Why was Elandor such a lucky kender? Unlike any other of his kind he was accepted into a group of adventurers. He found one of the greatest adventures of his time, maybe the greatest adventure. He had been aboard an airship, had made friends with seafolk and now he was cruising the admirable river Siris. Every bend in his life brought him new experience. Every bend in this river brought him delight.
He just couldn’t stop pointing at all the beauty around him. Any bird that flew up had Elandor standing on the railing, and the sight of the crocodile was simply breathtaking. The kender made sure to run and fetch Orion and Scourge. This was a sight they surely didn’t want to miss.
Elandor was first at his guard at the blasting of the horn. He secretly feared that it might be a monster like the one that almost ate his nephew. He held a close watch for orange powder falling from the skies.
When he learned the true meaning of this ritual he was very much reliefed. In fact, he took it upon him to accompany the horn’s dark calling by kneeling as the Ralnarians did. Twice a day he picked a spot at the front of the deck, where the water was cleaved in two by the ship’s bow. To others it may seem comical; a kender starting this habit. To Elandor it was just a way to pay the lands back, for he was truly taken by their exotic nature. The only thing he didn’t appreciate was the heat.
Wearing no armor, he had less trouble facing it. Still, it was terrible at times during the day and he remembered that right now they were on a ship, moving fast. Traveling at a slower pace should be unbearable. Knowing all this he still kept wearing the cloak Scourge had made for him.
The goodbye to the fisherman came at a very strange time. The city they had arrived at, Elandor still didn’t know its name, looked marvelous. A kender’sheart couldn’t help but beat at full speed. As goodbyes were said he didn’t want to be rude, and stayed as long as he could bare. When the rest was ready to leave the Seachum Elandor was long off board. He had definately enjoyed the ride on the ship, but now it was time for serious business. The exploration of the new lands.
(OOC: Elandor will investigate as much as possible. Though staying with the group, kinda, he'll take every opportunity to run in and out of shops etc)
After a week’s worth of pleasantries about the Sea Chum, The tall Scourge shrouded in mystery himself now set his orange eyes upon the distant land coming before him and would have let to a gasp of awe were he able. Orion however had no such qualms with squawking in delight at the sight of the city of Kubal, which he had thusly, renamed the Glimmering City. It had been a tough journey there, and though physically everyone was well rested, and enjoyed the fine company of a group of honest fishermen, everyone had heavy thoughts plaguing the back of their minds.
Damien in particular, typically the most somber of the fellowship, his lips curling into the largest smile Scourge had ever seen, had given perhaps the first break in the dour shadow cast over the group since their fateful encounter aboard the Nausicaa some weeks before. The fishing excursions along the trip had done a wondrous job at brightening everyone’s moods, and even the rather odd pair of Scourge and Raven had enjoyed the quiet journey along the Siris.
Pulling into Ralnaria’s lands and feeling for the first time the heat which assaulted his frame, Scourge pulled down the brim of his hat and wiped his face with his bandana. Though he wore no armor, his protective and sacred robes of such dark hues absorbed the heat and made it almost unbearably hot. Thankfully he possessed magic to counter the effects with an Endure elements spell. Comfortable once more, Orion took note as they departed the attitude’s of both their companions and the fishermen, particularly in the gift’s bestowed upon Damien and Rinrin. Pearls were not only fine trinkets to be used in adorning clothing, but could also hold potent spells when ensorcelled or consumed as a spell component.
Entering Kubal, it was the sighting of strange writing’s that inspired Scourge to utilize a Comprehend languages spell, calling upon divine assistance to better fulfill the needs of his lord and master Erenall. Utilizing the time given before heading off on the next leg oftheir adventure, Scourge will accompany the others and purchase the following from general good’s and outfitters.
3 waterskins (full )
1 more weeks trail rations
local exotic fruits (enough for a meal for everyone)
As basic goods and necessities were purchased, Scourge and Orion, with Elandor perhaps in hot persuit began to search out some of the finer shops in the area, perhaps those selling potions and will attempt to purchase the following.
5 potions of endure elements
Since this is such a rich store, he want's to find some Magecrafted armor if available to wear, finding his current defences lacking somewhat at time. (Magecraft is the removing of arcane spell failure from an armor typically 500gp per 5% removed. if possible, utilizing his gems and current money he'll try and get some magecrafted mithril shirt. (10percent spell failure) (totalling 2100gp)
Of course he’ll use +14 in Diplomacy to try for the best bargain available)
(that's presuming our character sheet's are correct in currency though i presume exp is a bit off. Scourge also has craft Armorsmithing and the feat Craft magical arms and armor so he can help 'teach' magecrafting if it's a technique unknown to the people of these lands as it's not a well known ability. (think of the future sales revenue! )
Other than that he’ll reconvene with the rest of the party.
Rinrin smiled at Elandor finished his tale – it sounded so exciting to the sheltered gnome! She had opened her mouth to speak, but just then Damien had begun a battle for what turned out to be the finest catch of the voyage, a swordfish! Giggles of excitement bubbled out of Rinrin, the excitement waking the large dog next to her. Conjori blinked, and then jumped up in alarm as the large creature was drawn onboard. She turned her attention back to Elandor, but simply laughed, "I forgot what what I was about to say!" Damien's battle over, life on the Sea Chum returned to its normal routine.
