Adech. A quiet quant place known as a Crossroad of a town. Often, adventurers come and go, rarely staying for very long. Many of the residents see the faces of the weary and the travel worn. The place of stay often is the little tavern that has an inn on the second story called the Weeping Alchemist, which currently is packed with refugees brought from Tully. The innkeep, Helthrieua Falthec, paces back and forth in nervous anticipation, expecting the return of a few novice adventurers, along with, the princess of the Dwarves in Vohdor, Daeilda. After a kidnapping of the famous Balbanes, it was only natural for them to run off after the captors, but still, it has been over five days and there has not been so much as a peep from this disaster. Helthrieua stops for a moment and looks out the front window of her establishment, both hopeful and disheartened. She perks up and dashes to the front glass, pressing her face against it to get a better look, and there they were! Walking up the cobble stone to the center of town is the group of adventurers.
Balbanes hums to himself as the party returns to the inn. Tired and hungry, they open the door and the innkeep runs and gives Deailda a big hug as if to never let go. She looks to her and smiles wide, then lets out a sigh of relief and says “I am so glad you are safe! You had the whole town worried.” Deailda, surprised by the affection, doesn’t quite know how to respond, but manages a sheepish smile and tells her “we’re fine. Just beat from the walk.” The Innkeep nods and leads her upstairs where Balbanes follows.
Qwent gets a glint in his eye and approaches the side of the room, where he had originally been introduced to his current party and starts to move two tables together. He then goes around the table and sets up books around the border and pulls out his dice. He then proceeds to hassle every patron to walk into the tavern to try to start up a game. There are a few takers and as they pull out their bets, Qwent is stuck by the horror of silver. He swiftly hops down from his stool, runs over to tavern counter and asks to cash in some of his gold into silver. Wide eyed, the barmaid complies and manages to pull enough out for about 20 gp worth. Gwent then gracefully swoops the coins up and darts back to his stool and matches the bets in kind. Once the betting table is full, he calls for the barmaid to bring everyone a pitcher of ale, with a wide grin on his face.
Kit looks around at the Inn and sighs deeply to himself. He looks to Belza and says, “I need to go away for a while, check in with one of the tribes I frequent contact with. They will want to know I have made it back safely. I don’t know if or when I will return, but if I do, I’ll find you all. Give the group my regards” He then gives Belza a pat on the back and heads back out into the swamps.
Faer’Theorn and Belza make their way out into town, the cobble crunching under their feet as they head straight to the temple. Belza looks to faer in a little bit of wonder and a little annoyance. More than once the thought crosses her mind that there is no need to go to the temple, but she keeps hushing it down with the thought that at least he has been there to help out. They enter the temple and Faer immediately goes to the alter and kneels down and gives a quick prayer, “May the Earth and Stone bless us upon our struggles and may the Mountains welcome our Feats of courage and generosity. I offer this tribune to the soul forger, in hopes that he grant us strength when we may falter” And he presses his forehead to the alter and leaves a silver. (Faer’Theorn loses 1 sp.) Faer picks himself up and walks over to the priest and they enter a line of conversation. Belza stands in the back, leaning against the wall closest to the door and pulls her hood closer to her face. She watches Faer do his little formalities and she almost has to stifle a laugh. Once she sees him get up however, she listens to the two of them.
“Greetings Adventurer, how may I be of service?”
“Head priest, I come asking about the small raid on the town about a week ago. I wanted to know if there were anyone hurt during their invasion.”
A little taken aback, the priest replies, “Are you talking about that Gang lead by Jager? They always tend to cause a little ruckus here and there but they never have hurt any of the residents.”
Faer gives a sigh of relief and looks at the priest. “Thank the gods. That leads me to the next question, has there been any news as of late?”
“Well, now that you mention it, the children of the town seem to be quite spooked about something in the forest. They say it is a headless rider but such superstitions are quite nonsense. Still though, there was a little boy who lives in front of the Weeping Alchemist who claims it to be real and says that it ran the town wild the night you had inquired about.” He gives a light chuckle to himself. “I wouldn’t put it past the youngsters to be pulling pranks on each other.”
