71. Bish Bash Bang

Just before Mid-Morning Bell the party arrive at Harnanca to be greeted by Herzad who’s working on laying the foundations for the inn, general store and warehouse while the stonemason, carpenter and labourers move materials up the steps to begin the repairs on the keep high above. Off to one side stands a stack of timber, slate roof tiles and boxes of nails, small panes of glass etc. Apart from a couple of guards on the outer wall most of the soldiers are helping Herzad, striped down to the waist and wielding picks or spades. From the delicious smell they’ve only just finished breakfast.
Herzad reports that nothing much has happened apart from a couple of warg scouts, spotted off to the west by one of the patrols.

Kalam approached Kradorn. “May I have a look at the piece of carapace that you hacked off the scorpion?”

The section of carapace looks big and hard enough to be an effective shield but Kalam isn’t sure it’ll make a better shield than one made from a good sheet of steel.

“Have a look to see what may be done. But before you try on this I want to see some of your handy work. No use destroying a potentially protective and light shield.” Kradorn replies to Kalam.

“Fair enough Kradorn. I will check with Herzard as Lord Cynan has suggested and I will see if I can find some work that will satisfy you.”

After performing an appraisal to the best of his ability, he went to Cynan.

“I would like to avoid any etiquette mistake when addressing you, seeing that you are the Lord of a fortress. How do you wish me to address you? Also, all those years I spend as a slave I didn’t just fight in the Arenas. I was also apprenticed to a duergar weapon-smith. I could help while you stay here by servicing any weapons with issues and if you have suitable equipment and ingredients I can organize a proper forge. I can craft metal weapons using bronze, iron, and steel. These include axes and hatchets for throwing in ranged attacks as well as the melee weapons: maces, halberds, daggers, axes, swords, and greatswords. I could also craft specialized burglar trick weapons like stun dust, marbles, caltrops, shield-spikes and many kinds of traps. While my skill is still growing, given sufficient time I could do all of the above.”

Then he stood patiently, waiting for an answer.

“Herzard is the castellan of this keep Kalam, if there is room for a new smithy or help with the original he will know best and seeing as all the improvements are of his making tis only fair you consult him, even if I am the de facto lord of this keep”. After answering Kalam, Cynan will find Hezard to congratulate him on the progress made so far and to pass to him all the treasure the paladin has acquired.

Kradorn is very pleased to see the progress of the construction. The keep should have a viable stream of income to help support the troops.
“Well done” Kradorn says he face beaming.
“I have brought books for a library, I believe they are on mining” Kradorn continues.

The dwarves look at him and nod, then go back to work.

Gildor is happy to see the Keep and the improvements being made. In a sense it’s like home for him. A sense of pride fills him. The smell of food reminds him that his last meal was some time ago. He’ll pay for a warm plate for himself and tells Saphiria, “Go hunt my dear and see if your siblings are nearby. Don’t stray too far. Have fun but be careful. Hunt only wild game my dear.”

Unfortunately the kitchen is closed until lunch but Saphiria takes off eagerly into the grey morning sky.

Gildor approaches Cynan, “Before these books can be used, we should see if a local priest can check them for traps. I’d prefer to have a safe library everyone can use. I’ll include the latest spell book we found. I’d like to scribe some spells while we are here, once the books are checked out. If so, I will be here for 7-8 weeks scribing the spells.”

Gildor will look for an approved room for the library and request shelving to be built to support them and many more. He’ll need a study room and possibly an alchemical lab of sorts as well and will make sure Cynan is OK with these request. Perhaps a tower might be erected he can use down the road if they can afford such a thing he’ll mentions to Cynan.

Talo smiles and nods to Herzad when they arrive at the keep. Seeing the activity makes the dwarf itch for activity. Before making time for labouring with the others, Talo drops by the smithy to see his wares. “I like my plate but it weighs me down so. Can you offer something with good protection but is lighter than this?”

There is no smithy to speak of at the fortress, there’s a small forge inside the keep and another in the goblin tunnels under the marsh but there’s no smith.

