“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.
The rest of the party then made their way to the Blind Beholder for a few drinks and some information, maybe even a job.
As they walked into the tavern an overwhelming array of odors hit them in the face. The smells of a variety of exotic smokes, stale ale that was spilled the night before and body odor from those who worked hard all day long and came here to drink away the stiffness in their muscles.
As the group asked patron to patron for Talon Stonecipher the merchant, they made their way to a lonely table in the back corner of the the tavern. Sitting there was a gruff looking man, with a pint of ale in front of him. He looks up and with a voice as gruff as his countenance, asks, "Is there something I might help you people with, today?"
Posted on 2010-09-16 at 23:38:54.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
As soon as Isilifeline entered the tavern the wave of odors assaulted her senses. She almost turned to walk out. Old spilled ale gone soaked into the wooden floor and turned dour, fought for dominance with mingled smoke of fire burnt food and tobacco of many different qualities and scents floated like a cloud in the room. The strong aromas of foods that mingles with those scents as well made the total effect unpleasant in the extreme for the elf. Steeling herself a she starting moving forward further into the tavern itself.
In the back of the room and man gruffly asked them if there was anything they wanted. "Yes, there is. We are looking for a merchant who needs guards. She gives the man the name that Guard had given the. Do you happen to know him or where we can find him? His son mentioned that he could usually be found here."
"Yes, M'lady, I know him. I know him well. Won't you all have a seat? I'll buy the first round. Been watching you and your friends there, asking questions, gettin' directions. Well, you follow directions well. You found your man!" he said finally with a smile and his gruff features seemed to melt away.
"So, you say my boy Tom sent ya? That boy has a good heart but not too much of a good head on his shoulders, though. He working for that witch of a woman, right? He also doesn't realize how bad business has been for me, of late." He pauses a moment to let that last sentence sink in.
"Though I'd love to hire some wagon guards, I really can't afford it. I can pay you and your friends each two silver a day, which would be an insult to any respectable guard in this city. It's a five days travel to Leafhaven, soooo......", he pondered how much that would be,"Is this all of you? Well roughly I'd have to pay out almost one gold piece a day. This was most likely going to be my last ride, given the gnoll raids on a few traders in the past month. If I were raided, chances are I won't be coming back, but a man's got to make a living, don't you agree?"
Patrick look across the group and then back to Talon before going on.
"This is the group plus 1 more. There is no need to worry about him right now as he as probably gone to clear his head before the trip. I do not pretend to be in charge of our group but I believe I can speak for all of us when I say the pay matters little to us on this trip. If need, I will pay the others 1g a day for the trip if you pay us in information along the way. Also, we'd like to be promised a chance to 'interact' with any gnolls we come across. We have made a promise to our currently absent comrade that we'd help with an issue he currently is having with them in a way. I'm sure you'd like to dwindle their numbers down so that you can continue your trade routes with the other cities."
Patrick pauses to look at the rest of the group again and also makes a quick scan of the bar to see if any of the patrons were paying a little too much attention to their conversation.
Patrick continues in a hushed voice, "We'd also like some information, rumors even, on some other matters that I do not think would be safe to talk about just yet. Promise us you'll answer our questions once on the trip, even if it's as simple as an answer of you don't know, then I think we only need to work out the details of where are your carts, who will be riding where and if we need to pick up mounts or extra supplies before we leave. Also, we'd like to know as much about the goods being transported as we can. It will make for protecting us and you along with the goods a lot easier than not knowing."
With that, Patrick settles into the chair closest to Talon but facing most of the bar and waves for the barmaid to bring 2 house tankards. Both would be for Talon as there was no need for him to drink with his ioun stone flying closely around the crown of his head. He figured after this, it'd be only polite to offer their new temp boss some drinks. Hopefully maybe they'd get a story or two out of him before the day was through.
Posted on 2010-09-20 at 02:16:05.
Edited on 2010-09-20 at 02:29:17 by strike
"Id glad to give you information, tell stories of past runs, and pass on rumors about certain....People..., but there are things you just don't talk of in a tavern, and one of them things is politics."
Looking around to see if anyone is listening that shouldnt be, he continues, "I could talk your ear off if you let me." he said with a wide grin.