“Thank you for your time. May the Mountains remain ever vigilant.” and Faer smiles and walks towards Belza and they leave the building. After a few steps, Belza gives a looks towards him and tilts her head just a little. She then asks, “Are you always this pious or are there some hidden motive somewhere, cause to be completely honest, that was almost nauseating.” Faer stops, pauses a moment, as if in thought, and replies “Information is much like currency. To answer that question, it is a bit of both. Yes, I am usually that pious, but in doing so, I am also serving myself in understanding how the events can alter a town. It show how our presence alone can have an impact on a place. That is what I am looking for, in a way, to see how strong the force of presence can be.”
Belza waits for Faer and when he is finished, she gives even more of a quizzical look to him. “You really are a bit odd, you know.” He nods “I know”
Back at the inn, there is a rancorous crowd surrounding the makeshift gambling table and a Gwent Maniacally laughing to himself as he continue to rake in the dough. It was all a simple ploy, get the patrons drunk, and create an obvious distraction while he swipes the silver from the piles. He just cannot believe his luck! Getting away with a trick like his and doing so with the frequency he has been has just astounded him. By the time it becomes nightfall, he has swindled most of the player. Slowly, each and every one of the gamblers gives a grumble of disappointment and leaves the table and exits the establishment. Gwent sighs and counts up his earnings. (Gwent gains 150 sp!)
Upstairs, Deailda and Balbanes go to their respective rooms for a moment to recollect themselves and take a moment to gather their thoughts. After a few minutes, Deailda leaves her room and walks over to the Balbanes room. She gives a light tentative knock and Balbanes opens the door. The room is on the smaller side, seeming to have to cram in whatever furniture is in there. The bed appears to take up a vast majority of the room, and the night stands on either side of it being pressed between the wall and the bed. There is a small shelf which leans in the corner of the room with barely enough space to walk between. Deailda takes a moment to look but her gaze goes right back to Balbane’s bright blue eyes. She begins to blush and in a moment of impulse, rushes herself to him and raises her head to his, pulling into a passionate kiss. Balbanes for a brief moment freezes but swiftly regains composure and pulls her closer and leads them to the bed, kicking the door to the side so it closes.
After half an hour of the two of them going upstairs, a soft gentle melody glides down the stairs, entering and dissipating in the noisy and somewhat crowded tavern. (Balbanes and Deailda gain a +1 morale bonus when in combat together but gain a -1 morale bonus when one is appearing to be in trouble)
Faer returns to the inn, which left Belza to her own devices in town. She begins to look around town and starts to ask the locals about any information about what has been going on. Most people will look away or indicate they are in a hurry, but a few will talk about the local gang and how they seem to be quiet the last couple of days. There was one old dwarf however who was more than a little vocal.
“… And it has these maaaaassive front doors you see, all ornate and whatsit, but the place, it never seems to be in the same place! There I was and it jus POOF appeared by the side of the road. I was young then mind you and had much more vigor, so of course I gone and went in. see the problem is, there was this chill that ne’er left so I went and left. See when I stepped out, I left to gods only know in the middle of a snow storm somewhere north. Took me three years jus to make it back.” As this Dwarf explains this house to Belza, while intrigued, she notices some people pass by and just laugh at the scene he is creating. As he kept talking, Belza became more and more convinced that this guy was a few marbles short of a full set. She hurriedly thanks him and goes off to the Inn while the sun begins to set.
The Weeping Alchemist is packed with Patrons, Refugees and adventurers. More seem to keep piling in as Balbanes is up on stage playing another beautiful composition on his lute. Fans swarm the stage and there are even a few that throw certain undergarments up with him. It isn’t till a few dwarven ladies jump up on stage that Deailda has a problem. She decides to show the girls that Balbanes is clearly already taken and moves to his side and plants a hiss on his lips. One of the groupies approaches Balbanes and goes to mimic the action but Deailda refuses to accept that as an answer. She goes and punches the groupie right in the face, knocking her unconscious and she collapses to the floor, blood pouring from her nose and mouth. Surprised by the sheer force, Deailda helps the poor girl back to consciousness and upon awakening, she screams and leaves the Inn. The other groupies sheepishly back themselves away and leave the two of them on stage. Balbanes hops down and sits with the rest of the group and enjoy the lively nature of the evening.