Rinrin couldn't get enough of the sea; the beauty of it all astounded her, and seemingly it was drawn to her as well...Rinrin had turned out to be a better fisherman than any of the crew had expected. Her tiny hands seemed to have a knack for duplicating the delicate jerks and twitches that attracted so many fish to the bait, and he lithe frame was far sturdier than it looked, when she did get a bite. The pretty little gnome would pull in long, glimmering, or flat, brilliant fish again and again. Once, a school of strange little silver fish with long, wing-like fins had leapt from the water, and had sailed right onto the deck. Several of them lay, flopping in the sunlight, right at her feet. Thus, the fishermen had named her Little Siren, and had told her that her spirit must be tied with the sea, and that hers was so beautiful that it drew fish to her, and their deaths. She was a Siren to creatures of the sea.
When the time came for their sad departure, yet thankfully uneventful arrival, farewells were made and the party moved on, the crew watching them from the deck. They were stopped short, however by Hareef's shouts.
"Little Siren. The sea has a gift for you!"
The man cast his arm out, launching something through the air. It whirled and gleamed, before landing in the dust before the Gnome. Bending over it, for she was short enough to not kneel, she inspected it. It glittered brilliantly in the sun, and her hands covered her mouth in awe. It was a necklace. A small, white pearl, encased in spiraling silver, and linked to a thin, silver wrought necklace. When she looked back up, the man had climbed back down, and had blended with the rest of the crew.
Rinrin clutched at the small pearl, a tear escaping down the side of her face. She smiled sadly, then thrust her arm into the air, waving one last goodbye to the crew they had become friends with. Conjori nudged her side just as Damien lay a gentle hand upon her shoulder. Looking up, she opened her hand so that he could see the magnificent pearl before she reverently placed the gift around her neck, wiping the tear from her face as she did so.
Placing his sword on the ground, Damien unfurled the map. "Though I know nothing of the land we face, I do know that the sun has been cooking me alive so far, and we've only been here a few days. Waterbags is something we shall require if we are to survive in this blasted wasteland." Pointing at the docks, he tried to indicate their position as accurately as possible. "Here we are. We were told to go to Quasal, which is where I believe we should go first. Anything we have to do, we do now before leaving."
The Gnome shook her head, wondering at how far she had gone in such a short amount of time. The landscape so far had been breathtaking, unlike anything Rinrin had ever seen, and the culture was just as intriguing. Once they were told of the meaning of the horn at sunrise and sunset, the cleric took it upon herself to join Elandor in responding to the horn's call in addition to her morning meditations to her own goddess, out of respect for Lavuria and the interesting culture of the Ralnarians. Bringing her thoughts back to the present, Rinrin agreed that it would be a good idea to look around town before continuing their journey, giggling happily as she continued into the foreign town, Conjori close by her side. The only downside she could find with the place thus far was the heat, and she thanked Inenhalla every moment for the light cloth of her own garments. Still, she figured, with a smile anything could be enjoyable.
((Rinrin will join the others, perusing the shops out of pure interest at being in such a foreign place. Of things she'll actually buy, simply one more full waterskin and one week's worth of rations (she'll use her 'create water' or 'create food and water' spells to refill her skins, and possibly other party members, as needed, as well as provide any extra food if supplies run low, or simply to conserve them) With regards to armour, her chain shirt will simply remain in her backpack for the time being. Rinrin will avoid actually riding Conjori as much as possible, so as to prevent the dog from overheating or something of the like.
Sorry for taking ages to update!! Hope this is acceptable...))
Kuball/ Capital of Ralnaria
Central Ralnaria, on the Siris River
Having agreed on their present goals, the party decided to stay together, and to pick up some apparent necessities before heading north, apparently along the Siris, to Quasal. This would also be a good opportunity to see a bit more of Ralnaria’s capitol, and to get a better taste of it’s desert culture.
They stood on what seemed to be a river walk. According to Damien’s map, and from what they could see, the river was lined with shops, tavern’s, and docks. This was apparently the merchant section of the city.
The road they stood on was paved with a white stone that glimmered brightly in the sunlight. It was evident that the builders of this city were master landscapers and architects, for the road was also the white cap of a flat, stone wall that sank into the river, like a damn, or a levee. The wooden docks were below, and wooden stairs wound to the top of the wall, (only about 7 feet) and the road. A small, 2 foot wall, capped with beds of flowers of every color ran along the river side of the wall, as far as they could see. The buildings were whitewashed and very, very cubicle. Even their roofs were flat, rather than the tilts that the members of the party were used to. Palm’s and pomegranate trees rose between them, and the alleys between buildings seemed more like thin roads, meant to be traveled, rather than follow a block.
The people that now surrounded them were very different than what they were used to. None in the party, save Teros could understand the bubbly, flamboyant language that washed over them from all angles, and the people dressed very differently from they. Predominantly, the people of Kuball wore whites, pale blues, pale greens, tans, and grays. Their clothing ranged from thin, cotton robes, to simple, knee long kilts (worn only by men).
The apparently more wealthy people wore robes exuberant in color, and designs. It also seemed the custom, that these such wealthy men bore both long hair and beards, trimmed and woven with golds and ivories.
It was obvious that not many women could be seen. Perhaps this culture had a caste system, in which women stayed home?
Strange, humped creatures, likely the vaguely heard of “camel” were led through the streets, or ridden upon, as well as slightly larger beasts that very closely resembled rams. Horses too could be seen, but only ridden on. No horses could be seen pulling wagons.
What women the party did see, seemed very wealthy, and were accompanied by men, always with shaved heads, that were obviously of lower caste. The women themselves were dressed in flowing gowns, usually the color’s of water-greens and blues.
