Az/Kai/Aliana/Trau/Urvant/Fengshui : Reunited in the Rain

There’s movement at the door; the Red Wizard starts casting, but it’s too late. A metal ball is thrown in, bounces on the floor a couple of times, and rolls over to where Arvik is standing. It expands into writhing metal tentacles of its own, which reach out and grab the wizard, disrupting his spell. An old woman is standing at the door now, looking older than any human Az has ever seen. She draws something in the air, and a flash of black-brown energy flashes forth and completely immobilizes the newly-caged wizard.

The old woman has to be Trista the Shadowed, a court wizard who has served the Dukes of Daggerford for decades. At her side is Lady Morwen, the older sister to Duke Maldwyn, and their entourage of militia and servants.

“This is…terrible,” Morwen says. She gives orders to the guards as the older woman dispells the floor tentacles.

“Who’s the drow?” Trista asks as the guards rush in to help.

“Suspicion (cough) of theft,” one of the guards manages to say. “No evidence. We were about to let him go.”

Trista looks at Az again, her eyes seeming to bore through his, then she turns her attention back to what she was doing. “Then he doesn’t need to be here.”

Morwen gives more orders, and Az is pulled up to his feet and given his things. He’s then escorted to the door, and out into the rain. A crowd has gathered, but luckily most ignore him once he’s thrown out, their attention on what’s going on inside. It’s not the first time they’ve seen a dark elf in this town, it seems. Az never does catch a glimpse of the Red Wizard’s face in all this, but he’s somehow sure the tattooed man is furious. In the crowd, he recognizes a few faces; Urvant, a druid he’s adventured with before, standing next to some wild elf he’s heard was running with him nowadays. Kai, a dragonborn he’s heard of by reputation, and Trau, a dwarf he’s adventured with a few times as well, next to an elf named Aliana he’s heard of.

The rest of the party reach the jail, some faster than others. Other than Kai-Draeger, the rest of the party finds that a crowd has gathered outside the jail, but there are already guards here keeping everyone out. Apparently, a couple of notables from the castle were patrolling through the streets when the Red Wizard made some attempt at escape. As they watch, Az the drow is let out of the building, clutching his things. Everyone in the party knows of him at the least, and Urvant and Trau have adventured with him before. With the crowd’s attention on the front door and the blasted front wall, Az heads out of the door and turns towards the corner of the building, where at least a couple of you know a certain barrel is located.

Az slips through the crowd looking for the area he had stashed his stuff but seems to have a hard time locating the barrel. He does find it, but it’s been moved. It it obvious that someone’s opened the barrel, and there’s some writing there on the side, but before he has a chance to read it, someone gets his attention.

Kai watches the drow move towards where he saw Alaina moving a barrel.. He keeps an eye on the drow and turns slightly to direct a look full of meaning at Alaina… “Shall we go talk to the man? He might be looking for something you found for him, and are keeping safe, yes?” His attitude says he will brook no subterfuge.

He turns back to the drow and starts moving toward him. “You might want to get there first and put whatever spin you want on it Alaina…” He moves slowly, but deliverately towards the drow.

Trau, still just happy to be out of the “office” just follows along to see where all this is leading.

Urvant will check to see if there is anyone hurt as he comes up. Not seeing any injuries, he will touch Fengshui on the sleeve and nod his head towards the drow before saying, “I know that one, his name is Az. Seeing as he just came out of the jail, let’s go talk to him and see what has happened here.”

Moving to Az, Urvant will quip with a smile, “Well Az, I see you’re up to your old tricks, just bigger and louder these days.”

Urvant will then make introductions, “Az this is Fengshui, Feng this is Az.” Assuming the two elven offshoots don’t start shooting each other, Urvant will ask, “So, what is going on here? Was that the Red Wizard I saw them escorting back into the jail while escorting you out? What brings you to town? Fengshui and I have been taking in the fair, although it is a bit more boisterous than either of us care for usually.”

Fengshui is happy to follow Urvant away from the bothersome crowd and toward the drow. The monk wouldn’t be surprised if the dark elf was behind the blast at the jail and managed to charm and deflect his guilt away from himself. Probably blamed the tattooed man too.

With hidden fists ready to fly, Fengshui watches with eyes and ears for any threats from the drow or others near-by. He is curious that a handful of others also approach the dark elf.

Before the dark elf has a chance to answer Urvant-

Aliana watches with interest as the Red Wizard is dealt with. “Somehow, I’m not surprised at these proceedings. Though I’m glad the court wizard was here to contain the Wizard. And look, the Drow is free.”

She walks over to the Drow and the barrel, and gives him a little wave. "Hey there. I don’t think we’ve met. I’m Aliana. I took the liberty of putting your mother’s pies in the oven for her. (Thieves’ cant for “I picked up your stolen goods and put them in a safe place.”)" After a blank stare from the Drow, she realizes he doesn’t know that lingo. She says, this time more quietly, “I have your things safe. I assume they are your things?” she glances at the barrel.

