November 26, 2011
I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
After turning over the captured Goblins to the alerted city guards and some quick healing by Father Zantus, the group headed back into the basement of the Glassworks to explore the mysterious tunnel leading down and away to the north. The tunnel appeared to have been rough hewn directly out of the bedrock but was uniformly 5 feet wide and about 8 feet tall. It showed signs of once having been well trafficked as the floor was somewhat worn smooth, though the walls and ceilings did harbor an occasional cobweb and lots of dust and mold, indicating that it had not been used a lot recently. Occasional signs of boot scuffs on the floor and the frequent drop of blood said that they were still on the right trail.
After some time, a 4-way intersection was discovered. Calina and Daellin felt that they were somewhere underneath the town garrison. The tunnel continued on curving off to the north east and another similar tunnel headed off directly to the east. The other tunnel, to the west, appears to have been bricked over at some point, but more recently the wall had been broken through revealing another rough hewn tunnel in the stone heading to the west, toward the Old Light end of town.
Daellin then noticed a crouched Goblin a little ways further down the main tunnel. He went to investigate and found that the Goblin was dead and covered with blood. He had apparently been impaled through the neck, though by something bigger than an arrow and definitely not a knife.
Daellin returned to the group at the intersection and a dispute began over which way to go. Several curious folk were interested in the formerly bricked over passage way while others felt that they should continue straight on since no signs indicated that their quarry had deviated from its path. Calina definitely felt that danger lurked down the western passage. Eventually Ehlyana and Zursat moved up to investigate the dead Goblin and Zurzat found a discarded leatherbound journal a little bit further on. The journal apparently belonged to Tsuto and contained strategy maps and notes from the recent attack on Sandpoint. There were more maps and notes on an apparent 2nd attack on the town involving some 200 attackers as well. The journal also contained several hand drawn pictures of Nualia, whom Tsuto appeared to be in love with. Each of the pictures was erotic and the final image and notes indicated that Nualia was somehow transforming her beautiful self into something fiendish.
After having found the journal, the group decided to continue in the original direction they had been traveling, quickly finding more tracks revealing that they had gone this way. After some time, the tunnel ended in a sandy, moist cave with a secret door leading out into a wide tidal cave just north and east of Junkers Way, at the bottom of the cliffs bounding the north end of Sandpoint. The tracks, one set of Human (or Half-Elf) sized tracks lead off with another set of Goblin sized prints alongside. The party followed the tracks as far as they could but eventually lost them once they climbed the rocky slope and joined up to the road a half mile outside of town.
It was then decided to head back to the underground tunnel and explore the bricked off section, but first they would drop off the journal to the Mayor and inform her of what had been discovered below the Glassworks.
Eventually the group made it back down into what was determined to be old smugglers tunnels beneath Sandpoint. Once in the bricked off section, they quickly found some places where the tunnels had broken into some other, older, underground chambers. The group was attacked by some horrifying monsters in a natural cavern then again in some sort of prison room. Kallin was ambushed from underneath the stairs and bitten several times on the leg, the wounds aggravating and hurting him enough to make him collapse, nearly falling all the way down the stairs. The creatures were all quickly dispatched and destroyed by decapitation. A strange red statue of an angry and beautiful woman was found clutching a silver and ivory pole-arm and a book with a strange 7-pointed star on it. The ranseur was actually removed from the red stone statue and appeared to be a fine quality weapon.
The party then returned to the surface to regroup and ask Father Zantus for some healing help since Kallin had suffered several wounds.
After delivering Kallin to the Cathedral and Father Zantus for healing of his wounded leg, the members of the group all headed their separate ways, agreeing to meet up the next morning to give another go at the dangerous tunnels underneath Sandpoint.
Calina again spent some time outside the city walls with her firepelt companion, Paka, in search of the yerba root makes into a tea. She does not find any herbs, but does manage to spot some pirates who have shored up a few miles up the coast from Sandpoint. (See Below)
Kallin goes shopping for some herbs to make his needed medicine and finds that he is still in a bad mood, which does not subside until having a nice, long talk on spiritual matters with Father Zantus. (See Below)
Daellin goes looking for someone to shed some light on the runes and the weapon that was found in the passageways beneath the city. He meets a weapons dealer, Savah, and then meets Brodert Quink, the local expert on all things old. He says he can figure out the runes and Daellin promises to give him a tour of the underground complex, after they are cleared and safe, of course. (See Below)
Zursat fills his afternoon and evening making good on his promise to start raising funds for the Barrett family. He travels from tavern to tavern (Sandpoint has several: The White Deer, Risa’s Place, Cracktooth’s Tavern, The Hagfish, The Rusty Dragon and the Fatman’s Feedbag) singing songs and telling stories for gold. The Varisian manages to earn a good amount of gold (237$) for Mrs. Barrett and her family. After a long night of tavern hopping, he finally heads home from his last stop, the Hagfish, down by the waterfront, and Zursat is sure that a group of folk were following him. He tried to get a look at them, but they stuck to the shadows and, being alone and with charity money at stake, Zursat felt it best to hurry back to the Rusty Dragon, where he intended to put the money in Amieko’s safe.
