Sordin's Post Kerent Hold Escape Soliloquy
My fellows, it comes upon us that we ought to discuss what has befallen us, and what lies before us. It might seem prudent to give up the quest at this point, and to return home, while still not terribly far from it. And, also, we have lost two of our group, one of whom I prophesied was critical to our endeavor. Our work seems already to have been crushed.
Further, one might note that, though our way back is almost certainly blocked by the Duergar that were left to pursue us, we have brought with us a means intended specifically to bring us back to Boulder Hold, should we meet with such extremity as we have. I refer namely to the Scroll of Recall which I procured from Lord Ringun’s vault. It would seem that all we have to do is to read that scroll, and our problems are all solved.
But, indeed would they all be solved? This Akagaur is obviously up to something, what with those very peculiar Duergar troops of his here on the surface world, where his kind do not like to tread. To say nothing of rumors of their having been here for some time. Do you recall Stalwart’s dead friend, found in the deeps under Boulder Hold? And recalling him, do you still remember the means by which he was slain? It was good Bolin who identified the wound as having been made by some long blade. Had some dwarf of foul presentiment followed the hapless fellow into the dark to kill him, would we not have found his head crushed by the blow of a crag-hammer, or warhammer, the likes of which we all bear? The troll we fought needed no blade; it fought with tooth and claw. And, this same troll proved that the deeps under Boulder Hold are connected with that much deeper realm known as the Underdark.
As the Duergar bear swords of their making, would it not it follow that they were the authors of the demise of the corpse that we discovered on the way to the vault beneath the very floors of Boulder Hold? I put it to you that Boulder Hold may well already be infested with their heartless kind.
Prudence might then suggest that we must return in order to warn Boulder Hold of the impending danger. All seems to point to our return.
But yet I counsel we must not. The reasons are several, and I shall describe them for you forthwith.
Firstly, the reason you were selected for this mission is precisely because, the hold needing defense from a presumed attack by waves of kobolds, its hardiest defenders were required to stay back, and not go on this journey. Not to besmirch the honor of those selected, but we would be but four returning common dwarves to aid in enhancing the size of the army of the hold. So we cannot be desperately needed.
Secondly, the hold already has a messenger of the nature of the danger, of whom there could be no greater bearer; that being the one we met on the road of the name of Geras Singleblade. He seems to understand the danger, and is not likely to have been delayed in getting the warning back to the hold. He should arrive there momentarily, if he has not already done so. Furthermore, at our next stop we may endeavor to send back a message by some agent who, being other than ourselves, might slip back to the hold less observed than ourselves… should we be seen returning, then in all likelihood the Duergar will know that their presence is known, and the element of surprise against them be lost.
Thirdly, the supposedly sure means of instant return that we have, the famed scroll, cannot be trusted. If you will recall, during the ceremony in which we put the life-force into the Vessel of the Seeds, there was some corruption of that process, one which left Bolin momentarily possessed by some agency. How do you suppose that the one called Akagaur knew of our arrival at Kerent Hold, when that was not at all the rout that any dwarf would normally take? How did he even know of the quest to begin with? I suspect that he interfered with the ritual in some way, and may well have therefore interfered with the ritual by which the Scroll of Recall was attuned to the holy hill of the hold, ere we left. We cannot be sure of this, but I feel that we should hold the scroll in reserve until such time as we are absolutely desperate to use it, and have no other recourse.
Fourthly, and I hope you will entertain this outlandish notion… I feel that our part to play in this bit of theater is to be found outside of Boulder Hold. I feel that our quest has obtained far more meaning than it had originally. In part this is simply because a foe so dread as that Akagaur seems to want to thwart it, or to obtain what is otherwise seemingly not so important an item. I feel that a great destiny or destinies may await us ahead if we move on.
And lastly, there is the matter of Jaska and Aurora. I can’t speak for every dwarf here, but I could not go back to Boulder Hold without further investigating what has happened to them, with the possible end aim of potentially rescuing them from whatever has befallen them. Could you dwarves hold your heads high in honor if you did not at least make the attempt to find your friends? Though I have no idea where in this great wide world of ours they may be, and fear for their very lives, does not the nature of our quest give us the opportunity to search far and wide for them? I, for one, will not abandon them.
What say you all?