"Now unless you plan on walking the full way, yes, you will all need mounts for I need the majority of the space in my small wagon.....And promise you interaction? My friends, if we run into any gnolls, they will insist upon 'interaction' with us! You'd be mighty hard pressed to avoid interaction with these beasts.....My cargo? Mostly gems used as spell components, a few mixtures, healing potions, and more mundane spell components such and glass rods and furry pelts, guano, sulfur and the like. That won't make anything really difficult will it? You know the band of gnolls that live 'round here locally, have a new master, and from what i hear, he's interested in magic. Don't get the wrong idea, i wouldn't sell him anything, not that he would buy it when he can have his goons steal it. I can't recall his name, but the name seems important enough to the gnolls which he leads to the point that they worship him."
He let that sink in and then finished,"There are questions that I will answer on the road and not in an environment as this. I promise you that. All I ask in return for helping you get there safely is that you help me and my cargo get to Leafhaven safely. Have we got a deal?" he asked finally with a smile. "Let drink on it", he said raising his tankard, "To a safe haul all the way to Leafhaven!"
Posted on 2010-09-21 at 04:11:20.
Edited on 2010-09-21 at 04:13:35 by Tiamat5774
Upon entering the tavern, Garrik hung back a little from the members of the group asking questions to the patrons.
Content to let the others do the question asking and deal making he just listened in on the conversations.
After a few minutes the group came across a gruff looking man, with a pint of ale in front of them.
"Is there something I might help you people with, today?", he says. 'Hopefully this is the man we are looking for' Garrik thought. We had already talked to almost all of the customers in the tavern and if this wasn't him we might have missed him already. Isilifeline answered "Yes, there is. We are looking for a merchant who needs guards. She gives the man the name that Guard had given the. Do you happen to know him or where we can find him? His son mentioned that he could usually be found here."
Luckily for us he answered "Yes, M'lady, I know him. I know him well. Won't you all have a seat? I'll buy the first round. Been watching you and your friends there, asking questions, gettin' directions. Well, you follow directions well. You found your man!" At the now smiling, friendly merchant's suggestion Garrik had a seat and took him up on the offer of the free ale by signaling the waitress for one mug.
Talon wasted no time getting the conversation going. "So, you say my boy Tom sent ya? That boy has a good heart but not too much of a good head on his shoulders, though."
Garrik agreed with the Merchant's assessment of his son. If he was brighter he would have steered clear of working for such a cold, seemingly heartless person.
"He working for that witch of a woman, right? He also doesn't realize how bad business has been for me, of late."
Garrik was hoping it was the gnolls interrupting his trade, not that that was a good thing, and it wasn't something more serious that Talon didn't want to share with them. After a pause the merchant continued.
"Though I'd love to hire some wagon guards, I really can't afford it. I can pay you and your friends each two silver a day, which would be an insult to any respectable guard in this city. It's a five days travel to Leafhaven, soooo......" Talon paused shortly to take in the group and then continued, "Is this all of you? Well roughly I'd have to pay out almost one gold piece a day. This was most likely going to be my last ride, given the gnoll raids on a few traders in the past month. If I were raided, chances are I won't be coming back, but a man's got to make a living, don't you agree?" Certainty, Garrik thought as he nodded his head in agreement at Talon's question. Luckily for the merchant this group was looking for someone who knew the way to Leafhaven , and not looking to make some gold working as caravan guards.
Patrick reinforced this idea with his talk with Talon. The good natured Cleric even offered to pay the party for Talon if thats what it took to get them to go along. Garrik was puzzeled by this. Why would you have to pay your friends and allies to help your friends and allies? And asking for interaction with the gnolls almost sounded like Patrick thought that poor Talon had any kinda control over the savage creatures. Was he being paranoid or just hoping the merchant wouldn't want us all to flee at the first sign of a gnoll? Lost in that thought Garrik just half listened to the chat while thinking on these things. Patrick and Talon wrapped up their conversation.
Talon then said, "There are questions that I will answer on the road and not in an environment as this. I promise you that. All I ask in return for helping you get there safely is that you help me and my cargo get to Leafhaven safely. Have we got a deal?".
"Sounds good to me" Garrik answers. Talon then raised his mug in a toast and said, "Let drink on it. "To a safe haul all the way to Leafhaven!"
