The halfling thought it was pretty cool riding on the cart mostly hidden and keeping his eye on things. He made it a point to not only look out, but up. He and Fandil The Wise chatted occassionally, and told jokes about the stupidity and cumbersomeness of the "big people". Both were ever ready for action, and despite their discriminatory feelings would quickly defend their adventure companions if needed.
Deathstalker stopped as the woman came rushing out for her infant. He lowered his weapon, its haft rasping lightly against his spiked metal gauntlets, until it was hanging at his side. He attempted to look as innocent as possible, it was tough, but he was used to being stared upon by strangers. A burly farmer rushed onto the porch and was staring him down when what looked to be two of his teenage sons rushed out with crossbows in hand. "What are you about?" The farmer called out in a southern drawl. "I don't have business with you or your kin, farmer.", Deathstalker replied as he looked over the situation with a keen eye.
The farmer seemed to only then notice that his two sons were holding crossbows. He reached out and knocked them both to point downward towards the porch in a scolding manner. "My apologies then. These are strange time we are in and people are pretty careful around here." He leans his pitchfork against the wall of the house and in a grumbling voice orders the two boys back into the house. He moves over to a small outdoor wicker table and chair. One of the boys comes back out of the house with a small barrel of some sort and a few cups. "If ya would like to come out of tha rain a spell, you are welcome. I just ask that ya lean yer axe on tha front of the porch until we know each other a bit better. My name is Killian Gade." He opens the front door of his home and motions for the warrior to come in out of the light rain.
Your evaluation is that the farmer himself used to be a skilled warrior at one point, but he is older now and looks to be out of practice. The boys didn't hold their crossbows right when they were holding them, but they looked competent enough to hunt if needed.
Group 1 - Gunther, Sentinal, Fandil, Oriel
After a bit of conversation by the group it seems a destination had been decided by all. Oriel moved over towards the cart and donkey, whispering lightly to it and stroking a bit of rain from its face he grabbed onto the bridle and pulled gently. The donkey didn't hesitate and the cart began to move forward easily. Holding his bow lightly in his right hand he watches closely for anything untoward as they move forward.
After scanning the area from the tree, the halfling Sentinel quickly moved down when his group was preparing to leave. "Didn't see a thing but a normal village." He said to Gunther as the group got together. Sentinel moved onto the road with the others, scanning the area as they moved east. The road was wet and fairly muddy and the halfling was not happy. Looking over towards the cart and donkey and seeing Gunther and Oriel discussing things as they moved forward he decided to join the conversation as well. Moving with amazingly fluid grace the halfling vaulted easily into the air and landed on the cart as light as a feather. He moved forward and to the side where Oriel was leading and sat with his legs dangling from the side as the three began to talk.
Fandil followed suite and the gnome hopped up onto the cart as well, although not quite a fluidly. He grumbled a bit about the mud and weather but other than that kept to himself and watched what the others were doing.
Gunther nodded in satisfaction and the group was under way. The group quickly passed the two buildings at the beginning of town. To the north was the building the group of four had entered earlier and to the south was the building where the girl churning something but had quickly passed inside. The curtains to that house continued to move as the group was obviously being watched from inside.
The next building to the south was fairly close to the first. It was a nondescript square wooden building that had heavy shutters closed over the windows. The door looks stout, but stands open. No one was visible from the outside and you hear nothing. Behind the small but sturdy building is another long, low structure that points towards the south.
A fork in the road comes up next and the group veered slightly to the southeast and took the easterly path. To the left is an obviously large inn. This large wooden inn is decorated with carvings of sheaves of wheat along the eaves of the roof. The inn was whitewashed at one time, but much of the paint has peeled. A sign picturing a cluster of wheat and a pitcher of beer or ale hangs over the door. The Golden Grain in possibly? A corral and stable, apparently empty, are off to the side.
To the south side of the road across from the Inn stands another small sturdy building. A sign with a spinning wheel and a loom hangs outside and several bales of wool are stacked on the wide porch. No people are visible either outside the Inn or outside the southern building. Pushing onward the group quickly comes to another small building to the south. This one is definitely different than most of the ones he had seen. A gem-encrusted ring is pictured on a sign outside of this establishment. The doors and windows are all open. The building is small, but looks extremely sturdy; the shutters and doors are of heavy wood, reinforced with iron bands.
