Allen's Forgotten Realms
Urvant/Fengshui : The Printed Word
Urvant and Fengshui get an earful of this as they make their way through the crowds to the Mellow Leaf, a smoke shop in the Caravan Quarter of town. It’s good that the shop is close to the walls and gate, as the noise of the spring crowds grate upon the ears of the druid and the monk, and the brushing and jostling of so many bodies is about to make the wild elf scream. The Mellow Leaf is a haven, though, for Urvant is a steady supplier of the strong hemp that makes up so much of the shop’s wares, and there is a private room where his small, precious supply of books is kept safe.
Iacin Gentam, the dark-haired human proprietor, smiles as the two finally make it through the door. The shop has only two other customers, humans who are shopping and ignore the two newcomers entirely. “Thought you’d make it. Heard about the ruckus, aye? Bards have been here since yesterday, making up new songs about it and buying stuff they think makes them more creative than they really are. Haw!”
Oh, coming to this town during this wretched event may have been a bad mistake. Fengshui (his monk name, for being an outcast of his wild elf tribe, he was not allowed to carry his family name) was having second thoughts, but didn’t want to appear weak and foolish to the druid. The monk already agreed to provide security to Urvant during his trades in exchange for more training on the “civilized” ones. The noise, the cramped conditions, the stink, what was civilized about any of this? It took all his monk training to focus on the task at hand and not striking out at the bumbling fools crowding around him.
At least their first stop at the Mellow Leaf was just within the walls of the town. He looked forward to the more peaceful atmosphere and aroma therapy. Upon entering the shop, Fengshui returned the owner’s greetings with just a quick smile and nod. He trusted this man. Now the monk set about tactically evaluating the place for ambushes, exits, improvised weapons, secure defensive positions, pausing to whisper to the druid, “Urvant, I’ve got your back.”
While the druid conducted his business with Iacin, Fengshui faced about and stood alert with a stoic face, taunt muscles, and clenched fists. As a young adult (101 years old), Fengshui was tall (6 ft) for an elf, lean and muscular (169 lbs), with bodily colors that highlighted the various hues of brown. His wild unkempt shoulder length hair and suspicious eyes favored a lighter bronze color blend, whereas his body favored a deeper copper color blend. Wearing no armor or shield, he was dressed in simple wrapped clothing and furs. His battered backpack and adventuring supplies suggested he has weathered many travels outdoors. Like a tribute to his martial demeanor, many simple weapons adorned his body though partially covered, including staff, javelins, handaxe, short sword, sling, and whip.
He payed particular attention to the only other customers, two humans. Not regularly exposed to other races in these settings, the monk wasn’t spooked, but clearly on edge.
Urvant will nod his thanks to Fengshui for having his back and then quietly tell him, "In “civilized” society attacks tend to come from people you don’t see, not the ones you do see. An arrow from a roof top, a footpad from the shadows, or a cutpurse from behind in the crowd. I have a surprise for the cutpurse at least, my purse doesn’t contain my coins, it contains poison ivy and Mary Sue my pet viper. She’s good as long as you’re gentle and slow with her, but bumps or quick moves tend to annoy her. I’m glad you’re ready to counter any direct attacks, you can never tell; when a Lord’s manor is attacked by orcs it is best to be prepared for anything. After I finish my dealings with Iacin how about we go grab a bite to eat, in food preparation at least, “civilized” stacks up very well."
Listening to Urvant, the monk acknowledged the wiser druid without turning around. A smirk broke across his face with a quiet grunt of approval when he was reminded of the poison ivy and that cuddly Mary Sue. When nature’s friend mentioned ‘attacked by orcs", Fengshui let out a muffled menacing growl and a slow hiss of disgust. Fortunately the talk of good food help lightened and rebalanced the monk’s mood as he nodded and grunted with curious anticipation. As if on cue, his belly grumbled with wishful hunger. