The group has been a team of adventurers for hire for the last five years and become fast friends, and probably couldn't imagine questing without each other at their sides.
The party, in their travels, has gained friends in high places. While in the company of the governor ,Carlyle Jacor, overseer of one of the smaller townships of the Garthraike kingdom, one of his servants walks into the room in a quieted rush and hands him a letter sealed in gold wax.
After reading the note he excuses himself and grabs quill and parchment and begins to write hurriedly, then seals his reply. He asks the party if they would deliver the note to Priestess Jaspina in Garthraike. He promises an all expense paid two way trip and will pay them well when they return (1000 gp each). When the reply reaches Jaspina she reveals what the note says.
The note reads as follows, “Sorry to hear of your failure to find the King’s remains. We must confirm his death before we can appoint a new heir. I trust these people before you implicitly. If they will accept the task of hunting for the remains of the King, They will be paid
1000 gp each in addition to what I owe them, already.”
Jaspina looks to the group, "Well he says he trusts you and I assume you would call him friend, so, do you wish to take up the job? If so you need to travel around Mt Harauk and make your way to Leafhaven, an elven hamlet, that lies about two miles away from the Temple the king was last known to be investigating. Gather info and supplies there in the hamlet, then set off for the Temple. Here is 1000 gp for travel and supplies. Good luck to all of you."
Bruno Clearwater listened silently to the Priestess as she requested the company’s assistance. Though he himself did not much care for spell weavers in general, those divine in origin were people that he granted respect to. Indeed Bruno would be the first to acknowledge that he knew nothing of the world around him, and that these people were able to access entities that could see far beyond the scope of any mortal. These entities, at least the ones this woman channelled, leased their power for the forces of good. In contrast, spell weavers of what were called the ‘arcane artes’ were far more questionable in where they got their power from. It was unnatural to the Halfling barbarian, and so it was hard for him to accept many who played with this form of magic.
Priestess Jaspina’s words came to him, and he was focused, or at least he was trying to. At the back of his mind, thoughts tugged at him. He was not one who desired to bring his miseries to others, and so often when things were wrong he swallowed them down and acted as if nothing were wrong. However, the circumstances for this situation were extremely drastic. His own wife, who was with child, had been taken from him. She was just outside his tribe’s village, acquiring herbs as was her job in the community. However, it just so happened that a small band of slavers was in the area, and seeing the small woman was too much to resist. By the time the village had figured she was in trouble, it was too late; the group had fled with the woman and covered their tracks behind them. The only thing that the hunters could deduce was this: Gnolls were the race of the slavers.
Bruno shook his head, as he came back to reality. The priestess had finished. He caught the tail end of a reward, but that meant little to him. He could have all the gold, ale, and power in the world, and none of it would matter if he could not share it with his wife and child. Bruno was silent, this was natural for him: he often said nothing when in the presence of “civilized” societies. Often there would be cultural barriers that ruined proper communication. And with his quick temper, things often turned into a raging brawl.
However, when the party finishes its meeting with the woman and are heading for the exit, Clearwater stealthily creeps to the Priestess’ side.
“I am sorry your... holiness? I was hoping that I might talk to you in private for only a few minutes.”
(presuming she allows this)
“I am bad at talking, so I will get right to the point. My wife has recently been taken from me. Gnoll slavers are supposedly the reason she is no longer in the safety of my village. As it is, I was wondering if instead of gold, you may instead give me some sort of aid in locating her? Please!”
The Halfling feels awkward at this point, and his body language reflects this feeling. It is rare for a man of his pride to beg, but in the face of never seeing his wife again such a thing is inconsequential.
Jaspina looked down on the little man with disdain and said calmly and cooly,
"You've yet to even set off on the mission that you have been given, yet you make requests of me? You may have proven your worth in past times with the Governor, but you have proven nothing to me as of yet other than that you do not yet know your place. If money is unimportant to you, why not spread your wealth amongst the commoners of Garthraike or anywhere else your travels lead you to glean information from them. I would start with the traveling merchants of Garthraike and Leafhaven. They would at least know where to find gnolls or any other creature for that matter. Now please leave and take the money that's offered to you. On this long trip you'll need it for one thing or another, for nothing comes without a price."
One of the castle guards leads Bruno from the room and closes the door behind him as Jaspina retires in the other direction behind a red silk curtain.
Garrik listens to the priestess's short explanation and her rushed send off and stands around for a second wondering if that was really all she was going to say to the group.
Apparently it was because she walked off and left them standing there with the gold and the little information she had given.
"Is that really all she has to say to us on what sounds like such an important job?" he says to no one in particular.
