Epilogue

Zahrah saw Iago chase after the Disjoining Orb and shouted for him to let it go. He either did not hear her warning over the sounds of battle or did not care, because he plunged into the portal without a sign of hesitation. A moment later he emerged along with Fistbeard and Krag in tow.

Iago opened and closed his mouth like a kuo-toa out of water.

"Didn't you... but wasn't I...?" He finally managed to utter, bewildered by the fact that the room was in the same state as it has been when he left. Zahrah caught on quickly.

"Temporal distortion," she diagnosed sympathetically. "Come on, let's get you out of here; we've mopped this place up pretty well."

"Hold it," a cold voice ordered. A mage in bright blue robes and a white porcelain mask moved towards the group. "Not that we aren't rejoicing at your return, but we would like to know if you retrieved the package or not."

Iago was stuck coming up with words, so Fistbeard spoke for him.

"Found it, got it, used it. Shouldn't have any problems from that place again."

"Very well. I look forward to hearing more about this later." The mage regarded him coolly though the mask as he spoke. "Congratulations on your safe return, by the way. The elves were rather worried about the two of you; I rather think they'd be happy to buy you a drink after you get out of decon."

"Won't say no to that," Krag grunted. "Mind you, they'd better not be stingy, cause I could sure use a few stiff ones."

"I'm sure it will be arranged." The mage bowed politely and ended his participation in the conversation to join the rest of his colleagues around the dead portal.


After the mages had transported everyone out to a nearby human city, Fistbeard had separated from the group, citing unfinished business. A round of drinks at a good bar would have been right up Fistbeard's alley, but he had to decline the offer for the moment and leave Krag in the company of the spellcasters. As much as Fistbeard appreciated the offer of nigh unlimited alcohol, some things did take priority even over drinking.

Fistbeard found himself in the city's dwarf enclave, standing in front of a well built temple tucked neatly between an iron smith and a stonemason. He bowed to the clerics of Moradin at the door and stepped into the cool hall of worship. It was a modest place, due to the small dwarven population, but it had the presence of Moradin nonetheless.

He knelt in front of the altar and pulled out his trusty keg of whiskey. There was a large golden bowl on the altar, and Fistbeard filled it to the brim with his brew before pouring a small amount out for himself. A gray mist surrounded the golden bowl, and the whiskey within it quickly disappeared as Moradin accepted the offering.

Fistbeard raised his ale above his head in a toast to Moradin and downed it in one swift motion.

"Thanks, Soulforger. I owe you one."

As Fistbeard left the temple, he could not shake off the nagging feeling that there was still another task left to do, something that was also very important.


Fistbeard sat in his cave and slammed his forehead into his desk. He still had his autobiography to write, one that it would have to be longer and much more detailed now that he had come back from another adventure. He sighed at the prospect of the Herculean task in front of him and took another swig of his whiskey.

"Hell, I write better when drunk anyways."