Calmoria Kingdom Reserve

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Davion, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. The group had received their invitations by personal carriers at the same time, precisely 9 o’clock at night with instructions to meet immediately if they were interested. Through their different passages, they arrived one by one silently to the ghostly walkways of the Jameson Fishing District, all watching as the different members arrived before setting off into the salty alleyways. The only souls to be seen were hard faces cast in shadows from different doorway arches, all of which disappeared behind moldy doors or smeared windows as the group was led to the side of a large warehouse, where the first courier unlocked a large metal door and pushed it inward. With a motion of his hand concurrently with a nod of his head, he beckoned the party down into the dimly lit cobble steps.

    For a minute, the party walked in dead silence through the lowest level of the warehouse until they came upon an open archway, leading to a luxuriously set dining room.

    Red padded seats overlooked a display of finely crafted plating, crystal goblets, and polished silver, all supported on a dark ebony table. Small torches burned very dimly periodically across the stone walls of the room, but the main source of illumination came from the great fire that was lit in a large fireplace behind the head of the table. For a second, the darkness cast around the head chair seemed to completely conceal any presence, until a calm, smooth voice called out to them to please take a seat around the table.

    As the members took their seats, the same couriers reappeared and removed a cloche from a plate, each revealing an exquisitely prepared meal to their individual likings. Wine, water, and ale was spread around the table, along with garnish and seasonings in just more than the blink of an eye. The couriers all silently bowed and exited through the other archway of the room.

    A second time, the voice of the enshrouded male called to them. “Please eat and drink, if you so wish, I often prefer to mix business with dining.” The man wore night black robes of silk as he reached forward and delicately picked up a fork and knife, cutting easily into the medium rare filet of meat before him. “All of you… ”, he started after his first bite, pausing to take a sip of wine. “…are somewhat known in the world, whether it be by means you intended or whether it was a matter of your birth. What I want to propose is an invitation to join my services on contract. I often require different items… recovered, moved, sometimes even repossessed.” Though the statement was vague, clearly odd in its nature, he continued on, clearly familiar with the notion. “My work can be dangerous, as often I’m sure, as many of your tasks have been. But.” He took another sip of the wine for added pause. “I pay well, generously for the task in addition to whatever property you may recover that does not belong to me. It will also be at the completion of every calling, so you may see profits without fear of being held out on by my part.” Setting down the fork and knife, he leaned forward, the large hood of his robe concealing all but the tip of his nose from the strangely think darkness that permeated the scene. “Any questions, my associates? For me or your new partners?” he spoke again, holding the goblet of wine up as to declare a toast.
  2. A gruel of fava beans and turnip. He gripped the bowl in both hands and drank so fast it dribbled down his chin.

    Who was the dark master in shadows, was he a guilder, perhaps he was a guilder, or the thief runners, I don't know, am I supposed to do this, like the others, yes, this is how you get ahead, money, he has money, I should do this.

    Salted herring. He forgot to spit out the bones and swallowed them down, taking the pain with the pleasure.

    Evil, yes, perhaps, I mean, is he evil, in the shadows underground, like a cult, is this a cult, am I joining evil, I can't be can I, if I'm joining, I have to.. well, maybe, perhaps he is or just for show, just for show, yes, he's not a cultist, no symbols after all, it's okay.

    Almond milk in a pitcher on the side. He guzzled it with loud, glottal rhythm.

    Should be okay, it's okay, yes, business, only business, I'm in business now, a business man, this is supposed to happen, I'm the best enchanter in the city, aren't I, yes, he needs me, the dark master in the shadows is a shrewd man, a kind man, a mentor, my new one, yes.

    Rye bread. A whole chunk of it. Bale savaged it with his mouth and curled his other arm around his plate, shielding it from his fellow party members. It was his habit. Even though the others had food he guarded his own, and watched them with wary stares. He was leant towards the master, as if trying to squeeze with him inside those shadows and share his concealment.

    With milk and gruel on his face, he looked over at the speaker and nodded insistently. It was the only communication he needed to make.

    Then he went back to his food. His voice was a twisted rasp. "Arcane arts. Yes. Me. I can wield magic for you."
  3. The food looked well enough. Though, it is really hard to to mess up sauce, beef, and noodles. Anyone who does really doesn't deserve to be a chef. Its taste was a bit different. Moving the contents about, it looks as if there was a spice mixed in.