Passing that a small pathway leads off the road to the north to another house with a large barn and stable in the back. This is an exceedingly run-down structure for sure. Probably the worst the group had seen yet. Faint traces of a former paint job cling to small parts of the walls, but in some places the bare wood has started to rot. A fenced walkway leads from the road to the back of the house, and horse manure is scattered liberally about.
As the easterly most portion of the road dips southeast you see a building to the south. This is a fairly well-kept establishment with an assortment of farm implements and cooking utensils on the wide porch. The door stands open, and a well-painted sign depicting a pot, a plow, a sack, and a lantern hangs over all. No one is seen on the outside of the building as you pass.
Directly in front of the group facing east before you make the turn southeast is a very small cottage. This small, square building has been freshly whitewashed. Heavy curtains hang over the windows, and the door is shut tight.
The grounds get very nice as you move east towards the lake and the trees are nice and trimmed. This is definitely a well to do yard leading up to a VERY nice house indeed. This house is set well back from the road, and is partially screened by a pair of medium-sized elms. This is by far the most imposing house in the village. The walls have been regularly whitewashed and the roof gleams with new wooden shingles. A wide porch crosses the entire front of the house, and columns of wood support the overhanging roof. The columns have been carved into leafy patterns by a skilled craftsman. There is a path leading from the house to a small wooden building in the back.
You arrive at the mayor's house and no one is outside.
Group 2 - Aelbric, Doogan, Elkin, Katai
The second group got together and spoke quietly. They would be the scouts of the party and try to find Deathstalker along the way. Shouldering their equipment they followed a bit behind Gunther and his group. Watching carefully all of the buildings as they passed.
You see the same buildings posted above up to the point of where they go east to the mayor's house, you continue to the southeast.
The road continues on for a bit and just runs through fields of wheat and barley to the south. Ahead you see a cluster of buildings before a bridge crosses a river that heads towards the lake to the north. The building to the south is in great disrepair. This house is in desperate need of repair. The front door, porch steps, and visible roof supports are missing. The barn is in even worse condition, but the strange thing is that there are many chickens in the yard suggesting that the place is indeed inhabited, even in the condition it is in.
To the north side of the road it doesn't get much prettier. Before this building, a sign crudely depicting a needle piercing the seat of a pair of pants hangs before this establishment, a small ramshackle building in need of considerable repair. A shutter hangs loosely, shingles are missing from the roof and the walls show sign of rot in many places. No one seems to be about outside of either building.
Forging eastward you cross the sturdy bridge and come to a cluster of trees, once past that more buildings are clustered together. To the north #15 is an obvious smithy, though no sign hangs above the place. The shop part of the building is unwalled, and two brawny lads operate a bellows while a giant of a man hammers thunderously upon a piece of metal that will soon become the blade of a shovel. Soot and smoke surround the area.
Directly across the smithy to the east #16 is a devastated building. The doors and windows of this large building are boarded up. A sign lies face-down in the weeds before the porch, which may be reached by climbing three broken steps. The roof has several gaping holes, and the general appearance of the place suggests that it has been long abandoned.
Just as you take a look and see the building to the south of the abandoned building #14 you hear a loud bellow and the sounds of hammering on iron has stopped suddenly. The large smithy has a contorted look of rage on his face and he is shaking his hammer at the group, "BEGONE! By the gods above I condemn you!! You will not pass!! Turn your evil blight about or face the wrath of all that is holy!!" The large smithy apparently is crazed and has rushed towards the road. He is barely restrained as the two brawny lads are holding the man back from obviously attacking the group and you stop where you are as they struggle to hold him back.
As all of the ruckus is going on you notice something odd. Your slight glance at building #14 had shown you that it was some sort of open faced carpenter shop and a house. A wooden board in the shape of a saw hangs before this well-constructed building. The front part of the structure is unwalled, and inside of this breezy area there is a carpenter hard at work. Many tools (saws, hammers, nails, pry bars, etc.) are scattered about, and some boards are mounted on sawhorses. After all of the commotion the carpenter hasn't even looked up. He just continues to hammer and saw as if nothing is going on. It is very spooky.
You are standing just past the bridge and have come to a stop. The smithy and the two boys are just ahead of you on the road just before the path to #15 and #16.
Group 3 - Kyuss, Haiden, Stings and Valerus
The last group to depart had decided to check on the obvious temple to the northeast. After the first two groups had departed they turned north and headed towards the cluster of trees. The first building you pass is obviously a large wooden inn. #6 It is decorated with carvings of sheaves of wheat along the eaves of the roof. The inn was whitewashed at one time, but much of the paint has peeled. A sign picturing a cluster of wheat and a pitcher of beer or ale hangs over the door. A corral and stable, apparently empty, are off to the side.
