Last week, as the rest of the party headed to Cragpost, defeated undead dwarves and recovered dwarven loot, Greggg got a bit sidetracked.
His adventure started a day before the rest of the party set forth. Excited about the upcoming journey, Greggg had planned to rest well on the nights leading up to their departure. As he attempted to drift off to sleep, something nagged at him, and he couldn’t quite pinpoint it. The nagging sensation ultimately led him to his rucksack beside his cot. He shuffled through it, looking for something (what, he wondered?), and his frustration ended in his angry dumping of the entire contents of the rucksack onto the floor.
What caught his attention was an envelope with a wax seal that he had not noticed before. With trembling dragon fingers, he reached down and opened it. He gaped at the handwriting that he recognized immediately; how could he have overlooked such a precious letter!? Where had it been hiding all this time?
The letter read: "Events and tragedies are unfolding quickly. If I suggest (or suggested) to you that you take refuge at Fort Remote, for any reason, please take heed of my advice in this letter. There is someone who means a great deal to me, who I think you should see.
“A town lies one day to the east of Fort Remote. If you manage to travel there, ask for ‘Byron.’
“That is all the information I can put into this letter without jeopardizing you or anyone else. I hope this letter finds you well and out of harm’s way.
Blessings and peace,
Bernard: the priest captured in the war, and his former mentor. Greggg endured a fitful night of sleep, then set out two hours before sunrise, before any members of the party could wake and accost him. He gathered his belongings, replenished his water supply, and headed out. Going after an unnamed town would be difficult, but he would have to try his best. He journeyed due east for a day, and sure enough, spotted a small village on the horizon. (During his day of travel, he kept an eye out for orcs but luckily did not run into any of them.)
He took stock of the village and turned on the charm. This was always a bit of a stressful process for Greggg because, while he had the ability to converse easily with strangers, a part of him always dreaded it. He approached local after local with a smile and a beseeching attitude. No one had heard of a “Byron.” He couldn’t help but feel a little bit frustrated with Bernard’s evasiveness, as ridiculous and impractical as that frustration might have been.
He had just gone through every drinker at the local tavern — and had mostly been met with belligerence — and stepped outside when he practically tripped over an old, wizened man making his way slowly through the road. “Oh, I’m so terribly sorry,” Greggg mumbled, his scales blushing.
The old man regarded him silently for a moment. “Can I help, you, boy?” he said finally, and for some reason when he said it, it gave Greggg chills.
“I-I…” Usually Greggg was not put off his charismatic streaks so easily. He took a moment to breathe, then recovered himself. “I’m looking for a Byron. Do you know him?”
The man’s eyes sparkled. “Ah, but of course. Byron.”
Gregg wondered for a moment if this man were just pulling his leg. “Really?”
“Yes. I’m afraid he’s out of town, though. No one knows where he is when he goes out. But he will probably be back in the next few weeks.”
Greggg tried to hide his exasperation. “Probably?”
“Yes, boy. Come back this way in a few weeks, if you can. You can always wait for him, but it might be a while. Next time you’re back this way, just come back outside of the tavern. I’ll be around.” The man winked eerily at Greggg and shuffled off at a surprisingly fast pace.
Greggg almost followed him, but stopped short, his mind racing. He had a few options. He could stick around and continue to ask people about Byron, but at this point he was pretty sure he had questioned everyone within a 50-mile radius. (It was a small town. He still didn’t know the name of it.) Or, he could return to his party, who probably needed him, and then slip away in another few weeks, if he could. He had the suspicion that he would be better off returning to his new friends and to continue on their adventure, at least for a while. Bernard’s words could wait. Greggg would just have to be patient… and it might be a struggle, but he would give it his best shot.