"Well," began Flynte, "I've got some bad news and good news."
"There's always bad news." said Temudgin.
"What's the bad news?" asked Dazani?
"It looks like Grawlfang won't be able to join us on our next quest because of some family obligations." Flynte explained.
"What family obligations?" asked Inuria.
"I didn't even know he had
family," said Texvites. "I mean he's a half-Orc, right? I just figured he was an orphan or somethin."
"Maybe 'family obligations' is actually code for 'hangover'?" suggest Dazani helpfully.
"It figures our cleric turns out to be a drunkard," sighed Temudgin. "It's always something bad."
"Drunkard? Hangover?" Flynte scratched his head. "Uhmmm I dunno about any of that guys, but I'm pretty sure he said 'family obligations'."
"But how does an orphan have a family?" asked Texvites quizzically.
"Maybe it's someone else's family obligations?" suggested Inuria.
"Yeah," said Dazani. "Maybe he's got to marry someone?"
"He's got a fiance?" said Texvites. The Warforged looked puzzled. "When did that happen? Is it that Lady Azdel? He was talkin' to her for a long time after we rescued her from those Orcs."
"Lady Azdel? What? Uh..."
"No, no!" said Dazani. "I mean maybe he's going to marry some people to each other.
He is a cleric."
"Wait! Stop!" shouted Flynte in exasperation. "Look, I don't know where he is or what he's doing. But I'm pretty sure he's not hungover and he's not marrying anybody!"
"It's just as well," said Temudgin to no one in particular. "Marriages always seem to end in divorce anyway..."
Flynte smacked his forehead with his palm. "Whatever! Look, he's not coming on this quest with us! That is the BAD NEWS! OK?"
"OK," replied Inuria after a moment. "Not having our cleric is definitely bad news. So what is the GOOD news?"
"Yes!" said Flynte brightening now that the group had seemed to get past trying to determine the cause of Grawlfang's absence. "The GOOD news! Well... the GOOD news is that even though we don't have Grawlfang... we're still going on a quest!"
"Where are we going?" asked Inuria. "I'm a bit reluctant to take on anything too extraordinary without our cleric."
"Yeah," said Texvites. "And there won't be any spiders will there? That Tangleroot Gorge
"Uhm, I don't think
there are any spiders..." began Flynte.
"Well that's what you said the last time! But there were! LOTS of spiders!" Texvites voice began to get louder. "Every time that Ungurz fella told us to go back down in that stronghold I asked you if there would be any more spiders and you said 'no,' but there WERE spiders! Every. Single. Time!"
"I know, I know I didn't like it either Tex," Flynte held up his hands to placate the incensed Warforged before he blew a gasket. "But I have it on good authority there aren't any spiders where we're going."
"And where is that again?" growled Inuria.
"Well it's just outside of House Phiarlin..."
"With our luck I'll bet it's the Necropolis,
" said Temudgin sighing loudly.
"Not the Necropolis!" cried Dazani. Flynte visibly flinched. "The Necropolis? Our cleric has gone AWOL on a drunken binge marrying who knows who to who knows what and we're off to explore a bunch of crypts full of undead??!"
"Welll...." started Flynte sheepishly before Inuria stopped him with a growl.
"You country BUMPKIN!" yelled Dazani, her elegant Drow voice carrying far throughout the market place. "If you think this is a good idea, then you really DON'T know the difference between shoe polish and..."
"Ah, it probably won't be so bad," Texvites interjected, suddenly supporting Flynte. "We've still got our Paladin."
"Right," said Flynte tentatively. "We've still got Temudgin and..." Temudgin opened his mouth to speak but the Warforged gave him a quick jab to the ribs with his wooden elbow. ("Ow!") "we've got Temudgin, and I thought between me and Inuria we'd be able to handle any healing in case things get rough so..."
"Sounds great!" said Texvites lumbering to his feet. "Let's hit the road!" As group broke up to finish packing their supplies and Dazani stormed off to fire lightning bolts at the training dummy Flynte looked up at the towering Warforged expressionless face. "Hey, thanks for that back there."
"No problem!" said Texvites rubbing his thorny hand over Flynte's bright red mop of unkempt hair. "But remember what you said," the Warforged leaned in close to Flynte's face. "NO SPIDERS!"