When Gildor approaches with his request Cynan laughs and points to Talo, “At the moment he is the only priest you will find at Harnanca, sadly if you want the books checked my friend, tis Lands End or another town around here you be needing.”
Once all questions have been answered and knowing the group are intent on studying the paladin will find Herzard and ask where he can best be put to work in the keep.

“The dwarven books are for all, the tomes are for those with arcane knowledge. Maybe even beyond our own.” Kradorn replies.

Kalam went to find Herzard. “Greeting Herzard. My name is Kalam and I have joined Lord Cynan in his travels. I would like to offer my services to the keep for as long as we stay here. I was a slave to the mind flayers underground for 15 years. For the first half I was given to another slave, a dwarf, as an apprentice because the dwarf was their smith for both armor and weapons. After he died, I was passed on to a duergar weapon-smith and there I stayed until I escaped. You know, this is something that I forgot to mention to Lord Cynan, that I had a dwarven tutor before the duergar. Come to think about it, it is possible that my first master was commissioned to craft this chain mail I am wearing right now. Anyway, I could help while I stay here by servicing any weapons with issues and if you have suitable equipment and ingredients I can organize a proper forge. I can craft metal weapons using bronze, iron, and steel. These include axes and hatchets for throwing in ranged attacks as well as the melee weapons: maces, halberds, daggers, axes, swords, and greatswords. I could also craft specialized burglar trick weapons like stun dust, marbles, and caltrops; shield-spikes and many kinds of traps. While my skill is still growing, given sufficient time I could do all of the above. What say you?”

Herzad nods after listening to Kalam. “Okay, okay… can you use a pick and shovel? Then you can help us here digging ditches and hauling stones. If you want to be useful that is?”

Kradorn face grows long as he once stood proudly to award the pole axe to a warrior. Looking up at the height of the weapon then at the short, stout men.
“Damn should have sold it” he grumbles to himself. The smell of hot food warming his slightly though.
“Ah hot meal, good mead and a bed not on the ground.”

Herzad asks Cynan what he wants to do with the rooms in the keep (OOC DM: maps online at the Yahoo site or talesfromagelen.net). That elf Gildor, who among many others can’t seem to remember or pronounce his name, was asking about building a tower. The dwarf reckons that it costs about 3 gold per day to run the fortress and they have enough food for about 16 weeks based on current numbers. Here’s a list of money, stores, weapons and other odds and sods.

Coffers: 49pp, 66gp, 1414sp, 0cp, Battered Silver cup(5gp). furs (5)(50gp), Salamander’s Silver horn (2) (50gp), 3 500 gp Garnets, 150pp Ogre torc (1.5)
Giant coins (1=27 normal coins) 74pp, 54gp, 47sp
1000gp opal, 800gp garnet, 10gp Jet Sphere
Stores: Rations remaining (about 138 days for the keep)
6 mules
998 arrows, 59 unstrung shortbow staves, 61 spears, 5 long spears, 3 huge battle axes, 1 knife, 40 small shields and 4 suits of leather armour.1 studded Leather.
Necromancers spell book: Armour, Magic Missile, Chill Touch, Animate Dead, Summon Swarm and Spectral Hand.
Lall’s spell book (3): Chill Touch, Detect Magic, Enlarge, Identify, Magic Missile, Read Magic, Sleep & Burning Hands.

Staff: 1 Clerk, 1 stonemason, 1 carpenter, 3 labourers, Gilgrim the groom, 20 heavy infantry, Herzad the castellan , 1 cook and 2 servants.

Animals: Knapweed the Pony: Bit & Bridle (1), Saddle (20), saddle bags (8),

Burgo’s Pony: Saddlebags (8), saddle (20), bit & Bridle (1), Riding Boots (1), 2 pair Gloves, Knife Sheath (boot), Breeches, Tunic, 1 quiver (1) 1 Wineskins (water) (1), small saw (2)

Mid-Morning Bell, Ardu 8th of Gurthweni

Gildor meets up with Gordon and says, “Well, we don’t have a way to tell if this drow spell book is trapped or not. I tried to look at it for traps but I don’t know if I found anything.” (Thief Find Traps 65%) Gildor would not open the book though he would just examine it externally. “Perhaps there is a way to open the book from a distance with string perhaps. Will those spells destroy the book if it is trapped? Any ideas? There are some nifty spells we can use in there.”

