The Quest Master

The sun was rising over the land and the city of Dragonport was just waking up. The streets were slowly filing with individuals from all across the Stretch; there were merchants accompanied by orc bodyguards, Danmeri Tuareg with their white robes and curved swords, cunning catpeople coming back from a night of thieving, city guards hustling peasants, Valdameri travellers speaking their snake-like language, and the occasional wizard with a pointy hat.

Among them, one figure stood out. The man was taller than anybody else and much more smuscular. He moved with the threatening grace of a sabretooth tiger, his eyes always watchful, his tanned face as hard as the stone of Azeroth. He was wearing a Selurian piece armor which proved he was once a general in this mercenary nation, and numerous scars covered his arms, proving he has seen the rage of battle and survived.

He approached the temple of Altana, its looming shadow promising a cool interior. He thought of the dwarven axe he was carrying, it reminded him of past victories and gave him courage. He made sure the elven-steel sword was secure in its scabbard and entered the temple.

A priest all dressed in purple welcomed him.

“Ah, I have been expecting you. The mighty warrior known as Jason the Dragoncaster.”

“I come to answer your summons, oh mighty Dulcadan. What is it the temple of Altana requires of me.”

The priest offered Jason some Roogati wine and they sat in the garden to talk.

“Now, Jason. The goddess Altana whispers into my ear at night. She has announced to me your name and whereabouts. She told me you can kill the demon Banu because you are not of this world.”

“It’s true, noble priest. I have come here many years ago through a magic portal from the land where people take to air in iron birds, and make nature subject with thinking machines. The land where money flows from Apple products.”

“You speak in a strange way, Dragoncaster.”

“Aye, the language of the Stretch is my second language. ‘Tis be true I am not the master of the current parlance, albeit I try.”

“Nevermind that,” said the priest, “Tell me, do you find living in this world difficult?”

“It was difficult at first. For starters, most people here seem to have never taken a bath, so the stench is unbearable, especially in the city. Everybody is sick with something disgusting, like leprosy, or lice, or those green zits that scream. The food is almost always rotten or infected, I risk my life whenever I eat meat. And the women? Don’t get me started on that. They always want to have sex with me, even though most of them have venereal diseases, cancerous growths on their faces, missing teeth, or are just plain ugly. Plus the stench, which seems to be double on princesses. I mean, that one time the lord of Blackforest offered me his three daughters as bounty for killing a giant. So they came into my tent…”

“I think that is enough,” said the priest, slightly uncomfortable.

“Yes, forgive me, oh spiritual man. I accept the quest. I will seek out the whatever-artifact-is-required, then confront Banu and send him back to the fiery…”

“How do you know about the Eye of Galuru?” interrupted the priest.

“The what?”

“It is the gem which has the power to bind Banu’s hellish power. It is the most guarded secret of the Verini Order.”

“Oh, that? Yeah, I didn’t know about that. I just assumed there there was an artifact. There always is.”

“You are an experienced adventurer, I am glad the stories that reached me turn out to be true,” said the priest with admiration.

“Yeah,” Jason looked down on his cup of exotic wine and sighed.

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