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Game Master Wise Owl

A Dark Fantasy Campaign themed with touches of the Baltic, Gothic and whatever else crosses my mind.


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Female Elf Ranger 1

Standing and and bowing on recieving the formal introduction, Wynn rasps out "I am called...Wynn."stooped shoulders shuddering with a cough, she raises her hands to her hood pulling it forward a bit more. wynn takes her seat, only to slide back a bit as Slandra sits nearby, trying to keep space about herself. Wynn looks about quickly, noting once more the attention focused at her, people starting to close in. "Lady Slandra? you are a noble as well? and these..." Looks to the two brothers. "your servants?" She coughs and wheezes, using the shifting to slide her pack out a bit from between her legs. You have come this ....way on a hunting trip maybe?"

markus:
Disguise1d20 - 4 ⇒ (6) - 4 = 2
As he attempts to peer deeper, and focus' his attention on the ragged stranger, it may seem as if the suffering and wretchedness of someone in this condition are not present, and that all told, the coughs and rags would make a sight enough for most people to ignore the wretch after first glance


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Slandra blinks and thinks for a moment before responding. "I am not a noble," she says and bites her lower lip for a moment as she thinks again. "I don't think I am. No, not a noble. They are not servants. They are just people who are good fighters and they tell good stories. I have come here to fight goblins and bandits." She nods and smiles, as if happy that she's said the right thing.


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

Standing from his seat Markus takes a finial sip and leaves his mug upon the counter while responding. "Noble of heart, if not of title" motioning towards Slandra. "You seem ill .. Ser... good Slandra is a skilled healer perhaps you would permit her to take a look?" he questions in a firm yet gentle tone. Taking a careful step towards the rag wrapped stranger. Squinting his eyes and tilting his head as he gauges the response.

DM wise owl:

vs. disguise
perception check: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (2) + 1 = 3

using the hunch option of the skill
Sense motive check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25
he starting to feel that this defensive creature has something to hide probably running from the law. didn't know if i should roll but what eva


Oskar looks askance at his bowl and some of the bread and takes a moment to tear a chunk off and dip it in before bounding after the maid, with a few mutters about how he's "Not nearly paid enough for this..."

After Food and Ale is distributed, the matronly Innkeeper flashes grins all around "Now if there is anything you need, Sirs, Madam, anything at all, don't hesitate to ask. While your saying at the Old Ferryman your my guests, and I'll have no ill word said about the quality of my Inn." With that she seems to leave you to your own devices. Occasionally sliding by to fill some-ones cup, or eventually to clear dishes.

The two brothers, Kristaps and Kārlis, seem offended at the suggestion they are servants, that it is the former who speaks up. "As good Sister Slandra there says, none save that man Oscar are servants. The four of us are each our own man..." he quickly looks to Slandra and adds "... or woman. We have banded together to see what riches or glory this town may offer us, and what wrongs we might right, that we have tales to tell worthy of the title. I confess you add an excellent element to the tale Mister Wynn. 'the shadowy stranger, of sickly constitution, yet bearing the markings of a long travel down the road of blood..." he again seems to think for a moment and than adds "That last bit is just some poetic license of course...".

Kārlis nods as his brother goes on and taps his brother on the shoulder. "Some people aren't as willing to talk about themselves as you are... some have reason.. and some are just private.." he raises his mug to Wynn and than adds. "My brother does speak the truth though. we all figured four together would be stronger for what tasks we may take."

It will be a few minutes before Oskar returns, indeed through the conversation he and the maid may be seen trudging upstairs with buckets of steaming water.

For Markus:
[ooc]It is hard to say anything about Wynn. Slouching it is hard to guess at height, though not short, and surely not a Dwarf. Otherwise you can make no guesses at all, it could be your own grandfather under there. As far as motives you feel it's probably not something with the law, but rather a general wariness. You don't get an untrustworthy vibe off of Wynn, at least not yet.


Female Elf Ranger 1

Gaze darting from face to face, it takes an extended moment before the raspy voice speaks out. A generous offer Ser Knight...but I am affected only by the remnants of a grave sickness from my youth; and the weariness of a many days journey on foot. gives out a weak apologetic cough before turning the hooded gaze to the brothers I am a private...person...yes. And more used to the manners of a campfire. *cough cough*My apologies if I offended. Perhaps your brother has a tale to entertain us? My voice is getting quite worn. Wynn shifts a little more during her speech, angling herself on the bench so she can stand and not be stuck behind the table if need be. pushing her pack free of the table with a wrapped boot.

Sorry about taking so long to reply, when i got in last night the board was down!


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

Relaxing his face seeming satisfied Markus replies. "Very well I shall leave you to your meal good..ser." Downing the last gulp of his ale. "Seems I have drunk my fill, if you excuse me I am eager to wash the filth of a long travel off." With a gentle nod he turns toward the stairs stopping by Kārlis for a brief moment leaning in subtly he whispers. "watch this one." then trudging off up the stairs. In the distance the sound of directions to poor Oskar can be heard as he tussles about.


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

"Oh yes! A story!" Slandra says. She takes a sip from her mug and looks eagerly to Kristaps. She frowns a little bit as she hears the sounds of Markus ordering Oskar around upstairs.


The Afternoon of the 28th Day of the 3rd Month, 1532 Imperial Calender

Kristaps shrugs as Markus ascends the stairs, and there is an absent sound of splashing water. Oskar makes an appearance shortly there-after to quickly snag the remainder of stew now cold before re-attending to Markus upstairs.

In the meanwhile Kristaps takes the advice and after making sure to order another Ale for himself to have handy, he taps his finger on his chin before launching into a tale.

"In the time before the Great Southern Empire, in the Kingdom of Kelče, before the Good King Jasips had put his mark on the throne, there lived a farmboy in a small village...." such begin many tales, and this one has familiar elements to all of you.

The farmboy of humble origins who, on the Day of the Sun(The Summer Soltice), is beguiled by a pretty young girl to actually search for the Fern Flower, rather than merely use it as a euphemism for courting. He is soon lost deep within the forest and comes across a fearsome giant of a woman, a crone who stoops to eat him but promises to stay her hand if he performs three impossible tasks for her. In turn the boy discovers how to shout a whisper, light a candle with the sun, and determine from two locked boxes which contains gold and which lead. The Hag sends him forth, and of course, he discovers the Fern Flower and yet the morale of the story seems to be he discovers that wit and wisdom are farm more valuable than even the luck of a goddess.

By the time the story is done, Markus has returned, shaved and cleaned. Kārlis had vanished for a brief while, returning himself washed, though he seems content to have merely had some warm water for his face and hands. Some of the other patrons have listened to Kristaps story, and more have filtered in as the day has stretched from mid-day into the evening.

Finishing his tale, Kristaps downs the last of his drink and turns to his companion. "So did we want to head to the Mers now? See the town hall and a bit of the town before it gets dark? There's plenty more time for stories. Or I suppose we could sit around drinking and do that tomorrow morning... maybee our coughing friend here would like to join us? We might end up hunting goblins in the Swamps and I hear the Bog air is good for the lungs..." It's hard to know whether Kristaps is being serious or not.

