Wandered Roads 25.1

Wandered Roads of Varisia
Session 25.1

Calina Goes Shopping

Fireday, 21st - Starday 22nd of Lamashan

Fireday, 21st of Lamashan

Calina enters her room at the estate and reflects on the evenings events. “How long had the night been?” she asked herself. She never slept very long normally, but the previous night had been spent helping the small half-orc child, then running after Paka in the Mushfens. Her entire body ached with fatigue, and though her numerous injuries would heal, she also felt mentally wounded.

During the trip through the horrible sewer-plagued building on their search for Natalya, she had temporarily lost her bow in the sludge of the noxious wastes. Her fear and anxiety during those moments had overcome her sense of reason. She had panicked until she located Whisper. The feeling of helplessness had wounded her much like an amputation of an arm from a sword slash.

Setting her backpack, purse and potion belt on the floor near the bed, she carefully lays the bow on the bed coverings and sighs. Calina turns back towards the door and removes her cloak, hanging it upon the door hook. As she turns to walk back to the bed in the middle of the room, one of the cloak’s neck-ties catches on her arm bracer, dragging the cloak off the hook and along the floor behind her.

With a groan of frustration, she untangles the cord from her bracer, and starts to hang the cloak up once more, then stops midway.

“It’s so easy!” she exclaims, “Why have I never thought of it before?”

And so she forms the idea of a lanyard cord that would anchor her bow to her belt or wrist so in the event it was dropped it could be retrieved, but yet still allow her to shoot normally.

Calina heads back to the bed, picks up Whisper and checks the bow for any damage to the wood. She inspects the bowstring and decides to replace it with a new one from her belt purse.

As she reaches for the purse, she sees the worn backpack sitting in a heap on the floor. While replacing the bow string, she once again considers her options for the damaged backpack.

During the day’s earlier journey back to the estate from the trip outside Magnimar, she had taken time to wander through the marketplace, first buying supplies for the estate then replacing her lost rope. She had spent time contemplating various types of backpacks offered by several vendors. Her eyes had fallen on a particularly useful one that had a quick release mechanism, but upon asking the price, she had found the $300 too pricey for a hasty purchase. At the time she had decided that replacing contents would be better than spending more gold than necessary for trivial pleasures.

But now, sitting in the quiet room, her mind focused on the benefits of such a device. Calina lifts the pack to her lap and studies it. One always needs a good pack to carry essentials, and her current pack had served her for many years, and been through many trips and adventures.

Once, after finding the destroyed den with a dead female and cubs, the pack had held the small surviving fire pelt cub, Paka, during the walk back to her campsite. In fact, the pack had carried Paka on many long walks until he was too big to fit inside. She smiled at the memories while stroking the material of the backpack.

And suddenly the smell of the sewer came floating up from the material, hidden in the creases, folds and stitching.

“Ugh!” she says in disgust. “Will that smell always live in my memory … and in the backpack as well?”

Calina wonders how much it will cost to have the smell removed, and repaired, then shakes her head with amusement.

“I am sure I am just being silly and paranoid,” she says out loud, “I still need to purchase a few supplies, at least replace my rations. So if I find myself near the shop with the backpacks tomorrow . . . well one more look at a fancy pack will not hurt anything.” (purchase depends on roll– Quick Release Backpack $300)

With that last thought in mind, she sets the odorous backpack on the opposite side of the small room, lays the newly strung bow on the floor within arm’s reach of the bed and undresses for sleep. She falls asleep almost immediately and for the first time in a long while, Calina sleeps through the whole night.

Starday, 22nd of Lamashan

Calina managed to get a good nights sleep after all the crazy events of the previous evening. She washes her face, dresses and prepares for a day. She was anxious to finally get to the bottom of the trail of evil they had been following since Sandpoint, but was a bit worried as well.

She pushed her doubts out of her mind as she mentally began a checklist of things she needed to accomplish before the others were ready to head out. She heads into the kitchen to look for a coffee pot to brew some yerba mate. She finds the new house girl, Nesme, hard at work in the kitchen. There is already a small fire and water boiling. Nesme smiles and greets her. “I am Nesme, milady. At your service.”

