The morning following the ceremony where all of the Unchained were made into full members of the clan, Stilicho’s squire, Wheeler, delivered a letter to all the heroes around dawn. The message was a handwritten letter, with the wax seal of the Konigsberg wolf. It was an invitation to join Stilicho in dividing the spoils won during the Unchained’s part of the battle against the Therans in The Reach. It told that the clan elders put him in charge of distributing the spoils among the group who killed the Therans that died in front of the Steelskull family home during the attack, and that the spoils would be divided up at the Steelskull family great hall later that day.
It was raining a cold frozen rain when the group arrived, which added to the sullen feeling that had been prevalent throughout The Reach since the attack. Walking into the Steelskull family home, they all saw a large pile of items strewn upon the table. There were piles of ring mail armor, weapons and other gear. Some of it could be recognized from the battle, and all of it appeared to have come from the slain Therans. The room was thankfully warm, with both hearths containing hot fires. Fafnir poured mugs of mead and ale as each of the Unchained arrived. Eventually, the heavy door was closed and Stilicho motioned for everyone to sit. Besides Stilicho, the room contained Ardor, Dremnin, Fafnir, Suulin, Urgral, Vridich and Wheeler.
Once everyone had been seated, Stilicho stood. “Before you is everything that was taken from the slain Therans that we killed here. As you know, we will be departing in a few days to head to Throal in order to deliver the Book of Tomorrow." He paused for a moment. "This trip will be by airship. The clan has given us a merchant vessel, which was won in honorable battle. It was previously owned by a wealthy Obsidiman merchant from Travar.”
He paused for a moment, letting that fact sink in. Then he continued, “I have been tasked with putting together a crew from the non-trolls here in the moot. These name-givers will help us fly the ship safely to Throal, fight alongside us in the battles to come, and help us on our quest to seek the Staff of Aramod Whitewind.” He paused for a moment, as he made eye contact with everyone in the room. “It will be our duty to outfit that crew. Most of the men and women I have in mind for our mission, would make good use of much of this gear. And if all goes as planned, we will face battle and fight alongside them very soon.” Even Fafnir looked surprised by that statement.
Stilicho continued without pause. “So, before we begin, I would like the permission of all who are here to give our crew whatever gear we cannot immediately use, for they will certainly earn it.“ He looked expectantly waiting for acknowledgement from the room.
“I have no issues with that”, Dremnin said as he warmed himself by the fire. “If they can use it, let them have it, as they will be fighting in it to save our sorry asses.” He took a healthy sip of mead.
Stilicho nodded with a smile. “Good. Does everyone else agree?”
Skram slowly stood, his right arm still in a sling. “I seem to keep getting banged up in these scuffles that we have. I would like to have that suit of ring mail over there.” Skram pointed with his left hand at a suit of ring mail that is fitted to a skinnier human. “I would throw in my suit of leather for whatever future crewman I would be taking it from. I have no other use for any other mundane items. I would recommend that we take the most ornate item and donate it to Steelskull house hall for a trophy.”
Dremnin arose from his seat by the fire and walked over to a set of chainmail that lay amongst the booty and said, “If you’re going to wear a different suit of armor, Skram, I suggest you take this set of fine chainmail that the Theran commander was wearing. It is extremely well made”, he added as he held up the suit for all of them to see, “and it’ll protect you more against the blows of our enemies.” He set the chainmail back down and added, “And I also recommend a shield as well, so that you can add that armor bonus to protect your hide while you close with an enemy. Then you can simply cast it aside and go in with your hammer.” The scout was very serious about keep his friend safe in battle, and his concern showed on his face.
“That does look like a fine chain shirt. I would take that if no one else has a claim to it or wants it. I think I will take a shield as well.” Skram nodded to his friend Dremnin. “Although it will have to be repainted; those are way to drab, a nice trio of golden fish I think.”
Dremnin laughed at his friend’s comments and slapped the big blue t’skrang on his good shoulder. “By the Passions, Skram, you earned that armor 10 times over yesterday. Your willingness to place yourself in harm’s way for the sake of others does you great credit, my friend.”
The scout paused in thought for a moment and said, “I know from evaluating the loot that there are three other items that should go to Skram.” He walked over to the table and looked around for a moment, then reached into some of the gear and pulled out three items. “One of the prisoners was wearing a Death Cheat, and I propose that this now go to Skram, along with these two healing potions. If he keeps laying it all on the line for the Unchained, he’s going to need these sooner or later.” Dremnin looked around to his friends to comment on his proposal.
Skram smiled and his head fin stood tall and proud, “Your words honor me Dremnin, but we all fought hard in our own ways. I will gladly accept these rewards as long as there are rewards for everyone.”
“The Therans have thoughtfully provided for all of us, Skram”, the scout said with conviction. “I do not know what Urgral needs, but I know that he fought bravely in the front rank of the battle. He should have the finely made helmet from the Theran commander, which will give him a deflection bonus in battle. Hopefully he will not object to 2 healing potions as well?” Dremnin looked to Urgral for approval of his proposed division.