Kalam spent his time helping Herzad in whatever was required of him and in his free time roamed in the Keep, getting to know the layout. He also started taking inventory of what resources the Keep had in an effort towards eventually building a forge. Unless something new would come up, he was intent on doing the above for as many weeks as the party was planning on staying in the Keep.

Gildor asks for an audience with Herzad using his best etiquette, “Sire, I would like to place a number of books we have recovered in a Library for the Keep. Is there a room we can keep the books? I will also need a room to study arcane spells and possibly a alchemical lab of sorts to be used. I will need to be undisturbed for several weeks while I study these spells. Saphiria, my dear I will be busy for about 7-8 weeks so have fun and stay out of trouble. The group, I’ll be studying several new spells and it will take me some time learn them.”

Gildor prepares to study the spells from the Drow spell books. Breaking for food and beverage as needed or time permits and coordinates with Gordon as well if desired.

Once the rooms are situated based on the discussion with Herzad, Gildor will retire to the arcane room to begin the attempt to learn the spells from the Drow book.
“Gordon, Would you like to scribe spells and assist one another? This may improve our success chances with each spell. It can’t hurt right? Well, it’s up to you my friend.” Gildor cast the spells necessary to scribe the spells to his book and hopes he is successful.’

The Library room is separate from the arcane study room so other can use the books to learn engineering or read the other works that were going to be added to the Library without disturbing Gildor or Gordon should they work together.
Week one, two and three will be to attempt to learn and scribe the spell Fireball.
Week four and five will be to try and learn and scribe the spell Web.
Week six and seven will be to try and learn and scribe the spell Levitate.

Gildor asks Herzad or Cynan, “Saphiria will probably roost in the cave attached to the Keep. Perhaps I can use the 3rd level of the Keep for the Lab and Arcane Study room? Room 41 for the lab and Library? Room 42 for Arcane Studies and sleeping room? Those rooms will give Gildor access to Saphiria I think. Unless you have a better option? I can provide some funds to equip the lab and library with shelves and equipment. Gildor offers 400 GP and 400 SP to Herzad to furnish the rooms appropriately. I have a list of items which will be useful; Flasks, burner, liquids (Mercury, acids, oils water), Powders (talc, sand, sulphur, coal) things to begin his study in how to make potions.”

I reckon we would have found any traps that might be on it by now when we’ve been flickin’ thru it t’see what spells were in it my friend.” Gordon says with wry smile on his face. “Once we get set up in the keep we can see about the best way to garner as many spells for the group as we can in as short a time as we can. Let’s go and see Herzad to see where his men are billeted and then we can decide which rooms we can use for the library and an alchemy laboratory.”

Gordon listens to Gildor’s suggestion of using the top most rooms and suggests that it might be easier, if available, to knock a doorway through between the top room so that they haven’t got to keep moving along the corridor to look things up etc. (rooms 42 & 44). With that (sort of) decided the gnome heads off in search of the castellan to answer his questions.

Once he finds the dwarf he greets him like an old friend and battle companion and asks where he has billeted his staff in the keep. He explains what he and Gildor are wanting to do, “I think the top most rooms in the keep, on the North side would suit our purposes well if they aren’t being used for any other purpose. I’m sure Cynan wont have any problem with us using them.”

Herzad says only a handful of guards (6) are actually billeted up in the keep and they’re on watch most of the time. They’re using the ground floor of the south west tower (23) to sleep in as its next to the kitchens. With Cynan’s permission they’d like to build a fireplace in the room and extend the chimney to the next floor where more troops or guests could be billeted if needs be.
Most of the work on the keep is being done on the second level where there is some fire damage.
He nods when Gordon asks him about knocking a door through between the top most rooms but asks how urgent it is. The work on the repairs will take a couple more weeks to complete, does he want the work on the door doing before the repairs?