Their hair too was worn long and woven in jewelry. It was obvious that there was some form of caste system, yet of which kind, the party could not be certain.
The guards that patrolled the streets were likely the most noble, and militaristic that any in the party had yet seen.
Despite the heat, they were armored in gleaming, bronze armor. The like of which seemed not only very protective, but also boasted artistic design. Over red, baggy leggings that were tied into leather and bronze boots, hung, to the knees chain and plate mail War Kilts. Stomach and sides were protected by black chain mail, which connected to bronze chest plates, and particularly broad and imposing shoulder pauldrons. Gleaming, bronze bracers protected forearms; and each guard was armed with a long halbred. A red sash was tied at the edge of the blade. The bronze of their armor was the color of freshly polished copper.
Apparently as to military custom; each guard was cleanly shaven of face and head, save a braided tail that hung from the center of the back of the head to mid back. Every guard walked with an identical, disciplined stride, and each had an aura of authority. It was clear Kuball put a good deal of money into it’s troops.
But who would a nation in the center of the desert wish to be protected against?
The party waded their way through the crowds, along the white paved road beside the river; careful to ignore the stares they received. Surely the people of this city must be used to seeing people from beyond the desert? After all, Ralnaria was a merchant nation.
At the moment, the party was more interested in acquiring necessities than touring Kuball, and so they were quick to find the magic shop that both Damien and Scourge wished to visit. Like most of the shops, it was more of a booth than an actual store. An apartment in a long, low building that housed several other shops, it was designed in that the front wall could be taken down and turned into a table. Unlike at it’s neighboring shops, this table was empty. An old, chocolate colored man with flowing white hair and a grizzly beard sat behind the table, peering at the party with sharp, blue eyes. Behind him, robes, staffs, wooden boxes and strange artifacts lay, in unorganized piles.
“You are not from here.”
He said in broken common, as they approached, and smiled an almost toothless smile.
The party replied they were not, and both Damien and Scourge explained their desires. The old man grinned wickedly, and nodded excitedly until they had finished.
He pointed at Damien.
“I can make the horn of the sea devil as hard as mithril. And I can sharpen It’s edges if you wish. I only ask 1000 gold pieces. A dainty fair for such enchantments.”
He peered into the giant mans hood, not in the remote bit unnerved. He was a magician. He was used to the dark type.
“Go to that shop there.”
He pointed across and a bit down the street.
“Buy a mithril shirt there. Bring it to me and I will spend the night smoothing any flaws it has, and perfecting it for use by a mage. But it will cost ye. 1500 gold. Ye can come back for it tomorra”
On that note the party would need to stay the night at least in Kuball, but perhaps a good nights rest, in a tavern was what they needed.
It was now after midday and the streets danced with heat. It was so powerful that the party felt they could almost be surrounded by portals, and out of the liquid, quivering, hords of people came and went, seemingly unaffected.
Yet the party, particularly Damien, and Vilyamar where hot. Damien infact, was drenched in sweat, and he and Vilyamar could both feel nausea creeping on them.
It was time to escape the heat. By voice of Orion, Scourge offered to by the party lunch. Following Damien’s map, they quickly found a small Inn that overlooked the river. Scourge hung back, and from a nearby cart, bought a basket full of strange fruit. Inside, they realized there would be not much relief from the heat. The place was stuffy and suffocating, and smelled of sweat and old ale. Safe an old, bald bartender, the place was empty.
Upon seeing the party, he knew to speak common, and greeted them gruffly.
“Welcome to Waterside Inn. I get you drinks, yes?”
He was already pouring a clear fluid from a barrel. He explained it was water. While he did this, the giant, robed man passed out the strange, red orbs.
The bartender nodded and chuckled as the members of the party examined the fruit they had been given..not knowing exactly how to go about eating it. Between Teros and Rinrin, who had Pomegranites in her own country, that they were taught how to tear open the fruit, revealing countless bundles of ruby red, very juicy seeds. They were very sweet and, though small, were very refreshing.
(Im sorry for such a crappy post, but hey, we are moving. It’s beyond midday…if scourge agreed to do as the old man asked, you will need to stay till tomorrow..obviously scourge will not pay until then. Damien please specify what you want done. You have little over 1000 g worth, due to the gem you have as Tharanduil’s reward. I have noted the waterskins and rations you all want…and you will get them before leaving. Decide now how long you want to stay, and also…decide exactly HOW you plan on getting to Quasal. Remember it is north, 1 days journey along the Siris. Remember also, the way that Damien and Vilyamar are dressed, heat is bothering them if they are in it too long. MAYBE IF YOU WOULD TAKE OFF YOUR CLOAKS….)
The heat was beginning to bother the monk. Despite his training in self-control, he highly doubted that his body contained nearly as much water as that which now drenched his robes. Though he had pulled the hood of his cloak down, the thing was still wool and was still holding much of the heat in. He was not reluctant to remove it once they entered the inn.
Folding it neatly, he placed it within the small pack he had recieved from the Order. It was not large, but it served its purpose. He also undid the laces at the top of his tunic. He wished for much light clothing, otherwise he would not be able to travel during the day.
"My companions, we cannot travel in this heat," Vilyamar said, the hint of the elvish blood in his voice. He was still drenched with sweat and took a long draw on his waterskin before continuing. "My opinion is that we travel during the night. Though it will be cool, it will be bearable with the clothing we own. By the by, thanks go to you, Scourge, these fruits are most wonderful."