Ellie spent the day wandering around ‘finding’ things and getting chased out of shops. She even got the town guard called on her once or twice. Eventually she caught up to Zursat and was intrigued enough by his songs and stories that she followed him from tavern to tavern for the rest of the night. (Ellie ended up with several rings (one of which actually fit her), some keys (which she lost again), 3 hats (she then lost 2 of them), a scarf, 2 coin purses (with coins), one nicely embroidered house slipper and a frog, which she ended up losing inside the White Deer Tavern, and which, after it jumped into a visiting nobleman’s soup, prompted the owner to ask Ellie to leave! The frog was not recovered.)
Ehlyna was drawn down to the waterfront. She spent the afternoon strolling along the docks, admiring the ships and chatting with the dockworkers and sailors. After a while though, she returned to the Rusty Dragon, ate an early dinner and retired to her room for the evening in a sour mood.
Early the next morning, the group gathers for breakfast, shares their tales of the previous days events with each other and then prepare to head back to continue exploring the ancient chambers below the town.
Calina's Side Trek
After returning from the tunnels below Sandpoint, Calina and the others escorted the injured Kallin to the Cathedral for some healing by the priests there. The Half-Orc seemed to be in a considerably foul mood and Calina just couldn’t figure out why. Of course he had gotten hurt by the evil creatures down below, but that was no reason to take it out on his friends and companions. After they were done at the Cathedral, Calina realized that the Elf, Daellin, had wandered off. The rest of the companions just sort of milled around near the entrance to the Cathedral waiting for an idea on what to do next. Kallin gruffly barked at the others that he would be ready to head back to the tunnels the next morning and that he had some ‘stuff to do’ on his own that afternoon and stomped off.
Calina briefly considers catching up with Kallin in the hopes of helping to lighten his mood, but realizes that he simply needs the time alone and would feel better soon. On further reflection, she also needed some time away from her new friends and especially away from the crowds in town. She smiles in anticipation of spending a few hours with Paka. Besides, her supply of Yerba is running low and mornings without a mug of hot Yerba Mate' was unthinkable. The Yerba bushes grew in proliferation in the woods, meadows and hills surrounding the town. With a last look at Kallin pushing through the crowded street, she lifts her backpack, shoulders her bow, Whisper, and turns toward the edge of town.
Once outside the city walls, Calina immediately felt a weight lifted off her shoulders. She liked her friends, and thought Sandpoint was a nice enough place, but she just enjoyed being alone so much better. She had not passed the north gates of the town by more than 5 minutes when Paka sprung at her from his perch on top of a large rock. Her Firepelt companion always seemed to find a nice sunning rock on her route. The two friends head up into the Sandpoint hinterlands in search of some Yerba.
Calina and Paka travel east along the coast, in the same general direction that the tracks were going that the group was following earlier that day. No reason not to do a little reconnaissance while searching for herbs too. The crashing of the waves can be heard off to her left and the smell of the salty surf is strong in the air as she searches the surrounding areas for Yerba. After an hour or so, Calina is starting to get disheartened because she has not found any of the herbs yet, but enjoying the wonderful day, she continues searching. By this time, off to her right, she can see the brown, hilly peaks of the Ravenroost, a small group of low mountains. Flocks of birds wing their way around the rounded peaks. She stops for a moment and gazes off at the birds, trying to identify as many of them as she can from this distance. She is able to pick out lots of brown ravens that the range gets its name from, as well as several Varisian falcons, a handful of storm rocs and even one giant eagle, its wingspan at least 18 feet!
Calina continues on to the east, following the coast until it turns north, away from the Ravenroosts and the Tickwood beyond to where Shank’s Wood begins. The woods are nice and peaceful, full of the chitter and chatter of animals and the breeze blowing in the branches. As she meanders through the woods looking for Yerba, she hears a strange sound from up ahead. It is a rough, grating sound, the sound of trees being cut down. She creeps up over a near rise and looks down toward the coast to see a group of men cutting down several large trees at the edge of the wood. Out past the men, she can see three small islands stretching out from the point of land just to the north of her, these must be the Three Cormorants, probably named after the aquatic birds that inhabit them. Anchored out in the water, just past the point, sits a large, dark ship, its main mast broken and missing. Calina crouched down behind some crumbling stone ruins and watched.
“Friend or Foe?” was the first thought in her mind upon seeing the group of men and their ship sitting at anchor. She decides to move closer in order to get a better look. Using hand signals, she motions to Paka to stay put, then begins to quietly slip down the slope to get in position behind the men working on the trees. Calina hopes she will be able to overhear their conversation, maybe determine who they are and whether they are dangerous or simply some unfortunate travelers in need of help.
