Serpent's Skull

Requiem of a Slayer

The soft breeze blew into the cramped room and helped to bleed some of the muggy heat from it and cooled the two people who milled about putting various legers and documents into boxes for moving and later sorting. One a younger human man was near a large oak desk eyeing it like one would a imposing foe they had just stumbled over in battlefield. “I don’t know Havi,” he said shaking his head “I doubt we could move this thing even of Kev and Jared were here to help it is monstrous.” He waved his hand at the desk and allowed his shoulders to slump in defeat “I mean why did father even have something this huge?”

The girl Havi smiled tossing her sweat soaked blond hair back over her slender shoulders and struck a ridged stance with balled fists on her hips and forced her voice into rough growl “In business as in life one must always strive to impress upon those they would barter with that their size does not matter it is the weight of their words. Wield a large axe if you chose to fight or use a large desk if you chose to talk.” He laughed and slapped the heavy desk as her brother laughed as well at the imitation of their late father. “You know how he was Felix, if you’re going to do something do it larger than life that was his motto.”

“You mean the motto of that Snorri character he created for his copper dreadful books.” He puffed out his chest and walked around swinging a makeshift weapon while bellowing out nonsense words sending them both in fits of laughter again. After they calmed they turned back to the desk with sighs, “we need to get at it I guess lets pull the drawers first see if that helps.” The two set to the task on the fifth one they found something hidden cubby that held a large heft of parchment which they pulled out. “What do you have their Havi?” her brother asked as the girl lead on the desk and shifted through them, the tight cramped script on the pages was her father’s but it was very old and appeared to be a song or poem of some sort the last few pages though were newer and done in the more shaky writing she was familiar with. “It’s strange I don’t know what it is but this last part looks like a part of his journal, here let me read it really fast. “ she shuffled the papers around before reading “I fear that time has finally caught up to me, I am feeling my years more and more these days, and more and more I find my thoughts turning back to the memories of my old friend The Slayer. It has been nearly sixty three winters since his death in that humid jungle and been almost twenty since I last thought of his imposing self. I still recall his death to this day, how he had battled on a field of war that many of us will never know against a foe greater than any will ever face. I never thought he would die, he seemed indestructible all the times I had thought he died only to rise up once more but this time he didn’t, he simply burned away into ashes leaving to me wonder what I would do. It was oddly enough Elani and Vaungh who helped me know my duty, gathering up his ashes and the broken burned remains of his mighty axe and we headed for the coast. We would return Snorri’s remains to his mountain home in the Land of Linnorn Kings, a journey that would take us the better part of two years to complete. But it gave me time to compose the epic I swore and oath to complete. Upon finding his mountain home we were taken before the King to explain our presence, it was there that I first recited in total the tale of Snorri Gunderlack, a telling that took me three days to complete. In the end the massive gathering of dwarfs was silent and the king stood and nodded his head towards me and announced for all to hear that I was to be named Dwarf Friend for my part in the saga. The ash remains of Snorri were taken and mixed with scared metals and forged into a bust of that great dwarf and placed into the Temple of Kohl’s among so many others. With my oath completed I felt empty and lost and knew not what to do with my life so I returned home to Durma where I found my father had passed away and my brother had taken over the family business and unknown to me had taken my journals I had sent home and cleaned them up and published them as chapbooks. A very popular series it turned out for it had earned me a very nice sum of money, and before I knew it I was helping him out with the business and years had passed me by. I built my own merchant company, found and married my lovely wife Julianna, raised my four sons and two daughters and through it all people would always approach me on the streets and ask about my stories and where I came up with such colorful characters and outlandish tales and why did I stop? To them the Slayer and my other friends were only story book characters and not real people; I always just smiled and walked away. As the years rolled on I found myself going to my private study more often and standing there staring down at the shattered remains of Karagdul, held on its best of velvet in the case I had crafted for it. Whenever I faced a tough choice or just needed to think I would go there and stare it and I could feel the Slayer there next to me, his strength and uncrushable will giving me the strength I needed. Oh my wife had plenty of clerics, wizards and sorceress come and cast their spells up it to tell me that not magic remained in it, but they were charlatans and fool’s all!

I know what I know and that is good enough for me and if they wanted to take my money than they should have done it finding my old friends. I often wonder where they are now and I smile whenever I hear the rumors of a Floating Castle controlled by some pompous wizard. Ah but it was a good life, though I must admit I didn’t miss the bowel loosening terror that accomplished the first half of it as much as I feared I would. But I know how the Slayer felt I think, I never did truly learn what shame caused him to take the crest but I know it dealt with love and family and having my own I would do no different I think than whatever he did. When I think of my youngest daughter out adventuring on the road I have but one prayer I offer up each night, a prayer I offer to the god Kohls. Let my daughter find a Slayer who needs a friend, a Slayer who needs someone to walk beside them, a Slayer who needs someone to mourn their passing. “

She finished and looked up at her brother across the desk and handed him the sheets “The rest of it…the rest is the Slayers epic. You don’t think….I mean could it…do think this I true?”

Felix took the papers and looked them over “The date on this journal would put it just a week before his passing. But no way, he couldn’t be the hero from his stories; I mean this is our father we are talking about here. “ but he didn’t sound so sure of him as he put the papers down and stared at her and a look of shock came over his face as he raced from the room with her pursuit, they dashed down stairs to the lower part of the house where he started to go through some recent deliveries. “Felix what are you doing?” she asked as he seemed to finally find what he was look for. It appeared to be a book wrapped up in some rough leathers and bound up, he quickly undid explaining his actions. “The last part of that journal Havi, that last part. This was delivered four days ago it was from Fareida, it was sent from Riddleport I think.” He got the book uncovered and threw it open looking at something and as he looked up he was pale and handed the book over to her. She looked at the title on the first page in the hand writing of her youngest sister. “I am not sure how I got into this mess but it seems that after last night’s heroics I made an oath to Herr Delendan to follow him and record his doom in some epic story.”



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