Calina introduces herself quietly and thanks her for preparing hot water. The young Varisian hurries away to work in another area of the manor house. Calina prepares her drink and then leaves the house. Outside, she can feel a definite shift in the weather. The temperature is dropping and the sky is overcast. Winter is coming she thought.

She crosses the overgrown yard and heads out onto the already busy streets of Magnimar.

And thus with a quick step, lively mood, and smile on her face, Calina heads towards the nearest shopping area where she had recently spied the backpack she was considering. Her heavy coin purse, attached firmly to her belt, jingles as she walks. She pulls her cloak around her shoulders as the cool morning breeze flows lightly through the streets and alleys. Tying the cloak strings, she looks down and notices the damaged areas on her jacket. Natalya’s aim with the acid  had been true and several holes had appeared in the enchanted leathers.

“Hmm,” she thought to herself, “I need to get this repaired if possible. One more thing to add to my growing list,” she frowns.

As she walks through the busy streets leading to the marketplace, she notices several people turn to stare at her. Her Varisian heritage is clearly apparent in a city that sometimes doesn’t care for the nomadic races. This makes her enormously uncomfortable and she lifts the hood of her cloak in order to cover her features; however after a few minutes walking through the crowds, she makes a sudden bold move. She lowers the cloak hood once more, revealing her striking face and long white hair, then continues energetically through the growing crowds. When a young woman holding a small child’s hand stops to stare as Calina walks by, Calina turns around, then walks slowly back towards the woman while trying not to appear hostile.

“Good day, madam,” she says to the mother with a smile, “Fine beautiful morning for a lovely walk.” Calina looks down and winks at the little girl who is now peeking from behind her mother’s skirts, “Hello,” she says softly to the child. Turning back to the mother, Calina asks softly, “Was there something I can help you with? I saw you watching me as I walked by and I thought I might see a question in your eyes.”

The young woman looks flustered for a moment, then said in a clear voice, “No, I didn’t mean to stare, and I am sorry if I offended you, it’s just … well, it’s just that I was … You see, I was warned to be careful of people of … It’s just that my husband told me to be careful of strangers, and I didn’t know you, so I …”

Calina laughs softly, “I know what you mean. But you can see that I am not a stranger, nor any stranger than anyone else in this town, yes?” Calina continues, “In fact, I can guarantee that I have seen many strange people recently, and none of them looked as plain and ordinary as me. In any case, may I ask a question?”

The woman smiles and nods so Calina continues, “Do you know where the nearest bakery is? It must have a good sweet bread.”

The young mother’s eyes light up, “Yes, why yes, I do! And it’s not very far at all. Go the next street over, and left for no more than 20 paces. Red brick building, Swisher’s Sweets is the name. They have the best baked goods in all of Varisia, if not the entire world. And the iced cinnamon buns have no rivals in all of the world.”

“I must thank you, madam, for all your help,” Calina says then stoops down to the little girl, “And I must ask a favor of you, little one.”

Calina hands the little girl a few coins, “I would like you to take your mother to this Swisher’s Sweets and sample a cinnamon bun for me. Make sure they taste as good as your mother proclaims. Can you do this for me?”

The small child giggles, takes the coins and nods vigorously.

“Good,” Calina replies, “I must know if they truly have the best so that I might buy some for my friends.”

Calina stands and winks at the mother, “Good day to you, madam. It was very nice speaking with you, and I thank you kindly for your help.” Calina waves and continues down the street turning at the next junction in the direction of the bakery.

As she walks, she finds it unusually comforting that she did something out of character today. Being in crowds and with unfamiliar faces tended to make her uncomfortable. This was a good thing and hadn’t been terribly hard. She resolves to do it again someday soon.

Calina walks making the appropriate left turn down the street, then shortly notes the location of the bakery. The fragrant smells of freshly baked bread wafts from the open shop windows.

She stops when she notices a small sign propped up on one of the window sills, “World’s Best Cinnamon Buns Made Here.” Calina smiles, pauses for a moment, then continues down the street.