Calina moves stealthily down the slope, keeping behind bushes and rocks, trying to get closer to hear the men speaking. After some time, she is within hearing distance. At this close range, she can see that the men, sailors by their dress, are not natives to Varisia, or even distant Cheliax, where many folk in this part of the world hail from. Most of these men are darker skinned, though each of them looks quite different from the others. There are a few light and olive skinned folk among them as well. They are speaking loudly and jovially, though in a language Calina has never heard before. She assumes they are from the many far and exotic lands to the south, to the Inner Sea and beyond, no doubt, for they are clearly not Northerners from the Lands of the Linnorm Kings, as those folk are all tall and pale with light hair. Their expressions and actions do not give away any indication to their motivations, other than to cut down some trees, no doubt for repairs to their ship nearby. Looking more closely at the ship anchored in the coastal waters, she sees a large 3 masted vessel with a large wooden dragon figure head. A ragged black flag snaps above the mainmast, bearing the image of a scarred red skull.
Pirates! she thought to herself. There were only about 6 men on the shore cutting timber, but the number of sailors on the ship was indeterminable.
This was definitely information that the Mayor would want to hear about. It was obvious from the tunnels explored under the town that Pirates visit the area frequently, but Goblins & pirates at the same time could never be a good thing.
But first, Calina would have to make her way back up the slope without being noticed. She whistles for Paka to join her, hoping he stayed put and didn't wander off after some real or imagined prey. He always had his own ideas of behavior; after all, he wasn't "trained" to do tricks, but rather acted on suggestions like any good friend.
She hopes his sudden appearance behind them will scare off the pirates while she climbs back up the slope.
Paka appears when he is called and does his best to follow her “suggestions” to try to distract the sailors. She watches her friend slink away to the other side of the hill and as he does this, she begins sneaking up the hill, trying to stay as low and out of sight as possible. As she moves away, she hears one of the men shout, and risking a look back, see that they have spotted Paka, though she cannot see him from her current vantage point. She sees the man heft one of the hatchets they had been using and fling it, presumably toward Paka. A moment later, she hears Paka let out a loud, growling screech. The men all yell then start to run toward where she assumes Paka had been. She looks up the hill toward the thicker trees and knows that this is her opportunity to leave the area undetected though the thought of Paka being chased by theses pirates makes her feel considerably uncomfortable.
Calina and Paka eventually meet back up after leading the pirates on a bit of a wild goose chase. The do not chase the firepelt too far inland though, being men of the sea, the are not that adept at tracking or making their way through forests and hills.
The ranger makes her way back to Sandpoint by early evening, disappointed in her failed quest to locate some yerba root, but eager to pass on the information about pirates to Mayor Deverin. When she arrives in town, it is early evening and the guards greet her as she enters. They quickly take up defensive postures, though, with their spears pointing behind her as she realizes that Paka had followed her right up to the gates. She quickly explains that Paka is with her and poses no threat, which is punctuated by the firepelt growling loudly at one of the guardsmen. The cat then bounds away and disappears into some nearby trees. The shaken guardsmen just look at Calina with wide eyes and say nothing more.
Calina finds that the Mayor has headed home for the day already and City Hall is closed. She finds a scrap of parchment and scribbles her a note, which she slides under the door, hoping she finds it in the morning. She then finds a quiet spot out on the banks of the Turandok River to eat a light dinner of wild berries and shoots she found while out and about that day. She also eats some bread that was given to her by some generous townsfolk earlier that day.
The night is nice and temperate and she can hear the voice of her companion, Zursat, singing loudly from one of the nearby taverns. He is making good on his promise to visit each and every tavern in Sandpoint to try to raise money for the widow Barrett, and having a good time doing so, it would seem.
Not feeling like sharing company with a tavern full of folk, Calina turns in early, hoping to get a good nights sleep to be ready for the groups next expedition into the tunnels beneath Sandpoint in the morning.
Kallin's Side Trek
After being escorted to the Cathedral by his companions, Kallin immediately felt better. Fathers Zantus and Vosk were able to patch him up quite well, though even after the physical wounds were gone, Kallin still felt very angry about the whole situation. He was angry at the creature for nearly ripping off his leg, he was angry at his companions for not doing a better job of looking out for him, he was angry at himself for being so careless in his explorations. Several of his companions tried to console him, but Kallin’s mood was just too foul. The Half-Orc shaman was quite unaccustomed to feeling like this and felt he needed something to shake himself out of this mood. He told the others that he would be ready to try to tackle the tunnels below Sandpoint the next morning, but that he had some ‘stuff to do’ for the rest of the afternoon.
Kallin decides he needs to find some of his herbs for his rituals thinking this calm his nerves. He sets in the direction of a possible herb shop.
Kallin approaches a group of nearby locals to ask about a herbalist. The townsfolk smile and wave to him but then looks of apprehension cross their faces as he gets closer and they realize he is going to talk to them. Kallin demands to know where the local herbalists shop is. A few of the folks scamper away quickly without answering, but a few stick around long enough to give an answer. A tall, lean man, a farmer by the looks of him, points down a narrow alley, "You be wanting ta see old Alliver over at the Pillbug's Pantry, I' d say. It's just a ways down that-a-way, down in Tanglefoot Alley," he motions again down the narrow alley nestled between several of the larger structures of Sandpoint.
The alley itself is a narrow lane with several twists and turns, Kallin is at first not even sure if he is in the right place, but then he sees a run-down shop with a sign depicting a pillbug perched on top of a mushroom and he knows it must be the right place.
