The wind! It blows in from the north at times and when it does it is cold and brings a chill to the bones. Thankfully there are more days when the wind blows in from the sea and it brings the warm air from the south with it. Today is not that day though and the winds whips through the small town of Saltmarsh from the north and with it the damp cold air falls upon the small fishing town once more. There will be rain tonight and lots of it. The dark grey clouds that sit to the north west promise it and they are not accustom to breaking such a promise.
The sun is just up peaking to the east. The road from Burle is not muddy but wet and soft and rutted by the many wagons that have traversed it. Two wagon trains make their way in from to the town and through the quiet Lord's Market Place as vendors and shop keepers prepare for the days business. The first caravan appears to be a small clan of wagonfolk. They are here for the Growfest festival and the small folk bring with them entertainment and additional trade. They are a lively folk and their bright clothing, tall tales, dancing, singing and at times lavish drinking brings some much needed entertainment to the town. Even the town watch appear to be happy to see them. Shopkeepers and street vendors smile and wave as the brightly colored enclosed wagons pass them by. The wagonfolk wave back, smile, and seem to be ready to start the festival even as they make their way into town. The second caravan is a merchant caravan that has been travelling these roads for many years and they make their way to Lord's Market and the merchant master seems more at ease as the last wagon makes its way into the square. As the wagon's guards make one final circuit around the train and the drivers secure their teams a small man stands on a box and begins to talk about the time of creation and how the old father is coming back to the world to reclaim his creation. A new faith among the many but this one appears to be very different.
The docks are busy, they always are in the morning when the fisherman, crabbers, and dockworkers are here well before the sun rises and have already worked several hours before it comes up. Fishing boats of all sizes are already making their way out to make their catch as are the crabbers in their boats packed with pot traps. Larger merchant boats transferring goods to and from the docks. Sailors are busy cleaning and tending to the many needs of their ships. First mates and captains can be heard barking out orders. The docks are the heart of Saltmarsh and for good reason. It is a thriving fishing village and most of the town folk are fisherman, sailors, whalers, and crabbers by trade. To the east lies the Old East Road and beyond that lies Seaton. It is a lonely road, quiet road, and it is there that the rumors you have heard tell of a house that is haunted by a mad alchemist, a wicked wizard, and a man that didn't care for the people around him. No remembers what happened to him. Some say he disappeared, other say he dealt with dark creatures and they brought down his destruction. No one really knows for sure though what happened to the old man. Now the house sits empty on the Old East Road and no one goes near it. No one goes near it because they say it is haunted by the mad alchemist's ghost and those that he abused. There are many rumors of hidden gold and treasure in the house but just fly about about the many people who have disappeared in the house.
This is opening monologue for party.
Like all the Temlow's in Saltmarsh your day started at the rising of the sun and helping with the ropes, oars, harpoons, and barrels. Everything was checked, cleaned, and oiled. The clan's two boats are still beached so that they can be cleaned, repaired, and varnished for the upcoming whaling season. That means time to do other things until they are finished and once the daily chores of keeping the equipment ready was done. For Naia, that meant she can see if anyone in town is actually interested in going with her to the old house. Although very few things frighten the young warrior the idea of walking into that home by herself is a little overwhelming. None of the family wants anything to do with traveling to the house and getting close to it much less walking inside of that place. Thankfully she knows a young cook at the Merry Mermaid that has often talked about the old house as he served food and washed dishes. Naia and her two cousins ( of many) often go there to eat and drink.
The boy's name was Doggin or something like that. She was horrible with names especially Suel names. They didn't make sense to her but she knew he was a half decent cook and she also noticed he wasn't half bad with a blade when he needed to be. He wasn't a local either but came into town some time ago looking for work and didn't shy away from a day's laborer.
She noticed That one of the contracted ships from the Black Lion Merchant company was being loaded up for a short run to Seaton. She could tell it was headed east with the extra crew on the deck due to the high winds and waves going that way. They would need it as the sailing is harder going east.
She turned back to her thoughts as she jumped a rather large puddle of water and passed the Saltmarsh Fine Jewels.
He got into a scuffle a few times with some of the town's bullies and he managed to come away better than they did on every occasion she recalled as well. The fact that he was asking questions about the house to all the older patrons perked her interest in him. Maybe she could talk him into going to the old house with her. He was a vagabond moving from job to job in the town but that didn't seem to bother him and that made Naia respect him a little bit more. He seemed more sly than strong but slipping into a creeping old him...maybe sly was a good thing. She smiled.
As she walked from the west beach into town along the Common's she saw the Wagon Folk train making its way into the grounds near the large copse of trees. They seemed ready for the Festival already. Many already unpacking their wagons before they even came to full stop. The Merry Mermaid was just on the other side of the Market Place and breakfast sounded good as did a warm fire.
D'ogryn had to be in the Merry Mermaid early today. It was his turn to get the food prepped and breakfast ready. He was being trusted with more duties at the Inn as of late and he seemed to be settling into comfortable life.
It was all wharf food and the meals were simple fare but Irwish was a good cook and a master at taking simple fare and turning it into good meals. He was not a kind teacher thought at times especially with that cursed wooden spoon of his. He rubbed his left hand a few times and laughed. D'ogryn had to swing by the Market and grab several sacks of vegetables, fresh herbs, a basket of eggs, and pay for the delivery of the catch. This was the start of his day every day this week. Most of what he cooked was fish and crabs but the occasional chicken was roasted as well. I honestly prefer the chicken over the seafood but I will never tell Irwish that! Not everyone cared for seafood in the town but if it was going to be eaten it was best eaten at the Merry Mermaid.
He could already hear and see the hustle and bustle of the shopkeepers and vendors as they prepared for the onslaught of town folk looking to buy, sell, and trade goods at the Lord's Market. The merchant caravan was making its way into the marketplace as well.
The night before he heard a rumor of an old fisherman that got beached by the old house and found his way into it. Although the dockworkers that spoke about him said he was a drunk and he was not be trusted. Maybe there are few things he could learn from the man.
Just as he finished that thought he walked by one of the wagons and noticed a dark-skinned fellow leaning up against a wheel cleaning his boots. The man must have been a Touv...he had never seen one. Standing next to him was a wood elf holding a bow and shaking the dew off his cloak as he talked to the Touv. The elf was clearly a hunter or a ranger. Both appeared to be guards or scouts for the caravan. The wood elf seemed to look him over as he walked by. He nodded as he passed remembering he needed to hurry and get his list and head to the Inn.
A long night of reading, studying, lead Soros nowhere. He had taken many notes while studying under Atron but there simply was nothing in his library that would point him to what was occurring with magic. His notes reflected that as well. He knew several things though; it was not only arcane magic it was affecting; it was divine and natural magic as well. Atron didn't know how it was tied to the plague but he suspected their source was one in the same.
Soros recalled a night when his master had a guest. Some old friend from his past. He was upset that an associate of theirs was not doing well. Stricken with some sort of madness and it required Atron's attention along with someone else they both knew. Atron had to leave for a week or so and told Soros to continue his studies; giving him several scrolls and books to delve into. He also gave him a list of cantrips to practice. Specifying to do them outside in the back part of the garden away from anything breakable or living... Soros was sure it was because of the last round of cantrips left the entire lab in chaos. Soros chuckled to himself... It was funny and thankfully nothing was destroyed. Since then Atron wanted him conducting his magical research outside until he had better control of his hand gestures. It was when Soros returned from his friend that sparked the current memory. He said that his old friend had used several spells of intermediate power and those spells attracted a demon who in turn possessed him. Most thought his companion was mad but it was the things that Altron's friend said and the languages he used that lead them to discover he was in fact possessed. Altron was gone for well over a month but the several notes that Soros received told him to continue his studies and he would return shortly. Altron constantly warned him to not use or do anything outside the scope of what he was being taught for his own good. When he did return he appeared to have aged another ten years and would not discuss what had happened to his friend. His only comment about the entire ordeal was that magic is more dangerous than ever and it has no place for the foolish. He told Soros several times "Keep to the cantrips and lesser spells those appear to be safe! Anything else and you do so at your own peril!"