    "Mhm." he moaned to himself

    As delicious as it was, the vibe in the room just didn't sit right with him. Paranoia swirled around in Nivrant's head. Was this a trap? Was the food poisoned? Is the speaker secretly a fire demon from the bowels of the local brothel. Damn whores, he thought. Not that the rest of lot looked any more kind. Not as bad as this black-robed potential murder, probably. He was still unsure as to his intentions. How they were invited...something just didn't seem to add up. However, there is no real reason to not at least take the first mission. Otherwise, he may never know what is going on in this place.

    "Pelor, guide us!"

    Nivrant raised his goblet and took a sip.
  4. Pelor, Pelor, yes, the Shining One, the Sun Father, good, this is good, not dark master in shadows but friend, mysterious friend, and Pelor, man of Pelor, yes, servants of the light, all is well, all is well.

    Bale stared at Nivrant for a moment then, nervously, scooped up his own milk tankard. He lifted it. "Pelor!"

    The cleric was of distinguished years, with greying hair at the temples, a confident poise. Bale watched him for a long time as he resumed shovelling food. Nivrant seemed confident - seemed to know what was going on. And he sipped his drink, like a gentleman. Bale liked him. Bale would stick close to him.
  5. Greens. A delicious salad made from the freshest spinach, lettuce, and arugula. Mixed in with the vibrant greens were small red beets, fresh orange carrots, mild pecans diced into small bits, dried bread crumbs, slices of radish, and even shavings of ginger root. A very healthy meal topped with a light raspberry vinaigrette just to give it a little sweetness. Everything looked go delicious.

    "Good evening, friends." The kind monk said to his company with a genuine smile.

    Peng picked up a shimmering fork and skewered some spinach leaves along with a slice of radish. With a happy crunch, the polite monk chewed his food with his mouth closed and listened to the host explain why he had called all these individuals here. Ultimately this man wished for us to work for him. He said he paid well and he always cam through on his deals.

    "As Fharlanghn had guided me to this very table, so must I journey onward with you all. This is but part of the great path laid out before our lives and I believe that we must traverse onward should we wish to reach the horizon." Peng bowed his head, signaling his agreement.

    "It will be an honor to serve with you all. You may call me Peng." The monk raised his head and smiled at his fellow adventurers.
  6. Beef, or was it something rarer? Veal, he could smell it. On a bed of peas and small chunks of roasted potato. They had to have all been cooked separately and then combined into a single dish, arranged by a nimble hand and dripping in sauce.

    It was hard to turn down. But business and food did not mix. He would eat when he knew what he was dealing with and not a moment sooner. The crystal goblet full to the brim with deep red wine would be picked up, bu only to wet his lips in a pretense of drinking it.

    This man was offering them a job to steal things. That much was clear. Part of a team of burgers working for a corrupt official or tradesman, or was this one of the crime lords he had been looking for for so long?

    Calm yourself Rodri.

    Blowing his cover now would mean a swift death and the undoing of so much work.

    He raised his glass with his new 'employer' and the cleric before he gulped from it, or pretended to, he tasted it though and nodded appreciatively, this man was wealthy and was excellent taste in wine. He swallowed and then glanced around the room playing the role of the naturally cautious burger and fixer eh had the reputation of being.

    "I have a question." he declared. "Who am I working for?"
  7. The room was classy, quite well decorated and arranged in such a manner that the sparse lighting only seemed to illuminate the wealth at the center of the room. Searos had been appreciating this fact and the number of platinum pieces he would receive if he managed to run off with it all when his food arrived. Fruit slices arranged in a desert bowl alongside a bed of finely seasoned chicken atop a medley of dark greens, all covered in a light dressing.

    "Curses." was all Searos thought as he looked about the room. They had gotten his favorite dish right, though they certainly didn't know that he only ordered this under a fake name, preferably wearing a long cloak in a bar that no one had ever heard of. "I'm not a man of faith, whole lot of them are gonna think i'm some manner of wench for having the equivalent of a fruit cup." He cast an envious look across the table at Rodri's veal, with only the slightest amount of blood dripping from between it's portioned slices. "Why did they have to to get their information right? I hope they paid a lot for it." he scowled at his predicament until Rodri raised his question. The bizarre quirks of the wizard were nearly grasping his attention just as the man spoke.

