In order to make the most of Thorin’s invitation to take what they wanted from the Kaer’s Armory, Dremnin and Hannah walked through the passages of the ancient Kaer with the Tail Dancer Skram, until the little group came to the room they had been unable to access when they had first arrived. It seemed as though it has been eons ago in time, yet it had only been a matter of a few days. This was in fact a welcome break from the celebrating for the devotees of Floranuus, and would serve a worthwhile purpose in the inevitable event that they would face melee combat at some point after they left the Kaer.
As they entered the Armory, Dremnin stopped and gazed at the numerous racks of various weapons and armor that greeted them. It was a vast assortment, representing the wide variety of Name Givers who had sought a peaceful refuge within the thick walls of Kaer Derin Kuyu some 400 years ago. “What do you think, Skram?” he asked his T’skrang partner and grinned at him.
“As for myself”, the scout began, “I need a dagger, as well as a helmet and a set of padded leather armor, and a good missile weapon if we can find one. I’d especially like to find an elven war bow, but I doubt there are any here as I don’t recall any elves with Thorin’s party.” He looked over at Skram and continued. “Then we need to find something to arm Hannah with, as I don’t want to exit the Kaer without her having the means to defend herself.”
Skram started to walk down the main walk way. At a second glance Skram realized that the room was well organized. The one handed weapons in the front, longer weapons in the middle, and armor on the back wall. Skram stopped in the second row and selected a dagger with an eight inch long blade. There was dust on it but no rust. It had a thin but strong blade and a slender handle. The weapon was made for a woman, but it should work great for Hannah.
“Dremnin,” Skram called to his friend, “are you giving Hanna any blades?” This is a good one.” Skram handed it to Dremnin.
“It’s up to her, Skram”, the human replied, “but I have no objection to her taking anything she feels comfortable with. Thanks for the sharp eye on her behalf.” He took the dagger and looked at it closely. He nodded his approval of Skram’s choice with a confident smile and handed it back to the T’skrang, then switched his attention to Hannah and said, “Hannah, take a look at what Master Skram has found for you and see if you like it.”
Dremnin engaged his newly acquired talent to Evaluate and walked up and down looking at the weapons in the racks, pausing every now and then to select one and pull it out of the rack for further examination. In most cases, the items went back where they had come from, but a few he kept in hand, deeming them worthy of ownership. He needed a good dagger, and had found two that would fill his requirements. One of them was of elven make, and appeared graceful as well as efficient. The other was dwarvish and definitely a fighting dagger.
Skram handed the dagger to Hannah and showed her how to handle it. He then hung a shield on the end of the rack so that she could practice attacking it. He then left her to play and headed to the back to look for some armor. Dremnin called out to her saying, “Be careful with that and mind you don’t cut yourself, Hannah. Follow Skram’s instructions as you practice.”
Most of the armor looked to be made in dwarven sizes, and Skram quickly became worried that he would not find anything. Then he saw the splash of color out of the corner of his eye. It was as if Floranuus has pointed it out himself. It was a set of lamellar armor, with leather scales sewn together to look like that of a fish. Each scale was died different colors of yellow, red, and orange almost like the leaves of a forest in the fall.
Skram was so excited he held it up over the racks and yelled, “Dremnin look at THIS!” The scout looked up from the object of his current attention to see what Skram needed. “Tell me what you think of this set… I so have to have this one.”
Dremnin couldn’t believe his eyes when he saw the armor Skram was holding. “Are you certain there were no T’skrang in this Kaer? That armor must truly be a gift of Floranuus, as it screams ‘SKRAM’ all the way over to me.” He shook his head and chuckled, muttering, “Truly the Passions are with us if they can deliver us from Selenys AND provide a set of armor like that for our tail dancer.” He put down the sword he was examining and walked over to Skram. With a serious look on his face, he examined the armor closely using his Evaluate talent, noting the construction of the armor, the quality of the fittings and seeking any hidden weaknesses or damage repairs.
All in all, the armor seemed to be well made and of good quality, so he turned back to the anxious tail dancer and said, “It seems to be a good quality set, Skram, and shows pride of workmanship. It must have been a custom order for the armorer who made it, as the colors and style are unusual. Let’s see how it fits… come on and I’ll help you adjust the fittings.”