Soros didn't realize it was dawn until he heard the noise of work downstairs as breakfast was being made and the sound of footsteps outside on the cobblestone streets. He was staying at his parent's home for the time being until he could find a place of his own. His mother didn't mind but his father was none too happy about it. His older brother was even more concerned with what Soros would bring into their homes. None would speak of his apprenticeship or that he used magic for the fear of it leaking out to the rest of the town. For now most of Saltmarsh was somewhere in the middle on magic and its use but most didn't discuss it in the open. His father wanted him to return to the old Smith and work as a journeyman and get this nonsense out of his head. It was too late for that and I have more important things to do than bang on hot steel!
As Soros finished that line of thought he noticed from his window that the merchant caravan had just entered the marketplace. He had heard a Wagonfolk caravan was coming today as well and usually they arrived just before the merchants did. Soros closed his journal and his books and blew the stubs of his candles out. He decided he was going to take a few coins and head to the Merry Mermaid for breakfast. His mother would not be happy about that but another lecture from his brother and his brother's wife was not something he could stomach while eating.
The olf points at the locals going about their business. "Well, Edan, what do you think of Saltmarsh so far?"
He waits for an opinion before providing his own. "Seems like a pretty normal group of people just trying to live their lives. I'm surprised at how little reaction I'm seeing with the entertainers being here, though I guess most of that reaction is over near their wagons, now that I think about it." He shrugs. "What do you think? A hot breakfast sitting down in an inn, or chasing skirts around the edge of the entertainer's camp?"
Zove awakens under the large Fire Oak. Her arms and legs are stiff along with her back. She has grown soft from sleeping in a soft bed for too long. The ground and the companionship of the trees gave her more comfort than the enclosure of a house. A night spent in the wild with her companion hunting and stalking was what she needed. The cat was more than her companion; she trusted that graceful hunter more than any human or demi-human. It was a fun night running the High Moor!
She got up slowly and realized she had several scratches on our arms and legs from running through briars while chasing that wild hog. They didn't catch it but the chase was fun never the less. They ended up feasting on a brace of rabbits and finished that off with some wild potatoes and carrots. Well, she did the cat decided on two raw rabbits and left it at that. She smiled...
She needed to get back to the livery she had several horses and a young bull to attend to for her uncle. He was stern but fair although the work from sun up to sun down was too much at times.
She stretched a few times and started making her way back to Moor End and into town. Her cat liked to room the Moors while she was at the stables so a few pats and hug and the cat was off and into the woods.
As she made her way she saw the Halfling's caravan make its way into town. The wagons were so big and colorful and even the outriders and scouts with their ponies had bright saddles and ribbons on them. She wasn't fooled at all by them. One look at those riders and she could tell the horses were well taken care of and the riders knew how to handle them. Wagonfolk knew more about the roads and wilderness than most people did and even with all the colors and size, the wagons were made to protect the folk.
They turned right and made their way to The Common, the grounds just south of the main part of town. Soon after the wagon folk caravan came the merchant caravan. They always seem to follow the wagon folk and this was one of the more common merchants to travel these roads.
As she walked by the Weaver's place and the Azure Harbour trading company she passed Geolin, the dwarven watch commander, and Iborian his second. They seem to be heading to the Market.
She had a long day ahead of her... At times she wished for something a little more exciting a little more challenging.
Zove couldn't wipe the smile from her face. In her mind she was still running the Moors, and walking down to Saltmarsh felt like a dream...she wasn't really there.
But the caravan cut through her emotions with a blast of culture shock.
It was hard to take her gaze of the strange foreigners, whose dyes and customs were (in the final analysis) quite tasteless. She was suspicious of halflings. Seeing the guards move that direction she couldn't resist "Everything alright, watch commander?" she didn't stop moving when she spoke, there was no way she could be late. She perhaps just wanted to verify she was not alone in her distrust.
Naia found the market being set up in the Common - coinless as she was she could merely nose about. More color and variety than she'd seen...since the last time the Wagonfolk had passed through. Still, to a serious young lass such as herself, and practical to boot there was little to interest her - no beau to buy for, nor fripperies or knick knacks to waste money on.
Perhaps it was time to head to the haunted house up on Old East Road. Truth to tell, the thought of coin or treasure, either of a deceased estate or a missing person seemed a waste to just...leave. And there were important things, or at least important to Naia, to buy - or save for. A boat for one. For the clan of course, but she would be the commander.
Thoughts of treasure and fame swirling in her head, Naia chided herself as she almost collided with the elfin Zove. Naia murmured an apology and set off again.
Stay grounded! It wouldn't do to be cursed by fey magic.
Casting a hlance over her shoulder to see that Zove had likewise moved on, Naia headed to the 'Mermaid.
Dogryn! That was his name.
D'ogryn was happy with his life here in Saltmarsh. He has come in to his own here and was content but not complete. He still had urges to see the world and what was hidden out there. His whole life was tied up into these small towns. This was a simple urge and not reality. Reality was he had to make a living in order to survive. He had to have the coin in order to roam the world. The couple of Silvers he had were not enough to get him anywhere. So he just bid his time and kept moving forward.
Irwish had asked him to take the morning shift which was fine with him as he could take care of some business down on the docks. He knew one of the ships captains would try and hid bad produce in with his other items to get rid of them. This got by D'ogryn's eye once but never again. He never outright confronted the man but he knew now to pick out those vegetables and replace them with better ones. The captain or his crew never so the transaction as he hands were too quick. This morning was different, there were a lot of vegetables and herbs that were bad. To many for him to replace with out being caught. So he decided to make a deal with the captain and hoped for the best.
Captain, I seem to have a problem with my shipment this day. These vegetables are in sad shape to say the least. Half of them are on the tail end of usefulness and that is sugar coating it. I understand that you need to make your money back on your product and I hope you will here me out.
D'ogryn waits as the captain and several of his men come down. The look on his face is one of anger at being called out. A slight gulp comes to the throat of D'ogryn as he makes sure he has an escape route ready to go....the water....and it was cold.
Sorry sir I mean no disrespect. I am just trying to save my hide and keep your reputation from taking a hit.
The Captain's eyebrows raised at this and he folded his arms over his chest and nods for him to continue.
Tow thirds of these are bad and I can see that that is the case for some of the other shipments...not all. So how about I take all of your bad produce for a silver and you make sure my items are replaced with good ones. In the future I will be willing to purchase those items that are going bad at cost. you do not lose anything and your reputation as a quality merchant continue to flow. I am not one to talk but it is well known that Merry Mermaid get its supplies from you and several others but you supply us with most of our vegetables and such. If my customers start to notice a change in our quality...well that would hurt our business and if we hurt for business....we can not afford to continue purchasing certain items. That would most likely be the end of the Merry Mermaid. People would start to talk and after some time it would get around that you sold bad goods. Then...
The captain raises a hand to stop D'ogryn
Stop, just stop....Kid look you had me a Silver. You want the crap that goes bad you can have it...as Long as you can afford it.
