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Birth of the United Criers Guild

by Jerry Hovenanian

As promised I have written a story about the start of the United Criers Guild. It is told by a guild member to all of you.

Good day, my name is Ramius Ironsword. My good friend Jerry has asked me to write about The United Criers Guild's history, and I think it's a good idea. I will no longer be doing as much writing as I once did and I know much of the subject, so it's best to give you what I can while I can. First a little about me...

Race: Half-Elf (For those using OD&D, Ramius would be more of an Elf with Human blood. Ed.)
Sex: Male
Location: Trent Island, Ierendi (formerly of Darokin City, Darokin)
Age: 38
Occupation: Writer/Adventurer
Interests: I seek to keep the Immortals from interfering in the affairs of mortals beyond their needs. Trapping The Master's soul in a little blue jar and putting it over my hearth would also be an interest of mine.

Now then. I am told Jerry gave you the basics of guild history, so I will expound on that and give you the back-story on some of the events. Beginning with a dwarf named Ragnar Belfarwarf and a Half-Elf named Delsonara da Satolas.(those using OD&D Delsonara would be more of an Human with Elf blood. Ed.)

Delsonara was born to Lyidia Gliven and Diego da Satolas in 928. Diego was a merchant and met Lyidia on a trip to Darokin. The two wed and moved to Belcadiz to live where Delsonara was born. Lyidia was never happy in Glantri, the lifestyle never fit this woman of simple means. This, coupled with the fact Diego was gone half of the year and didn't want to leave, lead Lyidia to leave him and return to Darokin City with Delsonara.

As Delsonara grew up she developed a strong dislike of Elves. She felt that they were greedy and selfish and started to resent the Elf in her blood. She looked for every reason to strike out against them but her mother wouldn't allow it. She had been studying a bit of magic in her free time to keep her mind clear, but when she was 28 her mother passed away, and it tore her apart. She changed her last name back to her mothers maiden name of Gliven and blamed her father for the poor conditions in which her mother died. She vowed never to let an Elf get away with wrong-doing again.

She became a bounty hunter, only taking bounties on Elves. She did this work for many years, 15 to be exact. She drowned her pain in ale, and fed it with anger. She told me on her death bed, "Had a silly little dwarf not said to me, 'In all my travels, you are the most lovely thing the Immortals put on Mystara' I would have been long-dead by now."

Ragnar was born to Belfar Belfinwarf and Faria Diawarf of Clan Skerrad of Rockhome in AC 867. Ragnar had an easy life growing up. He was from a well-to-do family of weaponsmiths, and growing up was trained in that art. He was always curious about the world he lived in, and when he was 55 sought to travel. His mother took him to a priest to see if he was bewitched. When it was proven that it was his own will to leave, his father almost killed him. In the end, they wished him well and hoped he would return home soon.

One of the biggest losses of our time is that Ragnar never kept a journal of his travels. He wandered Mystara for 38 years before returning to this part of the world and settling in Selenica. Still skilled as a weaponsmith, he made a living there. His family always asked, "Did you have to wander the planet for 38 years to make your home only 200 miles away!?!".

On Eirmont 24 of 963, his life changed. He was in the marketplace selling his goods when a Half-Elf walked past him. Instantly he knew he wanted to spend the rest of his days with her. It was love at first sight. He walked up to her and said, "In all my travels, you are the most lovely thing the Immortals put on Mystara!".

She pushed him aside and gave him a nasty look. He followed her around as she went from shop to shop getting supplies. She confronted him and threatened him. He stood his ground. She kicked him in the head and walked away.

In recorded history a Dwarf never took "No" for an answer and it was not to happen then either. Ragnar gathered his wits and followed Delsonara out of the city with nothing but the shirt on his back.

She spotted him. Then calmly walked up to him and said, "I'm hunting a bounty on an Elf who has been stealing from farms. If you get in my way I will beat the bounty out of you!"

Ragnar was not about to let silly threats get in the way of his heart. He followed her for a day to a farm south of Ft. Hobart where she waited for the thief to strike. When night fell she used her magic to make herself stealthy and went looking for the thief. Ragnar had been trained to hunt by an Atruaghin hunter and didn't need such tricks. They scoured the fields looking for the bandit, with no luck till around midnight. Delsonara and Ragnar, looking separately, heard a sound off in the distance. They both moved in on it.

Delsonara found an Elvin woman and two Elvin children trying to keep still. She jumped out and threatened them, keeping them at bay while she tried to figure out what was happening. It was then that Ragnar came toward her with a male Elf who begged of her, "Please don't harm my family, I was stealing to feed them during the upcoming winter."

In that moment she saw that an Elf could care about his family. The fires that drove her hatred were extinguished all at once, by this simple act of desperation. All the hate she had built up over all those years came out in that field, in the form of tears. Ragnar held her there the whole night.

