25 Ardor 508
The party goes back to the Whistling Spirit after their night at the fights, slightly dispirited after Rilka’s announcement that she would no longer be participating in the shenanigans. Everyone heads back to their rooms for a night of rest.
Surm is awakened by a moaning sound that fills the room. He wakes his brother, Mõrvar, who stands in front of the door with his great sword, Deathblow. Surm illuminates the room with dancing lights. Nothing in the room seems to be making the sound. Surm searches the room for a source of the sound. His thoroughness is rewarded—a worn portion of one of the support beams reveals that a metal rod has been inserted into the beam.
First the two brothers decide to head to the room above them, so they go upstairs—then they change their minds and go downstairs to the common room. They light their way with a light spell cast on Mõrvar’s sword. They head into the kitchens and Surm sees movement near a door at the rear of the room. He casts dancing lights to illuminate the room and catches a serving in the light. Brandishing his dagger, Surm demands “What are you doing here?”
“N-nothing. What are you doing here?” the boy responds.
Mõrvar intimidates the boy into submission. “What are you doing here?” he demands to know.
“I just do what the innkeep says!” the boy squeaks.
“And what is that?”
“Guard this door.”
“Take us to him,” Surm says.
The boy goes to the door and knocks twice, opens it, and leads the two brothers down a staircase into a basement lit by lantern light.
The innkeep is at the bottom of the staircase, along with a series of support beams with pins sticking out them. He greets the boy before he sees the two armed Northron men. “Torny what’s going on?” Then he sees the brothers. “What’s going on?” he demands. “Why are you not in your rooms?”
Surm explains that they heard moaning and came to investigate and that now he’s caught red-handed. The innkeep continues to bluster, but between Mõrvar’s intimidation and Surm’s diplomacy, he is persuaded to give the brothers a full refund of the party’s stay at the inn. The innkeep takes them to his small office and gives them the coin for the refund. Before leaving, the innkeep is told to keep up the moaning sounds for the two half-orc companion’s rooms, however.
The brothers head upstairs and Surm proceeds to wake up Savaric and Rilka, asking them if they heard the moaning. Sure enough, there is moaning in their rooms. It seems to be alternating back and forth between the two rooms. Mõrvar convinces Savaric to look upstairs. In the meantime, Rilka stays in her room and listens.
While Savaric is upstairs and Rilka stays in her room, Surm and Mõrvar stack the furniture in Savaric’s room.
Surm casts ghost sounds of moaning moving down the hall and hangs out of his room. When Rilka pokes her head out to investigate, he asks if she heard that moaning. She continues to stand in the doorway listening when Savaric returns, having found nothing of interest upstairs.
The two half-orcs decide to sneak downstairs and see what they can see. When they get to the bottom of the stairs, they surprise the innkeep, who blurts out “It’s not my fault!”
Rilka demands to know what he means by that, though he demurs, saying that it was just a reaction to being startled. Savaric says “We hear it too. We’re trying to find it for you.”
Meanwhile, a wailing begins to take place upstairs. People begin opening their doors to see what the fuss is about and then shutting them and locking them as the wailing begins to grow.
The wailing seems to unnerve the innkeep. He says, “Look, I’m just doing what I was told.”
“What were you told?” Rilka asks.
“To make the moans! Look, I already gave you people a refund.”
“Who told you?”
“The two Northrons.”
At that, Rilka goes upstairs and confronts Mõrvar and Surm, chasing Surm around his room. Savaric and Rilka eventually return to their rooms to find their furniture stacked in ways that no human being could possibly stack them. . .
26 Ardor 508
The next morning, Savaric tips the innkeep ten gold pieces—but Surm gives the man a look and admonishes him until he gives the half-orc the money back. Rilka buys everyone a nice breakfast, congratulating the brothers on being clever last night. After a hearty meal, everyone loads up and gets on the road to Aldasar.
Along the way, the party discusses the possibility of hiring out porters and guards to oversee the party’s camp. Various pros and cons are hashed out. Regardless, nothing can be decided until they get to a city.
They arrive at Aldasar, the capitol of Leilior, at sunset. After paying the gate taxes, they head to Umbergrow and Waigh’s, a posh inn near the city’s center. After paying for rooms, baths, etc., they come down to the common room in their “fancy” clothes. Mõrvar, Savaric, and Surm discuss the possibility of going to find another underground fight and try to persuade Rilka to come along. They eventually persuade her to come.
They change out of their fancy clothes and head to the docks to gather information about the underground fight scene. They discover that there is a certain warehouse where such fights occur. A burly half-orc guards the door and questions them about their intent. He warns them that there is a door charge of five gold pieces each. When told that there is a contender among them, he tells them to find Cairicol. He can usually be found near the betting booths.
The half-orc lets them in and they enter a makeshift vestibule where a man flanked by two burly guards is collecting the five gold piece cover charge. Once the cover charge is collected, the party enters the warehouse proper. There are three fighting circles set up with a spectators watching and a row of betting booths lined up along the far wall. It doesn’t take long to find Cairicol, a human who seems to be directing much of the action.
Surm introduces himself and points out that he has two contenders here that would like to fight. One is undefeated and one needs to be broken in. He asks if they do pairs fighting. Cairicol allows that they do, when they have the pairs worth doing it with. Mõrvar makes a point to act nervous, to get into the part of a new fighter, hoping to drive his odds up. Cairicol gives them 1 in 4 odds and will work them in tonight. Have them ready in half an hour. Remember: no armor, no weapons, and no magic. Surm and the promoter shake on it and Cairicol goes to make the arrangements.
