Chapter 1: Gathering the Party
By Douglas E. Gogerty
I met the Cleric Thorvald Larsenski of the Cygnus clan while luring 30 orcs out of a woman's home. She lived on the outskirts of some town, and some orcs decided to take up residence in her place. She offered a 300 gold pieces to get rid of them. I thought that was easy money, so I took the job. I managed to lure all 30 of them out of her house.
They followed me for a ways, and I met up with Thorvald. He claims that he saved my life, but it was all a part of my plan. With a bit of finesse, I lured the orcs out of this woman's house, and I did not have to kill one. As I am leaving the town, Thorvald comes along and riles them up, by killing a couple. I had no choice in killing several orcs myself.
Once the orcs we killed the last of the orcs, Thorvald thought he should get some of the money for saving my life. However, from my point of view, he spoiled my plan. The woman was paying for removing the orcs. If they were able, they could come back to that woman's home, and I could have gotten more work. You never know, I could possibly earn another hefty bounty. However, I ended up having to save Thorvald's life because all 30 had turned to him. In any event, we split the gold evenly.
The woman was quite grateful, and I could tell she wanted me to stay a little while so she could further reward me. However, Thorvald mentioned that he was meeting a sorcerer friend to save some princess. He said that they could use someone like me to help him with the task. I told him that dieing was not my idea of a good time. Of course, he mentioned that she was rich.
"How rich?" I asked.
"The reward would be more than you can imagine," he replied.
"I don't know," I added. "I can imagine an awful lot."
"You'll get it," he promised.
"I better!" I said. "By the way Thorvald, after a long battle are you then Thor?"
"You may call me Cleric Larsenski, Most Revered Thorvald, or Thorvald Larsenski of the Cygnus Clan. Thor is right out!"
Some people do not have any sense of humor. He did not catch on to the pun at all. I hope the sorcerer we meet has a better sense of humor.
We travel a bit up the road, and we meet up with Thorvald's sorcerer friend. He was a typical sorcerer type. He was small and studious and reading a lengthy tome as we approached. A small castle was a little off in the distance. He had been trying to determine a way into the castle. In typical sorcerer fashion, he was at a loss.
"Greetings Most Revered Thorvald, you have brought along a companion," proclaimed the sorcerer.
"Salutations, I have brought a rogue to aid in our quest."
"Rogue," the sorcerer began. "I am Glaf Hellion of the Western Highlands, sorcerer of the Marquis of Mellicore, bearer of the vessel of the pestle, and barber to the king of swing."
I must admit I do not remember all that he said. I think he went on for an hour just reciting all his titles and honors.
"Nice to meet you," I replied. "So, how are we getting in the castle?"
"I have been unable to open the gate," he stated boldly.
"It should be simple enough to gain entrance."
"OK hotshot," he said. "You find a way in."
"Wait here and I will have us in shortly," I bragged.
I looked around and observed the high wall that surrounded the castle. On the other side of the wall was a moat. It appeared that getting in would be a difficult task. I checked the lock and it was one of those shifting locks. It was not going to let me pick it. I started to get worried, but I knew the type that had these types of castles. There had to be a key somewhere. Low and behold, there was a key hidden in a placard reading "Keep Out!"
Sorcerer Hellion was not impressed with my feat of awesomeness. I did not see him produce a key. We would still be standing outside the wall if he were in charge of getting us in. I guess what they say is true. "Some of the most astounding feats are nothing if you know how they are done."
With the produced key, I casually unlocked the gate and we walked inside. There was a small bridge crossing the moat on the other side of the gate. It was then that I noticed just how small the castle was. I was beginning to doubt the wealth of the princess we were rescuing.
We crossed the small bridge and opened the front portcullis of the castle. After we entered the castle, we killed some rats, spiders, and such. Nothing difficult came across out path.
According to Glaf, our goal was the dungeon in the lowest levels of the castle. Thus, we find our way down to the lower levels. When we make it to the lowest chamber of the dungeon, we had to kill some iron golems. That was as tough as it got. They were guarding a door that Thorvald claimed held the "princess." I easily picked the lock. Okay, it used the same key as the front gate. Inside we find a ranger named Gudrid.
"This is our princess?" I complained.
My complaint fell on deaf ears as Glaf and Gudrid embraced. I think they have a thing going on. Thorvald explained that Gudrid went ahead to look for the princess. Apparently, the iron golems trapped her in the room. The princess's remains were in the room when Gudrid made her way into the dungeon room. I asked about the riches, but a group of spiders and a gelatinous cube interrupted me.
We fought our way out of the castle with nothing. I know Gudrid looted the princess's corpse, so she may have gotten something out of it. I got nothing. I was about to part ways with this group when they mentioned that a town was having problems with some bandits. Thorvald claimed that this town had some wealth, and with some help, I would definitely earn some reward. I did not want to believe him, but I was heading in that direction.
Normally, I do not like taking on bandits as a personal courtesy. However, these bandits were ruthless. We had almost reached the town when we found them fighting a Paladin. However, they wanted to kill everyone. In fact, they had wiped out the rest of her party, but she was holding her own against them.
There were 10 or 15 bandits already slain when we came along. I killed a bandit with my crossbow just before he took a swing at the Paladin. Our eyes met and there was quite a bit of gratitude on her face. We must have killed at least 100 bandits that day.
My attitude was beginning to improve, as this town must be wealthy to be able to support a gang of bandits that large. Jean, the Paladin thanked us for our help. She wanted to thank me in a more personal way, but this was not the time. The bandits had killed every member of the group she was escorting, and she was a little distraught.
We collected the belongings of the travelers to disperse to family members. However, we were unable to locate any, so we just sold what we found at a local merchant. Needless to say, the items brought only a few gold pieces. We searched for the town mayor, and he rewarded us with a paltry 25 gold pieces each for the destruction of the gang. Luckily, I stole 10 times that much from his office or I would have been upset.
With the coin in my pocket, I considered taking my leave from the rest of the group. However, when I expressed my wishes to leave, they begged me to join their group. I told them that I am not really a joiner.
"I am the Paladin Jean Dark and I am joining them on their next adventure. Please come with us," she said in her most seductive voice.
"We have heard of a job," the sorcerer Glaf added. "We could use someone with your skills."
"There will be a big reward," added Gudrid.
"The wizard Nebrion has come to us, and he is quite wealthy."
"I have heard this song before," I replied.
"Please," begged Jean.
With those sad blue eyes, how could I resist? Thus, our party began Nebrion's Quest.
The story "Nebrion's Quest" was constructed from a "mod" I wrote for Neverwinter Nights™. Some friends and I played the campaign, and this story is loosely based upon our characters. If you have Neverwinter Nights™ Platinum, (or Shadows of Undrentide and Hordes of the Underdark), and you would like to play my mod, you can download it here. Just unzip it into the "modules" directory of the Neverwinter Nights game directory. Enjoy! You may want to play it BEFORE you read the rest of the story or it will ruin all of the surprises. Thanks!!!