Parzival Has been walking for what has seemed like forever, after leaving Canteous it has been walking, walking, and more walking. The forests he has learned has been more dangerous then what was originally anticipated and so, taking the safer route, he has decided walking the edge of the tree line to be the best bet. The downside has been the blistering heat of the sun so with the setting sun, the walk seemed that much easier, or so he thought. It wasn’t until a few hours after the fall of the sun that he noticed something strange in the distance. He saw a group of people approaching what appeared to be a settlement a good distance off, but what the group was carrying was concerning. The torches seemed large and the way they encroached on the city, through what is assumed to be the living quarters was suspicious to say the least. But it wasn’t till one of the people from this strange group set one of the houses on fire that the feeling of dread really sunk in. After a quick contemplation of safety versus renown, Parzival hurried down to the settlement and made his way to help out.
It was Belza and Faer that heard it first. After a quick exchange of looks, they both knew something was wrong. They ran out into the night air and they saw a pillar of smoke, billowing into the sky like an obsidian tower. Belza noticed Faer’s face pale a little before he dashes back into the tavern. She makes a quick decision, Faer hasn’t flaked on us yet so he must be getting help, she decides to run ahead to get an advantage on the situation.
Gwent is drinking away at the table while Balbanes and Deailda sit together entangled with one another. The tavern door slams open and Faer looks directly at the three. “The town is in trouble. We have to go help now!” and he runs back out the door. The three look among themselves and bolt up and run after him.
Belza is the first to arrive into the carnage, immediately she sees three bandits in sight fighting two of the guards, with two others collapsed onto the ground. The guards do not look as though they are experienced, as they are struggling to keep the bandits at bay. The bandits on the other hand seem to be a rag tag group assembled, with mismatching armor and poor quality of weaponry though what they are lacking in material they appear to make up for in aptitude. The guard closest to Belza is actively engaged in combat with a bandit equipped with a light mace and leather armor, the bandit shoots belza a quick glance long enough to notice her presence only to parry a blade away. The other guard is approaching a bandit who has a crossbow strapped around him. The moment the guard takes a step, a bolt is emptied into his side. The third bandit has a torch and has just finished lighting a house on fire and is not approaching the now injured guard. Belza hesitates for a moment taking in the scene in front of her and tells the guard in front of her that she is friendly and that she will help out where she can. The rest of the party finally make it to the field and Faer runs over to one of the unconscious guards and begins to go straight to patching up the wounds. Gwent, having perched himself on Deailda’s shoulders has locked and loaded his crossbow and takes aim at the bandit with the torch but completely hits off mark and his bolt plinks into the side of the burning building. The Bandit makes it to the guard and swings his torch for a direct hit into the guards head, setting it on fire and knocking him to the ground where he doesn’t move. The bandit with the mace connects with his guard that he has been engaged with and hits in the flank. The guard gives a deep grunt and fiercely swings only to be deflected again by the mace.
Parcival enters the opposite side of the battle having his crossbow at the ready as well, and once in range, immediately takes a shot at the bandit wielding the crossbow but misses, zooming overhead. Balbanes and Deailda take a moment and observe their surroundings and notice the bandit with the mace has a brand on his arm, the brand of the wild ones, in the shape of a wolf’s head. Belza gets her dagger ready and gets ready to move but notices the newcomer on the field and notes to herself how much they resemble someone she once knew from Canteous. Balbanes pulls his instrument out and begins an inspiring tune while Deailda pulls her quarterstaff out for the ready. The Bandit with the crossbow drops hold of it, pulls out his daggers and makes a dash at Belza, closing their distance. The last remaining guard standing ends up collapsing after a strike to the chest. The Bandit stands there with a satisfied grin on his face. Gwent readies another bolt and fires, only to miss again, the bolt soaring into the night sky. Deailda gets herself into position for combat with the mace bandit and Belza takes a few steps to swing her dagger at the bandit with now the daggers, but the blow only grazes his armor. Balbanes, having played for a few seconds put the instrument back and pulls out his crossbow. Parcival takes another shot at Daggers bandit and this time connects, right in the back of the shoulder. He gives a yelp of pain but pursuits Belza, slashing for the soft torso, but missing completely and hitting the space in between them. The Mace bandit goes for a swing and collides with Deailda, knocking both the wind out of her, and Gwent to the ground, where he drops his crossbow and it skids several feet behind him. Gwent from the ground panics a little and shouts a few incomprehensible words and points at the bandit with the torch, where he collapses to the ground, out like the torch that extinguished as it hit the ground.
[Will continue later]