24 Month of Gifts 4228 AE
After finishing breakfast at the Goblin and Duck, Durian parted ways with the group, telling them he’d meet them in Osley in a few days. Stax then excused himself, saying he forgot something in his room, and went downstairs. Once Moira reminded the party that Stax hadn’t stayed at the inn the previous night, they ran after him, but he was already gone.
They went back to the Temple of Knowledge to ask the sage about the orb they found in the citadel. He didn’t remember anything off hand, but he told them to come back in a few hours, after he’d had a chance to locate his notes on the citadel.
Kerowyn Hucrele intercepted the party in the streets, and she carried Shatterspike with her. She said the sage had told her about the Gulthias Tree, and she realized that the group wouldn’t have been able to save Sharwyn. Since no one in town knew who Sir Braford was or where he was from, there was no one to claim his belongings. She handed the sword to Ianos, thanked the group once more, and left.
After killing some time, Ianos and Zorrik went to pick up their armor. Zorrik found a note in his chestpiece, folded into a ninja star with the words “OPEN ME” and a pair of antlers drawn on the outside.
To my adventuring group (tentatively known as The Magic and Stabby Hero Gang),
I was reeeaaally looking forward to going north with you but my grandmother is very sick.
Don’t look for me.
Demon child of Kale, of the Young Shadow, Druid-slayer, and the Antler King
Since Stax was probably long gone by now, the group decided to head back to the sage to hear about the orb before leaving for Osley. They found the sage in a secluded back office, papers and books strewn about every surface in the room. He was hunched over the smaller piece of the orb, measuring something about it with a calipers, and he had a magnifying monacle on his left eye.
“I found mention of the orb in my notes,” he said, “but no other information about it. There’s absolutely no magic eminating from it, either. However, the stone itself is rather fascinating. It is not native to these lands.”
When Zorrik asked what type of stone it was, he replied: “I have no idea!”
He asked if he could keep the orb to study it further, and he’d send a message to the party as soon as he knew more. Zorrik agreed.
The group set off for Osley.
It was a hot afternoon, but there was a decent breeze. The journey was largely uneventful. An hour or so after sunset, the night was getting very dark. They reached the town of Heahill, which was about halfway to their destination. In front of them was a large wooden wall with tall wooden doors that were closed. Two guards stood outside, and one of them stopped the group.
“You and you,” he said, pointing at Ianos and Zari, “can go in. YOU can’t.” He glared at Zorrik. “No demons in Heahill.” Ianos was able to persuade the guard a bit: he demanded 100 gold as a bribe, which Ianos paid. He shouted at other guards inside to open the doors. He chuckled and said to Zorrik, “Good luck in there.”
Since the hour was late, there was little activity in the town. Many windows were dark. The path they were on led them to a town square, where they saw “The Slaughtered Stag” scrawled on a wood plank above a door. The windows were lit, and commotion could be heard inside. Ianos went in alone to gauge the room.
There were six tables in the tavern, five of which were full. Ianos walked between the tables, playing his lute as he tried to listen in on some conversations. Most of the people in the tavern – all humans and dwarves – were workers and traders. One trio in particular were exceptionally drunk. After a while, a couple of groups left.
Ianos tried to get a read on the drunk trio. He wanted to see if Zorrik would be welcome in the establishment. The most outspoken of the three, a large man in work clothes, had no kind words to say about Tieflings. Ianos stepped outside to convey this to his friends.
Zorrik disguised himself as a human, and he and Zari now joined Ianos at the bar. Zorrik and Ianos had more ale, and in his drunken state, Zorrik forgot to renew his Disguise Self spell. His true appearance as a Tiefling was revealed to the room. The outspoken racist stood up, immediately hostile. The table of dwarves in the center left some coin on the table and made a quick exit. One more table of three remained, and two of them decided to join in the fight.
It was as epic a tavern brawl as the group could have had. Drunk men swinging mugs and fists up against three adventurers wielding weapons and magic. One person made it outside to pull in two more fighters. The outspoken racist took an acid spray to the face and a firebolt to the back, and he was down for the count, barely clinging to life. Four town guards then barged in, and Zorrik and Zari were able to make a quick escape out of a back entrance. Ianos remained, taking the blame for the entire fight. He and the other remaining patrons were led out by the guards and locked up in cells in the guardhouse.
25 Month of Gifts 4228 AE
Zorrik and Zari observed the guards from a dark corner down the street. They identified one that looked like he was in charge. Once he left the guardhouse, Zorrik disguised himself as the captain and entered. He demanded to see the half-elf prisoner, and the guards brought him forward. Ianos was suspicious of this sudden interest, and realized it was actually Zorrik. He played along. Zorrik commanded the guards to go rein in the group of drunks in the other cell, and then he and Ianos made a break for it out the front door. After meeting up with Zari, they made it to the back entrance of the town.
The group was able to neutralize the guards in front of the gate: Two were sent away by a disguised Zorrik, one was overwhelmed with disembodied whispers, and the other two were knocked over when the doors rapidly flew open. The party fled into the darkness and made a camp in a grove of trees for the night.
It started to rain as they were making camp. When they awoke in the morning, it was a full blown thunderstorm. Walking down the road to Osley was no picnic, but it was manageable. Along the way, they met a couple on their way to trade in town – Vance and Githa Kicheda – but their wagon had broken an axle. The party helped them make a makeshift axle from a long, straight branch, and they all continued to Osley together.
The group asked around and eventually found the Strangled Goose tavern & inn. The barkeep was an old dwarven woman named Frances. The party enjoyed a meal and bought rooms for the night.
26 Month of Gifts 4228 AE
In the morning, Zorrik was awoken by loud knocking on his door. A young boy, out of breath, said he worked for Moira in Orhall. He handed Zorrik a note.
A convoy just passed through carrying your Tiefling friend – the kid who came back wearing the antlers. He was being held in a
prison carriage. There were eight of them. They’re from Kale, headed back through the capitol, going north from here to get to the main road.
I charged them double and spit in their drinks, but you could do more.