The Girl in Glass
Point of View (Misrael al Halladun)
Into the Gnoll Lands
With the men at the Bone Ruin destroyed we headed north into the lands of the Gnolls known as Grelm. The last time we visited the territory we met up with some of the creatures who proved quite hospitable and yet violently psychotic at the same time. I’m quite excited to see them again and try to figure out more of the mystery of their ways. I know that Josephus is eager to learn more about their demonic religion. They are certainly a strange race but perhaps we will find out more this time around. I’m also so excited to see the Champion’s Battle which determines which Gnoll will rule for the coming year. Everyone says it is quite a spectacle and I’m so glad Captain Masassa wanted us to go!
After we crossed into the lands of the Gnolls we met up with a traveling merchant who gave us directions to the supposedly secret site of the Champion’s Battle. The information is supposed to be kept a secret but apparently everyone knows about it and it attracts a large crowd. The merchant was hoping to sell a great deal of items during the event. He told us that the number of combatants changes from year to year based on the decision of The Committee. We learned more about this committee and its role in the battle later.
We then headed north to the site of the battle and eventually ran into a family of Gnolls headed in the same direction. They were part of the Skullsmasher clan and related to one of the contestants in the upcoming battle! The patriarch, Grimmar seemed a jolly sort and convinced his brother was destined for victory. I hope he is right and then we’ll have friends in the new regime. The various wives of the family, Letha, Reimar, Tarama, and Umara fille us in on the rest of the contestants.
In addition to Grimmar’s brother, Hamrar there is Logo Fleshrender a powerful Gnoll from a good family and a favorite, Helmer Gnashburner last year’s champion but not considered a favorite as he is older and a bit tired, Toogar Eartaker a young Gnoll from a good family but not a favorite, Framgu Firebreather a Gnoll from a smaller family and considered an outside chance at best and Icarus Marrowind from a small family and given no chance whatsoever.
At the mention of Marrowind we all suddenly felt a sense of gloom as we remembered the fire-breathing young Gnoll who gave a strongly worded harangue of Tanelorn that we witnessed during our last visit. I can only hope that such a foe of the Gray Knights does not somehow win the competition!
While traveling with the creatures we crossed paths with members of a rival family and their taunts quickly escalated into homicidal attacks and we were forced to slay the creatures.
At the Champion’s Battle
A few more days of travel saw us to the site of the battle where thousands of spectators were gathering for the event. It is by far the most people I’ve ever seen in one place and there were merchants of all shapes and sizes with spectacular trade goods! I’m afraid I went a little overboard trying every exotic food and buying up colorful merchandise but it was all so exciting!
We learned more about the various contestants vying for the Champion’s Sword and The Committee in charge of picking the candidates. Apparently the committee is completely corrupt and candidates purchase their way into the competition with bribes and it is heavily tilted towards the more powerful families. This gives the upstart clans little chance of every increasing in power. I’m reminded somewhat of my slave days under the thumb of the Golden Worm nomads. There, no matter how hard you worked it was all a matter of which caste to which you belonged. I think the workings of Tanelorn are much better!
As far as the various contenders go the favorite is considered the brother of our hosts, Hamrar Skullsmasher. Hamrar is considered simple minded and the main rumor was that the Gnashburner family was actually manipulating him to become champion knowing they can control his actions.
The second favorite, Logo Fleshrender is a bit older and wiser than Hamrar and quite popular among the people. He seemed to be the hopeful choice if not the favorite.
Last year’s champion, Heler Gnashburner was being mostly dismissed as a likely winner because his year in command of the unruly Gnoll factions left him exhausted.
Young Toogar Eartaker has quite a reputation as a wild spirit and maniac. More than one person told us the little Gnoll knows no fear but is also extremely wily and dangerous. There was some speculation that he bought his way into the competition in order to take a dive and earn more than his entry fee back.
The people didn’t know a lot about Framgu Firebreather except that he is exceptionally quick with the knife and there were rumors that he killed off several of the other possible competitors thus narrowing the field for The Committee.
Finally almost no one gave Icarus Marrowind much of a chance at all. He is apparently a fine young Gnoll but still too immature to have a real chance at the competition. There was some speculation that the larger families saw him as a threat and entered him into the competition in order to kill him before he grows too powerful.
While we were investigating the various competitors a group of young Gnolls decided to attack us for reasons we found out later.
After killing the young Gnolls we found a note on one of them indicating that killing people associated with Tanelorn would be very pleasing to the Marrowind clan and that getting in good with them was a high priority. There was also a rough map describing were to deliver bodies of Gray Knights.
We plan to follow the map and try and figure out who it is that is backing Icarus and if the young firebrand has a real chance of becoming champion.