I write from the back of our newly procured mount, a pathetic looking mule. While my companions believe me to be studying the artifacts procured from the professor, I finished that task long ago. Instead, I continue to document our travels, and give my legs a welcome reprieve.
When last I wrote, we had discovered the remaining civilians of Small Ville hiding in a cave on the outskirts of town. The population appeared to be made up of mainly gnomes and halflings, with a smattering of humans and dwarves. We were introduced to the Mayor of the town, one Wamfizzle Grundledink, and I went through the requisite motions and customs to greet him. While us mountain gnomes generally look down upon the simpler valley folk, I am still versed in their culture. We shook hands, bowed, and embraced for roughly five minutes, praising each other and our families.
At this time, I lost sight of my companions, although I believe Master Krawaal had been sought out by a particularly hefty dwarfess. Tig began talking to a band of rovers, striking up conversation and good-natured brawling. Ironsong found himself revered by the townsfolk, I am not sure they’d seen a half-orc before.
We made our way out of the cave. The heavy dwarfess (Note: named Glenda) who was so enamored with Krawaal turned out to be the one who treated Tig and I for the sloshes during the fight. She is a nurse of sorts. She began treating our companions – suturing the burnt skin of Jack T. Buck and aiding Bizswazzle. The dwarfess was accompanied by a dwarf (Note: named Gren) who is a butcher, among other things. These two were aloof, and looked at the other villagers with what appeared to be either puzzlement or disdain.
It was easy to see why they looked upon the others this way. A full-fledged celebration had begun, a mad festival. As the village continued to burn and residual explosions rocked the townsfolk, the gnomes began to sing of our heroic deeds. However, since no songs had been written about us, they each attempted to improvise their own song on the spot. We were surrounded by an ever-growing crowd of gnomes, each belting his own tuneless song at the top of his lungs. Many of the humans attempted to fight the fires that raged throughout the village, and after a particularly deafening explosion, some of the gnomes ran to help. An impromptu parade had started however, cutting off the fire fighters from the village well. This led to an all out brawl between the fire fighters and the revelers. Through it all, several gnomes made valiant efforts to sing, and most of the water that made it up from the well ended up splashed on the mad parade.
We made an effort to distance ourselves from the spectacle. The mayor of the town, however, had not left my side since the cave. The Durgle family reaches far, and before he entered Grex, the mayor had heard of the might of the Durgles. It appeared that he wanted to please me more than anything. While I loathed this insipid man, I put up with him as best I could. He would prove useful later on.
We quizzed the mayor on the mine near his town and its connection to the professor. It appears that the professor had discovered something in there that may have played a part in him losing his mind.
An antechamber had been discovered a while ago, and while some of the runes found there had been recorded by the professor, it had been scoured clean by the townsfolk who valued the precious metals. While they may have made a fair amount of money, the fact remains that they desecrated an ancient ruin of immeasurable cultural worth. I was incensed by this, but it would have done no good to berate the mayor now. He could hardly run a functioning town, how could I expect him to understand the repercussions of his actions?
(Note: The difference between valley gnomes and mountain gnomes is large, and the difference appears to have been magnified in Grex.)
(Hypothesis: Perhaps due to the extreme poverty of the valley gnome population, all of the poorest, daftest, and feeblest gnomes from the valley communities made the migration to Grex for a chance to succeed in life.)
When we reemerged from the mine, we found the hamlet of Small Ville in a state of chaos. Fires leapt from building to building, and remnants of the previous brawl still lingered in the streets and pathways.
We had been paid by the Kolonian army to visit Small Ville. But we embellished our story for the helpless mayor, bamboozling him as to our true motives. In his excited state, we were able to swindle nearly every cent away from the man. We made out with the entire mining fortune of the town. He also gifted us the town’s pack animal, a sickly, anemic looking creature named Herschel. Once he realized what he’d done, the man became shrill and panicked, even more emotional than before. Taking advantage of his state, I gave him a small gift, a fraction of a fraction of what he’d given us, in order to ensure his loyalty for to the Durgle family.
It is always easier to take advantage of someone in an emotional state, after all.
The two dwarves departed with us. They could not put up with the eccentricity of Small Ville, and seem to harbour a disdain for gnomes. Truly, I have seen them look at me with disgust, as if they expect me to revert back to a drooling valley gnome at any time. However, Glenda has taken a real shining to Krawaal, and I have seen him look her way several times (Note: Glenda and Gren’s relationship is, at the moment, unclear. Additionally, does Krawaal have a predilection for larger, more robust women?)
We left the village. Glenda had bandaged Buck, and he stumbled behind us, yelling, due to his temporary deafness. Fire had singed all the hair from one half of his head and turned his skin bright red. We made haste for Breach.
- 3 alchemical delivery systems (attach to weapons to deliver chemical blasts) and 6 flasks
- A cold iron dagger
- All of the gold in Small Ville, totaling 3000gp
- Mule (possibly diseased)