Category Archives: Gnarshm’s Dream

Gnarshm’s Dream part 4: At the Inn

Gnarshm reached the door to the royal suite only to find that the lock had been picked at and the door pried open. A rustling of papers could be heard from inside the room. The gnoll unsheathed his sword and slowly entered the room with his sword at the ready, only to encounter a familiar hobbit ravaging through the maps and scrolls which laid about the room.

“Ruby! , My message has apparently reached you. It is good to see you again, but what may I ask are you looking for?” the gnoll inquired, as he sheathed his iron sword.

“We have to move quickly for there is not much time.” The hobbit stated as she scooped up a handful of maps and dungeon scrolls from the gnoll’s worktable. “You are being followed by a lizard-kind. The Seer you spoke with cannot be trusted. He has put a watch upon you and I do not know why, but only that we need to leave this place, and leave it soon. I have spoken with Crumm, and he has procured a boat from his workplace at the docks that will take us across the sea to the gnome-lands where we can meet a gnome that can lead us to the location of a secret entrance to the lands of purgatory. Our only hope of saving the old gnome Greenhat will be there.” the hobbit said.

You have spoken with Crumm? What about Twiggy? Will she assist us also?” Gnarshm asked.

A fraught look displaced Ruby’s usually easygoing demeanor. “No. I am afraid not. As you know, her best elven companion Sammy did not survive the Time Lord’s wrath, nor did her younger sister Elvira. The thought of again working with that wretched kobold Iscreem, completely repulses her. The only one that she truly trusted was Greenhat.” the hobbit stated.

“What about you? Surely she trusts you?” Gnarshm asked inquisitively.

The hobbit began to sob. “I’m sorry Gnarshm. She said she doesn’t trust thieving burglars, and that I was just up to my no good tricks again. Before I learned the art of magic, I was a rogue by trade. Twiggy knew of this and has never truly trusted me.” Ruby replied.

“But Elvira….she was a rogue.” Gnarshm stated.

“She was an elf, and also Twiggy’s sister. I could never live up to an elven standard. I am sorry Gnarshm, I tried, but Twiggy would have none of it. Twiggy has left these realms for the timeless forests and does not plan on returning here. We are on our own, but Crumm will help us.” Ruby said.

 

 

 

Gnarshm’s Dream (part 3) [Telepathy]

Gnarshm looked deep into the twirling and mesmerizing crystal eyes of the Seer. He did not need to speak. No questions were required. Gnarshm knew what he was to do. The gnoll quickly took his seat before the Seer. Upon the table displayed a cloudy crystal ball which soon cleared of its grey murkiness to reveal an image of an old battle weary gnome with a greenish hat fixed atop his head and enclosed within the crystal ball. It was Greenhat, in his true and living form. The gnome appeared pleased and soon spoke to the gnoll sitting before his crystalline image through the Seer’s crystal ball.

Through the crystal ball, a vision flooded the mind of the gnoll, putting Gnarshm into a deep trance-like state…..

The tenth time lord had clutched the throat of the green hatted gnome and flung him into the abyss. The old gnome landed hard onto the burnt terrain of hell. The heat was unbearable and the pain was immense. He now knew and understood what and endless suffering in hell would mean, but he also knew that this was not to be and an endless lifetime in hell was not his fate. The Gods had not sent him here. He was ripped from out of the living world and thrown into the hellish abyss. He had not yet had his final judgment.

An onslaught of demons and other hideous and hellish creatures fought the gnome in endless waves, but somehow the old gnome survived. It was here that the gnome discovered something enormous and terrible, something vile, wretched and ungodly. But the good God’s were on Greenhat’s side and saw to it that he was able to survive and make it to the Gates of Hell.

An enormous and towering Guardian of the Shadows stood at the Gates of Hell. The shadow guardian reached forward with amazingly powerful claws and grasped the gnome in an immense and suffocating grip. It appeared that the gnome’s end was near. The Guardian of the Shadows looked into the soul of the gnome and spoke.

“YOU!  YOU! Do not belong in here!” And with that, the Shadow Guardian released its incredible grip and pushed Greenhat out through the gates of hell, and into the Purgatory beyond.

Purgatory is a place where previously living beings can either purify their souls and reach the ultimate destination of heaven, or for unfortunate souls whose destiny has more sour fates, can lead back to the gates of hell for eternal damnation.

In Purgatory, there are two lines, a first line for the hopeful, or ones that feel worthy enough for consideration to a pathway to heaven, based on a life of mostly good conduct, and a second line for the penitent, or those with guilty conscience that hope for another chance at their fate.

