Letter from Lead Tiger, to the Mountain Monastery;
I am elated to inform you that our party has made much progress ever since I joined with them on the secluded hamlet of Safka. Though I was doubtful at first that the tales of prowess we received at first from the wandering bards were naught but boastful fabrications to increase their coin purse, my companions have proven thus far that they indeed have the potential to be saviors of this world.
After being nearly led astray by a pack of wolves and a cadre of hunters from a nearby rogue city, famed for being full of thieves and cut throats, we focused on the journey ahead and finally arrived to our destination. A sizable city of the north, bigger than any I've seen in my travels. Perhaps not of the size that our ancient scriptures tell us of the time before the Demons, but certainly well on the way to recover what was our legacy.
When we arrived, we immediately went to deliver Alduin's corpse to the mayor. As we did however, a great shadow was cast upon us and we heard a loud bird like squawk coming from the distance. It was nothing less than a legendary dragon. The townsfolk told us that though the dragon has never noticed their city, it would be for the best if someone where to investigate what has made it stir from its centuries long slumber.
This was the purpose of Alduin's journey, and I am happy knowing that he was able to fulfill his mission even if post mortem. We delivered the traveler's corpse to the mayor and he discovered a pouch hidden within his clothes. The pouch contained an assortment of papers which was revealed to be a puzzle that when put together would show usl a hidden message. This would then explain the secrets of how to scale the mountains that guard the dragon's lair, mountains made of breakable shale rock which thus render them impossible to climb.
It struck me odd that such an urgent matter would be made even more complicated by the addition of a vexing puzzle, and thus I asked the mayor who was it that he sought to help them. It was none other than Trey the Explorer, and this revelation puzzled me even more. As a fellow dwarf, I know not of any dwarven tradition Trey might have been following, and thus I'm left assuming that she did this simply because of her quirky nature. Sounds like a very troublesome woman from what my companions tell me, apparently she got into a fist fight with Darwynn in the past.
You know me well, Elders. I've always been a straight forward man, and I left to explore the mountains whilst my companions worked on the puzzle. Sadly, I could not discover much other than the many corpses of previous would be mountaineers that tried to scale the mountain. This task did seem formidable, and it looked like we would have no choice but to rely on Trey's sketchy wisdom.
Fortunately, I am in the presence of learned adventurers, and they managed to discern the puzzle by the time I returned. It read as follows;
Who seeks to tame the blustering winds of high peaks shall not pass.
A day towards the setting sun and dawn into the breathless dark, there the brave shall find their path.
It seemed our path was clear, we would follow our journey towards the East and see what awaited us.
But first, Darwynn had to try and sell her beer, which turned out to already be in town. The provider was known only by the name of Lathandra, who the inn keeper says is a sorceress of legendary power. Apparently, my party had met Lathandra before under the guise of an old woman which swindled some of Darwynn's ale to sell as if it were her own. We will have to keep our eyes open if we ever cross paths with this scheming sorceress, she could be after more than just our ale..
..although the stealing of ale itself is already a most despicable act..
As we journeyed on we stumbled upon a large lake, which by what the message said was our next step into the expedition. Darwynn went in first to try out her newly acquired magical gills and after a long swim she resurfaced to tell us that there was a hidden cave beneath the waters.
It was a rather long and perilous swim however and we soon discovered that not all of us could cross without risking drowning. I took Yalandra first which survived the journey thanks to her gnome resilience.
But my other companion.. Konraad the cleric.. he is only half dwarven, and did not posses the stamina to survive the journey.
He drowned while holding to my back-- I am afraid that I simply was not fast enough, Elders.
As you know, sometimes I am more Lead than Tiger.
I laid his motionlessness corpse upon the stone floor of the cavern and we mourned the untimely departure of our friend.
Yalandra in particular seemed devastated. She wailed in despair and threw herself at Konraad's body, burying her face upon his chest where she sobbed bitterly. I have no fear of death in battle.. but this loss seemed.. unjust to me.. to fall so needlessly by the whims of nature.
But then, a miracle happened..
Yalandra's sparkling tears fell upon Konraad's bared chest and his body glowed with a strange light. After a moment happened, almost as if Kondraad's soul was being judged by some unseen force, our companion breathed hard and coughed the water in his lungs out. He had been revived by Yalandra's plea.
And we knew then.. this had to be divine intervention. A deity took mercy upon our friend's soul and brought him back to us. A sign that ours was a just journey.
Though I still remain wary, for we know not what effect will this have on our companion. He who is of the faith, surely is aligned to this new God or Goddess. Time will tell if this may not be a double edged sword.
We had little time to celebrate however, our journey was still upon us. We took to the darkness of the cave and encountered only a gelatinous cube blocking our path. It was quickly dispatched by Darwynn and Yalandra's magics and we suffered minimal damage despite one fireball going off on us. At the end of the cave we discovered yet another underground water tunnel, which I followed to discover that lead to a lake on the other side of the mountain. Konraad, understandingly, had no interest of trying his luck with water again, and thus we continued on to discover that there were stairs leading up into the cave.
It is here that I must leave you, Elders.
I will send you another letter as we proceed with our journey.