The next Lorestone is in Tahou
It’s Lone Wolf, book 9 – the Cauldron of Fear. It’s all out war, as the armies of Helgedad and Vassagonia together ravage their way across the land of Magnamund. I’m on the hunt for the next Lorestone, so I can become a magical badass and save the day. The Lorestone is in the city of Tahou, which is about two days’ ride away… which is when the invading army is likely to arrive at Tahou as well. So it’s a race against time before the city is occupied and it’s infeasible to get the Lorestone.
The Trip to Tahou
I’m in the company of my friend Banedon, that wizard from way back in book 1. As we set off north along the highway, we run into a caravan of refugees from Tahou. Banedon stops to chat with an old friend, and we get a letter of introduction to some friends in Tahou, which may ease some tensions when some strangers show up at the gates and ask to come in to a town about to be ravaged by war.
Then it’s an uneventful trek north for the rest of the day. We hole up at an inn where the innkeeper tries to rip us off by saying that 12 Lune is 4 Gold Crowns. Still, the food and room are great (full heal!) and we don’t get attacked in the night, so I guess it was worth it.
Then it’s back on the road. We run into some soldiers, who advise us to get to Tahou ASAP because of the invasion (thanks for the tip). And we run into an ambush of giaks, but we’re on horses and just leave them in the dust. And here we are, at Tahou’s gate. Not a single point of health lost, not even a fight yet…
Trouble in Tahou
First thing through the gate, the good times come to an end abruptly. We stop at a dining house for food, and get into a fight with some mercenaries. We kill them but, unlike when we usually kill random people in self defense, this time we get arrested! The cheek of these people, arresting me, their hero!
Banedon is separated from me, taken someplace else for magical prisoners, while I am taken to the regular jail. I use my superpowers to break out of the cell, and have to kill a few guards to get out (I really do not feel like the good guy here). I was able to find some weapons, but not my silver oak +2 bow nor my +8 Sommerswerd. Oh damn, that’s really not great a great addition to the legend of the Sommerswerd: that it was impounded at a municipal jail because the “hero” killed a man in a bar brawl. Even worse, that the city is about to be occupied and so the Sommerswerd would then fall into the hands of the Darklords. Seriously, this is a very un-heroic moment.
It gets worse. A few blocks away I run afoul of a pickpocket who steals my +2 silver helmet (right off my head? huh???). I chase him down and turn him into yet another dead body (death toll of my jailbreak is now 3!). I get my helmet back and also loot his pockets for some water-breathing pills… but then I take a wrong turn, and run right into a garrison, and am arrested again. This time, I’m covered in blood and am already an escaped prisoner, so they don’t show me any mercy. They beat the crap out of me and take me before the magistrate.
Now, here’s where I’m conflicted about the state of justice. I’ve killed a man, plus three more during and after escape from custody, but the magistrate is an old friend from Varetta. So he totally lets me off. The wizards who sent me had called ahead, and he knew I was coming and why I was coming. All that mayhem and bloodshed, then I get let off the hook for having friends in high places. I mean, good for the mission, but a sad state of the justice system here.. Hm.
He gives all of my stuff back (silver bow! Sommerswerd!) and arranges a meeting with the town senate so I can request permission into the Tahou Cauldron, the old part of the city where I would find the Lorestone. How will that meeting go? I’ll tell you tomorrow.
It’s been a long day, and its one of those days where it’s hard to remember that I’m one of the good guys.
First published January 9, 2020. Last updated December 15, 2020.