Tales from the Road Less Traveled

A Debt Repaid

Some debts can never be

Baalthazar inspects the plans for the town Zasheir had drafted up. He pointed to a section on the east side of town.

“I think we should start the wall here. The east has the most damage; I believe with the bog to the south, this is the most common direction the giants attack from. Our forays into the wild lands seem to support this.” Baalthazar traces the line along the east side of town.

“M’lord, are you sure we shouldn’t rebuild the keep first. A formidable bastion the people can seek protection. I doubt we can build a wall before the first raids and the keep has a good foundation. Perhaps we can ask Dorm if any of his kin can help us.” Zasheir points to the location of Chainspire fortress on the map illustrate his point.

Baalthazar frowns; something that is lost on most non-dragonkith, but Zasheir knows it all too well. “That leaves the town unprotected. The giants will tear through the town just to get to the keep.”

“Fret not Lord Ball Spar, the town is already half destroyed. This will just clear the field to build fresh.” Renny hops up and sits at the edge of the table. “There’s little habitable on the east side of town. Although there is a nice patch of wild mulberries there that I would hate to see those brutes trample.”

Baalthazar smiles, and Renny pretends to shirk away. The little herald has grown on Baalthazar and his help has been invaluable. “Tell me master Renny, how goes the plans for the festival?”

“Sent out the invites. Every town down the Sword Coast will have posting on the grandest ranger gala Cormyr has ever seen. Which leads me to my next request, I would like to donate half my earnings to your cause, if perchance I can have one of the abandoned buildings in town?”

“Which building?” asks Zasheir quizzically.

Renny leans over the map points to one of the buildings on the map.

“What do you want with that building, master bard?” Baalthazar wonders what the little halfling is up to.

“Well, it has two features that I look for in a building, a sturdy stage and cellar that’s still intact. The outside needs some work, but I think I can manage. I want to open a tavern…”

The door flies open and Shedinn storms in, hurling a pouch across the room at his brother. Instantly, Baalthazar’s sword appears in his hand to parry the projectile. His other hand is open, palm forward as he whispers, “protect me.” The pouch reaches Baalthazar’s scimitar and stops in midflight, falling to the floor.

“There is the money I owe. My debt to the clan is paid. Do not bring it up to me again.” Shedinn squeezes his eyes shut and grabs head. Zasheir looks at Renny who shrugs and mouths the words ‘hang over’.

“Brother, your debt cannot be paid with mere silver. I do not hold this debt over you. Renounce your debt and you renounce your clan. And you will be no longer be my brother.”

“DON’T THREATEN ME, BAALTHAZAR!!!” The effort made Shedinn bend over in pain. “I did not ask to come to this cold forgotten land of hairless monkeys so that you can play Kilij Ejderham.”

“Careful brother, insulting the Morninglord will bring more than my wrath upon you.”

“I care not of your lord or his trivialities.”

“And you think you will be allowed to soar with our kin without his blessing. He will smite you down and make you walk amongst these hairless monkeys until the end of your days. Come, you need something to distract you from the hairless monkey ale.”

“Bah. You play noble with the humans. I’m going to find a place to be alone.” Shedinn turns to exit the room, he reaches for the door to slam it behind him, but fumbles and grasps at air. Resigned at the attempt, Shedinn simply storms out of the room.

“Brother, don’t travel too far from the town.” Baalthazar waits but gets no response. He looks from Zasheir to Renny.

“Brothers don’t let brothers adventure drunk,” chimes Renny. Baalthazar narrows his eyes at his herald. Renny hops off the table and sighs, “fine, I’ll go after him so he doesn’t get himself in trouble.” Renny walks causally to the door. “I’m gonna bring Alastair with me, the boy needs some exercise and if you ask me Lord Ball Spar, you have been neglecting his training.”

Zasheir noted the look of consternation on his lord. “What are you going to name the tavern?” asks Zasheir to distract his lord.

“The Famous Cock,“ he announces with a twirl of his hand. With a quick spin and exaggerated bow, Renny the Sot disappears down the hall.



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