Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

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Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:48 pm

Malazek wrote:Brackwater. Nestled between the Malbog and the Eldworn Forest, the old town sits right in the middle of the Wyver Woodland and serves as a waystation for those travelling along the Imperial March.

The Malbog is an ancient pete mire (just south of the town). It's brackish waters gave the town of Brackwater it's name. The Eldworn Forest is an ancient wood (just north of the town), filled with towering trees older than time itself. The Wyver Woodland is a narrow band of land (roughly 4 miles wide) that runs between the Malbog and the Eldworn Forest. The Imperial March is a stone highway that was constructed through the Wyver Woodland, as a means of traversing from the Coastal Ports (west) to the Imperial Center (east). Even further east, past the Imperial Center, lies the Bitten Peaks (mountains).

EDIT: History buffs take note! The Wyver Woodland also marks the old border of Arkhosia and Bael Turath.


Last edited by Malazek on Mon Aug 17, 2009 9:26 am; edited 3 times in total
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:48 pm

Malazek wrote:As you arrive in Brackwater, a dangerous storm rolls in. This time of year, inclement weather such as this is not at all uncommon, but this particuliar tempest seams particuliarly severe. Like a blanket, the rain rolls in, and within seconds you are soaked to the bone. Bttering winds threaten to bowl you over as you seek refuge in the closest open establishment: The Stewbowl, a rustic inn on the town's edge.

Just inside the door, a sign reads:
*Hasenpfeffer and Bread 2 silvers
*Fresh coney with veggies, soup, bisquit, and pudding 5 gold
*Venison sausage with veggies, soup, bisquit, and pudding 5 gold
*Humble pie (large slice) 2 silver
*Tharrid (bread stew) 1 silver
*CLEAN WATER 2 SILVERS!
*Pitcher of Ale 2 Silvers
*Rooms 5 silvers
*Fancy rooms with bath and stabling 2 gp.

As you gather your bearings, the Inn Keeper approaches. "Come in! Come in! Hot meals should be available shortly, so find a table if you please. Might you be interested in a room, as well? I don't think this storm is going to clear up anytime soon."

Glancing toward the common room, you see that it's mostly empty. A pair of Imperial Soldiers are sitting at a table near the door; a dark shadowy figure (brooding as expected) is sitting at the corner table; and lastly, an elderly woman is warming her arse by the fire. Aside from that, the common room looks warm and inviting.

OOC: Make you entrances. Include WHY you have come to Brackwater, if you didn't do so already (in the registration thread). If you haven't made a character yet, you still can; just post her/him and enter the Inn like everyone else. This invitation stands as long as the party remains in the common room, but after that we'll have to introduce your character some other way.


EDIT:
151prooftattoos wrote:Can you give a detailed description of the inside of the Stewbowl? The main area that is, thanks~~~
It's a wooden building, with hardwood floors. The walls and ceiling are also hardwood. A small 5' x 5' vestibule separates the front door from the door that leads into the "main area."

Immediately in front of you as you enter through the vestibule is a light oak floor stretching out before you. The Innkeeper's desk is just to the right (there's a door behind the desk, but you don't know where that leads). Straight ahead of you are stairs going up, and just to the left of the stairs is the door to the kitchen.

To your left is the larger common room, which is a slight step down and dimly lit, though a large field stone hearth dominates the far wall. The floor and walls here are made f a dark mohagony. Five round tables of various sizes occupy the common room. The soldiers are at the nearest table and the shadowy skulker is in the far left corner. An elven woodsman and an old crone are talking at the table nearest to the hearth. The top of the walls are decorated with wicker lattice, that has all maner of strange decorations hanging from it: dear antlers, empty jugs, a heavy axe, a helmet, a wagon wheel, et.al. The mugs are tin; the dishes are stoneware.

At the top of the stairs is hallway, running perpendiculiar to the stairwell. On the frontside of the hall are four doors, which apparently lead to the cheap rooms; on the backside of the hall, there are only two doors, atleast one of which leads to a luxory room (yours). The top of walls in the hallway have the same wicker lattice as the common room, but the only think hanging from it are candle sconces (some lit, others not).

