Taihun

Death Lake pt. 2

Knives, Lorrias and Gemscale, having approached the man, begin gagging on the fumes released from the decay around them. The Dragon takes in a sharp breath through his nose, sealing his nostrils. He gags on the smell but quickly recovers. The others, however, were not as lucky. ’Knives manages to handle peering into the pool after the man before keeling over and wretching. Lorrias looks ready to come to his aid but then clutches his sides too as the fumes begin to get the better of him.

HexFang, Aar, Zadkiel and Hyln watch from the sidelines, the heat radiating from the side of the lake making things blurry. They can see, however, that Knives and Lorrias have stood up again, and Knives picked up a glowing rock and threw it into the pool.

Gemscale then shouts for everyone to help him pull the man back out. Knives peers into the salty, murky pool, his glowing rock barely illuminating a few feet. It sinks, and the dark shadow of the submerged man is seen before the light fades from view entirely. The Tabaxi and the Dragon pull on the rope, easily wrenching the gent from his watery demise.

Coughing and spluttering, gasping for air and then wretching at the horrid stench and humidity, he manages to form words of ingratitude. “Why… why won’t you let me go? I have to save her! Let me go!”

What do you do?

Gemscale, Lorrias and ’Knives need to make Constitution saving throws (1d20 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus, if applicable)

Hexfang +10XP ( Total XP)
Gemscale +15XP ( Total XP)
Zadkiel +5XP ( Total XP)
Lorrias +10XP ( Total XP)
Hyln +10XP ( Total XP)
’Knives +15XP ( Total XP)

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On the Road At Last pt. 7

Nix peers down into the crevice. “If we take too long, they will wake up. Tie them up if you must…” Her curiosity then begins to get the better of her as her feet and arms seem to take her down towards the goblins. “We really should be go…. Ero… what’s that?”
Nix looks over the sleeping goblins and down the lower tunnel, eyeing the room. “There’s a door down here?”
“Yes, it appears so.” Ero then notices the look some of his companions are giving the golden glow. “… But let’s get some answers before we dive headlong into trouble. The day is young. Let’s take these little chaps out for some fresh air and a chat.”

One of the Goblins is handed up through the crevice and is manacled, being watched over by Lorawyn, Kain, his young companion, Ero, and Darrin, Adrik having stayed at the mouth of the cave before the submerged section; he didn’t want to leave his wolf behind, nor compel it to swim somewhere it cannot see. Talison, Theodore, Ezra and Nix decide to carefully explore further down the tunnel to the door.

Upon getting closer to the door, the sounds of grunting and growling can be heard. Through the crack of the opened door, the gold can be plainly seen. It looks real, and sits merely a few dozen feet away. A king’s ransom in coins and jewelry, some of it recent but much of it stained and coated in dirt. It looks like a lot of the pile was excavated. To the right, another door can be seen being pushed closed by a handful of goblins and a larger beast, possibly a Bugbear. The other side of the door, however, is being hammered by a chittering, gnashing force of unknown number. The Bugbear looks terrified.

What do you do?

Talison +10XP ( Total XP)
Nix +10XP ( Total XP)
Darrin +10XP ( Total XP)
Ero +10XP ( Total XP)
Ezra +10XP ( Total XP)
Adrik +5XP ( Total XP)
Lorawyn +5XP ( Total XP)
Theodore +15XP ( Total XP)
Kain +5XP ( Total XP)

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Haunted Fishing Village pt. 8

Ouriana finally takes a seat, allowing her guard to drop a little. “I followed rumours.” She looks around the room, catching each person’s eye. She makes sure everyone hears her clearly, but speaks softly. “I came alone.” She then shakes her head, trying to get the images of the last hour out of her mind. “… Didn’t take me long to find the darkness, even in the night…”

Eri moves her hand to comfort Ouriana, but stops short when she realises it may make the woman jump while she’s caught in her thoughts this way. “I also came alone. I’ve been told of the ghosts and I came to investigate.” She turns back to Tel. “How much did you see from your hiding place on that roof?”

Tel shares that she saw the birds, and then assumed the fight was with ‘spirits’, but she seems to have no idea that they are specifically evil, instead expounding upon the idea that they must have been disturbed by the restless ghost. Eri avoids giving details of the Imps, not wanting to panic the only people in town willing to talk. She then asks for more details about the ghost and the supposed curse; are they seen and felt in the same places? Who has seen what, and when?

Arth and Tel each give different accounts, but between them share that the last few months have seen many unfortunate things occur, with sounds, moving objects and failed fishing trips chief among them. Over the last few weeks, things have gotten worse. Spectres have been seen at night, with the last few days seeing people chased from their homes by ghosts. Moaning and banging can be heard throughout the village as midnight approaches, and few dare to return to their own homes, instead choosing to huddle in the improvised tavern and sleep on the floor.
Everyone in the village is beyond exhausted, and they want sleep more than anything. The only person that has refused to join everyone in the tavern is Moira, the local crone. Her husband died around a year ago, and since then has secluded herself. She plays an important role as den mother to the village, but her absence has been felt.

Arth thanks Erimeyoma and Ouriana for their presence, and for saving Tel. He suggests that everyone sleep in this main room tonight together, for protection, and then in the morning he will travel to Somergleam and look for someone who might help reunite Tel with her family.
“If you came here because of the restless spirits or curse having befallen our community, then I plead with you to please, help us! We are simple folk and few of us have much in the way of magical ken.”

He then hunkers down for the night, wrapping himself in many blankets and humming a tune to himself. After some needling from Tel, who is yet to get off her stool, he agrees to sing the song he’s humming. It’s a lengthy number, mostly about fishing on the high seas and returning home to care for the village with a bounty of fish and pearls. A few verses pertain to a lover on the shore, but those verses seem to be without resolution and the story never concludes there.

The morning comes and little else happened in the evening. The wind howled and blew through small holes and gaps in the wooden hut, but the blankets, sweets and song helped stave off the chill. As the dawn breaks, Arth returns from outside, having left while everyone was still asleep, with salted muscles, glazed trout eyes, and stewed cabbage in bowl-like wooden cups. “A gift from the sea! Dig in.” He seems extremely happy to be playing host, and sits with a satisfied throaty growl as the smells waft throughout the house.

After breakfast, Arth plans to head to Somergleam, possibly with Tel in tow to get her out of the village. He does, however, ask for the input of the two warriors, as he has little experience of such things.

What do you do?

Feel free to share a Bard’s Tale during the evening. This can be a story your character makes up, or that they’ve heard, or a piece of backstory from your character. Feel free to embelish and don’t be afraid to make mistakes; any incongruities with the campaign world, like distances, place names, historical figures, etc. can be explained away by artistic license in service to telling a good story.

Erimeyoma +10XP (95 Total XP)
Ouriana +10XP (105 Total XP)

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Somergleam Stopoff pt. 3

Cosima leaps from the second story building, catching herself on a window box and spinning in the air as she flies towards the masked murderer. Laucian dodges to one side to avoid the seemingly gliding Gnome, and reaches with outstretched hand, grabbing the collar of the man.
“I meant stay put, you idiot!”
He pulls sharply and falls backwards into the stone, twisting his body and disappearing completely. The sound of grinding stone accompanies his disappearance, and the torn scrap of fabric from his cloak sits in Laucian’s fist.

The wall looks completely solid. It is currently unknown how the man escaped, or how to follow him. He did, however, leave behind the parting gift of his bloodied blade on the ground.

Fallo narrows his eyes shrewdly at the young halfling trying to fence the plain-looking dagger. “It’s only four coins for a bargain price, sir!” Her voice is shrill, like a wobbly songbird. He raises his eyebrow, making it clear that this half-finished offcut from a local blacksmith is not, under any circumstances, being mistaken for the lost blade of Gleambane. As she skulks away, tucking the metal bar under her cloak and pulling her hood up, an older looking human passes her by, flashing a few hand gestures and passing a small coinpurse.

Recognising the gestures, Fallo realised that this girl was not a mere charlatan, but is in fact in with the local guild. The reputation of the Cursed Children didn’t travel far, but the nearby villages on his travels here spoke of the nuisance that is the local Thieves Guild.

It seems the older gentleman noticed the flash of recognition in Fallo’s eyes, and he stands behind him, facing away, and speaks in a broken form of common.
“‘Ere to fetch a bucket, lad? Got’em five to a copse, no word of a lie.” He then turns his head to get the merest glimpse of Fallo’s face, to see if what he said registered at all.

It takes a moment to parse the local variant, but Fallo recognises that the man is asking if he’s wanting to meet any local members, and that it will cost him 5 copper pieces for the priviledge.

What do you do?

Cosima +15XP (70 Total XP)
Laucian +15XP (30 Total XP)
Fallo +0XP (0 Total XP)

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Death Lake

The sight of the weathered and upset man tying himself to the rock struck the party as somewhat odd; some are frightened, others curious, but all seem to have concern for the man.

Knives and Lorrias move quickly between the rotting bodies and get close to the man, yelling variations on “Why?” and “Stop!” while the Dragons also call from a distance. As they get closer, Lorrias readies a spell to incapacitate him, but before he can get close enough the man jumps up, arms by his sides and legs together, and nudges forward. He lands into the lake with a splash, the rope being pulled from its coil by the side of the rock. It seems there is quite a length of rope there, enough for a dangerous depth. The end of the rope is tied to the rock.

From what can be seen, the other end being tied to the rock suggests the man wants to find his way back up at some point. Perhaps this isn’t a suicide attempt. The water smells awful, and incredibly salty. It bubbles slightly, and a green-white froth sits at the edges. The water looks very blue, but also full of dust and sand to the point that it’s hard to see more than a few iches in depth. From what can be seen, the man is gone.

What do you do?

Lorrias and Knives need to make Constitution saving throws (1d20 + your Constitution modifier + your proficiency bonus, if applicable)

Hexfang +10XP
Gemscale +10XP
Zadkiel +5XP
Aar +5XP
Lorrias +10XP
Hyln +10XP
Knives +10XP

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On the Road At Last pt. 6

Nix hears the sloshing of the water and is told of the flood at the end of the corridor, and that the other side should be reachable in only a few feet, a second or two of sumbersion. She grins at everyone, and presses forward, leading the way.

Darrin hears the slapping scurry of bare feet on stone, followed by a distant but audible shout of syllables in a strange language. It seems the Goblin is calling for help. He begins singing one of his mother’s lullabies, as loudly yet sweetly as he can. The Goblins scrabble up out of the crevice one by one, obviously armed and aggressive; Darrin continues his singing, letting them get closer before standing quickly and throwing his hand into the face of the nearest Goblin. It shrieks in shock at first and stops in its tracks, before stumbling backwards and blinking rapidly. It spins as it tumbles back into the crevice, taking two more of his no unconscious allies with him.

Darrin approaches the crevice, and peering down sees the sleeping bodies of three Goblins. Shifting slightly, he can see that below is another tunnel, and that some more Goblins are waiting just out of sight, their feet visible at the extremes of the angles he’s able to reach without putting his head entirely down the hole.

As the party dive into the freezing cold water and back out the other side, they find detritus from outside floating alongside them, along with cut ropes near a stalactite. Singing can be heard from down one of the many tunnels that can be seen, some of which are submerged but the singing leads Ero towards the sound. Weapons drawn again, the party moves down the hundreds of feet of twisting tunnel until they reach Darrin, lying on the ground near a hole in the floor. His singing is then punctuated by the sound of bodies hitting the floor.
Seeing Darrin, Nix nudges the large people around her. “Pull him out of there and let us get out of this place!”
“Darrin!” Ero hisses into Darrin’s half-elven ear, “Let’s get out of here, my friend!”

“E…Ero?” Darrin stops mid song, turning to face the Aasimar. A grin spreads gratefully across his face. “Ero! How the hell did you find me? And you brought the others too, good show! I’ve incapacitated a few of these pains in the posterior. They’re bottlenecked through a passage up ahead; I think I might have got quite a few of them though. Fancy pushing forward and seeing what compensation they might offer for my inconvenience; willingly or otherwise?”
“We came loaded for search and rescue, not smash and grab. Another time, maybe.” Ero responds, and then drops down into the crevice to take advantage of the unconscious Goblins and their unguarded coin purses. Throwing them up to Darrin, he then grabs the handholds and begins climbing up again. As he does, however, he is distracted by a faint orange glow at the far end of the new tunnel. Looking down, he sees a half-closed door and behind it, through the crack, he sees a veritable mountain of gold lit by oil lamps and candles. Riches for a lifetime, simply dumped in a pile and sitting merely a hundred feet away. Perhaps life in this world could be made shorter with the purchase of the right materials to get home, or made sweeter with the promise of comfort and nightly song.

Ezra impatiently waits at the top of the crevice, contemplating chiding Ero for taking so long, but she’s too busy getting dry after she, Theodore and Ero took turns dunking each other while waiting for everyone else to climb out and get dry enough to continue without shivering.

What do you do?

Talison +10XP
Nix +10XP
Darrin +10XP
Ero +10XP
Ezra +10XP
Adrik +5XP
Lorawyn +5XP
Theodore +15XP
Kain +5XP

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To Gorgek

Knives’ face falls and he looks intently at his claws. He thought he was jumping in to serve justice, but the situation seems to have been dismissed. He turns to the others. “Hmm… What now?”
Hyln turns his whole massive body to Knives, watching his own foot as he absently kicks at the dirt a little. “Tuhril says we should leave now. I agree. This… uproar…” he struggles to find appropriate words, “.. Was not good. We should not spend further time here.”

Once on the road, Gemscales shares that he’s glad to be travelling again and away from prying eyes. HexFang remains silent for most of the journey. Knives broods over his actions, wondering if he in fact acted too rashly. He did apprehend an accused thief, who took violent action upon his accusation, but there was no satisfying end, no finality to the situation that vindicated the use of violence. This troubled the Tabaxi for some time.

Opting instead to head straight for Gorgek, the group travels south for eight days and nights before reaching Death Lake. Upon reaching the area, it is plain to see why the lake gets its name; around it lie the rotting carcasses of fish and plants. The smell is horrendous, and the sun seems brighter and warmer here. No trees or other plants seem to grow nearby, instead leaving the ground a dusty sand-like substance. It’s almost impossible to get close without gagging, and faint stains of dry vomit can be seen a few feet ahead.

The occassional dead body of a humanoid can be seen, and drag marks are all around show that this is a place people visit and either bring things or take them away. A pair of wagons parked close together, a few hundred feet away on the flat plane, play backdrop to a scene of two Orcs dragging the body of what looks like a Lizardman, although it could be a Dragonborn. They dump it amongst the rotting carcasses and return to their wagons.

In the middle of this mire of rot stands a man by the side of the lake itself. A series of spiked rocks jut out from the ground around the lake, like teeth around a maw. The man is tying rope around himself, and then the rock, and heavy sobbing can be heard.

Gorgek lies a few days to the east.

What do you do?

Hexfang +10XP
Gemscale +10XP
Zadkiel +5XP
Aar +5XP
Lorrias +5XP
Hyln +10XP
Knives +15XP

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Haunted Fishing Village pt. 7

Erimeyoma steps between the child and whatever she is looking at, and turns to try and see what’s caused her fear. She loosens her daggers, taking one in her right hand and keeping the quarter staff raised, ready to ward of any blows, in her left. She sees a spectral image in the window, a ghostly apparition that appears both haunting and beautiful. It looks to be that of a man in one moment, and a woman in another. It shifts between the two, as though in a dream.

Ouriana slowly turns around, tilting her head to the side. “Well… That’s a thing that’s happening…” She slowly slides her Longbow back into her hands and nocks an arrow, narrowing her eyes and trying to gauge the danger they are all in, ready to grab the girl and run after firing a shot.

Both seeing the shifting spectral shape and standing firm, taking up their weapons and an aggressive stance, Erimeyoma and Ouriana glance quickly at each other as they shift their weight in readiness.

The ghostly form moves through the wall and window into the air, hovering inches above the ground, reaching its hand out and getting closer ever so slowly.

After a few seconds that feel like an hour, the thing stretches forward in a lunge, screeches an unearthly sound like nails on a chalkboard and charges the two warriors and the girl, dissipating into harmless smoke as it hits.

The smoke clears quickly, and as the seconds roll on it becomes clear that the main danger has passed… for now.

The girl faints and collapses to the ground. Eri and Ouri pick up the girl and carry her to the tavern to get help and find her family. The tavern is silent, the fire nothing but low embers casting the room in an eerie orange/blue glow.

A dozen people crowd together at the bar, cautiously holding their breath and listening out for signs the danger has passed. The door swings open and clatters against buckets and rods behind it. Erimeyoma strides in, carrying the unconscious girl. The crowd gasps and whispers, and then a single man steps forward. He stands tall with a broad chest and a heavy-looking beard. His hair is dark and thick, while his clothes show signs of wear and repair.
“Is… did they get her, too?”
“Did who get who?” Eri asks him, “And where are this child’s parents?” As Eri asks her questions, Ouriana casts her eyes over the man who spoke, before looking around the room. She’s taking in the faces, and the interior, trying to gather anything she can from the room and sees Humans, Halflings and a Half-Orc among the patrons, all looking terrified.

