Taihun

Haunted Fishing Village pt. 12

Ouriana snatches the material and tilts her head as she reads the words, holding the fabric out to show Eri. “Well, this is not what I was expecting… How do we free a spirit?” Her voice low. The firelight gives her pale skin a soft glow and her horns soft definition against the dark room.
Eri reads the words a couple of times, trying to divine all possible meanings despite the brevity. ‘Trapped.’ Does he mean just him? How can a ghost be trapped? Trapped by whom? Are the demons responsible? ‘Free me.’ He must mean just he is trapped; how does one free a ghost? What bonds would keep one? ‘Look after Moira.’ It’s clear that Moira was correct and this ghost is that of her Charles. What is keeping Charles here? Why is he trapped if he’s here with his wife?

Eventually Erimeyoma blows through clenched teeth, the questions dancing around her head. Her serpentine eyes catch the small flames of the firepit and makes the light dance among the flecks of green and gold.
“At a guess, I’d say we first need to find out how he died. If there is nothing unusual there then maybe seek out a cleric. I’m not all that familiar with spirits or the afterlife.”

Another piece of fabric is picked up, presumably by the invisible Charles, but is then immediately dropped to the floor. A moment later, Moira walks back in with her pot full of water. “Tea? I’m making a fresh pot.” She gives an awkward smile without meeting anyone’s eye as she strides and clambers over the piles of rubbish strewn about the place. She places the pot of water atop a metal tripod she places over the firepit and looks about for cups. She stands up as straight as she can despite finding it more comfortable to hunch and withdraw into herself. She’s happier now, the stress of thinking herself mad seemingly on its way out. Absently moving her hand over her hair, bringing up the bit at the back to atop her head and letting it drop again, she looks from pile to pile of crockery and clothes trying to find a cup for tea.

What do you do?

Erimeyoma +10XP (145 Total XP)
Ouriana +10XP (155 Total XP)

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On the Road At Last pt. 10

https://taihun.obsidianportal.com/adventure-log/on-the-road-at-last-pt-10

Adrik Donavyn Garton
Darrin Mark Boules
Ero Steven Lynch
Ezrah Alice Vondresna
Kain Shannon Field
Lorawyn Marija Bubanovic
Nix Zachary Michael Davis
Talison John Heet
Theodore Jeremy Midwinter

“Hold the line!” Ero shouts as Theodore breaks ranks, then grumbles as he braces himself for the onrush of lizardmen he suspects will chase the boy back to their little redoubt momentarily.

Ezra watches from his position, not wanting to move away from the group and lead a retreat, but not wanting to charge in against the group’s wishes. He crouches and tries to calculate how far away the horde are from him and if he’d be able to shoot down on them without the risk of hitting anyone of his companions; he can see the two lizardmen advancing on Theodore, who has broken formation with the others. Another three lizardmen struggle against a Bugbear and Goblins some fifty feet away while the two on Theodore are closer at around twenty-five feet away. A Shortbow might work, but a Longbow or Spear throw certainly wouldn’t. Ezra draws an arrow taking aim at one of the lizardmen who have broken formation and looses his arrow which glances from the shield of one of them.

Spinning from the arrow shot, the Lizardman gives a raspy cry as he thrusts his weapon at Theodore. The two reptilians clash with him, stopping to strike the plate-armoured man down with their javelins. Pulling their weapons back, they thrust forward only to ricochet from the solid armour. An ominous ring goes out as the armour protects Theodore, and the Lizardmen all raise their heads and stare for a moment before all leaving their prey and charging down the tunnel towards him. Somehow, the armour is attracting the Lizardmen. Theodore raises his arms in readiness to blow the coming onslaught.

“Could everyone PLEASE make like your chair’s been pulled out from under you, and FALL BACK!? They have a clear advantage in the number!” Darrin starts to make his way towards the exit, not turning his back on the lizardmen as he pulls his hand up to beside his face. With a twitch of his cheek the hand begins to heat the air around it. Almost without further contemplation, and with determination, he launches a firebolt as a parting shot. It streaks past Ero and Talison who hold the line and effectively block off the tunnel.

The bolt of flame knocks a Lizardman back as he leaves the Bugbear he was just attacking, granting the hulking beast the opportunity to grab its tail and pull the reptilian back into the room with the pile of gold. A loud cracking sound penetrates the cacophany of screeching and growling, followed by the deep bellow of the Bugbear, victorious. The victory is short-lived, however, as he then collapses to the ground with almost a dozen javelins sticking out of his chest and sides. More lizardmen pour out of the doorway.