Traveling further north you come across no building of consequence, a small farmhouse to the right before crossing a bridge is the only thing in sight. A huge cluster of towering elms come into view to the left. A narrow trail winds among majestic elms to the west, at times disappearing into thick shrubbery. The bushes between the trees are dense, rising to a height of eight or ten feet. The elms themselves average 75‘ tall, and they are the only trees here. They are widely spaced, allowing much sunlight to pour between their ancient boughs.
To the east of the giant elms is another inn. A large, colorful sign pictures a red dragon with its head resting contentedly on its paws. A plume of smoke rises from the serpent’s nose and its eyes are closed. This inn is smaller and older than the one to the south. Several beds of flowers brighten the front, however, and the large middle-aged woman sweeping the porch looks cheerful. She greets you with a "How are you?" and a friendly wave.
You are stopped now in front of an Inn.
Group 4 - Severous
You had been in worst places before that was for sure. Having arrived a few hours ago you had just sat down to eat a hearty breakfast. The prices were very cheap and the hospitality was second to none. The party you were supposed to find and join should have been here by now and you wonder what was keeping them. You decided that if no one showed up in the next hour you would go outside in the infernal rain and start looking. Glancing down at the scroll you held you see a few names. Gunther, Stings, Elkin, Aelbric etc, etc.. You memorize the names as you ensure your pouch of gold for accepting the mission was still at your side.
The wizard that had sent you here had mentioned your employer's name, Balarok. You had never met the man but the gold was good and you finally got to leave the grumpy traveling caravan that stopped to the north of Orlane. Having made your way from the large city of Hookhill you weren't used to all this farmer talk and comfort. You could get used to this! As you pull your plate forward you hear the innkeeper greet someone with a "How are you?" outside. The windows and doors were open and it was easy to hear.
The room itself was very large, nearly 100' x 100'. A door in the east wall led to the outside porch. There were tables and chairs which were half filled with townsfolk and a door to the south led to the kitchen area. There was a spiral staircase as well in the northeast corner of the room.
You are inside the Inn of the Slumbering Serpent. You arrived about a few hours ago and have ordered a breakfast from a Ollwin Cralloon. The establishment's owner it seems. A very lively and talkative man, you had intended on speaking to him after getting together with the rest of the group. You have not gotten a room yet. You were just settling down to eat.
Posted on 2008-03-31 at 00:36:13.
Edited on 2008-03-31 at 00:38:34 by Tripwire
Gunther withdrew his map to take mental notes of the actual surroundings as depicted on the crude map as they walked along the East Road, carefully shielding the map from the light rain with his Medium Shield as he attempted to make friendly conversation with the Ranger named Oriel.
“My mother was a Ranger,” spoke the young Paladin after deciding he had peace in his heart to disclose some personal information with his companions in adventure. “Her father was a Fighter and my father and his father were both Fighters.”
Gunther walked on for a few minutes, thoughtfully remembering why he was on this quest, before continuing his story.
“We come from a noble lineage of nobility-warriors, but our names are not important and my own is hidden in case our enemies still have agents searching for any surviving heirs.”
Gunther took a deep breath, exhaling slowly before continuing.
“My mother and her father were in many battles alongside my father and his father before they fell in love and were married. When she became pregnant with me she gave up the warrior life to raise me as a warrior.”
“When I was 3 years old my father and his father died on a fateful quest. My mother’s father was spared the same fate by the healing power of a Paladin.”
Gunther swallowed hard and fought back against the wetness in his eyes.
“He spent his life training me to avenge the deaths of my forefathers against the Evil and Dark Forces of Disorder! He always told me about the valiant battles that he and his comrades who fought by his side waged against those Dark Forces.”
Gunther checked his map again as they passed some buildings and made some mental notes before continuing his tale.
“He told me secret stories about his Dwarve friend named Grunter who wielded a Battle Axe and grunted every time he swung his weapon in the heat of battle. My mother used to laugh her wonderful laugh every time I begged her father to tell me about ‘Gunther! Gunther! Gunther!’ because I was unable to pronounce the Dwarve’s name.”
The young Paladin broke into a wide grin at the remembrance of those happy times during those early years of intense training.
“They never told me about what happened to my mother’s mother or my father’s mother. They always turned their faces away from me when I asked about them. I grew up knowing something terrible had happened. No one had to tell me.”