D'ogryn stares at the captain not sure what just happened but he figured it was a good thing as he is still breathing and not in the harbor.
The we have an accord? Very well I will swing by later today to pick up everything. Thank you very much sir.
Walking away he mumbles to himself
WOW that f*&$ing worked...I was sure I was going for a swim. Well this will help to feed Mrs Lialis' pigs for a bit longer.
He passed by some of the caravan guards on his way back to the Merry Mermaid and gave simple nod to them.
And with that he was on is way.
Entering through the back door he placed the items on the counter and started to unpack things.
Gregory, could you please give me a hand here. All of this goes in the root cellar. Eggs, left side top shelf. Potatoes in the back right corner. Onions front left corner...do not keep them close together or both will go bad quickly. Herbs on the racks by the window. You got the hearths buring..good. I will start breakfast and with any luck will will be done before the bread order gets here.
Georgy was a little boy that was always running around town as his parents were willing to let him have his freedom. D'ogryn felt a connection to the boy and put him to work for some food here and there. Irwish knew of the situation but did not care as he was not paying the boy anything nor was he taking anything. He just occasionally got some left overs here and there.
As the boy finished with his task he came back into the kitchen and asked D'ogryn about the rumors.
D..did you hear, they found fat Tim washed up on shore by the old house outside of town. His shirt was stuff full of treasure. By the time anyone could get to him the tide took him and his treasure back out to sea.
D'ogryn turn to look at the little boy. He does not understand why the boy insist on calling him D. The fact of it is He liked having a nick name.
That is just a rumor and most likely a bad one as well. Lets get back to work...the sooner we are done the sooner we can get out of here.
Another rumor...that house is getting a lot of attention as of late. Might have to check it out myself before the rumors of treasure become someones story of riches.
The forge's apprentice looked up from the equipment and tools that he was unpacking for the caravan's display, and looked around at the village. Darker skin, and comm So far, it seemed like a place that men would make a living, and as far as those places went, it seemed decent. There was likely a lot to learn from the inhabitants, and a smile made its way onto his face. "There is a lot that can be learned here", he declared with some satisfaction. "I would like to see what we will find once we are done setting up."
Rabalar voiced his opinion, and Edan chuckled. "I would like to try their breakfast." With this village being so close to the water, he was looking forward to the dishes that would be able to be tried. "There are lots of things that can be done with what can be caught. The entertainers... They will handle themselves, I think."
Rabalar and Edan
As Rabalar and Edan discuss what they want to do in this little fishing village the Caravan Guard Master, a middle-aged man from Ulek who had been doing this sort of work for nearly a decade walks up to them. His name was Frand, he was an old vet of the Ulek - Pomarj Orc wars. Well not really wars as much as they were border skirmishes but he spent many years in the Ulek armies in service on the border and had seen many actions during that time. He was a good leader, a bit harsh at times but he always makes sure his men are fed and bedded long before he does.
"Rabalar, Edan; your work is done until the caravan leaves again in a few days. I have coin for each of you as well. Here is the two weeks pay you are owed and a little extra for the hunting and tending to the men. I appreciate your service. Go get some hot food and enjoy yourself. It is a quiet town but there is plenty to do here if you have the time and the coin!" He hands each a small bag of coins (4 gp 5 sp each). He turns and starts walking back and stops and turns his head. "Don't enjoy yourself too much!" He turns and laughs and starts talking to a few other guards three wagons down. This time yelling out orders as he sees them having to much fun while still on duty.
Geolin turned to Zove, "As well as expected young lass, as well as expected. I have got a wagon train full of halflings looking to dance, juggle, and drink themselves into a stupor while also getting as many coins as possible before they leave in the next few days. Vendors and shopkeepers already complaining about them driving the prices down and no sign of the Mayor!
Iborian grimaces as well as he looks at the marketplace. "And this merchant caravan blocking up the road doesn't help us much either!" He slaps his hand on his thigh looking frustrated. "Too many wagons and we need to get some guards down here to keep watch on pickpockets. I will get the Duty Corporal to get some volunteers to watch the marketplace."[\b]
Geolin snorts back, [b]"Good! Too many new fingers running around here right now. I am going to be getting all sorts of complaints before the end of the day believe you me!"
Iborian and Geolin didn't even notice that Zove had already moved past them and was well on her way towards the Stables.
She makes it about 20 feet away before something in the conversation sticks with her. She turns on a heel and cocks her head "What do you mean no sign of the Mayor? Where's Timertinkos?" she thought briefly to the Mayor's children who were nearly as old as her cousin Qualdan.
Saltmarsh. To think that in my years of absence I'd actually grown to miss these people, this place. Dreary buildings, small-minded farmers, vacant-eyed fishermen - and the wind! When from the north it’s damnably cold, when from the south it reeks of fish. Now, faced with it all again, I am reminded of the reality of my place of birth, uncolored by the sentiment of absence. Praise be to the Lord of All Magic that I left here and found my true calling when I did.
My family was quite happy to see me, right up until I told them of how I'd spent the last six years. Predictable. My father has tried to convince me to resume my position at the blacksmith’s but, stubborn as he is, he’s unwilling to see the fallacies within his argument. To change the physical properties of base metal - shape, strength, composition - is but the beginning; the true craft is in changing the very nature of the metal until it is something more than a mere physical object! Alas, his pride will not allow him to accept this.
My brother has lectured me on the error of my ways, still foolish enough to believe that his scant excess of experience at being alive compared to myself has somehow endowed him with a far greater wisdom. My sister-in-law, as always, serves as his chorus, singing his praises and echoing his sentiments. I wonder if without her constant agreement he might see the plain truth of the matter for himself: that he’s wasting his life here, too afraid to admit that he’s capable of so much more than mere drudgery.
My mother, bless her soul, is the only one who has voiced no complaint. Whether she has some inkling of the majesty of my chosen profession or she’s merely convinced by the passion of my arguments, I can’t say, but she is above the unfounded bias and paranoia of the others. Even so, I don’t know how much longer I can stay here, my explanations otherwise falling on deaf ears. Yet I also don’t know where else I should go.
I pray that soon I shall discover a suitable path to pursue that will allow me to exercise and expand my arcane skills.
Soros puts down his quill and gives his words a few moments to dry before packing away his journal and blowing out the candles. Glancing out the window he decides to breakfast at the Merry Mermaid; despite himself he had a craving for seafood. While he would no doubt upset his mother by skipping a meal with her, she’d be more upset at his reaction to more cretinous chastisement from his brother. Throwing on his cloak he makes his way out the back.
On his way through town he studies the newly arrived caravans. Perhaps some traveller will have news of interest from abroad to spur me from this place. Pulling his cloak tighter against the chill he continues on to the Mermaid and finds himself a table, ignoring the smattering of locals in favor of his own thoughts. How best to further my magical prowess, and thus advance the goals of Boccob? Travel to Niole Dra and find employment as a court wizard? No doubt profitable, but unlikely to provide much opportunity for the practical application of my skills. Perhaps to Ulek, then, to become a battle-mage defending it’s borders? More promising, I suppose, though only if I’m given a rank commensurate with my ability… A child carrying a stack of bowls went scampering past him.
”Boy! Bring me whatever’s freshest this morning for breakfast, and be quick about it!”
Iborian turns to Zove, "The entire town council is meeting due the matter of a farmer and his son being attacked on the Old East Road early this morn. Neither was harmed but a few scratches and being scared off by a pack of goblins. It happened near that damn old house...the haunted one, or so they say. Got the entire town council in an uproar as we don't need goblins causing problems in the middle of our cute little festival!"
