With heavy heart but heads held high, the Rimevale emissary and his contingent march into Breaker’s Haven. Though a week behind Vilo Truehammer, Wilmon knows the battle is already won. Having twice secured the flank of the paladins of the yellow rose, the rightful ambassador of Rimevale made possible the final leg of the harrowing escape of 11 dwarven miners from the mines at Bloodstone Pass. Having earned the respect of the fighting dwarves of Breaker’s Haven and their allies from the Monastery, Wilmon presses home his advantage and discredits Vilo.
Ironically, Vilo never claimed any position with the leadership of Rimevale. He apparently assumed no one would be able to find the trail without his maps. His entire argument was that the Rimevale establishment had grown too weak and lazy to mount an expedition to renew ties with the clan. The fact that Wilmon showed up at all would have been enough. Now, however, Rimevale is held in high esteem by the Havenites, who are eager to renew trade.
Vilo’s discretion in making claims aside, he violated a direct order of Redbeard. Execution was warranted and the Havenites solemnly offered to perform the act. Wilmon then demonstrated the wisdom that led Redbeard to place him in charge of the expedition. Knowing that the loss of clan Truehammer’s heartfelt loyalty would ensue from Vilo’s execution, Wilmon declared that Vilo was misguided, but he had at least acted toward an honorable goal. Wilmon offered Vilo a chance to redeem himself by accompanying the next expedition through the tunnels to Bloodstone Pass to try and find more escaped slaves. During the next raid which netted three more escapees, Vilo fought a rearguard against an ambush of hobgoblin slavers. He was slain, but by all accounts he died valiantly while singing a dwarven battle song. His sacrifice allowed the rest to escape. Clan Truehammer is well satisfied by Wilmon’s decision and most will return to Rimevale content and loyal to Redbeard. Others will stay in Breaker’s Haven for a new life.
While some received a new life, Taz Quickfoot met his end. The irrepressible halfling never shied away from danger and it finally caught up to him. Taz being the only halfling in the area, none were familiar with the burial practices of the river folk. All sought to honor him. The dwarves offered a cairn among their honored dead. The paladins he died defending offered a burial at the Monastery of the Yellow Rose. In the end, a small funeral pyre was built on a raft and he was sent home down a mountain stream to eventually mingle with the waters his people call home.
Stay tuned for a preview of next month’s plot…