In Search of the Wooly Mammoth
This is a story about the unnamed author;s quest to find the Wooly Mammoths of the Everfrost Peaks.
Ever since I was a child, I remember hearing stories of great beasts that would plod across the snowy plains of the northlands. These large beasts were very similar to the ones found in the southern plains of the Karanas, but covered in a great mass of shaggy hair. I vowed that one day I would see these great beasts.
As I grew older, I would venture out to the plains to see these beasts. I was shocked to see they were even larger than the picture my mind had painted. Standing twice as tall as a man, they had enormous ears that flapped down around their faces. Thrilled at seeing an elephant for the first time, my mind raced at the thoughts of what a Wooly Mammoth could possibly look like.
My experience encouraged me to make the dangerous trek to the snowy northlands to find these beasts. I visited every tavern in all of Qeynos and sought out brave adventurers that would accompany me on my journey. For you see, the only way to breach the frozen tundra was to travel through the lair of the gnolls – Blackburrow.
Gathering together several brave souls, including a barbarian native to the snowy town of Halas, we began hiking northwards through the Qeynos Hills. Being careful to heed the advice of the Windstalkers, we deftly avoided all of the bears and the wolves that made these foothills their home. Eventually, we found ourselves standing before the maw of the gnoll’s den.
My companions showed much bravery and skills in the combat arts by fending off the attacks of numerous hungry gnolls. The barbarian, Narmat MacTargle, pointed out the winding tunnel that led to the snowy tundra of the north. Lighting our torches we continued our journey through this lightless cave. Soon enough, I could feel the air getting cold.
Eventually we would reach the mouth of the tunnel, depositing us within the cold wastes of the north. All around us were snow covered mountains and icy ground. Narmat told us that we would first want to journey to Halas to replenish our supplies. Fortunately, as with Blackburrow, he knew the way.
Greeted by burly guards as large as my barbarian friends, we were allowed into the town just so long as we agreed to cause no harm. When I told the guards about my quest to see the Wooly Mammoths, they just snorted and suggested I speak with Old Hemma. Asking around, I eventually found where this ancient alder was found.
Blind for as many years as I was old, Old Hemma described in great detail the mighty Mammoths. The part that I was interested in the most was the great tusks that protruded from their mouths. Pointing to large spears, cups, plates, wall hangings and even the knob on the front door, Old Hemma told me that these were all carved from the teeth.
Telling me exactly how to find the breeding grounds of these magnificent beasts, he gave me a cryptic warning. Saying that my quest would come to an end only when I found the cost of greed, he escorted me out of his house. Looking around, I noticed that every household had some adornment crafted from the teeth of Mammoths, just as Old Hemma had within his house. My companions left the town at once, seeking a delta to the far northwest of the town.
The journey was long and hard, but we eventually found the delta as Old Hemma had described. And this is when I understood what the old sage meant by finding the cost of greed. For all throughout the delta were the intact corpses of these once magnificent beasts, frozen to the ground. Intact save for one small detail – all of the Mammoths had their tusks removed. In the end, I started my quest too late, for the Mammoths were driven to extinction for no reason other than their two front teeth.