"To a safe haul", Garrik answered back while lifting his own mug. A quick chug and the drink was finished. "Let's get our supplies and get this trip going" he says to the rest of the group, before heading out to find himself a decent horse for the trip.
Hopefully Bruno and Behufil were busy getting ready for the trip and not in any kind of trouble. Garrik was hoping his other friends weren't in danger while the rest of the group was busy chatting and drinking.
Posted on 2010-09-21 at 11:34:45.
Brianna Not Dragon Mistress Karma: 105/32 2282 Posts
After leaving Master Talon. Isilifeline had several things she needed to take care of before they started their new job, all be it a temporary one. It had made good sense to travel with the merchant for two reason. THey could learn more about what was going on around here and Leafhaven, MErchants were usually a font of information because they needed to be to be successful. The second is that they could be of help to him. THE young guardsman had been worried enough about his father to ask them if they would act as guards for his father.
Isilifeline returned to the boarding stable she had left her horse and took her over to the blacksmith's to have her shoes checked out to make sure they were on good and tight. She even had him put in a few more nails in case they would travel over rocky grond. A shifting rock underfoot could twist a shoe off so easily. She also pick up extra nails and a hammer in case it did anyway. She bough fresh rations as well so supplement those she had already. She picke up dried Frit and meat in case they did not have time for hunting and some spices for cooking if they did. There was no excuse for unseasoned food.
Content with her purchases Isilifeline went back to the room at the inn she had taken and prepared her equipment. She ate early since she planned to be up before dawn get her horse tacked up and over to where the merchant said he owuld meet them in the morning.
Bruno scoffed at the group. He had woken them up several times when it was necessary, as he himself only needed about two hours of sleep in a day due to the effects of a ring he had acquired over their adventures. Two others in the part also had this enchantment on them, so why were they so late? His exotic fox fur armour clung to him, the head cowl was pulled back to give the Halfling better vision during the hours of dawn, but he would soon slip that on when the light was prominent enough to see clearly.
“Stonecipher? I am Bruno Clearwater of the Hunter Moon Tribe. Though I was not with my companions when business was decided, rest assured that I will do my tribe proud by giving my body, mind and soul to your well being.” As Bruno walked up to the man, his pony clomping behind him, he made the half-hung-over human stretch his neck muscles as he looked down to keep eye contact with the Halfling. Bruno did give him a stern look, “However, do not speak words that will dishonour me. As far as I am concerned, such a commodity (honour) is worth more than a dragon’s horde of precious gems and metal, and far harder to attain. So long as you respect me as an equal, so too will I treat you as mine.” With that he mounted his pony, and threw a fist to rising sun: a gesture to proceed forward to adventure.
Posted on 2010-09-24 at 19:44:09.
Edited on 2010-09-27 at 14:27:20 by Shades331
Garrik couldn't seem to get out of bed and moving at a decent time.
I think the ale was drugged. There is no reason why I should feel this tired and sleepy after only having one ale and then getting my supplies for the trip. It looks like Bruno and Ms. Moon Cat are already heading out. I better get a move on, that way Patrick can be the last one there.
Garrik doubled checked his supplies, equipment, and mounts for the trip. After making sure he had everything he headed out to the agreed upon meeting place even though the agreed upon meeting time had already slightly passed.
Upon reaching it Garrik heard in a loud, rough voice,"Glad to see you all could make it! Did someone put stickem in Y'alls bed last night? Well, lets get a move on,I'd personally like to make the foot hills of Mt. Harauk before sun set."
"Sorry about being late. I think the ale went bad we had yesterday. Okay, let's get moving then."
It is early in the morning, as the sun has barely crested over the horizon. The group of adventurers had taken care of their needs, wants, and supplies for the trip on which they were about to embark.
Talon, at the end of their meeting, had told them to meet him and his wagon at the gates by no later than sunrise. They were in danger of being late.
The team fortunately prepared and packed the night before, so all they had to do was dress and eat breakfast. In the hurry they were in, breakfast was an on foot thing, and they were on their way.
