Gwindahl’s Real Motivation
(Crossing Middens, Zoluren: 334 Dolefaren 354)
The halfling stood out in the Middens. There were no rats in sight, and he didn’t have a box in his hands. He looked pretty much like any other halfling one might see around the Three Provinces.
This time he seemed a bit different, though. He wasn’t ranting and raving about finding that Anli’Jalbreth.
I greeted Gwindahl, and he casually returned it, "Howdy."
"What have you been up to? Haven’t seen you in a while," I asked him.
Gwindahl said, "Was attacked perty bad last time I was around. Shook my head loose a bit. Been hiding."
"Oh," I grinned at him and suggested, "You might wanna talk from RF in case someone tries to find you."
"Aint so scared as that," he replied. "No zoo here yet anywho."
He is calm and talkative, so I continued, "Any luck in your search?" I knew full well I still had Lailoni’s gold fish stowed in a jar in my pack.
Gwindahl said, "Well … I’m afeared to even speak of this."
"You have nothing to fear from me," I told him, grinning, "Your evasion is too good."
Gwindahl chuckled to himself. At least he was amused.
Gwindahl explained, "Well I was duped Romeode."
I kept a close eye on him as he began to talk lucidly.
"Like I was saying, I got knocked around a week or so back," he continued. "Some memories came back. I was a simple hairy footed ex-adventurer. Retired to raise animals and fish my favorite streams." Gwindahl shook his head slowly from side to side.
I nodded as I listened, interjecting "Sounds like a good life."
Gwindahl said, "My dream was to catch the Anli’Jalbreth! The biggest fish I’ve ever glimpsed and bright as the gold it was named fer."
"And even that dream could be falsely planted …" Gwindahl sighed.
I gave him a sympathetic pat on his back.
"As you may have come to imagine. I’m a bit skilled in a few things," he went on. That was no understatement, as many of us already had found out!
He asked me, "Well have you heard of a group called L’Karm?"
I pondered his question, but nothing came to mind, so I ask him "I don’t believe so, could you give me a brief description?"
Gwindahl put his head in his head and then he coughed.
Puzzled, I asked him, "You ok?"
Gwindahl replied, "Thats what they did to me. They captured me and did sumpin to my head."
I sighed as he unravelled the dark tale worked on him.
"This is the most lucid time I’ve had in what seems like years. Let me tell you the the Anli’Jalbreth was their idea of a joke. Made me thought I caught it … drove to the brink of madness then sent me out on some revenge."
"Gave me the idea of creating the rats. Now those critters are loose in the world."
I sighed again in sympathy for him.
Gwindahl said, "And don’t feel sorry for me Romeode. I am still their tool even now. I fear it won’t take long for them to reclaim me."
"Can we do nothing to help you?" I asked him.
Gwindahl shook his head, "Besides death. And like you I won’t walk to the gallows. Even with my soul in balance."
Gwindahl shrugged in resignation.
Gwindahl told me, "The madness lerks just over my left ear. I can feel its grip even now. It will only grow and grow. Til nothing of what I was will exist anymore."
"How did they tie Lailoni into all this? did you save her life once?" I asked.
Gwindahl nodded at me, "I helped her once. I bought some rats from her. They were pets. My first experiments."
Gwindahl looked up at me with a sigh, "Now you know how far down the road I have went. With her blood on my hands."
I nodded quietly at him as he talked.
"Even now I don’t know if the gods granted her a second chance at life," he said.
"I believe they did, but she has not come back yet," I told him.
Suddenly Gwindahl exclaimed, "You know where the Anli’Jalbreth is don’t you!"
I sighed. It was coming back on him.
"Yeah …" Gwindahl repeated, "You know where the Anli’Jalbreth is don’t you!"
I grabbed Gwindahl by the shoulders and shook him! He coughed and then said, "It just happens Romeode."
I nodded at him. He was obviously distraught, shaking his head with tears running down his cheeks.
"L’Karm Romeode …" he gritted his teeth, "Don’t ever ferget that name. Gorbesh…you can see the Gorbesh. But L’Karm anyone can be L’Karm."
"I will not, and I’ll make sure all the realms know of it," I respond.
"Elves …" Gwindahl growled ferociously! "The worst were elves."
He looked thoughtful, "A tree and a mountain … I remember that as their insignia."
It sounded familiar to me, "Tree and mountain? I think I have seen that. I will have to check an armband I found, I believe it had an insignia with a mountain"
Gwindahl went on, "Plotting in secret they are. I don’t know what they want. Evil from the inside … hidden … to attack where you least expect it."
I nodded gravely at him as he knelt and held his head.
"I remember …" Gwindahl wince, "Oh it hurts to remember…"
"They want what was once theirs," and then he screamed, "Elves!"
I asked, "Do you have any idea what that is?"
Gwindahl shook his head.
Gwindahl whispered shakily, "I feel it creeping up on me Romeode."
He stood back up and I gave him a pat on his back.
Gwindahl explained, "Remembering makes it hard to hold back. Their faces always cloaked…just pain."
Gwindahl echoed, "Always the pain."
"A new enemy, an unseen enemy this is bad," I said.
He replied "New but with old roots … They want what was once theirs." He growled ferociously!
I told him, "Hopefully some day you will be free."
Gwindahl said, "He will bestow his all-forgiving kiss upon me someday. But by then how much blood will be on my hands."
Gwindahl looked down at his hands, "I fear I best go before it becomes to much for me."
Gwindahl then told me, "When next we meet hold not yer hands from doing what you think best. They will find me and all that is me will be gone."
I asked, "Anything else you can tell me? Will you return?"
Gwindahl walked off.
I believe if anyone has one of those medallions, they should look at the medallion hanging from it, you’ll see what I believe to be the symbol of the L’Karm.
By my hand,