Tales of Bravery by Tarquin The Honest

It was a typical Monday morning, and I was readying myself for another day’s drudgery. Battling monsters, returning dragon eggs to the Queen of the Kobolds and saving the skins of the sorry group of individuals fate had unkindly put me in charge of.

Our guide, Komgrirk Simplehead, a Kobold considered an idiot even by the meagre standards of his own kin, skittered ahead of us down the rocky cavern path. He was delighted to have been accepted as a member of our adventuring party and I was delighted that he was going first, and would hopefully discover any traps. If we were lucky he would discover them as they eviscerated him.

It’s not that I have anything against Kobolds; I’m as tolerant and easy going as the next racist high elf but what Komgrirk lacked in intelligence and stature he made up for with a truly remarkable body odour. And I don’t mean the sweaty tang of the worthy adventurer after a hard day’s looting. No, Komgrirk’s odour would make a flatulent pit demon barf.

Komgrirk stopped by a wooden pail of animal offal. Under normal circumstances the smell of decomposing intestines may have seemed most heinous, but to be honest, which I am, next to Komgrirk the fetid odour was a welcome relief. The little moron picked up the pail and sluiced it into the scummy green lake by which the path wove. He smiled, which did nothing to make his face any less hideous and gave us two thumbs up, the universal sign of the idiot. He said something which I interpreted to be, ‘we’ll be safe now,’ although to count his rudimentary squawkings as speech is a tad flattering.

The water’s surface churned as if some great beast lay beneath the foul murk and I fought an almost overwhelming urge to push Komgrirk into the pond. I glanced at Lunar, a gnomish pilferer of dubious morals and for a second our mutual dislike evaporated as we shared a brief moment’s synergy, the exact same idea going through our minds.

Voices drifted from the dungeon ahead, and Komgrirk got to live another day as thoughts of Kobold fishing were forgotten. I valiantly protected the rear of the party as we crept closer. We huddled at the base of a wall, above which an entranceway lead to a room from whence issued the voices. By dint of the weird names, Bob and Dave, and the nature of the conversation, it was clear they were dragon cultists and would have to be dispatched. Quickly I hatched a cunning plan. (For the sake of honesty, and I’m nothing if not honest, I should state Lunar climbed up the wall and did a bit of skulduggerous spying but it was pretty mundane stuff and hardly needs mentioning.)

So back to my cunning plan: Lunar, Itif our halfwit Ranger…sorry, slip of the tongue…our half elf ranger, and Lori the pit finding paladin would bluff their way into the room and pretend to be dragon cultists. We had previously relieved some dead cultists of their armour so my colleague’s disguises would be complete. As a master or the magical arts I shun the need for armoured protection and so I was to stay safely at the base of the wall. It was a plan honed to perfection with no drawbacks and swiftly put into action.

I say no drawbacks but I hadn’t taken into account Lori’s complete inability to lie. She should have kept quiet, something you’d think would be easy for dwarfs, who are not the most loquacious of races. But her mouth started racing faster than a goblin in a goldmine and I knew it was only a matter of moments before she claimed that her mother’s brother’s sister’s cousin was best friends with the queen cultist at which point all would be lost.

Naturally it was up to me to pull their chestnuts out of the fire. With no thought for my own personal safety I crouched at the base of the wall, readied a spell and shouted “Can somebody please help me with all this treasure?”

This may seem like the dungeoneering equivalent of ‘Oh look, what’s that behind you?’ but true to form one of the cultists peered over the edge, at which point I removed his head with a well placed firebolt. His body toppled forwards, landing somewhat comically with one hand resting on the stump of his cauterised neck as if to say ‘Where’s my head gone?’

I let the cadaver’s posture amuse me while my colleagues dispatched the remaining cultists, happy in the knowledge that I, Tarquin the Honest, had once again heroically saved the day.

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