The whole place smells of burning hickory and stewing spices.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:49 pm

Swifthand wrote:Davin Fletcher is a local woodsman who eeks out a living by trading in animal meat, pelts, and skins, and leading hunting parties in the Eldworn Forest (for a small fee). He oftentimes finds his customers in Brackwater, though Davin has had little other use for the town. Unfortunately, hunting has been scarce the last few weeks - it has been as if the animals have been hiding from something, and, having used the last of his meager supplies, Davin found that he had to go to Brackwater. Best case scenario, he would find a customer, worst, a meal.

"Venison sausage and ale; we'll see about the room." I speak in a low voice, though discernible from the drumming of the rain on the roof. "I'll have it over by the hearth."

I go over to a table by the hearth and pull a chair closer to the fire. I hang my cloak and pack near the fire to dry out, and then sit, trying to dry off as I wait for my order.

Does any of the bar patrons look like they may be in need of a guide?


-Swift
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:49 pm

151prooftattoos wrote:WoeVangg continued south, creeping quietly through the Eldworn forest. The wind stirred and the rain wetted the tiny dwarf's raiments.
"Bedamned human said thar be a town dis way," he grumbled.
He pressed onward- the ground quickly became soft and muddy. Vangg's cautious stroll turned into a very fast-paced walk. The storm turned into all-out onslaught -he was soaked.
"'Keep headin' south', he said!" the dwarf griped, "Near da Moonbog, da Town o' the Brickwashers! Can't miss it! All me sees be: mud, trees, and nuthin'!"
Vangg continued (he was running now), it appeared that the forest ended up ahead and there might be a clearing.
"Bedamned human," he said, "Ye place had best o' be up thar."
As the dwarf reached the edge of the Eldworn forest, he could indeed see a small town in the distance, down a hill. The rain never let up, it hammered down and drenched everything.
"Oki human, me takes back me curses," Vangg said, "Ye did ..."
Before he could voice the rest of his thought, the dwarf entered the clearing and tripped on a tree's protruding root. He rolled down the steep hill and came to a stop -face down in a muddy puddle.
The anger swelled in his veins as he used both hands to push himself to one knee. He was completely covered in mud.
"Bedamned, sonuva goat-herding ...!" he screeched, "Blasted, motherless ...!"
Vangg started to wipe the mud from his face and eyes, but his leather gloves were also covered in muck.
"Grrr ... What da blasted, bedamned hell?!"
He continued along; through the miry grass and toward the town, fighting and cursing the wind.

****

After finding a road, WoeVangg followed it into Brackwater. The storm continued to beat on him; the rain stung as it spattered on his face.
He could see a sign just ahead, it read: The Stewbowl.
"Stewbowl?!" he said, "Me walks all dis way fer supplies, food, an' strong drink, an' all dey have be a Stewbowl? Vangg continued to complain, "... no Red Dragon Tavern, no Iron Axe Inn, just a bedamned Stewbowl! Dey best o' have da damndest stew ever cooked in dis side o' the muddy hellhole o' Wyvern Woods or what nots it be called!"
Muddy, drenched, and fuming, Vangg opened the door and went inside.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:50 pm

Malazek wrote:The Innkeeper brings Davin his preliminary soup, just as a bedraggled Vangg stumbles in. "I'll bring the sausage and sides out, shortly." Stepping graciously away, he yells "Come on in, good sir! Hot meals are being served, and we got rooms, also" back toward the door.

As he does, the old woman by the fire steps over to Davin's table. "Ehh? Yer dat der woodsman dats been hangin' 'round, ain't che?"

(Maybe SHE needs a guide? Tough to say. Davin's Insight tells him that she needs SOMETHING, but either she doubts he's the man for the job, or she doubts he can handle it alone).

Meanwhile, the Inn Keeper takes Vangg's order, and dashes away to serve it up.
OOC: What's Vangg having? And where does he sit?
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:51 pm

151prooftattoos wrote:"Hold dat der order good ma'am," grumbled Vangg, "Me's be needin' a good room, a bath, an' a mug o' coffee first! Please an' thanks! Lead ye da way. Ye Mothers o' Nature decided ta stomp 'er feets on dis poor ol' dwarf!"
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:51 pm

Malazek wrote:"Yes, sir. Right this way." The Innkeeper gestures towards a small girl (maybe 8 or 9 years old) standing at the foot of the stairs. "My niece will show you the way."

An elderly woman briefly emerges from the kitchen, and hands the small girl a steaming mug. The girl holds up the mug, and beckons for Vangg to follow. She leads him to one of the Inn's luxory rooms, and then hands him the mug. "My brother will bring your water."