Kārlis voices his opinion simply "We should do this now I think, it's why we're here." He looks a tad askance at his brothers invitiation to the armed bundle of bandages that Wynn appears to be and says "Don't go volunteering some-one else for our hazards brother. Not everyone who bears knives or a sword is keen to use them, though there is nothing to stop you from coming along if you wish..."

Two things. Firstly I'm going to start posing rough time/dates/possibly locations at the top of my general posts to give a broad idea of things and to indicate when chunks of time pass. Secondly I'll give everyone a post or perhaps two, but best to move this along I think.


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

Markus fiddles with the various claps and folds of his fashionable clothing as he approaches the group. Taking a finial moment to shine the pommel of his sword. Raising his head as he parts some stray hair from his face. "Yes we must be off to the Mers at once, we have lingered here long enough." he states with a renewed vigor. "Anyone who can pull their weight is welcome to join... however this is a perilous quest we under take not for the faint of heart."

Addressing Oskar he casually mentions. "Mind your tasks I suspect we shan't be gone long... and see to Argentus."

Immediately approaching the door exiting the Inn, he turns for a brief moment. Surprised that everyone isn't directly behind him. "well...?" he questions impatiently.


Female Elf Ranger 1

"A nice enough tale...thank you..." Rising, swaying slightly, then bending down and shouldering the ragged pack, Wynn shuffles to the door. "I will...take an equal share...danger and reward..." then stifiling a cough with a ragged fist the ragdoll shuffles after Markus.


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Slandra hurriedly gulps down the rest of her ale and jumps to her feet. "I'm coming," she says. She takes a moment to straighten her armour, then runs her fingers through her hair to remove some of the knots. "Okay, ready."


The Afternoon of the 28th Day of the 3rd Month, 1532 Imperial Calender

Oskar makes some comment about 'pressing the sheets' that one thinks might be euphemistic as the party departs the Inn, a motly crew indeed. The streets of this main thoroughfare are well cobbled, and the remnants of frost and ice makes going slippery.

The road into the town center is intersected several times by other streets leading to different area's of town, but there is enough on the main thoroughfare to draw interest. A Jewellery Store, A Book-seller and a full-time Clothiers, all large well constructed modern buildings indicate a town of growth with enough wealth that some have pretensions to culture and luxury. The ringing of Blacksmiths hammers from another building, and smaller signs for Coopers, Cobblers, Tailors and a Pawn Shop all bespeak to the more mundane activities of the town.

The streets are occupied, but not over-bustling. The occasional pair of guards are the only armed people you see other than yourselves, with commoners bustling about the approaching end of the day.

The Central square of the town is a large open area that has been set with over-lapping flag-stones and remains clear of the snow banks and ice of the main-road, though the straw and animal droppings are still every-present.

It is clear that square has a use both as a civic location, but principally for a market. The Blacksmith marks the entrance to the Square proper, and there are several more prestigious shops. A Store advertising itself as a 'General Merchant sits next to a strange shop named 'Birzgalis' Potions, Medicines and Oddities' whose front is covered with paintings of bottles of a dozen shapes, sizes and colours. There are dozens of empty wooden booths and places for other merchants to set up. Your presume that the square must be truly busy during the Market day.

A steepled Church with a prominent Bell-tower made of what must be imported brown stone is the most dominating structure in the square, and a man in priestly garments is even now sweeping the front steps.

Lastly is the presume heart of your search. The Town Hall is a large single Hall, with a steeply slanted roof, made of the local grey stone. Several small windows sit high up on the side of the structure and a small stairway leads up to impressive doors of Oak. What must be the town Seal sits in carved stone above the door, a belt surrounding a Tree.

Perhaps more interesting than the door itself are the two dozen or so notes that have been tacked or nailed to it's front. Most are public announcements of little interest; here a wedding pronounced. Here a notice about a dead man's will being read. Several are lists of bill of sail and should any of you wish to purchase several 30-stride lengths of Southern Cotton, you will be able to on the 30th. However, there are several notes that might catch your attention before you enter.

Components Wanted!:
While most of the notes on this door are in the same hand, of what you imagine is a town clerk, this note is done in an exaggerated script and reads 'Components Wanted! Coin paid in exchange for Rare or Hard to Acquire alchemical components. Inquire at Birzgalis' Potions, Medicines and Oddities

Good Pay:
This note simply reads 'Good Pay to Brave men willing to help with a pest problem. Inquire to Saw Mill.

Men of Skill required:
This note isn't written in the crisp script of the local clerk, but in a much tighter, tidier hand. It reads 'Men of Skill required to recover lost heirloom. Amateurs and Cowards need not respond. Reasonable compensation. Inquire at Clerks Desk or at Granny Vanags directly.

Assuming you continue inward, the doors open easily enough into a grand hall. The walls have several ensconced lamps which burn brightly, and two open fire-places fill the place with a full heat despite it's size. There are several doors on the far side which you imagine must lead to other, smaller rooms. There is a raised platform on the far side on which sit three chairs, and above the centre of which hangs a pendant of red bearing three intersecting yellow line above a yellow circle.

Knowledge Nobility check DC 15:
It is the Heraldry of House Paradus, the house of the local Baron

There are several other pendants hanging from the walls, and two tapestries which seem to show a scene of the town, and the other a Battle between Telvan forces and stylized Kef raiders. To one Side sits a large sturdy table. Behind this table is a young man perhaps just in his early twenties garbed in a thick grey-wool cloak he drawns around himself above similar simple garments. He has a somewhat fancy looking Blue cap set on his head, and a quill pen in his hand, three others layed aside, along with a knife and a pot of ink. A small stack of paper sits in front of him, along with several candels, only one of them presently lit, a small measure of sealing wax, and a thick looking seal.

The Clerk, for that's what you imagine he must be, watches you all enter with an obvious growing curiosity that he hides behind a simple "Um, may I help you?"


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

While walking the streets of Trenci Markus breathes in the town, taking note of the shops and general disposition of its people. Occasionally offering an affirmative nod to those that pass his gaze, while often patting the dust off his noble garb.

Carefully reading the posted notices he casually remarks. "This town seems rife with possibilities, perhaps we should broaden our scope...I feel that it is best if I handle the negotiations."

As Markus travels through the grand hall he walks with an air of confidence as if he had been here a hundred times before. Approaching the desk of the young clerk he declares. "Greetings good Ser, I am Markus Vangazi son of Andris and these are my fellow companions." offering forth a formal greeting gesture of the courts. "We have heard tell of your towns peril and have come to offer our assistance as brave warriors of Telva." Raising his head proudly in announcement. "We humbly request an audience with your good and honorable Mers." a gentle smile crosses his face seeming satisfied with himself.

diplomacy check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Slandra squints at the posted notices and her mouth moves slightly, muttering, as she softly tries to pronounce what is written there. "Com...po...nents..." As the others head inside, she suddenly realizes she's about to be left behind, so scurries after them, looking a little embarrassed.


Female Elf Ranger 1

Wynn takes in the shops and people, shambling along keeping close to the healer and the brothers. The hood lingers breifly in the direction of the smithies, and the clothing shop, though she does not slow her pace.