    Raising an eyebrow, Searos nodded in agreement and silently folded his arms, attempting to look severely uninterested in the fruit cup. "I'm Searos Arborshade" he introduced himself to the group. "Mercenary for hire, have been for several years now. Your business proposition is right up my alley, but my new acquaintance here has a good point. Keeps his deals or not, that's especially shady if I don't even have a name to put to my employer."

    The man in the shrouded chair smirked, given away by a small jerk of his shoulders and the muffled sound of amusement from his lips. Apparently he was amused that it almost seemed that he might not have even been asked one fundamental question. Placing his glass down on the table, now half drained through his manor of frequent small sips, he folded his hands on the table, a servant rushing into the room to remove the dishes from before his master and to refill his wine glass.

    "You may call me the Salzar. If you wish to know, I am greatly invested in transportation and in import of goods, quite often along with treasures of far away lands. Many of said treasures are exactly the same I wish for you to recover. I own this district and the surrounding streets, where I house my goods as well as a great number of the men and women who work in my trade." with a nod of satisfaction at his choice of words, the man grabbed his glass again and took another sip, the fire-light catching the goblet and illuminating the blood-red liquid.

    "Is there anything else you might wish to ask?" he started, waiting a moment to pose an answer to the question that would arise sooner or later. "I'm sure you have all heard of it, Calmoria Kingdom Reserve. I'm asking you to start your careers in my ranks by robbing a bank for me."

  8. Bale, hunched over his plate, stopped chewing his bread abruptly. He looked at the master, then at the others - at the kindly Cleric and the smiling Easterner, the wily Half-Elf and fruit-nibbling Warrior. What was this? Had he stumbled into a crime syndicate? Would they kill him if he tried to leave?

    Kind Cleric with hair, grey hair, at the temples, greying distinguished man, man of Pelor, yes, good god, good, why rob a bank when Pelor is watching, he wouldn't, he wouldn't dare, no, can't be, Cleric is kind and friend, yes, in his temples, friend, no can't do this.

    Peng... Peng Peng Peng, with slitty eyes, like viper, but smiles and spoken well, well-spoken, spoken well, talks of path, Great Path laid before us, how can he, such certainty, my my, yes, such certainty, knows all things perhaps and walks the Great Path, Great Path! Great Path! All is well.

    Half-Elf, dirty, sneaky like their kind, half-bred, bastard scum stealing my bread, can't trust Half-Elves, can't trust them, he'd do it, yes he would, scoundrel Half-Elf Elfy scum, all the same, wily with their flappy ear crooked smiles, Half-Elf bastard, take my gold he would have to beat him, yes I would, turn him into a rat like rat he is rats.

    Salad! SAAAALAAAADD! Big man warrior salad, eating fruit and salad and something wrong, yes, wrong with him, so wrong, why, some diet for magic, big spell casting only salad, maybe, have to watch, not trust the big warrior and his fruit cup.

    The silence made him panic. Bale shifted his food around, arranging the tankard and the trencher, the gruel bowl and the herring carcass. Then all at once he clutched his head and spoke up, his words merged into a single painful gasp that broke the silence.

    "Nuuuurgh! Who owns the bank? They'll kill us!"

  9. The amount of liquid that shot out of his nose was only matched by the sudden choking and coughing. He could not believe what was said. Taking money from other is VERY wrong. Didn't this Salzar know that asking Nivrant to steal was the wrong thing to do? What is this man's angle? Damn whore. This was against what he stood for. All of this made him want to stand up and walk out, with no regrets. Wiping the excess from his lip, the cleric turned the shadow.

    "If it is truly something that is yours, then we will be the ones to reclaim it." he said, a bit dryly

    Ultimately, it isn't stealing if it was already his. So, this would be just as a noble cause as any other rescue. Nivrant's code would not be violated here. His arm would still be his own, but everything was kosher for now.
  10. Peng's brow furrowed at the man's task. He held his tongue and listened to the first couple questions. He watched as the cleric lose his most recent bite of food. Averting his eyes, he mustered up a few words.

