Dragolin Fables: Parables of Tangsgym

The depths of the blue (vine)

The blue. The deep deep blue. Everywhere, Blue. Blue…. Bluevine! I……my companions! Are they ok? The Black Irons! I did my best, I know that, never have I tasted battle like I did just then. Damnable drug fiends! Ruining the lives of so many in this city, that’s why…. that’s why we came. The boat. They were moving a shipment. I… what did… I took them out, drew fire away from my friends. The plan failed, our cover was blown. I knew I had to take them out, my magic fueled by the need to protect. They… what happened? They… they fell in fire and fury. Good, my friends are safe. The people of Tangsgym are safe. Rindle, Merora, Vanya, Andrin, I saw them all. Safe for now.

The Captain, he came from the ship. Furious, hating. No compromise. I tried, I did. He saw only the red of a lost drug deal. The red of flames upon the hull of his vessel. I exchanged blows, my magic dwindling, but still enough to keep my blade honed and my ward high. He fights like a demon, I barely match him but… I do. My training pays off, I think. I cut the pontoon free, cast him into the water, but he makes it to the ship. I hear Merora, she struggles, Vanya maintains her disguise, Andrin… I call for Andrin but Vanya comes. I hope he prevails. And Rindle is…Rindle is a spider still I think. I will miss him. But why would I miss him? I am… I am not willing to let the Captain flee and carry on his evil. I freeze his legs, weigh him down but he climbs to safety. The Ship begins to move, I will not let him get away. I use what little I have left, lightning pulling him off the boat into the deep.

But he lands. He is next to me, fighting. More swords, the clash of steel ringing. Merora surprises him, blinds him. She fights well, my companion. I slash, leg bleeding, crippled he falls. I kick, push with all I have. He falls, water embracing his evil with glee to … drown…choke….

Choking… I’m choking. He grabbed me. The bastard pulled me down. The fog, I couldn’t see him. I fight for every breath. I fight, my dagger cutting, slicing but I…weary. So weary, he falls but I’m deep. So very deep. Upwards, upwards, my thoughts urging me upwards but…to what? To where? I am, peaceful. My friends are safe. The drugs, the deal disrupted. The people are safe. I have something for them. The people. For my friends. The Captains. I took it, in my hand, he fell. Into the blue. But the blue surrounds me, I think. I see a forest. The forest. The great forest. Is this Corellon’s embrace? The bladesingers speak of him. Mother speaks of him. I follow him. I feel the peace, the magic, the forest. I have never known that peace. No. I must stop the Blue. Stop the Bluevine. Protect. Always…. always protecting. I’m tired. So tired. But someone wants to protect me. Corellon wants to protect me. Do I… Do I even have a choice? Maybe…. Maybe I do.

View
Roots.
A carved crystal case holds hundreds of handwritten letters.

Bellbottom,

Time has passed swiftly since I departed the Stone Forest and you. I think of you every evening as the dreams take me and each morning that I rise and realise you aren’t here. You would love the City Bel. Everybody has a story to tell and a reason to be and despite hardships they try to make the best of the life that they are given. I have tried to offer what semblance of hope I can to those who have been unable to help themselves but things are sometimes murky and muddled. Often death and blood is seen to be the only path worth walking. But as I say, memories endure and roots grow deep. I mourn the death of my friend Nigel, but celebrate his spirit and know that he now nourishes the earth I stand on.

I’m starting to feel more like a Stoneshed Beetle every day that I remain in Tint. As if I too am beginning to develop a rigid outer shell. I know ultimately that I must let this transformation occur if I am to continue on my quest and complete my list but where once I saw vivid colours I now see muted tones, shadows and secrets. My friends are each strong and determined to do what is right but sometimes I worry that they would embrace destruction, whilst ignoring life’s potential. I know too that they care for me but often I sense their frustration. To them I am but an autumn leaf, a fragile thing that is easily swept aside. But in truth, I have a soul born of the mountain. I will keep fighting for us Bel and hopefully soon we shall be reunited.