Noticing the halfling following the priestess Garrik decides to follow just in case of any trouble and to find out what Bruno was up to.
From Bruno he hears “I am sorry your... holiness? I was hoping that I might talk to you in private for only a few minutes.” “I am bad at talking, so I will get right to the point. My wife has recently been taken from me. Gnoll slavers are supposedly the reason she is no longer in the safety of my village. As it is, I was wondering if instead of gold, you may instead give me some sort of aid in locating her? Please!”
Then the cold voice of the priestess cuts in "You've yet to even set off on the mission that you have been given, yet you make requests of me? You may have proven your worth in past times with the Governor, but you have proven nothing to me as of yet other than that you do not yet know your place. If money is unimportant to you, why not spread your wealth amongst the commoners of Garthraike or anywhere else your travels lead you to glean information from them. I would start with the traveling merchants of Garthraike and Leafhaven. They would at least know where to find gnolls or any other creature for that matter. Now please leave and take the money that's offered to you. On this long trip you'll need it for one thing or another, for nothing comes without a price."
Hearing the failed attempt of getting information of Bruno's wife and child, Garrik heads back to the rest of the group. "There's nothing that can be done to help poor Bruno at this point" he thinks to himself.
When the duskblade rejoins the rest of the group he asks " So should we head to Leafhaven right away, or do we gather some info, and last minute supplies here in town before we head out. Jaspina doesn't sound like she is going to be of anymore help to us at all".
After a short pause he adds "I wonder if Leafhaven has any taxes, tariffs, gate fees, or any customs and laws we need to worry about".
Posted on 2010-09-12 at 11:58:16.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
Isilifeline (Moon Cat)
Isilifeline took the money pouch without a word Her dave set and smooth but her mood was not matched by her face. and started out frowns as Bruno returns to them rather crestfallen, Isilifeline hesitated just a bit when Bruno stayed behind to make his request. What she heard made her brows furrow and her eyes harden She knew, what he had requested, At the Priestess's response come Isilifeline frowns. Certainly this Priestess could understand the Halflings request. Her reply had been curt to the point of rudeness. Bruno had just asked that when they were paid, he would like to take it in information. He had not asked something for nothing. The halfling barbarian were usually blunt and straight forward. But even he would not have ask for a favor. It was not his way. As far as she was concerned her meeting with the Priestess had not left her with any good feelings towards the woman. regardless of her divine connection.
Bruno, We will do our best to complete this task and then you can ask again of another who has some compassion and understanding. That one does not. So not let her words disturb you. We tackle this task, though whether we succeed or not we twill go hunting those gnolls together."
"We will bring you wife home to the safety of your village." Isilifeline promises as she lays a hand on Bruno's shoulder..
Isilifeline juggled the money pouch to estimate how much was in there. Her years of experience made her good at that. But she would check they had got what was promised or someone would pay. She had really taken a dislike to that woman. High position did not excuse bad manners. Of course she knew that was a perspective of her elven culture and upbringing. Oh they had their nobles and and priests and priestess, and powerful magic users, but they earned they right to their reputations just and other earned their right to the things they did. They were much more equal than in human societies. a person what judged by their accomplishments more than for their birth status.
The blood in Bruno’s veins was heated from the callous retort. But he calmed himself, for he knew that to lose his temper here was to make irreparable trouble to both him and his companions.
“She is of high status among her people...” Bruno told himself, “Like the shaman of my own tribe.” He nodded silently. With a little insight, he cooled himself down.
“I am sorry for going out of my place to ask assistance. I will take your advice and use my gold in the ways you have suggested.” He then followed the guard who was to escort him out.
Once he was with his companions, he heard from Isilifeline the words “We will bring you wife home to the safety of your village." This made the Halfling flush. Apparently his private audience was heard by the others in one way or another. The red in his face was half anger, and half embarrassment. Indeed his own tribal standards had put the Halfling on a low status. How could one be considered a man if he could not tend to and protect his family? Now, not only did his tribe know of his folly, but also his long-time companions knew of this pathetic ordeal. Mayhap they would distrust them with their lives now that they knew of his shameful lack of performance. The anger he felt was not towards his friends, and so it was not the same form of furious rage he felt like he did moments earlier. It was the ascending and receding anger which orbited his helplessness. This he had to push down, though it was far harder to swallow, for there was no logic in his mind that could allow him sufferage.