“Important things first, then I can return for the “World’s Best Cinnamon Buns,” she laughs, “Leela will be most pleased.

Calina looks around at some of the wares available and sticks her head into some of the armoury shops and quickly realizes that this was probably not the right neighborhood for her to be shopping in. She could deal with the attitudes of the people, but the prices here were just so high. She knew that she could find much better deals down in the Bazar of Sails down on the Shore, just below the Seacleft that Kaijitsu Estate sat on.

She heads down the wide road leading from the Summit down to the Shore. She is pushed and shoved by the throng of folk on the street and she has to dodge several carts maneuvering along the angled street. Once at the bottom, she makes her way past the familiar Eyes of the Hawk monument and proceeds to the Bazar of Sails. Though it is crowded there, it is easy to lose oneself in the crowd, allowing Calina to test the limits of her social boundaries while still maintaining a bit of privacy at the same time. 

The Bazar of Sails, which gets its name from the many brightly colored tents and banners announcing which wares were sold where, has just about anything you could think of, and many things you shouldn’t, for sale in it brightly colored tents and wagons. About half the vendors were Varisian, which made Calina happy, and the other half seemed to have come from every possible corner of the world. She saw hairy northmen barbarians, dark skinned folk from the jungles to the south, high class nobles from the various ‘cultured empires’ and sand- and sun- burnt people from the deserts. There were even handfuls of non-Humans. There were plenty of Dwarves, Elves and Halflings in addition to numerous Half-Orcs and Half-Ogres as well as more exotic Lizardmen, the devil-blooded Tieflings and other races. 

Calina was able to locate a leatherworker who had a quick release backpack for sale at a reasonable price. Though she did not enjoy paying for items like this, her shyness usually prevented her from effectively bartering down the prices, as was the expected behavior, so normally she would just not buy it. But this was something she needed. He also sold her a short length of braided cord that could be used to keep Whisper connected to her wrist in case she were to ever drop it again.

She moved along and managed to ask some folk about where to find a silversmith or a dealer in specialty arrows. Eventually she is approached by a smiling Keleshite woman, her dark hair blowing in the breeze. “Greetings stranger, welcome to my market. I am Sabriyya, Princess of the Market. I hear you are looking for some arrows.” She seems nice, probably a few years older than Calina, but the twinkle in her eye and smile on her lips tell of a happy, fun loving person. Calina also notices that several heavily armed men stand not too distant from her, keeping an eye on her. Bodyguards, no doubt.

Calina is startled by the sudden appearance of the woman. Calina had been concentrating so hard on the countless shops and booths and listening to the merchants hawking their wares that she hadn’t noticed the woman approach her through the bustling crowds.

Calina nods her head and smiles at the woman, “Hello, Mistress. I am indeed looking for arrows, silver tipped arrows.”

Calina also nods her head with a smile to the two men accompanying Sabriyya, a subtle attempt to let them know she sees them. She turns her eyes back at to the friendly looking woman.

“I have need of several of these special arrows for a particular task that my friends and I will be undertaking shortly. I inquired at several places, but so far no one has been able to help me. Would you know of such a merchant or dealer?” Calina asks, “I am willing to pay a fair price, and ask only for a honest offer.”

Sabriyya tilts her head slightly, “I see. Silver arrows are indeed a special items. Might I ask what task you and your friends have planned or would that be prying too deep in private affairs?”

The Keleshite woman hesitates for a moment then continues, “I only inquire as it would be much easier to match the merchandise with the performance expected once I know how and on what the items will be used.”

Calina considers the question. It made complete sense, but she wasn’t sure if she had permission to disclose their plans. Calina thought to herself, “Naturally, if Daellin were here, he would not keep quiet and proceed in long detailed explanation about all the companion’s exploits and plans from beginning to end.”

Calina moves close to Sabriyya and says quietly but clearly, “Lady, I am not at complete liberty to discuss many of the details. Not because I do not trust you. Not at all. But I would not want the element of surprise spoiled during our venture in case my words were overheard. I will tell you though, with no risk to anyone, that these particular arrows would aid in a meeting with those of the Were … Shapeshifter persuasion.”

