After the battle at Hanson’s ferry, the group, sans Finkle, continued on to Rimevale. Along the way, they were assaulted by a swarm of gibberlings. Though the gibberlings were fought off, Jelvo suffered greatly from his injuries. Closemouthed for most of the rest of the journey, he seemed to reach a decision when the wagons were offloaded onto the Rimevale docks. Jelvo gathered the party together and paid the 100 gold bonus for the safe arrival of all of his carts. He then brought forth a scroll tube from a pack and looked each of the party members in the eye before continuing.
“Inside this tube is a pipe-dream. Years ago… decades ago, I served as part of the Vesperin border guard. We were mostly just keeping an eye on any activity from Mulmaster, but there were plenty of goblin tribes in the area to keep us on our toes. Our scouts had picked up signs of a large goblin raiding party so we gathered several patrols together for a raid. There were 37 of us. We found the goblins after six days of tracking. They were dead. We did not spend a lot of time wondering what had killed them. Dead goblin is a good goblin as far as we were concerned. Unfortunately, what killed them felt the same way about us.
Now, we were veteran troopers and we had scouts out. One of those scouts was a disciple of Silvanus. Oddest human I have ever met. The man was no more a druid than I was. He was a pickpocket and a drunk when we went into town. But out in the woods, he changed. He claimed he could talk to the trees. Most of us thought he was a little touched, but he did seem to know when something was amiss. Anyway, the day after we found the goblins, he goes berserk. He comes sprinting back to the main body of troops screaming at us to form up and prepare to attack. He gave us about a half minute’s warning. It saved us.
A Vaasan Warlock Knight and his minions hit us hard. Half of us were dead in seconds. Only the warning allowed us to close to battle with any chance. I slew two of the Vaasans myself, but that crazy Silvanite was fury incarnate. He never wavered in his pursuit of the Warlock Knight. He took a spear in the back while trying to bury a fifth dagger into the Knight, but he bought us time. There were four of us alive when Finkle got behind the Knight and slipped a blade under his helmet. Two died within the hour from Vaasan poison.
Finkle and I walked out of the mountains a month later laden down with everything we could carry. It was enough to buy a few wagons and mules and stock them with all of the merchandise we knew was needed in the mountain towns. For twenty years we have been making this run. But we always saw this as a means to an end, not our calling.
That Warlock Knight was after something in those mountains. Every year when we got back to Calaunt, we would scour the libraries trying to figure out what there was in those mountains to draw the attention of a Warlock Knight. We finally discovered what he was after.”
Jelvo shook his head in disgust and continued in a rueful tone.
“Research. He was after the scrolls of Draigdurroch. We lost 35 soldiers for the ambition of a warlock. Draigdurroch was a dwarven warlock who thought he had found a new path to power. A century ago, he took over an abandoned watchtower in the mountains to conduct his studies. It is not known what he discovered, as he was never heard from again. Finkle and I were going to venture to the tower and find out, but it always seemed to be a project for next year. I think we both had realized we were getting too old for such an adventure. This last run has convinced me. With Finkle dead and me hobbled, the tower of Draigdurroch is someone else’s adventure. You have the mettle to undertake the trip. I give over the maps we made to you.
It could be your death, it could be an uneventful trip into the woods. There is no way to tell. I expect there is much adventure to be had up here. The border patrol is always in need of help. Those who can take the bull by the horns are never out of demand. Life in the wild is always an adventure. Perhaps that is why Finkle and I never ventured to the tower. The promise of adventure was better that the reality. If we got there and the place was empty, we would be crushed. You have nothing invested so it may be worth the trip for you. Regardless, I wish you luck. Let me know if you do find something there. And now, it is time to part ways. Good luck.”