The old dwarf grunts at that and slaps Iborian on the shoulder. "We need to get our Master of Arms out there with a patrol to look over the damage with the Farmer. See if we can recover anything of value for him."
Iborian, "Yes sir I will get that taken care of as well." He turns and heads off to the Barracks, just south of Saltmarsh Manor. The dwarf continues into the marketplace after he gives Zove a node, "Good morn to you lass, mine will not be!"
Dogryn and Naia
As Dogryn skillfully starts breakfast while Patty (an elderly women in her late 60's) helps to clean up and tend to the kitchen. She is slow but she does not skimp on her work in any way. Gregory moves back an forth from the pantry to the island and table helping Dogryn as best he can.
He notices Irwish's youngest daughter walks in while tying her apron on and begins talking to her mother. They then head upstairs more than likely to see if any the rooms need tending to or clean as well as bring fresh water into each of the rooms that have guests. Irwish's daughter, Lena, newly married and already talking about having children and starting a family loves to talk. Dogryn decides rather quickly to look busy as she walks by to head up the stairs. The last time Lena started talking to him he nearly burned breakfast. She is a relentless talker...
"Morning!" Lena calls out to Dogryn, Gregory, and Patty as she starts her trek upstairs.
Several people, mostly sailors, and fisherman make their way into the inn. Of course, the barmaids are nowhere to be seen and Dogryn tells Gregory to get a fresh pitcher of water and cups and start serving the tables. As Dogryn turned to survey the room he sees the Temlow lass enter. The Temlow's frequent this place and have been good customers for a decade Irwish always tells him. Big family...big appetites he would say...good for business!
Naia caught a good bit of the conservation that the Town Watch Commander and his assistant had with Zove. The part about the wagon being attacked on the road by the house raised her eyebrow. Just as she finished that thought a skinny boy came by and laid a big cup on the table and poored fresh water in it and quickly walked off. She could tell she arrived a bit early and the hot tea was probably not ready yet.
As Soros walks outside the wind cuts right through him as does the damp air that follows it. The wet ground is soft beneath your feet and the smell of salt air sits heavy all about you. You make your way to the Merry Mermaid and you see the Halfling caravan in the Common. It appears they have built their ring around the copse of trees on the north east end. You already hear pipe and strings playing as well as the rhythmic ting of their little metal tambourines. You can also smell their fires as well as they use scented wood in their fires to cut the smell of smoke. Soros thought to himself that in a matter of an hour or so that entire area will be full of wagonfolk selling their wares to everyone in Saltmarsh. Even shopkeepers will buy good for latter to sell.
He continues to walk to the Merry Mermaid. He sees Dircroft Cronan, the guild master of tailors in town, and Ebstilar Runail, the guild master of merchants speaking along with another man standing just behind Dircroft. They seem perplexed by the wagonfolk caravan and you imagine if you were a fly on one of their shoulders the conversation would not be a good one.
Several minutes latter you walk up the steps of the Merry Mermaid and through the doors. A small skinny boy is in the midst of trying to give all the guest fresh water but looks completely out of place. You can see that there are ten or so patrons in the establishment and more making their way down from stairs from the rooms. The smell of cooking food hits your nose and you suddenly realize how hungry you are.
Naia is assailed by the little folks scent and preparations in the common, and quickly ducks in to the 'Mermaid. She looks about for Dogryn, noting the platinum-haired traveller in the red cloak ordering one of the serving boys about.
As the water is placed beside her, she fills a mug and seeing her friend, tells Dogryn the news.
"More than rumours this time Dogryn - I think the town council might actually do something about the old house! They are set to meet about some goblin trouble on the Old East Road. Goblins. Nasty pesks."
"Guess that's settled, no need to keep standing here." He turns to one of the locals. "Pardon me, Ma'am, but can you tell a couple of hungry travelers where we could get some good, fresh food?"
She points to the North(ish). "Just around the corner there, to yer left. Mermaid's got fine food, and none's closer."
"Thank you!" Turning back to Edan. "So, I guess we go this way . . .." The olf walks next to the human. "From what I've seen so far, these are good, simple folk. Maybe things get more lively after the fishermen come back for the night?"
He walks around the corner and laughs at the combination of the obvious sign and how much bigger the Merry Mermaid is than the surrounding buildings. "Or maybe this is where they blow off steam?"
"Good morn to you lass, mine will not be!"
Measuring the dawn's height with her fingers as graduations she sighs and picks up her pace Nor will mine if I don't get moving...
The news about the goblins so close to town was unsettling. She always assumed the stories about the old house were overblown, city-folk tended to fear those who didn't agree with their social contract. Zove was even a bit sympathetic to its inhabitant...still, the mystery of the complications there lingered in her adventurous spirit on the way to the livery. Sroidjan... her subconscious reminded her of the secret word for 'morning' in the druidic language, in prayer it was colorfully used for 'new beginnings'...
The Merry Mermaid
"More than rumours this time Dogryn - I think the town council might actually do something about the old house! They are set to meet about some goblin trouble on the Old East Road. Goblins. Nasty pesks."
Overhearing the recently arrived woman, Soros perks up. Goblin trouble? Hmm... looks like a fisherwoman. One of those Temlows, no doubt. This could be an opportunity. He stands and makes his way to the woman and... the cook?
"Good morning. Do you know when the council meets to discuss these goblins?"
Rabalar and Edan
Make there way to the Merry Mermaid and at long last find it. As they walk up to the Inn they notice that the House of Coin, a church dedicated to the God Fharlaghn, is on the north side of the cobblestone road. A beautiful half elf in priestess robes stands outside with what look like acolytes talking to several towns people. The acolytes are young, mere teenagers, and they appear to laugh and smile at the small talk being made between the Fharlaghn Priestess and the small group of town's people.
Both guardsman make their way inside inn and notice that it is starting to fill up and the smell of food is now thick in the air. A young man quickly moves from the stove and the fireplace back to the cutting boards all the while a young boy attempts to help him. As you walk in a young man with a patch over his left eye dressed in commoner clothes and a winter cloak and a wide brimmed hat walks in with his young pregnant wife behind you. Rabalar notices a brooch over his heart as he pulls off his clock. A harbor and ship with a rope encircling the picture. He takes his wife cloak and she goes to put a apron on. She has a thick Keolander accent as she walks back to the kitchen. "D'ogryn, sorry for being so late it was a hard night with the baby kicking." She smiles and quickly grabs a platter and puts fresh bread, cups of butter and jam on it and walks off to the many tables. She smiles and begins talking to each of the patrons as if she knows everyone in the Inn. Her husband goes to a small table in the corner as he grabs a mug of hot tea and shakes several of the men's hands at the tables along his path. For a young man he seems well respect in the inn. You over hear several of the men congratulate him on his new position has town harbor master. One old man tell him that his mother and father would be proud of him. He smiles and thanks all of them and takes his seat. He seems uncomfortable with the attention. Edan notices the patch is real and not for show; a slight scare under the eye tells him the eye is missing and the slight hitch in the left shoulder speaks of a injury there as well. It appears this man saw action of some sort, battle wounds if Edan had a guess. The man sips his tea and seems to scan the room glancing at both Rabalar and Edan; nodding to Edan as they cross glances.
