After making my way through the much hated Vauban Pass, cursing the very creator of such a terrible place, I arrived in South Drachvald Spur.
“Outlander! You’re just the sort I’ve been looking for! I am very much in need of your help,” said a woman who identified herself as Master Squire Osterhild.
“Good evening to you!” I replied. “You have been waiting for me? I see my reputation precedes me.”
“Indeed it does! You are quite renowned for going into the less than savory places, digging up dubious relics, and performing all sorts of dangerous and sordid acts for a token reward.”
“I think there is a bit more to my adventuring skills and helpful nature than that,” I replied.
“Of course there is,” she said with a smile. “Nevertheless, I have a little favor to ask.”
“Very well, how may I be of assistance?”
“Well, as it happens, we set out some leather to dry and cure in the sun. For reasons you won’t quite understand, doing so imbues the material with all sorts of magical and exciting properties. However, due to the blazing sun and terrifying heat, a few of the little squires are suffering a bit of heat exposure, and I was wondering if you would be so good as to help round up the cured leather they left out in the Corpion infested desert while I wait here out of harms way with this refreshing beverage at my side? What say you?”
“You want me to go out into the desert and find some leather?” I asked.
“Not just any leather my dear fellow. It’s Lucky Leather.”
“What makes it lucky?” I questioned.
“As I explained, you wouldn’t understand.”
“Couldn’t you just make some more?”
“Don’t be silly!” she said with a laugh. “It’s vitally important that you head out into the desert risking your life for this very specific leather. Making new leather would simply be wasteful. No, no, this is much better. It’s the way we do things around here.”
“Are you sure we can’t just make some new leather? I’d be happy to help. I’m quite good at the Tanning Station. Speaking of which, where is your Tanning Station?”
“My, my, my, what a lot of questions,” she said tersely.
“Yes, but if you don’t have a Tanning Station, or even a house that I can see, how did you make the leather in the first place?” I said looking around.
“Are you going to help or am I mistaken in thinking you are a man of action, capable of great deeds? Perhaps you are not the adventurer your reputation claims you to be. No matter, I’m sure another, more worthy adventurer will be along shortly.” Osterhild was quite stern this time.
“Oh no, no need for that,” I said with embarrassment. “Have no fear. You keep an eye on the little people and I shall head out into the Corpion infested desert looking for these Lucky Leather scraps.”
And so I did. And it wasn’t long before the Corpions sensed my presence and moved in for the poisoned kill. I anticipated their desire to envenomate me and lashed out with arcing attacks of Whirling Blades. Not only did I rifle through the dirt piles and locate my treasure, I harvested those Corpions for their tasty tails and debilitating poison glands. Oh yes Halmar, just you wait until I get back to town. I have quite the “bitter” to add to your ale when next we meet.
The excavation was slow going. Many of the leather locations proved difficult to see and on many occasions I felt myself on the verge of striking gold, only to find I had already been there.
After a time, all sides of the desert began to look the same and in going the wrong direction, I strayed into an Ebon Dawn encampment. It became clear, that not only did they mean to cause harm to my person, but they intended to relieve me of my newly found leather. This simply would not stand and I had no choice but to defend myself.
I gave them a sound thrashing and out of spite, set their encampment on fire. But not before smashing up a few crates and making a general nuisance of myself. I felt they deserved that much.
In the ensuing light of the fire I left behind, I was able to pierce the night and see the path I had come. Keeping to the rock formations on the right hand side, I was able to make my way back to Osterhil while locating the rest of my quarry. With the requested Lucky Leather scraps in hand, I handed them out to the joyous children, who put down their spears long enough to make sure I didn’t take an unnecessary stab in the backside.
With the deed done, and designs on investigating an intriguing looking temple I saw in the desert, I bid Osterhild a good day.
“Steady on Outlander! No need to rush off so soon! I have a reward for you.”
“A reward? Might it be a refreshing ale to combat the ridiculous heat of the desert? Perhaps a moist cloth I can use against my brow? Perhaps I should have paused for a moment in the shade of that encampment to regain myself before I set it ablaze.”
“Much better than both of those!” she said excitedly. “Have some Lucky Leather! You’ve earned it.”
Well, how very good of you. I’m not sure what to do with it, but very kind indeed.”
“I can tell by that tone and look about you, disappointment has befallen you. Clearly, you are not aware of what you hold.”
“I fear that is correct,” I replied. “I have plenty of leather at my disposal and a vault of animals hides that still need processing.”
“Ah, but this is special leather,” she replied with a smile. “Tis magical. You should seek out Preben in the South Majestic Forest. I venture to say he could fashion you a fabulous pair of boots from those!”
“Oh, new boots you say? I like boots. I’m not normally one to slip into a pair of leather boots as I prefer something more sturdy to protect my delicate and supple feet, but I will have a chat with Preben when I next find myself lost in the forest. But first, I believe I will take my leave and have a bit of a look at that temple in the distance.”
“Do be careful Outlander. There are many skeletons out there just itching to stab you in the back.”
“Oh, if I had a coin for every time I got that warning,” I said slipping off into the darkness.
Huzzah! What have we here? Excellent, a non-descript pile of dirt out here in the middle of desert. I’m sure this is the spot I’m meant to be looking in. And don’t think for a moment I don’t see you sneaking up on me, you dirty Corpion.
Oh, a temple. I like temples. Now that the sun has come up, I shall make my way over there and say hello to what I am sure are docile and peaceable tennants.
More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia
- Climbing the Stairs of the Mysterious Temple in South Drachvald Spur
- To the Top of the Bell Tower in South Drachvald Spur
- Alley tans my hide for skill and profit
- I fell into a burning ring of fire
- Jobe quells the hot temper of the Fire Chicken in Wynton’s Folly – On His Own
- The Tale of the Hood of Truth
- The hunt for a bit of hot and spicy tail
- Taking a moment to pause and reflect
- The nefarious deeds of the Luminous Atavist
- The House on the Hill – Part I – The Call for Justice