in Delzimmer, Part 5
Any trade city, with all of
its comings and goings of caravans and visiting traders, tends to be always
awash with new and racing rumors. Some of the latest in Delzimmer concern
the goblins who infest the western end of the Toadsquat Mountains; the
ambitious Claunkrar Coster of Rethmar; and a local merchant by the name
of Antholo Kraul (whose rumors will have to wait until our next converse).
- Goblins tend to be vicious and fast-breeding
creature, who forage far and enjoy battle (and ambushes, traps, and
lures even more). Those who endanger the trade ways around Delzimmer
do so despite periodic scourings of the caves that riddle the western
Toadsquat peaks, and they return in the wake of forays against them
even before the blood of their slain fellows has dried.
An alchemist of Klionna, one Urngath
Dorrund, recently hired the hundred-strong mercenary band of Rollivar's
Redfangs to encage and bring back to him alive some forty goblins from
the western Toadsquats (specifically from the peaks known as Klauntra's
Leap, the Wyrmlar, and Liontlefang). The Redfangs did so, bringing him
some sixty captives to allow for losses on the road back at the hands
of expected goblin raiders from the more easterly Toadsquats. (Those
raids did come, and they were beaten back with some losses on both sides.)
The initial Redfang gathering attack became a pitched battle that folk
from Delzmaer believe cost almost a thousand goblin lives. Dorrund has
given no public reason for desiring the goblins, but rumor has it that
he believes their blood has magical power because they spend their lives
drinking of deep mountain cavern springs whose waters rise through a
great store of magic. What that store of magic is, no one knows for
sure -- and various rumors claim it to be all sorts of things, from
lost dwarven or elven caches to buried Netherese cities and even the
work of more ancient and powerful wizards.
- The Claunkrar Coster (hitherto known only
for their vigilant guarding of way caravans between the Tashalar and
the lands about the Golden Water, via Delzimmer and Luiren) are said
to be busily at work creating the Crawling Treasure.
The Treasure is nothing less than
an ever-expanding network of portals linking key sites in Faerûn
-- or rather, secluded hollows and lookout heights near important trade
route waymoots and wealthy cities. By means of these magical routes
the Claunkrar can move small, valuable cargoes (coffers of gems, distinctive
stolen property, individual kidnap captives, and the like) swiftly across
Faerûn. Once they gain a property in a city or trade town, they establish
a cellar or indoor chamber portal therein to allow coster members
to arrive and depart unseen -- and there are even whispers that they're
growing bold enough to create portals on the roofs and in disused back
stairs of palaces.
I've spared a glance or three in
the direction of the Claunkrar -- enough to tell me that some truth
lies behind these tales, and I'll explore them more with ye anon. I
can say thus far that the Claunkrar are hiring guards to watch over
some of their portals, starting to keep secrets (and build passwords
and the like into portal operations), and that they're quietly
hiring adventurers, brigands, and monsters -- shapechangers in particular
-- to join their ranks. It's too early to say who's behind these schemes,
or if this represents an ambitious new force in the ever-active, always-foolish
"road to seizing power over all Faerûn" game -- but my
ear shall be to the doorposts on this one.
the previous Elminster Speaks
column or go to the Forgotten
Realms main news page
for more articles and news about the Forgotten Realms game
© 1995-2004 Wizards of the Coast, Inc., a subsidiary of Hasbro, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Wizards is headquartered in Renton, Washington, PO Box 707, Renton, WA 98057.