Greenhat entered the first line, feeling confident that he would reach a path to the heavens. The gnome slowly walked further and further to the gates to heaven in anticipation. He approached an angelic Guardian of Heaven which proceeded to speak with him with a voice that only an angel could speak.

“Oh Gnome of the Green Hat, you have proven yourself a valiant and noble soul, but you have left the realms a disastrous consequence of your actions. To prove yourself worthy of entrance to the heavens, you must do what is right and find a way to save the realms from the Pri-Mordgga.

The death of the Time Lords was great, as was the evil that they inflicted upon the realms, however their death will now inevitably bring about the resurgence of an ancient evil, the Pri-Mordgga; a form of primordial soup which until now had no way of emerging from its past age. With the Time Lords now defeated, (however evil they were), they are now no longer in control of the complexities of time itself. The Pri-Mordgga has pushed its way into the present time and is now a very direct threat to the lands of Rivaria. Something must be done.

This primordial soup has the ability to produce a vast array of complex organic life, but most of what it creates is a disgustingly vile assault on all life that now exists throughout all the lands of Rivaria and beyond. It must be stopped. What is even more grave for you, is the fact that as you and your adventuring group were the ones who had defeated the Time Lords, you and your adventurers are thus ultimately responsible for the horrors that may come to fruition if the Pri-Mordgga is not stopped now.

I hereby give you the power so that you may be able to communicate with the living world through crystal balls of power, so that you may set things right again. If you are able to stop and defeat the Pri-Mordgga, the Gods will grant you entrance to the heavens. May God be with you in your quest, and may good prevail.”

The vision of what had happened to the old gnome began to fade, and now the face of the old green hatted gnome grew clearer. Greenhat spoke to the gnoll Gnarshm.

“I knew I was right in trusting you to be able to bring about this communication forth. Our victory over the ten time lords is unfortunately short lived. Now there is an even greater and more vile threat to the realms. You must help me defeat the Pri-Mordgga. Gather an adventuring crew to accompany you in your journey.  I can assist you but only through the use of another crystal ball of power. Please, I beg of you, you must defeat the Pri_Mordgga. My soul, and the fate of Rivaria and the rest of the Realms depends on it! Seek out the purple hatted gnome within my home in the Gnomelands, and may the Gods be with you.”

The gnome’s face began to fade. The crystal ball turned a cloudy grey, and then to a darkened black.

Gnarshm came out of his trance-like state. The Seer no longer had eyes of crystal, but eyes of pure black, while the Seer’s lizardman accomplice was no longer mute, and was vocalizing a series of unrecognizable words, yet it was clear to the gnoll Gnarshm that it was now time for him to leave the establishment.

Gnarshm’s Dream (part 2) [The Skeleton Head]

Gnarshm approached the entrance to the Skeleton Head. The seedy dive emanated a vibe of filth and evil. As the gnoll reached the doors to the questionable establishment, Gnarshm second thought his choice to visit the tavern, but ultimately decided to enter the place. It must be done. He must seek out the Seer, and the gnoll’s only link to the sage is through this wretched and cursed residence.

The gnoll pushed open the doors to the Skeleton Head. Inside a wide assortment of vile and disgusting creatures lurked about drinking brew and partaking in other various sorts of self destructive behavior. Yet a familiar face and voice seemed to shine a beacon of light throughout this filth ridden bar. That blasted kobold Iscreem. Somehow Gnarshm didn’t find seeing the kobold here in this place to be of anything out of the ordinary. In fact the kobold seemed to fit into this place rather miraculously.

Gnarshm crept quietly through the tavern but it was of no use. The gnoll had been spotted. Iscreem’s eyes widened and the kobold spewed words out of his mouth in a slurred drunken speech. “Where the hell! have you been? Gnoll!” the kobold shouted.

“Your drunk again! Keep your voice down, kobold. I’m not here wanting to attract attention.” the gnoll warned. A group of rowdy gamblers sit at a table nearby wheeling and dealing in their game of cards. A particularly seedy looking character lifts its wretched head and stares in Gnarshm’s direction.

The kobold spins his barchair around to face Gnarshm. “OH! Gone aLL high n’ mighty on mee have ya! {hic} I remember you when you’wr NOTHING! You wr NOTHING without ME! the kobold slurred venomously. “I’m the one who killed the Time Lord! ME! {hic} ME!” How many times did I bring your ROTTING CORPSE back to the temple!?” Iscreem shouted.