Markus wrote:
"This town seems rife with possibilities, perhaps we should broaden our scope...I feel that it is best if I handle the negotiations."

In a low rasping voice towards the brothers "He's not serious is he? If he speaks...to the workers of...this town like he does...his servant...we shall be...strung up..."

Wynn stays to the rear, trying to not draw attention once they enter the Hall.

...wincing slightly at Markus' bold declaration


Kārlis and Kristaps seem to be enjoying the town as much as any of the group, examining the shops as everyone moves towards the square. Kristaps jabs a thumb towards the strang shop covered in bottles with a raised eyebrow as you approach the door to the Town-Hall, but stops along others to try and read the signs.

"I think your right Markus, this place seems... well it seems there is alot one can do for coin, which is good..." Kristaps observes, his brother nodding his head.

After Wynn's observation however Kristaps has to stifle a guffaw, while his brother merely allows the corners of his mouth, and thus the corners of his moustache, to perk up.

The clerk, with his ink stained fingers seems a tad taken aback by Markus'... forwardness. He swallows a bit as he takes you in and than seems to look over the entire party as he evalutes.

"I'm sorry did you say Markus Vangazi? Oh, a noble..." he clears his throat, shuffles a few papers, which are self-evidently blank so what he was looking for.

"There was um... there was no... I mean there isn't... any mention of your comming or... what I mean to say is that you don't have an appointment..." he looks down again at the blank sheets. "Oh... but... nobody does right now... I think the issue with the pigs is dealt with um... wait here...."

The rather confused and bookish looking scribe, who fiddles with his expensive cap as he vanishes through a door, seemed rather taken aback as he leaves you in the hallway. It is only a few moments before he comes back out walking towards you. He bows very slightly as he says "The Mers would be very happy to meet with you, in fact he..." the clerk is cut off as the door he entered through opens again and a rather larger than life gentlemen enters the hall.

Standing easily six feet, but rotund enough to have just barely made it through the door, the man dressed in an over-coat of red velvet with fur lining and a matching cap, adorned with a large gold medallion he displays prominently around his neck, is no doubt the Mers. He waves a thick hand laden in several ornate rings at the clerk and intones "Please Ervīns! If I let you stammer on these men... oh and Lady, my apologies... will be standing here until next winter. Go um... go double-check the poll tax returns and than you may go home. I shall lock up... no protests..." the clerk than bows and runs off to his appointed tasks.

Holding his rather large stomach in his hands and tilting back on his heels, which are covered in rather lovely boots of black leather, the Mers speaks slowly, smiling all the while. "Now Good Sir... Vangazi was it? An old and well known house that is. To what do I owe the pleasure of you and your companions?" He listens simply as you no doubt repeat the words you said to the clerk, and he nods his head sagely.

"Ah, well it is well that you came than. I do confess this town does have it's share of difficulties. It's share of triumphs as well, btu still, being on the edge of civilization as we are, it is a constant struggle..." parts of this sound a tad rehearsed.

"Still, there are many things that can use the attention of those brave enough to confront it. I take it you and your companions are interested in more than just positions in the city guard huh?" as this he stops and strokes his bare chin.

"There are a couple of difficulties this town places. There has been an issue with bandits on the Northern road last year. We had hoped they had abated during the winter, and yet just recently tales come to me of attacks by small groups of men against lone travellers. A messenger to the Baron's Castle was waylaid just last week and deprived of his horse, his weapons, coin and the note he was carrying. Putting a stop to that would be a service to the town of immeasurable value... though perhaps some recompense could be provided." He says this last with no hint of Irony.

"There are also a few problems with the Bog Dwellers, but I'm certain you'd not want to tarnish yourself associating with that rabble. By the way, Sir Vangazi, you hadn't mentioned if you were married or not? Or just a young Bachelor out for adventure?"

The Mers' Self-interest is entirely transparent with that last question.


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1
Wise Owl wrote:
"There are a couple of difficulties this town places. There has been an issue with bandits on the Northern road last year..."

"Bandits?" Slandra perks up at their mention.

Wise Owl wrote:
"There are also a few problems with the Bog Dwellers, but I'm certain you'd not want to tarnish yourself associating with that rabble. By the way, Sir Vangazi, you hadn't mentioned if you were married or not? Or just a young Bachelor out for adventure?"

"What problems with the bod dwellers?" Slandra asks. "And why would we not want to...um...tar--tarnish?--tarnish them?" She leans over to Kristaps and whispers by his ear, "What does tarnish mean?"


Female Elf Ranger 1

Wynn watches the fat man with unblinknig Amber eyes as he prattles on. Shifting the weight of the large pack with a tired shrug of the shoulders; the ragged figure half-turns in a dismissive way, facing only the companions.

Rasping out a cough first
"I have...some skill in the hunting of Hu....men...perhaps taking bandits....will provide the...initial funds...some need..." Blowing out a weary sigh and lowering the ragged head wearily Wynn stands waiting.


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

Markus attempts to maintain his noble pose while the nervous clerk shuffles about. He readjusts himself as the boisterous Mer enters mirroring the same formal greeting he offered the clerk.

"My companions and I have set forth with common purpose to rid your town of the troubles that besiege it." Markus states with conviction.

"Goodly Mer, if you could but provides us with any information you have about these dishonorable bandits that would aid us in dispatching them it would be most helpful. The vagrants must be truly desperate if they think that they can assault a noble messenger of this realm without retribution." He dictates with vim and vigor.

diplomacy check: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22

Slandra wrote:
"What problems with the bod dwellers?" Slandra asks. "And why would we not want to...um...tar--tarnish?--tarnish them?" She leans over to Kristaps and whispers by his ear, "What does tarnish mean?"

He turns sharply at Slandra, furrowing his brow for but a brief moment then facing the Mer again to await response.

Mers wrote:
"There are also a few problems with the Bog Dwellers, but I'm certain you'd not want to tarnish yourself associating with that rabble. By the way, Sir Vangazi, you hadn't mentioned if you were married or not? Or just a young Bachelor out for adventure?"

"Alas I have yet to take a wife ... the life of a Knight Errant is perilous indeed ... and I would not want to lay that...burden upon any fair lady..." He states as he shuffles about nervously breaking from his typical proud stance.


While Kārlis seems to just take it all in with a wry smile, Kristaps does Slandra the courtesy of trying to explain "I think he means that it would be below us to interact with the people of the swamp... or well below Markus anyways. Tarnish is like when a piece of brass stops being shiny..." he shrugs at this, hoping that explanation will suffice for now at least.

The Mers clears his throat and delicately says "That is Bog Dwellers Dear Girl... Bog Dwellers. A village of folk in the swamp of a most disagreeable sort. Useful, in that they provide the peat and some other products of the swamp no-one else wants to get, but there have been some conflicts as of late and... well as I said, you probably don't want to deal with that sort of thing."

