Seeing the one called Wix first Beau makes his way over to the ebon haired human.
"Seems we're the first arrivals. Wix right the one with the fancy introduction." Beau smiles up at the human with a chikdlike wonder on his face.
"Care to get ta know one another a bit while we wait." Small talk clearly not being one of Beau's strong suits but he is making an effort.
Petracleus drops a few harmless questions about Karlae as he waits for the smith to sharpen his sword.
Dubrel waxes about the valorous actions of Karlae and her friend Luna Aldred. You don't learn much of anything, other than the spell caster helped save the town during the Night of Silver Blood.
"Ho, another halfling. He calls out to your quarry's table. 'Tamris! Halfing! Is this guy your friend?'"
The place is noisy and, with your back to the halfling called Tamris, you are uncertain whether or not your quarry heard.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (11) + 4 = 15
Darpan continues playing his flute to the crowd. A few coppers are tossed to him as folks pass by.
Wix and Beau wander back to the square and find themselves standing by the Five Falcon Fountain. Five falcons, wings spread in flight, have water pouring gently from their mouths. This is one of the most popular places in the city, with children running about and people, young and old, sitting and enjoying the soothing sound of the water.
If it looks as though Tamris didn't hear, I'd like to ask the bartender about him.
With his steel duly sharpened and the smith paid, Petracleus wanders through the crowded streets of Olfden back to the town square.
Hearing the sound of the flute, Petracleus follows the crowd to see one of his companions playing for money. He flashes him a smile and meanders over to the fountain where one of the Halflings is talking to the man who had introduced himself as Wix.
"Greetings, we are but four?.....wheer is the other Halfling, Shane, I think?"
Out of interest, what time of day is it? We need to start thinking about the journey to Swallowfield and I'm not sure we want to strike out at night!!!!!
Once outside, he heads back towards the town square, arriving without any disruptions. Tell the group, or not, what you discovered.
Up to you guys to decide whether to hit the road and camp tonight or wait until morning.
Well, everyone," Shane says to his companions when he arrives back at the square. "I certainly just had an interesting experience."
Shane relates the story to his companions, and then voices his support to leaving right away.
Everyone can real the spoilers now as I tell the story.
"Are we in immediate danger? I have little doubt that Karlae is keeping something from us yet I do not think we need to run out into the night wilderness when a good nights' sleep at the Bulette could be had......it is a relatively long journey and I doubt we would get to Swallowfield afore we needed to rest"
Petracleus looks around at his companions ".......Of course, if the majority of us would have us head out then I will fall in". Whilst waiting for others to decide, Petracleus takes the opportunity to perform a quick inventory check of his traveling bag.
"Wix? Beau? Any preference in the matter? Are you okay to sleep 'neath the stars tonight? Petracleus resigns himself to another night without a roof over his head......
Wix scratches his head and stretches.
In truth, I am feeling somewhat restless this eventide. A good stretch of the legs would be beneficial to one's constitution I think. My preference, then, would be to sally forth immediately. I will, of course, bow to the will of the majority, however.
As an aside to Beau, with a smile:
Indeed my friend, I would like to chat at length. Perhaps to pass the time on the road we could each regale the other with tales from our past.
"Aye journeys were made for chat. Fear not the night my good sir, Desna will be our guiding light. I'm more than willing to go on tonight and 'sides I'fe been promised a story now." Beau grins, adjusting his backpackers on his shoulders to a more comforatable fit.
Sorry for the delay two 16 hour shifts back to back wore me out. Back and ready to go now.
And, that's a 4-1 vote for moving along
The five of you, gear situated and comfortable walking shoes shod..gather in the square and begin your trek. Karlae had come by with a pack horse for you.
"This is to go on to Piren's Bluff. Leave it with Tryphena and she'll see it gets there. You might as well use it on your trip."
I assume you're going to Swallowfeld first
You arrange some rations and tarps to provide some cover for sleeping and head out the west gate.
I'm not a nazi on gear. If having something is resonable and make sense, we'll go with it.
Oflden is not actually situated in the forest itself , so your trek begins in the plain. It's rather unattractive, and the overcast skies have turned into a steady, though light, rain. Two hours of uneventful marching does get you to a section of the forest.
You are considering when to stop when you hear a disturbance in the bushes to your right. A woman, clothes torn and blood on her arms and face, comes half-running, half stumbling out of the woods.
“Help me, please! Help me!” She reaches Darpan and throws herself down behind him, putting him between her and the trees. She wraps her arms around his legs. “Bandits. Please, please!”
She is clearly terrified. Before you can do much more than tell her to try and calm down, three figures come tearing out of the brush not far from where she emerged. They all have the look of woodsmen, with bows across their backs and wearing brown leather and dark green cloaks. Their gear is good: they do not appear to be motley ruffians.
Each has a drawn longsword and one yells “Ware, beast!” as they approach, slowing down but not stopping. They spread out to cut down any escape angles for the woman. The man who spoke stays in the center.
She moans in sheer terror as the men draw closer, almost clawing at Darpan's legs, whimpering.
Petracleus steps forward whilst waiting for a response to Darpan's challenge and stopping between the men and the cowering woman, rests his hand on the pommel of his sword.
