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More Lords of Norwold

by Jeff Daly

All right, quick rundown time!

The Lords of Norwold have been sent on a tour of Alphatia, which will eventually end with them (by plan) presenting themselves before the Empress Eriadna to declare their homage and fealty. Along the way, secretly, they are to learn about Alphatia, especially military/naval aspects and to commission as many ships to be built for Norwold as they can.

Of late, they have arrived in Trikelios, a large naval shipyard. Prior to docking, they received a strange sending from a ghost, apparently summoned by a bone flute carried by Eilonwy, an elf of Alfheim.

The bone flute, by the way, is directly from the Book of Marvellous Magic, by Frank Mentzer and Gary Gygax.

In an ancient land between two rivers
I sing a tale of love's own guile
Ruler's godhood all for nought
On this day both fair and wild.

Ancient Isle of dawn's birth
Ancient trauma my tortured death
I stand atop the mountain house
and fling my curse at Tamonetheth.

All right, the heroes hitch a ride with the harbourmaster in order to see the town while the ship is still going through the docking process. Count Diego of Glantri, Aligorum a rakasta from Glantri, and Eilonwy decide to pursue this Tamonetheth thing. They are unsure that it has anything to do with the area, but there are enough clues to at least suggest a possible relationship (Isle of dawn's birth and such).

Upon seeing a building with a large beautiful sign reading "Slave Emporium", Diego giggles with glee, rushes in, and purchases a slave. He immediately decides to create a learning situation for the slave...

* * * * *

"Come along then, you." Diego commanded pleasantly.

He wandered the streets for a bit, pausing now and then to peer around as if looking for something. The other two companions strained to hear, as he whispered a question to a passer-by, looking over his shoulder to make sure Aligorum and Eilonwy were far enough away not to be privy.

His step became more determined and direct then, taking them to the outlying buildings, where farm animals were kept in different pens. The one he stopped at proved to be a pig pen.

"Excuse me! You sir!" Diego waved commandingly at a fellow in a broad hat.

"Hm?" He grunted in response.

"I want a pig, that one there! How much?"

"That pig? That's a special pig. That's a mighty fine pig...I'd even say he was radiant..."

"Yes, yes, I'm in a hurry! How much?"

"500 gold"

"Sheesh! That is highway robbery!" Then Diego's attention was guided to a three-legged pig, one patch over an eye, who limped about on a makeshift wooden 4th le.

Diego grinned slowly, "How much for that one?"

"Pfft! I suppose you can have that worthless runt for 50 gold."

"I'll take him!" and with that, Diego threw the money at the hat-wearing man, and gestured to his slave.

"Pick him up! I have something to show you..."

The slave went over quickly, and picked up the pig.

"Move over just a half-foot, right! There!"

Then did the count begin a familiar bit of invocation. He ended by pointing at the pig and denouncing, "Shatter!"

The pig held firm.

The surprised looks on the faces of Count Diego, Aligorum, and Eilonwy did not even come close to matching the pig farmer's wide-eyed stare.

"That's...that's SOME pig!" he declared in awe.

"Too late! He's mine, come slave, bring the pig..."

And the group continued on through the neighbourhood to the wealthier district. Diego rented an estate in the countryside for the duration of their stay, and sent word to the ship as to where they were and to be sure not to sail away without them.

The next day or two were spent in study at the local library. Though truth to tell, at least one companion was completely uninterested in the dusty records Diego pored through. Aligorum contented herself with exploring/examining the estate which Diego had rented.

The "building" was distinctly Alphatian. Delicate-seeming paper walls held up inwardly curving roofs. The place resembled more temple, than estate...and Aligorum was certain she could break in, if need be. Not that there was any need anticipated or otherwise. It was simply a game she distracted herself with.

Unfortunately, the locks turned out to be magical in nature, and she due to overzealousness on her part, she had to content herself with staring in through the window at the pig, who cavorted about the place, now all to itself...