I had been putting this damn arm problem off long enough. I got the Glorious Blades back together in Westwood, planning to explore the Dolmenwood and make contact with a fae who might be able to fix my arm… somehow. It wasn’t as well planned as I’d like but I was out of ideas and so were the local churches.
Oscar offered me the shield he had been using, a huge piece of twisted iron that I was surprised he could even lift, much less fight with. He said he mostly hides behind it. Apparently when he got around to researching it, he found out that it has ties to an orc leader of some kind, and he didn’t want to carry it. On the other hand, it’s perfect for me; I don’t mind the weight, and I don’t really have the religious scruples. I’ll cover the thing up and if I see any orcs, I’ll ask them about it. And maybe the fae would trade destroying it in return for restoring my arm.
Anyways, Westwood was having one of their periodic anti-fae mini-crusades, this one led by a paladin of Ygg named Mariner. He was an ass, even from a distance, and he was planning to lead an armed mob into the Dolmenwood. Even the local priest of Ygg was skeptical. We spoke with the priest and then the general, briefly, but got little of use from either. We did hear mention of a lady Ygraine whose manse lay within the Dolmenwood; Oscar had spoken of its rough location previously, though he had not met the lady, and u-Heury knew the way.
The general marched before we did. In his wake, we found a burned wagon filled with grain and the corpses of several gnomes, peaceful merchants for all we could tell. Presumably the general had claimed his first “victory”.
We were in no hurry to catch up to the military force after that, so chose to divert to the burial site u-Heury had dubbed Winter’s Daughter. I had my serpent blade, and u-Heury’s very person was anathema to magical creatures; we felt it likely the stone dog could be defeated.
We prepared as best we could before opening the doors. We didn’t have a sack large enough to cover the stone dog’s head, but I tied its front legs together. Then we opened the door and the fight began. u-Heury and I traded blows with the beast while the others, lacking magic weapons, hung back out of reach. We struck several blows before I took a wound in return, and stepped back to let u-Heury finish the fight. The man is insanely tough. Too weak for a proper fighting man, but he just keeps going. Respect. The stone dog fell not long after that.
Behind the doors lay a sarcophagus and a ghost, who claimed to be a long-dead hero who loved a fae and now regretted his part in the war, or so I surmised. He begged u-Heury to take a ring from his grave, to which his soul was bound, and bring it to his fae love as proof he still desired her. He promised treasure from his burial site as reward, but at that point I stepped forward and bargained on my own behalf, requesting his good word on my behalf with his lady regarding my arm. The ghost said he would speak on my behalf if we completed the task.
He also offered directions. The lake below us – where u-Heury has disappeared briefly, long ago – led to a realm of the fae where his lady could be found. He warned us of cold, so I spent the rest of the day hunting for food and to fashion clothes suitable for a colder climate. We would be well advised to rest for a few days to recover before venturing forth.