The Gatekeepers

In Duke Portyr’s chambers, away from the morning bustle of the throne room, the duke himself sits across a large table from Gerrick Greystone, Asturean, Morpheus, Omarlyn Khan, Legion and Bartholomew Rhum. A steward fills luxurious looking cups with wine and places them in from of the duke’s guests, as well as the Duke himself.

“My thanks to all of you again, and I apologize for not meeting with you sooner.” Says Duke Portyr, “There were many decisions to be made immediately and I had several things I needed to arrange before I met with you.”

The group sits quietly, unsure what to make of the man, and no one but Bartholomew Rhum seems to drink from the wine cups. The duke gestures to a different steward, who brings forth a large map of Baldur’s Gate and spreads it across the table between the duke and his guests.

“There will be much rebuilding, but thankfully the displaced peoples outside the city walls make for a ready and willing labor force. ” Portyr gestures to the map. “It will be years until Bloomridge returns to its former glory, I think, but I wanted you to be the first to know that I commissioned builders to extend the walls of the city to include an area big enough to include the refugees. I consider them citizens of my city now.”

Portyr demonstrates on the map, where the new wall will go before speaking again.

“I should have done this years ago, but the parliament was against it, and I let them sway me, sadly. This time I bargained against war with Amn, and argued for the rebuilding of the city. Besides, Amn has already sent letters regretting the actions of a handful of the men that deserted their army and took it upon themselves to cause so much trouble here. They even sent us a modest payment, not near enough to cover the damages they caused. Which brings me now to your group.” The Duke smiles as he begins to toss parchment after parchment onto the table.

“I’ve received so many urgent notes and letters or endorsement from around the realm. Yazeth Cobb sings the loudest praise upon you, but there are notes here from the head of Horizon Imports, some scholars at Candlekeep, a handful of high priests at the church of Aumanator, and a small village on the Moonshae Isles that claims it was the birthplace of your adventuring ways. And Lothar himself has spent many hours discussing your deeds for our city as well.

“I’ve asked Hart Stonefield to join my council as an advisor. He’s spent much time with the paladins of Elturgard and I feel that he will be an asset moving forward, since there is a firm alliance in place between ourselves and our Elturgard neighbors now. I had wanted to grant you titles as well, but something tells me that you are not the type of men who would wish to be burdened with the tedium of administrative work that comes with being a noble.

“But a reward was in order, a recognition of the great deeds you have done not only for the city, but myself as well. And so I created a new one.” The duke waves a steward forward again, and this time the man carries a tray, laying small amulets before the group.

Asturean lifts one from the table, noting that the platinum medallion is engraved on one side with the symbol the duke’s house, and a stylized key on the other.

“I dub thee ‘Gatekeepers’,” Portyr says, “This title grants you access to myself and the Flaming Fist itself. Should you need either of us, we are at your disposal, within reason. And I grant you this as well.” The duke points to the map, laying his finger on the site that was once Jaeron’s Quick Blade camp. “I’ve commissioned men to rebuild the old tower there, and to build you a modest keep as well. It’s yours to use as you please.”

“My lord,” Gerrick says finally, “We are grateful for these rewards.” The dwarf glances down the table and notes that Bartholomew is quietly working his way through the wine cups of his companions who are not drinking theirs.

“We’re unused to any form of royal attention, or titles, if you may,” Gerrick continues, “but we’ll endeavor to make you not regret your decision.”

The duke rises, and shakes each man’s hand warmly as two stewards bring in a medium sized strong box, with the seal of Amn on it. They drop it before the group and the duke kicks it open nonchalantly, revealing a wealth of coins of gemstones.

“I’m not interested in Amn’s money.” He says with a smile, “Baldur’s Gate will rebuild on its own. But you men can take it, as a token of my eternal gratitude.”

The duke leaves the chamber for the throne room, an army of stewards and advisors surrounding him. The silence is broken by a loud belch from Bartholomew Rhum, and the group quickly moves to the treasures and stares at one another in disbelief.

Asturean is the first to speak.

“So,” the elf says causally, “what ever happened to that golden horn we found, anyway?”

“Never you mind that horn.” Gerrick says sternly.

“You gave it to Nulara didn’t you?” Omarlyn laughs, “I knew you would.” The dwarf glares at the thief, as betrayal plays plainly on Asturean’s face.

“What?” the elf says with hurt in his voice, “You know that’s coming out of your share of this, right?”

Author: Neil