Upon reaching the city gates and the merchant's wagon, a haggard, somewhat hungover man looked from around the corner of his well stocked wagon's canopy, and with a voice that sounded like he gargled with gravel this morning, he says, "Glad to see you all could make it! Did someone put stickem in Y'alls bed last night?"
“Stonecipher? I am Bruno Clearwater of the Hunter Moon Tribe. Though I was not with my companions when business was decided, rest assured that I will do my tribe proud by giving my body, mind and soul to your well being.” As Bruno walked up to the man, his pony clomping behind him, he made the half-hung-over human stretch his neck muscles as he looked down to keep eye contact with the Halfling. Bruno did give him a stern look, “However, do not speak words that will dishonour me. As far as I am concerned, such a commodity (honour) is worth more than a dragon’s horde of precious gems and metal, and far harder to attain. So long as you respect me as an equal, so too will I treat you as mine.”
"Aye, I agree, young sir! Honor is hard to come by. If I treated you not as an equal, I would treat you like you were me own son! I am older and wiser than you by a decade at least. I would not cast any dispersions on your honor, under any circumstances, for you and your comrades are of good character, if not fashionably late." No sooner did he speak that last line did the last of the group show up.
"Sorry about being late. I think the ale went bad we had yesterday. Okay, let's get moving then."
"Bah, nothing wrong with the ale, just the imbiber, lad!" Talon said with a pained, hungover grin,"probably brewed a bit stronger here than where you all come from. Well, lets get a move on,I'd personally like to make the foot hills of Mt. Harauk before sun set."
Bruno mounted his pony, and threw a fist to rising sun: a gesture to proceed forward to adventure as Talon snapped his whip and called out to his horses,"Getalong, there!"
The wagon began to move forward on towards the western Harauk Mountain range.
Having left the bar after only a few drinks, Patrick headed off towards the stables to see about getting a horse for the journey. He knew they'd all be needing one since Talon's wagon was going to be full and there didn't seem to be any other wagons going on the trip. Patrick thought to himself, "that's probably a good thing. easier to protect less."
Patrick was not worried about time. After acquiring a Ioun stone from the temple some years back to help with his bad eating and sleeping habits when researching old texts and laws, he'd gotten used to needing very little sleep and only food and drink when he felt like it.
This made it so he could take his time finding a horse and getting everything else packed for the trip. He decided on a simple warhorse with a military saddle (he knew he was not that good on a horse.) He also loaded the saddle bags with enough feed for the journey to Leafhaven.
With that, he went back to his temple room for some light reading and his usual prayers in the morning before heading out to meet up with the group.
Patrick was up and about well before the most of the group. This was the normal, even after a bit of drinking. Patrick had gotten his horse ready and was almost to the meeting spot and he saw Talon already there with the wagon making the last of the adjustments before settling in on waiting for everyone else.
Patrick hailed "Good Morning, Pelor seems to be favoring us this fine day." "I thought I was going to be the first but I guess I have a few things still to learn before I beat an old dog like you first thing in the morning. I figure the rest of the group will be here shortly. Hopefully none of them gave you too much trouble after I slipped out to find a suitable mount for the trip."
Patrick made idle chat with Talon while waiting for the rest of the group. He made much to ask Talon but knew it would have to wait until probably a good day's travel out of the city before Talon would open up them about anything he heard or knew about their current location or inhabitants.
Patrick was glad to hear when Talon called for everyone to move out. He fall in beside the wagon as he hoped to continue the steer the conversation else where while Talon was directing the wagon.
Posted on 2010-10-05 at 05:20:52.
Edited on 2010-10-05 at 05:37:37 by strike
Garrik moves up along side the wagon so that he may easily talk to Talon.
I was hoping Patrick or Bruno would be a little more lively this morning. Ms. Moon Cat hasn't hasn't said a thing since she got here and Behufil hadn't been seen or heard from since this morning. Well I guess I'll get the conversation going then. I think we need to know more about that priestess. I have a feeling that we shouldn't trust her or let down our guard around her when we get back.
"Say, Talon, do you think its far enough from town to tell us anything about the cold, cruel elf Priestess that we'll get to deal with again once we return? I honestly get a bad feeling from her and don't trust her, which is odd because usually I give elves the benefit of the doubt. I hope we can help out your boy when we get back by talking some sense into him to find a better employer. She doesn't seem the type to care about her underlings."