Az stops as he hear’s a voice from behind.. "Oh hello and well met… Az reply’s back to Aliana. Pie’s? My mother doesnt bake pies, at least that i’m aware of… "

Aliana smiles a million gold piece smile at Az. “We’ll talk on the way.” She looks around at everyone gathered. “Were worried you were in the blast, ​Kai. Glad you weren’t. I guess you didn’t finish your errand?”

Then, to everyone she says, “Hey, Kai and Trau and I were going to see if we could help out rounding up the orcs involved in all… this.” She indicates the exploded jail and, by inference, the Red Wizard. “Would the rest of you be interested? Let’s head back to the Flood, The Silver Flood, and make a plan, over drinks.”

Kai goes onto the temple and finds that his old mentor, Sir Isteval, has already headed out to do some fact-finding. Kai is told that to avoid working against one another, he should wait for Isteval’s return to Daggerford, which is expected the next morning.

The rest of the party head onward to the Silver Flood, joined later by Kai, and plans are made to head out the next day to see if the orcs can be tracked. Word spreads quickly in the town, and rumor reaches their ears:

‘With their midsummer festival ruined by foul weather, residents of Daggerford take cold comfort in the hanging of Arvik Zaltos, the Red Wizard convicted of organizing a savage attack on Lord Floshin’s estate, the theft of treasures from the Floshin family crypts, and the abduction of several of Lord Floshin’s servants. Arvik refused to divulge the names of accomplices during interrogation, and killed several of the town guards in his attempt at escape, and so the duke was quick to pronounce a sentence of death. The hanging will take place early in the morning.’

Trau, realizing that nothing will happen this evening, tells the others that he will be heading back to his brewery and can be reached there in case something comes up.
He also lets everyone know that they are welcome to come along and find a place on the floor if they would like.
samplesof his current batch would also be available for tasting.

Aliana arrives back at the Silver Flood with the others, and immediately goes to the table she, Kai and Trau had been sitting at, to ensure her dragonchess set and her wine were still there. Then she looks around for a larger table, and finds one near the stairs leading to the common room.

When Trau makes to leave, she says to him, “Sleeping on the floor is something I’ve done too much of, and would rather not do it again, if it can be helped. But thank you all the same. See ya tomorrow.”

Finally, she checks to see if the dark elf came along with the group, and if so, she says to him privately, in Elvish, “Come upstairs for a minute.”

Az ponders the thought for a moment then decides to follow Trau to check out his brewery he keeps hearing about,
Anything is got to be better than what he was served this past few days.. “Oh says Az” as he turns back and looks at Aliana, “thanks for retrieving my things and here is a little something for your troubles”.. Az flips a couple gold coins at Aliana then catches up to Trau. "So, what kind of poison are you brewing dwarf? I bet it’s tasty and has a kick like plagued rats eh? "

“Sounds like things have definitely been hopping for you,” Urvant will tell Trau with a smile.

Urvant will listen as plans are discussed and the party agrees to meet again in the morning. As the party breaks up he will wave as he and Fengshui head to the door and says, “See you tomorrow at the hanging, or barring that, back here at the appropriately named Flood.”
As they walk out the door into the rain, Urvant will apologize to Fengshui, “Sorry about asking you to talk to the strangers.” [ooc] Help me out, why was Fengshui upset? As a wild elf he doesn’t like talking to strangers, as a bodyguard he didn’t like leaving Urvant’s side, as an individual he didn’t like being asked to do something? I don’t want to habitually go around irritating my friend and guard, so give me some guidelines on Fengshui’s outlook/disposition please :-).

Moving down the road he will tell Fengshui, “I want to try to find guard Holmes. He typically gets called in to investigate crimes here in town and I’ve helped him by doing some tracking. He may know something about the attack on Floshin’s estate that isn’t common knowledge. Afterwards we can head to a cave I know outside of town to the north. A rabid wolf was staying there until I killed it because it was eating the local sheep. Rangers sometime use it and the shepherd David lives nearby. We can talk to them and see if they saw anything on the day in question. Does that sound good to you, or is there something you want to do while we’re in town?”

Fengshui was contented to be near Urvant, listened to the conversation, and nodded in agreement to plans for orc hunting. In one of his rare vocalizations, given in a deadpan seriousness, he offered to help track the orcs.

Otherwise, the monk unwittingly stared alternately at his new acquaintances, taking in their manners, demeanor, speech and tone, motives, eats and drinks, clothing, weapons and equipment, and smell. There was a semblance of a smirk on his face as the wanderer absorbed the variety races and talents promised by this party. This was good.