Gunther gripped the handle of his Broad Sword as he declared, “My quest is to break the curse of death that has befallen the lineage of my forefathers. My true name is hidden from those who were responsible for the deaths of my father and his father.”
The young Paladin looked Oriel in the eye as they approached Mayor Ormond’s palatial home on the lake.
“I adopted the name Gunther to honor the memory of the warrior Dwarve named Grunter during my quest to avenge the deaths of my forefathers against the Evil and Dark Forces of Disorder! I suspect those Dark Forces are at work here in Orlane! It is an honor to have you three with me on this adventure!”
Gunther tucked his map inside his tunic as he surveyed the property belonging to Mayor Ormond. Satisfied that no one was outside, the young Paladin spoke a quick prayer to his God, held his holy symbol in his right hand and gave it a reverent kiss, then walked boldly to the door and knocked with a determined, but polite authority, then waited for an answer.
Gunther prepares to speak a polite greeting on behalf of himself and his companions to whoever answers the door. He will mention in passing that the farmer Norwell Graven advised the group to speak to Mayor Ormond regarding any farmland available for anyone interested in settling in Orlane with the hopes of raising a family. The young Paladin will graciously enter the house without hesitation if invited inside and will say as he enters, “Peace be to this house!”
Approaching the porch Gunther grips his holy symbol and prays a moment before firmly rapping upon the door. A few moments pass before a curtain opens in the window beside the door. After a few moments a burly middle aged man answers cautiously, cracking the door open just a hair.
After a moment he says, "Can I help you?"
Gunther clears his throat and starts to answer. "Greetings sir, I was sent to your humble abode by Nowell Graven. I had asked him about available farmland in the area and he sent me in your direction."
The man opens the door a bit wider but is still cautious. After looking the group over he says, "You sure don't look like farmers to me. Your group looks a bit young and heavily armed for that work aren't you?"
Posted on 2008-04-01 at 01:03:55.
Edited on 2008-04-01 at 01:10:09 by Tripwire
Severous thinks to himself as he picks up his plate and strolls to the window to eye the new arrivals.he takes pains to stay out of anybodys sight from outside. no point in advertising he's here. he will attempt to listen to any conversation the newcomers have with the woman, hoping to hear a name he is looking for. if noticed he will nod politely and withdraw.
Sentinel The Small, ever alert but quiet, keeps his eyes open as the human inside opens the door at the Mayor home. He hears the person ask "how can I help you and you look rather armed for farmers". Sentinel is trying to discern if anyone else is in the room and listens for other noises inside.He is prepared to act immediately if necessary, and if there is an all out assault on the group, he will duck under the cart for protection unless the threat is at the door itself. He does not draw his weapons, but he knows he is very quick at doing so if necessary.
Oriel listens quietly as Gunther describes his family's quest for honor and defense of the good. It certainly sounded to him like the type of tale that would make a paladin. Sad, but not surprising. Adventures frequently did not turn out the way they were supposed to.
When Gunther finished his tale, Oriel didn't have much time to respond, only being able to say quietly, "It is an honor to work with you Gunther. My goal here is the same as yours - to rid the world of an evil. But before we can do that, we must know if there truly is an evil present and what shape it takes. Shall we chat with the mayor?"
When Gunther goes up on the porch to knock (I am assuming the front door is on the porch) Oriel stays at the bottom of the steps (that I assume are there.) He is close enough to hear, but not crowding the door.
He lets Gunther do the talking unless spoken to. He is more than willing to comment that the rumors he had heard made him believe that good land was available, but also that caution would be wise. (Probably holding up his bow calmly to show it - in a non-threatening way.) Also, if Gunther or the group are quieried about farming, Oriel is ready to step in and comment a bit on the land and animals as he is likely to have the most knoweldge about such natural things in the group. He would likely comment that the land seems far more productive and healthy than the town.
Gunther stepped back two paces and graciously bowed to the burly man who had cautiously addressed the four adventurers.
“It is true sir that we are indeed young and heavily armed,” the young Paladin broadly smiled as he took a reverent step forward. “Me and my companions have journeyed from afar where the rumors abound that Orlane is mysteriously afflicted by the disappearance of its citizens. We are looking for land to one day settle and raise families. We thought such wild rumors were being spread to dissuade honest folks like ourselves from seeking to purchase farmland for our dreams of a bright future.”
Gunther ran the fingers of his right hand through his long hair before gesturing in the direction of his companions.
