7 Awakening 508
At the Dragon’s Flagon in Kalimsport that evening, Lenoria secures a private room while Rhain decides to sleep in the common room. Both decide to wash the stink of their ship passage from Jirra with a hot bath. After their baths and a hearty dinner, they discuss the possibility of finding new jobs in the marketplace the next day. The common is busy with various merchants and travelers. There are mostly humans here, though a few dwarves and halflings come in through the night.
Finally last call is sounded and preparations are made for those that are staying in the common room to bed down for the night. Lenoria says goodnight and heads up to her room. Tables are moved and bedrolls and put down. Finally the door is barred and Rhain settles in for the night.
Later that night, the big man is awakened by the sound of a halfling’s foot scraping a window shutter as he makes his way none-too-stealthily out of a window. The barbarian quickly makes his way across the room, dodging sleeping bodies and grapples the halfling down. The smaller man attempts to get away but fails. Rhain pins the halfling to the floor and demands “What are you up to thief?”
“Me? I…I was just going out for some fresh air!”
At this point, other sleepers are starting to stir. Rhain quickly checks for his own pouch, finding none. “You there!” He points to one of the other guests. The other man asks, “What do you have there?” “A thief. Hold him down while I search him.” The other man checks himself first and apparently doesn’t like what he doesn’t find because he comes to help the big man hold the halfling down. Rhain searches the smaller man, who protests loudly of his innocence through the whole affair. Finally, Rhain throws several pouches and a small knife onto the bar—after. pocketing his own pouch from the stolen loot. He then shoves the halfling out the open window. “If I catch you again, I’ll kill you,” he says to the form running in the darkness. Everyone collects their pouches and few men pat the Northron on the shoulder. After giving one of the other halflings in the room a dirty look, Rhain goes back to sleep.
8 Awakening 508
That morning, one of the victims of the theft, a cheesemaker named Rolyn buys Rhain’s breakfast and accompanies him and Lenoria at the meal table. He’s an amiable sort and hopes to secure a deal with the Dragon’s Flagon to supply their cheese. After a pleasant meal, the two adventurers part ways with the farmer and head to the marketplace to look for work.
The best job they find is guarding a caravan for a merchant by the name of Danwyn Rosell. A midsize troupe of wagons (five) is heading to Crownport and needs a band of fifteen guards. The guards will be lead by a Kuskar by the name of Luvar Cruzo. The pay is three silver pieces per day, with food on the journey. The caravan will be returning, but there is no contractual obligation on the return job. Both Lenoria and Rhain debate whether to return to Kalimsport with the caravan or stay in Crownport and look for work. At any rate, the caravan is leaving the following day from the northwest gate. So the two sign on and decide to move out from the more southerly Dragon’s Flagon and into an inn closer to the northwest gate—the Enchanted Staff.
Fortunately, the innkeep at the Enchanted Staff didn’t seem to recognize Rhain—as Rhain had previously been thrown out of the common room there for brawling. Nevertheless, the two enjoy a nice evening there with entertainment from a female half-elf bard and go to sleep in comfortable beds.
9 Awakening 508
This morning the two pick up their horses from Corwyn’s hostelry, as well as a day’s refund from their previous payment and head to the northwest gate to meet up with the caravan. The two meet Luvar Cruzo, a brusque man with a magnificent mustache who tells that as long as they fall into line, there should be no problems and directs them to their places. Rhain immediately begins to check out the various females in attendance—both caravan staff and guardswomen. One guard catches his eye and he immediately begins to strike up an acquaintance with her throughout the day. He name is Eva and she has been on a number of guard duties and “exploration” gigs. Rhain manages to flirt with her and avoid the stern gazes of Luvar throughout the day. Meanwhile Lenoria discusses the various threats to the caravan with the Kuskar: hobgoblins, bandits, etc.
Finally, the caravan calls a halt in the evening and circles up to form a camp. Rhain is called to task by Luvar for falling out of line to talk to Eva, though the big man assures the guard leader that he was merely keeping an eye on potential threats. That night, both Lenoria and Rhain try to maintain friendly relations with their fellow guardsmen on their watches. Both agree that the job is pretty boring.
11 Awakening 508
The past couple of days have passed pretty much the same as the first. Rhain has continued to try and make time with Eva while evading Luvar while both he and Lenoria have tried to keep their wits about them during the boredom of the job. The only difference to mark this day is that Eva asks if Rhain where Rhain is staying in Crownport. She says that she usually stays at Silvercask’s when she’s in the city and suggests that he stay there, too. She also indicates that she’ll be following the caravan back to Kalimsport. It’s easy money. Rhain is non-committal about his future plans but says that she should save them a place at Silvercask’s when they get free of the caravan.
