Gnarshm awoke on his bed at the inn’s royal suite in a nightmarish sweat. The gnoll was certain he had shouted in his sleep and that the inn’s maid would be checking in to make sure that the gnoll was alright in moments time.
The vivid dream was still ingrained in his gnoll-ish mind. He heard the old green hatted gnome’s voice as lucidly as if he were right here in this very room speaking with him. Night after night, the dream replays in the gnoll’s mind. What does it mean? What should he do? Could it be that the old gnome was still alive after all? Gnarshm tried to remember in as many details as he could, the final moments of the battle against the tenth and final time lord.
Words. Greenhat spoke an incantation as the time lord threw the old gnome into the abyss. The gnome’s voice then seemed to echo in Gnarshm’s mind, but he couldn’t make sense of the words. Neither then, nor now.
Suddenly, the gnoll heard a knock on the door and the voice of the inn’s maid inquiring to the gnoll’s current state of well being. Gnarshm heard the metal key turn the lock and the door began to open with a creak. “Are you okay in there? Do you need anything?” the maid inquired.
“It is alright Esmeralda. I just had another nightmare, that is all.” the gnoll replied.
The maid pushed open the door further and spoke. “Were the temple priests not able to help you? Its a month’s night and yet you still have this same dream?” The maid looked worried as she wheeled through a plate of food towards the gnoll’s bedside. “I bring you your mid-day meal of tea and biscuits as you have requested sir.” Esmeralda said.
“It is mid-day again already? Gnarshm nursed the wound on his head and affixed a fresh bandage. I had meant to awaken earlier. I’ve spoken with the temple priest again. I fear his aid can only reach so far. I will need to seek further assistance elsewhere.” Gnarshm stated as he looked upon the tray of delicious biscuits and honey tea. “Thank you, it all looks scrumptious, however I cannot eat and I must go meet an acquaintance at the ‘Skeleton Head’.”
“The Skeleton Head? No good will come from there, and its no good to start your day without a good meal in your belly. I’d stay clear of that place if I were you. Please. Keep your head about you for goodness sake. Besides, your tea will get cold and you are the last of our great heroes to remain at the inn now, save for that horrid kobold.” Esmeralda pleaded.
“What do you mean? I spoke with Crumm just last night and I thought he had decided to stay.” Gnarshm spoke with a slight shock in his voice.
“Crumm and the kobold had a bit of a falling out after you left, and the ogre decided it was best for him to leave.” the maid replied.
“Darn! How can this be? It’s only been a month. I thought for sure the party would stick together longer than this.” a frustrated Gnarshm exclaimed.
“I don’t suppose there might be anything that I can do sir?” Esmeralda asked.
“No.” the gnoll replied, but as the maid reached the door to exit the room, Gnarshm suddenly had a change of mind. “Wait, perhaps there is something you can do. Can you send word to the hobbit Ruby? I need to speak with her. She will understand. I know she will.” the gnoll asked of the maid.
“Very well sir, I will send word to Ruby to meet you in your quarters.” the maid replied.
With that, the maid left to send word to the hobbit, and the gnoll left for the Skeleton Head.