A few minutes later, a teenaged boy knocks on the door. When Vangg answers, the boy brings in two large buckets of hot water and pours them into the wash basin at the center of the room. Then, he smiles and hands you a bar of soap. "Thank you, sir."
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:51 pm

151prooftattoos wrote:"Thank ye," grumbled Vangg, "Me's be needin' dat food toos -when me's done, sonny." The dwarf closed the door, sipped his coffee, and got ready for his bath.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:52 pm

Swifthand wrote:"That I am, Miss. Davin Fletcher is my name, and I know the Eldworn and it's surrounds like the back of my hand. Are you looking for a guide or a woodsman, Miss? I am currently between jobs, and would be happy to assist, for a modest fee, of course."

I take a large gulp of my soup straight from the bowl, and then wipe my mouth with the back of my dirty sleeve.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:52 pm

Malazek wrote:Davin ...

"Well, yeh," the old woman continues. "B'what Ah really be needin's a a'm'd escort ... with a guide er tracker. 'Tis a dangerous journey 'tis." Squinting one eye, she glares at Davin for a moment, and then quickly surveys the room. "But ... don't seem like ders enough fer the job." With a boney finger she gestures towards the few other patrons. "Ah asked dem, but deys all too busy to 'elp an ol' woman."

"Sorry, ma'am," one of the soldiers says, turning around in his chair. "Imperial duty. We can't deviate from our assignment. Not for anything." Both soldiers turn toward the shadowy figure in the corner, who deliberately ignores them. He makes no effort to disguise his contempt, but seems to be paying too much attention to his empty cup. "Bah," the other soldier says. "Pretentious riff-raff. That's what he is."

As soon as Davin finishes his soup, the Innkeeper appears with a plate of sausage and veggies, a large biscuit on the side, and a small bowl of gravy. "My wife thought you might like some gravy with that, so I brought it over for ya. Free of charge." And he smiles.



Vangg ...

... washes up, and then soaks while finishing his coffee. The coffee is smooth and earthy, with a hint of chicory. The water is warm and relieving, and despite the coffee, Vangg eventually dozes off. When he wakes, he notices a folded piece of paper on the floor in front of the door, as if someone slid it under.

When he eventually picks it up and reads it, he discovers a cryptic warning:
"Beware the Hag dressed in maiden, for her secret is a terrible one."
The unusual syntax does not escape Vangg's notice.

Vangg knows a little something about Hags (Passive Arcana 15): Hags are said to know dark rituals that allow them to scry on distant places, see the future, manipulate the weather or even place curses on those who anger them. They usually gather in covens, but singular hags are not so rare. (You can make an actual Arcana check if you'd like to know more).

Eventually, Vangg gets dressed and makes his way downstairs, where the Innkeeper brings his order. By the time he gets down there, Davin is almost finished with his supper.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:53 pm

Swifthand wrote:"Thank you." I reply evenly. "I ordered an ale, as well."

I then pour my gravy over the sausage and veggies, and using the large biscuit to help shovel the concoction into my mouth, begin to eat noisily.

With my mouth overfull with venison sausage, I turn back to the old lady, and say "Wellmmph, Immph canthph omffpher mymph sirmphases", after which I immediately stuff more food in my mouth.

-Swift
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:53 pm

Malazek wrote:"Wha? Oh! My sincerest apologies." The Innkeeper brings Davin a large frothy pitcher.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:54 pm

151prooftattoos wrote:Bedamned Hags! Vangg thinks to himself. Who left dat letter?

Tasting the Tharrid and finding it extremely savory, the dwarf couldn't help but yell about it, "Me bedamned! Ye have da best stew from any such Stewbowl dis side o' da Wickwasher Woods! Mmmmm mmmm!"

He smiled and stood, with bowl and spoon in hand, and made his way over toward the dark and shadowy being in the corner. Vangg sat down in the chair closest to the figure and whispered, "Ye be passin' letters ta folk?"
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:54 pm

Malazek wrote:Vangg ...

Leaning forward, the shadowy figure in the corner whispers a response "Now who told you THAT?!" His glare becomes menacing, and Vangg notices the man slowly pulling his dagger from it's sheath.