The both of you skirt over to the far side of the main tables and grab a table by the wall. As you sit down a young man walks up to a table behind you and starts speaking. He is a tall slender fellow who is well dressed and his platinum blond hair gives away his obvious Suel heritage. He has a swagger to him that is both unusual and yet endearing at the same time. The young women he approaches is as different from the young man as Rabalar is to Edan. He appears and sounds polished were has the young red headed lass has the look of a seaborn creature who is used to the salt air and sea and very little else. She is slightly taller than normal and has the frame of someone capable of bearing arms. Her arms while not thick are all tight muscle, corded from hard work and effort. She also has the look of someone with a serious mind; as if in the middle of a deep thought when approached by the young, proud, well dressed young man.
As Zove made her way to the Livery she managed to sneak into the back of the main barn and begin her work on the young bull in the back of the barn. It appears she would escape the wrath of her uncle for the time being. She settled in and begin her duties and within a short time she managed to clean the bull's ear and eye of the minor infection and even treat the inflammation as well as clean and tend to the first horse. The other horse was on the far side and as she made her way to that end she could hear her uncle's voice as calling for her young cousin. "Qual where are you boy! I need you to give me hand getting those horses out of the corral and getting the merchant caravan horses into it! Qual, Qual! Damn it has everyone taken the day for themselves!" He looks around as he walked into the barn and sees Zove. He smiles and then grimaces all at once. Zove knew that her uncle was mostly all bluster and wind he liked to act tough and he was there was give in duties and chores. The truth was he has a kind heart but a stern one and he butted heads with Zove often due to her free spirit and need to push her boundaries nearly every day. [b] "Well I don't know how you managed to sneak in here but it looks like you are at least working. Can you do a me a favor and give hand with the horses? I can't find your cousin and I suspect he is gallivanting around with his no good friends again." Zove nods and finishes up with the second horse while her uncle gives her a quick hand. She realizes she will need to spend a few more hours tending to the horse but some fresh air, feed, and water would do the mare good. She takes the horse out to the corral and gives her uncle a hand wrangling the nine horses, brushing them down, and handing them off to their owners as they pay for their lodging. Once done your uncle turns, wipes his hands, and pats you on the shoulder and smile. I appreciate the help Zove. Go get something to eat I can take care of the rest of the duties for a few hours. And if you see Qual tell him to come see me. That boy is going to be cleaning manure for the next three days for not showing up!" He smiles and then it turns back to a grimace. "Get along, before I change my mind!"
Zove didn't wait for her uncle to change her mind. She left the livery after only an hour there and appreciated the gesture from her uncle. Though she left quickly knowing that her uncle's mood could change. Feeling sorry for Qual when he decided to finally show up at home today. Her uncle was serious about what he would be doing.
She noticed several wagons making their way into the town from the Old East Road and also noticed six of the town guard riding out towards Seaton. The Master of Arms rode in the lead...not something you see very often but it appears they are headed to recover the wagon on the road.
Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (15) + 7 = 22
She realizes as she turns to walk away from the Livery that on the other side of the road just on the corner of the Full Moon, a man was watching the town guard leave and then turned and walks off down the alley and into the shadows. He looked familiar to her but couldn't place his face.
As more folk drift in, Naia nods curtly to the new harbor master, part shy deference to a role model and part... professional courtesy.
If he only knew what Farra and Tye were doing this morning. Stuff the quotas!
When the traveller approaches, Naia tenses slightly, more a reaction to out-of-towners than any particular distaste for his treatment of the staff. Then, she relaxes. It's festival time after all.
"I'm sorry, I haven't heard when they might meet. I imagine we will hear about it somewhat soonish. [here, Naia smiles and juts her head up] I'm Naia, Naia Temlow, and this is Dogryn."
In the stables, Zove was delighted to hear that the caravan horses would be staying inside. She wondered what tales from far off places they might whisper.
As the Master of Arms rode towards the site of the goblin attack, she wondered how many other farmers and their families were bringing goods for the festival, and about why that particular farmer and his son were targeted. There wasn't any reason, she concluded. The wind blows the strongest on the edge of town, where there's none of man's developments to break it.
Zove snapped out of it seeing a familiar face suddenly. She wanted to shout at the watcher and run after him, but the distasteful nature of the Full Moon prevented her from getting too close. She squeaked out a "Hey..." and raised a hand in greetings before feeling overwhelmingly awkward. Even the name of the place was a mockery of something she cherished, and the kinds of things that took place there were the epitome of petty.
At the Mermaid, she rapped on a window and peeked her head inside "You have them today?" Avocados were her favorite breakfast and always enjoyed when a few trickled down from the wharf.
"Good morning. Do you know when the council meets to discuss these goblins?"
"Oh, they already are, sir, Timertinkos and all at just this moment. Also the Master of Arms is on his way to the attack site, I saw them pass just now. I was trying to think when the last time there was talk of goblins so close..."
Having received his pay, Edan walked along the olf, looking about the city as they headed in the direction indicated by the local woman. The name of the tavern was interesting, though it was perhaps to be expected of a locale where the majority of the work was based in or around the water. Rabalar's attitude made him smile, as the hunter seemed to be craving some excitement.
"I am not sure how lively you wish things to be, my friend", he remarked with a bit of humor, his arms crossed behind his back and resting on the shortsword that he carried with him everywhere. The weapon was his, hand-forged by him, single-edged and dark, seeming more like a larger knife for chopping than any other uses. Walking like this also had the side-effect of correcting his posture, which, to be fair, could stand a bit of improvement. He was looking at the signs of the places that they passed, as well as taking note of the town as they walked.
Actually seeing the... "Merry Mermaid", Edan was uncertain as well, stopping to take in the sight of it for a second. Whatever way things worked, it was likely to be interesting. "If they are 'blowing off steam' here, as you say, I am curious."
Naia bristled inwardly as Zove approached. Even though she was nominally a local, Naia still felt uncomfortable around the elfin lass, and to her parochial mind, the designation of fae ran in a fairly haphazard line from elfins to goblins.
"Hey Zove. Stranger - this is Zove. Zove - Stranger. There. Now we're all introduced." Naia smiles honestly.
As Da always says - "make eye contact and introduce yourself."
It was after all, more a means to take someone's measure than just being polite.
Waiitng for Dogryn to interject....
"Soros Soll." The wizard absentmindedly gives a short nod to no one in particular. If the council is meeting now and the Master of Arms has already been sent, it may be too late to become officially involved in any investigation. Of course, if I unofficially involve myself, there will be less dealing with petty bureaucrats and superstitious militiamen.
Rabalar laughs as Edan worries about how much excitement he might be looking for. "Nothing special. Just a welcoming, pretty face with a nice wiggle would make a good start."
"True, it is awfully early for them to be feeling their oats. Still, if this is when I can relax and try to have some fun, I hope someone else is ready to start early!"
After they settle into their seats, the olf waves at anyone who looks like help. "We're looking for a good, hot meal that doesn't involve anything heavily salted or dried. Edan here said something about the fresh catch, didn't you? Sounds good. As early as it is, probably a thin ale to go with it?" He looks at their neighbors, smiling and nodding at anyone who makes eye contact, broader for the women.
D'ogryn continues to work his magic with the food. It was difficult to keep up with the influx of people but they made do. When he sees Gregory come back into the kitchen with a look on his face like he was about to cry, D'ogryn pull the kettle and skillet out of the hearth and ran over to him. Kneeling down to be on the same level as the boy he grabbed his shoulders gentle...his voice one of concern.
Hey,hey...what is wrong? We are keeping our heads above water right now...it is not that bad of a day. We have had worse so why are you crying?
The boy's eyes water with tears and he looks at the ground...he stammers out a response.
Some man yelled at me...and I did nothing at all to him...Honest. I was just doing what you told me to do.
A look of disgust comes across D'ogryn's face as he understands what has happened.