Vilyamar watched the Scourge, for he was the only other who knew what Vilyamar suspected of the man they had come to know as Thrundier. The others perhaps did not expect to see him again, but Vilyamar, he was not so sure. And he feared another encounter with the barbarian leader of the North.
Vilyamar listened to the others and waited until discussion as to how long to stay in Kubal and such began. At an appropriate time, he would interject his opinion, "It is of my wisdom that we should stay only so long as it takes to gather our supplies and leave. Other forces are at work here that I believe none of us have a complete comprehension of. Time is of the essence."
((Vilyamar will listen politely, and will attempt to secure new clothing options. Simple desert attire would work for him, in fashionable and hideable styles.))
Here in the city of gold, Kuball provided the means to turn even exotic dream into a reality, coin provided. As Scourge walked the streets with his companions, the thought of what the monk Vilyamar had said to him crossed his mind, and with that notion, the possible; no probable second encounter with Thrundier, Scourge knew he would need new armaments. Stopping along with Damien at the item less booth, and speaking with its proprietor, Scourge’s request was made clear as a possibility, but in his mind the expenses were off.
Ruffling his feathers Orion flew to land on the empty table, it’s odd beady orange eyes staring at the saleman. “Good sir, from one craftsman to another, from one enchanter to another, 1500 gold seems a bit steep. (still using that +14 diplomacy) Provided I can purchase the mithril shirt for its average market price, the enchantment shouldn’t put the entire cost at more than 2,100. I can, in good conscience and appreciation for your overnight perseverance commit and extra 200 gold to the works, for a total of 1,200 gold, but anything more would leave my purse light of the coin needed to provision ourselves for our desert travel.” The raven and Scourge both looked at the man with diligence in their eye. “I pray we can come to a mutually acceptable term of sale.”
((Whether yes or no))
Scourge will go to the store pointed out and purchase the mithril shirt, the quality of the armor in and of itself would provide adequate protection; even with the slight risk of fumbling those spells arcane in nature. After making the purchase (again using +14 diplomacy for the best deal possible, if he has the funds to meet whatever terms he and the enchanter came to, he will indeed leave the suit with him overnight on the terms of payment in the morning. (no stranger in their right mind is going to hand over the suit and the money with the chance of the man skipping out with both)
With the Pomegranates acquired and shared amongst his companions, and a meager amount of money left to his person, (I’m estimating somewhere between the 75-180gold range) Scourge sat quietly, shifting his bandana, lowering it to eat and drink, for the first time showing inside a great ashen hued maw rows of vicious looking teeth with particularly large incisors. Orion sat as was the norm on the table’s edge, picking away at the juicy clusters within the exotic fruit, speaking between bites.
“The monk speaks wisely, for someone who is not attuned to the forces beyond tangibility. I know there are others of mystic origin amongst us, and between us all I believe we can be shielded enough to travel by day protected from the heat. Though I suggest we bring extra water in the instance that those spells somehow become unavailable. It would seem as it has been since my companion and I have met you, that time is of the essence, and thus I agree again with the half elf that we stay no longer than to rest this night. In the morning, before the sun crest’s the horizon and the heat falls upon us, we should already be gone, heading north along the river’s edge towards our destination. In the vast expanse of sand, it will do us well to have some landmark with which to find our bearings. What say you?”
((Scourge and Orion will try and push the plan they’ve said, taking into account other people’s ideas, and purchase lodging for the night where he can rest and commune/memorize spells.. Come morning he will pick up and don his armor, cast a Endure elements (cleric ) upon himself, (which Orion shares) and then start the day whatever the plans for such entail.))
Accompanied by the big fellow, Scourge, Damien toured the marketplace, looking for any supplies he might need for the trip, as well as somebody who could reinforce the swordfish horn so as not to break. It took some time, and sweat ran in columns down his fit body beneath his dark clothes, but he was finally successful. Approaching a small side-shop, more like a booth than anything, the pair approached an old man, taking them in with hard, piercing eyes.
The shopkeeper spoke in a fragmented form of common, but it was intelligible regardless.
“You are not from around here.”
How observant you are, Damien thought cynically, though he said nothing. The offer made, however, appealed to the bard greatly. The ability to harden the swordfish blade was something he had wished for since he had received the thing, and it was something he had never wished to break so as to always retain the memory of the experience and the crew.
“Right now, I just need it hardened, but I can live without the edge on it. It will be some time before I plan on using it as a weapon.” Thinking about what might happen if it was reinforced with metal, he spoke up once more before the man turned to Scourge. “I do not want it looking different, though. It must still retain its color when you are finished.”
Fishing a hand into his pocket, he retrieved a value of money to half of what the cost would be for the altering. “Half now, half when you’re done.”
Tossing the coins onto the counter, Damien retreated to the shadows to try to cool down. Though he didn’t want to, he desperately needed some new clothes for the arid climate of this strange land. However, the locating of a tavern provided something of interest to the bard. Without having to surrender his beloved clothing, Scourge stated that there should be way to shield from the heat during the day. He waited till the end to ask if that could be done to him, before the discussions continued. A plan formulated, and it seemed sound to Damien, who took a refreshing drink of water and a bite of the odd-tasting pomegranite. It tasted fine, but was not something that he thought he could eat on a regular basis. The rubbery flesh of the oblong fruit just didn’t suit his palatte.