The burly man answers Eri. “The spirits… the damned! Strangers, evil plagues this village. A curse is laid upon us and terror stalks our roads. You would do well to leave this place if you can.”

When prompted again, the man will stare at the girl for a bit. “I do not know this child. She is a stranger to me.” It becomes clear that everyone in the village knows everyone else, and they likely know the others from the nearby villages given the small populations.
“Is there a chance her parents could be passing through? Has anyone seen her before at all?” Eri asks, disappointed that this girl isn’t elliciting the overwhelming support she thought she would.
“No. We rarely get travellers here overland, and the last ship that docked was months ago. She must be from elsewhere… Or she’s part of the curse…” The rest of the room gasps again and reels back, shrinking into the darkness behind the bar. The man turns and holds out a hand to stop them. “It is merely a possibility. We should take care of this child until we know more!”
“She seemed as afraid as you all are now. Maybe she can help resolve this issue with spirits.”

“How can a dead girl help us? Let’s burn her body and hope the curse leaves with her ashes!” A drunken patron shouts up, with the breaded man who’s been speaking up to this point raising apologetic eyebrows. His broad size and bearing, however, tell you that he’s not going to let the other patrons act on their fears.
“A dead girl might be a little hard to talk to, but as far as I can tell this one is just passed out from fright. Maybe you should hold off before holding her funeral … you were planning to give the poor child a funeral, weren’t you?” Eri asks, trying to shame the speaker.
Ouriana steps forward, her Bow once again across her back and a dagger in her hand. She tosses it casually, from one hand to the other. “Perhaps we just need to be calm.” She states clearly, bringing the room to a comfortable hush. It seems she’s confident in dealing with these sorts of alienating situations. “We have some questions about the evil that seems to be plaguing you. Tell me about this curse you speak of” She leans against a table while waiting for the response, for which the burly speaker takes responsibility.

“I am Arth, Harrison. My vocal friend at the back is Ed.” He says this while clearing a small rectangular table that is just big enough to place the girl upon. He gestures for Erimeyoma to put her down. “We are simple folk, here. We fish, for the most part. Little else to do. Our lives are without complication. When the natural world fails to be explained, we find it hard to operate clearly.” He helps in looking the girl over, and waves to someone at the bar to fetch him some water.

“As for the curse that currently afflicts us, we know only that it’s been a few months that things have been going strange. It started as noises at night, and then things started going missing. We thought it was one of those damned Cursed Children from Somergleam Hold at first. Then… then we began hearing stories of things being seen in the night. Spirits, often in the shape of loved ones. And the screams…” He trails off, lost in thought.
Ouriana placed her hand gently on his arm “Somergleam Hold?”
“Yes… Somergleam Hold is the large town to the north. We do most of our trade there, and by the grace of our Queen we are protected. You truly are strangers to this place.” Ouriana is convinced he’s earnestly trying to help, but he has limits on how much he’s willing to do. He also seems out of place for the area, but the sort to stay put.

Erimeyoma opens her small wooden box and pulls out the hinged sections. Quickly pulling spices and herbs from various stoppered bottles, bundles of cloth and glass tinctures, she finds the right combination of substances that, when passed under the nose of the girl, wake her up immediately. From what she can tell, Eri sees no lasting effect of her fall.
She helps the girl sit up. “What’s your name, child? Where is your family?”
The girl looks at the reptilian eyes of Erimeyoma, and the demonic horns of Ouriana, and seems oddly calm about the situation.
“Tel. My name is Tel. Bettel Primrose.” She looks around the room, her eyes adjusting to the dim light of the embers. “My family is… far away.”
“See? She’s part of all this! We should send her on her way!” Shouts another patron. The room seems to be turning. Arth shoots Eri and Ouri a look.
“Perhaps we should retire to less public surrounds. I have a cabin at the far end of the beach.”
“Do you think you can walk, Tel?” Erimeyoma helps the girl to her feet as she nods. Ouriana slides her second dagger out and flashes her sharp teeth at the room before nodding to Arth. “Let’s.”

Arth leads the way and takes everyone across the beach a ways. After fifteen minutes of walking in the freezing evening air, a turn around to the other side of some rocks reveals the cabin. A simple structure, with no lock on the door and only two rooms. Inside, the wind seeps through various small holes and gaps, but is greatly reduced.

