Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tales from the Crippled Bone Embassy

Ambassador Flame arrived in Stormhaven some fifty years ago. He fit right into Stormhaven, when he arrived; he was less concerned with diplomacy and much more concerned with commerce. He had a terrific product to sell, disciplined, monstrous gnoll troops, whose blood had been mixed with trolls, much as rumors claimed the ambassador’s blood descended from a devil. What made his sale unique is that orders would not start being filled for ten years. During this time the ambassador developed his contacts in Stormhaven, no longer having to travel the world to acquire his gnolls, and spending much more time on fine tuning his product’s development. His process was found to be so impressive that many of the great wizards of the time visited the Crippled Bone Embassy to learn more about him and his creations. Plenty of rumors suggested that Nissian himself visited the embassy and even provided Ambassador Flame aid.

Soon the Ambassador found himself invited to speak at the Black Crown and to take advantage of several trade routes that found their way to Stormhaven. When the initial ten years had passed and Flame made good on his first delivery the Ambassador enjoyed quite a bit of notoriety and fame, with several nobles using his troops as a mark of social status upside. The second generation of troops was well on its way to creation. Hundreds of gnolls had been brought to the Embassy for breeding and study.

During his 15th year in Stormhaven, Ambassador Flame’s perfect arrangement ran into its first serious snag. The creature he referred to as “the blood troll”, perished. It is unknown what caused his cash cow to die, if it was sabotage, a mistake, or natural. It was common knowledge that not any troll would do for his creations, so, for the first time in years the gnoll breeder would travel the world in search of another troll or trolls with the proper blood for the creation of his master troops.

Initially, the Ambassador’s plans would have him sailing out of Stormhaven on a five year cycle, sailing the world’s seas and searching its exotic lands for the proper troll. Several Nobel houses invested in this trip; it eventually became fully supported by the Underwriters Guild, with several ships and agreements added to the initial plan. Then one month prior to the fleet of ships setting sail a strange group of foreigners arrived at Stormhaven, their ship caked in ice when they arrived in port. They had come to Stormhaven for one purpose, to trade with the Crippled Bone Embassy and while there is disagreement about exactly who all was on board or in charge of the ship, the one fact agreed upon by those that tell the tale is that there were seven large, strangely colored trolls on board when they arrived and none were aboard when the ship left port a week later.

While the Ambassador’s search for a proper troll had met an early end, in accepting this deal with a foreign group, the Crippled Bone had a new problem, albeit a political one. There were a dozen ships set to sail out on a five year trade mission, with several nobles and the Underwriter’s Guild being heavily invested in a trade deal that no longer would be supported by its most important asset, Ambassador Flame and his unique creations. Never again would the ambassador enjoy the popularity or success that his original creations provided. Worse, the trolls the Ambassador traded for no longer created gnolls with regenerative powers, simply ones that had a hearty damage reduction. While these troops would no longer enjoy the social status they once did and serve as noble house troops, sales and agreements were steady enough to keep the ambassador comfortably residing Upside.

When questioned now, the troll Hislop no longer remembers much of the island from which he came or anything regarding the people on the ice covered ship from all those years ago. He was a very young troll and not the first used in the breeding of gnolls.

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