Skram squirmed in to the leather armor and Dremnin helped to adjust the straps. The fit was good and snug, but allowed plenty of movement. Skram smiled with pride and put his red cloak over it. Then he grabbed a polished shield and whiled it down. “Here Dremnin hold this for me.” said Skram. Skram looked at himself in the reflection. His smile showed just how he felt about what he could see, and said, “OOH I am sight to be seen, let’s see what we can find for you.”
“Nothing as audacious as this for me, Skram”, Dremnin said with a continued smile as they began to sort through various sets of armor. “I need to move unnoticed most of the time, and a suit like that screams ‘Hear I Am’ to the world. Let’s see if we can find something in dark grey, black or dark green for me. I can wear my bright red scarf around my neck for a quick hiding if needed.” As Skram had already discovered, most of the armor was for dwarven wearers, and while Urgral, the group’s Horror Stalker might approve, these suits did nothing for the scout.
“Audacious?” Skram said with an obvious tone of humor. “This, sir, is combat fashion. But I know you are the scout and want to be the wall flower. I’m sure Floranuus forgives you. Let’s look over in that corner. Looks like there is some leather over there more to your liking.”
Dremnin looked over to where Skram was pointing and saw the sets of dull leather armor. “Yep, that’s more like it”, he said to his friend, and walked over to the sets of leather armor. He saw a set of nice hide armor, but thought better of it once he picked it up, as its extra weight would further hinder his reaction time in combat. “I’d like to have the extra protection this offers”, he said to Skram as he looked at the hide armor, “but I’m unwilling to further degrade my combat responses. Perhaps some padded leather, if we can find a set, though I’d really like to have the benefit of an open helmet as well.” He rummaged around through the sets of leather armor, like an old woman checking vegetables on market day, and suddenly his face lit up. “Ahha”, he cried, “I think I found one.”
Skram was still looking through the sets of armor when Dremnin suddenly held up a set of what appeared to be good leather armor. “This one has added padding, Skram”, he said as he pulled the human armor out of the pile. It was colored a dark grey with black accents, and was just what the scout had been looking for. “Help me try this one on and see if it fits”, he said as he started to shed the functional leather armor from Thorin in the Horror’s world.
After helping Dremnin pull on the armor and adjusting the straps, Skram stepped back and said, “Perfect… you will look just like a shadow.” Pointing up above their heads high on the wall rack Skram asked, “What about that helmet?” The T’skrang then laughed heartily and said, “I don’t they will have any helms here to fit me. It is hard to find a maker that knows how to correctly make a slot for my crest.”
Dremnin shook his head in the negative as he agreed with his tail dancer friend. Perhaps we can get one made for you when we get to a town with an armorer”. The scout admired his new padded leather armor, which fit beautifully, and the subdued gray color was perfect for work out of the light. Like Skram’s lamellar armor, it was very good quality and fit well. “This is exactly what I needed, and will fill the bill precisely until someday when we both find some magic armor suits sitting under a dead Horror.”
As Skram mentioned a helmet, Dremnin changed his attention to the helmet rack along the wall and said, “I need an open helm, Skram.” He looked at the visored helms and leather caps that seemed to dominate the selection, until his eyes fell on a steel helmet with only a nose guard in the front. It was open in front and had cheek plates covering the sides, with a wide strip of dark colored fur covering most of the steel cap. The helmet ended tapered upwards into a pointed spike on top, which Dremnin thought gave the helmet character. He reached up and took it in hand, and asked Skram, “What do you think of this one?”
“It is dark like your armor”, said Skram. “Also if you lose your weapons you can take off your helm and kill them with that.”
Dremnin looked at Skram with a straight face and answered with a pun, “I get your ‘point’, Skram.” He placed the helmet on his head and felt it was a fair fit, and the style of helmet’s construction left his vision pretty much unobscured. “I just need to tweak the helmet’s lining to make it a better fit, and we’ve got a winner. Now I have some protection for my noggin in a fight.” He looked over to where Hannah was standing and asked her, “See anything you like Hannah? Just look at the weapons and see if one really appeals to you.” The scout had in mind some sort of quarterstaff for his daughter, but he wanted to see if she had any preference. He planned to add Baran Kuyu’s sling and bullets for her defense, but wanted to see if there was anything that really called out to her.