The Mers seems all smiles, save when speaking of the Bog dwellers, whom seem to occupy in his thoughts a place somewhere above rat, but not by much. He smiles and nods as he turns to the bandits. "Right you are good Sir, they must be desperate. Granted the winter months have been lean, but they seem to grow bolder in their attacks. I have sent a few men to look for them, but I'm afraid the city guardsmen are not woodsmen, and searching the woods is far too long an affair for them. You, on the other hand, seem to be well acquainted with the wilderness. I can tell you that we do know two of them for sure by name. Bruno and Mikus, a pair of wastrels if ever there was one. Both of them were well known to the Guards in town before they took up this life. Some of their victims were able to identify them." shaking his head back and forth the Mers slowly brings up other information he can recall, stroking his rather prestigious, and abundant chin. "Other than that? Well there are at least a half dozen of the ruffians, though from reports I would think more likely a full dozen. Though they don't seem particularly strong, they have numbers, and weapons, and likely some more now through loot. I suspect Bruno or Mikus, being residence of the town, have snuck in with some of their ill-gotten coins to acquire more weapons or goods for their little band. We aren't sure if there is a leader, but they seem armed with mostly bows and other peasant weapons. Mostly they appear from hiding in the woods and demand money. There has only been a couple occasions of violence, but they are certainly willing to use those weapons they possess. I can grant as much as... Eight golden crowns a head for them, dead or alive, but no more." he widens his hands as if to express his sorrow at this sum.

Almost as an afterthought he does add "Oh, yes... well you are quite right I'm sure Sir Vangazi... life of a knight-errant. Young man, after glory, making his name and all. Well perhaps after you and your friends have had a bit of time to, as you say, deal with some of the troubles of this town, you would do me the benefit of having dinner. I'll make the invitation formal at the time of course..." His eyes practically gleam as he speaks.

Sense motive DC 15, Markus: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (13) + 5 = 18, Wynn: 1d20 + 1 + 2 ⇒ (7) + 1 + 2 = 10, Slandra: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (6) + 3 = 9. Those who pass

may know:
The Mers seem genuine in his interest to get the Bandits gone, genuinely dismissive of the Bog Dwellers, and all around up-front. However, his entire demeanor around Markus' answer to his innocuous question suggests an ulterior and highly personal motive.


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Ha! "Bod dwellers" was entirely a typo, but it works!

"Bog dwellers, right," Slandra says sheepishly, looking embarrassed. She lowers her eyes.

As the Mers goes on about the bandits, she mutters quietly to herself. "Tarnish, like not shiny brass, not shiny brass."


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

Markus listens carefully as the Mers a he describes their problems. "Fear not we shall en-devour to get to the bottom of this bandit issue or perish in the process." Staring proudly off in to the distance.

attempting to hide his discomfort with the Mers he replies."Yes we shall have to toast to our victory over these vile ruffians." a forced smile crosses his face. "If you forgive us good Mers I feel it best that we set ourselves to the task immediately. We shall take our leave and return to you once the roads of Trenci are free once again." we a parting pause Markus bows his head in a courtly fashion then turns to exit quickly but calmly.

Once outside the doors of the hall Markus lets out a sigh as if the parade of etiquette has drained him. "We have our main task now...we should investigate these other opportunities" pointing towards the notice board. "I remember passing the alchemist on our way here... if nothing else perhaps the towns folk can provide us with more insight into our mission."


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

"Tarnish ourselves," Slandra is muttering as she comes outside with the others. She looks at the skin on her hand and rubs it, smearing a bit of grime in the process. "Oh!" she suddenly exclaims. "If we see the bog dwellers, we'll get dirty and our skin won't be shiny! I get it!" She frowns. "But, I get dirty all the time..." she says trailing off, realizing that Markus is speaking.

She peers at the notice board as Markus points to it. "Will the alchemist--" she pronounces the word with a ch like in child-- "know where the bandits are?"


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1
Slandra wrote:
She peers at the notice board as Markus points to it. "Will the alchemist--" she pronounces the word with a ch like in child-- "know where the bandits are?"

" Perhaps not Slandra, but I think it best to talk to some of the townsfolk as well... the Mers doesn't seem particularly forthright he appears to have his own agenda." he says contemplatively. "Either way we can see who else in the town needs our aid and perhaps get the information we seek as well." he states as he faces the others looking for reassurance.


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Slandra nods. "I agree!"


"Quite Right, Quite Right.... well you will be sure to keep me or my clerk appraised yes? Staying at the Old Ferryman I would imagine? Capital Inn, best of the frontier. Well I'll await word, a privilege to meet you Sir vangazi, and your retinue..." the Mers is all smiles as the group leaves the hall and stops on the steps outside.

"So bandit hunting I guess? About what we expected." Kārlis observes, resting his hands on the pommel of his blades.

"Sometimes the high and mighty don't like to get dirty with the rest of us Slandra..." Kristaps observes with a playful grin and a shrug. "Yeah, lets go check out that shop. I mean there is this note about components right, and besides, it looks like an interesting place."

The town square is still rather occupied, a few more people moving about as the sun dips lower in the sky casting longer shadows. It appears many people are headed back to their homes, or perhaps out to an Inn or Tavern for a drink. You do see a small group of men in thick leather overalls smelling of sweat and saw-dust coming down the street from the North, moving towards the Old Ferryman.

Walking up to the Door of the shop it seems a simple enough affair, and as you push through the unobtrusive door with it's strange System and a single small smoky glass window set it in, a tiny bell rings from above.

The interior of the shop is smoky, but with a strange, foreign smell, spicy, like cloves and pepper, but with a medicinal scent just beneath. The walls are covered with expensive locked cabinets, whose glass fronts lets one look at the wares within. Bottles of various colours of glass, as well as several of earthenware and stoneware, line shelves, some labelled, some with little symbols on them, and some without any clue as to their contents. There is an assortment of other strange objects. Boxes containing strange components of every description; leaves and twigs, different coloured dried berries, the bones of some small animal, and powdered and substances of a dozen different consistencies and colours. Small multi-coloured stones sit in another cabinet, imbued with odd runes, and another contains what are obviously a highly baroque collection of writing quills, papers, parchments and Inks.

On the far end there is a counter, on which sit a pair of open brass bowls containing burning incense, and two strange globes of a pale yellowish light that are the only source of illumination in the room, but seem quite bright. They bob up and down in a rhythmic pattern with no clear attachment to ceiling or floor.

Behind the counter sits a younger man, his clothes marking him as probably middle class: Light green Breaches, an over-shirt of fine white cotton and a vest matching his pants, though with rather intricate needlework in yellow outlining leaves of various kinds. A Black skull-cap adorns his head, and his longish black hair is pulled back too tightly from his face into a short braided tale. While papers, an inkwell, and a few stray coins lay scattered to his left, his focus seems to be on a rather large book he keeps opening and closing, and a half dozen small bars of metal, each no longer than a baby-finger.

With a bit of a jolt he looks up, and than jolts fully upright, as if the troupe of you walking is was completely beyond his expectation. "Oh um... Hello... welcome to Birzgalis' Potions, Medicines and Oddities... how can I help you?" it's obvious he is more than a little unsettled by the group, though not obvious in particular why.

