This is how Reese remembers it.
While enjoying a relaxing breakfast with a strong cup of tea, Reese’s calm morning was broken by a wail from the chef of the Broken Tusk. “My Kita, My Kita. You found him.” she called out as she pointed toward Reese.
Albeit somewhat bewildered, Reese nevertheless thought he recognized the name. Ah yes, it was the name inscribed on the dog collar that he now wore around his neck, found in the wizard’s tower the previous day. “Damn”, he thought. “She’s gonna think I killed her dog.” He glanced around nervously and noticed everyone in the Inn was now looking at him and his companions. By now the chef had reached the table. “Tell me.” she said grabbing Reese’s shirt. “Where is he? Tell me!”
“Where’s who?” Reese feigned ignorance.
“Kita. Kita. That’s his collar you’re wearing. Have you seen him?” she asked hopefully.
“Oh.” said Reese, taking off the collar. “I just found it. In the wizard’s tower.” He had told the tale of the wizard’s tower the night before. The chef stood quietly for a moment or two, staring into Reese’s eyes, then turned and started to walk back to the kitchen.
“Wait.” said Reese. “Here.” He held out the collar. “I’m sorry. He must have been a great dog.” The chef just nodded as she took the collar, and went back to the kitchen.
As things returned to normal, Reese took a sip of tea and hears Slaryin whisper to the table. “We can’t stay here much longer. I think we are wearing out our welcome.” Reese notices Slaryin’s quick glance toward Gwen, and a disgruntled look from One Tusk.
Marc notices as well, and gets up to try talk to Gwen. “Now what the hell is he up to” thinks Reese. “Is Marc moving in?” The last thing he wants is a messy quarrel over a girl. At least Chessex and the young kid, Firth look alright. The kid can fight. Might be good to have him around.
Reese turns his attention back to his breakfast, which is starting to cool. Just then a courier comes in carrying a box and approaches the table. “Melora! Not another one of those.” he thinks and begins to get up from the table. “I’m not opening it.” he says.
“Give it here. I’ll open it.” Marc says, apparently a bit miffed after being rebuffed by Gwen. Reese slips the courier a silver while backing away. Inside, however, is some tea and a note from the Archmage Wortham thanking Reese and the group for saving the city. Reese quickly calls for some hot water. He thinks that he should probably write back to the Archmage at some point. Maybe tomorrow.
While Reese finally gets some time to relax, Marc and Slaryin decide to train, and Firth, for some odd reason, has decided to tour the stables. But Firth is wiser than he looks, as he comes back with some information! Tomorrow, there will be a tournament in honor of the founding of the city. A group of heroes will be selected to travel to the tomb of the city’s founder, about a day and a half travel, to light a lantern from the everburing flame in the tomb and then return back. Easy enough, and if successful, Reese won’t have to buy a drink in this town ever again.
But, the group will need a sponsor in order to enter. Marc suggests the Archmage. Reese and Marc then go back to the Archmage, under the premise to thank him for the tea. Reese convinces him to back the group in the contest as well as to make sure that the group is chosen as the group to retrieve the flame from amongst all the entries. They also learn that acolytes under the Archmage have gone ahead to the tomb to set up traps and illusions to test the chosen group, but have not returned. While conversing with the Archmage, Reese notices that Marc and the Archmage briefly speak to each other in a foreign tongue. When Reese inquires, Marc says that the Archmage knew his grandfather. Reese guesses that Marc must be from the far east. He briefly wonders what brought him here. But just briefly.
With selection assured in tomorrow’s contest and knowing that the challenges that they will be facing are illusionary, Reese becomes confident in success and thinks it would be mildly humorous to keep that information to themselves. Reese and Marc agree not to tell the others.
After returning to the inn with a letter of support from the Archmage, the group decides upon “The Heroes of Korvosa” as the group’s name. Slaryin takes the letter and goes to city hall to register. Somehow, “The Heroes of Korvosa” became “Slaryin’s Slayers” on the registration sheet, so when “Slaryin’s Slayers” was called out as the chosen group the following morning, Reese was briefly confused. But just briefly. Firth moreso.
After getting that all sussed out and explained, Reese and the rest of the group was given a lovely speech and an even lovelier parade out of the city. Women coming up to kiss Reese, people throwing flowers, children with stars in their eyes. Yes, if he played this right, Reese could have a comfortable stay in Korvosa.
The first part of the journey was uneventful. Marc told a bardic tale along the way. But then they ran into an ambush. The first Orc got the jump on the party and charged forward and felled Reese with a mighty blow. With Reese down, the fight was touch and go, but Firth was able to withstand the onslaught and turn the tide. After dispatching the Orcs, their lifeless bodies dissolved into the air. An illusion! Firth is confused, and to tell the truth, Reese is as well. But just briefly. Though that axe felt pretty real. Marc lets the rest of the party in on the fact that the Archmage told him and Reese that they would only be fighting illusions on this trip.
The party continues for a bit longer, expertly guided through the wild by Reese, and then sets camp for the evening. The howling of wolves is heard in the distance, and one even approaches the camp, but Reese is able to scare it away.
Not good enough however, as it left to get friends. On Chessex’s watch, Reese woke up to find 3 wolves ripping Chessex to bits. The party jumped into action and narrowly saved Chessex’s life.
The next morning, after a cup of tea, the journey continues. They make their way to the shore of a lake where they spot a dead body. From all appearances it does not look like one of the Archmage’s acolytes. It has strange bite marks all over it, but the animal could not be identified. Continuing on, the group arrives at the valley of kings at last. They scramble down the side, some more successfully than others, and approach the door to the tomb. However, they are overcome by the stench from 3 decaying horses that are outside the door. Reese and Firth investigate but are unable to discover any useful information, and then burn the bodies.
Reese thinks that things are getting a little strange. “Let’s get this over with” he says as he approaches the tomb door and waves to the others to follow.