Lorawyn, still disguised as a cat, sneaks around the Lizardmen and then shifts into her Dragonborn form when she’s behind them. “Pashkas-elakh” she yells as she throws one hand to the ground. A moment of fear might have been felt by lesser initiates, but Lorawyn’s experience and connection to the Feyweave assures her that the seconds she is spending being vulnerable will bear fruit. A feral-looking Lizardman emerging from the doorway slows from following his companions, looks the scarlet Druid up and down and pulls his Javelin back in readiness to strike. Loarwayn locks eyes with the reptilian and doesn’t flinch as the javelin thrusts forward and stops barely an inch from her eye. The lizardman’s eyes bulge as he strains against the pale root that has burst from the rocky cave floor and wrapped around his wrist and shoulder. Another shoot bursts forth and stops his legs and other arm. Lorawyn gives a small smirk as all the way through to Theodore every Lizardman stands stuck by vines and roots from the walls and floor of the cave tunnel.

In the tunnel above, Nix looks at the goblin. “Let’s take this one with us. Something about him reminds me of something…” Nix begins dragging the bound goblin out. “Little help please?” Kain gives a disappointed grunt as he leaves Ezra’s side and joins Nix in retreating with the Goblins.

Roll for Initiative (1d20 + your Dexterity modifier). What do you do?

Talison +10XP ( Total XP)
Nix +10XP ( Total XP)
Darrin +15XP ( Total XP)
Ero +10XP ( Total XP)
Ezra +15XP ( Total XP)
Adrik +5XP ( Total XP)
Lorawyn +20XP ( Total XP)
Theodore +15XP ( Total XP)
Kain +5XP ( Total XP)

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Somergleam Stopoff pt. 6

“To the alehouse, we go… Laucian, is it? You and I have a little to explain. I would much prefer to be doing it with ale or at least a fine wine than standing in this alleyway!” Cosima says to Laucian and Owen, and with out giving Laucian much of a choice she leads the men out of the alley, stopping to eye Fallo up and down. “You might as well come too! I can never have enough men to play with, and it sounds like this ale house will wet us all!!” She gestures for Owen to lead the way.

Laucian almost stumbles at the sudden turning around and he eyes the small gnomish woman slightly amused. “You do have a way with words, don’t you milady.”

Fallo gives a sweeping bow. “Why thank you for the invitation.” The group all walk toward the ale house, led by Cosima but directed by Owen.
“I’m Fallo Silverdale. I’m new to Somergleam, but never new to a good ale at a fine alehouse. This place is full of surprises; it seems I run into one around every corner. Say, none of you have heard of the Jungfruds or Young Fuds, or whatever the kids are calling themselves these days? A little bird whispered the name into my ear just the other day. Sounded interesting so I thought I might look into it.”

Before anyone could answer, the door of the ale house is reached. The inside smells strongly of pipe smoke and spilt stale ale, although the general atmosphere of the busy establishment is one of jovial merriment and pleasant conversation. Owen purchases a round as he pushes through the crowd and returns to the small table that was able to be obtained. As the four crowd around the table while sitting on stools that seem more suited to Halfling folk, given their steps, high seat and the low table, the conversation returns to that outside. “Jungfruds? What do you hear of them, friend?” Owen asks while sipping his ale.

What do you do?

Cosima +10XP (105 Total XP)
Laucian +10XP (65 Total XP)
Fallo +10XP (35 Total XP)

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Haunted Fishing Village pt. 11

Eri, acting on a hunch, casts faery fire on the other presence she can feel. She takes in a quick breath and exhales her words almost silently, but enough to be noticed. “Athtihar Vorsa.” A faint green aura wafts around the various objects caught in the path of the spell, like barely visible flames moving in slow motion. Moira is imbued, as is the stack of dirty clothing… and so, too, is the humanoid shape between the two. It seems that the outline of a man is traced in the air by this green aura. Ouriana and Erimeyoma can see it.

Moira’s eyes widen and she turns to face both of them. “How… I don’t know…” she then narrows her eyes and blinks hard. “You’re a witch! You’ve bewitched my home!” She seems to be straining the accusation, and it’s obviously something she doesn’t truly believe.