Knowledge Dungeoneering Check DC 10: Markus: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (13) + 1 = 14, Wynn: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (3) + 1 = 4, Slandra: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (20) - 2 = 18 for

Spoiler:
The Bars are common metals, from the looks of them: Iron, Tin, Copper, Lead and Silver

Haha, so Slandra can't pronounce Bog and doesn't know what Tarnish is, but apparently has a very esoteric set of knowledge...


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

Surveying the collection of strange items Markus seems almost lost among them. Jolted out of his bewilderment by the shop keeps greeting "Yes.. greetings.. we had noticed the posting at town hall looking for alchemical components...and we have come to offer our assistance in this task." Markus states what still distracted by the nature of the store.


Female Elf Ranger 1

Wynn does not enter the alchemist shop, seeming reluctant to do anything that isnt "head north out of town". Though she voices no opinion in the matter, the ragdoll leans on the wall outside, hood pointed North.


After that introduction, Kārlis looks to the walls and nods to Markus mentioning "Think I'll go wait outside with the invalid..." and strolls back out the door.

The clerk purses his lips and and settles the metal bars to one side, his eyes scrunching up as if what your asking him is particularly odd. Than they widen and his expression changes "Ah! Yes, of course. I'm sorry, I think you're the first person whose come in here asking about that. I'm Fel, I put the sign up for Master Birzgalis. I'm his apprentice you see..." his hands point to the book and the metal bars, as if that were explanation enough. He reaches beneath the counter and seems to be fiddling with an assortment of papers before he comes up with a slender stack of perhaps five or six sheets, neatly sewn together on one edge with red string.

"Right, here you go. Feel free to peruse the list. Honestly you can just take it if you like, as I said your the first to really express interest. Now there might be a few things not on that list... still. Oh, and note that we do payment both in direct cash, or in kind."

The papers themselves are a list, each item carefully layed out with a brief description, how it is to be preserved, and the respective costs. Mostly it seems to be a list of creatures; Two-Hundred Gold Pieces for a Fresh Ghoul Corpse, Several Hundred Gold Pieces for something called a Gray Ooze if it is brought in alive, a listing for Black Dragon Scales. There are a few plants listed as well, but even those sound dangerour or odd; The Shambling Mound, the Blood Root, the Blue Lotus... that last about the only thing that sounds not deadly or bizarre on the list.I'll make a complete list shortly

"That should do it I think. Was there anything else I could help you with? Some..." he stops and looks at the assembled group, and sniffs a moment. "Some Scented Soap or Oils perhaps?"

Outside Kārlis looks to Wynn, takes up a position adjacent on the other side of the door, nods and joins her in silently looking out at the street, which continues to be occupied by passing groups, mostly humans, though you will notice a pair of Dwarves in heated conversation.


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Slandra looks around the shop in wide-eyed wonder, staring at the cabinets and sniffing at the bottles and boxes. Occasionally, she looks like she's about to pick something up to examine it more closely, but she obviously thinks better of it and stops herself.

Wise Owl wrote:
"That should do it I think. Was there anything else I could help you with? Some..." he stops and looks at the assembled group, and sniffs a moment. "Some Scented Soap or Oils perhaps?"

"Do you know where the bandits are?" she asks.


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

After briefly inspecting the list Markus carefully folds it and places it within the folds of his jacket.

Fel wrote:
"That should do it I think. Was there anything else I could help you with? Some..." he stops and looks at the assembled group, and sniffs a moment. "Some Scented Soap or Oils perhaps?"

As he motions to respond he takes a moment to inspect himself with a befuddled look. Glancing at Kristaps and Slandra in disappointment he composes himself before addressing the apprentice.

Slandra wrote:
"Do you know where the bandits are?" she asks.

Stumbled by Slandra's direct question Markus adds "Yes...we have been tasked by the Mers to apprehend the Bandits who prey on the Northern Road... any assistance you could offer would be most appreciated."

Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (8) + 5 = 13


Female Elf Ranger 1

Wynn examines each group of humans carefully almost warily. Eventually the hooded gaze turns to the two dwarfs, only breaking from watch to nod briefly without turning her gaze, to Karlis when he comes out.


The clerk looks up at Slandra's very blunt question, and scratches at the side of his head for a moment, getting Markus' more eloquent repetition of the question moments later.

"Oh right, yes the Bandits on the North Road. I have heard quite a bit about them. Rumours mostly I gather. They appeared last fall and rather than vanishing, as most such groups do within a short measure of time, they became worse over the Winter months. You see there is more traffic between the town and the Barons keep during the winter months than there is on the East-Road, until the thaw. Well certainly you must see that for yourself. It is not until summer that traffic there truly picks up." He clears his throat as he contemplates.

"I'm not sure I can say anything useful. I've heard they are mostly vagabonds and ruffians, but that their leader may be perhaps a more cunning man than is usually the sort. He must be to have kept such a group together over the winter. There pattern has been to ambush people in small groups using simply hunting bows I believe, to relieve them of their money and valuables and than allow them to pass on. There have only been a few instances of violence. Of course the Baron's courier, that was all over town last week. Though with the money they are getting... well where do they spend it? They must be getting food and other supplies from somewhere. Either from some-one in town or near-by. I'm glad to that some-thing is to be done though. My master has several shipments of supplies that will be coming in next month, Inks and stone and such, and he wouldn't want it waylaid."

Outside Wynn and Kārlis attract some attention, people turning their gaze towards the silent armed pair. A small group of towns-women stop for a second to whisper behind hands conspiratorially before bursting into giggling fits and gathering on. The priest who was sweeping the steps of the nearby Church does raise his hand to wave, but makes no more gesture than that. For his part Kārlis seems content to enjoy the mutual silence.

Inside Kristaps has taken to looking over the list of ingrediants, his eyes getting a little larger with ever line. He wryly smiles "Your master seems to have a thing for Acid, half the things on here are listed as highly acidic. Also does Paralytic mean what I think it does?"

The Alchemical List:
Ghouls Flesh-The Necrotic flesh of this undead speciees is useful in a number of ways, including their paralytic properties. Most in our region will appear as decayed humans with prounced maws of sharp teeth. Recompense of 70 Crowns.

Living Amber Ooze Sample-This parasite is a similar colour to Mead or Beer, and seeks to seffuse itself through the flesh of a sentient entity. It's common environment is to hide within similarly coloured liquids that might be consumed, though there have been reports of wild varieties. The required sample cannot be dead. Recompense of 80 Crowns

Living Green Slime Sample-Simply put, this substance is green, grows like mad, and is highly acidic. Avoid physical contact. Collection in a stone or glass container is recommended. Recompense of 160 Crowns.

Werewolf Corpse-We have valid proof of the existence of the Lycanthrope. Other authorities have more information on it than we do, suffice to say we would also pay to observe the medical condition of anyone injured by such a create. Recompense of 160 Crowns or possibly more.

Living Gray Ooze Sample-It's name is pretty descriptive. It looks like a pool of stone, and is highly acidic. Living samples only. Recompense of 350 Crowns

Wyvern Poison-While mystaken by the common folk for 'dragons', this animal is hardly that creature of Myth. Possessing only two wings, two legs and a tail, it possesses a deadly venom in it's tail. Recompense of 400 Crowns per poison sack.