Kallin stomps down the alley looking for Pillbug’s Pantry. When he finds he bursts in saying, “Where is Alliver?”
Several men turn, startled at the Half-Orc’s explosive entrance to the shop. The two customers, dark dressed Varisian men, quickly gather their purchases off of the counter and slink out of the shop, keeping a good distance from the obviously angry Half-Orc while the man behind the counter, a short, pudgy Human, quickly scoops up a stack of gold coins and shoves them in his pocket. “Whoa there, my friend, I would be Alliver. What is it I can do for you? What brings you to my lowly establishment?”
As Kallin approaches the counter, Alliver takes a few steps back, wringing his fat little fingers together, a worried look on his face.
Kallin looks the man square in the eye and says, “I need poyo root.”
A narrow look comes over the fat mans face. “Poyo root, you say, hmmm, now what do you need that for? That’s not something i get a lot of call for.” He straightens up and looks around the shop and out the door and front window, “You’re not after poyo to use it on someone else, are you? Maybe you’re having trouble sleeping, then? Is that what its for?”
“I just need the root. Can you get it for me,” Kallin responds. “Not that it is any of your business, but I plan to use it on no one but myself.” Kallin goes to lean his hand against the counter-top and inadvertently slams his fist down loudly.
Alliver jumps back again, shudders and goes on in a whiney voice, “Yes of course, of course. I do believe I have some dried poyo root back there somewhere. Let me go check.” He backs away from the counter slowly, watching Kallin with his eyes wide. He slips past a dark curtain into a back room. Kallin can hear shuffling sounds coming from the back room, indicating that the man is looking for the poyo root.
After a few minutes, the man returns with a short, shriveled up brownish black root with small white hairs growing off of it. “How’s this? Will this serve your purpose?” Alliver asks pleadingly.
Kallin takes the root and examines it closely, sniffing it and bending it a little to make sure it is not too dried out. The size of the root that the man has produced should last for several weeks, possibly a month, Kallin thinks. “Yes this will work. I also need some finely ground sea salts and a little bit of iodine powder as well.”
Alliver smiles a bit then steps forward, seemingly more comfortable upon hearing the other ingredients that Kallin was needing. ‘I see, my good man. You use the poyo root to help you with your, um, episodes. That sets me at ease. You know, some folk are known to use the poyo root to brew sleeping and paralysis drugs, and if mixed in the right potency, they can even stop the heart! I can’t be having dangerous stuff like that out in my community, you see. So I apologize, that was why I was curious. Let me gather the other things you need, good sir. No need to be gruff, I’ll have it all together for you in just a minute.”
The man scurries back into the back of the shop again then returns shortly with the herbal supplies Kallin needed. He wrapped them all in a paper envelope and handed them to the waiting Half-Orc. “That should do you, fine sir. The total will be 35$”
Alliver eyes the Half Orc shaman up as he produces the coins to pay for the herbal ingredients, ‘Ya know, you look like you know your way around an herb garden. If you ever find yourself anywhere near where some useful herbs and plants might grow, grab some and bring them to me. I might just buy them off of ya, or at least we might be able to work to some mutual agreement for your poyo, assuming you will be back for more eventually.”
Kallin looks at the merchant confused, then stomps out of the shop. He heads toward a secluded clearing he spied in the graveyard. When he gets there he anxiously prepares his medication.
Kallin finds a nice comfortable spot and gets a little fire going while he prepares the poyo root. He spends some time carefully shaving off the outer skin of the root then grinding the rest up into a mash. He mixes the other ingredients and then adds some boiling water to the mixture. He stirs it up into a paste, then spreads it out on a thick piece of smooth leather. If he prepared the mixture correctly, when dried, it will be crumbled into a power that he can mix with any drink daily to help control his seizures. The entire process takes about an hour, and finally done, he feels satisfied that he had done it correctly. He decides at that point, that he is quite hungry and thinks about what he wants to eat.
Kallin looks around the area for anything to eat starting with the plants but keeping an eye out for small game. He finds a few wild berries and some nuts. He thinks he saw some lettuce and carrots that Father Zantus’ garden. He decides to ask Father Zantusif he can have some of fresh vegetables.
He finds Father Zantus in the central, open area of the Cathedral speaking to some townsfolk. They are talking quietly off to the side, and for the first time all afternoon, Kallin feels a little relaxed, though he does think about walking right over and asking the Priest some food. The Half Orc takes a seat on a nearby bench and shakes his head. What has come over him this afternoon. He is not used to being this grumpy or angry. He absentmindedly reaches down and rubs the spot on his leg where the vile creature had bitten him and immediately begins getting angry again. He immediately sits back and attempts to clear his mind in this place of peaceful worship.
Kallin is able to put himself into a deep meditative state, completely relaxing and rejuvenating himself. After who knows how long, he is gently awoken by Father Zantus, who greets him heartily. What brings you back to the temple so soon, my friend. Please don’t tell me you are hurt again.” Kallin nods his head to indicate that he is not hurt again. “Good,” the Priest goes on, “How can I help you? Have you come to talk spiritualism with me? Because I would love to talk to you sometime about your thoughts and beliefs. I would peg you for a follower of the Lady of Graves, Pharasma or maybe Gozreh or Desna even.”