You should see what I can do with my projections now, their strength seems to grow each time I craft them. I am hoping that I can use them to assist Vanya Aeroniel, she got a whiff of some Blue Vine and it didn’t seem to agree with her. We had to restrain her after she lunged at Merora Baggins with a dagger. The men at the Tavern didn’t seem too pleased either, luckily we managed to escape but I suppose they won’t be happy till they have dealt with us. I think I will need to cheer Vanya up. She has had a rough time lately; she nearly lost her hands to frostbite and it seems she was once a slave. I don’t fully understand what that means but everybody seemed quite upset so it must be pretty bad. I will have to remember to ask Korath Alaskar about it.

We are off to hunt down the makers of the Blue Vine. Perhaps I will have the opportunity to study it, from what I have heard it seems herbal in nature. Turns out the shipment is being sent via boat. I can’t wait to be on the open waters again, hopefully there aren’t too many sharks. Anyway hope you’re enjoying your rest and that you enjoy reading this. Know that I miss you and hope that I can return to your side soon. May the stones forever guard your soul little brother.

Rindle.


crystal.png

View
Ever the Optimist.
A hand scrawled list of ingredients hidden deep within Rindle's satchel.

fancy-paper-scroll-vellum-10-sheets-1887-p__1_.jpg

View
The Mongoose, the Bard and the Bluevine

Morale is low. Nigel Brians, our trusty housecarl, is dead. The funeral was a humble affair for such a hero; with more time, Nigel could have climbed the ranks within the Prince’s guard, and would have been heralded a great man. It’s a loss to have such a kind soul taken from Dragolin, but that’s what happens when you put other people first.

We stand there, awaiting news of our new housecarl – Merora is keen to get someone onboard before Nigel’s body is even settled in the ground. We get allocated the bookworm Merora ran into when we visited the Mage’s tower.

He informs us that there are a couple of people interested in our services.

Of the two options, we choose to see Silverhand. Lord of Little KItswald and treasurer to the Earl. He doesn’t actually have a silver hand, unfortunately. That could have made the whole debacle more interesting.

The building is grand, to say the least. Naturally this upsets Merora, because anything that size and value that doesn’t positively affect her fellow hobos, is a waste. She couldn’t just appreciate the fine architecture and history of the place. Oh well – a quick elbow to the ribs successfully keeps her quiet.

The butler recognises us immediately – The Enchanted Shield has quickly made quite the name for itself.

The visit is purely business. Siverhand asks us to get rid of the Black Iron Gang; ‘bad eggs’, as Andrin so eloquently states. They’re the reason drug-addiction is growing rapidly like a malignant tumour across Tint.

Rindle and that marble-like orb; his naïve sense of morality has recently become irritating as it holds us back from effectively accomplishing simple tasks. Though he now wishes to return the marble to its original owners, he allowed the jackel to eat it. Now we wait for the beast to excrete it – such a valuable item, desired by many… including the Eye.

Originally the Druid showed such promise, but these days he just perpetuates disappointment. Though I’ll admit he livens up the ‘meeting’ by bringing Wiggly out to play on the map Silverhand has on display. He seems to be imagining Wiggly taking over the city.

It’s ridiculous, I know, but I get the creeps when Wiggly is out… a strange sense of some kind of evil. Almost like if he was bigger, he would stop a nothing to destroy us all. It must just be my bard’s imagination.
…I might have to write a song about it, to try and get it out of my system.

The talking continues for some time. Politics this, justice that. These people have no idea how to embellish a story and make it interesting.

We finally leave and get to take action.

Nobody really knows where to go to start looking for them. I suggest a particularly pitiable cesspit I’ve had the misfortune of drinking in the past. Let’s hope I don’t lose too much of the group’s respect for knowing about this dump.

We decide to split up; Korath goes in alone, acting every bit the ignorant rich man who has the money to pay for an array of drugs, while Merora and Rindle go in together, to make subtle inquiries and see what information they can gather. Andrin andI go in together – two desperate half-elves desperate for their next hit. That’s what I make us look like.