Living Brown Pudding Sample-Not the kind eaten during the Winter festivals. This creatures consumes all around it until it grows large enough to split into multiple copies of itself. It is possible, while utilizing weapons that cut or impale to caush it to split itself into multiple portions. It excudes a powerful acid that disolve organic matter, but should be ineffective against stone or metal. Recompense of 700 Crowns for living sample only.

Black Dragon Scales-There are no Dragons in this region, local legend not withstanding. However, there may have been such creatures at some point, provided they are not entirely mythical. The reported properties of their skin is enough that I include this possibility, alchemical tests will be done before reward is given however! Recompense of 5 Crowns per pound.

Black Dragon Heart-Included by fancy. As said, the probability of these creatures having ever been real is somewhat remote. The legendary properties of such a thing's heart, and indeed other organs is legendary itself. Recompense to be discussed.

Blue or Green Lotus-These are actually the same plant at different stages of their life cycle. They exist deep within the swamp and float atop open pools of water, either either Green, or later Blue flower petals.(a small drawing is included here). The green stage is poisonous, while the blue stage is narcotic. Ideally it should be collected with great care. Recompense of 20 Crowns per recovered flower.

Blood Flower-We've only seen a few examples of this flower(again here is a small drawing). They congregate in places where somebody has died, and have bright red flowers. Reportedly they have narcotic effects on people and can actually cause death, though reports on how this happens is varied. Regardless I would be especially careful of seeing locations with large collections of these flowers. They may produce some sort of paralytic, or simply congregate around the feeding grounds of other creatures. Recompense of 20 Crowns per dozen flowers.

The list is probably a tad more detailed in descriptive terms than I was, but in any case provides +2 to identifying the creatures or plants on it, and allows for the necessary knowledge rolls to be made untrained.


Female Elf Ranger 1

On the one side of the door Wynn atays quiet, motionless except for the odd hood swivel. Seemingly the ragdoll has cultivated an enduring patience.


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Slandra peers over Kristaps' shoulder at the list. "We will find the bandits and we will find these things for you," she says. "They will fall before our swords. What's a g...gow...gowl?


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

While explaining his knowledge of the bandit situation Markus listens intently. Pondering on what has been heard he gets distracted by the oddity of the store, staring at the ominous floating light orbs. Regaining his composure after he realizes that Fel is done talking. "Yes..fear not I assure you we will get to the bottom of this far before your next shipment. I thank you for the help on the matter if you excuse us we have much to attend to." he states nodding casually as begins to exit the shop. Turning to the clerk before he reaches the door. "We shall see what we can do about your... list as well" tapping his jacket containing the paper while offering a courteous smile.

Once the group is all assembled outside the shop Markus eyes turn towards the waning sun. "If we are to question anymore of the town we must be quick about it, night is coming upon us quickly." Addressing the group.

"It appears that the bandits have some allies with in town... I feel that is is important to unveil as much as we can about these menaces, and draw these rats from their nests."

" Perhaps this 'Granny Vanags' will know more on the matter ... undoubtedly some kindly town matron of sorts..." trailing off in thought he looks to the other for input.


The store clerk nods his head and frowns a bit at Slandra's question, adding "Oh, a Ghoul! It's some sort of undead creature. Possesses some sort of Paralytic venom or something like that? I've never seen one of course, just read about them." he turns to Markus as Markus finishes his discussion and nods. "Well we'd be grateful for the components, and I'm sure my master would want to thank you personally if you find any of them. Good luck with the Bandit issue and be sure to drop by if there is anything we can do to help. We do carry a wide range of medicinal supplies, as well as potions, unguents and ointments useful in matters Martial and Arcane..."

He pulls out his book and the little metal bars as you move to leave the shop, congregating outside.

Kristaps nods to Markus' suggestion. "That seems like not a bad idea, though do we know where to find her? Didn't the note say to inquire at the Clerk's desk or directly to this Granny Varags?"

Kārlis breaks his silence to add a contrasting opinion. "Might be, still, might be we head out on the road, see if we can find a few of them. Granted I want at least one night in that bed I put down coin for, so I'm willing to wait till tomorrow."

The shadows are growing longer over the town. Quite a few men now are streaming past you, though they seem to come mostly in a bulk group, going to the Inn you came from, or perhaps other Ale Houses in the town. Most seem to be coming from a saw-mill, clothes reeking of saw-dust. You have perhaps an hour of sunlight at most, and recall that the Clerk was sent home from the Town Hall.


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

last time i asked for directions a guard made fun of me :(

Markus ask the passing townsfolk about Granny Vanags and her location.

Gather Information about Granny Vanags
Diplomacy: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (20) + 5 = 25 bam nailed it!


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1
Wise Owl wrote:
The store clerk nods his head and frowns a bit at Slandra's question, adding "Oh, a Ghoul! It's some sort of undead creature. Possesses some sort of Paralytic venom or something like that? I've never seen one of course, just read about them."

"Oh, a ghoul! Slandra says. "I know what a ghoul is. I think you spelled it wrong on the paper."

She follows the others outside.

Wise Owl wrote:

Kristaps nods to Markus' suggestion. "That seems like not a bad idea, though do we know where to find her? Didn't the note say to inquire at the Clerk's desk or directly to this Granny Varags?"

Kārlis breaks his silence to add a contrasting opinion. "Might be, still, might be we head out on the road, see if we can find a few of them. Granted I want at least one night in that bed I put down coin for, so I'm willing to wait till tomorrow."

Slandra nods at Kārlis's comment. "We should rest well before meeting the bandits."

She waits patiently while Markus finds out about Granny Varags.


It's hardly difficult to find directions. Indeed the very first person you ask about 'Granny Varags' gives the group what amounts to a knowing look and points north. "Once your cross the bridge the path is the first one on your left, shouldn't be hard to find." indeed a couple more enquiries bring even more precise directions, it's like half the town is aware of this woman's cottage, though the reactions to the question seem to shift from raised eyebrows to suspicion to smirks.

Regardless the directions seem to indicate it won't take you more than a half-hour to reach the place, though it is outside of the town proper. Presuming the party decides to follow these directions they have a walk through the town itself, as they came in on the east road.

The North portion of town breaks into several sections. Mostly more commercial buildings, there are more smatterings of craftsmen. The squat buildings to the right side of the road seem to be a different style, and one can infer from both the stylized runic writing on some of the signs, and the presence of a few more dwarves out and about, that this might be the location of a small Dwarven population.

The Northern gate is much like the gate you first past through, though the guards on this one seem more alert, it appears this gate see's more use in the winter-months. It is not hard to tell why. Just outside the gate is a rushing river, which one would think might be more mellow after the melts have finished, but at present rushes into the towns adjoining lake with furious speed. There is a large Wood-mill visible down the river and back within the town, and several smaller mills as well. The smell of sawdust and oil seems to permeate the air as you leave the town and head back onto the road.

The road itself is still thankfully hard, though it is beginning to get muddy in some spots and is likely to be a mired muck as the spring truly gets into swing. The path you were indicated to it right where you expect it to be, and it seems equally well trod as the main road, splitting off into a wooded enclosure.

