Bob "Wrinkles" Hill, retired human wizard adventurer
“I’ll tell you my story if you swear to not tell anybody else. Telling stories has been getting a lot of people killed lately. Conner says I can trust you, and if I don’t trust somebody, retirement is gonna be tough.”
My team, Moonrise, we’ve been probing the Tuskarin jungle for the last two years. There are temples in there, old ones to the dead gods. We’ve been figuring out the Tuskarin patterns, how they hunt, we were getting good at sneaking around them. We got to a temple to the Raven Queen. Creepiest place I’ve ever seen — nothing like the Dark Lords. We get down into this one hallway — the walls done up like the experience of death. At the start is a person laying in bed, surrounded by friends and family, he travels across the planes to the Raven Queen, where he is welcomed to the afterlife. To the left was a chamber of rest, soothing fountains, rotted chairs that were once probably very nice to sit in, that sort of thing. But to the right there was a buzzing sound. The others didn’t hear it, just me and Wictas, our priest. We moved towards the buzzing and found a crazy room with chains hanging from the ceiling. Wictas said it didn’t match the rest of the architecture. There were ice sculptures of all sorts of creatures that got our attention. There was a pair of black knives flickering with silver light on a stand in the middle of the room. A magical force was protecting it and we thought the ice sculptures might be guardians. Then there was a sudden downdraft of cold and the chains were rattling. We looked up right as a Cobalt Dragon dropped on us. The biggest dragon I’ve ever seen. Ever fight a Cobalt? They’re so cold, you burn just from standing near them. Hurts worse than being on fire. But the weirdest thing was that during the whole fight, it was swearing and cursing at us. Calling us everything in the book. Why would a dragon call us rapists? It doesn’t make any damn sense. But that’s not important — that dragon should have slaughtered us. It landed right in the middle of our group. Tragar tried to draw its attention, he was good at that. But it pounced on me, broke both my legs and then was about to rip my throat out when it turned and attacked Roger. Roger went down almost as fast as I did. It was using its breath weapon on our priest and he went down. We were toast. But then it turned on Tragar. May the lords of light bless his scaley hide, he drew it away from us. It was calling him a coward and a traitor, but he kept his cool. He ignored it and kept the fight clean. I revived Wictas and he healed us. Tragar succumbed to the cold and that dragon turned back on us. We threw everything at it that we had as it charged us and we dropped it. As it died, for the rest of my life I will hear its voice, “I am Bedoris. Shanara Wildwind must pay.”
Our troubles began when we returned to the Adventuring Guild. Things were fine at first. We were busy and had lots of treasures to sell. It was a week before we finally went to the Adventuring Guild and reported our story of the dragon. We told them about Shanara Wildwind and the next day Wictas and Tigtas Redriver were both killed. Strangled by creatures from the Shadowfell.
Wrinkles shakes his head, “I don’t buy it. Fighting things from the Shadowfell is an old war for us. It’s the Watchers. They don’t want us knowing the name. Don’t speak of Shanara Wildwind to anybody. It’s like signing your death warrant.”