Eri holds out her hands palms down to try and calm Moira. “No, I’m not a witch. And I only highlighted what was already there.” Moira looks at the outline and her shoulders fall. More tears escape her eyes.
“… Charles? You’ve really been here this whole time?” Moira bursts into tears as she collapses into the arms of the outlined form. Despite seeming empty as air, the form holds Moira up and embraces her lovingly. “I thought I was going mad… but you’ve really been here!”

The pair share an embrace for almost an hour as Moira slowly calms and reduces her sobs to shuddered breaths. When she composes herself, she stands and fetches an iron pot from a pile of dishes, clears the firepit of detritus and sets the fire going before leaving to fetch the water. Erimeyoma’s spell has long since dissipated, leaving her and Ouriana in the house alone with an invisible ghost. Some soot from the edge of the firepit seems to be used by the ghost to scrawl on a scrap of fabric that floats towards the pair. It reads: “Trapped. Free me. Look after Moira.”

What do you do?

Erimeyoma +15XP (135 Total XP)
Ouriana +15XP (145 Total XP)

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Death Lake pt. 4

Hyln becomes a little uneasy when the dead are mentioned, and Lorrias looks mortified. “It’s best to leave the dead resting.” Hyln intones, nervously looking over to the lake before adding: “It’s a very sad story, but bringing back people from the dead never had a good ending.” He seems to remember an old story and shivers a bit.

HexFang hands the eggs to Gemscale, who accepts them and nods. She points to herself “Poison dragon;” then to the lake “Poison lake. If any one stands a chance of reaching the bottom of this, both figuratively and literally, its going to be me. Its either a barren cesspool, or a portal to the grave.”

Gemscale and Lorrias both begin speaking at the same time, eventually managing to find a rhythm that allows them to ask their questions without talking over each other. Gemscale begins asking more about Dargyntad, where he was, where he’s going and what information Yorun might be able to share in the spirit of vengeance. Lorrias, however, probes the grieving man about his knowledge of this water bridge between worlds. How else might one reach the land of the dead? How did he hope to survive the journey?

Yorun scrunches up his face in thought, and flits his eyes from Elven Wizard to Dragon as their questions fly quickly at him. He clears his throat and begins to slowly parse out his responses. Being given a drink by Aar, he looks as though he feels a bit better and more easily converses with the party. He reveals that his village is only a few days west of the Lake and that Dargyntad reigned over them for two days. He was clearly toying with the villagers, and most have been maimed and may never work or walk again. The village is at risk of dying out. Yorun wishes to save his daughter, Eriadne, and travel south to join his distant kin. Yorun reveals also that he has no guarantees of his potential success in his endeavours, merely the rumour that the lake might take him to his daughter. His plan was to find her or drown in the putrid waters. Either way, his suffering would end. He does not know where Dargyntad was heading, but he knows he travelled southeast. Aar, consulting his notes from his travels up here, confirms that that would place Dargyntad in their potential path should the party continue to the Orc City that lies to the east.

Knives, having turned his focus inwards in meditation during the questioning of Yorun flashes his eyes open and says aloud: “If she is truly gone to the dead do we have the right to retrieve her?” His words are careful, but deliberate and unrepentant. “Her god may have claimed her and she may be happy.” He turns now to his compatriots. “The only thing we could really offer is to help this poor soul in seeking rightful vengeance on the evil that was responsible, rather than let him throw his life away.” A slight flicker of claw can be seen in the Tabaxi’s flexing paw.

HexFang briefly considers her options, before deciding to gather some more direct information. “Either way, give us 15 minutes.” She sticks her hand out to Yorun “Second times the charm?” Yorun’s eyes widen in shock, and looks over to the pool. He then clambers to his feet and takes the scaly hand of HexFang as they approach the edge of the pool. Coughing and gagging slightly, he covers his mouth and turns to HexFang. “If you can survive this, surely, then if you can find and retrieve my daughter I would be eternally grateful and be in your debt. But if you can find her, and my life would be lost in this pool, then perhaps it would be best for you to dive in alone.” His nervousness becomes clear, and the time away from the pool and discussing vengeance has softened his suicidal tendency.

What do you do?