Assuming this is all acceptable Gordon will arrange with Gildor to check out the rooms concerned to see what is up there already for them to use. Initially he imagines they just need a sturdy table and a couple of lecterns, lamps and a couple of cots.

As for the library side of things the gnome suggests a lockable cupboard to keep everything secure. In fact he’s sure there was one in a room off the main ‘throne’ room, that could be hauled up at some point. “Now then friend Gildor if I remember correctly I had a load of alchemy type stuff packed up and ready when we were first in Lands’ End before things got diverted like. I wonder if the crates are still sat at the docks awaiting collection. You never know. The rest of the stuff I’ll bet a gold to a copper we’ll have to get fromCarraig Glac. We’ll draw up a proper list and get it sent wi’next supply run eh. So keep yer and on yer money fernow” And so off the gnome toddles to clear everything with ‘Lord’ Cynan 😉

Over the next week Gordon busies himself with getting the arcane room and library equipped with furniture for the two mages to live and work in.

He will draw up a list of alchemy equipment with Gildor. Building on the list Gildor already has. Perhaps a trip to Carraig Glac would be in order to properly furnish the place with equipment, perhaps with the next supply run. And a return to Lands’ End. What says Gildor?

Day 1 – Generally rest up, check and clean equipment, clean up self and enjoy some cooked food and a drink or two.

Day 2 – set to work clearing out the top two rooms on the North side of the keep, make preparations to knock a doorway through the adjoining wall. Seek the advice of the stonemason and carpenter over the doorway and door casing.

Day 3 – knock a new doorway between the two rooms, fit a door casing and new door (if there is one to spare or that he can rob from somewhere else, even if that’s the barracks bunker). Clean up all the rubble and dust etc.

Day 4 – Give the two rooms (and the secret room) a thorough clean, scrubbing the floors with hot water to get rid of the spilled blood and clearing cobwebs etc. Clear all the unwanted furniture out of the rooms and move in (or leave in) a large table, two cots/beds, bookcase (with doors if possible).

Day 5 – equip the rooms with lamps, lecterns (knock something up from any scrap bits of wood if necessary), chamber pot, chairs.

Day 6 – some weapons practice in the morning, an hour session with the shortbow. Another hour with the shortbow after lunch. Help with some labouring with the various building projects for a bit of fitness type stuff.

Day 7 – Discuss with Gildor what they need for equipping the lab, draw up a list of stuff (OOC – will supply list in due course). Speak with Cynan that the mages need a trip to Lands’ end and Carraig Glac for alchemy supplies. Perhaps it could be combined with a general buying trip to resupply the fortress.

Gildor tells Gordon and the others, “Does the Keep even have enough rooms for us to use one for a lab. Don’t forget there are 40 other men here too besides us. Here is what I propose. I say you and I fund a tower to be added here in the area. For now we just need to sleep and study spells and we can share a room perhaps to allow for all the people here. I can be in the adjacent room to you and we can take the wall down between us at the top. It sounds like we need a barracks here too. I don’t want to boot anyone out of a room either. These folks have been here taken care of the place and don’t deserve to be just thrown out on our return. I can sleep in the cave if it’s cleared out and stay with Saphiria. I’ll just borrow some blankets to make it a bit more comfortable.”

Kradorn moves through the keep to find a room. Not too close to any of the magic rooms. A good bed and storage cabinet to hang armor and weapons. The first day Kradorn spends relaxing. Another day discussing with Cynan where they should adventure next or if they need to head out on a supply run.
Wagons and teams or a regular delivery of supply should be arrange from Lands End and other points. “A hub of commerce” Kradorn says with a grin.
A day of shooting arrows at various ranges to hone his skills at various ranges. Inviting any that would join him. The rest of the time he practices with his horse. Making a better bond between the two of them. Working on his riding, sword skills from horse back and shooting.
“I think it would be fitting for the dragon to have the cave.” Kradorn comments.
“Cynan, don’t we still have a fog giant as a neighbour. We should find out if he is friend or foe. Instead of being surprised.”

