Ill Winds Over Verbobonc
Perversely deformed by an accident of birth, this crass and angry fellow looks more like a goblin than a halfling of the hairfoot peoples. He has become the protector and muscle to the sly gnome known Nierethi Poscurian.
Perhaps a goblin or an especially unfortunate halfling or gnome, this creature is spectacularly grotesque. His face is dominated by an upswept, almost snout-like snub nose, sunken jowls beneath sharp, almost ridged cheek bones, and a heavy, beetled brow over sunken eyes. The skin on his cheeks and chin is scaly from excessive shedding. He stands at just a hair over three foot tall, is wiry of build and fleet of foot, and garbed in a hide vest over leather cuir bouilli, a fur cloak, rough woolen trousers, knee high boots and a heavy headband sporting fangs and a lizard skull. No fewer than six daggers can be seen on his person, and he carries a battle-axe of fine make that has been weathered by a good deal of action.
First seen by the Band of the Silver Spear as they traversed the road east out of Hommlet on their way to the Moathouse, Questin presented an odd sight as he roasted a squirrel over a fire next to his rude lean-to. The party seemed unbothered by his repulsive appearance, so he offered them a grave and respectful nod as they rode and trundled past on horse and wagon.
Later, while fighting for their lives against an unexpected profusion of evil cultists, gnolls, ghouls, and skeletons at the Moathouse, they encountered Questin once again, this time in company with the gnome Nierethi Poscurian. Low on resources, the heroes welcomed the two to join their ranks for a time, and they each proved their mettle in their own way. For his part, Questin was seen to be an expert in the use of his throwing knives and daggers, which he sometimes used in either hand. When he was wounded by a gnoll warrior, the halfling was not overcome, and instead appeared to enter a berserk rage, hacking furiously at it with his battleaxe until it was little more than shredded meat and shattered bone.
Nierethi Poscurian, the brains to Questin’s brawn.
After that hard-won battle, the party then pressed on and fought cockatrices in their lair. In this fight, Questin proved himself an apt hand with his throwing daggers. Afterwards, the exhausted party was forced to return to the surface to rest, heal, and memorise spells. While camping, they were attacked by an enormous man-eating viper. Questin charged the monstrous snake, but was bitten and nearly slain by its poison. Indeed, he would have died right there if not for the intervention of Nierethi (who fed him a Potion of Healing) and Throm (who used his holy abilities to heal the halfling also). In doing so, they gained a fast and loyal friend, but Questin was far too ill and weak to venture back into the dungeons of the Moathouse.
When the Band of the Silver Spear and their allies later emerged victorious from the dungeons, they saw the halfling unconscious and grievously wounded, a victim of the cult of Elemental Evil. He was unharmed further in the battle that followed, and he would then dog Nierethi’s steps like a faithful hound and defender. Evidently, the halfling now considers it his honour to serve and protect the gnome.
After the Moathouse was cleared and they returned to Hommlet, Questin and Nierethi declined to accompany the Band of the Silver Spear back to Verbobonc. The gnome joked of a desire to find “tombs to plunder, mysteries to plumb, villains to vanquish, and power to build,” so they would remain in the area, using Hommlet as a base for their explorations of the verge and any other former bastions of the Temple of Elemental Evil. The halfling nodded enthusiastically at his words, and at the notion of finally having a true friend who saw beyond his disagreeable appearance. As they departed Hommlet, the diminutive duo wished the Band of the Silver Spear a happy road, and promised they would see them again…