Not knowing how to act upon the act of kindness that Elven companion had done unto him, he simply stopped in his tracks. He refused to show his emotions at this point, as to do so would be to show sorrow, tears, and perhaps howls of despair. These were not the things that a man should do. To show them was to show weakness; frailty. No. Now was not the time to worry about his wife. He was lost on where or what to do. Though he did not know the specifics on how dire the situation was right now with the human politics, he knew that to summon forth the Crimson Chin and his equally reputable companions was to surely mean that things were critical to some extent; perhaps civil war due to lack of leader? In any case, the Crimson Chin was brought forth on request of aid; and aid he shall give; though his heart longed to be off and find the woman in whom he was comfortable in sharing his tender side.
Breaking out of this trance. Bruno confidently walked out of the grasp of his dear friend and turned to face her, though his stature made him look up.
“No, fair Isilifeline! You need not worry about my own plights! For now, we should focus on the quest that is set before us. We should make haste to Leafhaven as soon as we have gathered our materials! Onwards! To adventure! To glory!”
Having been the first to show respect to the priestess and leaving the room upon her finishing the mission briefing, Patrick missed all of the halfling conversation with the priestess and was slowly picking up the pieces that he missed from the other party members who had heard it.
Patrick walks over to the Halfling and says to him "If I had known of your plight before going to the priestess I would have made the inquiry for you or at least with you as being both of the church I hope she would have been more inclined to speak less hastily to me. The next time you are in need of diplomatic words to help loosen the information from someone please let me be of service. That is why I am here. There is no need for me to be here if you, or any of the others, do not rely on me when help is needed."
With that being said, Patrick walks over to the closest guard out of hear shot of that conversation and the words just passed between the group. As he heads, he tells the group, he's going to inquire about any travel arrangements needed and any issues we might have on the way there or once we get there. "Even if he doesn't have the information directly, we should at least get pointed in the right direction before we leave." And with that he begins talk with the guard.
"It would be wise for you to travel by horse. You'll get there quicker and safer. My father is a traveling merchant who lives in Garthraike. His name is Talon Stonecipher. You can find him usually in the Blind Beholder Tavern around about noon. He is going to be taking a load of wares to Leafhaven tomorrow morning. You and your friends might be able to make a few gold if he hires you on as wagon guards.
I worry about him. He drinks too much, smokes too much and his route takes him too close to the recent gnoll encampments that have been raiding traders of late."
The guard looks at Patrick with pleading and worry in his eyes, but without really asking for anything he continues, "If I know my father, he will hire you on. He as well as I know all too well the dangers facing traders and travelers alike in these times, without a strong king to rule the kingdom. He's not a fool either, actually when the bottle doesn't rule his mind, he quite sharp. He will have much information to impart to you and your companions on road about leafhaven and legends of the area." With more pleading in his eyes, but still asking for nothing, " You should make your preparations, get some horses, and go meet him, you won't be sorry you did, I promise you! At any rate have a safe journey."
"I assure you, with the information you have just given me, we'd be fools not to group up with your father on this trip. I am sure once we are grouped up, we will all be safer on the journey there."
"And do not worry, I will see that all arrive in good health as that is what my god has called for me to do. Ask your god for a watchful eye over those you care for and I will ask Pelor the same. A little extra guidance from those above does not hurt, right?"
"Now, you said he'd be at the Blind Beholder Tavern here shortly around Noon correct? Would you be so kind as to let me know your name? So that way, I may let your father know that you send him your best wishes and have sent us to him for service if he will have us."
After finishing the conversation with the guard and getting directions to the tavern, Patrick lets everyone know what's going on and the advice given by the guard. Patrick specifically mentions the gnoll raiders to the group as to make sure Bruno was aware of a possible lead on his family. It seems this Talon Stonecipher would be of great help getting there and also provide information we need of the area.
Patrick murmurs a lil prayer to Pelor as the group heads out to find the tavern and Talon.
"Now, you said he'd be at the Blind Beholder Tavern here shortly around Noon correct?" Patrick asked.
"That's right. Anytime he's in town it's like clockwork. Likes to tell stories of his travels there with his fellow merchant friends." the guard replied with a smirk.
"Would you be so kind as to let me know your name? So that way, I may let your father know that you send him your best wishes and have sent us to him for service if he will have us."
"You can tell him his son Tomlin sent you his way," Tomlin said, but at the same time thought Thank you.
Posted on 2010-09-15 at 18:04:49.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
When Bruno suddenly stopped in his tracks Isilifeline felt her hand leave his shoulder. She took several steps forward to leave th Halfling Barbarian alone. She had gleaned much of his culture in their times of adventuring togeter and knew his reticence to show any emotion. After all he was a man. and in Halfling barbarian culture men di d not show there emotions. She did not even look back but her words floated by with a usical lilt. We are your friends Bruno. Your problems affect us.