When he followed Urvant out the door of the Flood, the monk was more pleasantly conversant. Responding to the druid’s question, he offers, “Don’t apologize, friend. These are strangers to me. There was nothing I needed to say at the moment. There is nothing I need to do in town tonight.”

They chat about what Urvant knows of the others. He agrees in the wisdom of talking to the guard, rangers, and shepherd the druid knows, “I will help glean any clues from their answers.” Then as they settle down in the cave later, he remarks, “I want to see the hanging tomorrow. To see what the fuss is about this tattooed man. Why and how these civilized folks make a spectacle of death.”

Having traveled several months together, and knowing Fengshui and his tribe over the years, Urvant would recognize the monk’s ornery demeanor, his annoyance at unknown places and strangers, but not anger. Although he has major anger issues, this situation would be more akin to a defensive reaction, like some animals, especially in new, unknown places and/or meeting new, unknown creatures. Perhaps, despite his generally neutral outlook, there remained some elven arrogance and pride. Urvant knows that the monk is never-the-less curious and generally accepting of the world around him and full of questions for the druid when given the chance.

Urvant and Fengshui spend a little time looking for the guard, but no luck; perhaps tomorrow. They don’t have any trouble finding or staying at the cave for the night, however.

The rest of the party spend the night either at the Silver Flood or at the new brewery, and no new distractions happen.

The next morning, with all the party present.

The foul weather just won’t let up. Wet banners flap in the cool morning wind as a grim, rain-drenched crowd gathers around the wooden gallows in the town square. Town guards in dark cloaks scan the periphery.

A masked hangman ascends the scaffold and waits. He nods to a slender, rain-soaked knight in bright armor, who limps into the heart of the crowd, a greatsword slung over his back. He stands like a beacon of light in the gloom and keeps a watchful eye on the proceedings. A few paces behind him stands a dour elf of noble bearing clad in a handsome gray cloak.

The malaise of the crowd turns to anger as the prisoner is hauled toward the gallows by a pair of cloaked guards. The bald wizard wears nothing but a loincloth, and most of his thin frame is covered with serpentine tattoos. His wrists and ankles are bound with rope, and his eyes and mouth have been sewn shut—a sight that doesn’t sit too well with the armored knight.

The rolling thunder of the storm cannot drown the roar of the crowd. Shouts of “Kill the wizard!” abound. One old woman cries out, “Filth for the maggots!”

A heavily guarded horse-drawn carriage comes to a stop at the edge of the crowd. Through the carriage’s rain-streaked window, you see the pale visage of Duke Maldwyn Daggerford, who watches the proceedings closely.

As the noose tightens around the wizard’s neck, the tattoos covering his body begin to writhe. The crowd gasps in horror at the sight, and the armored knight draws his greatsword. Moments later, the captain of the guard signals the hangman to pull the trapdoor lever. A short drop spells the wizard’s demise. Lightning flashes, and you half expect the wizard to be gone, but there his body hangs, the serpentine tattoos no longer writhing.

“To the Hells with him!” a peasant shouts.

The knight relaxes as the crowd begins to disperse. Suddenly, a rider on a black horse gallops into the square, surprising everyone. He seems drawn to the armored knight.

“My lord! My lord! Terrible news! Cromm’s Hold has been attacked by a black dragon!”

Kai recognizes the armored knight as Sir Isteval. Beside him, the elf is Lord Floshin. And at the news, Duke Maldwyn exits the carriage (with servants to keep off the rain) and begin a hurried conversation. Sir Isteval sees Kai, and looks like he’s about to call him (and the rest of the party) over.

Kai motions to the others, “We shall be called momentarily before Sir Isteval. Mind your manners…” He turns back, waiting for the summons.

Alaina shakes her head and says, “Wow, a black dragon. Glad it didn’t come here…”

Cromm’s hold is to the west-southwest, perhaps fifteen miles away and on the coast.

News of the attack on Cromm’s Hold causes panic in the town square. While people scurry for shelter (from the rain, if nothing else), Duke Maldwyn tries to calm the crowd with assurances of their safety. Meanwhile, Isteval instructs members of the town militia to marshal soldiers and clerics for a march to Cromm’s Hold.

There’s another flash of lightning as the armored knight, Sir Isteval, turns toward you, all of you. “Cromm’s Hold is well defended, but a dragon might be too great a threat even for Baroness Wynne. If you have no other business to tend to, we could use some additional reinforcement.”

Duke Maldwyn casts a wary gaze upon the stormy sky then turns to Isteval. “The bulk of our militia will remain here, in case the dragon attacks.” “Of course, your Grace,” the knight replies. “That would be wise. Thirty stalwart men and horses should suffice.”

Az/Kai/Aliana/Trau/Urvant/Fengshui : Reunited in the Rain

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