    "Though I believe that this is a part of my journey, crime and the blood of the innocent have no place in my wake. I agree with this man."
    Peng nodded at Nivrant. "Should you have rights to what we are asked to obtain, I see no harm in helping. I have sworn to help those who ask it of me, but stealing from a bank seems a terrible crime."

    The monk looked around the room. It seemed that he was not the only one who liked to eat healthy foods. The mercenary knew that a healthy body made for a good life. The wizard was skittish, to put it lightly, and he had a peculiar air about him. The cleric was obviously good-natured, shown by his concern over our task. The half-elf was cautious and seemed fit for this type of work, almost like he had done it before and knew what to look for.
  11. Steal, reclaim, it was all the same. Robri raised the glass in his hand and patted the cleric on the back, finding ways to live with what people always asked him to do was something the half elf could relate to. Explaining it to deities though, best left for those who found use in such things as gods. Though with a name and as objective Rodri's curiosity was sated enough to pick up a knife and skewer a piece of potato on and pop into his mouth.

    "What do you want is to 'reclaim'?" he asked still pursuing business business, "And what's in it for us? Standard take anything from the lockup you don't want for ourselves?" he was testing the man while playing the rogue, anything Rodri did take would be turned over to the guard and returned to their owners ir Rodri liked it or not.

    "I'm not sure about my colleagues here but it doesn't much matter to me if what you want has your name of it or not, I do want to know what we'll be up against and if you'll be reducing pay for collateral deaths. I think a man like you likes things clean. And it it IS yours what's stopping you going and withdrawing
    it?" he was going out on a limb, but everyone in this room had a role to play and the people in it were part of a plan on their new employer's part. Rodri was dying to know the details, there were going to be some interesting reports after this one. Who would hire people with so many morals stuffed up their arses that they could take their drink and here the word 'theft' at the same time to rob a bank?

  12. Rather than be taken aback by the abrupt reactions, the Salzar remain calm with a small smirk curling out from under his cloaked form. It had been more of the response he had anticipated. Without breaking his movement, he continued to sip on his wine and hear our their concerns. Once finished, he held his hands in an open gesture.

    "I would believe the cleric and monk have accepted it for what it is, despite the chances. If you owned something, but it was taken from you by someone who was reputable. Would you give up your ownership of it, simply because the public view them as honorable? Would you pay them for what is rightfully yours? No, this has never been my philosophy, though nor does it need to be yours. I will pay you for your services, how you are to accomplish it remains entirely of your own choosing. As I have said, it will be recovered from the Calmoria Kingdom Reserve, a most respected and well-known branch of the nation's financial establishment."

    A servant entered the room, carrying a small pot filled with freshly stirred herbs, namely mint, hemlock, and wolfsbane. They placed it before Bale and left the room at a flick of the wrist from the Salzar, who urged Bale to inhale the scents.

    "The only thing that matters to me is the return of my property. If you fail this early, there will be no rescue from me as it would connect me to your robbery attempt. Pious or wicked, your intentions will be kept separate from mine to the eyes of the world. Whether that means you rob the innocent you come across, or donate your proceedings to charity, it is of no importance to me so long as I have my property returned, my authority not undermined."

    Finishing with his explanation, the Salzar stood from his chair, the fire catching more of his robe to reveal patterns of stars. The figures let through more light than the rest of the material, casting the shapes along the rest of the room. Moving away from the table, he circumnavigated his chair and outstretched his hands to the fire. The Salzar had unusually long fingers, covered in scars but wholly intact. The rest of his visage was obscured by his cloak.

    "A small shipment is being moved in two days time. A small caravan will leave the city through the southern gate, then shortly after depart down a trail towards the coast along their way to the Reserve's coastal location. My possession this time is a particular jewel, known as the Lion's Roar. It, along with whatever else is being transferred by the banking authorities, will be within those caravans. I think it best if you take action sometime shortly after they depart towards the coast."

    Inclining his head towards them, a pair of illuminated deep blue eyes pierced from the back of his hood. "Are there any further questions? If not, you will be escorted by my servants to your local quarters in another part of the district."

  13. Mmm, that's nice, yes, mhmm, yes, nice, lovely mint and sage, and something, hmm, what is that, something else, hmm, lovely lovely mint, so pleasant, yes, yes, rosemary, mmmmmm...