Talo fills his days watching Kradorn shoot his flight axes and exercising in earnest to trim himself down. After target practice supervision and callisthenics, the dwarf busied himself with trips out of the keep with the guards, learning what he can of the surroundings and threats – always willing to ply his axe trade when he can find a foe needing a good firm whacking. As the days and weeks press on Talo can feel the loosening of his plate and he begins plans for its replacement at the first chance. Any ailments and injuries Talo cares for the himself seeking to serve those in the keep to the best of his ability.
When the are no outings with the guards Talo helps in the building and repair of his new home.

There are a couple of other things Herzad wants to talk to Cynan about, both of which will cost him but there’s plenty in the coffers to pay for them. First, he wants to order a stone saw, expensive but worth it if Cynan is planning to do more building. They’re going to struggle to get wood locally but there’s plenty of good stone about. The second thing he wants to do is drain the marshy land behind the bunker, a good drainage pipe leading out to the steam running round the compound should provide more land to work with. 275 gold should cover everything.

Mid-Morning Bell, Urladu 8th of Gurthweni

Kalam begins his work with Harzad and the dwarves digging ditches on a balmy, clear day. From what the human is able to catch from the dwarves banter (mostly in dwarven but they do at least try to talk to Kalam) it will take a few more days digging, then the foundations will need filling in with gravel, sand and something the dwarves call glibclakh and the main support posts can be put into the ground too.
Gildor and Gordon write out their lists and make the upper rooms into a suitable study, however only one room opens into the corridor on level 3, the other has its own staircase down to level 2.

Talo goes out with the daily patrol but struggles to keep up with the lightly armoured soldiers. He’s told in no uncertain terms that if he comes with them they’ll have to cut the patrol short to get back in time for sundown.

Herzad has made up one of the rooms on the second level (33) for Cynan if he wants to sleep in the keep. The cook and one of the servants are up there too. Herzad tends to stay down here in the compound where most of the work needs doing. The fifteen minute climb up to the keep is a bit of a pain in the arse.
By the end of the day all the hardware needed for the repairs of the keep have been transported up the steps by the mules. The temperature has plummeted and hail drives the dwarves into the cover of the bunker early from ditch digging.

The new week starts with snow, a good inch on the ground, which makes the climb up to the keep interesting but it doesn’t last more than an hour or two. Luckily it’s not too cold to freeze the ground and the ditch digging goes on with some gloves and a woolly hat.
Gildor retires to a quiet, empty room as Gordon’s making a mess, hammering and generally fussing about in the top two rooms. With his ring of warmth on he doesn’t really notice the change in the weather, though the banging and sawing from the second floor does disturb him occasionally. He gets down to some reading and translation and soon has a stack of notes on the fireball spell.
The weather warms later in the week, then drops back to near freezing by which time Kalam and the dwarves are filling wheelbarrows full of gravel from the stream outside the compound and mixing it with sand, the dwarves’ strange grey powder and some water, to make a lumpy grey sludge and pouring it into the ditches along with the main posts. Another week of mixing and pouring should see the foundations of the three buildings complete.
Gordon’s plans take a little longer than he was hoping, with building the frame and fitting the door taking up the rest of the week and giving him no time to practice with his bow or start the shopping list. Still at the end of the week, he has his door between the top two rooms.

“I would suggest a lab??? or experiment location outside, in the old goblin lair.”
Kradorn replies, visions of the side of the keep blown away and someone saying ‘oops’.

Gildor continues his studies even through the constant racket Gordon makes. He takes only short breaks for food, water and necessities. “Gordon once I get this spell down pat I can travel with you to Carraig Glac for a supply run. You may want to scribe a 2nd level spell and we would finish at the same time before we travel to Carraig Glac.” “Saphiria my dear if you please watch over my friend if you have time should they go outside the castle for hunts or scouting.”