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

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Somergleam Stopoff pt. 5

Fallo approaches the guardsman. Despite his unfamiliarity with what was going on, he pretended otherwise. It would not do to be apprehensive after all.
“Here now,” Fallo spoke up. “what’s going on here? Looks like a bad bit of business, it surely does.” He stands next to the city guard and turns his head dramatically to emphasise his query. “You two wouldn’t have anything to do with this, would you? It would be a shame if you did; I’d have to throw my lot in with this fine constable here and give you what for.” Fallo flexes his hand on the hilt of his sidearm for emphasis. “I’m sure you wouldn’t want that now, would you? So, let’s be nice and respectful and why don’t you tell me what’s going on here.”

Laucian sighs gently and puts the blade down. He looks the officer in the eye. “I’m Laucian Galanodel. Here, I can tell you what I’ve found if you want officer but I shall leave this to your capable hands.”
Owen stops glaring at Fallo and lowers his raised eyebrow as he turns to face Laucian. “… You are not holding up this young lady?”

Cosima is pleased and amused to see Owen show up so late. She steps to him. “You took your sweet time. Need to brush up on your cardio there,” she says with a smile. “Me and elf boy here nearly had him, till he slipped through that damn wall.” She gestures over her shoulder. “I was just telling my friend here that you would want to see the blade our runner dropped before he slipped into the masonry. Why don’t you show him, Laucian?” She speaks quickly, leaping from one thing to the next in her speech.

Owen walks over and picks up the bloody blade. “I can’t make heads or tails of this… It’s a strange weapon, to be sure. Perhaps a demon cult? They like their fancy blades, right?” Owen seems completely lost on how to proceed. “Well, in any case;” he turns to Fallo. “Thank you for your assistance, citizen. It seems all is in hand now. You may be on your way.” He then turns to Laucian and Cosima. “I will escort you from here, Lady Cosima, should you so desire. I don’t know what other business you might have for me since my escort to Somergleam appears to have been completed…” He seems reluctant to confess that he has little reason to remain. It seems he is charmed by the young Gnome. He then seems to remember that Laucian is present and that Fallo is at the end of the alley. He clears his throat. “Perhaps I can escort you all to a local alehouse? I believe a round is in order on the city’s coin as a reward for your efforts to stop crime here. I can personally thank you all, then.” He opens the invitation to all present, but his last sentence was said so quietly that Fallo could only just make it out. Owen was too busy focusing on Cosima to notice his voice has lowered.

What do you do?

Cosima +10XP (95 Total XP)
Laucian +10XP (55 Total XP)
Fallo +10XP (25 Total XP)

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On the Road At Last pt. 9

Darrin looks back at the fight between the tiny Goblins and the tall and lithe Lizardmen, cracks his neck then his fingers and sighs to himself.“You’re right! I clearly should have seen the cave full of angry lizardmen a mile off! It’s textbook!”

Ero’s eyes sparkle slightly before he realises that his mettle not only stands between him and a release from the mortal coil but perhaps the lives of his compatriots might be impacted. “Let’s keep going!” Ero grimaces at Darrin as he scoops Nix up in his arms. “It’ll be great!” He tries to reassure himself. He hurls the gnome up to the next level before ushering Ezra and Darrin up behind her. “Get Nix out of here!” he shouts, bringing his shield down as he turns back to the hoard, hoping to buy time for the rest of the party.

Nix’s legs kick as she soars up through the crevice, and she is caught by Kain. The burly warrior lowers Nix down to the ground, her dress quickly brushed down and admired by the young girl that follows Kain around.

Darrin disagrees with Ero’s suggestion of keeping going down deeper into the cave past the warring factions. “Now, I might suggest that a staged retreat might lead to loss of life, compared to a full on flight. Run!”
“Most sensible thing you’ve said all day!” Ero concedes, a note of disappointment in his voice. Talison looks over to Theodore and watches as he presses the button at his collar. Like watching an ornate hand fan unfold, Talison admires the graceful expansion of the armour as the plates slide out from behind one another and cover more of Theodore’s body. The final plates slide into place, the gentle gliding scraping sound is almost musical as they do. “Ero, lets go a little further and then form a defensive line. They will weaken their numbers before they even get to us; there is no need for a self-sacrifice. Darrin, you got to see the room of gold right?”
“I’m desperately trying not to look!” The sorcerer whimpers, holding out his hand to help Ezra climb up the rough handholds. The Tiefling, however, seems to have other designs and is taken by what Talison proposes.

