Hero Journal - Ailsa

You've been an apprentice glassblower in Dalto's Mechanickal Workshop (Locksmith, Watchmaker, Glassworks) for many years; your nimble fingers and quick wits meant the art came easily to you from the start, but in the past few years your creations - whether practicing in the workshop after hours, or making a simple glass pitcher for the Blue Moon Alehouse - have grown steadily more adept, your artistic inspiration overtaking simple utility in favor of flowing, delicate shapes of beauty and elegance which is the subject of much admiration and acclaim from the glass shop's customers. Dalto, the gnome who runs the shop, and from whom you learned your trade, nods knowingly and speaks of your quickening Elven blood, and indeed, a elven minstrel who passed through recently took an immediate liking to your work - and to you. (For the week he remained in Fallcrest, you got very little sleep and your work suffered…)

Many of the folk who frequent the glass shop had begun speaking favorably of your impending promotion to journeymanship: perhaps you'll open your own shop someday, or inherit this place from Wilham! This might have been enough for you, except…

Douven Staul is a hardy Dwarf, a prospector and adventurer of no small repute in Fallcrest; his return from explorations of ancient ruins and mining sites throughout the Serpent Vale is always newsworthy, and he never lacks a drink at the Lucky Gnome as long as he wishes to continue regaling the folk with his tales of lost treasure, fearsome monsters, and wondrous adventures. You suspect that his tales are mostly elaboration, but surely there must be some truth to them! In any case, though you've grown up listening to Douven's outlandish tales, you never felt more than the usual wistful adolescent's wish for a life so grand and interesting… until a few months ago. Around the same time your glasswork began to take on a life of its own, inspiration welling up from some hitherto-unknown part of you (the Elven part, apparently).

For the past few weeks, you have waited anxiously for Douven Staul to return from his travels, for this time you intend to make him an offer he cannot refuse: you will join him in his life of adventure and exploration! You've been practicing with the city militia, learning your way around light blades (despite their guffaws, stronger builds, and lingering glances), so you're no stranger to battle, and you're nimble, quick-witted, and sharp-eyed, even for a half-elf - everyone says so!

But weeks have turned into months - no one has seen Douven since late winter, when he left in pursuit of rumors of an ancient dragon burial site near Winterhaven (and, he reasons, what better place to find a dragon's hoard?). It's turning on into summer now. He has never been gone this long! His wife, Clara, is worried sick, and has posted a notice at every tavern in Fallcrest asking after news of his whereabouts.

Notice: 25 Gold Crown reward

Famed adventurer Douven Staul set out for Winterhaven at the end of Alturiak, but has not written in several weeks. If you have any news of his whereabouts and health, please seek after Clara Staul at Staul House in Boot Alley, western Fallcrest, for your reward.
Damn fool spoke last of having reached Winterhaven and set off for the foothills looking for a dragon's grave. Gods know he probably found a live dragon and got hisself eaten. But I won't rest easy until I know!
-C.S.

Douven Staul, icon of your upbringing, has vanished, and is probably in some sort of mortal peril! Your wanderlust, combined with concern for the kindly dwarf, overcomes you one cool summer night, and you pack your few belongings, a loaf of bread and a wheel of cheese from Dalto's storeroom, into a knapsack and, leaving a hastily scrawled note, take to the road, bound for Winterhaven and the truth of whatever fate has befallen your childhood hero.

Quest Reward: 1,250 XP for discovering Douven's fate.

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