"And, Remember my promise. I keep my promises to the best of my ability." She took another step forward and simply waited for his to catch up when he was ready. She took the time while she was waiting to look around. She had been keeping track of who was around them, and perhaps who might be following them. Looking around with a not so casual glance though she what and looked like her eyes were nearly shut as if bored with this all.
When the guard with them spoke about his merchant father, Isilifeline thought it was an excellent idea to join up with the merchant.
Turning to the young guard, "One favor in return. If anyone asks you about us tell them we asked you if their were any jobs available and you recommended we try to get one with you father. Mention nothing else about us except that. We were looking for work and that was all." Her deep purple eye regarded the boy steadily her mouth set. Then suddenly she smiled broadly and said loudly. "Thanks for that piece of information. We will look your father up right away. We could all use a job right now."
"We will bring you wife home to the safety of your village. And, Remember my promise. I keep my promises to the best of my ability." Isilifeline said to Bruno. Garrik adds, "We're your friends and we would never forsake you. Isilifeline is right. We will find your wife and help you bring her home."
Garrik listened to the conversation between Patrick and the young guard without interrupting.
Well I guess that solves the problem of getting a guide to Leafhaven. Seems like a good chance to earn some cash, maybe find something out about Bruno's family, and possibly a chance for a little sword and magery against some gnolls before we even get started on our main quest. Things are going well. Garrik just hoped things would stay that way. He didn't trust the Priestess. She was different, colder than the other Elves he knew. She seemed to be holding back on them, even disliking them, and the reasons weren't clear.
Patrick must have woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning to be so callous towards Bruno. He should have realized by now that it was tough for the halfling to share anything about his private life with them. I'm sure Bruno just didn't want to worry the rest of us and was trying to find out about his family without causing his friends any trouble. Patrick did do a nice job with the guard though. Getting a guide and paid work to Leafhaven was a good deal.
Garrik walks up to Patrick when he's alone right before he heads out.
"Try to be a little patient and understanding with Bruno Patrick. I'm sure worrying about his family has left him a mess emotionally and not thinking so clearly. He'll pull his weight when needed like he always does. Good work talking to the guard though. Getting us a guide to Leafhaven and info about some gnolls really helps out alot."
Hopefully Bruno would be able to keep his spirits up till we find out about his family. I just hope when we run into the gnolls we'll find out some good news, not bad. He didn't want to share that thought with Bruno. The halfling had enough of his own worries by now.
Garrik let Isilifeline finish talking to Tomlin before asking his questions. Looking around to make sure they weren't being watched, he whispers, "Is there anything you want to share with us about the priestess? Anything she may be hiding we should know? We promise to look after your father well and maybe even work for him cheaper if you have some good information about the Priestess for us. If you don't know yourself maybe their is another you trust around here that you believe knows more?"
Tomlin looking straight ahead and talking in hushed tones said, "As I said before, my father Talon, can impart valuable information to you en-route to Leafhaven. Now, if you wanna catch him at the tavern, you might want to head out now. It's five minutes til noon. If you don't get there early enough he'll be too drunk to talk business and you won't be able to get him to stop telling stories to his friends."
The mention of gnolls stirs emotions in Clearwater’s body. Rage, excitement, anxiety; these and many others swirled in him like the components for an alchemist’s brew.
“I will let the lot of you handle the arrangements for this job. I have used my words for the day on strangers. I will be going back to our residence after gathering what little I need for this adventure. ” With that, the Halfling strode off.
After some time at the nearby stables, Bruno managed to find a mount suitable for his stature which had some training and experience in the ways of battle. The last thing he needed would be his mount running off at the first sign of danger. He had everything prepared so that he could be riding the creature at first light, for the guard had mentioned his father leaving in the early morning.
Bruno was now in his room, which he used only to sleep and hold his weapon and armour while he stayed in the city. Opening the cabinet, he took out his magical patchwork armour. The fox skin armour had been dyed a deep red from a spring flower in his tribe, and had been given to him at his coming of age ceremony. The hooded helm used a fox’s head, and when drawn up imposed a slightly intimidating demeanour over its wearer. To many, this armour was the greatest form of evidence on how barbaric Bruno’s tribe is. Having neither regard for nature or fashion; both people of natures and civilization found it appalling. But there was symbolism within this vestment that ran through Bruno’s very body. The fox was his totem: a kindred spirit that had come to him by night in his dreams. By wearing this armour, Bruno was giving his praise to the fox spirit.
The Crimson Chin gave the armour a stroke. “Soon, my old friend. Soon we shall see battle.” He delicately put his armour; his second skin, back into the cabinet. Bruno then jumped onto his bed, curled up, and went to sleep. It was going to be a long tomorrow.