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The Lords of Norwold - The Journey Begins

by Jeff Daly

Helskir was the first stop.

Countess Sandralane stared at the harbour as they waited to dock. They had unfortunately come into port just as the fishing ship were coming in for the day. Loads of fish were being deposited on the inadequate docks.

Sandralane took notice of the unfinished wooden wall around the mansion of Admiral Zaar. Admiral Zaar? The countess remembered when the man had been a baron of Norwold...all 10 weeks of it.

His lands had been ceded to King Ericall in the original birthday gift of the Kingdom to the Empress' son. But Zaar had baulked. He began sending his taxes to Sundsvall directly instead of first to Alpha, as was his due. Now the man was going by "Admiral", a title he had earned in the Haven navy.

Aligorum quietly padded up to where Countess Sandralane stood. Sandralane watched with amusement as the rakasta's ears twitched. Her gaze was on the piles and piles of fish being loaded on the docks.

Hours later, as the group went into town to find lodging, Aligorum still stood at the docks, watching the fish flopping about. Diego noticed her approaching one of the fisherman.

Whatever she was about to ask the man was lost as Count T said, "Fiona and I are going to market to find some food. Let us know when you find lodging. We will meet you in the local tavern, one of the sailors said it was the Salty something or other..."

Diego moved off into the crowd without answering. Soon he found "The Happy Hamster" which was an inn boasting 3 floors and 12 rooms.

Upon plopping down a pile of platinum and inquiring about renting the entire place, the Innkeeper immediately went to one of the 1st floor rooms and opened the door.

"Get out! Get out you lazy drunkard! I don't care if'n ye are kin!"

Turning back to Count Diego, the Innkeeper bowed, "There milord, the entire Inn is thine!"


T and Fiona found the market easily enough. Helskir was not very large, and the fish market took up most of the central portion. Smoked fish of all types could be found, apparently the major import and export was fish. Salmon, trout, marlin and whale were all present. Especially salmon...

Purchasing a few smoked fish steaks, wrapped in foil, the two moved off toward a tavern called "The Salty Orster".

Inquiring within, they discovered there were a few simple rooms and a common room. They decided to wait in the tavern until Diego found them.


Count Diego approached a group of young men and women who were standing and discussing the exciting news of the day. Apparently some strangers were in town and they were from Norwold. Perhaps the king of that land had decided to put pressure on good Admiral Zaar.

Count Diego asked, "You fellows, can you play any instruments?"

They looked at him as if he was daft.

"Can you beat on things?"

One of the women answered reluctantly, "My brother plays the flute."

"Excellent! Gather him and any other musicians you can find and meet at the top floor of the Happy Hamster."

"Why?" One of the men asked suspiciously.

"Call me eccentric..." Diego started setting out a pile of platinums on the ground, "But I do enjoy a lot of noise as I sleep. Use this money to purchase as much food and drink as you like. Keep the rest. Split it amongst yourselves. There is more like it in the morning for you if you play good and loud well into the night. It will be a party!"

The young people shrugged, took the money and moved off. Diego continued to the Salty Orster.


Aligorum leaned against a wall and looked down at the bucket of fish she had purchased. They were still flopping. She was happy.


T exploded, "Diego! You have left us waiting here for too long! Have you gotten the room?"

Diego put on his best hurt expression, "Yes, of course. I was simply ensuring the suite I rented for you was adequate. It is the 2nd floor of the Happy Hamster. Go there and have a good night. I am going to stay up for a while."


T left in a huff. Diego started chuckling almost as soon as he was gone.

"What is it? What did you do?" Fiona asked suspiciously.

"Nothing! Nothing at all..."