Thud and Stromm set out early towards the Dragon’s tower. They headed north at first, deep into the Hart’s Wood. The air was thick and felt stagnant as if it hadn’t been disturbed by neither man nor beast in too long a while. After a time, the trees began to thin, giving way to bog and swamp.
Thud and Stromm’s first encounter was not with great evil, but a mundane nuisance – swarms of swamp insects. Thud cursed as the tiny creatures crawled under his armor unleashing bite after sting.
Stromm chopped with his great sword to no great effect as the swarm encircled Thud. Invoking holy power, Thud cast a bolt of fire from his palm decimating the tiny horde. Stromm changed tactics and used the flat side of his blade to smash at the insects, their bodies squishing and crunching against steel. In a moment the swarm seemed revitalized, Thud looked as though he would be overwhelmed. Stromm flung his sword aside and went in for the rescue. He grabbed Thud by the armpits and pulled him away from the swarm. The euphoria of such a swift and graceful move filled the fighter’s heart of Stromm with a righteous zeal and Stromm forgot he was holding his dwarven friend and not his sharp and pointy one. Still grasping Thud by the arms, Stromm windmilled, ending the lives of a thousand winged beast upon the scaled armour of his companion.
“Aha! HO HO!” cried Stromm, practically bursting into a maritime song as he made quick work of the remaining foes.
After the battle, Thud channeled his anger into the task of picking gnat carcasses from his braids. The two continued on their journey towards the tower at a slogging pace.
Eventually they reached a clearing. Here they met what was clearly a dire wolf, a strange creature that neither of them had ever seen with their own eyes. The wolf proved no match for the two adventurers, but the battle indicated once more than druidic magic was at work in the Hart’s Wood.
As night fell, Stromm used his sense of navigation born from long years at sea to discern the way. As they travelled East, the woods became thick and tall again. Dusk fell and the the two pushed on. Finally, they came to a river that intersected with a roadway. They were very near to the Dragon’s tower. Stromm and Thud thought better of meeting the Dragon just yet and began to search for a place to make camp. Before they could, they noticed two harpies in the midst of what seemed like an intense debate.
The harpies looked formidable, with the bodies and heads of women, but the wings and talons of vultures they were not a battle to be taken lightly. Equipping ranged weapons, Stromm and Thud shot simultaneous crossbow bolts into the harpies’ chests. While startled, the harpies still managed to entrance Stromm with their song, urging him to drown himself in the raging river rapids. Before he could, Stromm broke the enchantment and made the nearest harpy pay dearly for her decision to violate his mind. The two adventures were worn down, but still strong and eventually cut the evil wretches out of the air. Thinking fast, they threw the bodies into the river and watched as they were quickly carried away by the current.
Exhausted once again, Thud and Stromm posted up for the night hoping nothing else still lurked in dark woods. Their mood was grim, all this just to get to the Dragon. What awaited them in that tower?