“No self-sacrifice was intended; I’m counting on you to haul me out of this hole when I turn around and follow up after you! Organise the stand there at the top of the hole. We’ll drive them back down till the edge is blood-slick and hard to climb, then work our way back slowly. Shields and spears at the ready!” Ero deftly kicks at one of the Goblin spears on the ground and snatches it from the air, pulling his own small round shield out and holding them ready.
“I like the sound of that!” Talison grins and nods at Theodore. “You standing with us?”
Before Theodore can answer, Ezra pulls alongside Ero and the Elfblood much to Darrin’s chagrin. “Have any of you got a plan of what you want to do?” Ezra asks as he pulls his bow out and quickly strings it.

Ero looks over the group assembled by him in the tunnel and quickly works through his mind what would work best. The low tunnel roof wouldn’t allow for much advantage to using a bow, nor for throwing the spears for that matter. “Ezra, lead the retreat.”
Ezra nods and clambers up the handholds and through the crevice, leaving Darrin looking somewhat frustrated but also relieved that it’s not just him heading immediately for the exit.
“Don’t get yourselves killed. [In Infernal] Just come back.” Ezra throws his voice back down into the tunnel as he reaches the top.

At the top of the crevice, Nix examines the unconscious and bound Goblins. She sees a familiar resemblance; possibly a relative of Grixt in some capacity. Their attire differs too much from being the same group that struck near the Hollow, however. Perhaps a northern relative.

Adrik sits at the front of the cave looking outside as he keeps watch and pets his wolf. The water at the base of the tunnel that the rest of the party went through looks as dark and foreboding as before. The sunlight and the light breeze punctuate the rainy day. The thought that this must be how Kaila feels crosses Adrik’s mind.

Darrin and Ezra join Nix, Kain and Lorawyn up at the top. Ero, Theodore and Talison stand abreast blocking the corridor at the base of the handholds by the crevice. Lorawyn quickly gets an update from Nix while she examines the bodies of the Goblin in their custody, and pokes her head down. Spotting the fight at the far end of the corridor, and seeing the three warriors lined up to cover the general retreat now that Darrin has been found and rescued, an idea finds its way out of her mouth and into Theodore’s ears. “Why don’t we just ignore them and go on our own way?”
“That could be an idea. Do you mean, sneak by, or sneak away though?” The plate-armoured man asks, turning his chest conspicuously as though unconsciously showing off his new armour.
“I’d say…sneak by.” She smiles.
“Where would we be sneaking to? The pile of gold over there?”
“I suppose? I mean, I’m tiny anyway…” She grins widely as she shifts into her feline form once again and drops down onto her paws silently.
“Yes, but me? Not so much.” Theodore gestures to himself, emphasising that he is tall and not especially stealthy in his current arrangement. “But I will go with you if you wish to go. Gold can always be used.”
Unable to reply, the cat-shaped Lorawyn points her tail and then skitters along towards the fighting followed closely by Theodore.

As they approach the combat raging before them, two Lizardmen fell a Goblin and then lock eyes on Theodore. It seems that for now, they’re ignoring the cat.

Adrik takes in a deep breath that one might suggest resembles a sigh. On the horizon ahead he sees a small group of horsemen heading east through the light rain. One of the stops and looks down to the cave Adrik is sat inside; has Adrik been spotted? Is this a problem?

Roll for Initiative (1d20 + your Dexterity modifier). What do you do?

For the purposes of this update, those in the upper tunnel can begin the round either at the crevice or halfway along the tunnel on their way out.

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

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Haunted Fishing Village pt. 10

Using her magic to make herself appear less threatening to Moira, Erimeyoma manages to calm her down slightly. “Moira, we intend to resolve whatever snarl of events caused this strife. It would help us do that more rapidly if you can tell us what happened just before it started, then how events unfolded. Think of these events like the symptoms sick patients exhibit that helps a physician diagnose and treat them.”

Ouriana smiles and nods. "We had something very similar in my Village and if it is what I think it is, I think I can help… "

Moira looks up, tears still falling in droplets from her eyes. The room still feels cold. She slumps into one of the piles behind her. “Please… Leave me alone…” she says in defeat. She then looks Ouriana and Erimeyoma in the eyes. “Forgive me. He gets a little much sometimes.”

Ignoring the looks of confusion, she begins to ramble, mostly coherently, about the village’s recent history. She reveals that her husband, Charles, died about a year ago. Soon after, things kept moving about and going missing, people reported strange goings-on such as food tasting different and visions of dancing lights in the night sky. The whole village appears to have been affected. One of the villagers took a trip to Somergleam Hold in order to ask for help from the court seer. He was given a medallion of luck and portent that brought good luck for a short while, but then a couple of months ago the fish started turning up rotten in nets, strange voices and whispers could be heard between houses and ghosts started being seen around the village. The villager that received this medallion is a regular at the tackle shop, and their description matches the middle aged man that was rude.