The caravan pulls into Crownport a couple of hours after sundown that evening. Eva indicates that some money probably changed hands to allow this happen. Nevertheless, the guards all follow the wagons to a warehouse in the market district and stand guard as the goods are unloaded. Finally, Luvar Cruzo calls for those that want their pay for this leg of the journey to come with him. Rhain and Lenoria come with him and collect their nine silver and indicate that the caravan shouldn’t wait on them to return. The two then head to Silvercask’s to meet Eva.
The two arrive at Silvercask’s Nimble Cartwright, a comfortable inn near the warehouse in the market district. Rhain is in a celebratory mood and buys ale for the table. Introductions are made between Lenoria and Eva, though the former soon gets the idea that her company isn’t required and makes her way closer to the stage to watch the bard, leaving the barbarian alone with the guardswoman. Soon the two head upstairs to her room.
Lenoria watches the bard spin tales and sing songs for a while and then buys the performer a mug a ale, who takes the drink in stride and toasts her with it. Between sets, she invites the man, a human, to her table for drinks. He takes her up on it. He’s a handsome man, a bit older than her—though not by much. His name is Frandwyn Dell. He notes that she is Sianaean, though is not familiar with the term “Lightbearer” when she brings it up. She brings up the fact that she and her companion are adventurers looking for work that is a bit more exciting than guarding caravans and thought that maybe a bard, such as he, may have heard of something that could pique her interest.
He gives the question some thought and says that he has come across something that could be of interest, but it’s not local. It could require some travel. . .“Nevermind that,” she says. “Go on.”
In Tarsas, in the Et’tir Mountains, is an abandoned temple to Shazira. During an ascension of the church of Irthani and a decline of Shazira, the temple was raided. The priests of Shazira were routed and their idols were toppled. However, according to some, there was a secret chamber that the priests of Irthani did not find that held some of the secret treasures of those evil priests, including a final sanctified idol of Shazira that the good priests did not find. This rare find would be worth much to the right buyer. . .
The bard would be willing to give directions to this temple for a finders fee of twenty gold pieces—but would be willing to negotiate with the comely priestess over. . .breakfast. Lenoria agrees to spend the evening with the bard and goes to his room for the night.
12 Awakening 508
That morning, after not-so-fierce negotiations over breakfast, Lenoria gets Frandwyn to give over the directions to the temple for a finder’s fee of ten gold pieces. Eventually Eva and Rhain come downstairs for breakfast and then part ways, Eva heading back for the caravan and Rhain to hear about the new work that Lenoria has somehow lined up overnight. The two go to Lenoria’s room where she tells the story as related to her by the bard about the temple. After hearing the story, they decide that they need to recruit a rogue—and decide that Alun would be perfect for the job. They also remember that he and his sister, Kerra, were heading to Crownport last they heard so that they might be in the city.
They decide to gather up their belongings and seek out their former compatriots. Lenoria begins to make inquiries, having their first names and descriptions only. But luck seems to be with her as someone recognizes the Lanyons, saying that if they’re in town, they’re probably at the Ebon Hound. So she and Rhain head in that direction. Sure enough, they see the brother and sister team in the common room, both surprised and dismayed to see them. Rhain wastes no time in setting up the job for them and soon begins laying out what they need, specifically a rogue they can trust, which is Alun. Alun seems flattered, and enamored with the thought of treasure, though his sister seems skeptical—still if her brother is in, so is she. So with the Lanyon’s in, they head up stairs to Alun’s room to plan out the details.
After settling the details of the journey, the four head out to sell off Rhain and Lenoria’s horses and to find a ship willing to sail to Imth in Tarsas. Kerra also clues them into the state of the economy in Crownport, that it will be better to buy food here as there is a surplus of staples (foodstuffs, cloth, etc.) and so it is cheap right now. That’s music to party’s ears. So they stock up on rations while they’re at a discount. She also tells them that in Tarsas things will be hard—foreigners are not protected under the law there so if they get in trouble they could be treated badly—maybe even enslaved. At least, that’s what she’s heard.
They do manage to secure passage on a ship sailing to Imth, The Blue Seeker, captained by Araldan Rosewell, a half-elf. It can leave this evening with the tides if the party is ready. They are, so they pay their fees and load up on the ship for a night journey out of Crownport toward Tarsas.