“For myself, I saw a pair of huntsman’s boots among the spoils, and would consider myself well rewarded if these boots and 2 healing potions were awarded to me.” He looked around for comments and hopefully approval.
Stilicho nodded. “I thought that those would suit you best Dremnin. And I am glad that we see eye to eye on the other items that have been handed out so far. I thought this, would also suit you.” He picked up a short copper rod, about a foot in length with a round, red stone mounted at the top. “It is a Fire Starter, a handy device for any scout.” He handed the device to Dremnin.
Dremnin looked around the group, a little embarrassed at having received the extra prize of the fire starter. “Surely, Stilicho, there are others here more worthy of this item”, he said quietly. He looked at each face in turn for approval or objection. “If there is another here who wishes the fire starter, I will willingly surrender it, my friends. The boots are prize enough.”
Stilicho, seeing no objection, responded. “I cannot think of a better adept to have such a device than a Scout. I’m sure there have been, and will be, many cold, wet nights like tonight, where you’ll be out in the wilderness needing to start a good fire.” He smiled, and toasted the scout with his mug.
“Fafnir and Eldwulf have graciously helped us determine how each of these items may be used. That chain mail armor, Ardor, is of exceptional quality. The Death Cheat charm is also a high value item, and it can restore you from certain death. It will only work once.” He paused and then looked to Suulin.
“Lady Suulin, these I thought would be suitable only for you.” He handed her a beautiful silver chain of woven metal, polished to a high shine. There was an amulet attached to it, also made of silver, which encased a large, sparkling emerald. In addition, he also handed her a sleek, otter-skin cloak. “The cloak is of very high quality. Not only will it shed water and keep you warm in the wilderness, it is nice enough to be worn to a king’s supper.
Suulin stood up and shrugged saying, “I’m going to need a new wardrobe as well… I don’t think I’ve actually owned any clothing that was mine before.”
Stilicho then looked to Vridich. “Vridich, I thought this would be perfect for you.” He slid him a leather satchel. “It is a healer’s kit. Fafnir tells me that you are proficient surgeon.” He nodded respectfully as Vridich took the satchel.
“As for the healing potions, I thought each of us would take two of them to use as we see fit. Fafnir and Wheeler can each have one, as they should normally not be exposed to combat.” Fafnir nodded at that. Stilicho looked down at the table, and then back to the group. “I would ask that my friend Eldwulf, and my woman Quorra be allowed to have the remaining two. Both a dear to me, and will be coming with us on our voyage.” He looked to the group for approval, and was rewarded with a number of nods and shrugs of approval.
Skram then piped in. “I am more than happy with the loot that I have received. I cannot wait to get home to my nail, to walk in wearing that fine suit of armor, arm bands shining, hammer in hand, and heroes by my side.” Skram lifted one of the healing potions and gave it back to Stilicho. “I have received so much, and there is one that is dear to me to that will be going with us that did not receive one. Give my second potion to Hannah, she will also be traveling with us.”
Stilicho then looked to the group. “The rest of the gear I thought should go to the crew of our ship. I thought one of the many short swords could be given to Wheeler, and perhaps Ardor’s old leather armor could be resized to fit him.” Stilicho nods toward his squire.
“Thank you, lord.” Wheeler dutifully responded.
Stilicho continued. “As for the arm rings, all of you fought well, and each of you has earned it. However, arm rings are traditionally given to soldiers for brave or heroic deeds. So I thought they should go to the soldiers of the group. ” He tosses a silver arm ring to Ardor, a bronze one to Dremnin, a silver one to Urgral, and another bronze one to Fafnir. “As for me, the only piece of gear I would like is this one.” He picks up the gold arm ring. “I will wear this one to remember what has happened here.”
He paused, as he put the ring on his arm. “I have been told that Rorik’s ship, Air Wolf, the flag ship of the Stoneclaw moot, is a week away from the Reach. That means that in this next week we will all be very busy preparing for our voyage. We have to assemble our crew today, and get started immediately on training those who have no experience in air sailing, how it is done. We have to prepare the ship for the flight, and go over our plan of attack with the crew, so that everyone knows their job. Time is short.”
Stilicho took a sip of mead, then continued. “If you are all okay with this plan, here is how I envision all of your roles on the ship. Ardor, I’d like you to be my 2nd officer. Dremnin, you will be our navigator and assistant watchmen, under Solara. Vridich, I would like you to be the chief sorcerer. Suulin, I understand that you are an excellent cook, so I would like you to be the cook of the ship, as well as the assistant cadence officer, under Quorra. Having seen your magical skills, I would also hope that you could assist Vridich and Quorra in defending the ship with magic. Urgral, I hope you will be an Able Airman, with your blade in defense of the ship and your strength behind an oar.”
“Now, the rest of what is here I will divide up among the crew, and anything that is left we will take with us to Throal, for I am certain there will be a need for us to have some currency there. However, there is much work to be done before we leave, and I will need help from everyone here if we are to leave prepared and on time.” He looked around the room again. “If all of you are fine with this arrangement, then I shall begin to tell you the plan…”
Stilicho and the Unchained