Kallin tells him that he is really looking for some lunch and would love to peruse some carrots and lettuce if there is any to spare.
Zantus tells Kailin that he too is hungry for lunch and together they walk to the garden and select an arm load of fresh vegetables to eat. While they eat, Father Zantus speaks of the virtues of his goddess, Desna, the Great Dreamer. He then asks Kallin to explain his spirit powers, for he is very interested.
Kallin replies,” Yes, I am a servant of Pharasma. I help her in her task helping beings transition from one world to next. I do this by performing rituals that Pharasma has ordained. According to my mother, if you perform the correct ritual, you can travel between the worlds. I digress. The spirits in turn, out of gratitude, help with certain tasks, such as healing. But as you may know, all the healing the world will not help one if it is time to cross. This is also written by Pharasma.”
The priest nods his head in agreement. “Yes, what you speak is true. I know little of Pharasma, though I do know she is an old goddess, and she has shared the fight with the vile Rovagug in ancient times. She also looks after the souls of the departed, and for that I am thankful to her. You and Pharasma are always welcome here in the Sandpoint Cathedral, Kallin. You are an interesting man, and I can imagine that many do not understand you, nor even take a moment to try. You seem to have come into the company of others like you. Adventurers. A strange lot, wild and unpredictable, dangerous at times, though one thing I know of them, they are accepting of others. I think that you have the beginnings of a strong band of stalwart companions, Kallin Hawkrill. You should stand with them. I for one am glad that you do!”
After their lunch is over, the Priest bids Kallin farewell and reminds him to return to the Cathedral anytime he is in need of assistance.
Kallin takes his leave, does a little wandering around the area outside the walls of the city, then returns for for a light dinner alone and heads to bed early, his leg, though magically healed, still throbs a bit from where the strange creature bit him earlier that morning.
Kallin rises early the next day, prepares his daily medicine and goes to rendezvous with his friends to mount another expedition to the tunnels below Sandpoint.
Daellin's Side Trek
Whilst the Half-Orc seeks some attention for his minor wounds, Daellin steps outside for a bit. With the fancy pole-arm in hand he heads into town, not sure where he is heading exactly. Hopefully he will find someone who can inform him a bit about the weapon and its unusual carvings and confident his curiosity will take care of the rest.
As Daellin makes his way through the streets of Sandpoint, several of the locals are wide-eyed as they stare at him and the 8 foot long weapon. A few folk give him a sheepish wave but most quickly skitter of his way. Not knowing where he is going, he heads down the gentle sloping path toward the town proper, thinking he had remembered seeing a weapons shop somewhere in the vicinity.
Sure enough, he quickly stumbles upon a shop with a sign bearing a sword and axe crossed over some writing, no doubt in Varisian or Chellish, as Daellin has not learned to read the Human tongues.. As Daellin approaches, he sees that the northeast corner of the building bears some old scars from the fire 5 years previous. He turns and looks back up the hill to where the Cathedral sits and thinks that it must have been some terrible fire. The building looks sound though and he chuckles to himself as a slight breeze blows the wind-chime made from throwing stars hanging outside the door.
He enters the shop, being careful not to knock anything over with the long, ornate weapon. Looking around the place, he sees several racks holding all manner of weapons and armor. The shop smells of metal and leather and oil.
He turns and examines a nicely crafted thrusting broadsword with an amber gemstone in its pommel. He sees that the gemstone radiates magic as he examines it closer.
“Hey there, watch where you point that thing!” comes a woman’s voice from behind him. He turns quickly, nearly knocking over a suit of chain mail and a sword rack as he had forgotten he was carrying the long pole arm again. Daellin sees a Human female looking at him. She is probably in her late 30s or early 40s, though she still retains some youthful looks. The woman is well muscled and moves smoothly and fluidly around the outstretched, pointy end of the ranseur.
“I’m Savah. This is my shop,” she states plainly as she crosses her bare arms across her chest. “What brings you and that Orc-sticker in here?”
“Ah .. hello there my fine lady … a pleasure to meet you”, replies Daellin rather awkwardly as he pulls his eyes away from the enchanted sword. Flashing his best Elven smile he focus’ on the task at hand. “It seems I am in need of some information about this unusual weapon here.” Daellin plants the butt of the polearm firmly against the ground for emphasis. “By all accounts you are the expert in residence and I would greatly appreciate your esteemed opinion of it.”
The woman looks over the weapon and reaches out for it, “May I?” she asks.
“Please, help yourself” Daellin replies as he extends the polearm toward her.
She takes the weapon and passes it back and forth from one hand to the other. She runs her fingers along the metal and ivory handle. She turns it back and forth, examining the three barbed and pointed tips in the light. “Hmmm,” she mutters, where did you come across this thing anyway?”