It works.

I find a shifty looking man in the corner and twitchily approach him to ask for the product. He says he can provide.

That’s when Korath comes over, too, offering to put money towards the purchase of the product. Unfortunately this put the shifty man on the backfoot and he runs off. He might have been trying to help, but this slows things down. I think I can still make this work though, regardless.

I run after the man, who has gone outside. For some reason the mongoose fighting has ended abruptly, and I hear people scrabbling about to find where the mongoose has gone. Can’t help but wonder if our friendly neighbourhood Druid has something to do with it.

After desperately agreeing to pay double, the dealer leaves me to pickup the product I requested. He takes quite some time to bring it back to me. I can hear some trouble going on – it wouldn’t surprise me if that grubby Halfling has something to do with it.

He does eventually bring the product back to me. I try it. It’s legitimate.

Can’t wait to regale this tale to my fellow bards; they’ll undoubtedly applaud my convincing performance and give me the recognition I deserve for it.

Until then, though, I’m getting high… perks of the job and all.

View
Graduation Day
The naked conversion hypothesis

I woke up groggily with the feeling that I had just had one too many drinks, save for the memories of adventure prior to my concussion. No one else was to be seen so I assumed that they were either resting up or carrying out what ever task they desired. Normally I would be all up for looting the joint but right now I could barely think straight.

That was when Korath entered the room requesting aid which I was more than willing to supply, am I getting too soft? I barely question Korath’s judgement and leadership any more. By his side we went to go find Rindle but the little chap seemed out of sorts so we left him to himself.

Korath’s request for help was to explore a dark mysterious passage way. The air was thick with the sense of danger and I was keeping a keen eye out when all of sudden I saw a mass of spiders descending from the ceiling. I look for a weak spot on the wall and found none. Unsure as to what I wanted to do I stepped out the way and let Vanya and Korath deal with it. The spider family was dead in a matter of minutes and though I knew it was necessity for us to defend ourselves I could not hel but think what would Rindle think.

Vanya and Korath tried to hide the bodies before we continued our examination of the hall way. We found a crack in the wall which my short dexterous body managed to squeeze through. On the other side there was a boring secret room, the only interesting part of which was a door which I opened. Upon opening this a bedroom appeared but what was very clear to me was that there was a secret cupboard behind a bookcase which I unwisely opened.

As I opened the cupboard a heavy bony figure fell a top of me and I let out a blood curdling scream of terror as it knocked me to the floor. This rallied the rest of the gang to my side including Rindle. Once up I was too shaken to immediately be of use and was recalled to the room by Korath’s request that I help to open a lock, an easy job for someone with my talents. Inside there were bundles of papers which I left Korath to sift through as he is the book wormy sort and I have found that studying has little advantage in this world.

I wondered over to Rindle in another room and back to Korath and Vanya idly scanning the rooms which is when I heard Vanya instruct Korath to follow her. As the only member I am still somewhat decidedly unclear about I decided to follow Vanya and Korath and we ended up in a store room which Korath inventoried as we proceeded to carry items back to our cart and once loaded up and the party reunited we set off for the guild.

Upon arrival the Prince was waiting… I am sure I say Vanya’s chest flush and her checks darken a shade or two on perceiving him. He showed us to a room, his chamber and proceeded to congratulate us on a fine job. I sat quietly waiting to be out of the room, thoroughly unsure how to behave when in such grand company. However I had learnt one valuable lesson: do not attempt to steal from people when you fear the repercussions that they maybe to inflict upon you. So I sat patiently for the congratulations to end however upon receipt of reward I was drawn back to the conversation as the prince handed us two gems each. They sparkled in the light and were worth a small fortune.

