Chapter 2

Aug 23, 2009

As Audelaine the Bard finishes her show, the party winds down, and the adventurers make their way off to bed. Helix, still in control of his wits, is alert as he winds through the streets of the town and ascends the path to the monastery. A sudden, shadowed movement catches his eyes - he spies the furry form of a dire rat waiting in ambush. Swiftly he draws and throws six shuriken, hitting with three, and the doomed rat falls from the rocky overhang it was trying to climb in escape.

After a night of sleep Helix makes his way back into town, and enters the shop of Uglick, the weapon trader, where he purchases for himself an oak wood staff for just such eventualities - wisely he knows that not all foes would succumb to the thrown weapons, and others he would not wish to touch with his fists of fury.

For the elves and their newfound 'friend', the morning of day two starts bright with hope.

In the common area of the Red Griffon Inn Dimble has settled down to a large meal. All are inspired by his eating prowess - even the old cook, cynical and fat, has to come from the kitchen to watch as the gnome puts away eggs and flapjacks, bacon and waffles, steak and omelets, grits and milked meal, fruit and sausage, ham and cheese…and a warm pint of honeyed mead with which to wash it all down. While gorging Dimble's mind works as tirelessly as his appetite, and his thoughts turned inward to his own machinations.

Meanwhile, Cadreil Eryllion looks on for awhile in amusement, but soon grows impatient, already becoming bored with the confines of the city. 'Hey You' has disappeared again, his ways sometimes mysterious, and Sean's constitution has reached 1 as he lay retching inside their shared room. Cadreil considers for awhile stiffing the cleric with the bill for the room, but realizes at some point he'll have to rely on his friend, so he carries on smartly.

Meanwhile, the night before a stranger to the monastery had entered Kronenbourg. Buliwyf Sleejovik, a barbarian who had booked passage from Bohitia City, having traveled with the great monk Janni, made himself comfortable in the sty that was called Slagvern's Tavern. At home in the dim light amidst lizard folk and halforcs, the barbarian drank himself blindingly drunk so that a loud, sustained banging upon his room's door was all that awoke him from his liquor induced stupor. Blinking eyes blurred and red from the previous night's excesses, he stood, albeit wobbly, and made his way to the door. With naught but small clothes hiding his privates he opened the portal to find his disgusted traveling companion awaiting him.

"Come," ordered Janni. "You must meet your companions…and then bathe for a week."

Waiting for Buliwyf to get dressed, Yanni then led him across the street to the Red Griffon Inn, where he found Dimble working on his fourth serving of pig intestines. Helix arrives at roughly the same time, and the group is introduced and gathered, Dimble mumbling something unintelligible as he spits food to the four winds.

As the morning nears midday, Cadreil begins to grow increasingly bored, and tales of Helix's adventures gnaw upon his ego. Eager to test his mettle, he leads the way in question locals and serving wenches for rumors and hints of adventure, and finally Helix mentions the bounty on dire rats throughout the area. With a hunger for bounty and a thirst for adventure, the intrepid band gird themselves for a rat hunt.

Heading south from the town, the group hears the horrifying tale of a child slaughtered by the little blighters. Cadreil, showing off his ranger prowess, follows a trail from where the child's family lives to the edge of the rice paddies - there he notes some holes in the retaining wall where the beasties may have fled.

With an eye for detail they flush three of the critters out, and do battle! During the melee, Helix kills another, this one with his bare hands, while Cadreil scores several hits with arrows. Dimble, too, shows prowess with his crossbow, but later falls in the water when he attempts to strike directly at one of the oversized rodents. Buliwyf shows immediately his martial prowess, but sustains a perforated wound that would later grow septic, and 'Hey you' contributes as well so that the first three rats are defeated in a nasty, gory way. Later, again following Cadreil, the group would slay three more of the fat rats, before making their way back to town.

At some point it is decided that Buliwyf would change his residence to the Red Griffon Inn. That afternoon, as the party recovers from their adventures and enjoys the attentions of the town's homely and fat bar maids Dimble disappears on an errand of his own. As the celebration gets underway, the inn is home to a secondary band which ducks half filled tankards of Natural Light and PBR, and listens to catcalls, jeers and chants of 'Audelaine, Audeliane!"

Meanwhile the monks' procession begins to the loud booms of drums. A large group of monks make their way down from the monastery and pour the ritual water into the font in the town. Their ritual complete a great celebration begins - Helix knows his freedom.

Finally Bard shows, to much rejoicing - she had been the guest of the monks at their festival kickoff dinner. The party enjoys the festival, and the 'Kronenboug' brand special ale, then makes their way back to see the elf's set. Once again the gnome attempts to distract her as she sings a song of Viliana and Andeyone, and he is mesmerized for his troubles. His companions are intrigued by the story of the mighty elf warrior's weapons and magic, yet even they realize that much more experience is needed before they'll be ready to take on the perils of such a quest.

Late that night sees a meeting between elves and bard, and she offers them a job - they would be caravan guards watching over horses all the way to King's Landing for the princely sum of 50gp. Without reservation the group agrees. Excited by the pending adventure, they sleep, anxious to see what the next day will bring.

The trip unfolds over a tenday, with stops in several locales. At first they are little more than fortified hillocks and tors, but a few days later they enter Coppertown. Here they find new fortifications that overlook the 'Tear of Viliana.' Here the elfmaid recovered the fallen body of her lover.

Some days later the group makes their way to Valshast, and past that they near the silvermines that surround Dwinnidale. Here the jungle grows fiercer, and large cats begin to track the party and the growing herd of horses, yet having sniffed more danger than prey they leave you alone.

Finally you reach the edge of civilization, Martin's Hold, where you find ruling textile and merchant houses ensconced as rulers. It is here that Cadreil makes time to restock needed supplies, and all of the party enjoys a warm meal, hot bath and some lovely female companionship (the populace here is larger than Kronenbourg). The group is even treated to the rare art of pit fighting - though when offered, Helix balks.

Finally, after a few more days, the grand city of King's Landing, Pinital's only seaport, looms before them. Some are awed, others bored, but all of the party is ready to see what is in store for them in the great human port…and points beyond.

Click HERE to read Buliwyf's account of this day.