“Your first task is one of cleansing, Branwyn,” Marshal McBride unrolled a map depicting Northshire Valley between us. “A clan of kobolds have infested the woods to the north. Go there and fight the kobold vermin you find. Reduce their number so that we may one day drive them from Northshire.”
With his gloved hand he pointed out a location north of the abbey.
“So, how many?” I asked.
“How many what?” the marshal looked at me a bit puzzled.
“How many kobolds do I need to slay?”
I guess he was not expecting this question. He leaned back in his chair and started stroking his mustache. For a moment we set there in silence, which was rather awkward for me.
“Let’s say ten,” he finally replied.
I felt my eyebrows rising involuntarily. That seemed like a quite random number, but I decided to just accept it.
“So, how will you know that I did slay ten kobolds?”
The marshal looked at me again quite confused. I started to think that nobody every asked any follow up questions. Did people just go along with these random orders? How would anybody know that the job had been done properly, or even at all? Suddenly I was not surprised that Northshire Valley was under threat. Also, Millie’s disregard for the guards made perfectly sense to me now.
“Um,” Marshal McBride began stroking his mustache again. “Bring me their candles as proof.”
“Their candles?” I echoed.
“Yes, their candles,” he nodded.
Still slightly bewildered from this odd conversation, I thanked the marshal for his time and left the abbey.
I did not set out for the kobold camp, instead I decided to look for Jorik. As usual he was laying in a mountain of hay in one of the stable boxes. However, this time he was not asleep, but instead wide awake but still lazy, tossing a ripe apple in the air and catching it.
He greeted me with a smile, and I told him of the interesting conversation I had with Mashal McBride. Not to my surprise he deemed me very capable of facing the kobold threat alone, what surprised me however was his indifferent reaction to the marshal’s behavior.
Apparently, it was perfectly normal and fine. That confused me even more. Was Northshire so different from Stormwind? It was only a two-day’s journey away! People of Stormwind were strictly by the book, a sentiment which was apparently not shared by the people of Northshire. So, I decided to follow their lead and take it slow.
Instead of heading
to deal with the kobold infestation right away I spent the rest of the day preparing,
i.e., honing my skills and stuffing my face with good food. As I did not know
what to expect, and knew even less of kobolds, except their obsession with
their candles, I wanted to be as prepared as possible.I even went to bed early, which was unsual for me.