The Tale of Isaac Haemarron: undignified beginnings.
This story comes from a Palladium Fantasy game we played for many years. We had
great fun playing this game at Ding-IRL. we hope you enjoy it!
How did I end up here?
Knee deep in filth, deep beneath the town in the old sewers, hunting an escaped
Not the place for the favoured son and heir to the house of Haemarron. The thought
of a dwarf of such standing being reduced to such a menial task in such foul conditions would send a cry throughout
the whole of the Old Kingdom Mountains. But then I wasn’t the favoured son or the heir, was I? My brother had
occupied that role since before my birth. Stronger in both mind and body than my older sibling, I bested him in
every challenge our childhood presented, yet my father could never see past our age when it came to his affections.
No dwarf can say he pushed themselves harder when it came to physical training, nor attended more to the clergy’s
sermons on honour and humility in the eyes of the Warrior Goddess than I. Yet all my efforts were like the stars
against the dawns rays when my brother so much as drew breathe. By the time I came of age it was clear there was no
glory to be had in the shadow of my brother’s light, so I left the family home, a Paladin on a noble quest to rid
the world of evil. Surely this would win my father’s favour.
If he could only see me now…
It had been a strange road that has led me down here, and I can’t say I’m proud of
every step I have taken. Indeed, my first stop after leaving the nobility of my ancestral home ended with me
brawling with a local slave owner and his,* ahem*, wife. The thought of freeing his prisoners and earning honour
and glory in the deed had clouded my mind and had caused me to act in a manner unbecoming of a paladin or a
Haemarron. Still, when the dust had settled, I found I had three new companions who would travel with me to this
day. Two former slaves, an ogre with a talent for the long bow and a hobgoblin thief with knack for getting himself
in trouble. The third was a wolfen assassin who, on seeing the fight, needed no further prompting to join in. Four
strangers united in a common goal… get out of town before the guards catch us!
An undignified beginning to a journey that has led me down here, alone.
But is this not exactly what I deserve? Do my actions warrant more glorious
surroundings? What deeds are there to my name? Was it not I who handed over all my coin to the first troll I met,
trembling like a coward in the sight of his toothy grin? I told myself at the time that it was fair payment for the
information he gave to us; the whereabouts of a long abandoned tomb that had recently become infested with all
manner of creatures foul. And maybe there is a tale or two to be told of that; of how my companions and I cut down
enough orcs that day to rival a small army! How we faced a beast with as many legs as there are hairs in my beard!
How we stood shoulder to shoulder, hacking with sword and bashing with hammer till every misshaped leg walked no
more! Perhaps one day the bards will sing of our valiant stand against the vampiric lord and his undead minions,
and how all but one fell at our hands! Perhaps, but then perhaps they will also sing of how I was merely a hired
thug in the pay of an elf! Yes… Zarch, our glorious benefactor. The type of elf that makes all the suspicions and
half-truths my folk say of their kind seem fair and forgiving! We met him as we followed the route acquired from
the troll, travelling paths not often trod and with the undergrowth to show for it. It was clear he had not
suffered as we had to reach this point as he was accompanied at all times by an orc whose sole purpose seemed to be
to carry his master’s chair on his head. He had a way with words that
pleased the ear and relaxed the judgement. He gave us some simple potions and trinkets before we descended the
depths and afterwards, the spoils are handed to him like servants bringing their master his meal. A deal only
accepted by a grovelling coward, and as it is the one I accepted what does that make me? Yes, the bards will sing
of me alright, and the tavern will be filled with laughter the like of which none can remember!
It was then that I first saw the quarry I now pursue. After Zarch on his walking
throne, weighed down by his bounty, had left us to scrub the gore from our persons in a nearby stream, he appeared,
skulking and cowering near our possessions. His green complexion and shifty manner caused suspicion and the
readying of weapons, but he yielded at once and implored us that all he desired was our companionship as he
travelled the road into town. With our thirst for violence well and truly quenched that day, we agreed and once we
were rested and made presentable, we set off on our shared path.