Kalam spent his time working with the dwarves in digging the ditch whatever else was required of him after that. In his free time he roamed in the Keep, getting to know the layout. He also started taking inventory of what resources the Keep had in an effort towards eventually building a forge. Unless something new would come up, he was intent on doing the above for as many weeks as the party was planning on staying in the Keep.

Morning Bell, Urladu 9th of Gurthweni

Harzad comes to Talo, somewhat frustrated by Cynan’s inability to make a decision. He asks if the priest can talk to Cynan and get him to make a decision on the stone saw and the drainage ditch. The next week passes somewhat uneventfully, although a storm on Menthordu undoes some of the work on the keep and rips a few tiles off the roof. This is followed by few days of rain and then the temperature drops again, with another storm quickly approaching. The patrols report that they’re still encountering signs of goblin and warg patrols on the western borders but have seen no one.

One of the dwarves offers Talo some studded armour to wear, if he still want to come out on patrol. The priest notices his plate is a little loose on him now and will need some work to fit him properly.

Talo gratefully except the studded leather, from the patrol dwarf. The war priest does his best to keep up with the patrols and when he appears to be slowing them down he makes his way back to the keep. If Talo is too slow to keep up with the patrols on a regular basis he spends his time helping with the manual labor in the keep.

Kalam, Herzad and the other dwarves get the foundations finished despite the cold and rain and are ready to start putting together the frames of the buildings. Herzad tells the human that there are two forges that he knows of, one in the little room behind the throne and another in the goblin tunnels, under the main compound.

Gildor continues to study the drow spell books and by the end of the week has the basics principles of the Fireball spell worked out. Now all he needs is a week or so of practice and somewhere to do that practice. From his calculations the fireball will be some 900 cubic metres in volume, not the sort of thing he wants to set off indoors.

Gordon, Kradorn and Cynan wander about the compound helping out here and there but generally they’re at a bit a loose end while the others work.

Morning Bell, Urladu 10th of Gurthweni

Gildor will find a wide open space or one that is open to the sky and says, “Saphiria I will be testing my new spell so you will need to stay away from me for a bit.” He also won’t cast if there are animals near that could be hurt unintentionally. He requests to meet Herzad and says, “Lord Herzad…”

“Hang on, hang on. I’m no lord sir, Lord Cynan is the only lord round here, though we’ve seen little of him the past couple of weeks.”

“I plan to test a spell that can create a large fireball. Perhaps you might know of a safe place to do this to minimize any risk to the keep and any patrols that might be in the area? I thought it might be best to make sure we coordinated this rather then me just going off on my own.” Gildor tells his friends his plans also.

“There’s plenty of open space outside the gates sir. I’m not sure just how much space you need but the moors are pretty empty, you should have plenty of room there.” muses Herzad.

Gildor says, “Thanks you Herzad that is helpful. I shall do my testing out on moors then.”

“Good!” nods the castellan enthusiastically.

Kalam spoke to Herzad.”Thank you for the information provided. Have the goblin tunnels been searched for, cleared and secured against intrusion since the goblins were thrown out of this fortress? By the way, I enjoy what we are doing here. Lets see how fast we can have the frames of the buildings up.”

Herzad nods “Aye young sir, we patrol the tunnels every day and we’ve sealed the other entrances for the time being. If we can drain the swampy ground above the tunnels then we can build on it and link down to the tunnels. Should make a nice Ùirfàrdùk. A wee dwarven village.” he explains.

“Thank you Herzad. I would like your permission to go down the tunnels for now, or to inform the patrols that I will be coming down and that I am not an enemy. I want to see what both forges have in terms of equipment, the one in the goblin tunnels and the other small one. Who knows, I may find enough to start a forge while I am staying here. This will be a personal project though, so I am at your disposal whenever you want some work done around here.”

Kradorn dressed in cloth hunting garb picks up his bow and arrows. He begins making treks out to search for game. Looking for something to bring back, but always aware of humanoid tracks and signs.
Enjoying the days and the sun, when they come.
After looking at the recent snow fall Kradorn begins thinking more about living outside the keep. He begins discussion about creating a room specifically for him within the inn.

