"So there I was, up in the freezing north, in that town they call Icewolf. The wind was blowing something terrible and I was waiting for the storm to pass with a mug of ale in Talya's Inn, safely by the fire where it wasn't dropping snow out of the sky. Then all of a sudden the door bursts open and this half frozen wildman staggers in and gargles something before falling face down onto the floor, snow piling up behind him. His clothes were ripped and torn and from the amount of blood he was covered in, he'd been seriously mauled by something. The locals seemed to think he had been mauled by the giant pike while out on the lake, but I saw some of the wounds and not all of them looked like teeth to me.
He ended up croaking it, from all the blood loss I guess, but before he did he garbled out some stuff about 'gnomes coming out of the high places' and the 'pass being closed'. When I asked what he was talking about, the locals just got all quiet and only said they didn't go up to that side and it was dangerous enough with the citadel, but they didn't need to be tangling with crazy gnomes either. I never really figured it out, but the furs he had with him were top quality, and I bought them off his widow for a bargain price. It would be even cheaper to hire a canoe and cross the lake myself, but I prefer to play it safe - pretty much the way most of the Icewolfers do too it seems."
--Hengel Hammerson, a fur trader,
as related to Durwald over drinks in Bomli's.
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