You pass what you think is an Orchard attended by a small house, and than press deeper into woods that seem more tended than those of the East road. In fair time you intersect the lake, which continues onward to the north. So close you can see the ice-flows that have yet to fully melt out on it's crystal surface, and as the shore curves north and than west, what you think may be the Swamp or Bog you have heard about.

The area at the end of the path is well cleared and sports a reasonably well-sized cottage, with a roof of tiles similar to those in town, yet otherwise having a bit more of an earthy quality. The area surrounding it has been cleared, and tree's seemingly planted in a very deliberate fashion, though not all are obviously fruit tree's. Several for vegetable gardens and herb gardens have already been entirely cleared of snow and tilled, and there are sprouts in one or two.

You can see herbs through the single small window of the cottage, and as you approach a slight, though pretty teenage girl dressed in a simple peasant dress with a heavy shawl. The girls' hair is free and wild and her eyes have a bit of a hollowed look to them. She calls out as your group comes into few "Gran! Gran! Visitors I think!" and soon enough the door to the Cottage swings open and out walks Granny Vanags, or who you imagine must be the woman. She is certainly grandmotherly, almost archetypal so: a similar simple peasant dress, though it gives matronly air to her while on the girl is seems winsome, A much thicker shawl with a more expensively woven pattern, and a head-scarf tied to secure the white wisps of hair that escape the bun at the back of her head.

She is as wrinkled as old leather, with eyes set deep behind laugh lines that speak of a long and full life. Her hands are small and yet even as she labours out, a walking stick in one hand, they seem to hold a preserved strength. She eyes the group as a whole, lingering on one person than the next, and than calls out, her voice soothing yet with a slightly mirthful cackle. "Why Hello there! Not natives to the town eh, no. Travellers? Of course, and recent too or I'd have heard. So what urgent business do you have with old Granny Vanags? Child stop Gawking!" This last she directs at the teenager who had been standing with her mouth a tad open taking in your appearance which one must admit, is both ragtag and with all the weapons showing, a bit intimidating. "Go and put the kettle on for our guests, and an extra log for the fire, night is almost here and I'm sure they'll want a bit of warmth in the belly as they travel back. So yes, what is I could help you with..." the smiles and it lights up her face.

A Knowledge(Nature) check at DC 10 Markus: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (18) + 1 = 19, Slandra: 1d20 - 2 ⇒ (16) - 2 = 14, Wynn: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (7) + 5 = 12 results in knowing

Spoiler:
The trees are a collection including local fruit tree's like apples and cherries, but also willow, oak, elm, pine, and a number of others, like a botanical collection of tree's both common and rare

A perception check at DC 12 Markus: 1d20 + 1 ⇒ (15) + 1 = 16, Slandra: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (3) + 3 = 6, Wynn: 1d20 + 7 + 2 ⇒ (9) + 7 + 2 = 18 reveals

Spoiler:
The Girl and the old woman are definitely related. Also the old woman does not appear to require a walking stick, it's an affectation.


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

"Thank you for your hospitality Madame Vanags, I am Markus Vangazi and the Mers has tasked us to rid these lands of the bandits that plague the roads." he states with his typical noble flourish. Clearing his throat and gesturing towards the group before asking. "We were hoping you would be able to aid us with apprehending these criminals, any information you could provide us would be most helpful." pausing for reflection he take a moment before blurting out. "Oh yes ... there was also a posting at the hall mentioning a task for brave souls to retrieve an item... we have come to you directly to inquire upon the matter."


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Slandra gazes at the trees and garden with a little smile. Her smile broadens as Granny Vanags comes out. "We are very brave," she adds to the end of Markus's introduction.


Female Elf Ranger 1

Wynn lingers amongst the trees, laying a ragged hand on a trunk or two in passing.
In a rasping voice your hospitality is...most welcome. it is...a wonder...to be recieved so well...by someone in your...position stooping to enter the cottage, then grabbing a spot close to the fire.

It is you....who acts as healer...for these bandits? there cannot be many...with such skills about


Granny Vanags taps her fingers on the top of her walking stick as she listens to the various words, her face looking pleasantly pleased at what she perceives as politeness from Markus, and than the turns of her lips frowning at Wynn's accusation.

"Well to answer the ruder, but yet more immediate question, had any of these bandits been wounded and come here with appropriate payment I'm not sure whether I would have turned them away or not. The healers duty is sacred you know..." Her voice crackles a little and she gives Wynn a knowing glance.

"Be that as it may none have turned up, at least not these last two weeks. No injuries sustained in the woods or what have you. Though looking at the small band you have here, perhaps that is about to change..." She cackles a bit at her jest and than continues to strum her fingers on her walking stick.

"Now let me think... right yes the Bandits, the nice polite young man here had asked about bandits. I know some little, despite that I've seen very few around my hut. Perhaps not much sense in bothering an old woman with little coin. Still there have been such wastrels in the past, but seldom this... well to attack a courier, and rob men on the road between the Baron's Castle and the town. So were I to guess, I would say the local toughs and vagabonds and out of luck hunters have gotten themselves a leader, some-one with a bit of woodcraft, and enough knowledge about how to set up such things. No local that is for sure. Where are you staying? If any men turn up with strange wounds I'll be sure to let you know... now where is that girl..."

As if on cue the teenage girl teeters out of the cottage with round wooden tray and several steaming wooden cups which she offers around. The brew smells of tea with a hint of camomile. The girl rather brazenly seems to appraise all the members of the party, her attentions lingering on Kristaps and Markus. Though after a moment she seems to be trying to non-too-subtly check what's beneath Wynn's hood, biting the side of her lip as she bends lower and lower before Granny Vanags raps at her with the stick.

"Yes... so what else about the Bandits. I would say they must have a base, and that it would most likely be not too near the road, but probably to the east side of the North Road. The other wise is frequently frequently by those travelling back and forth from the Bog, and in the winter the Bog-Dwellers often come around selling peat and such. For them to have remained undetected would seem to suggest their leader is smart, though I can't imagine his men are that smart. Frankly, getting ahold of one of the ruffians should be easy enough, and than just beating the information out of him should suffice!" She laughs and punctuates this last word with a swift 'bonk' to the top of her walking stick.

"Speaking of which... you read my note, and your interested, how marvellous! I wouldn't want to over-burden you of course. The simple matter is that a family heirloom of mine ended up, for reasons I would rather not get into..." Here she punctuates her discussion with a side-ways glance at the girl, who has the good sense to blush and avert her eyes. "... lost in the Swamp. Sadly I know near precisely where it is, by an old cave, but I'm far too old to go jaunting around in there and I am not letting my grand-daughter here out of my sight till it's recovered. Before you consider that too easy, keep in mind that the Swamp itself is dangerous, but this particular cave has gained particularly unfriendly occupant, an Ogre I suspect. I rather think the heirloom itself might now be inside the cave. It's a silver ring, with the images of wolves on it's surface."


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1
Granny Vanags wrote:
"Well to answer the ruder, but yet more immediate question, had any of these bandits been wounded and come here with appropriate payment I'm not sure whether I would have turned them away or not. The healers duty is sacred you know..." Her voice crackles a little and she gives Wynn a knowing glance.