“Leaving in the morning should be...ideal...but for the blasted sun and this infernal landscape. However, if we can make it through the day, then the night should be fine. Beg that we do not fight anything on our expidition, though, for think of the energy we shall expend in battle. Besides, we know nothing of this foreign land and what devils we may unearth beneath the burning sands.”
Leaning back, Damien pulled his cloak around himself and lowered his head, shutting his eyes. His lips had been cooled by the fresh fruit and water, which led him to realize the severity of the task they were about to undertake. He hadn’t stressed himself to any extent through the day, and the sun had almost made him vomit. The bard would have to ration his energy very carefully, or else he would pay the price and bear the aggression of the Ralnarian sun.
((OOC: All I want is the horn hardened, but not sharpened, further magicked, or turned into a sword. I will do that at a later point, and will simply take the horn with me, lashed to my pack.))
The wonders of this new country were unending. What strange culture, what beautiful buildings, what exotic heat. The kender was not to be stopped. He dove under stands, stepped with great joy under the long legs of the lumped camel creatures and sweated like a pig. He didn't care... for a while.
Soon he found out that being so busy was extremely tiring in these conditions. He found a store too and bought himself 3 waterskins that he filled and drained again gladly. After that he was cooled off a bit and could bear in all the new impressions in a more relaxed way. Still, he couldn't help but grab one of the bypassing people by the robe to ask what he got in his pouches. Pouches should be filled with interesting stuff around here. There might just be a good deal to be found!
It was not long before they found a nice comfortable inn. Elandor lay deep in one of the chairs and picked at the weird fruit that Scourge brought along. While the rest was discussing their plans for the rest of the journey Elandor decided to entertain himself. He wasn't concerned about the plans, confident as he was that the rest of the party was very much able to find their way and therefore his way too.
He took his hoopak and aimed it at the innkeeper while the man was pouring their drinks. One by one he lifted the glasses/cups the man set down on his plate and let them float to their table.
(Elandor is just having a good time in Kuball. He'll try to sneak around a bit and find some interesting information about the area after dinner. If he can't find anyone to overhear he'll just start asking people about the lands of the desert. He's looking for information on creatures, roads and handy advice).
The city was exciting, albeit different from what Rinrin and her dog had ever experienced. Walking along together from shop to shop, although staying within hailing distance of the party, the two had a wonderful time. Conjori was rarely to be seen without his nose stuck up into the air, enjoying the massive variety of new smells. Rinrin herself felt slightly out of place, not for that she was the only gnome that she had seen for miles, but that there were so few females present, and when they were it was the richest, or so it seemed. Smiling and laughing, the small female held her head high. It may be the way of the Ralnarians to have their women indoors, but Rinrin was proud of her freedom.
As they perused through the town, the party eventually settled at an Inn to escape the heat. Patting Conjori on the head, Rinrin made sure the dog had enough water. Even with his hair shaved off, she was still worried for him. They were both used to the mountains around their homeland, so the gnome wanted to make sure they would be fine throughout their stay in the desert.
Shortly after the two had settled themselves down, ignoring the still persisting heat, Scourge came with a basketful of something. The bartender was pouring them drinks of water as Scourge began passing out the red fruit. Nearly the same time as the bartender was giving out their name, Rinrin let out a gleeful laugh.
She quickly went about showing the others how to eat the delicious fruit by tearing it open and setting to on the bundles of refreshingly juicy red seeds. She was so excited that she nearly forgot to give one to Conjori, who reminded her not to gently of his presence, shoving his large muzzle underneath her arm. Laughing, the gnome tore open one and held it out to the dog.
While they were enjoying themselves, Scourge began talking to them about how to go about the next part of their trip. Rinrin, being new to the group, decided to go along with whatever the others decided upon. Besides, they were more accustomed to this adventuring business. Even still, she remained until the end, renting out a room for her and her dog only after the others had gone and settled to bed. The heat of the day lingered in the darkness that settled, and Rinrin found the experience to be quite pleasant.
((Rinrin's enjoying herself immensely, although being very careful of either her or Conjori overheating. As I said, she's basically just going to hang around in the Inn common area for a while until the others leave, then rent a room for herself. In the morning she'll wake up and follow through with her usual prayers to Inenhalla while brushing Conjori.))
Riverfront Inn/ Kuball/ Capital of Ralnaria
Central Ralnaria, on the Siris River
The strangely clad group of northerners were clustered about one of the several, grimy tables that occupied the Waterfront Inn, as was labeled by the gray beard keeper. Sprawled in their midst was a worn, leather map, bits of pomegranate, and mugs of water that the Keeper had brought them. He still had not introduced himself, and seemed a grumpy old man. As quick to boil as the stuffy air within his tavern. Or perhaps it was the air that made him this way.
Sweat ran down their faces; even that of Vilyamar, and elves had far less sweat pores than men. His hood was down, and in this land of brown skin, thick brows, and dark hair, his elven features stood out the more. He had noticed many looks, but then, the entire party received looks. To add to that, standing next to The Scourge gave him an air of normality, even in a city of desert humans. His suggestion was a fair one, yet the party seemed to favor daylight travel.
Elandor paid little heed to his companions conversation. He had faith in their ability to get where they needed to go, and he was certain they didn’t need his help. A second round of water was called for, and the old innkeeper set to refilling their mugs immediately.
