Dollano 15, SP~4,909
At first light Allalling had us up. I don’t mind the early days, but I’m used to an early day starting after the sun is well up in the sky, that’s all. I call what these nossring are doing is getting up when it’s still night. But, the time for sleep is not today.
The tunnel was pretty dismal. It clearly had not been traveled, at least not by folk, for some time.
The nossring had some kind of lights with them, so we used these as we got deeper into the tunnel, past the opening. Even so, it was not a lot of light and revealed a lot of debris and litter from who knows what. There were also a lot of cobwebs, but they were really enormous. Appalling, and others, warned me away from coming into contact with them. About a mile in there were a set of webs that covered almost the entire tunnel, so that took a while to get through, without getting ourselves in trouble. When I asked what kind of trouble it would be, they told me to hush. Not much of an answer, but I suspect I didn’t really want to know the answer.
We’d traveled for at least a couple of hours when Donnessling stopped the company. He paused, and looked around at the tunnel walls and roof, like he was trying to remember a particular place, and then he called out, “Eedard, will you not talk with us? Or, will you give us your blessing to pass through your realm?”
Then there was this voice. It actually sounded at first like the stone in the walls was creaking against itself. I got the feeling it had been a while since this voice had been used. Once it became clear, I could make it out saying something like, “…Donnessling. You have not yet seen me and already you abuse me. You and your clod-thumping followers woke me from a pleasant sleep. And, you even bring a human with you this time, like the old days when …”
Donnessling interrupted to say, “Yes, yes, Eedard, I remember. My memory is not so frail.”
I think the voice choked on some words, but Donnessling quickly spoke again, “Come, old friend, let us meet in person. If my memory is well, we did that at one time also.”
That’s when I saw him (I’m guessing a him), Eedard. He was a mess. Very old. He seemed to be of the human race, though it was hard to tell under all the rags. It looked like he had a limp, one to which he seemed very accustomed.
“Do you bring me a gift? I can tell you have something of great value, old friend.” That’s what Eedard said. I’d never met him before, but I have to say, I took an immediate very strong dislike to him. He seemed like someone not to be trusted. I started to move forward, but Allalling put a quick stop to that. He gave me a look, and I knew we weren’t going to have a discussion about this, so I just shut up and listened.
Donnessling and this fellow (hermit?) Eedard went back and forth. A cagey conversation on both sides. It was just like Donnessling said; Eedard wanted the Darmyn stone that Donnessling carried. I’m not sure how he could tell that Donnessling was carrying it — something to figure out later. He worked hard at it, but Donnessling was refusing and telling Eedard that he wanted his help as a guide. Before too long, things got heated.
“And, should I give you my help for nothing then, OLD friend!” Eedard practically spit that out into Donnessling’s face with a strong emphasis on ‘old’. He was definitely being sarcastic. He was also getting more used to conversation.
“I would not insult an old friend, and certainly not one as powerful as you, Eedard, in such a way.” Donnessling could use the word ‘old’ effectively, too. He was giving as good as he got. “In return for your help I will give you something, but not the Eye.”
NOTE TO SELF: Figure out why they keep referring to this rock as an ‘Eye’ (and it feels like they say that with a capital ‘E’.
“Then I will have it’s use for a day,” is how Eedard came back.
From there the two of them negotiated. It’s more accurate to call it bickering. Whatever it was, in the end Donnessling gave Eedard two specific uses of the stone (the ‘Eye’), and Eedard would lead us to our destination. Neither of them were happy with the final agreement, so it was clear that the negotiations had been successful.
With that Eedard led the way. For the remainder of the day, we made our way down large tunnels, worked our way through narrow ones, and many times pressed ourselves into passageways that we never would have found on our own.
Just an hour ago we came out into a small ravine on the southern side of a mountain range along the coast. To the south we can see the lights of a city and further away, across the waters, are the peaks of Shawmancer Island.
Tomorrow is town and then, hopefully, finding the northern entrance to the Begkragk Dwarf Kingdom.