THE HIGH ROAD, SWORD COAST—The cellars of the famed Way Inn have never been less plagued by rodents now that the giant rats leading their lesser bretheren have been slain, not that it’s an accomplishment for which Ascarian the Black, Murderer of Kings, Shadowblade Supreme, He-Who-Shall-End-Tyranny’s-Reign seems especially proud.
“I’ve duelled demons to avenge my father against the Blood Kings”, Ascarian growled, wiping rat blood off the gleaming dagger he used to slit the throat of the demigod who engineered his family’s downfall. “Now I’m shanking rats in a fat innkeep’s wine cellar.”
“I admit to some confusion about how Ascarian came to be here and why he accepted this job”, said Flynn, the young half-elven squire, as he counted his pay—roughly twice what he was left with when the knight who had been training him caught a spring chill on the road and died just last week. “Two silvers a tail is surely nothing to someone who had the chance to be king, even though he chose not to in order to end an ancient blood curse. What a fellow, I tell you.”
“That Ascarian, he’s such a mighty hero”, added Sigrun, the aspiring loremaster of her dwarven clan, in a wistful tone. “I threw my biggest fire bolt ever at that giant rat, and while everyone else was impressed, Ascarian seemed like he’d seen it all before. The adventures he’s been on…”
Less impressed was the party cleric, Kern, a dour half-orc priest of Kelemvor. “He didn’t seem terribly mighty when a rat near tore his throat out. If I hadn’t patched him up, he’d have expired there next to the potatoes in another few heartbeats. Such would have been the end of a man who’d supposedly plucked his family sword from the bowels of a living red dragon. Killed by a rat.”
At press time, the party had accepted their next quest: retrieving a flock of sheep that had run amuck. Ascarian’s attitude had apparently not improved.
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