Filling them from one of the large, wooden barrels that lay, propped behind the counter, he began setting them on his carrying tray, when suddenly, one of the mugs lifted into the air. The old man frowned down at it, as if it were a spot on a napkin, rather than a floating mug. Reaching one brown, meaty arm, he grabbed it by the handle, and slammed it back in place. Straightening himself and wiping his hands on his greasy stained apron, he peered around the inn, assuring himself noone had seen the mug.
The mug lifted again. Startled, the old man reached for it, but it hovered over the counter and, to his dismay, made it’s way towards his group of possible customers. It landed in front of a particularly small being, with tiny spectacles, and a topknot of graying, brown hair. The “Little Person” was staring right at him. Forcing a chuckle. The old man said
“Desert sprites. Invisible when they want to be. I use them for as servers. They do enjoy tips.”
Another mug lifted and made it’s way towards the party. The old man forced a breath and turned to work on slicing a flatbread cake. Since when was his tavern haunted? Nomatter. Depending on how his little white lie panned out, he may or may not call in the exorcist the next day.
Back at the table, Teros spoke up for the first time in a while. He had been silent most of the trip, and particularly broody. Most assumed that the death of his friend, Derak, still haunted him, and so he had been left alone. Sitting backwards in chair, facing the party, but slightly apart from them, he looked very much at home in the tavern. He wore a long, flowing white headpiece. It remained strapped to his head by a gray strip of material, wrapped around his head. He had not yet redoned his armor, but rather, wore an off white robe. His armor lay, slightly protruding from the brown satchel at his side.
“You know we don’t have to walk to Quasal.”
He said matter-of-factly.
“We can catch a ferri north. There are many transportation services on the Siris, and their fees are minimal. If you wan’t Ill secure us a ride tonight, for the morning.”
It was midafternoon, and the heat had not let up. The party was able to secure rooms for themselves at 3 coppers a piece, and spent the rest of the evening loafing, in their rooms, in the common room, or perhaps on the docks, where they could soak their feat in the cool waters of the Siris. Slowly the sun sank over the white washed towers of Kuball, and the air danced with the gold that gleamed from her lofty towers. As if the gold from the city had bled into the sky, it too began to turn a brilliant orange. Clouds crept up from the horizon, washed in lavender, but their edges blazed in fire. The temperiture began to drop, steadily, until the air outside was cool and crisp. Despite the flowerbeds that lined the river, the air still smelled faintly of fish, cooking fires, and dung. The windows of the Waterfront Inn opened, and the front door remained agape to allow the heat out. Several tables dotted it’s front; washed with the yellow light from inside. The party could sit here in comfort during the evening.
On a quest to purchase clothing more suiting to the Ralnarian climate, Vilyamar took to the streets in the cool of evening. He was surprised to see that more shops were open now than during midday. When he asked a fellow shopper about this, the man looked at him, at first surprised that a half elf stood before him. He regained his composure, for it is only polite, and furrowed his brow.
“Most people work midday. Besides. Do you enjoy shopping in the heat?”
His accent was heavy, but he spoke common well. Finding what appeared to be a clothier, by the robe shaped sign outfront, The half elf entered. The inside was musty and hot, and smelled of camel (their sour stench very familiar to donkey) , or wool, and of tobacco smoke. Robes, pants, tunics, and many strips patches of cloth lay, stacked on a series of tables. A couple men rummaged through the clothing. They glanced up at Vilyamar when he entered, and their gaze lingered for a moment, before they returned to their shopping. A man with a pointed, black chinbeard, and hair pulled into a bun greeted him. He was dressed in bright, yellow and red robes.
He greeted in a very heavy, broken accent.
“You speka Ralnarian?
Vilyamar shook his head.
“Ah ok ok. What dis ite you look for?”
Vilyamar explained it to him, and the man lead him to an array of choices. By the time the half-elf left, he was 5 copper poorer, but had, what he deemed would be far more comfortable clothing, for desert travel.
Though he was not wearing them, he had purchased brown cotton pants. They were very baggy, and thin to allow breathing. At the waist they were to be belted by a brown sash, and at the ankles, they tightened enough as not to be stepped on. (Think Aladdin…WOOT..It’s the desert style of pants). The shirt he had bought was a pale, almost tan one of thin cotton. It was collared, and long sleeved. The sleeves were very baggy, but tied close at the wrist, allowing a frill. The chest was laced together, and the lace could be very loosened. He also had a turban. A simple, pale brown cotton length of cloth. He would have Teros show him how to done it.
The night passed and the party was awake and ready to depart by the time the sun had broken the horizon. The morning was cool, but they knew better than to hope the day would be the same. Once the broke the horizon, it would be as if fire spread across the land. Scourge concluded his deal with the old enchanter, who had met him half way…much to Scourges distress.
Teros led the group to the docks, where they were to board a small canoe. It would take them north; and the next evening they would be in a tavern in Quasal. Yet, when the party had reached the docks, there was a large, cargo ship docked. Men were busy carrying crates to and from her deck. Some were Ralnarian, but others, by their less style of dress and hair, were Lethanian (The Peninsula where you boarded Sea Chum). That was not an uncommon site at Ralnarian docks. But what had the party shocked, save Rinrin, who had never met her, was that, standing off to the side, looking very lost, was Marie Tanner…The pretty young ranger girl who had joined them in Thollin.
She had disappeared in the crash, and, infact, had been very wounded by the dreaded barbarian Thrundier. Her body had never been found, yet she was honored at the funeral with the rest.
