Mystara: The Journey...

The Clay Model Ziggurat

Forgotten Realms

On the road from Candlekeep

“So Baldur’s Gate, got its name centuries ago when the great explorer Balduran returned from one of his escapades, spreading around wild stories of his adventures as well as huge amounts of wealth, some of which he spent to have a wall constructed around his oft-raided town,” Leosin Erlanthar stated, glancing over at the half-orc who appeared preoccupied with shooing away a persistent fly. In an attempt to open dialogue between himself and the foreigner, the Harper had been casting Tongues intermittently during their journey from Candlekeep to the city.

At that moment, Croaker noticed the human looking in his direction, the half-orc quickly nodded, smiled and motioned for Leosin to carry on with his story. The Tongues spell had worn off some ten minutes ago, but Croaker wasn’t going to let on. He disliked having to wait while Leosin stopped their journey so he could scratch through his numerous backpacks to find the small clay model ziggurat which he utilised for the casting of the spell. Leosin had proven to be an insatiable talker. Croaker had never met a person who loved the sound of his own voice this much and he knew a fair number of bards. He was certain that son-of-a-cunt Mills was aware of this.

Leosin smiled back. The half-orc was in better spirits this last half-hour and appeared to have taken quite an interest in the story. Feeling encouraged, Leosin continued, “The city grew from pirates’ port to farmers’ fort to the bustling urban centre that it is today. And even now, it refuses to be constrained, just wait till you see the Outer City…”

Some 15 minutes later…

Leosin paused for a moment, looking up at the sky, trying to gage the time, making a mental calculation in an attempt to determine how long it had been since his last casting of the Tongues spell.

Croaker noticed the quizzical frown play across Leosin’s face and hastily enunciated the words yes and in the form of a question in the common tongue of this world succeeding to break Leosin’s concentration.

“Ah, where was I?” said Leosin, before gathering his thoughts, “Did I mention Tymora’s temple?” Based on the half-orc’s thoughtful expression, Leosin got the impression that this was the first time Croaker was hearing about it, “Well, the Lady’s Hall is made from the local granite mined near and around the city. It features a modest spire, rising only so slightly above the Upper City’s already tall buildings…."

Croaker breathed a sigh of relief. His lesson with the patient Candlekeep monk seemed to have paid off. He didn’t know how long he could keep fooling Leosin like this – at some point the human would eventually figure it out and begin his painful search for the little ziggurat. Croaker gazed at the road ahead hoping to catch sight of Baldur’s Gate.
He hadn’t yet decided how he was going to explain to Leosin that he had accidently cracked the clay model while playing with it on their last break.


Demetrios Demetrios

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