Surm makes his way through the crowd, trying to get a sense of who their going to be fighting. He hears that they are going to fight a set of twin half-orcs by the names of Kortash and Burask. Surm tries to convince some of the nobles in attendance to come watch the fight with him, but has no luck.
The fighters are fairly evenly matched. Nevertheless, Mõrvar and Savaric are victorious. As the party are collecting their winnings, Cairicol approaches Surm about having Mõrvar fight more often, asking how long they’re going to be in the city. Surm demurs, saying that they are not going to be staying in the city and don’t know when they’re going to be back. Surm once again tries to work the room, but fails. In the meantime, Mõrvar and Savaric invite Kortash and Burask out for drinks.
The party and the two half-orc twins all go for drinks at a dive tavern called The Dented Mug. The twins are originally from Leilior and work on the docks here in Aldasar, when they’re not fighting. They’ve been in the city for five years. The party tells stories of their adventures. During the evening, Kortash subtly moves his chair closer to Rilka. During a lull in the evening, Surm goes to leave. Mõrvar shakes hands with the half-orcs and goes to leave as well. Savaric takes the hint as well. Rilka and Kortash have an exchange, where he says that she has plenty of men to walk her back to her inn, though she says she wouldn’t mind another. So Kortash walks her back to the Umbergrow and Waigh’s.
Once at the inn, Rilka and Kortash have another drink while Mõrvar attempts to flirt with the innkeep—and is shot down. Rilka and Kortash chat for awhile and finally she asks him if he wants to come upstairs he does and they do.
Mõrvar manages to have no companionship this evening. He goes upstairs and wakes up Surm to discuss the possibility of hiring Kortash and Burask as porters. Surm doesn’t want the bother of hiring more half-orcs into the party.
27 Ardor 508
Rilka and Kortash head downstairs for breakfast. Everyone (save Kortash) is dressed in their fancy clothes as they have breakfast. Surm asks Kortash to step away for a moment, and he does. The party then discuss the possibility of hiring Kortash and Burask as hirelings. Surm is still against it, but most of the others seem to be for it. It is finally decided to ask if they would be interested. They bring Kortash back over and make the proposition. He says it sounds like a good deal, but would have to talk to Burask about it first. He excuses himself, kisses Rilka’s hand, and exits.
Rilka stays at the inn to wait for Kortash and Burask while Savaric goes shopping at the armorer and Mõrvar and Surm go looking for a job.
Savaric manages to secure a masterwork agile breastplate.
Rilka greets Kortash and Burask, who return to say that they are “in” and would like the job.
Surm gets word that there is a dwarf by the name of Kragar Stoneanvil at Uilliam’s Resting Place who is looking for adventurers. So he and his brother head to that inn to inquire about the job. Kragar is there and is the only dwarf in the common room. The quest is to go to Jossia, to the Daggerspine, where there is an abandoned dwarven outpost. The outpost is overrun by creatures of the Underdark. Kragar wants the outpost’s leader’s journal/logbook. The leader supposedly never made it out of the outpost alive. There is little in the way of dwarven treasure left there, as the outpost was abandoned, but the party is welcome to whatever is found. Kragar just wants that journal. He will pay 500 gold pieces, 250 now, 250 upon delivery. Surm manages to talk him up to 1000 gold. They will know the journal by the seal of the outpost prominently on display on the journal. Kragar will be waiting for them at Uilliam’s Resting Place. Kragar takes 500 gold from his strongbox at the inn and pays the brothers half the agreed rate.
Once the brothers return to Umbergrow and Waigh’s, they see that the two half-orcs have arrived and are willing to be hired on as porters. There is talk of drawing up a contract, but it is agreed that their word, and the party’s word, will be their bond. Pay day will be when they arrive in a city. Their new job will start tomorrow. With all in agreement, the half-orcs take their leave to make their final arrangements.
Next Surm returns to the marketplace and hires a footman and two guards. Mahgnus will oversee the camp while Alasir (a former city guardsman) and Sorcha (a former mercenary) will guard it.
Once those arrangements are made, Surm returns and the party makes various plans for provisioning, including tents. After all the arrangements are finally made, the party beds down for the night.
28 Ardor 508
The entourage gathers downstairs at the inn. Once all the gear is gathered, the party rides out of Aldasar toward the north.
The day passes without incident. In the afternoon, the city of Kivley looms in the distance, but the party decides to bypass it.
The night passes warm, but quiet.
29 Ardor 508
The day passes warm and without incident. The city of Skeene is passed in the afternoon.
That night, Surm is attacked by a dire wolf, but the creature is eventually dispatched by the party. Rilka and Mõrvar drag the corpse out of camp and Savaric collects the creature’s teeth. Alasir finishes Surm’s watch, as he’s too traumatized to finish.
30 Ardor 508
This day is passed without incident as well. The party rides around the city of Braith at the end of the day. Rilka reorganizes the guard shifts to ensure that Surm doesn’t guard alone anymore.
1 Longday 508
The party travels northwest into Jossia and arrive in Yrda by sundown. The people there openly stare at the stately entourage that enters the rural village. The group is eventually met by the King and the elder-priests of the village, as identified by Rilka. One of the priests, Lazar Gonlafsson, is Rilka’s adoptive father and priest of Bruni. The two embrace and greet each other. The King welcomes them to Yrda and says that this is indeed a great day of homecoming, for another of their prodigals have come home. Leglaf Alefsson has come home as well. There will be a celebration in the main hall. The party is led to the center of the village to the main longhouse. . .