Cold Hands, Fox, and Lamont head back to Fox‘s shop to clean up and have a drink. After a while, they sit in the kitchen and Cold Hands again asks Fox if he knows of a “Shadoweaver” in Aslov. Extra wrinkles form across the old man’s face as Fox dives deep into his memories. After a few moments, he looks back at Cold Hands and replies “Shadoweaver, eh? Sounds familiar, but I don’t know him. Gimmie some time, an’ I’ll ask around a bit. Some fool’s got to know this fellow.” Somewhat relieved, Cold Hands thanks Fox and takes his leave, asking Fox to meet him at Black Moon Alchemy when he finds something.
After catching up with his son, Fox heads to a local gambling den, where he is a frequent patron. He sits down for a few games of cards with some of the other regulars, and quickly finds himself on a winning streak, amassing a few hundred gold scields within an hour or so. He slyly works in the subject of a “shadoweaver” being somewhat involved in the disappearance with his son, and one of his present monetary victims takes the bait.
“I’ve heard of Shadoweaver. Works with that old frost dwarf, Uhlrik Helmsbow. Word on the street is that he’s skipped town, though. Only a matter of time until being a sellsword gets you in trouble with the law, y’know; ’specially in Aslov!”
A few more games in, Fox starts asking about this Uhlrik fellow, and learns that he used to spend some time in a village just outside of Aslov’s jurisdiction: Dunross. Fox cashes in his winnings, and with a much heavier coin purse he finds his way to Rodgar’s shop.
On his way, Fox runs into Bayleaf, who was returning to Fox’s shop to meet up with him. They had previously been out looking for Lamont together, but had split up. Always interested in helping others, Bayleaf quickly offers to help Fox with his new job, and they continue on together.
Arriving at Black Moon Alchemy, introductions are had: Fox to Milos Apferas and Mysti Sno, and Bayleaf to Cold Hands. After hearing the information Fox had gathered, they plan to set out to Dunross in search of Uhlrik Helmsbow, hoping he can lead them to Shadoweaver. While Cold Hands procures a carriage, the others stock up on supplies.
The journey to Dunross was slow, and other than stopping at a Travel Tower for the night, it was uneventful. The night was cold, but bearable in the comfort of the tower’s hearth. Mysti tried to again take the money in the Road Wardens’ donation box, but Milos stops her. At dawn, they load the carriage and continue their journey to Dunross.
They approach Dunross to find its wooden gates wide open, and a man stationed there welcomes them as they pass. The carriage comes to a stop at the inn, just inside the gates. Milos, Mysti, and Bayleaf head into the inn to spend some time at the tavern. Milos buys the group some ale, and Bayleaf asks the innkeeper if she knows of Shadoweaver. She asks him why he asks, and explains that he frequents Dunross, but has not been around for quite some time. As she pours the ale, she directs them toward a dwarf in the corner, named Uhlrik Helmsbow.
Bayleaf, eager to converse with another frost dwarf, walks over to Uhlrik. He attempts to make small talk as if all dwarves are brothers, but Uhlrik does not respond in kind. In fact, he actively tries to sway Bayleaf to leave. Milos intervenes and apologizes for his friend’s awkwardness, hands Uhlrik another drink and asks if he would mind answering a question. When asked about Shadoweaver, Uhlrik confirmed that he has worked for him in the past. The two came to an agreement – Milos and his friends would do a favor for Uhlrik, and in return he would arrange a meeting with Shadoweaver.
Being the ever-vigilant salesman, Fox worked up a scheme on their way across the street to the shrine. Cold Hands entered the shrine first, casting one of his spells upon the alter – rabbits appeared all over it. The handful of villagers there were amazed, immediately praising Eostre, but Fox steps in, calls their attention, and gives a speech (Written and given by benhgd):
Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in celebration of the bounties of Eostre which so sustain your beautiful community. This sign of the rabbit upon your shine heralds our arrival, and our message to you. A new challenger approaches! For with the news we bring you, your community will no longer merely sustain itself but be moving on up! Let me preach on it. First, my story. In the days of my youth, I was told what it means to be a man. Now I’ve reached that age, I’ve tried to do all those things the best I can. But no matter how I try, I find my way into the same old jam. Then I found the bosom of Elizabeth. This was Divine Intervention! You know what “divine intervention” is? She said: “The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men. Blessed is he who, in the name of charity and good will, shepherds the weak through the valley of the darkness, for he is truly his brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.” Now I am but a simple commodities dealer in the great city of Aslov. Perhaps you have heard of it. But Elizabeth has blessed me with the bounties of her bosom and upon this junk I shall build my church! I have a dream today! A dream that one day the faithful of Eostre and Elizbeth shall sit down together at the table of honestly earned wealth and then rise together to carry the message of the bounties of Elizabeth’s bosom upon their shoulders to the world. We can start with about four of you and a few poles.
WIll the dwarf come through on his end? What does he want them to do? What the heck is Elizabethism? Find out next time, on Hellfrost!