Ill Winds Over Verbobonc
A shepherd and trapper who roams the lightly forested hills and plains between Hommlet and the Gnarley Forest, ol' Del is the last friendly face anyone is likely to see before seeking out the dangers of the verge.
A weathered, aged hermit clad in the stitched together rough cured hides of wild game, ol’ Del would appear to be a human at first blush, and one in need of a good bath and some grooming at that. His tangled grey hair is frequently plastered to his scalp with sweat and grime, and his beard is bushy and wild, though he seems to take some pride in his long moustaches, which he twirls to points to keep them out of his mouth. Those with sharper eyes can see, however, that his ears are slightly pointed, giving away an elven parent. He keeps a dagger, a sling, and a mace at his belt, and usually carries a spear that is as much walking stick as weapon.
Delian Thornbush, or ol’ Del as he likes to refer to himself, is a friendly and loquacious fellow, but he tends to deflect questions about his life save to say that he likes his own company and never really fit in anywhere anyway. He dwells in a small cabin next to a pond just off the road some six miles east of the small town of Hommlet, and makes a modest living raising a small flock of sheep and goats as well as trapping wild game and fishing, .He sells wool and pelts in the small town, walking his produce into the town on his hand cart once each month. Ol’ Del seems to like the people of Hommlet, and counts himself among their number, though it would be a great stretch for him to account them his neigbours.
When the heroes camped outside his cabin on the way to the ruined Moathouse, he readily recognised Ed, Ted, and Ed, and seemed quite friendly with them. Ol’ Del told them that he had seen a dragon flying high above the hills a few days earlier. It looked blue, he said, though he admitted that his eyes were not as strong as they used to be, so it might have been green. He also said that he had seen some “queer folk” moving back and forth, some sporting strange ochre robes and hoods, and leading pack horses and carts full of supplies. He wondered what they were about, since there would be little need to trade food and whatnot in the near verge — all that lay that way was the ruined Moathouse and the road beyond to Nulb, a “shit of a village” that had been abandoned years ago.
Likewise, the old half-elf was greatly saddened when he discovered that Ednard had been maimed and Ted slain when the weary and bloodied Band of the Silver Spear, having cleared the Moathouse, took shelter from a brutal summer storm at his cabin on their way back through to Hommlet. Unlike many of the villagers, who were angered by the band’s apparent disregard for the lives of their employees, Ol’ Del did not judge. Instead, he said that “life can be hard on the verge,” and returned to cooking his eel stew.
In return for his exceptional hospitality in the hour of storm-hounded need, the Band of the Silver Spear gifted Ol’ Del with a shirt of mail and a masterwork mace, both of which he gratefully accepted. Sometimes goblins or bad men came out of the woods, he said, and it would be nice to not have to give up a sheep or goat so that they would go away.
Art by Virginie Carquin