~

The week starts with another gale, driven in from the east and bringing bursts of cold squally rain with it. One of the dwarves, busy with the final stages of roof repairs is almost blown off the keep and work is called off for the day.

Kalam surveys the two forges, the one in the goblin tunnels is rather crude, as are the tools scattered around it. The other small forge, in the secret room behind the throne, is well built and comes with a complete selection of tools, a bellows and an anvil, everything Kalam would need except for a supply of charcoal for the furnace. Having made his survey, he returns to the compound and the construction of the inn, stables and warehouse.

Herzad asks to speak to Talo after the days work and the patrol has returned in the evening (nothing to report there).
“I’m gonna needyou to give the yes or no to my plans for the drains, the stone saw and perhaps getting the inn finished before the other buildings so we’ve got somewhere to stay rather than the bunker. Which, while its warm enough and will be a good barracks, it ain’t ideal for guests. I haven’t been able to get a decision out of Cynan and so I’m asking you, sir.”

Talo ponders the question and opens his mouth to begin his answer when Cynan turns The corner. Grateful to have the authority answer his question, begins his chores.

Aridu dawns bright and frosty, icicles hanging from the keep and the workers down below steaming, as the building work slowly progresses. Kradorn crunches out onto the white moors but has little luck with his hunting during the day. On the way back to the keep, with evening and clouds drawing on, he spots a troop of baboons picking their way through the undergrowth. The hunter moves closer, while trying to decide whether baboon is something he wants to eat but after watching the creatures hugging themselves and each other to keep out the deepening chill, he decides against it. He starts to move out of his concealment, when behind him the troop erupts into screams and shrieks. A huge dragon-like monster has landed amid the baboons. It has one adult pinned to the ground and another infant in its jaws and while Kradorn watches, a long sinuous tail whips around and buries a stinger in the pinned baboon. The baboon gives a shriek and falls silent. The rest of the troop have scattered across the moors, one running past Kradorn screaming in terror. With a beat of its huge wings the beast launches itself into the air and within seconds is lost amid the low clouds.
Kradorn gathers his wits and with the occasional nervous glance at the sky above him, makes his way back to the keep. By the time he’s crossed the narrow bridge and passed through the gate into the compound, the chill has faded from the air.

Menthordu sees Gildor out on the moors setting stuff on fire, including at one point himself. His first casting sends a fiery streak racing away across the moors, to detonate as a barely visible orange flash hundreds of metres away, while his second detonates short and catches him in its blast radius. By the time he’s put himself out and rescued what’s left of his notes, he has only enough magical energy to cast one more fireball. Moving into the cover of a ditch, he casts his final spell of the day and reduces the target of his spell, a dead tree, to a smouldering stump. Satisfied by his days work, the elf returns to Harnanca to read up some more about spell ranges.

Kemendu is wet and cold but Gildor is out again, blasting tree stumps into cinders and more or less succeeding to gauge the range by the third casting of the fireball spell.

Kradorn decides to stay in the keep today and practice shooting at objects thrown into the air by Gordon.
Talo returns from a patrol thoroughly wet and cold but determined to go out again tomorrow, despite having seen not a sausage of a warg or a goblin.

The cold returns the next day and by Midday Bell the air is thick with big snowflakes. Talo and the patrol spot warg tracks out on the far western edge of the patrol territory, along the banks of one of the rivers flowing south off the moors.

They return to Harnanca with a good 20cm of snow on the ground, about two hours late, feet cold and noses glowing. Talo stands in the hearth for an hour, to warm up again.

The week ends with two days of warmer but wet weather, with patches of drifted snow still visible around the compound and across the moors. Kalam and his fellow builders have the timber frames of the inn and the stables up. A good weeks work despite the conditions, says Herzad.
Gildor casts fireball six more times and while not 100% accurate, he manages to avoid setting himself ablaze again.
Kradorn finally returns from his hunting with a prize worth spending an arrow on and everyone eats mutton for supper.