Lighting a lamp that hangs from the ceiling, Arth grabs a half dozen blankets from a small cupboard. Placing them in the middle of the floor, he then rearranges the five stools that were set against one wall and places four of them in a circle around the blankets.

Arth then goes to the other room, from which the sounds of clattering can be heard, and then he emerges with a small cloth bundle, about the size of large pumpkin or melon. Sitting upon a stool with a slight curl in the corner of his mouth, he places the bundle on the floor and opens it up, revealing sweet cakes, glazed buns and fruit-filled breads. Taking one up, he motions to the group with it before taking a hearty bite. “Dig in. I don’t have a hearth, and it’s too windy to build a fire outside. I buy these from some Gnome merchants whenever they visit Bersault-on-the-Hill… They’re the best in the land. Try one!”

He’s obviously trying hard to make Tel more comfortable, but she simply takes a blanket and wraps it around herself.
Ouriana continues to stand, looking around the room. Eri sits next to Tel. “How did you end up here?”
Tel stares at a glazed bun for a moment before snatching it and returning to her stool as though she never moved. Munching hungrily into it, her face scrunches up as though she’s not used to such sweetness, but she powers through it. She manages to answer between chews, her voice growing steady as she bundles up in the blankets. “I came with the travellers. They brought me here last night, but they turned mean.” Her eyes flick up to the lantern light, and she shifts her stool slightly as if to get closer to it.

Arth grabs the lantern and brings it down, placing it in front of Tel. He then sits back down and looks thoughtfully at Ouriana and Erimeyoma. “You’re travellers, aren’t you?” As he sees faces turn, he throws out a rebuttal of sorts. “I don’t mean to accuse… I simply say that Tel came here with travellers, and you are travellers yourselves. Did you arrive with a party? Or did you follow a group here?”

What do you do?

Erimeyoma +15XP (85 Total XP)
Ouriana +15XP (95 Total XP)

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Somergleam Stopoff pt. 2

Cosima and Laucian both leap into action and chase after the blade-wielding assassin. Laucian manages to dodge and weave through several dozen patrons before finding a pile of barrels off to one side. Skipping onto the first, he quickly scales the pile and reaches the top. Striding lightly, he manages to climb atop the crowd and jump from shoulder to shoulder of the crowd, using them to get to higher ground and head off the quarry. Below he can see Owen, the town guardsman, now trapped in the crowd and trying to negotiate his way through with his steed.

Glancing up as a shadow passes over, however, the Elfblood sees a small Gnome in black almost dancing from rooftop to rooftop, struggling to keep pace but finding the lack of crowds a boon. It appears the pair of them are both chasing down the accused.

As Cosima calls out to her potential ally, he ignores her and instead darts his eyes around, coldly calculating as much as he can.

He’s spent a few days here, and knows the streets well. Striding across a few more shoulders, much to the chagrin of the crowds below, he hitches onto the side of a building and hauls himself up and out of sight of the street below.

Cosima continues a few more steps, catching the eye of the assassin who dodges to the right and away from the throng of crowds, seemingly content that he has lost another pursuer.

Laucian then stands up straight at the edge of the building, opens his arms as falls backwards, dropping four stories. Almost by accident, he lands into a passing cart of straw that parts the crowd. Lying in it for a few seconds, he then rolls out of it and lands on his feet at the mouth of the dead-end alley.

Cosima sees she needs to get across the street, and is yet to notice that the strange Elfblood is back in the chase. Reaching the edge of the building, she hops back to get a run-up and leaps into the air! Soaring for a few feet, she then grabs a streamer that is billowing strongly in the wind from the corner of another building. Swinging from it, she kicks at the start of the arc up to give her the height needed to reach the other roof.

Releasing the streamer and taking a moment to move the hair from her eyes, she chooses to focus on chasing the assassin and to freak out later about the amazing feat she had just performed.

Laucian looks up and sees Cosima has arrived just in time. He calculated it all perfectly. He stand blocking the exit, and Cosima is covering the high ground. Despite his earlier ignoring of her, she factored heavily in his design.

The cloaked figure turns as he nears the far wall that blocks his progress. Cosima looks down, silhouetted against the bright sky, while Laucian examines the trapped masked man, watching for any sign of aggression or movement as well as getting a measure of the man. “You have nowhere to run to; we have you surrounded.” Laucian calmly explains, an edge of menace to his voice so his quarry doesn’t think to try anything. “Please, let’s try and settle this… Nicely.” He adds, taking a tentative step forward. Laucian notices the flash of intent in the man’s eyes, as though the threat doesn’t concern him. He shouts a word that isn’t understood, perhaps in an unknown language or arcane tongue, and steps into the wall behind him. He then laughs as he dashes away into the stone.