Denizens of the seedy skeleton head start to take notice of the commotion. Two large and hulkish hobgoblin bouncers appear, making their way through a crowd of patrons towards the kobold and gnoll. At the far end of the bar, a reptilian creature swills from a mug while keeping watch over Gnarshm and the increasingly belligerent kobold.

The larger of the hobgoblin pair approaches Gnarshm. “What’s the problem? Nomok no like problems! Nomok make problems disappear.” the hobgoblin threatened. The second hobgoblin bouncer held a spiked club in his hand and looked on rather menacingly.

“No problems. There are no problems here. My friend and I were just taking a booth.” Gnarshm said as he grabbed Iscreem by the tunic and backed away from the bar and the two hulking hobgoblins. Gnarshm shoved the kobold down into a partially secluded booth. “Sit down and shut up.” the gnoll muttered to Iscreem, while motioning to a barmaid to bring a round of ale for the two. The hobgoblins stood and watched them for a bit longer until they were distracted by the card playing group of patrons who had overturned their table and gotten into a fistfight over assumptions of one of the gamblers cheating at their game.

With the heat of the bouncers taken elsewhere, Gnarshm breathed a sigh of relief. The gnoll relaxed a bit in his seat. A few moments later a beautiful blonde barmaid brought two towering mugs of ale and set them down onto their table. The kobold instantly reached for his mug and drank from it greedily.

“Where’s Crumm?” Gnarshm asked the kobold.

Iscreem lifted his mug higher and higher as he swiftly gulped down the ale. The messy kobold couldn’t get his aim right as some of the ale dripped from his mouth and spilled onto his tunic. When the kobold finished his drink, he slammed the empty mug down onto their booth’s wooden table and proceeded to order yet another round from the barmaid.

“Crumm? Where’s Crumm you say? That brainless oaf said he gots bored. {hic} He gots some job working for harbormaster on some boat. Don’t know why. I says what mores could he possibly want? He gots monies! He gots monies for ale! {hic}…

The blonde barmaid brought another round of ale for the kobold.

“He gots monies for women too!” Iscreem winked at the blonde barmaid, who in turn gave the kobold a disgusted look and roller her eyes, as she returned to the bar to serve other patrons.

“AND! … And!…”, the kobold takes a swill from the new mug the barmaid brought before continuing his speech.

“…and he’s got monies for ALE too! so you can sees {hic} why I have no idea why Crumm left.”  the kobold lifted his mug one last time, finished off the remaining ale, and passed out onto the table, leaving Gnarshm alone to deal with the now unconscious kobold.

“I think I’m beginning to understand why Crumm left.” Gnarshm muttered to himself as he checked the kobold’s pulse to make sure he was still alive. The gnoll remained at the booth a bit longer to finish his brew, then made sure to leave sufficient funds to cover Iscreem’s tab, giving a heft tip to the barmaid to ensure the kobold’s safe return to the castle’s inn.

Gnarshm eyed the reptilian creature at the other end of the bar who had seemingly been watching the gnoll’s every move since Gnarshm entered the skeleton head. A disturbing and unsettling feeling swept over the gnoll as he walked towards the reptile, but the gnoll continued onwards and took a seat next to the reptilian.

“You are the one called Sliver, am I right?” Gnarshm asked the reptile. The reptilian nodded positively.

“I seek the advise of the Seer and was told that you could bring me to him. Can you help me?” the gnoll asked of the reptile.

The reptilian made no discernible reaction.

Gnarshm decided to try again with some incentive. He reached into his pocket, grabbed a handful of gold coins and placed them onto the table in front of the lizard. “Can you bring me to the Seer?” Gnarshm asked.

The reptile took the coins placed before him, stood up and walked towards a skeleton head employee entrance only room and turned to motion the gnoll to follow him. Gnarshm looked about to see if anyone else would follow. No one else seemed to care, or at least it didn’t appear that way. Gnarshm followed the reptile into one of the taverns back rooms. The reptile led the gnoll down a long dark corridor, opened a trap door from the floor and brought Gnarshm into a cellar and onwards to a back exit which lead into a rat infested alleyway and straight to a steel door. The reptile knocked the door twice, then once, and then twice again. A few moments later, movement could be heard from beyond the steel door. After a sound of sliding metal and a loud clang from the other side of the door, someone opened the door from the inside, allowing entrance of both the reptilian creature and the gnoll Gnarshm. From beyond the door, an aged and mystical looking fellow with crystal eyes peered into Gnarshm’s soul.

 

 

 

Gnarshm’s Dream (part 1)

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.