He knew that she needed to heal, and the best way he could think of was to show her some of the places he had been to. So they packed up and set out looking for adventure. They returned to Selenica after 5 years, not having had the best luck. But the voyages were not a loss, Delsonara sprit was healed.

Every now and then for the next 8 years they would take up a quest, but time was catching up with them. As middle age settled in, they did less and less of it. In 987 Ragnar was tired of questing and wanted to settle down for good. He asked Delsonara for her hand in marriage. She accepted.

This caused a firestorm of rumour around Selenica. It was almost unheard of for a Human and a Dwarf to be wed. Never-mind a Half-Elf and a Dwarf. One of the many rumours that was going around was that Delsonara was carrying Ragnar's child and Ragnar was honour-bound to marry her. This rumour was false, but it struck a cord with an Elf named Alcar. He was horrified that Elvin blood might mix with Dwarven, and set to destroy them.

Alcar hatched a venomous plan. He went to Ragnar and Delsonara with a treasure map. He sold the map to them for 5000 gp and 1/3 of whatever they found. Realising this might be their last chance to strike it rich, they decided to go hunt for the treasure. The journey did not take them far from Selenica, just up into the mountains between Darokin and Rockhome. They found "X" rather easily, as it was a large cave. As they descended into the cave, they saw a few coins scattered about. Still deeper they went, when Ragnar stopped, looked at the ground, and jumped at Delsonara pinning her to the cave wall as a giant flame came up the cave.

A moment later a large blur passed Delsenora's eyes just as she and Ragnar were knocked to the ground. When she could see well again her attention turned to Ragnar. He had blocked the fire from hurting her but was badly injured himself. This was the second time he had saved her, many years before he saved her soul, now he saved her life. She attempted to teleport home, but to no avail. She would have to single-handedly slay the dragon if Ragnar was to live.

After casting a spell to protect herself from the beast's flame, she grabbed Ragnar's sword and headed out of the cave. The dragon was sitting on some rocks in the distance when she emerged. It's wings stretched out and it's blood-red scales shimmered in the mid-day sun.

"You feel your magic is not powerful enough to destroy me Delsonara? I was looking forward to a duel." Acarastarral said menacingly.

"How do you know my name?" she asked sceptically, clutching her husband's sword tighter.

"Alcar told me. He wants you to know that this is what happens when you betray your Elvin blood and take a Dwarf as your mate. So now I will end this with wing and claw." she finished with a terrifying roar and began to take flight.

Just as Acarastarral took off, Delsonara readied the only spell that would save her from the teeth and claws of Acarastarral. As she swooped down on her, she let fly a wall of force. Acarastarral tried in vain to stop in time, her neck snapping on impact with the wall.

Delsonara went to Ragnar's side and they returned to Selenica. No cost was too great to get Ragnar healed, but it was in vain. For some reason that eluded the healers, magic would not or could not heal his wounds, and he would have to heal on his own. It was later believed that some dark and ancient spell that lingered in the dragon's lair had done this to him.

As Ragnar went about the long and painful process of healing, Delsonara enlisted the aid of and old friend of Ragnar's to retrieve the treasure from Acarastarral's lair. Aldwin was more than happy to help. The two of them spent weeks moving the treasure back to be counted. After taxes, the amount was just over twenty-one million Daros! Delsonara only had one thing left to do. Take revenge on Alcar.

She left Selenica with a scroll that would be her revenge. Once again the fire returned inside her as she hunted the Elf down. Using her skills as a bounty hunter, along with her various contacts, it took only one week to find him at a tavern in Darokin City.

"Alcar!" she screamed across the room with all her might.

He glanced over at her slowly. It took a moment for his mind to process the information. Suddenly the realisation hit him like a club. In a flash he bolted for the rear door of the tavern, leaving only the stench of fear (and his loincloth) behind. Delsonara followed. She chased him all over the city, toying with him, but in the end he ran down the wrong ally and was trapped.

"Do me the honour of killing me quickly." he stammered at her.

Without saying a word she placed the scroll-case in his hand.

"What is this?!?" Alcar uttered.

"Open it!" Delsonara shouted.

Alcar reluctantly opened the case and a letter fell to the ground.

"Pick it up and read it!" she demanded.

Alcar was amazed to find that it was a letter of credit for just over 7,000,000 Daros. He fainted and Delsonara was seen coming out of the ally with the biggest, silliest grin, and this is a quote, "in recorded history."

When she returned to Selenica, she found Aldwin nursing Ragnar back to health.

"Delsonara, so glad you have returned. Ragnar is doing better." He paused briefly, glancing at each of them, "There is something I need to speak with you two about." A look of mischief played across his face. "I have an idea for a business......."