“Well its a bit of a story actually.” Daellin sighs and continues, “The shortened version is that my companions and i recovered it beneath our very feet. Deep into what we presume is an old smugglers tunnel.” Daellin continues on in what is obviously not going to be a short story but rather a very descriptive and completely honest retelling of the companions recent adventure under town. “... and that's where we found it, in the hands of the statue” Daellin finishes quite a bit later. “Why, do you recognize it?” he asks amazedly. “You don't think it might belongs to someone? It belongs to its rightful owner of course!” he finishes all in a rush.
As she listens to his tale, Savah's pale blue eyes narrow and she sizes Daellin up and down again. Then a wide grin crosses her face. "Well look what we have here." Savah says with amusement. "A bonafide hero right here in my shop. Yer one of those folks that helped out the other day with the Goblins. I heard of you all, was wondering when you would be making it into my shop!" She turns her attention back to the ranseur, balancing it and moving it deftly about the shop, careful not to hit anything. "Well, its a well made weapon, to say the least, and its beautiful. Looks quite old, though still in great condition." She runs a finger along the blade, which prompts her to pull it away quickly, bloodied. "Yea, in great condition. I wonder what these runes...." she trails off as she examines the runes that cover the shaft and blade of the weapon. "I'll give you $600 for it."
“That sounds like a very reasonable offer.” Begins Daellin, “Its just that its not mine to sell. Or at least not until i have spoken with the rest of group. I am curious to know more about these runes an the haft. Can you tell me more about them?” Daellin points at the marking for emphasis.
She looks back up at him, "The runes you say, I couldn't tell you nothing about them. I know weapons. Them markings are all Shoanti to me. Go talk to your friends, then come back and lets make a deal." She hands the weapon back to Daellin. "Hey, I see you are an archer. I've got this incredible repeating crossbow here. It's a heavy thing, but it can fire off a bolt every other turn. You have to rig it up like this and pull this lever back and forth." She grabs a bulky, heavy crossbow with some sort of framework on the top of it and begins manipulating the lever. It seems to be set up to fast draw a bow string and automatically drop bolts down into place. "Her name’s ‘Vansaya’, she’s enchanted. Said she was created by the Vampire-hunters of Ustalav. She's a beauty, though I can't let go of her for less than $10,000." She shows off the dark wood and silver inlaid weapon, but does not let Daellin touch it.
Daellin admires the obviously well crafted weapon, wondering how he would be able to wield the ungainly device in the midst of combat. He imagines its more suitable for some clumsy dwarf to play with. Who knows? Perhaps they might even be able to spray enough bolts at their foe to actually hit something. Grinning in spite of himself Daellin addresses Savah once again. “Truly it is a beauty, but i think I’ll stick to my bow. If you ever come across something a little less bulky send a messenger by the Rusty Dragon. Have them ask for Daellin .”
Taking up the ranseur he props it against his shoulder and thanks Savah for her time. “Once my companions and I figure out what to do with this over-sized cleaver I’ll be getting in touch with you.”
Turning to leave Daellin stops by the enchanted sword that caught his eye when he entered. “Perhaps you could tell me a bit more about this item?”
“Wha, read Shoanti? What?” she mutters, then begins to chuckle, then bursts into a full laugh. “Shoanti! You think these are Shoanti writings? I seriously doubt it, though if they were, I wouldn’t bet a copper that none of them wild primitives could read it anyway. No, I don’t know what type of writings those are, sure aren’t Varisian or Chellish, I know that, but I doubt they are Shoanti.” She reaches out and touches Daellins forearm. Her touch is soft yet firm. “I like you Daellin. You are funny. ‘It’s all Shoanti to me’ is just a saying round these parts, though I wouldn’t go repeating that around our sheriff, he might take offense to it, ya know, being one ah them Shoanti and all. But if yer lookin for someone to cipher out them writings, Brodert Quink would be yer best bet. He’s probably got the smartest eye in town, at least about old and mysterious stuff, anyway.”
“But about that sword, its a beauty, ain’t it? She’s called Maelos, or Steelgrim, though I guess you would know that,” she blushes as she explains the swords Elvish name to an Elf. “It is a well balanced blade, fine construction all around and this crystal in the pommel is a mana receptacle, said to store power for its user. Quite a useful weapon for a warrior such as yourself. Its worth well over 5000$, but for you, I could let it go for 4000$. What do you say? Interested in the blade?”
When Savah quickly realizes that Daellin is not interested in a purchase that day, she kindly gives him directions to the sages residence and bids him a good afternoon. “Yes, Brodert Quink, he lives down by the Old Light, at the end of Tower Street. Last house on the left. Right up next to the Old Light. You tell him Savah sent you his way, you hear? Come back soon, Daellin!”
She waves to him as he goes, arms crossed across her chest, shaking her head back and forth slowly with a wry smile on her face. Daellin smiles and waves as he heads in the direction of the towering ruins of the Old Light that dominates the northwestern end of town. He heads down Tower Street, noting that just one street over was where they considered descending the steep cliffs to the junk strewn beach below. He stopped to pause and looked down at his feet and the ground beneath them. He was somewhere over the exact spot where he had wrested the ranseur from the grips of the strange red woman. Interesting, he thought.