Skram looked back to the front of the room. With a thoughtful look he said, “I’m going to grab a small hand axe. They are good in a fight and you can toss them, not that I have much skill at chucking one.” He moved back to the front and headed down one row. “Found them”, he said as he selected one and headed back to his friends.
“Not a bad idea, Skram”, Dremnin said as he stood with Hannah. “I’m going to check and see what missile weapons they have. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find an elven war bow among the other weapons.” The scout left his daughter as she pondered over her choices, and walked to where the missile weapons stood as they had for four hundred years. There were plenty of short bows, and a few longbows that had stood the test of time. There was no war bow in the racks, but one weapon in particular caught Dremnin’s eye… a medium crossbow. It stood out amongst the other missile weapons; cold, silent and deadly.
“Well now”, he muttered under his breath, “what have we here?” He reached down and pulled the crossbow from its place in the weapons rack, and examined it with his Evaluate talent. It was just as it had appeared to him across the floor, and he hefted it to test its balance. It would require two hands to use, that was for certain, but the skill to operate it was negligible. Load it, point it and pull the trigger. Simple… and quite deadly. It seemed to be in good condition and had been well lubricated before being stored, so the scout then checked for a quiver and quarrels. He was rewarded by spotting a quiver with a full load of 30 quarrels, which he hefted and immediately donned. So far, this quest for weaponry had gone like a champ.
As he turned to head back to Skram and Hannah, something caught Dremnin’s eye in the back of the armor racks. He paused and leaned down to pull out a small, well-made box from among the sets of armor. With great care, he opened the box and a smile lit up his face. He looked down into a box filled with Blood Pebble armor; a rare find and a treasure of real value. He slipped the box into his pack and headed for Skram with a grin on his face. This was the answer to his prayers for armor of real use and with limited interference with his reaction speed in combat.
“Skram”, he said quietly and in earnest, “you wield the Hammer of Derin Kuyu. I just found a box with a complete set of Blood Pebble armor, ready for a fitting by a weaponsmith. As my friend, I offer it to you first, as you are also a Name-Giver of unquestionable honor, and one of the real fighters in our small band. Would you rather have this than the armor you now wear?”
“No I don’t think that I want it”, said Skram. “Why don’t you wear it, I’m sure that Thorin could install it, for you. It would be even more quiet and sneaky than the leather. It would also make you mysterious to the ladies. Now I’m sure you should wear it.”
Dremnin laughed out loud at his friend’s raucous comment, and he slapped the T’skrang on the back, saying, “Ah, if it were only that easy to enthrall the ladies, but your point is well taken. I think Thorin may be too busy to install them right now, given that he has inherited a new Kingdom to run and his people are busy claiming new lives in Kaer Derin Kuyu.” The human paused for a moment and came closer to Skram, then said softly to his ear, “I also kind of feel bad about winding up with his grandfather’s weapons and shield. I know it bothers him, as he said as much in Seleyns’ lair before I gave him the ancient carving tools needed to release us.”
“Friend,” Skram said with a serious tone, “Derin Kuyu has shared his treasures all around, so that his legend will live on. I got the hammer, you the sword and shield, and Thorin received his kingdom. These Items were gifted to us so that we could free his people, and now that it is done they are our reward. I never planned on wielding a weapon this large, but Floranuus, fate, and Kuyu put it in my hands, so I fully accept it. You should too.”
Dremnin was struck by the wisdom of his friend, and he just stood there for a moment looking at the T’skrang, considering his wise words of advice. “You know Skram”, he said as he placed his hand on the tail dancer’s shoulder, “I never thought of it that way, but you are exactly right. We saved Thorin’s people from Selenys’ hellish realm and gave them back a future. I realize that the sword and shield are indeed a well-earned reward for that service, and won’t worry anymore.” He smiled at Skram and said with a smile, “Thank you.”
With business all settled, Dremnin then turned to look at Hannah and see what she was up to, and then asked Skram, “You all done here? I think we’ve about done all the damage we can do, and I for one feel like Hannah and I are now armed to the teeth.” Addressing Hannah he said, “You ready to go Hannah?” He reached out and selected a five foot quarterstaff of good hard Ash from a nearby rack as they walked to the door of the armory and handed it to Hannah, saying, “Here Hannah, this will help keep you safe in future days as we travel the lands of Barsaive.” The three then walked back to their lodgings, smiling and speaking to the new residents as they passed.