I brought the chest full of imbued ore the Teren’s Grasp officials needed for sealing a pact with the mountain giants to Jones. Okay, I dropped it someplace close to him. Maybe that wasn’t polite to do, but I was tired and my leg hurt.
"Hail, Jones," I said.
"Thanks so much for your hard work, this should be perfect for the job," the halfling official said. "I'll let Borbin know we're all ready to arrange the deal. I hope I can get his attention, he's been very distracted since he heard the bad news this afternoon."
"What news was that?" I asked, letting my curiosity get the better of me.
Jones replied, "Lynchpin, one of our sokokar, was captured today by a drolvarg ambush. She's one of our best breeding stock and I imagine the drolvarg are planning to get a high price for her from the Sathirians. Everyone in Teren's Grasp and Dreg's Landing alike absolutely adore her, so the whole outpost is talking about it and making plans to get her back."
"What can be done about it?" I asked.
"We sent out a few more hawks to gather information, and we think they have her chained up inside one of the hollow trees near Karnor's Castle," Jones told me. "They're probably awaiting further orders on where to take her. We probably don't have a lot of time before they move her again, so we're sending out a few adventurers to try and get her free. Actually, I was rather hoping you might be able to make some sturdy chain cutters they could take with them, just in case they're needed. Are you good enough at the forge to wangle up something like that?" he asked.
"I've never tried making that sort of thing before, but I'll certainly give it a try!" I told Jones with a little more enthusiasm than I really felt. I was tired and sore, but I’ve got a soft spot for animals, so I’d do my best.
"I appreciate it, please hurry," the halfling said.
"I will," I reassured him.
So back to the forge I went. The fact that no experienced metal smiths capable of making the bolt cutters worked at the port really made me wonder about how well organized this Teren fella really was. Then I dealt with the merchants again and realized that maybe the problem was that the merchants had chased away all of the crafters. Even after the dickering I did with them, the prices were much higher than I would have normally willingly paid. If Lynchpin didn’t need help, I would have just walked away.
Any crafter would really have to bring their own supplies to Dreg’s Landing with them if they wanted to make any kind of profit off their work. You can be sure I mentioned that to the gang back at the Ironforge Exchange!
So after another aggravating session figuring out how to make something, I returned to Jones. At least the chain cutters were lighter than the chest of ore.
"Hail, Jones," I called.
"Thank you so much for working on those chain cutters for me," the Teren’s Grasp official told me as I handed over the chain cutters.
"You're welcome," I said. "I hope she gets back safely."
"As do I! I'll hand these out straight away, there's a party just about to leave now."
A party about to depart? Looks like I finished just in time. "Let me know how it goes!" I said.
"If they're successful, the party will most likely return to the main Teren's Grasp outpost where they can keep her safe and check her for any injuries," Jones advised. "Next time you're in that area, look for Stewlin Vincent at the sokokar post up there. He'll be able to let you know how it goes!"
"Thanks, I'll ask Stewlin next time I pass through," I told him.
"I hope the news will be good!" Jones exclaimed.
"I'm sure it will be," I assured the halfling.
So I finally got to go fishing. I have to say that the fishing around Dreg’s Landing is pretty good and within a few days I had caught my fill of king prawn. Instead of returning to Qeynos though, I decided to head up to the main Teren’s Grasp outpost. I figured that the bank there had a relationship with my bank in Qeynos and I could arrange to have my goods shipped back to the city while I continued my vacation.
The trip wasn’t too bad, if you don’t mind the cold. I headed up the road out of Dreg’s Landing to the mountains and followed it until it seemed to end. I then headed cross-country, avoiding the yeti I saw in the distance. After a time the road looked safe so I followed it to the outpost, stopping to pay my respects at the druid ring just outside the entrance.
Did I say outpost? A small city is a better description. I entered Teren’s Grasp looking for directions when I spotted a figure next to a post accompanied by a sokokar. As I got closer, he fit the description of Stewlin Vincent that Jones gave me.
"Hail, Stewlin Vincent," I called out.
"Lynchpin is back safe and sound!!!" Stewlin exclaimed.
"She is?” I replied. “Wonderful news, congratulations."
"Thank you so much, Jones told me all the help you've been,” Stewlin told me. “I'd like to thank you with this young sokokar I've been training. He's one of Lynchpin's offspring. Not quite as fast as Lynchpin, but he's got good blood!"
"Thank you very much," I told the sokokar trainer, touched. I really wasn’t expecting that.
"Listen,” Stewlin continued. "I wonder if you have time to take the good news up to our folks up at Kunzar's Edge. I haven't had the time to send a message yet, and I know they'll want to know Lynchpin is safe. Would you mind?" Stewlin asked.
"Sure, if I can get there safely," I replied. I remembered my daughter’s tales of travelling through the Kylong Plains. I’m a woodworker, not a hero. The little scouting trip I took to Karnor’s Castle was as much excitement as I really wanted. "Can I take the sokokar there?"
"The sokokars can only take you to landing points they've already visited," Stewlin explained, "so you won't be able to fly your young sokokar there directly yet, he hasn't traveled that far. However, I can teleport you directly there. Let Hroar know the good news and he'll spread the word. Oh, and there should be a sokokar post nearby that you can use to get back safely."
After making sure my new sokokar knew the landing point in Teren’s Grasp, I told the trainer, "Sure, I'm ready to go."
One second I was in Teren’s Grasp, the next I was on top of a watch tower at Kunzar’s Edge next to a figure in a suit of black plate armor watching a road headed north.
"What do you mean by suddenly appearing here?" the suit of armor growled, the breath visable in the cold. I had found Hroar.
"Sorry to drop in so suddenly," I said hurriedly. "Stewlin Vincent in Teren's Grasp sent me to let you know that Lynchpin has been recovered."
"Oh, working for Teren's Grasp are you?" Hroar asked, his tone changing to something sounding more friendly. "Well, that's different. Thanks for the news, I'll pass on the word. Make yourself at home here, and you'll find the sokokar post on the coast up by the west wall there. And watch your step climbing down the tower, we don't need to be scraping up any more clumsy crafters who think they can fly," he added.
I think Hroar might have done something to make those crafters clumsy. "Er, thanks, I think," I told him and proceeded to make my way carefully down the tower.
I followed Hroar’s directions to the sokokar post, bound my young sokokar to it, and flew off to Dreg’s Landing. The sokokar took a route that led us past Karnor’s Castle and over a sea of drolvargs that I had earlier wove a path through to release a scouting hawk. Looking down at the scene, I thought to myself I’d never do anything that again!
To be continued…
EQ2 Tradeskill Epic: Yonger's Vacation
EQ2 Tradeskill Epic: Working for Teren's Grasp
EQ2 Tradeskill Epic: Yonger Gets a Sokokar
EQ2 Tradeskill Epic: New Lands, New Profits