Lands of Katagma

Thoradins Letters Home: Oldden Part Two

The hive and the halberd

Our search for these abnormally large insects began with checking the field where it supposedly attacked the local cattle. On inspection, it seemed the locals were right. However, it seemed that the cause of the attack was actually the cattles fault, it seemingly wandered into the woods and in someway spooked the bee.

We then took the forest, hoping to find some sign of their nest. I’ve not seen so many trees so closely packed together, the tree covering so thick it was almost like being back at Firepeak! Lira again proved her impressive skills as a Ranger, despite the density of the trees and the unchanging surroundings not once was she lost. It seems she has a connection with these woods as deep as our peoples connection with the stone.

To our horror, in our search for the hive we first came across a very different beast. A large bear leapt from the brush and assaulted us! It so happened that I was the closest to the enraged creature, and it soon had the best of me. Parse as always had my back, and got me back onto my feet while the rest of our party fended off the bear.

Some time later we came across our first alive giant bee. Despite our closeness to it, the creature did not seem at all hostile to us. We figured that if we followed it for long enough eventually it would lead us back to its hive. It took a long time, but eventually we were brought to a large mound that the bees seemed to be living within. We took sometime to inspect the mound from the outside, but it soon became clear we were going to make little progress without attempting to scout out the inside.

Parse, ever impatient to indecisiveness, quickly took the lead and the brunt of the bees defence of their home. You could see the years of his training with the honour guard in every movement, and the poor critters could hardly land a hit. Before too long we’d killed or subdued the entire nest.

The hive was a curious place, while you could see the bees had built some of it, most of the internal structure and construction appeared to be by one of the humanoid races. A quick search revealed a decorated tomb in memorial to a long forgotten elven hero. I was unaware the fey folk revered any of their dead in such a manner, it was almost cultured! The hero had been left with his famed halberd, a beautiful magical construction that must have been the most finely crafted weapon outside of the dwarven world for many a century. It had however been made part of an evil trap, removing the halberd caused undead warriors to be released from columns to defend the heros resting place.

They gave us a good fight, clearly they’d been skilled warriors in their previous life, but ultimately they were no match for us. Then we were left with the question of what do with the halberd. As part of this tomb, I felt it only right to leave it with them. The ancestors must be honoured, and while the other races do not seem to share our belief on this I was not about to tarnish one of the few exceptions. Most of my friends however felt that our need for the fine weapon was greater. Before the discovery of the undead guards Parse had sided with me, but he felt strongly that the use of the vile arts to protect his place of rest marked him as evil and no longer deserving of the respect we pay to our dead. In the end I had to concede, for I was unable to change the hearts of my compatriots.

The last thing left to do before heading back was to collect the honey, the basis of our quest had been not been entirely forgotten even with the discovery of the tomb! Quickly we loaded up our barrels, and our water skins, with the substance. Only pausing briefly to bury some poor soul that had wandered in before us and had fallen to the giant bees.

Once we’d loaded up, Lira quickly lead us back to Oldden. Linus was as good as his word and payed us in full for our service, even throwing in the cost of our stay at the inn!

That’s all from Parse and I as of this writing. How has life been in the peaks? Has Ferrodin yet mastered the distillery, last I heard he’d managed to prepare a whisky at double strength! I’m sure Fargrim Dankil was fond of that particular batch, but I fear it may not be to everyones taste. If a human got a hold of it he’d join his ancestors before he’d had his first glass.

I heard our sister Diesa was to be wed to one of the Hollowridge clan? Wish her the best from me, and that you did at least pick one of the hairier sons as a suitor for her sake.

May the ancestors watch over you, and the ale stay pleasantly warm
Thoradin & Parse

PS: Enclosed you should find 2 waterskins worth of that fine honey we harvested. Some humans use it for preparing their beer, we thought you may find it interesting to try mixing it with our family ale. Also enclosed is a map of the area around Oldden and the hive if we should need to procure a larger supply of the honey.

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fabrice_clarke The_Mad_Squirrel

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