The Elusive Tradeals

The Elusive Tradeals

By Cam

Once in a darkened hole, in the Land of Shadows, lived a race of twisted, deformed hobbits. Their race was named ‘The Tradeal’, elusive beings of the night who would reveal themselves to all in sunlight only once a year, and only for two hours on a day with full moon looming large that night. Tradeal were hard to catch, slippery to the nimblest of fingers and often beyond the sharpest, shrewdest minds and most dextrous of grasps.

They were peculiar creatures, half dark elf and half goblin. Their effect on their immediate area was profound – a deep, emotional affecting aura that had various effects on different people. Some embraced their capture and laughed cold-heartedly at their losses to gain them, others cried with dispair as noble warriors were sacrificed in the chase. The Tradeal rarely met those who took them for granted. Often they were desired simply due to a lust for change as many foolhardedly worshipped the Tradeal as the saviours, the chosen ones.

As it was one fateful October that Malte the Wise, Ranger of Colling Wood set out with his band of friends, Neil, Knight of the Order of the Rotisserie, Gav’n, Holy Paladin of the Pie, Guymck, Mage of the West & Fl’etch Axengrind, Dwarf of Hardball crossed the wastelands and moved toward the Land Of Shadows. They left behind Castle Lexus, a state of the art fortress with its newly opened torture chamber with the latest in all things of pain, with enough devices to accomodate a whole troop if it needed disciplining or sharpening up.

They halted at the edge of the darkness, peered into the murk and decided to press on undaunted. Of course, they remembered too well the boasts of their king the previous year, about how they would bring back one maybe two quality tradeals, and the shame and humiliation of their failure to secure even one decent capture.

They passed by some eerie reminders of other failures, The Broken Rock of Fax, The Torn Hamstring Valley, The Dodgy Knee Pass. Finally they came to the most terrible of all their obstacles – The Haunted Corridor Of Sheed. Many had entered or exited the narrow way and not had the prized Tradeal they had thought they had. So Malte and his party stuffed cotton in their ears to help them ignore the beguilement of the place.

Picking their way slowly through the stygian gloom of the hallway they emerged from the other side and noticed others there too. They had also used cotton, although one group had simply run and fortunately made it out before the Sheed could claim another victim. It seemed everyone had learnt something from previous expeditions – ignore the crooning of the Haunted Corridor.

So the Colling Wood posse began their intense tracking. They threw some ideas to another group, trying to pry a prized warrior Tradeal in return for a puzzle piece to unlock a cube that lot were working on. Didn’t work. They kept that Tradeal and gave another away to a horde of demons.

Then Malte pushed hard, finally cornered a Tradeal and offered to take it and allow it the luxuries of Castle Lexus. The Tradeal baulked and instead slipped back into its muck strewn hole, complete with Spider.

The Lexus Party had spent too much energy chasing that Tradeal, that, as the sun moved into the end of its time, when the Tradeals disappeared from view of ordinary eyes for another year, that they decided to appease the Lexus masses by grabbing any Tradeal that came along.

An oldish lame one, with gimpy knees and bad facial hair came into view. It pleaded to come to Castle Lexus. It swore loyalty to the Crown, to Malte, to all things Lexus (in reality it just wanted a nice go on the new rack and some attention from a new set of healing clerics). Getting desperate, the posse agreed. They got their Tradeal and returned home, well, with, a Tradeal. (Malte instantly defended his decision to whoever would listen… but many were happy and didn’t worry about the speed of his apologetics in coming).

Welcome aboard Chad. Hope you enjoy the new rack.