From her nonlinear ramble, these are the details that can be organised easily into some sort of order. It seems that many strange things have been happening, but the cause is unclear. Moira thinks it’s a curse placed upon the village that killed her husband, but she has no interest in seeking anything out. She simply wants to live out her days alone. As she finishes up, she stands slowly and breaks down into loud crying as she makes her way to a small heap of dirty clothes off to one side. She flails her arms out as though ready to embrace someone and then drops her arms as she lets out a pained howl. The atmosphere begins to feel quite uncomfortable and the pervading sensation that there are more than three people in the hovel begins to make Ouriana’s and Erimeyoma’s skin crawl.

What do you do?

Erimeyoma +10XP (120 Total XP)
Ouriana +10XP (130 Total XP)

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Death Lake pt. 3

HexFang snorts in exasperation. “Who are you saving?”
He stares at HexFang for a moment before struggling again. “You know! You all know! You took her from me! You all took her from me!” He breaks down into sobs.
Lorrias suggests moving away from the stench, and between the Dragons and ’Knives, they manage to drag him away from the stink.

The Elfblood Wizard paces back and forth for a moment, Hyln raising an eyebrow as the small man mumbles to himself. “Who was it you were saving?” He finally asks the crying man. HexFang shoots a quick look at him and anticipating the same answer she had before, interjects.
“What is the name of the lady in the lake?” Her hissing voice lacking all sensitivity as the nauseating smell of the environment begins to translate into a claggy feeling all over.

The man, still attached to the rope but the end long having been cut, pushes out the name ‘Eriadne’ before collapsing.
“How long ago was she taken from you?” Gemscale probes, but ’Knives confirms that the man is now completely unconscious. He blamed HexFang it seems, but this may have meant Dragons were the cause or perhaps simply strangers to this man.

Zadkiel wanders over and lifts the man’s head. He places a thumb between the man’s brows and yells “Heoor!” The man opens his eyes suddenly and gasps for more air. “How long?” Gemscale asks again.
Looking around, he sits up and grabs his knees defensively. “My name is Yorun. My daughter, Eriadne, was killed mere days ago by a great black beast; a Dragon named Dargyntad. He said he was ‘clearing the way’ for someone. My daughter happened to be a fair maiden in our village and was taken as a prize. She did not survive the night. Her body lay bare and bloodied on the cold mountainside, found by the goatherd and his boy… I seek to bring her back from the lands that Dargyntad sent her to. I seek the lands of the dead! Tales tell of this pool being a portal between worlds. I will find her or die trying!”

What do you do?

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

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Somergleam Stopoff pt. 4

Cosima, after landing, lunges towards the murderer only to find the solid wall. She rubs her hands quickly over the stones to find the entrance but to no avail. “ARGH! I hate it when they do that!!” She turns to Laucian. “Do you have anything to get us through?” She begins tapping the wall with her left index finger while looking the Elfblood before her up and down. Laucian sighs and pockets the torn cloth he holds.
“Owen is going to be pissed… Wait, what’s that?” Cosima asks, the blade catching her eye.

Laucian bends down and examines the blade dropped by the masked man without touching it. “Do you want to try and go after him, lass?”
“Well I s’pose there’s no point now… Unless you can get us through this wall.” Cosima sighs as she tries to push bits of stone, but she is getting nowhere. “Do you think we could track him with that?”

Fallo winks at the man that spoke to him, letting his lip curl up slightly to show that he is considering the offer. “Five to a copse.” He says lightly, “I could do no more than three and it better be a fine bucket indeed.” He looks out at the crowd with one eye as if not having a care in the world. Out of the corner of his other eye, he searches the man’s face for the tell-tale signs of either acceptance or a continuation to haggling.

The man gives a dirty look, but pushes off and accepts Fallo’s offer, advising he follow 8 paces behind. They walk to a small back-alley tavern, into a back room and down some steps into a cellar. From there, Fallo is shown a large cask barrel that opens to reveal a hidden room. Inside the room are several tables, a small bar, a few scratched maps and diagrams in the stone walls and 3 people sat discussing things in hushed whispers. When he is brought in, one of them stands up and walks over. One of the whispering people is the halfling girl encountered earlier.

