It had been a long time since Mcskinner had tasted the unforgettable taste of a frothy mug of ale. To put in more plainly, he didn’t even know for sure, with everything that has happened, he still hasn’t quite rapped his head around it. Now you can imagine the excitement in his heart when he came to a town called Argent Glade, and he saw the tavern.

“By my beard..” he said to himself quietly, so overcome with joy that he could barely speak.

“Tuskers look! A Tavern!” The beast barely grunted in acknowledgement of his master.

In his excitement, Mcskinner dropped his rifle to the ground and started to fumble for his coin purse. He knew as soon as he grabbed it, that he wasn’t going to have enough, but he marched in to the tavern anyway, found him a stool at the bar and waved to the barkeep.
The barkeep came over to the new customer. He rolled his eyes once he saw that Mcskinner was a dwarf.

“Welcome to The Blunted Quill stranger, what can I get you?” asked the barkeep.
Mcskinner dumped his purse onto the bar and and asked, “Is tha enough fer a nice frosty ale?” he asked with glee in his eye.

The barkeep let a small chuckle, “Sorry my friend no, and we don’t do any favors. Just because you’re an Ascended that doesn’t mean you can have free drinks at the tavern!” he replied rudely and turned away.

“A wha?” Mcskinner asked, confused, and put off by the elf’s rudeness.

“Ascended. That’s what you are right?” A voice came from behind him. He turned to see a Mathosian walking towards him.

“What’s it ta you stranger?” Mcskinner asked.

“I am but a mere scholar, and I have been looking for an Ascended to take part in a recording of this historic event. My name is Achturis.”

Mcskinner thought for a moment as he eyed over the man. “Buy me an ale, and I will tell you my story.” He said with a grin on his face.

Mcskinner let out a loud belch as he finished his third mug and raised his hand for the bar maiden to bring him another. Across from him sat Achturis, eagerly waiting to hear his tale. Mcskinner gave him a long glance before he started to speak.

“First and foremost, my name is Rogi Mcskinner of Lord’s Hall in Scarwood Reach. I served under Borrin Gammult himself when we marched onto Thedore Fields. I was part of a scouting party, trying ta find a way behind Aedraxis’s forces.” Mcskinner stopped to chug another ale.

Achturis sat in his chair vigilantly writing down every word. When the pause came, he looked up and said, “And? What happened next?”

“Well that plan was a no go see, so I had the glorious duteh of running across a battlefield of undead, ta report in ta Gammult. I took out a few enemies on the way, one was a great big ettin, reminded me of this lass I once…never mind.”

Achturis shifted uneasily in his chair, not sure if to laugh or ignore the comment, although he did find it funny.

“Gammult was already preparing the troops for a frontal assault. All he was waiting for was the word ta come down from Prince Zareph. So my report didn’t matter one way or the other. “ Mcskinner paused again and waited for Achutris to meet his gaze.

“Can we get some food? Some meat and cheese would hit the spot. I haven’t eaten in days!” he asked.

“Ah, sure, that would be great.” He replied. He then began to realize that the cost of this story might not be worth what he will be paying afterward for the food and drinks.
With cheese stuffed in one cheek and some beef stuffed in the other, ale dribbling down his beard, Mcskinner went on with his story.

“So I turned ta return ta meh unit, when ‘ol Gammult shouted at me ta come back.”

“Where ya think yer goin? I want yeh ta stay right ‘ere with me, and keep anyone from taking a shot at meh.”

“Well I didn’t have much of choice, so I stayed, and when the orders came down ta move out, we marched across tha field. “ Mcskinner hung his head a little before he said, “I have never seen so much death and destruction.”

“Next thing I know, I wake up on a beach, some Vigil bloke staring down at me welcoming me back ta the land of the living. Telling me ta go on up the road and start helping people. I thought I lost it or something. I mean, all my brethren, Gammult, the undead army, just gone, nowhere ta be found!”

Mcskinner finishes the last of his food, and drinks the last of his ale before he stands to his feet.

“So now, everywhere I go, people are asking me for help ta do this or tha. Monsters are roaming the land. Hell everything south of here is on fire! It’s like the entire world has gone mad! And I haven’t seen a single one of my kind since I woke up, except the one with the funny hat over there.” Mcskinner points to a dwarf walking out the tavern door.

“And I tell ya this, for being this, Ascended being…people sure don’t act like I am something special. Else I would be able ta pay fer me own drinks! As soon as I can, I’m going back to Lord’s Hall, where the ale is better, and there are no damn elves!”

Achturis stopped writing in his book, and looked up at Mcskinner and then glanced around the bar, which had become suddenly silent. Everyone was now watching Mcskinner as he turned around to see what was going on.

Achturis said, “Has no one told you?”

“Told me wha?” Mcskinner asked.

“Lord’s Hall has been sealed off and abandoned. The Shade hit it hard, and whoever was left inside closed the doors, and they haven’t come out since.” Achturis explained.

Mcskinner turned pale as he plumped back down in his chair. It seemed as if the world truly had gone mad, but all he could think about was his family, and friends, brothers in arms. What had happen to them, where had they all gone? And with what little of his kind he had seen so far, could this have been the fate of the other great dwarven delves too? So many questions, questions that need to be answered, but first, he needs the means to set out on this adventure. So he grabbed his gear, and headed out into the cold night.