What do you do?

You can both make a single ranged attack before he disappears, with advantage (roll 1d20 twice, and chose the highest number to be your attack roll). Alternatively, you can choose to dash forwards to try and catch him before he disappears; make a Dexterity saving throw.

Cosima +15XP (55 Total XP)
Laucian +15XP (15 Total XP)

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Somergleam Stopoff

Owen, one of the riders from Somergleam, is convinced by Cosima to provide escort not to the borders, but to Somergleam proper. It seems the threat of an oncoming skirmish with a Goblin tribe worries the small Gnome not.

Owen chats a little as they ride, clearing up that he would rather not reveal the augur’s predictions and cause a panic if it proves to be false, and the calibre of those involved give him pause. However, he does say that the person he was looking for appears to be an Elven noble, although they may appear shabby and as a peasant. Cosima whispers to him, however, and sweetly asks again why they were interested, her tongue dripping with honeyed words and reaching beyond the professional veneer Owen put on.

As they reach the base of the hill and make their way through the first gatehouses, Owen confides in Cosima, although she can tell he’s still careful about what he says. It appears she cannot win him over as easily as she does others.
“Jooren Besal, our augur and the court magician, has had various visions of late. He claimed that the northern farm crops would fail the last few seasons, and they would have were it not for outside aid; he deserves my respect and that of all Somergleam.” The last gatehouse opens, and a drawbridge covers the small gorge cut into the hillside at the walls. The last portcullis sits ready-raised. The town ahead looks of Halfling build for the most part; their iconic architecture, the upper floors jutting over the ground below, pepper the majority of the first few districts. The roads are covered in a layer of muck and leavings, but the layout seems pleasant enough. The palace lies ahead, the road to it lined with businesses and fine homes of stone and plastered frame. Floral arrangements sprout from most window boxes, and do wonders for the smell. Strongly scented elderflowers bloom by the side of various structures.

Owen leads the small caravan to the market square. “His other visions have been of a more disturbing bent. Enemies flock to our borders, it seems. Jooren has told of a coming evil in the North, battling a winged demon that takes the form of an Elven man. Another vision came to him last night; that this Elven man, looking of noble birth, appeared in the very field we found your group. While he may sometimes be awry with the details, the general is never wrong. I fear we may have been too late.”

When the group stops, the market stands around them. Brightly coloured fabrics hang from every flagpole, every tentpost and every signpost. The stalls lie open with wares to sell, fruits and vegetables and baked goods. The place heaves with activity, the wake of the wagons quickly filling in with people.

Laucian whinces at the sight of so many. He pulls his hood a little further over his face and finishes his business with the halfling man.
“And if you ever find yourself heading south… don’t head south. The villages there, I hear they’re becoming cursed places, my friend.” He tips his hat brim and looks fervently around the crowd before finding a gap in the throng and slipping in, disappearing easily.

He was quick to leave, but no matter: Laucian had what he needed from him. He unfurls the written note, upon which is scribbled the address of the augur. Angrily, he crushes the paper in his hands and drops it to the floor. ‘The Palace, Augur’s offices’ it read. The paper quickly gets trampled into the muck on the ground. Needing to find this augur and use his services was top priority, but how would he access the palace? He’s a simple Elf.

Furious, he punches the wall behind him and leans back into it, leting his eyes take in the massive horde of people before him, buying and selling and walking… A set of wagons escorted by town guards now sits in the middle of the square. They weren’t there before.

Owen begins to bid Cosima a safe stay when his voice trails off. His eyes look past her into the crowd. Suddenly, he leaps up and kicks off Cosima’s wagon with one foot and uses the momentum to flip over and onto the seat of his horse yet again. Squeezing his heels in, the mount powers forward into the crowd, the people dispersing quickly and getting out of the way. All eyes following the soldier, both Cosima and Laucian see that he is in pursuit of a masked man weilding a blade: it is dripping with blood. A scream erupts from one of the side streets ahead, presumably a citizen discovering a bloody body. It appears a murder has occured.

What do you do?

Cosima +15XP
Laucian +0XP

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