Upon the end of the conversation I asked the Prince if he knew of anyone who could deliver valuable items to out of state areas, he instructed me of a delivery system that I could use which was located within the guild hall itself. Then I was most delighted to see Vanya begin her wooing attempts and I jumped straight to her side in my attempts to help. Though the conversation did not seem to be going particularly well the overall ending was satisfactory as the prince offered to take the shield to dinner in the evening, but both me and Korath decided to politely decline finding ourselves ‘busy’ with other plans. After a little thought and maybe a little persuasion light throttling Rindle decided to decline the invite too.

Korath was most anxious to make it to his graduation and to deliver the Growing Kobold’s stolen produce to Bert so once out of the Prince’s company I had but a few moments to speak to the delivery man I had been informed of. With Vanya’s help I procured an agreement for the two gems I had been rewarded to be sent to my family and we rapidly departed heading to the growing Cobalt and then onwards to the magic university.

When dropping of the stock to Bert he suggested that he required a change in premises and it was upon hearing this that the plan was hatched to purchase the Growing Kobold and set it up as our groups HQ.

It was at this time that Vanya approached me with the offer of a celebratory drink. I agreed and followed her to a private quarter, here she showed me a note that I would have believed to have been crafted by the black iron gang. It cryptically spoke of the orb which was in Rindle’s possession and requested our compliance in handing over the artefact.

We chose to meet the note’s writer in the market place in the afternoon to ensure that the meeting was out in public. I tried to hide my involvement in the conversation until near the end when Vanya broke my cover, which is when the conversation changed foot. I am not one for being taken advantage of or for showing when I am intimidated. Believing myself in the presence of Black Iron gang I was very tart, trying to hide my anxiety and curiosity, however our companion informed us that he was not a member of the gang. He spoke in riddle of the court of miracle and suggested that if I was worthy I would know the name of the people he spoke on behalf of. I bluffed a bit and suggested I would find out.

I tried to find out who they were by speaking to Thirmore (Morey) but I had little to go from. He told me that he would help but in return I should owe him a favour, I agreed without a second thought. Being my oldest and most beloved friend I would have done him any favour without any sort of repayment. We left the meeting and I felt most delighted to be of use to Morey.

We then proceeded to the college it was time for the graduation ceremony. Korath and I were both greeted and commended on our graduation. Korath turned to me perplexed that I should too be graduating when I had not studied with the university but our entwined fate was explained to us. I am now officially a seeker, basically I find magical stuff and retrieve it. I get to steal things for the good of society, I can’t say no to that. The world needs someone in its corner I can be that half of a person.

The ceremony itself was way too fancy for my taste and waiting for my name to be called was nerve racking but as I approached the stage everyone in the crowd was suddenly naked. This was mortifying as I was on stage with Korath and was handed my certificate by an elderly wizard whose shrivelled privates were enough to turn any woman.

I quickly hurried off stage to which I was greeted by the gang all attired in there most delightful birthday suits. The prince was there too stood next to Vanya and I was very much surprised to realise that his show of power and grandeur was definitely compinsating for his lack in other ‘talents’, which I touched upon with Vanya briefly. I was soon in an even more uncomfortable position as a master wizard came up to congratulate me, his scrotum so loose and wrinkly that it resembled the skin of a prune. It was a ghastly sight as I he began to embrace me my face was inches away from his over growing main of downstairs hair. However once I had endured that ordeal everyone’s clothes reappeared, I guessed that Rindle had something to do with this unfortunate event and was a little peeved. I needed a drink.

We headed to the cocktail bar as Vanya departed for her date and once there I was about to order waters (as Rindle had brought us to the most expensive tavern in the whole of Tangsgym or so it felt to me) but he cheerily offered to cover the tab, so instead I offered a fine spirit. There was however some confusion with the bar staff who Rindle seemed to be having some difficulty with but that seemed to be soon resolved.

We were taking a spot in a room on the second floor of the tavern when there was an horrific sound from outside. Korath rushed out leaving his drink and so I simply downed them before following him out, never let a fine drink go to waste is what I have been taught. I drunkingly wobbled and tumbled down the stairs to find a most confusing sight. A dead body, Vanya look most horrified and an intimidating figure who was obviously the cause of the raucous. I was not appreciative of such an interruption but it was soon ended as the violent creature disappeared into the night.

