and in your arms you carry something bundled in large furs. It’s so cold, the coldest bone chilling cold you have ever felt in your life and you are use to the cold. But this is something else. But you must continue. Your face is frozen. Your breath crystallizes as it leaves your mouth. The snow a continuous wall in front of you, but you continue forward.
You feel something pull on your waist. You look down, the rope. The rope you had tied to yourself and the others. You pick the end up and pull. No slack comes. Someone has stopped. You tread back slowly tracing the rope back, 5 feet, then 10 feet. You feel the bundle of furs in your arms shaking.
You finally reach the others at the next bit of rope. It is Ra’hul. He has stopped. The wind howls around you but you still yell loudly. “Stand Ra’hul, forward”.
He shakes his head. “Leave me, I am done.” You see the others coming into your view. The old one, the young one, the short one.
“We cannot stop here, we will die, stand Ra’hul, fight it.” You yell at him.
You remember now Meribonk dying slowly in your arms. If you do not get to shelter soon you would all perish in the cold, but you cannot leave Ra’hul behind. You see Travok come towards you both coiling up the slack in the rope, shortly after Qarth.
“No, I cannot”, the Dragonborn yells. You see the defeat in his eyes. They had warned you of the dangers of Reghed Glacier. The cold, the constant snow, the whiteouts, the dangers. The white dragons, yetis, frost worms, winter wolves and Thanoi. You had been warned. Told not to go. None of your preparations would get you through the journey alive, but there was no choice. It had to be done. This is where Travok said the map was hidden, so this was where you had to go.
Travok does not speak as he approaches, he eyes both you and Ra;hul then he grabs Ra’hul by the furs and pulls him forcing Ra’hul to stand.
“Foward!” the dwarf yells over the howling wind.
You return as the lead marching forward in the snow, the only one without snowshoes, but you stay close to Ra’hul in case the dwarf gives up and falls behind, Ra’hul may collapse again. You continue marching and every time you look back you see Ra’hul with Travok by his side, pushing him forward.
The memory ends. Mualia moves her hand quickly off of Travok’s shoulder as if shocked, but then chooses to ignore the memory in the moment and gives him a small pat before moving on towards the Tavern with the rest of the group.