    Bale, at the master's bidding, leant over the pot the servant had brought and took deep, calming breaths. It had been so long since he'd smelled fresh herbs - not since his travels through the forest in the months after his outcasting. To find mint and hemlock and rosemary in the depths of this squallid city was the sweetest gift. He sucked through nose and mouth, feeling his chattering thoughts go numb.

    mhmmm.... rosemary... so sweet... so wonderful....

    So the master had been wronged? Something had been stolen from him. That was okay, wasn't it? That was worthy. Bale would do well to help, to right the wrongs, to correct the injustice. Yes.

    He looked up as the master turned from the fireplace, flashing deep blue eyes from the shadow of his hood. Bale didn't meet the gaze. It wouldn't be right. And after all, the master and his men should keep their distance, like he said, in case peril befalls them. "No," he answered, staring instead at the table. "No questions. Two days time. Caravan, small. Southern gate, coastal trail. Lion's Roar. Yes."

    Pay for his services? His own quarters? Feasts such as these? Oh yes, Bale would obey. Bale would serve the master in any way he could.

    The mage looked around the table quickly. The Half-Elf and the Monk were of weaker blood. The big fighter ate salad and spoke little. But the Cleric - the kind Cleric - he was of the city church, fine-clothed and distinguished-looking. So Bale, hunched low to the table, reached over and gripped Nivrant's sleeve, a beseeching gesture. His eyes were wide. "I'll wield the magic for us. Easy. Quick job - very quick."

    His other hand slithered into the pot and pulled out a sprig of rosemary. He began chewing it as he looked at Nivrant - the man he naturally assumed would lead them.

  14. It was fortunate that the groups questions were majorly answered, the Salzar had made it clear that no more detail was necessary for their part in his business. With a grin and an small bow, the Salzar departed through the back archway. Two seconds later, two of the quiet servants reappeared, escorting the group out of the dining room and back into the damp streets of the district. Several side-streets further into the district, they stopped at the stoop of a large building, at the same time the servant in the back of the group informed them that it was but a short walk away from the commercial district of the city.

    Inside they each found a room for their belongings, as well as common rooms and other amenities. The outside was patrolled by casually clothed goons that the group could only guess were hired help attempting to look like part of the scenery. It was not before long that they all fell asleep, awoken early the next morning by the same two servants who escorted them into the market. A fine stallion was loaned to each of the group, with instructions on how to reach the coastal bend of the trail written on parchment and handed to Nivrant, the servants best guess at being literate.

    By the late afternoon, the adventurers had departed from the commerce of the city and traveled among the dirt road leading to the ambush that they would set. For the first time they had been together, the travel was secluded and the members were together. Pulling off of the main street, it was Searos who spoke first once out of earshot of the massive traffic that accompanied the Kings Road.

    "So I don't know if we've really had a chance to talk yet, if you folk wouldn't mind some conversation." he began, a long straw of wheat between his lips as he spoke, freshly picked from an overgrown thicket, which Searos believed was demanding an early thatching. "I'll fight along side you all, seem honest enough as it is to me. At least what with a monk and a healer amongst us." To punctuate his words he gave a courteous side-nod to Peng and Nivrant.

    "And you...", he turned his gaze to Rodri, on the other side of him, "ask far too many questions about collateral damage, so I don't think it's my back i'll be fearing from your blade." Likewise, he gave another nod, before setting his gaze to Bale, who had treated the entire horseback ride with equal amounts of intense focus and apparently deliberate swaying. "You, my quirky companion, will be just as good a friend as I ever had as a boy, 'prentice blacksmith, ya' know; so long as you manage to keep your magics off me and my blade."

    The wheat straw slipped from his lip and fell beyond his grasp to the dirty road below them, trampled immediately by the hoof of his stead. "Rodri, would you mind practicing some burglary on the next overgrown thicket you see?", he asked, eagerly hoping to replace his lost charisma.
  15. Nivrant had no questions, just thoughts. None of which that needed to be discussed with anyone but Pelor himself. Fortunately, a few of the others seemed to still have questions to answer by themselves. Good. That meant there was at least some sort of moral compass with them. These men had intelligence and at least asked enough to not walk in blindly. Then there were some whom had already had their purpose picked out.

    "And I am sure you will do a fine job." he said, turning to younger mage.