Passive Insight 19: The man feels threatened, and is making no effort to hide the fact; he does not, however, know who Vangg is or what he is talking about. In fact, he seems to think Vangg meant something else altogether. Also, the soldiers are now on edge, as if they KNOW something is about to go down, but are powerless to stop it. Whatever it is, the Elf by the hearth suddenly looks surprised. OOC: You can roll an Insight Check (d20+9) to find out more.



Davin ...

After the bedraggled Dwarf returns and recieves his meal, he moves to a table rather near the corner. Shortly after, Davin notices the Soldiers have stopped talking. He looks around, and spots something unusual ...

Passive Perception 21: As the shadowy figure reaches back for his dagger, Davin catches a glimpse of the Imperial Insignia on his right lapel, previously hidden by his dark cloak. OOC: You can make a Perception check (1d20+11) to see more.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:54 pm

151prooftattoos wrote:Taken aback by the man's unusual response, Vangg quickly replied, "Easy, me kind sir. Me was wunderin' if ye were a messenger? If ye delivered things for folk. Me sees ye ain't no errand boy. Me mistake."

Vangg slowly backs up and takes his former seat at the table where his coffee mug still stood.

OOC: How is the weather outside? Still terrible?
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:56 pm

Swifthand wrote:I gulp down my last bite of food as I see this occur. Amazingly, I have cleaned my plate in approximately four bites. The old lady may count herself lucky that her hand never strayed close to my mouth, because there is a good chance our budding business relationship would have ended in tragedy.

Perception check = 28

In a low voice, I say "You best get behind me, ma'am. We may have trouble here."

I pull out my bow and lean my quiver on the chair next to me. I then take my napkin and begin to wipe down my bow, breaking every so often to take a drink from my mug and keeping a close eye on the cloaked figure, the dwarf, and the Imperial Guards (in that order).

O.O.C. - What is the general view of the Empire? Benevolent? Corrupt? Would we have a reason not to trust these guards?
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:56 pm

Malazek wrote:The man in the corner accepts Vangg's explanation, and returns his dagger to it's sheath. "It's okay," he says, "common mistake." The guards seem relieved.

The silence is punctuated by a suddenly blast of thunder, just outside the inn. As if on cue, the Innkeeper suddely arrives with Davin's spotted schlong. "Your pudding, sir."

Now, the common room is silent, save for the constant rumble of rain and the crackling of fire (the weather is still awful). After a moment, the shadowy figure heads up stairs, presumably to his room.

Imperial Guards are usually no trouble. Like any group, however, there are good and bad members. Typically, though, canidates to the academy must pass strenous tests, including character evaluations. So, they at least start off as "good guys" even if bitter circumstances sometimes change that. The Empire itself has been benevolent, atleast in this area. Certian groups, especially newly conquered additions, have a different opinion.



Davin: Perception 28 ... Under his Imperial Insignia, the cloaked man bore the rank of Lt. Colonel (a rather high position to be travelling with so few soliders). Davin also notices that the Lt. Colonel does indeed have a scroll case hidden under cloak (so maybe he's a courier of sorts, after all).

The old woman whispers in your ear "Peer'aps de dwa'f kin join us? S' one mo, at any rate."
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:57 pm

151prooftattoos wrote:Vangg beams a smile at the woman, lays 5 gold on the table, and says, "Me retirin' early ma'am, da rains puts dis ol' dwarf ta sleep."
Excusing himself from the table, the dwarf waves and walks up the stairs to his luxury room and closes the door.
"No bedamned Hag gonna chop dis dwarf up an' puts me in her stews! Causin' da rains ta fall an' reel in her prey!" he thought to himself.

OOC:Any windows in this luxury room?
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:57 pm

Malazek wrote:There are three windows in your room; two overlooking the backlot on the southside, and the other looking out the side toward the east. (The door is on the northside of the room, and leads to the center hallway; the west wall seperates your room from the other luxory room).

"Good night, Goodsir Dwarf" the soldiers say, as Vangg heads off.

After Vangg leaves, the old wamn says to Davin "I'm aguessin' ah should be gettin' t'bed anyhows. We'll b'needin' mo than teh two o'ya. Let me get yer dinnah, an' Ah'll see ya in deh mo'nin'." She sets down a pile of gold (enough for your meal, your drink, and your room) and heads off.

"Night ma'am," the soldiers say. "Wish we could help."

After she leaves, they get up. "Good luck on your journey, Mr. Fletcher." Then, they too head up the stairs.