“My name is Gunther and these are my friends Oriel Blackmoon, Sentinel the Small and Fandil the Wise. We came to Orlane heavily armed in case all those wild rumors about innocent people disappearing were unfortunately all too real and not a wild tale spread by unscrupulous investors who seek to obtain all this rich farmland for themselves.”
Gunther smiled another kindly smile and continued his discourse as he had done with the farmer when they had first arrived in town.
“Norwell and Sarah Graven invited us in for tea and cheese and recommended we speak to Mayor Ormond about our intentions of seeking land. He even thought it quite funny that I am personally looking for land where I can build a castle and help protect my neighbors from any Evil that would try to plague the countryside where I choose to settle down and raise a family. But good Norwell laughed heartily when he told me that the ground of this rich farmland was too soft to bear the weight of the stones it would require to build such a castle of my dreams.”
Gunther rubbed the full beard covering his face and chuckled at the remembrance of Norwell Graven nearly choking on his tea in response to the young Paladin talking about building a castle.
“Norwell Graven said there was no use for a feudal Laird in these parts because the people here live their lives by their own set of rules and the only ruler in this land was Mayor Ormond.”
Gunther looked the burly man square in the eyes and smiled broadly and bowed slightly without breaking eye contact.
“But Norwell Graven did admit that people have indeed been disappearing without explanation these past few months and he welcomed any help we could give!”
Gunther loosed his Medium Shield and laid it between himself and the burly man.
“I serve the True and Living God who gives authority to whosoever He chooses. I came with my friends to personally honor the authority in this town and to ask permission of Mayor Ormond for his blessing as the God appointed authority here to investigate what Evil may have encroached itself upon the good people of Orlane.”
Gunther made a swift and unexpected motion that suddenly freed his Broad Sword from the protective sheathe as the young Paladin laid the Broad Sword across his Medium Shield. Taking a short step backward, Gunther bowed reverently with a secret confidence that his God and the sturdy bow of Oriel Blackmoon would protect the young Paladin from any unexpected hostility while Gunther feigned the appearance of being vulnerable to any sudden attack from any quarter.
“Norwell Graven spoke of a people in Orlane who live by their own rules. I wish to truly understand the rules that your community has chosen to live by. For all I have seen is a people who are ruled by Fear and hide themselves when peace loving strangers such as ourselves come seeking land to build a better future for ourselves and the dreams that motivate young men to build an inheritance for their future heirs.”
Gunther stepped forward and knelt on his right knee with his left leg bent forward to balance himself as he extended his arms forward with the palms of his hands facing up in a non-threatening manner. Then the young Paladin looked the burly man square in the face with a wide grin from ear to ear as he made a slow outward motion with his arms still extended.
“We each carry a map of the town of Orlane and have come to ask Mayor Ormond to identify the buildings and homes where innocent people have mysteriously disappeared. I would also ask for the honorable Mayor Ormond to please identify any hidden caves or structures not pictured on the map that may help us solve this mystery and put a stop to the Evil plague that has befallen the good people of Orlane. I also have another question I would ask the good Mayor Ormond to answer regarding a couple of markings on my map that have aroused my curiosity!”
Still kneeling with his arms graciously extended, Gunther smiled broadly once more as he asked, “Will you help us with our quest kind sir?”
Gunther remains kneeling as he lowers his arms in a reverent bow while keeping his alert eyes fixed upon the burly man. The young Paladin is prepared to swiftly grab his War Hammer with his left hand and his Battle Axe with his right hand at the slightest sign of hostility. Otherwise, Gunther will collect his Broad Sword and his Medium Shield in a non threatening manner in response to a friendly reaction by the burly man, especially if they are invited inside the palatial house of Mayor Ormond.
Walking at the head of the group kyuss slows to a stop at the warm greeting. Taking everything in he gives a short bow and replies "Good day M'lady. A truely beautiful day to be about ones work. Allow me to introduce my companions and myself. I am named Kyuss, the little lady is Haiden, the one attempting at not being sneaky looking is Stings and the serious young man is Valerus."
If the lady is open to some talking we will ask the following questions plus whatever the other members of the group ask. Kyuss will comfort the lady and offer his help with the disappearances to make the lady more at ease.
- How much for a nights lodging and meal
- do the serve anything special
- what seperates this inn from the other
- Have you noticed anything strange going on in town
- does she know any of the people who have gone missing
- does she know why any of the people would have up and left all their things
- why did she not react like the farmer and his family?
- whats with the strange grouping of trees beside the inn
Deathstalker's intense glare partially melts away and he rolls his eyes and smirks with a bit of relief.