Wix steps back and readies his crossbow, pointed in the air for now. He positions himself so as to have a shot at any of the three if necessary.
1d20 + 4 ⇒ (19) + 4 = 23
Waiting on Shane's response before I take this further.
As Wix loads a crossbow, the ranger who spoke (we'll call him the leader) and the elf on the left meet eyes for a moment. The latter sheathes his sword and nocks an arrow to his longbow, which he is NOT pointing at the ground.
Beau1d20 + 4 ⇒ (1) + 4 = 5
Petracleus 1d20 ⇒ 4
Shane 1d20 + 9 ⇒ (6) + 9 = 15
Darpan 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (11) + 7 = 18
Wix self-rolled 23
You each notice that the three strangers have silver pins that likely serve as clasps for their cloaks. The pins are shaped like arrows.
The sight of the silver pins triggers a memory of something Karlae had mentioned to you during your individial briefings:
Little is known of the Silver Arrows. They have recently come to the Arthfell. Primarily elven rangers and wizards, they seem to be focusing their efforts on the The Shadow Pack.
Moving slight forward, Dar speaks to the "leader".
"There is no need for this standoff. You are members of the Silver Arrows, correct? Is this woman, then, somehow connected with the Shadow Pack? If so, please produce your evidence. If the law is on your side we will help you, but I will not condone vigilant justice. Is that clear?"
He moves within striking distance of the leader as he speaks, taking small and unassuming steps to sidle up to the fellow...just in case they get hostile...ummm...ok, more hostile!!
Hold off on substantive posts (like Darpan's last one) until Shane checks in. I'd prefer not to "get ahead" of anyone if we can avoid it. It will happen, but I think we can avoid it okay in the early going.
Little stuff like what Beau's doing (not that you guys should be reading them :-)) or assessing the sitution are okay.
The leader, never taking his eyes off of the woman, speaks. "Aye, we are of the Silver Arrows. I am Saltheas, leader of the Arthfell Quiver. You harbor a foul lycanthrope in your midst. For days we have hunted this one. Do not be fooled by its appearance."
The woman continues whimpering and grasping Darpan's legs. "No, no, they lie. Save me."
Darpan couldn't really move forward with this woman clinging to him.
"You are in peril. Stand aside and let us finish this."
You get a good look at the three elves now. Their boots are covered with mud and they look tired. Their faces retain their elven youthfulness, though. If they are bandits, they are not of the desperate, sloppy type.
You notice that their arrows and swords are silvered.
As Saltheas speaks, the third elf swaps his sword for bow and arrow. He too nocks an arrow and slides to a position that gives him a better angle at the woman, though it is obvious that the elves are not dismissing the party as a threat.
Shane glances down at the woman, studying her quickly.
Could she really be a lycanthrope?
Not sure if either of these apply, but:
Heal to notice anything peculiar about her wounds 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (14) + 7 = 21
Knowledge (nature) to notice any unusually animalistic characteristics 1d20 + 7 ⇒ (16) + 7 = 23
Beau rises from treating the woman's injuries.
I don't trust these men to take her to authorities even if they claim they will.
"If'n she be what ye claim her to be, her actions are on my head. I offer this woman sanctuary and safe passage in the name of Desna. I will personally escorted her ta Swallowfield where proper authorities can discern the truth of your claims. Until then she remains free. Move along."
Diplomacy roll 1d20 + 6 ⇒ (1) + 6 = 7
When is the next full moon?
Saltheas' eyes narrow at Beau's words. "Authorities? Werewolves are not given tribunals! They are hunted down and exterminated. I care not for your claims of Desna's protection. You will defy us on this?"
The other two elves are clearly tense.
The whimpering continues. "Don't let them take me. Please, no."
In case I haven't conveyed it well, it is very clear to you that these are much more experienced adventurers.
1d20 + 11 ⇒ (5) + 11 = 16
BTW, there was just a sliver of moon last night
Wix keeps his eyes on the Elves, training his weapon on the one with the knocked longbow.
Looks like were caught in the middle of two opposing factions either of whom are capable of wiping us all out. Hope we don't get crushed in-between. But, a crossbow at point-blank range means, we'll get at least one of these pretentious pricks before meeting our respective makers.
"I care not for your claims of Desna's protection."
Those words ring in Beau's head. Beau grips his walking stick harder hands trembling lightly in anger, but he refuses to take the first swing. Beau steps up to the man who spoke those words.
"Do ye intend ta defy one of Desna's chosen who has envoked her name?"
Saltheas looks down at the halfing in front of him with sardonic amusement. His eyes then flick to the elf on his left, nodding slightly at the other's unrecognizable hand signal.
Before any of you can react, he pulls a dagger from his belt and drops it at Beau's feet.
"I don't think it will help, but let none say that I left you to your folly, little one."
He raises his arm above his head and gestures back towards the woods. The three elves turn their backs on the group with no fear of attack and vanish into the underbrush in moments. The dagger is the only reminder that they had ever been there.
Seeing the elves go, the woman slows down her whimpering, though she clearly is still afraid. Barely more than a whisper, you hear "Desna be praised. Thank you."
You may all exhale now...