He easily finds the residence of Brodert Quink, the sage of Sandpoint, right where Savah said it was. Last house on the left, right next to the Old Light. The building itself looks as old as the Old Light. Daellin approaches the crumbling stone building and knocks at the door. No one answers. He knocks again, still no answer. Daellin moves to peer into a nearby window, then spies an older, bald Human over near the Old Light. The man is closely examining a section of the stone wall and referring to a large tome he carries in his hands. As Daellin watches him, he feels something press up against his ankles and looks down with a start. A large golden tabby cat is circling his feet and rubbing up against his legs, purring loudly.
“Ahh, hello there, what can I do for you, Elf?” comes a voice from ahead of him. The old balding man is approaching him, waving, the book now closed and tucked under one arm. The cat meows loudly and bounds over to the man as he nears. “Ahh, there you are Bak. I was looking for you earlier!” He reaches down and strokes the cats fur. He begins making cooing noises to the cat, scratching it behind its ears. The feline rolls in the dirt and the man rubs its belly while talking nonsense to the creature. He looks up suddenly at Daellin, “Oh yes, hello there. Brodert Quink at your service.”
“Well hello there! A pleasure to meet you sir.” Daellin holds the ranseur in his left hand as he bows respectfully to Brodert. “My name is Daellin Silvanthalas. I have come to beg a favor of you. My friends and I discovered this strange weapon underneath of our very feet in the depths of an extensive network of smugglers tunnels. It all began with ….” and Daellin launches himself into an extensive retelling of the step by step story of the companions most recent adventure. “...and that’s why we need your help figuring out what exactly these runes are trying to tell us. Savah told me you might be able to decipher them. I would be greatly honored,even indebted to you if you could illuminate me on the matter.” Spinning the ranseur around fluidly he holds the weapon horizontally out before him and offers the weapon for Brodert to examine. Daellin hopes that Bak’s snoring or the old mans drooping eyes aren’t an indication that he has bored them overmuch with his long-winded tale.
Brodert, seemingly staring at, or through, the shaft of the weapon, snaps out of his daze. “Yes, yes, quite a fine specimen of Thassilonion weaponry, if I’ve ever seen one. Just below our feet, you say. I knew it, I KNEW IT!” he nearly shouts. “Tell me exactly everything about the place where you found it, the stone work, the architecture, the writing...” He goes on for a moment and Daellin does his best to describe what the party encountered. Brodert often interrupted and would ask for further details or clarification. He seemed quite pleased with the story, and then began examining the ranseur up close. He started walking off with it, at one point, toward the Old Light, Daellin quietly followed him. Daellin tought the old man was going to run, face first, right into the wall of the Old Light, but he stopped, his nose mere inches from the crumbling lighthouse.
He began tracing his fingers along an inscribed section of the shaft, then looked up and touched the stone wall, running his fingers along a line of markings barely visible on the old stone structure. “Ahh, yes, see here, as I thought. Some similarities, though not the same exactly. Alaznist, the Runelord of Wrath. She ruled over these lands many ages ago, back when this was not a coastal land. This structure, the Old Light, the one most everyone ridiculously thinks is an old light house... HA! A light house. Why would there be a light house when there was no sea anywhere near here when it was built! This was a war machine, a weapon of mass destruction, capable of spewing arcane fire at targets miles away. The entire Bakrakhan-Shalast border was dotted with these things, though this is about the only one even partially intact.” The cat, Bak, at hearing his full name, perks his ears up, licks himself, then rolls over, finding a new, more comfortable spot on the grassy ground nearby.
It turns out, Brodert Quink is an expert on the civilization that created the runes on the ranseur. They also were responsible for building the Old Light and the many other strange and unique structures, mostly now in ruin, all across Varisia. Upon listening to Brodert for a moment, he realizes that he has even seen some of these ruins and relics and not even thought about where they come from.
“Yes, I would be happy to translate what I can of these runes. I assume that you are truly interested in the knowledge and not just looking for the next big score, though,” the old Human eyes Daellin over the top of his glasses, which have slipped down on his nose a bit. “You are one of those brave souls that helped repel the Goblins during the Swallowtail Festival, were you not? An adventurer no doubt, though I see something in your eyes, Elf. Something that says you are more than a common adventurer. I will get to work on this as soon as I can. Come visit me in a day or two, and hopefully I will have something to share with you. And maybe we can work out some sort of arrangement for payment, as you do not seem to be very well off yourself. My time and research, unfortunately, are both expensive, but I would very much like to SEE these chambers below Sandpoint, though, of course, only once they are free of any lurking danger!” He extends his hand and gives Daellin’s a vigorous, though not so firm shake.
“Then I have the perfect proposition for you Brodert. If you agree to translate the ancient writings and help us to unravel the mysteries of this ranseur then I will agree to take you on a guided tour of the hidden chambers under the Old Light! That is just as soon as my companions and I make them safe again. Who knows what secrets a scholar such as yourself might unearth just by seeing these caverns first hand. I cannot wait to show them to you.”