"For a second there, I thought you boys were gonna shoot me!" He says from beneath his cowl.
He is almost pleasant as he approaches the porch, but he is still a bit cautious, eyeing his surroundings.
"And you, Mr. Glade," he says with a deadpan expression, "can be my bodyguard, if you ever get tired of farming. It doesn't pay well, but it's never boring!"
Deathstalker walks up to the porch and settles his oddly adorned axe against the wall, keeping his pack with him at all times. He is attempting to keep it as visible as possible to the adjacent trail, should his party members wander down that way.
"The name's D-- uhm...just call me Garrus."
Deathstalker is nice enough yet not well-mannered. He doesn't attempt to wipe his shoes before entering the house, and he doesn't extend his hands or greet his hosts. He never loses his intense edge, and occasionally seems as though he's not listening to the farmer when addressed.
Deathstalker will attempt to follow the farmer's conversation rather than lead it. He will sit if offered, will not eat, but will drink if offered liquor. He will take certain cues to attempt to steer the conversation towards items of interest. He will at all times remain alert of his surroundings.
He will press for more detail if the farmer makes mention of danger about the village, strange occurrances, disappearances, the Temple of Merikka, merchant travellers, or any mention of Orcs. He plays interested, but not too interested. He will not identify himself as an adventurer, but rather as a hired sword passing through town on the way to Hookhill.
Posted on 2008-04-02 at 03:58:58.
Edited on 2008-04-02 at 20:43:13 by The Ancient One
The walk through town had been peaceful and uneventful. The townspeople were scarce, but who could blame them with all of the trouble Orlane had experienced in the recent weeks. Heading north, Valerus took note of the tree clusters as the group neared them. Soon though, his attention was diverted as they crossed over a bridge. Valerus looked deep into the waters to see if there were any small ripples or signs of fish in the water. Perhaps after the group had settled into town and freed it from its troubles, he could test the waters with his fishing pole.
Over the bridge, the next sight nearly took Valerus' breath away. To the party's left, the druid spotted towering elm trees. He could only stare at their beauty as the group came to a halt in front of an inn. In his admiration, Valerus was oblivious to all around him and it showed when he bumped into Kyuss when the ranger stopped.
The druid barely heard the "How are you?" greeting that came from the woman on the porch and only came back to his senses within the group when Kyuss began speaking with the friendly lady.
Valerus is mesmorized by the ancient elm trees. At 75 feet, they are a marvel to the young druid. He will listen as Kyuss speaks to the woman, and may or may not ask more questions depending on what answers she gives. He will be doing all of this while turning to admire the elms from time to time.
As Garrus entered the house, he saw immediately that the inside was much improved from the outside of the house. Sturdy tables and chairs along with other items showed that the liveryman was not as poor as the outside of the abode seemed. The two thick boys had taken their rain coats off and moved to the back of the home, through a curtained door. A timid woman, the same one you saw grab the tiny boy earlier, comes in and sets some ale on the table along with a few stacks of thick honey bread.
After a bit of small talk the man seems to relax and he begins saying some interesting things. "There have been strange things going on in this town, did ya know?" He nods his head towards the east. "Our neighbors, in that small cottage. #9 are very suspicious and odd! They don't talk at all and sometimes I see them sneaking around at night." With a guffaw he says, "They are elves, and just between you and me, I don't trust em."
More small talk about the lands and fertility and his family continue for about an hour. Just as you are about to excuse yourself and move on he says something else that piques your interest. "You know what happened the other month? Our neighbors over at the general store? #12 They up and disappeared a couple months ago; gone fer nearly a fortnight, then the whole family up and came back. Didn’t even leave one of the boys to mind the store! It was the strangest thing."
The last thing you gather is that he doesn't like the people at the Golden Grain Inn and tells you that the wine and atmosphere at the Slumbering Serpent is much better.
After thanking him for the ale, you move out and heft your axe. The liveryman nods and waves as he closes the door and moves back into the house.
If there is anything else you wanted to say or ask, go ahead and post it. If not you are back outside on Killian's porch.