    Giving Bale an encouraging nod, he finished his meal. Mine as well, since the new boss was nice enough to cook it. Later that night, he laid quietly praying to Pelor. The Cleric prayed for wisdom and for the lives of those that were being cast out like fishing line to be able to return safely. Oddly, after that, sleep came easy. The bed was cozy and had good space. Breakfast was just promising with toasted bread and butter, eggs, and thin strips of pig meat, from the market.

    When handed the parchment, Nivrant almost arrogantly checked to if the instructions at least not going to lead them to disaster. The directions looked entirely incorrect. They would lead in the wrong direction. It's words looked terribly written. Was this even a common language? His gaze, began to be more and more stern. He means to trick us! Looking around, the cleric wondered if he wasn't already about to be downed. Taking one last look, he noticed something.

    "Wait." he said to himself.

    Slowly, he turned the parchment upside down. Everything was fine. Paranoia disappeared and Nivrant felt incredibly stupid. Sighing, he took his horse and they began the journey.

    No other real thought took place until he was being spoken to.

    "I think, to be fair, we are perhaps on our guard. If we plan getting through this, a good start would be to getting acquainted with your allies. A better start would be to know something. If we don't work together, and put forth our effort fully, a long, painful, inevitable demise is coming. This situation is very delicate and is needed to be handled with care. We don't need anything unexpected to happen." Nivrant stated.

    "Part of that means not sacrificing another man's energy, for something unnessary, when he has the legs to do himself." he smirked, looking at Searos.

    After a brief moment, he spoke again.

    "And not to split hairs, but I don't use a blade." a loud chuckle followed.
  16. Keep my magics off him and his blade? What?

    Bale stared at the salad-eater, utterly perplexed. Perhaps Searos was the superstitious type. Why would someone reject the services of an enchanter? He didn't eat real food; he didn't use arcane weapons? Was he an ascetic monk? No... that's Peng. Or some obscure type of cleric? No... Nivrant.. Or maybe... Blacksmith... yes!, Searos said he was apprentice to a blacksmith - perhaps a journeyman now. He believed in the sanctity of forged weapons, surely. A man who spent his life tempering the finest steel would not want an enchanter adding his own fire to that forge.

    The wizard scowled and hunched over, pressing his head to the horse's neck. Searos confused him. He would stay away from the warrior.

    Then Nivrant started speaking, and as ever his words were a comfort. He spoke of them coming together, of fighting as one, of showing their respective hands and establishing a fellowship of....


    A long, painful, inevitable demise is coming?!!

    Bale's head snapped up, staring wide-eyed at Nivrant. What the hell did he mean by that?! The rest of the Cleric's words went right over Bale's head as he pondered this foreboding comment, and he was only roused from his thoughts by Nivrant's chuckle. Bale blinked.

    "No... I don't want that. We'll work together, yes." He nodded and looked around the group. "I have the magic," he said again, as if they didn't know. "A man of Saint Cuthbert trained me, in the Yonsway Valley. Twelve years. I can er..." He rubbed his temples, his hood riding up from dark hair cropped from scars and burns, "Yes! Darkness! I can make the night fall across this path. And... and... I can muddy their minds - the men or the horses - daze their senses. For a while, yes, only for a while. Enough to ambush, yes?"

    He looked at Nivrant, hopefully. He had prepared his spells that morning, before guzzling his oatmeal, sat cross-legged on the floor of his fine, fine quarters. Such nice lodgings the master had provided. Bale did not want to forsake the master. He did not want to go back to the cold and hunger. He wanted to please, to do well, to keep those rooves above his head, those sheets on his bed.

    Please... please let me help...
  17. A low chuckle resounded from the mostly quiet monk when Searos prodded our resident burglar to use his talents in order to procure the fighter another piece of wheat straw. The monk may be more the quiet type, be he did have a good sense of humor. The monk quietly walked and listened to his companions, a smile ever upon his face, as he set forth to right a wrong by some strange gentleman that asked specifically for help.

    The cleric seemed to be afraid that the group wouldn't work together. Peng was fond of teamwork, as when he was a young monk studying at the temple, him and his colleagues would practice teamwork to accomplish arduous tasks such as erecting a standing stone shrine or building a road. The monks who followed Fharlanghn often knew how to build sturdy roads and construct roadside temples to their god due to these exercises.