Peering at the ragged creature in silent shock Markus turns to the old woman and offers a diplomatic word."If you forgive this...one...I believe his condition has had the better of him... his... passion to hunt these criminals has gotten ahead of his tongue I'm sure." offering a awkward smile and a comforting gesture to the elderly woman.

Granny Vanags wrote:
"Now let me think... right yes the Bandits, the nice polite young man here had asked about bandits. I know some little, despite that I've seen very few around my hut. Perhaps not much sense in bothering an old woman with little coin. Still there have been such wastrels in the past, but seldom this... well to attack a courier, and rob men on the road between the Baron's Castle and the town. So were I to guess, I would say the local toughs and vagabonds and out of luck hunters have gotten themselves a leader, some-one with a bit of woodcraft, and enough knowledge about how to set up such things. No local that is for sure. Where are you staying? If any men turn up with strange wounds I'll be sure to let you know... now where is that girl..."

Following the woman's words he begins to respond "...we are staying at the Old Ferryman Inn, we just... he trails off as the girl enters, exchanging a lingering gaze with her before taking his tea and nodding his head in a gracious manner.

Granny Vanags wrote:
"Yes... so what else about the Bandits. I would say they must have a base, and that it would most likely be not too near the road, but probably to the east side of the North Road. The other wise is frequently frequently by those travelling back and forth from the Bog, and in the winter the Bog-Dwellers often come around selling peat and such. For them to have remained undetected would seem to suggest their leader is smart, though I can't imagine his men are that smart. Frankly, getting ahold of one of the ruffians should be easy enough, and than just beating the information out of him should suffice!" She laughs and punctuates this last word with a swift 'bonk' to the top of her walking stick.

Markus gentle attentive smile turns to a look of shocked confusion upon seeing a old woman speak so violently. "Yes...though.... I suspect it would not take much persuasion to get what we want out of one. These cowards hide in the trees and only attack those who are to weak or too few to defend themselves. Though I wonder how we might be able to single one out... I fear they might be wary to attack a group so armed and fierce as us." stroking his chin in contemplation after his finial statement as he takes his first sip of tea.

Granny Vanags wrote:
"Before you consider that too easy, keep in mind that the Swamp itself is dangerous, but this particular cave has gained particularly unfriendly occupant, an Ogre I suspect. I rather think the heirloom itself might now be inside the cave. It's a silver ring, with the images of wolves on it's surface."

"Ah yes...braving the treacherous swamps to slay a monstrous ogre, returning a fond keepsake of the kind elderly healer...a fine tale indeed." Markus become distracted with his own thoughts of glory and considers how his future deeds shall be written...as if they have already been accomplished.


Female Elf Ranger 1
Quote:
Though after a moment she seems to be trying to non-too-subtly check what's beneath Wynn's hood, biting the side of her lip as she bends lower and lower before Granny Vanags raps at her with the stick.

Wynn sits, watching with the girl with unblinking Amber eyes, until Granny breaks the girl from her curiousity.

Quote:
Peering at the ragged creature in silent shock Markus turns to the old woman and offers a diplomatic word

Returning his gaze without hint of shame, the same unblinking amber eyes regard him with something bordering on curiousity....

Quote:
Ah yes...braving the treacherous swamps to slay a monstrous ogre, returning a fond keepsake of the kind elderly healer...a fine tale indeed

...which turns to something of a disdainful look, though the exact cause remains Wynn's own.

Wynn looks to Granny Vanags and then laughs...catching the high musical note of it quickly and turning it into a rasping chuckle.

"A fine tale this makes...the young knight so desperate to win...his way...his eyes see only dreams clearly...know that your name is spread beyond the border...of this ...town....and not all of us....are so ...blinded. Though in truth...for once...rumour speaks kindly."

devolving into a hacking cough, the ragged figure hunches over, then leans back, breathing heavily.

"some of us...are apt travellers of the wild...the ogre...only one? ...is of more concern then the swamp which although difficult....has its rules...."


Granny Vanags waves a hand at Markus' apology. "Fear not my young Sir. I have suffered through far harsher accusations than that, and not all can be as well versed in social niceties as yourself. Your... ill... friend there merely speaks what truth he knows."

The girl seems to have settled back to lean against a tree, pursing her lips and occasionally flinging flirtatious glances at Markus and Kristaps.

"Now to the questions. Yes, to speak to your observation and question. I believe only one, and I believe an Ogre. My own knowlege of such creatures is not without merit, but the description I recieved was..." Here she casts another glance back towards her Grand-daughter, who pushes her bottom jaw out in reaction as if to say 'enough already!'. "... not very extensive. Large, not quite bigger than a Hay Cart, man-shaped and wearing crude clothing. It suggest Ogre. It is good some of you are well versed in the wild places, but beware. The swamp holds many dark secrets. Trust little you see there, especially at night, for it has a veracious hunger and cares little who feeds it."

She strokes her chin for a moment, as if contemplating something else as her dire warning settles over the ground, the two mustached brothers both raising eyebrows. Finally she speaks, again most directly to Markus, though she does seem to let her gaze flow over the entire group. "Well, let us see, you are the Heroes are you not? I'm sure you'll think of something. Setting bait too good for the bandits to ignore would be my advice. Perhaps one of you wandering forth with a particularly loud purse? As I said before, while I respect what I must be able to tell of this leader from their actions, I doubt the rest of this band are of such calibre. Which is to say they are probably mostly stupid thugs." She cackles at this and than adds "Though if you have people among you well versed in wood-craft, surely there cannot be that many trails this early in the year. Only trappers, hunters and Bandits would be out in the woods this soon after winter. I'm afraid that is probably the limit to my advice with regard your bandit woes."


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Slandra listens carefully to Granny Vanags' advice, occasionally nodding her head, and repeating the old woman's words softly to herself. The mental olympics she's going through in her head are fairly clear as she tries her best to remember and understand everything said.

"We are heroes, yes," she says at one point, then frowns shortly after. "How can a purse be loud?" she whispers to Kristaps. "Purses don't make noise. Only things you put in them...Oh. Nevermind." She looks slightly embarrassed.


Male Human (Telvan) Cavailer (Gendarme) 1

Markus seems distracted by the young girls attention straining to focus on the old woman's words. After the healers last words he takes one last sip of the tea, places his hands upon his knees and boldly states. "I feel the matter of the bandit situation is our up-most concern.. I shall en-devour to return your ring once the outlaws are seen to."

Rising steadily from his seat Markus pushes some stray hair from his face. "If you excuse us my dear Madame Vanags there is much to plan... we shall return victorious or not at all. For we stride into the way unknown, perhaps to court our untimely doom" He recites as though he read something similar once, letting his romantic imagination get the better of him. Through the corner of he eye he takes note of the girls reaction to his haughty speech.


Female Human (Kef) Cleric 1

Slandra laughs, spurting out the tea she's just sipped. "That's silly!" she says. "Why would we court doom? I don't intend to meet doom. I intend to kill the bandits. And the ogre. And any goblins we meet too."

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