Group 3 - Kyuss, Haiden, Stings and Valerus
As the group stops in front of the inn and before they even begin to speak the lady smiles broadly and rushes down the porch steps, "Come in out of the rain! I insist!!" Shooing the group towards the door with a broom in a friendly manner the group heads inside out of the rain. As you enter you immediately feel the comforts of a great inn. The shutters are flung wide and sunlight, what little there is of it, streams into the room from a number of large windows. The place has a very cheerful atmosphere. There are about 7 or so customers here, enjoying a drink or five at the large table in the center of the room. There are a few other smaller tables but mostly a center large table is where everyone gathers to eat and talk. Conversations here are cheerful, and occasionally rowdy or ribald, but you noticed the lady already swatted someone in the back of the head that was outright vulgar in his talk. It seemed she brooks no vulgarity in her inn.
After allowing you to take in the place she smiles as you ask her your questions and answers them the best she can.
How much for a nights lodging and meal: "We have a lavish guest room for 4GP per night, a private Guest room for 2GP, Multiple guest rooms for parties of people for 8sp per bed (4 beds per room), and finally the common double guest rooms for 15sp per night."
Do the serve anything special. With a huge smile she calls to her husband Ollwin to bring out the wine and sits the group at the end of the large table in the center (which is fairly empty). Every single one of you that even sip the wine find that it is the best wine you have ever tasted, connoisseur or no.
What separates this inn from the other. With a scowl on her face. "Our prices can't be beat. And we treat our customers like family. There is nothing wrong with the competition I guess, just friendliness.
Have you noticed anything strange going on in town. "We don't get out much, but our customer base has been thinning with people leaving town. We hear the rumor's of course about people being taken and the like, but don't you go putting too much faith into rumors. This is after all a wilderness village and people scare pretty easy.
Does she know any of the people who have gone missing. With a nod she says, "I knew a few. I don't know if they have gone missing or just up and left. No one is for sure what is going on."
Does she know why any of the people would have up and left all their things. "Some people just get tired of the life I guess. They take the money they have and leave. But it is very strange to leave your belongings behind."
Why did she not react like the farmer and his family? "I am unsure what you mean? We keep a safe harbor for people here. We don't fear much as we are well liked around town. I guess because we feel safe."
Whats with the strange grouping of trees beside the inn. "The elms? Nothing strange about them that I know of. Good healthy trees. And there is a strange old man that lives in a hut in those trees. But he keeps to himself and don't bother nobody that I am aware of."
You are sitting in the eastern end of the long table in the middle.
You watch carefully as the group moves in. You take note of the adventurer equipment and packs the group is carrying and are fairly positive this is part of the group you were supposed to join. But where were the rest?
You are sitting at the far left small table in the inn north of the long table in the middle.
Group 1 - Gunther, Sentinel, Fandil, Oriel
As Gunther goes into his lavish introduction the burly man watches with eyebrow raised. As soon as the swift broadsword is drawn from its sheath a longsword springs into the mans hands faster than lightning and is pointed in the paladins direction. The draw was one of great skill and ease and with a look of sternness on his face he held it there until he realized what the paladin was doing. He turned his sword over quickly and re-sheathed it at his side before listening to the rest of the paladins speech.
A little embarrassed looking the man waves the paladin to his feet. "No need for all that showy stuff around these parts lad. Also, drawing steel unexpectedly in these parts will cause a mess of problems for you. It may be best if you greet people with a bit less flash and fare."
After looking the group over one more time he opens the door wider. "I am Zakarias Ormond. I tell you what strangers. We can share information, how does that sound? I will ask you one question and you ask me one question. If we decide we are fair and not forthcoming with the truth, we can continue. If we decide we aren't, we will part ways immediately."
He motions the group inside the house and you see a comfortable abode inside. A long table is in the center and he motions for the group to sit if they wish. He remains standing. A fabulous longsword belted at his side, but other than that he seems unarmed. He moves a curtained doorway at the north end of the room and says something quietly behind it. He turns back to the group and waits a minute as another man comes through the curtain. This one is much older, probably a human in about his 60's. He has seen combat as well. He is a very scarred veteran and he is fully armed and armored. He wears thick banded mail and has a shield slung across his left shoulder. At his side is a thick broadsword with a well worn hilt. From a pouch at his side he brings out a small ornate owl carving with emerald eyes. He sets it on the center of the table and moves back with his hand on the weapons hilt.
The mayor looks the group over and smiles. "Now, why don't we begin. I will ask the first question if you don't mind. What are you and your companions really doing here in Orlane?"
You are either standing or sitting at the table inside the mayor's home. The front door is right behind you and not locked or bolted.
Group 2 - Aelbric, Doogan, Elkin, Katai
I have gotten no reply from anyone in this group yet so will pause until I get at least some reaction.