“Gotcha! I’m Kilingbeck, I run things down ‘ere. Not the ’ead honcho, by far, but gettin’ there, eh?” He claps Fallo’s hand into a firm shake and rests his other hand on his shoulder. He looks full grown, perhaps in his thirties, but well looked after despite his surroundings. He’s dressed in simple clothes, but they’re well tailored. He doesn’t fit the muck-laden streets above. He suggests sampling a drink, although the prices are quite high for what is normally seen in Somergleam. The group then settles back into discussing things as they had.

Fallo flips a coin to the bartender. He sniffs the drink to make sure it is not poisoned…or at least not obviously poisoned. Satisfied, Fallo leans back in a chair and takes a pull of the tankard. What an interesting turn of events, he thinks to himself while listening in on the conversation of the others. After listening for a few moments, Fallo leans forward. He slams his tankard on the table and looks at each set of eyes very seriously. A second later, a smile lights up his face. “Just making sure you hadn’t fallen asleep with all of your whispers and secrets.” He said, leaning back rakishly again. “So tell me, what passes for action in this fine town of Summergleam?”

They all draw sidearms at the loud bang, the bartender grabbing a crossbow from behind the bar and pointing it at the stranger in their midst.
“‘Ere now, we were all gettin’ along, mate.” Kilingbeck flicks his blade down to indicate at the others should sheath their weapons. “Don’t be doin’ silly things like that again around ’ere, lad. Might cut your throat as soon as blink at ya!” He’s obviously containing an anger that is mirrored in the others, and whatever trust was inherent in Fallo’s entry and greeting seems to be quickly eaten up. These Somergleam thieves appear to be sensitive to perceived threats and brash shows of strength in their home.

As much as Kilingbeck tries to settle the situation, one of the others, an Orcblood by the look of him gets uncomfortable enough to stand and draw his dagger again. “We should bleed this stranger where he stands, making threatening gestures like that!” Fallo’s grin grows wider at the Orcblood’s threat. Tense situations made for the most fun, he thought. People tend to give away a great deal more than they would, were they passive.

Before Kilingbeck can restore calm, the situation is interrupted by a trap door opening in the roof at the back, at the far end from the door Fallo entered. A rope ladder drops down and down climbs a masked man in black robes. Once he gets to the bottom, the ladder is pulled up by unseen people, and the trap door closed again.

“Excuse me, sonny-jim.” Kilingbeck glowers at Fallo, then turns with a smile to the cloaked figure and embraces him in a hug. “Good hunt, mate?”
The masked figure removes his mask to reveal a young face, suddenly haunted somehow. He looks shaken and pale. “I… I did it, ’Beck. I stopped the Jungfruds…” He then collapses into Kilingbeck’s arms and falls unconscious. They group clears the table, spilling Fallo’s drink on the floor, and lay him down on it.

Kilingbeck looks to Fallo, seemingly about to give him bad news along the lines of ‘Perhaps you’d better leave’, but before he can speak the Orcblood yells out: “You think he did it, ’Beck? Wait… he has a scroll on him!” They unravel the scroll and the room falls hush as they all read it together.

“Now, now, my friends,” Fallo says, his eyes scanning and memorising as much as he can of what the thieves are looking at on the table. “perhaps we got off on the wrong foot.” He shifts a hand to press on his heart, mimicking sincerity. “I’m sorry for tickling your nerves and your trigger fingers.” Before a reaction is acted upon, Fallo rapidly changes the subject. “Ooh, what’s that then?” He nods towards the scroll. “If it’s something dangerous, I’m sure you would not want to risk one of your own on this now, would you? I would be happy to take this task on for you and also contribute a healthy kick back if it proves profitable.”

Laucian’s casual examination of the blade reveals certain things that he holds to be true. The blade appears mundane and doesn’t give off a magical aura that can be felt. However, it does have an ornate, ritualistic look to it that matches, albeit loosely, the craft of the Jungfrud Hobgoblins, a group of assassins known for their high-profile hits. The masked man, however, did not appear to be a Hobgoblin. It looks to have an ornate handle and an unusual single edge for such a small blade. It looks made more for cutting or hacking than for stabbing. The blood looks rich and fresh, certainly that of a mammal. Given the chase, likely this was used to kill a person in the last few minutes.