It turned out that the dead body was that of our Carl (Nigel Brian) who I had no attachment to but the rest of the party seemed rather shocked and horrified, Rindle took it particularly badly exclaiming that everyone he cared for kept dying. I felt a pang of pain at his heartbreak but when you are as soft and squishy as Rindle you must get attached to whole bunch of people and that makes the odds of them dying way higher.

View
Along came a Spider.

Who would have thought that being an actual spider would be that difficult? Turns out that attempting to make all eight legs move in unison is rather tricky, add to this the fact that they seem to become attached to everything and that they move considerably faster than my own humble dwarven legs and you can see the dilemma I was stuck with. In the future, I must remember to give more consideration to spider-folk. You know, spinning webs is a delicate business, an underappreciated art form I would say and here I was traipsing through them, arms flailing.

Turns out, nobody suspects a spider though. Rindle Webspinner is what they will call me. Ha! Not only did I manage to sneak into the establishment undetected but I also managed to discover a top secret underground dungeon. Perhaps I should be offering Merora some tips, although I doubt she would like that and I’m rather fond of my kneecaps. We go way back. Anyway, I don’t like to picture that place, no more write about it but it continues to invade my sleep and lingers on my thoughts like the retched stink of a Bog Troll. Sometimes I wish I had remained in the Stone Forest, no unsightly views there but then what of all the wonderful things I have discovered and the friends I have grown quite fond of.

Now let’s see, where was I Wiggly? Oh I know. The bad men. I remember thinking enough was enough and then a metal door creaking, followed by footsteps, as three men emerged from the staircase carrying a fourth. Korath! Such an inopportune moment to catch up on lost sleep, unless this was in fact an ingenious battle strategy. Beasts from back home did it all the time, pretending to play dead to avoid capture or worse. As saliva began to dribble out of his open mouth however, I quickly ruled out the latter explanation. They wanted to eat him, I think, or make him into one of them. I questioned their judgement. Korath was far too stringy to be an appropriate meal choice, plus I saw no condiments or herbs for seasoning anywhere.

I thought to befriend one of them and share with them my gastronomic secrets but before I could say rosemary there was a sudden flash of light and a booming voice. “Step away from my friend!” The three men suddenly turned towards me and I thought I’d be spotted and eaten for sure. In fact they would have if it wasn’t for the mighty dwarven Wizard, Krindle Dragonfire- I believe was his name, who had obscured their view. A look of confusion and horror painted their faces as they regarded the Wizard- who had suddenly conjured two hissing balls of emerald green flame into his wrinkled hands.

I remember he demanded they surrender and so they did. At which point Merora, Andrin and Vanya burst through the door and Korath rolled off the table to the floor, apparently assuming consciousness. It seemed Drenches Tint’s apprentice was equally as formidable as he himself was famed to be and also incredibly timely. Before I could ask the whereabouts of the Wizard’s sock drawer however one of the men began to pant wildly as he transformed before my very eyes into a snarling jackal beast and launched himself at the Wizard. The vicious blow was deflected by some mighty magic of sorts. As retaliation, green flame exploded in the creatures face and Merora’s blade once again tasted blood as she manoeuvred herself through the fray. A glistening frost crept up Korath’s curved sword as he slid unerringly across the table and struck deep into the breast of the beast. Howling, it turned and swiped its bloody claws catching Merora in the side. At this point, I peeped through my fingers which I had raised to my eyes, as Andrin strode forward to place his hand calmly on the exposed flesh of the beast. A sickening crunch and scream followed by a gurgle and various splattering noises replaced the sounds of combat and then the room grew deathly silent.

I really wish he wouldn’t do that. Perhaps I could try to convince him that not all of life’s infinite challenges should be solved by turning a person’s insides into outsides. Remind me never to shake his hands Wiggly and you shouldn’t either!