Gregory we can not make everyone happy and sometimes no matter what we do that person is always going to be trouble. You have done nothing wrong and I want you to remember these words. ok. Can you do this for me...The world is full of people that feel they are better than others. Especially they look down their noses at those that work in taverns, the docks, the trade fields...we are look at like slaves to do the bidding of those few who feel they are superior. They have no clue what trouble they bring onto themselves. We hear everything that goes on. We see every thing that goes on and when they piss us off....it is us who prepares their meals. Let them feel that they are in control and superior to us.
He smiles at Gregory and wipes his tears away and lifts his chin up to see the boy has stopped crying.
We know better. We know who we are and what we are capable of. D'ogryn smiles as Gregory face brightens up.
Here take this sweet bread and head home. Tell you parents to bring the family here tonight. I will make sure your dinner is taken care of.
Gregory turns and looks at him.
Can I stay until Patty and the rest of the servers gets here?
He can not help himself as D'ogryn smiles
D'ogryn sighs a little as Gregory eyes the sweet breads.
Keep that innocence as long as you can kid. Now who the f**@ would be such an ass as to make a child cry.
He turns to the hearths and returns the meals to the fires. He was still ahead of schedule and so he had just enough time to take care of a very special guest.
Working quickly, he prepares a fresh meal and rushes it out right away. Walking with purpose he heads to the table that the man of Suel descent was sitting. Coming around into view of the man, D'ogryn places the two plates that were stack one behind the other up his left arm on the table. He then places the empty mug the was hanging from his left handed pinkie finger on the table. Some how he was able to place a small container of sauce on the table while pouring some fresh water for the man.
Apologies sir. We are a bit busy this morning and hope you will not hold that against us. Please enjoy the baked eggs with goat cheese, an asparagus tart with ricotta cheese and fresh hollandaise sauce. If there is anything you should desire please do not hesitate to ask. We here at the Merry Mermaid pride ourselves in making out guest feel right at home. Please enjoy your meal and if you are still hungry, there is plenty more where that came from. Now if you will excuse me I have other guest to tend to.
D'ogryn smiles and walks away before the man could say anything to him. His gate is purposeful and he gets right back to work with a little extra pep in his strut.
When Patty and Lena enter the kitchen, he keeps busy. He returns the polite gesture with one of own.
and a good morning to you as well.
While cooking more orders, D'ogryn looks up and gives a smile and a polite nod towards Naia.
Tea will be ready in a few...
As he is told of the rumors. He leans in and lowers his voice.
Goblins... Well it is wise not to spread anything that very well may be false. Best to ask questions and confirm it twice than to believe rumors. It would be good idea for the council to deal with that house.
When the Suel man decided to interrupt their private conversation. he notices Naia tense reaction
Did you parent ever teach you anything about manners???It is not polite to interrupt a conversation that you were not part of.
An easy smile comes to his face as he turns to the man.
I am sorry but I have no idea when that meeting will take place. I myself am just now learning about it.
He extends his hand to the man and sees that more guest have arrived and begs his leave to greet them.
When the new harbor master and his wife enter, D'ogryn greets them warmly and sincerely. He points to a table to the back corner and walks back into the kitchen with his wife. When in the kitchen..
Not to worry, you do what you can and I will take care of the rest. If you are still looking for a cake for the naming day celebration, I just go my latest book of recipes from Rel Mord and there is a nice butter cream recipe I would like to try my hands at. Just saying
He laughs easily with her and goes about his day of work. When Gregory sees the harbor masters wife he runs quickly for the door, grabbing a sweet bread on his way out. He shouts back in the door as he runs home. Thanks D
Hearing the rap on the window, D'ogryn does not even look up as he knows who this will be.
Zove you wound me...Do I have them today?
He wipes the knife off with a cloth and sets it down gentle.
His face is one of exaggerated pain which quickly fades to a smile
Of course I do. Have I ever let you down...do not answer that.
He points to a serving tray.
Fresh toast and sliced tomatoes to go with them if you like.
Things in the dining hall of the inn begin to settle down as Irwish's wife arrives and his two daughters. The barkeep Cran, a cousin of Irwish, arrives as well and the frantic pace begins to subside as the patrons start to eat and chat.
Zove and Soros both over hear a few dockworkers saying that the farmer and his son are at the Broken Plough waiting on the return of their wagon and goods from the road. Seems like the guard are going to recover it and bring it back into town for them.
It was Rabalar who overheard a man talking to his companions, a netmaker by profession, started talking about how that old house on the Old East Road was evil or some such nonsense; seems to attract trouble all around it. Ye can't trust a old place like that... seen to much... knows to much... the rot is in them in bones.. If it be goblins they sense that evil in the house...mark my word on that!
Just then Rose (the wife of the young Harbor Master) walks by and drops off more hot tea and water to the tables. She waddles when she walks and Edan suspected that baby was probably close to coming and it was not going to be a small child.
Rose turns to Soros on her way back to bar; she hesitates for a brief moment, How is your da and ma? I have not seen them in ages and I have not seen you since you returned from your travels. You look so different now that you are not in your blacksmith apron and covered in soot.
The young olf shakes his head. Looking back to Edan, "Did you hear that?" He gestures in the direction of the netmaker. "They're talking about haunted houses full of goblins or something. I wonder what the kernel of truth is."
He turns back to crowd-watching, continuing to chat with Edan while he does.
As Irwish and his family start to file in and take over the place from D'ogryn, he makes sure to pass along his desires.
I invited Gregory and his family over here tonight for dinner. I will take care of it. I will pay in advance and just let me know if you need more and I will make good on the balance.
Hand him some SP to take care of the tab:3sp?
After some time of talking back and forth with the staff, he final makes his way out to the dinning room. He moves from table to table to make sure all went well for the guest and chats with several of the guest for a extended length of time.
Zove nibbles the little foreign tree's fruit and she starts to imagine distant places, a beach with white sands under scorching blue skies and a craggy outcropping where the roots struggle against the salt of the sea. A feeling of guilt comes over her and she looks down at the avocado disdainfully This is decadence...I need to stop putting myself first. There is peace in the running wave, peace in the shining stars, and peace in the quiet earth...not in these kinds of petty desires... she told herself, realigning her inner compass.
"I wonder if anyone has bothered to comfort them. A brutal attack like that can leave scars. Who'd like to join me in offering them some solidarity of the community after breakfast? Perhaps its what they need now more than a looted wagon." she shouts out to the dockworker "Hey, you said they're still at the Broken Plough?" and after breakfast makes her way there.
Considering they had some time before they were due to move out with the caravan again, Edan looked interested in the mention of the house. He was watching the crowd at the Mermaid as much as Rabalar was, though he was more noting what he could hear. The thought of wandering around this town appealed to him, and what better way to start than examining this "goblin" house? "It is probably just an abandoned house with unfortunate circumstances. I would not want a house of goblins anywhere near where I live... I am curious."
That was said with a thoughtful tone that implied that he was willing to go to see this house, and after a moment, he leaned over towards the table and raised his hand in greeting. "Good morning sirs, I am sorry, but I could not help but overhear: How is a house of goblins allowed in the town?"
Naia notices the elf guard making eyes at the fair faces in the 'Mermaid, so only just catches Zove's compassionate call.
Being somewhat less interested in providing succour to the farmers, and more interested in having fulfilled her civic duty (read: put herself in the way of adventure) Naia takes her own leave and heads to the town council to find out first-hand what is to be done. And how to be part of it.