As they stepped into the mayor’s house, Oriel saw Gunther grasp his holy symbol. Guessing that he would be attempting to detect evil intent, Oriel prepared to ask questions. He moved to the opposite side of the table from the mayor, leaned his bow against the wall, and stood casually using the back of one of the chairs for a brace. Since the mayor did not sit, he did not either. He made sure that the others had time to arrange themselves in the room as they pleased before he began.
“Thank you for your hospitality Mayor Ormond.”
With a slight nod towards Gunther Oriel continues saying, “sometimes our friend Gunther does get a bit carried away, but I can assure you, he is good man to have on your side. As for your offer to exchange information, we accept.”
“You asked a fair first question. As you noted we are a bit young and a bit well armed for a group of prospective farmers. As my showy friend hopefully indicated, we are here for honorable reasons. We have heard that something afflicts this town. That in some way, things are not right here – and indeed, this town has the look of neglect about it, even as the crops prosper in the fields. We came to see if there was anything that we might do to alleviate this problem, if a problem exists. As for land and a desire to settle down, that is only partially a story, as there are some of us that are curious about this village. I love the land and enjoy seeing it prosper such as your land seems to do. But, we are here to help out, if help we can. I hope that satisfactorily answers your question.”
“As I indicated, we are here because we have heard that some ill afflicts this village. When we arrived we were told that you were the mayor of this community. Certainly your home is the finest we have seen yet. We came to you hoping that as the leader here you could tell us a bit about the problem, so our first question must focus on our goal here – identifying if a problem exists, and if so, just what it might be. The main rumor that we have heard is that people have been disappearing. What can you tell us about these disappearances?
(This is only the first question – I got this far and then ran out of time. I wanted to get this much up ASAP. Oriel will post more – additional questions and possible answers – in a couple hours when I have the time.)
Severous walks toward the new arrivals with as warm a smile as he can muster. "Pardon me gentlemen, can i have a moment of your time?"
if well received he will confim thier names with his list and explain how he came to be here and his intentions of joining the group. he will also offer to by them all breakfast and hope to have a conversation about what they have encountered to this point. he will suggest taking a look around the inn and the adjacent trees.
Gunther courteously nodded as he took a seat at the table in full view of Mayor Ormond, Ormond’s mysterious companion and the curious Owl that had been placed on the table as if it were a mystic artifact of some grand inquisitor.
As the young Paladin settled into his chair, he placed his Medium Shield at his left side [leaning against the chair and his leg] as he willed his countenance to exude that special charisma of his while he deftly withdrew his map and set it before him on the table [holding the map in his left hand while gently gripping his holy symbol that hung around his neck with his right thumb and forefinger] as if he were intently studying the map while seemingly absent-mindedly playing with his personal jewelry.
Gunther had broken the ice between his friends and the strangers they had met since arriving in Orlane [with his own unique brand of unorthodox conversation] and now it was time to be silent to focus his ability of Discerning Evil Intent while relying on his companions to engage Mayor Ormond in a flow of questions and answers.
Breathing a silent prayer to his One True God, the young Paladin set about focusing on Mayor Ormond, his mysterious companion and the Owl ornament to discern any Evil Intent while he remained silent for the required period of time for his ability to reveal whether or not the party of adventurers was in any immediate danger!
Should Gunther realize there is Evil Intent directed towards the group, he will remain calm and alert, trusting that his Protective Aura will be sufficient for passively defending himself and his companions until they can react in a reasonable manner to the threat.
In the event there is No Evil Intent, then Gunther will weave his way into the conversation whenever he is spoken to, exchanging pleasantries and complimenting his host on such a fine home and what an honor it is to be invited in for a hospitable talk.
If asked why he is in Orlane, the young Paladin will respond that he is looking for land to settle and raise a family, but that his personal desires are laid aside whenever he suspects an individual, family or even a village is threatened by an unknown Evil.
At the appropriate time, Gunther will point to his map and ask which specific buildings are the sites of these strange disappearances?
He will also ask if there are any unmarked cave entrances or other curious landmarks not drawn on his map?
Gunther also will point to the curious Solid Line in the lake-river between the trees bordering building #10 and building #20 and will also ask about the elongated circular line that appears to be an island catty corner from building #19. Gunther also wants to know if there are any boats for hire to explore those markings?
His answer to any question about why he would be interested in those markings is that it may prove to be a good place to go hunting or fishing! [Whether it be for food to eat or to possibly yield clues to the strange happenings going on in Orlane, the young Paladin will leave it up to Mayor Ormond to figure out on his own!]