Yet here she was, alive and well, or so she seemed. She was dressed in her tight, pale green breeches, and her loose worn, forest green tunic. It was tied around her waist, revealing her slim, pale belly, rather than tucked in. Slung over her shoulder was her pack. She did not see the party, but rather, was staring in awe at the city she had just landed in.
(Marie, you said you were ready to play again..I take your word for it. Once a week posts. I must talk to you to catch you up completely. The rest of you, have at it….All you need to do is greet her, ask any questions you have, and what not…you’ll still catch your ferry ride north..and Marie as well, if she joins you.)
Despite Damien’s dislike for Teros, the bard had never heard him say anything more sound than the fact that they could take a boat up the river, rather than walk through the blistering heat of the desert. His delight was clear at this knowledge, though he said nothing, save a quick ‘excuse me’ as he arose from the table, gathered his things, and set out. He had one errand to run before they left for the day.
Making his way through the marketplace, Damien returned to the stange man he and the Scourge had dealt with the day prior. He had something that belonged to the tortured performer, and he desired to have it back.
Approaching the stall, he gave the merchant a steely look before leaning his hands on the countertop.
“Have you completed the job?” He asked, his voice low and carrying dark tones.
“I have, but you could greet me at least, for doing the job I have done.” The merchant said to the bard, who stared at him, unmoving. Pausing for a moment, the merchant quickly produced the horn, still with its ocean-blue color. “Just as you asked.”
Protective of the trophy, Damien snatched it away, leaving the second half of the money on the counter in the same fluid movement. With a quick nod, he held the horn tightly, noticing with admiration the strength of it. Now, it resembled a long steel spike, though with a blue color to it. Indeed, just as he had wanted it to be.
Quickly pulling the sword beneath his cloak, Damien moved gracefully through the crowd, heading for the tavern where he intended to rest his day away, out of the sun. It was getting to him very badly, and he had no desire to be out and about. Now, with the suggestion of Teros, he wouldn’t have to give up his preferred clothes, though it was still unbelievably hot to be wearing all black. He was stubborn, though, and had no desire to conform to the ways of the Ralnarians.
Awakening naked, atop his sheets to fight off the heat, Damein felt little motivation to move. The swordfish horn lay beside him, gleaming in the morning sun just as it had when he first retrieved it from the sea. Forver, the trophy would be his, and his alone. And now that it was as hard as steel, he would be able to enact his further plans, though he needed more coin...
Going through his morning ritual, he moved with the others to the docks, where Teros explained that they would arrive in Quasal the next evening. What they found there, though, was something that nobody had expected.
Damien could have sworn that Marie had been killed in the airship crash, for no sign of her had been found. True, that could have also meant that she escaped, but he found the probability far too unlikely. But here she was, standing before them, and seemingly very confused about where she was.
“Marie...?” Damien whispered as he stepped closer, simply unable to believe the perseverance of the woman, especially after Thrundier had killed two of their number - one being the very mighty warrior Derak Rigwall.
Realizing that Rinrin had never met Marie, Damien filled her in about how she had been traveling with them before, but had disappeared after Thrundier and the raiders had downed their airship. Now, she had reappeared before them, though how she had reached Ralnaria, Damien had no idea. Perhaps she had caught passage? Maybe she had washed up and been taken in by the locals? Whatever the case, he trusted she would explain in time.
After an amusing night of new desert experiences, floating glasses, and pomegranites, Rinrin awoke wide awake and ready to catch the ferry. She went through her usual routine, trying her best to get all of the sand out of Conjori's coat as she brushed, or at least as much as was possible.
The party made their way to the docks, but no sooner had they arrived than Rinrin was left in complete confusion. The entire party seemed to stop as a whole after Damien whispered a name...Marie if she had heard correctly.
Her inquisitive look was rewarded with a quick story about the party's time with Marie, and her previously unknown fate.
"Oh..." Rinrin smiled, it was probably a happy time for the rest of the party, reuniting as it was with an old companion. The gnome was excited about meeting a new person, but still she felt a bit out of place; intrusive into the party's past, even. Patting a hand on Conjori's side, she stood waiting for the rest of the party to make their greetings, assuming they would come, before making one of her own.
((Rinrin's just gonna chill until the rest of the party does something.))
The morning was filled with the same routine Scourge and Orion had gone through for more years than either could remember. Communion had been finished, and spells for the day had been memorized, clothing and pack were secure, an Endure Elements was in place and there was but one thing left to do.
Scourge returned to the enchanter in the market, and retrieved his new armor, looking it over, tracing his fingers along the intricate mithril links. To his satisfaction, Scourge concluded the business by placing the remaining coin, and Gems necessary atop the counter, and moved to the side of the stall and removed his robe. There, ashen hued muscles flexed and gleamed in a layer of sweat as Scourge donned first the undershirt, then the mithril chain, feeling some of the cool links against the bare skin of his arms. So perfect in its creation, Scourge need not worry about chafing or wear and tear, this was the pinnacle of craftsmanship. He had paid a hefty price for the creation of his armor, but he felt stronger, more confident with it on.
Replacing the rest of his gear Scourge and Orion upon his shoulder moved to the docks, where a strangely familiar sight awaited them. There stood a familiar looking woman, more of a girl really; Marie Tanner. The woman had been lost since their crash some days prior, but here she now stood in the flesh, and none worse the wear by the look of things.
"Resourceful lass," Orion cawed into the morning sun. Scourge meanwhile stood silent, awaiting Teros to secure them passage upstream. Stoic as ever, the monstrous man, for more monster he truely was, was content with just getting things on the road, and leaving the reunion to those who cared.