Seeing that the situation was contained and that we were in fact able to protect ourselves, the Wizard bade us farewell and extended a gracious invitation to Whitewall whenever we wished it. Such a nice fellow, I will have to take him up on that offer at some point. With invitation extended, he impressively vanished in a flash of flame and ash. Everybody must have been overjoyed that I yet lived as they kept staring at me and asking me inane questions. The professionalism of this group of individuals does quite often vex me Wiggly, we are on a life or death mission, save your questions for the tavern. Sheesh!

Turns out the Bartender is a stand-up guy, I mean apart from the possible murder and kidnapping. He seemed incredibly friendly and even offered to tell me everything he knew. He spoke about his jackal children, must be some sort of city lingo and that Granny was visiting later this evening. Quite frankly he seemed incredibly family orientated and a respectable gentleman, perhaps we will have time to meet Granny too. I never had a Grandma. Shame really, they sound magical, offering various knitted garments, cakes, biscuits and miracle cures. I could have chatted to the man for an age but the others seemed impatient. They locked the others in cages, even one with a secret exit and then began ushering me to the tunnels.

I will always remember the darkness like a shroud and screams echoing in the distance. Thankfully Andrin was there to guide us through the tunnels with the light of his God. Taking care to avoid damaging the webs surrounding me and imagining how long it might have taken to weave such a design I remember a stifled scream from Merora as from the darkness emerged eight piercing eyes and several hairy legs. This spider was big. He must have eaten a lot of flies to grow that size. It’s the kind of violent response that followed, which made me hark back to my own spider days. The poor guy didn’t really stand much of a chance, I urged him to run and hide but before he could comprehend my words a searing golden light descended upon him, burning his flesh. A thrust to the abdomen from glinting steel and a blade cloaked in lightning ended its sorry existence. His only lasting imprint on the world, a bite wound to Andrin’s shoulder.

On we went, following the muffled weeping sounds until eventually we came to an open cavern filled with what can only be described as the liquefied remains of what I hoped were evil gremlin creatures, not innocent victims. Seems upon venturing bravely into the chamber, the others had the fortune of locating the Mayor’s daughter however they also had the misfortune of stumbling upon a most unnatural and putrid creature. Elder Nutrub spoke of such profanities and abominations in his teachings but I couldn’t ever quite grasp my head or heart around their actual existence in the world. I could only watch as the creature slithered its way out of the depths. Entirely composed of chattering razor sharp teeth set into hundreds of gaping mouths it confounded all my imagined fears.

I imagined Korath and Andrin bravely battling the monstrosity but as I peered into the cavern I saw that they stood like statues attempting to cover their ears desperately, while Merora frantically bombarded the beast with arrows. It wouldn’t be enough. I saw the beast consuming them, tearing them apart and in that moment I recall asking myself one simple question. What would Wiggly do? I did my best to wade through the revolting water and just about managed to plug Korath’s ears with a piece of baguette. The rest I try not to think about. Safe to say we defeated the beast but almost at a great cost. Elder Bushlash always said that a handful of berries could spell the difference between the life and death of a person.

View
Who, What, Were-Jackal?

I commit these words to memory not knowing the whereabouts of my friends, Merora and Rindle I have not seen since we entered this place and I Pray to both Boccob, lord of magic, and the Elven Pantheon that they remain safe. I can only hope that Vanya and Andrin have realised my fate and remain alert to the machinations of these cursed creatures. May the bladesong guide your way my friends.

How would I describe our current predicament? As I would describe the first time I tried to master a cantrip, or the feel of my blade as it clashes upon cold steel. Invigorating, yet frustrating. The magic aches to realise its potential, and the blade thirsts to draw blood. Both are hindered no matter their best efforts, yet the thrill of the action is undeniable. I have to say this quest has proved to have undercurrents I could not have expected when we set out to retrieve the Mayor’s daughter. Indeed we set off to the Jacqueline, or Jackel Inn, knowing that we were dealing with a full-blown cult of shapeshifters. One that preyed upon the most vulnerable folk of Tint and those easily lead astray. The mayor’s daughter, in her naive act of rebellion, seems to have got heavily involved and I only hope that she has not yet fallen to this foul Lycanthropy.