Sorry Edan if you were talking to the table of Soros, Zove, Dogryn and Naia - I read your "sirs" as meaning another table, perhaps in error.
Soros gives Rose a tight-lipped smile. "My parents are well, as you seem to be. I found a smith's apron wasn't well suited to travel."
"I wonder if anyone has bothered to comfort them. A brutal attack like that can leave scars. Who'd like to join me in offering them some solidarity of the community after breakfast? Perhaps its what they need now more than a looted wagon."
"A wagon is not an inexpensive piece of equipment; I think it's return would likely alleviate a great deal of worry concerning their future livelihood. Yet I am interested to hear tell of their encounter, and will endeavor to be at the Broken Plough as soon as I am able. No doubt after you, thus giving you and others time to ease any frayed nerves they may have. While I would like to hear their story, I've no desire to subject them to an interrogation." If they feel under duress their accounts are likely to be far less accurate. "Until then."
Soros takes his leave immediately after Naia, following her and any of her companions out the door.
"Excuse me, Miss Temlow - might I ask if you intend to intervene in this goblin business?" They say the old Temlow woman established her family on a fortune won by the sword. Someone with a similar mindset would be a most useful ally. "I ask because I have similar intentions myself, though mainly as an interested third party. I have no official standing within the town nor do I seek any; however, I do possess a keen interest in challenging my skills as a -" his family's reaction to his new profession flashes through his mind "- a scholar of goblinkind, and other dangerous... things..." he trails off lamely. Damn small-minded townsfolk and their petty fears - I'll not hide what I can do!
The young man straightens to his full height and raises his chin. "In point of fact, Miss Temlow, I am a wizard. I believe I can not only best goblins, but also discern any curses or spells which may lay upon that old house - if I have the proper assistance."
Naia stops sharply upon being hailed, and is visibly taken aback when she sees it is the traveller, Soros. His very polite request as to her intentions surprises the young Temlow - enough to lower her guard and answer just as honestly.
"Why yes, Soros. I do believe I shall...intervene, just as you say. I have a mind to find out what the town council knows, and what they figure they might want to do."
Unable to help herself, Naia chews her lip nervously, an outward sign of some inward struggle.
"So. A wizard, Soros. I must say I am intrigued. I imagine the council would find such abilities useful. I'm sure I might too." Naia finishes with a slight smile.
Irwish pushes the silver back to him and smiles. Patty told us what happened already. If you hadn't done it I would have. You have good heart lad and we have food to spare. The boy's family is more than welcome tonight. Anything else I need to take care of or need to know for today? He lifts his nose and seems to smell the air. You did good. Smells like a food I would eat lad!
Irwish and his wife take over and the pace of the staff seems to settle as all hands are now on deck.
D'ogryn turns as he starts to walk off with his newly found companions and tells Irwish one more thing. I struck a deal with the captain of the Blue Lass at the dock. He will sell us all the nearly spoiled vegetables for a silver and in turn he will give us the better pick of his good. We need to pick all of it this afternoon. I figure we can give that to Mrs. Lialis pigs and in turn, we might be able to get a better deal on a few of the choicer ones latter. [\b] Irish looks at him for a moment and starts to smile. [b] You my boy have a trader's heart in you...that was a good deal and I will have it delivered and strike the bargain for two to three of her better pigs this month and see if we can land a better deal for more each month. She will be tickled to get the extra food and we can bring in some nice roasted suckling a night or two a month. Good job!
D'ogryn blushes viable at the complement. He is not used to such words coming from this man. Irwish is not a bad man just that running Merry Mermaid is a stressful job and sometimes the praise does not come easily. Just too bust to worry about it.
Thank you sir.
If the deal works out, will you let me try my Lavender rub on one of the pigs?
He smiles at him as he heads out.
There are good people here and the deserve better. The plague nearly wiped out humanity and what it means to be humane....
When Zove makes the statement about the community supporting the local farmer and his son several of the people in the establishment stand up and pipe in about starting a small collection for them. After a few moments a bowl goes around and 16 sp and 24 cp were gathered. Suddenly Zove is standing with a bowl in her hands as one of the men hands it to her. Here you go little one; most of us need to get to work here shortly and this should help. The man giving it to you is a well over six feet and broad-shouldered middle-aged man. He has a gentle face but is missing a few teeth and has skin that is tanned and tough from the sun. Say it is from the guests of the Merry Mermaid.
Just as the collection finishes Soros finishes his statement and the inn goes quiet but not all at once and a few whispers and side comments can be heard. A few people get up as Soros turns to make eye contact go right to their plate and start eating obviously attempting to avoid eye contact. A few moments later the conversations pick back up and things go back to normal. Although everyone seems to give Soros a good deal of space after that.
D'ogryan Perception: 1d20 + 5 ⇒ (17) + 5 = 22
Edan Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (19) + 7 = 26
Naia Perception: 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (2) + 6 = 8
Rabalar Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (6) + 7 = 13
Zove Perception: 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (4) + 7 = 11
Soros Perception: 1d20 + 3 ⇒ (7) + 3 = 10
For those scoring a 15 or better:
1) You notice an elven lady, you believe high elven with silver hair dress in traveler's clothes of good craftsmanship. Mostly in shades of blue and white. When Soros made the comment her head turned quickly to Soros and then scanned the room as if to get the feel of the people. Once things went back to normal she started people watching and drinking from her mug. Occasionally eating toast and dabbing butter and jam on it.
2) You notice two young men, fisherman more than likely, get up and drop a few silver on their table and leave when the room went back to normal.
Rose notices that some of you are talking about leaving and comes by and give you your tab for your meals and drinks and wishes each of you a good day.
Note: Take 2sp and 2 cp for breakfast from your inventory and if you tip include that.
Astonished by the nearly 2 gold in collections, and by the role she thrust herself into, she takes the offerings quietly and tries to be humble. Somewhere deep down she knew the townsfolk of Saltmarsh were good, even if she didn't always agree with thier outlook on life and the world. It was easy to be cynical, easy to criticize...easy to say what was wrong. It was much more difficult to solve problems or offer something positive, but the techniques of her secret priesthood were apparently guiding her towards that. She hoped she could refrain from becoming jaded.
She thanked everyone heartily and headed to the Plough after settling her payment, figuring she had enough time still from her uncle. Hearing talk of Soros' wizardry was a concern, but she had her sights set elsewhere...
Naia stands up and nods to Rose giving her the empty cup and makes her way to the door. She turns right and heads east for a time noting how the town is now alive with activity. She takes anohter left as if heading to the Lord's Marketplace and on her left is the Town Gaol and Town Hall. She walks up and opens the door and sees that entry room is empty and there is the sound of many people in discussion in the next room. The actual hall was nothing more than a room with a long table at the far end and six chairs in front of the fireplace and three rows of seats on each side of a walkway. There were additional benches on the walls in all the room could hold about sixty people seated and another fifty or so standing. Wall sconces line the walls as does a horned chandelier giving the room a good deal of light at night or on a cloudy day.
The hall was not full but there were plenty of people in attendance.Lord Mayor Timertokos was seated on the left-hand side so he could get up and stoke the fire. He was a pacer so he didn't like to sit in the middle of the table. He was a handsome man and of noble birth. Next him was Lyra Ivassa the head priestess of Pelor. In the middle seat is Hoskin Lashti a shirefolk and owner of the Traveler's Rest Inn. He is also a nobleman and well respected in the community. To the right of Hoskin is Lira Tolivar also a shirefolk and a druid and keeper of the Methleigh Beacon. She is Saltmarsh's warden of the High Moor and a very wise women. She is also sharp tongued and sharp of wit. To her right is Toren Aerakin a nobleman and landowner. He has been on the town council since his twenties and is now into his fifties. Some say he was once an adventurer but he doens't have the look of one any longer. On the far end is Egan Lassiter a nobleman and landowner as well. Friendly and strong advocate for the town.
