“Oh, we are taking the coffin and body with us,” Nix calls over her shoulder, overhearing the barkeeps question.
She then hastily begins rounding up the rest of the dwarves and wagons, and begins organizing; trying not to micromanage the situation, but not doing a good job of it.
She wanders through the caravan and checks that helmet straps are tight, food provisions stored securely, and horses well fed.
Upon reaching the head of the caravan again, she looks to each of her companions. “Last chance for all of you to come along to the citadel. Things are brewing there and I’d be willing to wager that damn elf, Geran, went back there, dragon or not. Are we ready? Oh no, no, you have to center the load or you’ll tip the wagon over!” The wagon shakes and stabalises, the two dwarves realising that their beer-barrel exploits are being noticed. This seems to remind Nix of something. “Oh shoot! Hold on I have to go get my things from upstairs. Zook, Ella or Breena usually help me with those sorts of things. Oh how I miss them. And you’ll all get to meet the family! Oh come on… I’m hurrying. Be right there. DONT LEAVE WITHOUT ME!” She calls out, running back to the room to retrieve the last few things that she left out. A quill and ink. Some parchment. A quick fixing of her hair.
Ero looks to Chriswin as a puppy he must give back to its rightful owner.
“Well, there’s no one left for you to guard. I guess it’s time for you to go now. You be a good boy now, and help take care of the farm…”
He tries gives the dwarf a scratch behind the ears, eliciting a quick batting away of his hand and a dirty look. Chriswin moves to sit near Erik.
Undistrubed, Ero moves on to speak to Ezra. “I suppose I’ll go on with Ezra,” he says, “and I’ll take Simon with me. Unless we’re still building an army. Is that still the plan?” He looks around for Darrin to answer, but cannot find him.
Adrik emerges from the outskirts of the hamlet as the last of the wagons are packing up and a check on the party is being conducted. He goes quietly to Lorawyn and Theodore, letting them know that last night, Darrin wandered off. After a sort time and he didn’t return, Adrik followed. Eventually, a few miles out of the village, Adrik caught up to him and found him being swarmed by Goblins and taken into a cave. He was too far to help out straight away, and chose to return to gather help.
“Well, someone has to go get him. And I suppose the more people that go, the easier it’ll be.” Theodore says.
Nix returns breathlessly. She sees Adrik, and remembers that she hadn’t seen him. Ero approaches this group, and a sour cloud of concern hovers over them. Nix gets closer, and manages to pick up that Darrin has been taken. She turns and shouts. “Dwarves, there is no time to waste, we must make it to the Citadel of Uril. Carry on toward the destination. I will ride through the night to catch you If I must.” She looks frustrated beyond the fury of a nighthag. She stomps towards the Inn. “HORSES! HOW MUCH FOR YOUR HORSES?” Under her breath she is speaking Gnomish very quickly, but you get the sense that you can catch the drift of what she is saying. Her arms wave in the air every once in a while.
The bar staff looks at her, shrugs and shakes their head. “We… we don’t have any horses or stables. We’re a waytown; the nearest village with horses is a half-day west.”
The 6-hour walk west does take Nix closer to Darrin, but it’s a long foot travel. Erik decides to instead take one escort wagon to this village with Nix and company in tow. The village is similarly small, comprising of only a farmhouse, a few large barns and sheds, and a silo. The wagon is greeted by a farmhand on the road who promptly runs to one of the barns that functions as their stables and gathers enough horses for everyone plus two spare. While the distance isn’t far, cycling the horses out as the group rides is recommended.
Erik bids the party good luck, returns to the waytown and tries to catch up to the rest of the caravan. Everyone else turns north and immediately rides to where Adrik found the Goblins taking Darrin. The cave is visible. It is still daylight, only being halfway through the afternoon by this point. The cavemouth sits amongst a craggy valley, small in size, and surrounded by hills. It’s a wonder the place isn’t flooded everytime it rains.
On the way to the cave, Theodore admires his new breastplate. He absently moves his finger over the button that transforms it, but doesn’t press it. He thinks back to his duel with Talison. The pair were brave and valiant, Theodore thought. As Talison drew his Greatsword and held it aloft, it quickly became clear that the inside of the tavern was not going to suffice. Outside in the cool air, the Dwarves surrounded and cheered on from the sidelines.
With sword and shield drawn, Theodore dashed forward and leaped a few feet in the air, holding his shield in front of him until the last minute, stabbing forward with his blade. Talison feigned left, raised his sword and as Theodore landed, he raised his shield to the crushing blow. The shock reverberated through his arm. It hurt badly. But the two leaped back, gripped their weapons hard and charged at each other, smiles curling at the edges of their wide barbaric yawps. They seemed to be enjoying the fight more than they anticipated. Theodore drops to the ground and skids about a foot as Talison struggles to stop his own momentum and charges past him. The Human then pushes himself up, throws his shield to Talison’s right and as the Elfblood swings to bat the shield away, Theodore takes advantage of the opening and strikes the flat of his blade hard against Talison’s ribcage. It bruised through the armour immediately and the Elfblood took a knee. The crowd erupted into cheers which quickly died down when they realised the fight was over.
Theodore takes in a deep breath as he returns from the memory, and moves his hand to the dagger he also picked up that evening. The little girl by Kain’s side stares at the sheathed blade, fixated by it.
What do you do?
Who went with Nix and the Druids? Who went to the Citadel?