As we arrived we set about planning our infiltration of the Inn, my better judgement telling me that a full assault would only lead to the death of innocents, or ourselves. As Naivara always taught me, evaluate the situation fully before your strike. With that we agreed that Rindle’s… particular way with people, as well as Vanya’s way with the crowds may serve us well in establishing a Rappor with these men. After all, it is a tavern they seem to be holed up in. Meanwhile, Merora would infiltrate and scout out a more covert route to find the people leading this masquerade, allowing myself and Andrin to flank the enemy and gain the element of surprise should it come to that. A solid plan, but when does anything the Enchanted shield does go to plan. I think I wrote something about a worry for my continued sanity in my last report. Well, I believe I shall be considering that when I read these memoirs in the future.

With our ‘Plan’ set, Rindle began a ritual of some sort, chanting wildly for a full 10 minutes with little regard for the world around him. A strange sight if ever I saw one, and one that attracted the unwanted attention of two Jackals. Fortunately they seemed non-hostile and Rindle’s strange ritual seemed to have bestowed the ability to sense diseases, which was most useful in determining that these Jackals were fortunately not of the shapeshifting type. With Merora scouting out the roof of a nearby building and myself and the priest forming a plan of attack, all seemed well. Of course that is when it fell apart. Rindles persuasive powers failed to coax the Jackals goodwill and it bit him, prompting Vanya to react. I know little of her bardic abilities, but what I do know is that the Jackal must have seen a dire vision indeed as it fled instantly. Reacting myself, I knocked on the nearest door, hoping a stablehand would be able to call the dogs off and we could resume our masquerade of peaceful intentions. But no, the stables had to be full of more dogs. Angry dogs. With our plans seemingly in tatters, I shouted a quick message for Merora to continue her espionage and made a Dash for the Inn door with Vanya.

With nothing else to lose, me and Vanya formulated a quick plan before the door opened. That was when my self-loathing grew a hundred fold. Seeing no other way out, I adopted the persona of one of the arrogant, flamboyant nobles that so often buy their way into the college. No talent, no modesty, just outright obnoxiousness. Vanya was to be my personal bard. This day is something I will always regret. In fact it went against every moral fibre I possess, but needs must and my vow of protection will always come before my own needs. With Vanya at my side, we somehow bluffed our way into the confidence of a suspicious bald fellow, my pipeweed and our claims serving to convince these creatures that we were in search of other recreational substances. Knowing that the Mayor’s daughter was much the same circle that we claimed to run in, it seemed a ploy that would work to our advantage. Gain their confidence, then strike at the heart. Though the means were to my distaste, the tactic was sound. With Andrin watching silently as a bystander, we had support should we need it. I have to say that this whole debacle gave me a new found respect for the Bardic arts and the power of words. They do say that the great Eladrin bladesingers of old were only a step away from Bards themselves. Anyway, at least Merora did not have to hear any of that. She seems to feel much as I do about substance abuse, a blight on this city and it’s people and Bluevine and Mutblood are a stain we would both like to see erased from our land.

With our way in secured we were lead to a private room, where more forward questions were posed by both myself and Vanya, her playing the demanding musician. With ‘something to take the edge off’ on order I was invited to peruse some of the rarer wares out back. I nodded to Vanya and followed, stepping through the door and turning to the man, but my senses were overcome with a fog so thick that I feared Merora’s wayward blade for a second. Then it all went black….

View
A journey to where it began... and where it may end

Having just chased down the animal that we thought might be the Barghest Andrin Kitsaultson took it upon himself to set the creatures corpse a light, well that is one way to clean up and hide the evidence. I guess that square might actually not be on an entirely different planet to the one which I inhabit. Though I do not care for his stiff collar attitude I do appreciate his decisive, I-don’t-care-what-people-think-of-me attitude. He is not out to make friends, and it is not like he is making one.