The woman nods her head slightly, “Ahh, yes, I hear what you are saying. Silver is what you need then. I know someone who may be able to help you. A retired hunter from Ustalav turned weaponsmith. Takes pride in his craft. It is quality work, but you will have to pay for it. Think he may have spent some time hunting the type of quarry you seek.” The woman smiles at Calina then turns, looking back over her shoulder to see if Calina is following her. When she sees that she is following, Sabriyya, one of her bodyguards behind her and the other several paces ahead and to the left.
After a short while of meandering back and forth through the crowded market, Sabriyya finally stops at a large, heavy wagon with several bright colored but dirty tarps tied off from it, creating a sort of outdoor shop. A tall, thin man with white hair and stringy beard sits at sturdy table, a fine silver knife in front of him. He is carefully chiseling some intricate scroll work into the pommel.

Sabriyya steps up to the table, casting a shadow over the craftsman's work.  “Can’t you see I’m working, you Nethys touched Ghoul shi…” the man stamers as he looks up and sees the Princess of the Market and quickly reverses his curse. “H-h-how lov-lovely it it it is to s-s-s-see you this f-f-fine morning, S-s-s-s-abriyya. Wh-wh-what brings you to m-m-my humble dwelling?”

She smiles at him and greets him, “Good morning, Ioneca. How do you feel today? That cough getting any better?” He smiles and informs her he is getting better, only to turn his head, cover his mouth and stifle a little cough into his hand. “This is Calina, she is interested in some arrows. Silver. Can you help her?” Ioneca nods and smiles wide mouthed.

He turns to Calina, “Exactly what can I do for you, dear?”

Calina extends her hand to the crafter and grasps his firmly, “I am pleased to meet you, sir. Lady Sabriyya has been gracious in bringing me to your …” Calina looks around at the unkempt shabby shelter and continues, “establishment.

“Forgive me if I am too bold. I notice that you are afflicted with a cough, and by the warmth of your hand I know you are feverish as well. Could I offer a remedy … something that will make you feel better, and indeed will help you sleep at night?”

Calina rummages through her worn backpack for her pouch of herbs, selects 3 small packets and hands them to Ioneca, “Mix these in a pot of boiling water. Steep for 3 minutes. Drink one cup immediately, then another cup tonight before bed and one more in the morning upon wakening. I am sure you will feel better by this time tomorrow.”

Calina smiles at Ioneca then continues, “I need a set of special arrows. Silver points, strong and well shafted. These arrows are for a mission against werebeasts. I will need them to fly straight and true. Can you make these for me, sir?”

The old man removes his hat, runs his hands through his stringy hair all the while staring at the 3 packets in his hand.
“Will these herbs truly cure my cough, young lady?” he says slowly, “Cause I have had this cough for 2 weeks and no sleep to speak of, while constantly tossing and turning and coughing my lungs out at night.”

He looks up as Calina nods her head, “You shall have your arrows just as you require. Come back tonight after the dinner hour. I shall have them ready for you.”

Calina and Ioneca negotiate for a short time and soon agree upon a price. Calina turns to thank Sabriyya only to find that she was no longer standing there. Somehow the lady and her bodyguards has quietly slipped away. Calina hopes she would have the opportunity to once again meet with Sabriyya soon.

Calina wanders through the marketplace a little while longer, finding only a few interesting bits and pieces, but nothing that she decides to buy.

“It is time to return to the estate for a while and check on the others,” she decides, “I believe my route will take me right past the ‘World’s Best Cinnamon Buns’. A dozen … no I think fourteen sweet tasting morsels is a perfect number.”

Calina makes her way back to the Kaijitsu Estate after purchasing cinnamon buns to find her companions.


This was Calina's side trek between session 25 and 26. It was long enough to warrant its own blog post! Daellin and Ehlyna also put together their own side treks that eventually joined up as one. Look for those tomorrow! Bold text is my contribution, plain text is Carol's part.

Characters Present:

Calina - Varisian Human archer and scout - played by +Carol Coburn
and +Jason Woollard as the DM

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