The Dwarf With The Mountain Beard - Episode 1

His Contacts and Their Caravan (Mike GM - 4/23/10)

A Delivery Of Variety
The message arrived without much fanfare, with little notice to the common passerby, and appeared to have no specific recipient in mind. It took reading between the lines of the morning gazette story, eyeing a job posting with more interest than just the pay and work required, and most horrific of all, ACTUALLY listening to your bartender’s attempt at repeating a funny joke he’d just heard.

However the message was delivered, it couldn’t have been aimed any more directly at you than a knife to the heart.

You know whom they are talking about when they mention his name.

Which means someone else knows him.

And now they are looking for others who know him.

His friends call him Mountainbeard… just how many “friends” he has can’t help but cause each of you to shudder as you wonder what the sheer accident of knowing him is going to bring your way.

The Caravan of Fellow Beard-Followers
While the message may have been delivered to each of you in various ways, mode of travel across Taern, especially if one is attempting to cross the Mountains of Misplacement, usually leaves a traveling company with two options. The first is North; a long and depending on the season, brutal journey through harsh cold, wrapped around the woods controlled by the New Eye Elves. The alternative to this is straight up and through the Mountain Pass of Kularts, which normally would involve dealing with many a thief and bandit but recently with the displacement of many elven refugees of Dorthone, the Mountains have grown might a bit safer with some semblence of civility taking up residence there.

Needless to say, the Temparlo and Halmarst Travel Company have chosen to deal with poor refugee elves over those whose eyes shake a man’s soul. Plus it’s really damn cold up North.

The Princesses' Caravan
Tasl (Human), a princess from Buckmris, a coastal kingdom in on the western edge of Taern is on her way to wed Prince Arris (Half Elf), the future King of Lamascus. Her father, Burrable, a ruler not cut from noble blood, rising to power through his rule of the powerful Tabraled Merchants Guild, a national economic force for the last 20 years sees this as a vindication of his family. With that in mind he has pulled out all the stops and has organized the greatest caravan the world has ever seen to deliver his daughter from the West coast of Buckmris to the East coast of Lamascus. Doing so has not been without its share of logistical problems. Beside the bride, her wedding party, extended family and friends, security, musicians, dancers, cooks, horses, horsemasters, and of course basic peons to do the rest of the dirty work. This has led to Burrable hiring on two competing traveling companies of Temparlo and Halmarst.

The Traveling Companies
There is no love lost between the Temparlo Travelling Company and the Halmarst Secure and Safe Passage Guild. In fact there first dispute was over Halmarst’s name, which those of Temparlo found to be “obnoxious”. Temparlo is well regarded across the land for their abilitiy to put into action fantastic and logistical sound travel plans of great size which emphasize speed and efficiency for overland travel. Their competitor Halmarst on the other hand is known for their brute force and their near limitless supply of intimidating monster of men who like nothing more than to put their lives on the line for those they have been hired to accompany. With this being their greatest asset, Halmarst is known for taking a less complicated and more direct route to whatever the destination may be. The bandits they meet on the road be damned. Halmarst has yet to meet anyone that has posed a threat to them on the road.

Because of these two distinct strategies of dealing with land travel, both companies have long held the other company in great disdain. Temparlo for seeing Halmarst as not doing the appropriate research and taking unnecessary risks with opposing cultures that may spark violence. Halmarst sees Temparlo as taking the ultimate risk of not providing the appropriate security to those they have been hired to escort, as well as taking elaborate and unnecessary routes to the chosen destination.

Whatever the case ma be, on this trip the two assigned directors from Temparlo and Halmarst, Fenriq Valast (Gnome) and Erick Tansd (Half-Orc) respectively, will have to put their differences aside. In the great wisdom of Burrable of Buckmris, the two feuding traveling companies have been hired to work together.

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