Ouriana relaxes more as the evening goes on, listening happily to the song. Eventually, after the song finishes, Ouriana speaks. “There was a Bard in my village! I loved her songs!” She seems enthralled by the tale, wanting more. Eri listens intently, committing the stories to memory for the future.
As the night grows long, Ouriana and Erimeyoma set up their bedrolls and camp in the main room with Arth and Tel, keeping one ear open for noises or other disturbances. As the morning dawns and he returns with the food, Ouriana takes it happily and munches away. Erimeyoma stares at the food for a moment, and then… gratefully accepts…
“If you’re happy to take Tel to Summergleam, I want to find Moira and have a word with her. I promise I won’t leave until I figure out what’s happening here.” Ouriana promises between mouthfuls.
“I’m interested in speaking with Moira, too. Tel, are you happy to go with Arth to look for your family?” Erimeyoma adds.
Tel nods, and the two pack a lunch and head off, following the trail Ouriana took to get here.
Moira’s home lies at the other end of the village, on the coast in a hut much like Arth’s. Once they finish breakfast and approach, open window shutters are slammed closed and some rapid hushed whispering is quickly stopped. When the pair gets close to the door, a loud “Go away!” is shouted from within. The voice is husky and haggard and comes from a woman. The rest of the villagers move about their daily business a few hundred feet away, setting off in their small boats, carving scrimshaw and repairing nets.
Eri firmly rubs one cheek in frustration and then adopts a quick and calm demeanour. “We need to speak with you, Moira. We aren’t going away, so you may as well get this over with and let us in now… before we make a scene and draw the attention of your neighbours.”
A passing fisherman notices her approach to the house and wanders closer. “Are you trying to speak to Moira? None of us has managed to get her out of the house in some time. Is she letting you in?”
His excitement has drawn a crowd of two or three, and it looks like more are getting interested. Frantic, Moira pulls open her door and waves the two in, asking Ouriana and Erimeyoma to hurry before others come. She then slams the door shut and lowers a latch.
“Who are you? What do you want?” Moira stands hunched slightly. She’s slight and frail-looking, and has obviously aged more in the last few months than she has before; an effect often seen in those that lose hope in the world. Her skin sags from her face, her eyes are bloodshot and her breathing is laboured. She hasn’t bathed in some time, and the house is covered in dirty dishes, old rags and piles of wax from old candles. It’s close quarters, and despite the bright sunshine outside it’s dark, musty and oddly warm in here.
Ouriana smiles warmly at Moira. “My name is Ouriana, my companion is Eri and we’re both travellers. Last night we spoke with Arth and he told us about strange things happening in the village. We saw.. we saw something, and were hoping that you might be able to shed some light?” She speaks gently, softening her voice.
The crone whispers something inaudible at the edge of the party’s hearing. “You know my name, at least.” She shuffles along the floor in a considered and careful way, trying not to knock things onto the floor. She obviously isn’t used to the mess in the house. “How might I be one to shed some light? I’m an old widow, nothing more.” She swats at something in the air and then stares at a pile of rags at the other end of the room for a few seconds. “… Strange happenings, you say?” She sighs.
“For years, Bersault has been plagued by thieves. Droughts. Threats near and far to our Kingdom. Never before, though, have I seen the likes of this. Spirits be dragging ‘emselves up and out of the grave like it were a bed for’em! Not all or many, mind…” She stops and stares at a different pile, and then scrunches up her face in annoyance. “Ghosts been showin’ up… things moved about, that sort of thing. I don’t know what to tell you, really.”
She looks from pile to pile, seemingly in pain and getting further frustrated at something. “Enough… You want to know what’s going on? Well, so would I!” Her voice quickly becomes shrill as she begins shouting, fists clenched and jaw set. “This year has been one of torment and I brook it no longer! There is evil and darkness and nothingness set in the very grains of sand at this shore, and nothing brings in the light!” The room begins to get very cold, and each breath Erimeyoma and Ouriana take can be seen to hang in the air on the exhale. The sun outside seems to darken slightly as Moira tenses and pulls herself in, shaking arms outstretched and pointing down with clenched fists, her trembling body starting to shudder with sobs as tears patter onto the floor at her feet.
What do you do?
Erimeyoma +15XP (110 Total XP)
Ouriana +15XP (120 Total XP)