Growing steadily impatient, her pushes becoming full-body shoves against the solid wall, Cosima flaps her arms in frustration briefly before giving a short growl. “Well? So is it a dagger, or what? Can we use it?” Cosima stands with her hands on her hips looking at Laucian, now wondering what and who her fellow pursuer is. “That’s blood, right?” She begins to catch her breath again. “What did they…? Who would they…? I have so many questions! Do you have any answers or.. maybe I’ll just wait for Owen… I don’t even know you.. you could have been with .. why did you take chase? Is it you they stabbed?”

Laucian raises a single eyebrow and turns his head only enough to catch a glimpse of the Gnome woman getting agitated. Despite her natural beauty, her temper was something he saw too much of in himself. “One question at a time, lass. It seems to loosely be of the Jungfrud Hobgoblins. It seems made for hacking and slashing, not stabbing. Anyway, back to what you asked: I was only looking to help. I was on my way to see someone.”
Cosima’s eyes widen as she puffs her cheeks and pursed her lips, blowing air out quickly. “They must have had a serious vendetta if they had to hack or slash..”
“Yes. I’m sorry I rambled.” The Elfblood stands, his clothes and armour creaking slightly as they straighten. “I must get going to see the local diviner.” He sighs, using the small scrap of cloth to gently pick the blade up.

Cosima quickly interposes between him and the exit to the alley. "Uhh Woah, now. I think we should be leaving that alone for Owen. He’s going to want to inspect that blade!”
“I had planned to turn this into the officer in charge. Who’s Owen?” He asks, puzzled.
“Ah, well, he is… he’s ahh.. well, he is an officer! He escorted my friends and me to this town, and we were speaking when he took chase of this… well… murderer! I’m surprised he hasn’t made it to us yet…” Cosima looks back to the entrance of the alley wondering what on earth is keeping Owen!

Almost as though Providence was gifted with a sense of timing, Owen appears at the end of the alley. He staggers back a step, taken aback at the sight of Cosima. He draws his sidearm and holds out his other hand as he steps slowly forward. “Easy! There’s no way out of here, villain… put down the blade, and the lady and I shall take it easy on you. You’re trapped!”

It appears Owen has mistaken Laucian for the killer. The dark attire and brandishing of a bloody blade do seem suspicious to a casual observation.

Kilingbeck looks to the others in the secret taproom, then back to Fallo, then puts his arm around his shoulders and walks the stranger to the door.
“Alright, mate. Got your sen a deal.” He walks Fallo through the basics; there is a rival gang called the Jungfruds that have started building their foothold in the region, mostly coming in from the northern villages. They’re savage and bloodthirsty, while the Cursed Children, the group he’s currently in the company of, prefer simple schemes and the steady build of wealth. Stability and luxury are more their style, rather than dangerous destabilisation.

The young man that fainted managed to find where they’re holed up, and from the looks of him had a fateful run-in. He looks stable, and unhurt for the most part, but something spooked him. The scroll is frantic scribbling and a rough map of where they are. If someone that can’t be traced back to the Cursed Children were to do something about them, they’d be handsomely rewarded.

“Now, that is an interesting proposition indeed…” Fallo said, nearly licking his lips. “Any idea what might have spooked the poor lad? Some trick up the sleeve of your friends ’cross town, then? Well, either way, I will be happy to look into to this business for you.” He looks at the map the young thief had scrawled. He didn’t know Summergleam nearly as well as he would have liked. Perhaps in tracking down these thugs, he would get the opportunity to do some sightseeing along the way.
Fallo rolls up the map. “I’ll be seeing you around.” Fallo checks to make sure all of his possessions remained where he’d put them while he saunters toward the exit. “And have no fear. I will return.”

He makes it back to the streets of Summergleam. He brings the picture of the map to his mind. At the same time, he looks over the crowd passively. It would not surprise him if these “Jungfruds” had watchers in the general area. It always paid to be cautious. Not noticing anything amiss, he starts wandering down the wider main streets of the town to get to where the map suggested when he sees an oddity; a town officer, a member of the guard with his blade drawn and shouting down another alley. Getting closer, Fallo sees a Gnome woman and what seems to be another Elfblood wielding a bloodied blade. Perhaps there is a reward for the capture of these two? And maybe the guard might be persuaded to share what information they have on the Jungfruds should Fallo be seen to help them…

What do you do?

Cosima +15XP (85 Total XP)
Laucian +15XP (45 Total XP)
Fallo +15XP (15 Total XP)

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