chaosbunker.de
20Nov/190

Frostgrave: A Sword and Sorcery Adventure – Part 2

In the second part of my Sword and Sorcery tale, I've taken on the dwarf. Somehow the model just wanted to be painted and in my head the picture of a grumpy looking, but otherwise in a good mood dwarf emerged. The pose had something stealthy with the slightly bent posture, which is why I tried to use as natural colours as possible.

Frostgrave - A Sword and Sorcery Adventure Frostgrave - A Sword and Sorcery Adventure

In order not to create a too generic image, I painted the beard in two colors. The idea originally came from Bunkerboss Dennis, who also gave me sufficient motivation not to fall back on a single color. Only the color scheme was originally the other way around, a black beard with grey streaks. However, I liked the idea of an elderly dwarf better. It also seemed to fit better to a range fighter who doesn't throw himself into the next best melee with youthful impetuosity.

Frostgrave - A Sword and Sorcery Adventure Frostgrave - A Sword and Sorcery Adventure

But enough about the painting thoughts. His background is directly connected to that of the apprentice.

 

   Following the innkeeper to their quarters, they hadn' taken two steps yet, when Balthasar noticed a dwarf in one of the rear seating areas, whose view had obviously fixed him. The dwarf didn't bother to hide it, and when Balthasar tilted his head slightly to look more closely at his observer, he casually put his hand on the handle of his crossbow, which leaned against the bench next to him.

   "Archibald, go ahead my boy." he said to his apprentice, which dutifully acknowledged with a "Yes Master.".

   Balthasar turned to the huge dining room of the inn and stopped for a moment. The noise that had reached the outside from here lived up to the expected image. At one table, a Templar was trying to eat his supper in peace, while a small crowd had gathered at the neighboring table, loudly cheering on two arm-wrestling barbarians. At another table sat a bored novice of the Order of Fire, who used her magic to light a candle and put it out again and again. Her master could not be far away and she would only be one of many competitors in the frozen city.

   Like the illusionist at the table behind it. He made every effort to appear harmless, and a lesser magician than Balthasar would not have spotted the sword the illusionist had veiled with a concealment spell in front of the eyes of many mortals. His restless gaze told the Necromancer that the Illusionist was either waiting for someone, or running away from something and did not want to be discovered.

   He decided to have some fun while satisfying his curiosity. As he slowly walked over to the dwarf, he chose a path that led him past the Illusionist. As if by chance, he pushed his empty jug off the table, which the illusionist skilfully caught in free fall.

   "Oh, pardon my clumsiness," he said, "I haven't seen the jug at all. You might think he had not been there at all".

   Angrily, the illusionist, who had not succeeded in suppressing his reflexes, which had been trained for many years, gleamed at him and put the jug back again.

   So, he just waited for someone. Over the years, Balthasar had learned to read people and someone on the run would have reacted much more impulsively. Apart from an elementalist, of course. Especially the fire magicians were disreputable for their short fuse, which is why he took great care not to touch the novice in passing, who had just nosily turned her head to them.

   After all, the whole thing was supposed to be fun and not degenerate into a full-blown conflict. Especially not as long as her master was possibly still standing unseen behind his back.

   Arriving at the dwarf, he just lit a pipe and the glow brightened his eyes for a moment, which lay in the shadow of his green hood.

   "So you have work for me." he said with the stoic and calm manner so typical for many of his kind.

   "That depends." Balthasar replied.

   "As you can see, I'm not the only magician here, and more of them will roam that damned city. So if you dare to take on the dangers of Felstad and the unstable sorcerers, I'll reward you well. You're a crossbowmen?" he finally asked.

   "Marksman." said the dwarf, stressing the word 'marks'.   "Don't worry," he continued, "if necessary, my bolt will hit the eye of a fly in flight."

   "Flies don't worry me." Balthasar said slightly dismissive.

   The dwarf smiled knowingly.

   "I arrived here from Evercold a month ago. Originally there were seven of us. Our client was a witch."

   Evercold laid barely two weeks west of Felstad and was a small town which maintained a dwarven colony to this day. Although not many of them were met these days, a considerable number of them gathered there, not least because of the many mines. Not all dwarves were miners. In fact, most of them earned their living in other ways, like the marksman, but each of them was a good artisan and more than capable in mining. They were held in high esteem by the mining companies.

   " What happened?" asked the necromancer.

   "We had been here for about a week and had successfully completed a raid. We seized a mirror that could supposedly predict the future without needing a fortune teller and his hocus-pocus. Anyway, the old woman went crazy. Since then she was babbling all the time about 'the most beautiful woman in the country' or something. Two of us she sacrificed ritually. First raped and then eaten alive. I then put a bolt between her eyes and put an end to the nightmare." the dwarf continued.

   "That's disgusting," said Balthasar.

   "Admittedly, that's no way to die, but I think there are worse ones," the dwarf replied.

   "No, I mean fucking a dwarf." the wizard responded, deliberately using the common gutter language while pointing his finger into the air.

   The dwarf then burst into such a loud laughter that for the duration of a heartbeat the noise of the turmoil around them paused and the crowd looked briefly over to them. One of the arm-wrestling barbarians had used this distraction to his advantage and crashed his opponent's arm onto the table. The crowd barked with applause and the sounds of the tavern resumed to their usual rhythm, while the victorious arm-wrestling participant jumped up triumphantly.

   "Balbarosch Mendri," said the dwarf and stretched out his hand to Balthasar, that had previously rested on the crossbow, "but you can simply call me Barosch.".

   "Balthasar Tenebris." he answered and shook Barosch's hand.

   This had answered the question of how he should begin the search for the neccessary manpower. He sat with Barosch for a while and they talked about one or the other thing. It was most interesting when Barosch told about a cemetery only two miles outside of Felstad. It was nothing special in itself, there were lots of graveyards and burial mounds around Felstad. However, when the dwarf mentioned a mausoleum that was unusually small, Balthasar became sensitive.

   "Say Barosch, did you notice anything unusual about the mausoleum? An engraved spell or an eye-catching symbol?"

   "Now that you've said it...a golden plate was framed on its wall." said the dwarf, only to add with a grin:

   "Unfortunately, it was too tightly walled in to be removed."

   "Did it say 'Non omnis moriar'?" asked Balthasar.

   Hardly perceptible, the dwarf's eyes widened for a moment. After some hesitation he finally nodded slowly.

   That's it, Balthasar thought. So the first station of their journey was clear. But first they had to rest. The journey had been long and arduous, and entering the outskirts of Felstad unrested could cost you your life.

 

Greetings from the Chaosbunker

Dino

 

 

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