    "My hand will help any in need, for you are now my companions on this stretch of road."
    The monk's smile crept back across his face as he nodded to the cleric. Bale began to speak in his ever nervous and somewhat rushed voice. Turning a sympathetic eye to the wizard, Peng spoke a few more words of encouragement.

    "That sounds like a great idea, friend. Your magics will be most appreciated." The monk nodded to the wizard as he had to the cleric.
  18. Each one of them had their quirks. These were not evil men, that was some comfort, though appearances could be deceiving. "I only asked because I don't want my pay reduced if out employer cares for the lives and property of the guards and other people she have belongings in the cart." he replied to the warrior. "It's a good thing he seems to value his employees, saves on 'accidents'." His grin betrayed that last sentence as a joke.

    "I don't think we'll have trouble working together, we have a mage who knows his craft, a cleric of a respectable god, a big man with a big sword and a man so sure of himself he travels without a blade. You boys are a breath of fresh air next to my last crew." he was still grinning. His last 'crew' had been a grumpy knight and a few of the town guard. Nice guys the guard.

    "I am handy with a bow and mace, but my specialty is sneaking and getting into places. Not sure how useful that will be in this fight but I'm sure like all of you our employer chose us for a reason. If I can get behind them, and they're stuck in mud, I'm sure they'll see reason and surrender soon enough."
  19. The party continued on for some time, spent chatting and admiring the scenery. Three hours after their departure, they arrived just past noon, the grounds bustling with nature. Passing the bend in the road, they hitched their horses, walking a short distance from the road to make their camp next to a small lake. The camp was quick and makeshift, able to be deserted at a moments notice. The horses drank from the lake.

    They had just begun to start a fire when a sudden twig cracking alerted the horses, their complaints alerting the party to the surrounding thicket of the camp, but the warn was far past due.

    A black bear came charging through the thicket, chasing a family of dire badgers. Immediately the family of badgers scattered around, angered by the party, fur bristling as two lashed out against the ones closest. The first badger (1) struck out with a fast swipe of its claw, catching Nivrant on the side of his leg, rending through a small layer of flesh. [3 damage to Nivrant]

    A second badger (2) attempted the same, lunging at Searos' legging. Pulling back just in time, he fell backwards off of the rock he had been sitting atop, and scrambled to grab his sword from his gear. "How the hell did we not hear these coming!", he screamed at the group, brandishing his sword.

    The last two dire badgers did not attack, but instead stood by their mates, hissing at the party. The bear, out of the thicket and with a wider selection of game to choose from, struck randomly at the party. Rodri collapsed backwards, landing on his back just in time to evade the bears teeth from sinking into his arm.

    Calmoria Coastal Bend.jpg

    The ride had been nice, the fresh air and sounds of forest floating about his ears during the length of their trip. It was getting accustomed to that ambiance that perhaps had caused the entire party to ignore the grunts of the bear and badgers as they fought near the campsite, until the abrupt arrival dragged them into this encounter of the wild.

    "SERIOUSLY, ARE WE ALL DEAF OR WHAT?", he shouted, avoiding the attempt by the badger with narrow margin.

    Searos swung his sword arm around, giving himself a quick second to stretch the muscles that had started to tighten during the days ride. The badger pounced again, and he swung again with the reflex motion of his arm, sinking blade into the forelimb of his attacker.
    [11 damage to badger (1), 16 hp remaining]
  20. Savage things, the beasts and widlings, no no! Not here, go away, ruined, aaaagh!

    Bale stumbled up from the campfire, whispers screaming like butcher's blades in his head. The animals should keep from the road. Why were they this close? The chances were slim and reeked of misfortune. Did the gods frown on what they were doing here? Was this punishment? Or did the spirits of the forest want them gone? It was too much for him to consider all at once, and only the bright streak of red from Nivrant's flesh served to focus the mage.

    Kind Cleric, no, must not get hurt by badger beast, NOOOO!

    He reeled over the embers, one hand shooting into his pocket, gripping one of the wool patches. "Liseratum dahn ress!" he rasped, pulling out the wool and focussing his voices outwards. He tried to reach into the mind of the badger attacking Nivrant, but could not get a hold. The wild, unruly spirit of the beast shrugged him off and refused to be dazed.