The smell of searing flesh filled the air in a heavy musk and it was only then when I had been disappointed by the lack of useful remains (of the animal) that I finally became aware of the battering that my body had taken. I would be lying if I did not admit that after the chase and fight that I was feeling a little worse for wear, not that I admitted that to anyone or would have admitted that to anyone. Though I was tired and weak I was about to urge that we should push on and continue our search for the girl, but before I could Andrin suggested that we find an inn and rest for the night instead.

Should it have been only me that had been looking dishevelled and injured then I would have recommended that we carry on, but the entire party looked out of sorts. Particularly Vanya Aeroniel who was bleeding more than a bit. Noticing the tired face of my comrades I agreed and tried to hurry the party on to the nearest cheap inn.

Even at a cheap Inn was not keen to pay for a space to sleep, having slept on the cobbled streets of Little Kitsault anywhere was acceptable now I was in possession of a sleeping bag. To try to avoid purchasing a room I escorted Rindle Ironbark to the stable. He was still a horse, though I now trusted that he was able to turn back…

After a brief conversation with the stable boy, he obviously thought I was some sort of creepy horse molesterer, I was permitted to sit by Rindle. I stroked his mane in the pretence of being a faithful carer, and if anyone were to suggest other wise it would be a most misguided notion.

I guess during the night Rindle transformed back into human form because when I came too the faces that greeted me included that of Rindle. Korath Alaskar and Andrin had come into the stable at the crack of dawn to wake us up, I was much obliged to them for having done so as I was still soundly asleep which is rather unlike myself. I must have been even more exhausted than I had realised, I need to be careful not to do that again I had been too off guard.

Korath suggested I write a letter ahead to my contact (Thirmore, Morey to his friends) over breakfast and though I suggested that this was unnecessary I was obliged to scrawl him a note, though I kept this minimal as I knew that if there was anything to know that he would already know it and so prior warning was pointless. However pointless the task the breakfast woke me up, courtesy of Andrin (okay maybe he I can be a little harsh on him). I gave some of mine to Rindle as his need seemed far greater than my own, as he was shovelling it down.

After breakfast we set of to Little Kitsault, and knowing the streets as I do we were making reasonable time. I chose to cut through the traders ring to see if the suspicious vendor was there. After a small distraction involving Rindle turning into a rat and me buying a cheese vendor’s cheapest, smelliest and mouldiest cheese (not that it should have been all, if any of those things) and after a bit of gentle prying I found out he was not expected until noon.

Andrin and Korath were in no mind to wait to speak to him so it was decided we would push on, but I suspected finding the Rindle rat in a swarm of rats might prove tricky. How wrong can one halfling be? Rindle though a rat is unmistakable in any crowd. He was dragging straw around frantically. I picked him up briefly to get his attention but put him back down when communication failed, though eventually communication was achieved as the straw formed words.

The journey to Little Kitsault resumed and again we made great timing. As we entered the district the streets began to look duller, the people dirtier. Though I looked left, right and centre for a friendly honest face that I would recognise it did take some time. There are not many respectable bums left out there what with the gangs and drugs violence being what it is, but I was one and I knew there must be one somewhere in these streets.

Eventually finding one in Mako, after a short exchange in pleasantries I began to ask him if he had seen Morey, when as if by magic (which I am sure that guy is) he appeared from nowhere. Well actually he walked down the street, but still he has a habit of finding you when you need him.

He told me everything I needed to know, how does he know everything? He even pointed me in the direction of a suspicious nearby Inn, the Jacqueline…. Jackel Inn… Jackel…. Inn… oh dear, bad guys are so stupid!!! Though we’d already been heading in the right direction we were now fully aware of the danger that lay behind those vast wooden doors. So as we stood outside the run down Inn we began our scheming, now this looks like exactly the sort of job I could be good at….

View
The Sunday Scholar Issue 1
Liberation Day Special

1_Sunday_Scholar.png

View

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.