The man clasps his hands together and almost jumps, startling his feline companion, Bak, who bolts away into some tall grass near the base of the Old Light. “That sounds like a deal, young man!”
Daellin shakes the old mans hand grinning from ear to ear. The scholars excitement is contagious. Truly, Daellin cannot wait till he has the opportunity to walk with the sage through the catacombs underneath their feet.
“Brodert, there is something else I would like to ask of you.” Daellin pauses to make sure he has the man’s full attention. “How much do you know of the Aiudara?” By all outward appearances Daellin appears calm, but inside he awaits the sages reply with great anticipation.
Brodert brings his hand up to his chin and ponders for a moment. “Aiudara... hmmm..those would be the Elf Gates, correct?”
Daellin nods his head in the affirmative, his eyes intently scanning the sage’s face for a hint of what is to come.
“If I remember correctly, the Elves of ancient Kyonin used them to bring together all the Elves of Golarion before the Earthfall, and then from there, almost all the Elves left these lands for some other place, what was it called, hmmmm, ahh yes... the Elves left Golarion for the realm of Sovyrian. They remained gone for many, many years. The Sovyrian Stone was the name of that magical gate that linked Iadara with that other realm.”
The old Human continues, seeming to be recalling lost knowledge, “The Aiudara were left, lost in the wilderness spread all across the lands, am I right?”
“Yes, yes” Daellin answeres impatiently. The locations of the Aiudara is what concerns me my friend. I have studied the histories and know the ancient tales.
“Ahh, I see. Many of the Gates fell dormant after so many years of unuse, I am sure. I have heard that many of your kind seek them. Do you think that there are Aiudara in Varisia?” He waits for Daellins answer but seems to drift off for a moment, lost in thought. “The Earthfall was responsible for the eventual fall of the Thassilonion Empires, you know. It triggered the events that led to Bakrakhan to sink into the ocean, creating the Varisian Bay you see before you,” he waves his arm in a grandiose manner, indicating the vast ocean out behind the Old Light. “So, you search for the Elf Gates, do you. That would no doubt make you one of the Farstriders, at least I assume so, right. You have the look. Threadbare clothes, cheap weapons. Always on the move, looking for the next danger. Good, good. Nice to have you around. You know, the Elf ranger Shael is one of the Farstriders. She is a friend to Sandpoint. Nice enough young lady, though I suppose she is probably older than I am, haha.” He begins talking to himself about Elves and Thassilonion ruins and turning the shaft of the ranseur over and over in his hands as he heads back toward his house. Daellin turns to follow him as Bak bounds past him, following Brodert.
The man goes into his house and leaves the door open, so Daellin takes that as an invitation to follow. The residence is more akin to an overflowing library, albeit one whose librarian has been on vacation for some time. Books upon books upon scrolls upon maps upon books litter the place. Rubbings of runes, and crude drawings of ancient ruins are interspersed between the stacks of books and random relics from a time long lost. Daellin begins looking at a nearby map, which shows lands that he is unfamiliar with and is labeled with lettering he has never seen before.
Brodert turns and looks back at him, “Oh, yes the Elf Gates. Well, I have not heard of any Gates in the immediate vicinity, though it would hold to reason that there were some nearby, what with Celwynvian in the Merani Forest, far past Riddleport to the north and west. Or maybe in the Lurkwood, though I would not advise to venture there, that forest has come loose from the march of years, and all who enter and return are aged, even your long lived brethren feel the sting of time in the Lurkwood.
|An Aiudara, or Elf Gate|
Daellin winces at the mention of these two forests. He knows their names, as both were known as homes to Elves in ages past, though now, the Lurkwood is shunned by his people for dangerous and mysterious reasons and the Merani, while more of a civilized forest, is the home to an ancient Elvish metropolis, Celwynvian, the City of Emeralds, which sits empty and is also avoided by his kind.
Brodert tells him more of what he knows about the Elves and their magical gates, though unfortunately it is nothing more than Daellin already knew. The old sage keeps being drawn back to the ancient weapon and talk of Thassilonion ruins, that Daellin decides to let the man research on his own and bids him farewell, with promises to return in a day or two with more news of the ruins below the town. As he leaves, Daellin reaches down and scratches Bak behind his ears and rubs his back. The golden orange cat purrs loudly, though it does not get up from its bed in a pile of Brodert’s notes. Stepping back out into the bright, sunny afternoon, Daellin takes in a deep breath of fresh air and stretches his arms high up over his head. He turns and heads back toward the Rusty Dragon for a bite to eat. Sees his new comanion, Zursat, who is making good on his promise to raise some money for the Barrett family. Daellin decides against joining him in the various Sandpoint taverns and decides to get to bed early to be refreshed and ready to go in the morning when they are set to head back to the tunnels below town.
Another session with just a few players, but again, we played on. The three players that were present were also very involved after the actual play session with online side treks, or continuing stories. I like engaging the players in online roleplaying because it keeps their head in the game, it allows us to more fully flesh out the characters and it is a great way for me to give them more information on the setting.
+Daniel Ernst as Kallin Hawkril - Half-Orc Shaman