Also in attendance is Iborian, Lt. Commander of the guard and Olaf Tannerson, Sergeant of Arms. You grew up with Olaf and his family is close to the Stoutly's and the Temlow's. Sumerlan Benson, Excise Officer, is also here. Nolan Highshepard, Guildmaster of the Farmers and Herders was here as well as his son Ned. Dircroft Cronan of the Tailor's Guild along with his assistant Benny. There also several other citizens, mostly farmers and shop keepers.
Iborian was talking as Naia walked in and moved to the side of the door.
I can only tell you the wagon and the horses are fine it appears they ran off and the goblins could not give chase. We found them about six miles east of the old house. One horse had a bad gash on its side but nothing that can not be tended to and fixed. The farmer lost all their chickens but a few and some other goods. Mostly farming tools they had made to sell. In all there is probably about five to ten gp of damage. I saw not other signs of harassement and no one else has reported in problems.
Hoskin speaks up. Do we know where the goblins are at present? Are we attempting to track them down?
Nolan speaks up quickly after Hoskin finishes his line of thought. We need to take care of these goblins. I have been telling you for over a month now that they have gotten more brazien in their scouting it was only a matter of time they would attempt to attack a lone traveler. We need to hunt them down and the sooner the better! Many HERE-HERE follows his comment.
Iborian looks at Nolan and back to the council. Has Geolin warned we are spread to thin with all the watches and now dealing with the Festival. It would not be prudent for us to send a large body of our town guard off to hunt a party of goblins. I have requested to take a party to hunt them myself but this is not possible as Geolin wants the entire guard in town encase there is something more to the scouting and banditry. Olaf follows that up. Geolin suggests we put a group of volunteers together to track the goblins and put them down. We can easily pay and it would not strain our man power or resources.
Toren speaks up at this point looking concerned about the entire affair. I tend to agree with Nolan on this. He has stated they have seen these goblins roaming the area on several occasions. Now they are attacking travelers. If we need to do something now is the time. I would prefer if you Iborian handled this but I understand if we need to send volunteers. I would suggest we give a reward of some type.
After that there is plenty of chatter about what to offer. Who should go. Who is the most experienced and willing to go.
Zove gathered up the coin and headed out the door. She made her way out just shortly after Naia did. She turned right and made her way down the road until she came the Custom's House and turned to the right again down a small alley and crossed a small cobblestone side street that was half the width of the main roads. She walked to the back of the Broken Plough and around to the front. The Broken Plough was frequented by farmers, herdsman, and most of the commoners that were not tied to the docks, sailing, or fishing. Most of the guardsman also frequented the Tavern as well.
When she walked into the place it was packed full of people and the room was full of pipeweed smoke. Already a few Wagonfolk had some tables and singing and spinning of tales was going on. It was a much livelier place than the Mermaid and a lot louder. She could see that fresh bread, biscuits, boiled eggs, jams, and butter were being served at many of the tables.
There were plenty of farmers and herdsman to go around. Saltmarsh was mainly a fishing and whaling town but there was also plenty of sheep and farmland and the Broken Plough catered to most of them. Most of the farmers lived on land rented to them by the nobles who in turn took a percentage of what they sold each season. Thankfully the noblemen seemed to be fair in their rent and contracts as you never heard a complaint from the farming community.
Zove looked around the tavern and after a few times of scanning the entire tavern she managed to spot a young boy of ten or eleven and his father. Both were at the table eating fresh biscuits, gravy, and some boiled eggs. The boy had a nasty bruise on his head and the farmer a middle-aged man and from the looks of it a hard working man as well had cuts on his arm and face. Truth be told they didn't' look that bad but there was an obvious down on my luck look that was plain to see when compared to everyone else around them.
Naia watched quietly from her position by the door, gauging the crowd. She smiled depite the seriousness of the situation. Perhaps her nerces betrayed her.
"I will volunteer!" said a voice. Naia realised it was her own, rather quiet.
She swallowed hard.
Damn you Gram!
There was nothing for it. She strode purposefully to the floor.
"You most of you know of me. I'm a Temlow. We stand against tyranny. I volunteer. And I can assemble a group to aid me. We will root out the goblins."
Naia breathed hard.
The locals at the nearby table provide an obviously exaggerated tale about the deserted house and goblin encroachment.
The olf looks at his companion. "I don't think they've actually looked. Based on how that sounded, I have to wonder if any of them have actually looked." He takes a sip from the mug in front of him. "Probably not anything there. We could go look. Not the kind of excitement I was hoping for, but it could do for an afternoon or so."
Seeing the raucous atmosphere and the untrustworthy foreigners, Zove double backed around the alley into the shadows. Taking the coin from the Merry Mermaid she wrapped it in a stretch of cloth and padded it down the side of her boot. Grinning, she installed a few pebbles into her actual coin pouch and left it dangling freely at her side. She certainly didn't want the travelers to spoil the fruit of Saltmarsh...
Confidently, she goes back inside and approaches the farmer and his son. I thought there was a name mentioned but couldn't find it just now "Fresh morning, isn't it? Do you know me, I'm Quallion's niece. The patrons at the Merry Mermaid were talking and wanted to help you get through this. I know the council and the guard are striking out despite being stretched thin, but they wanted you to know that we stand together." she leans in a bit closer and speaks a bit quieter "Of course they had to work, but wanted to express this solidarity though a donation of coin for you and your son."
Soros looks around the room and realizes his ego might have just got him into a bit of trouble. He prudently lets his comment fall and the conversation slowly goes back to normal in the Mermaid. Naia turns and starts to make her way out the inn. Damn it... that was not prudent but I am not going to hide who I am. I was on the other end of that stick at one time. He begins turns and follows Naia out and gives a nod to the two caravan guards. Ok, ok...I probably should have said that in a more discreet manner but the Naia acknowledged that I could be of assistance.
He walks with Naia to the town hall. Point in fact, Soros had never been to the Town Hall. Places like this always bothered Soros, Why do a select group of people get to govern us. What power gives them the authority to say they make the rules! But now older and a tad bit wiser...well wise enough (recalling his ego a few moments ago) He realized that communities needed leadership and a voice in that community to guide them.
He realized Naia was already in the Town Hall and as he walked in realized that Naia had just volunteered to go after the Goblins. He also realized he was standing just behind her and by all appearances was with Naia. Not sure if this was a good thing or bad thing or even what in the hell he just got himself into suddenly. But here he was in the thick of it again.
He quietly states to Naia... Ok, so there are two of us. Any clue on who else we can get to go chasing goblins all over the countryside?
SD our posts are in fact quite similar, we can simply go with yours if you like :)
"So. A wizard, Soros. I must say I am intrigued. I imagine the council would find such abilities useful. I'm sure I might too.
"Then you think more highly of the council than I. I appreciate your open-mindedness, Miss Temlow. It is quite refreshing."
Soros follows Naia to the Town Hall and listens to the debate. This is little better than chaos. He gives a small nod of approval after Naia volunteers her services, and, he assumes, his own. Better to allow her to deal with the council. Her family has standing, and my own arguments are far less persuasive to those unable to comprehend them. He stepped up to be alongside and slightly behind Naia in a show of support, his eyes scanning over the assemblage for any signs of agreement or displeasure at her announcement.