14. Awakening 508
After two days of sailing, the ship arrives in the port at Imth in the afternoon. The ship is boarded by dark-skinned men with long, braided hair and forked beards. Their hair is festooned with beads and jewels and jewels. After they negotiate the various taxes and fees with the captain, they turn their attention toward the passengers. “Foreigners, eh.” they say in a thickly-accented Tradespeak. “Well, watch yourselves here, barbarians.” Rhain attempts to engage them in banter, asking if their country is not friendly, but they’re having none of it. They turn on their heels and stalk off after taking their exorbitant gate fees.
Once they exit the ship, Lenoria begins asking about for a friendly inn. After avoiding the “Amorous Demon”, they are directed to the Naked Shepherd, a foreigner-friendly inn run by a half-elf female by the name of Phamea. Rhain seems to have noticed that Tarsas runs on a caste system denoted by the various hairstyles employed by the people around him. Phamea seems to have assimilated into the merchant class of the city, wearing the braids and beads, but is friendly and does not upcharge the obviously foreign party before her. “I was a foreigner once,” she says.
Once the party gets settled into their rooms, they come down to the common room to get a meal. There seem to be a lot of travelers in the inn, more foreigners than locals, but still a fair amount of locals. A pair of said locals come stumbling toward their table, one following behind the other, obviously trying to hold the larger, drunker one back. The drunker one comes up and says something in Tarsian to table, but his eyes never leave Lenoria.
“I’m sorry, I don’t understand,” she says.
The other man looks pained. “He says ‘How much for the Sianaean harlot?’”
“Tell your friend to leave,” Lenoria says.
“I’m trying!” the other man says and tugs on the arm of the larger man, who makes a circular motion at his face, obviously indicating Lenoria’s tattoos and saying something in Tarsian.
At this point, Rhain sighs, stands up, and points at the door. Lenoria looks around for the innkeep, who is making her way to their table. She then looks the drunk man dead in the eye and says, in Sianaean, “Go. Away.”
The man looks to Rhain, then to Lenoria, and to Rhain again, and then goes back to his table. The innkeep arrives and apologizes. “He’s such a troublemaker. I’m sorry you had to deal with that.” Lenoria shrugs it off and decides to head to her room. Everyone else follows suit.
15 Awakening 508
That morning, the party loads up and finds a muleskinner that happens to be foreigner-friendly and does not overcharge them for a mule to load up their gear for the coming journey into the mountains. After loading up the mule, they head south out of the city toward the temple, according to the directions given to them by the bard.
It’s a warm day and pleasant; the day passes without incident. That night, the party makes camp, establishes watches, and passes a pleasant spring evening, camping in the woods.
16 Awakening 508
That morning, the party breaks camp and continues on their way through the forest. That afternoon, a boar breaks out of the foliage and attacks Rhain. After a tough fight, with both Rhain and Kerra getting gored, Rhain finally finished the beast off. Lenoria applied her healing magic to the injured warriors. On the up side, the party did manage to save a day of rations by skinning the beast and cutting a day’s worth of meat off of the carcass.
22 Awakening 508
The party has been traveling through the forest for a number of days. The weather has been pleasant; early springtime sunshine and mild nights. They’ve managed to travel without being accosted for nearly a week. Today, the terrain has changed as they’ve entered the foothills of the mountains and left the forest behind.
As the group travels through the hills, their complacency is challenged by the twang of a longbow and the snap of a missed arrow striking the earth near Lenoria. Suddenly, they hear war cries from ahead and behind them as two hobgoblins begin charging toward their group. Alun begins throwing daggers while Rhain moves to the hobgoblin at the rear and Kerra moves toward the hobgoblin at the lead. Lenoria casts her goddess’ blessing over the party. As Kerra and Rhain take on their respective hobs, Lenoria soon learns that she is still the target of the archer located on a nearby hill. Alun continues to throw daggers at the lead hob. Soon, it falls as Lenoria climbs the hill to face the archer. It draws a longsword and cuts her down. Kerra moves to take on the archer as well. Rhain takes out the rear hob and moves to take on the archer with the others, finally cutting it down with a mighty blow.
With all three hobgoblins down, attention is now paid to the fallen Lenoria. Rhain gives Kerra a potion to administer that he had gotten off of an assassin on a previous adventure. He was pretty sure it was a cure potion. Kerra gives Lenoria the potion—it is a cure! Lenoria comes to and asks what happened. The rest of the party catch her up on the result of the ambush. . . TO BE CONTINUED