Disclaimer: The Forgotten Realms are not mine but everything else is! All mine! Go find your own!


Two companions wandered up a road wending its way through the mountains. One was a pretty female half-elf with flaming red hair, creamy rose gold skin, slightly pointed ears and light brown eyes. The dark blue tunic and leggings she wore seemed better suited to a noble's court than the road. She carried an intricately carved recorder as well as a short sword at her side. The other was a tall, handsome young man with dark hair, fair skin and eyes as blue as a robin's egg. He wore shining silver chainmail and the symbol of Tyr was stitched to his surcoat. He might have been mistaken as a cleric of that faith had it not been for the sword and shield at his side. "Teilla, you're sure this is the way to your uncle Gorbsen's tavern?" he asked his travel-mate. "This road doesn't seem very well traveled by the merchants. How are you related to him anyway?"

Teilla, with the classic redhead temper, said irritably, "It's none of your business, Ricardt, but he's human. My mother's younger brother if you must know the details."

"What is his establishment like?" Ricardt asked curiously.

"I seem to remember it being friendly mostly. Mother always said that he liked people and stories of far off places. From what I've heard, Whizban is the place to go for stories, especially during the harvest festivals. There was something odd about the town though..."

"I've heard some of the priests speak of these festivals. Mostly in disapproving words."

"And...? Have any of them actually been to one of these festivals?"

"Well... not that I know of."

"Then how would they know what it's like?" Teilla smirked at the flustered knight. "Aren't you supposed to of on judgment anyway, o blessed of Tyr?"

He sighed, "I think I'm trapped by your logic." He looked through the forest of evergreens, "Anyway, we ought to be entering the valley soon now."

After a few more miles of walking, the trees cleared into the valley where the outpost of Whizban resided. The bard and the paladin could see a large abbey dominated the town proper. A few buildings surrounded the temple and tents were going up in a field beyond the southernmost buildings. As the pair got closer, they could see a few pack trains coming from the northeast valley trail and from the southern trail as well. There seemed to be lots of activity around the tents.

"Well, it looks like we'll be around for one of the infamous harvest festivals," Teilla quipped. Ricardt declined to respond.

As they got closer to the town proper, a rather squat figure came jogging up the trail towards them. As the newcomer got within viewing distance, Ricardt's jaw started to drop and even Tiella's eyes widened at his appearance. He did not stand taller than the paladin's shoulder, but was as thickly muscled as a wrestler and looked like he outweighed the human by thirty pounds at least. His sloping forehead, greenish skin and tusks proclaimed orcish ancestry, but his barrel chest, dark eyes and thick black goatee suggested something distinctly dwarven. His trousers and tunic were a practical russet brown and his black bracers and sash bore the skeletal hand scale of Kelemvor. He approached the half-elf and human with a business like manner and asked them in a bass rumble, "State your business coming to Whizban."

Teilla recovered quicker than Ricardt and responded, "Teilla Hawksman and Ricardt Arniss to see Gorbsen Cotoman."

"I've been told you were coming soon. So, I'll run through the standard questions before you are granted entry to Whizban. Do you come with peaceful intentions?"

"Yes, we do."

"You are not going to start fights with anyone, regardless of race or religion?"

"Of course not."

"Fair enough if you keep your word, woe betide you if you don't. Last question: did you annoy any pixies on the way here?"

"Ummm... no we didn't," Teilla was a bit confused with the last question.

"Any questions before you start wandering through Whizban?"

Ricardt finally recovered his voice, "Who and what are you?"

"My apologies. I am Zorac the constable. As for my race, my mother was a dwarf and my father is speculated to have been an orc," Zorac stated in a flat tone.

Teilla could hear the "wanna make something of it" that underscored Zorac's response and cut off Ricardt before the paladin could work up a retort. "Could you tell me how to find uncle Gorbsen's tavern?" she asked politely.

"Just after the watchtower, next to the brewery."

"Thank you, Constable," and Teilla commenced to drag the taller paladin along by his collar.