The Innkeeper comes over and begins picking up coins, as his kids emerge from the kitchen to wipe up the tables. "Can I get you anything else, my friend?"
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:57 pm

151prooftattoos wrote:Vangg quickly gathered his things together, opened the east window, and jumped out to the ground below.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:58 pm

Malazek wrote:Vangg takes 3 Damage from the drop, and lands ankle deep in mud and water.

Despite his dwarven low-light vision, it's difficult to see because of the rain obscuring his vision; but a quick flash of lightning illuminates the town before him. A short distance in front of him is another large wooden building, but the details are difficult to make out. To his left is the muddy street, lined with several distant buildings (only a handful of which are lit from the inside); to his right, a steep decline leads into the haze (where he knows the Malbog lies in wait).

Within seconds, he is drenched in warm rainwater, which is quickly chilled by the cold night air.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:58 pm

151prooftattoos wrote:The dwarf whispers a small prayer under his breath and heals himself.
Quickly, he makes his way down the muddy street and knocks on a door (of one of the buildings with a light inside).
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:58 pm

Malazek wrote:Healing yourself (even with the Healing Word power) requires you to spend a Healing Surge.
I marked one off on your character sheet, for you
.

Vangg makes his way to a nearby building and pounds on the door. The structure appears to be a smithy, with a place of residence on the second floor. It takes the smith a while to answer, but eventually a burly man makes his way downstairs and cracks the door just enough to say "Yes? What can I do for ya?"
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:59 pm

Sundown wrote:Kardan's muscles stung with pain as he hurried to fill as many buckets of rainwater as he could. Several other townfolk were filling pails , skins , bowls and whatever else they could with the fresh stormwater that poured from the holes in the water tarps near the center of Brackwater. Brackwater lay on the outskirts of The Malbog , so much of the water was stagnant in the area and the nearest stream was a good hike north into the Eldworn Forest.Many of the streams would be muddy from the heavy rains, so many folks used the tarps when it rained to get a fresh supply of water.

Kardan finished filling the eight buckets he got from The Stewbowl , that would be a good 8 silver from the Innkeeper , enough for about 2 days of food and a room until he found someone willing to hire him as a sellsword.
Work was usually abundant on the Imperial march , but it had been slow of late and Kardan had squandered the last of his savings out of boredom on ale and woman.

Kardan saw a man eying him and shaking his head , no doubt wondering how he was going to carry all 8 buckets of water he had filled. Kardan picked up his spear from the ground and ran it threw the handles on the buckets and hoisted them onto his shoulders balancing 4 on each side and gave the man a wink as he walked towards The Stewbowl. The man scoffed and went about his business.

As he neared the Stewbowl he noticed a dwarf jump out the inns window and scurry away toward the smith. But didnt notice anyone follow him out or come out the door in chase.

Kardan kicked the door to the inn twice and yelled the innkeepers name.
The innkeeper opened the door.
"Plenty of water down at the tarps, Tomas, I could easily get you more; might not be another rain for a week or so." Kardan said, hoping to make as much money as he could this rain.

"By the way , was there trouble here a minute ago? , saw a dwarf making what seemed a rather fast exit."

O.O.C. You can edit in the proper money and innkeeper name if ya want.
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Re: Book One: Chapter One: "Dark Skies"

Post  Malazek on Sun Aug 16, 2009 12:59 pm

Malazek wrote:Kardan ...

The innkeeper (who Kardan knows as Tomas) answers the door.

"Yes, yes! Bring them in! Pour them right into the basin, as usual!" he agrees with enthusiasm. As if the coins were already in his hands, he gives Kardan the usual 8 silver pieces.

As Kardan passes through the main area into the kitchen, Kardan notices an elven woodsman sitting by the hearth in the common room. Kardan recongizes the elf as one who is not a complete stranger to Brackwater. He seems to be finishing a plate of the Stewbowl's infamous pudding, as Tomas's son and niece (Tomy and Lyda) wipe the tables clean.

"Good idea, yes!" Tomas answers. "Eight more buckets, please!"

...

"Hmm? What? the Dwarf left? That's odd, though he paid already, so I guess I got no complaint about it. At any rate, he'll probably be back shortly. Can't go too far in this rain. ... When you come back I'll feed you and give you the rest of the silver."
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Malazek
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