Hopefully Talon knows something about the Priestess that can help us. Hopefully the others chime in soon. I'm not the best conversationalist and Talon likes to talk from what we saw at the bar.
Garrik listens to Talon start to talk while giving the others a look that seemed to say anytime now guys.
Posted on 2010-10-07 at 10:26:39.
Edited on 2010-10-07 at 10:46:07 by DragoDorn
The group had traveled silently for almost two hours before Garrik finally allowed curiosity get the better of him as he broke the quiet,"Say, Talon, do you think its far enough from town to tell us anything about the cold, cruel elf Priestess that we'll get to deal with again once we return? I honestly get a bad feeling from her and don't trust her, which is odd because usually I give elves the benefit of the doubt. I hope we can help out your boy when we get back by talking some sense into him to find a better employer. She doesn't seem the type to care about her underlings."
Talon seemed to be off in his own little world and barely heard Garrik, but he did hear the mention of the priestess. Roused from his own reverie he says,"Hmmm? Oh yes, you wanted to know yesterday afternoon if I knew anything interesting if not pertinent about her. Well sure, we're far enough by far from the spying, listening ears of Garthraike to converse on that subject."
His voice still rough and haggard sounding, he takes a labored breath and begins his story," About two and a half years ago, my son was inducted into the King's Guard, and thus beginning his illustrious career. When the King went off on his mission to the west, basically where you'll be heading in the next week, Im supposing, my son wanted to be one of the ones to go with him but Tomlin being a rookie and all the King didn't feel he was experienced enough yet and left him behind as a castle guard. Good thing too, for it is the consensus of the Kingdom that the King is dead, and word from around town is that you all are trying to investigate that, right?"
Garrik nodded his head.
"As far as the Priestess goes, she has been the King's most trusted adviser and right hand for the past 20 years since the Unification Wars. She was at first taken prisoner, when her tribe, a drow tribe at that, rebelled against the unification efforts of the kingdom, and the majority of the tribe were wiped out and scattered across the land. She was spared only because it appeared that she was only half drow and half elf, hence the white hair of the drow, but a copper toned skin. Her eyes give away her drow heritage though. It is said that she made a deal to serve him loyally for as long as she and he lived."
Talon took another breath, and allowed what was said to sink in, as he regrouped his thoughts on the subject. Things of this sort always seemed to have a way of blurring his memory to the point of losing his train of thought. He was an 85 year old man after all, though one wouldn't be able to tell right off without spending some time with him, being as spry as he was. The older man continued,"The King's mission was inspired by Jaspina's knowledge of King Borrif's sceptor know as the Hilt of Wondrous Blades.
King Borrif was King Mezneok's Father who was born in Leafhaven and became king after marrying King Takinov's daughter, Princess Slarvia. When King Takinov fell in battle with the Gothic Barbarian's of the Northwest Wood in the foot hills of the Harauk range, Boriff the son of an elven shaman chieftan, became the first elf to ever assume the Garthraik throne, unfortunately only after the Queen Slarvia died giving birth to twin boys. One of which was prince Mezneok. The other child, from what I've heard didn't survive. One was small and weak while Mezneok was one of the biggest babies born that year and it was just more than the queen could take. Now another rumor is that the other son lived and was given to the midwife who was barren and could not bear her mate a child. So is the hope for the Kingdom laid upon a rumor of a phantom king. Hoping against hope that the heir is still alive. Jaspina on the other hand, I'd bet my teeth and ears that SHE has ordered this investigation, hoping the king is found dead, so that, her being his Grand Vizier for so long, she should be next in line for the throne. You may be on a quest to learn the truth of the king's life or death, but I'm almost one hundred percent sure that it is an unspoken mandate that you try to find King Borrif's Sceptor so that she may have an uncontested coronation. So, on the whole, I don't believe that you and your group are in any danger from her, unless you try to put another King on the throne, or can find the King alive."
A look of concern washes over Talon's face as he realizes that the group that travels with him now could very well heading for the same destiny the King has faced before them, a destiny that fate somehow saved his only son from. He fell silent, maybe to give someone else a chance to speak. He takes another deep breath and slaps the reins on the backs of the horses.