Elandor was simply enjoying himself. He was having a holliday rather then an adventure to save the face of the planet he lived on. In fact, the idea of being in terrible perril had slipped to the back of his head, pressed away by all the new impulses this exotic land brought him.
He followed Orion, who lead him to Scourge, who lead him to the docks, where he notice a figure he believed was dead. Marie!
He never really got around to get to know the woman, but he had cried over losing her. He ran towards her as if he was going to jump her, but slowed down and stood next to her leg, gleaming up to her face. His grin was wide as exclaimed:
"Marie! Where've you been? I thought you were dead? Is this one of the unknown powers of this sun-drenched land? Did you rise because of the everlasting happy warmth that embraces all around here? Or maybe you are still dead and we are slowly slipping into Dravenor? Well, glad you're back with us! We can use a hand. We were just about to leave so if you hurry up you can look around, you really should you know, there's so much to see and do, and there's so much fun to have. They have these weird creatures with long legs like horses, but they're not horses because they have a long neck and rough fur and horses don't have those but you know that. Hey, Scourge and Orion are here too, they must be glad you survived. We though you were dead, but I already said that... didn't I?"
Elandor stood looking up at her, like she was now going to answer all the questions and comments he had just made the past few seconds.
Marie stood on the docks in wonder, taking in all the wonderful scenes before her. Or at least trying to. The men on the docks, their muscles straining as they shifted crates and such; the crows before her with all its colorful parts: the woman rushing by with a basket of bread, the pudgy man walking along slowly and in deep thought. She glanced up at the sky, closing her eyes to let the sun warm her skin. She wished it would warm her soul as well.
Ever sense she had woken up on that beach, the waves lapping at her legs and the hard sand packed beneath her, her soul had ached. For what she could not remember, she didn’t remember a lot of things, but the gods knew she tried to! She had lain there on the beach for hours, coughing up sea water and sand only to find that she was barely strong enough to do even that. It had been midday when she awoke, but it was well past then when she could bring herself to get to her hands and knees, crawling to the foliage beyond the slim beach.
She had leaned her aching back against a tree when a image flashed across her mind: A huge man with his hand on her throat, he was angry and slamming her up against a wall. Oh how it had hurt! She was surprised she could move. I must have healed myself somehow. She thought, easing away from the tree to lay across some fallen leaves. It wouldn’t be the first time… She shivered as she remembered that night long ago:
It had been a long day, one of many. She was supposed to take the horses into a hidden cave and wait with them while the rest of the party, her friends and family, finished off a pack of bandits. She had, well for a while anyway. Marie had been ten, but knew about surviving in the wild. A blizzard had been threatening to blow in, the first she would ever see for not many came to her home. It had been a harsh winter and she knew from that and the previous winters that they needed a fire. It was an essential. So she had tied up the horses and covered them in their blankets, then went out in search of firewood. She found plenty in a little clearing and was on her way back when one of the bandits found her. She had stood there for a few moments, frozen with fear as well as the snow twirling about them. At he reached for her with his dagger she threw the wood at him, it struck him but did little good. The dagger had sliced into her side before the wood hit him, knocking him backwards into a gorge neither of them had noticed until then. She had stared at her side, appalled at how much red was already all over her white jacket. She remembered fainting, falling into a snow bank the thought. She had woken up the next morning tired, oh so tired. She remembered sitting slowly to look around her, then hearing some one call her name. She had called out, albeit thinly and her friend Methan had come crashing through the bush after her voice. He had seen her and rushed over, inspecting her side. There was nothing there, not a scratch. He had taken her back to the cave, Marie trying to figure out what had happened.
She had then snapped out of her memories, returning to the present and the sharp pain forming in her ribs. “I feel like one of those dragons chewed me up, then spit me out again.” She moaned, but then fell silent as a woman had stepped through the brush.
“Now dearie, no complaining. I saw yer ship go down and figured some one might need help.” She glanced out through the trees and saw the fishermen picking up others in their boats. “I will take care of ya lass, you can catch up with yer friends later ya can.” She had helped Marie to her cottage and done just that, feeding her to help her regain strength. When she had been well enough to leave she had remembered one of her friends mention a city, they were planning to go there, she remembered that. She couldn’t remember what friend or why they were going there, but she remembered the name of the city: Ralnaria.
So here she was, standing on the dock of that very city. She had booked passage on the next ship there and arrived without incident and good haste. She had tried to pay the kind woman for her help, but was not allowed. When offered the money the woman had shaken her head and smiled. “Just remember that help in there when you most need it.” She had said, hugging Marie close. “And never forget that you may be that help yourself!” Marie had left that day, and traveled for a while until she reached her sought after destination.
Marie sighed, and turned her attention back to the present, looking back at the ship behind her one last time. But her gaze snapped back to the crowd as she heard her name called.
“Marie…” It was so quiet, a whisper so quiet it made her question whether she even heard it or not. Just then a small figure shot out of the crowd toward her, only slowing down a few scant inches from her leg. She glanced down in surprise at the little man but then his words reached her ears and she knelt quickly, tears of relief falling to the pavement from her eyes. “I remember your face little one, are you one of my friends?” She studied said part of him closely. “My memory has failed me, I don’t seem to remember much after I left my home…” She sat back on her heels, what little joy she had gained from meeting someone who seemed to know her and she somewhat remembered draining from her. Her head fall in defeat and her hands rose to cover her face, shielding her face from sight.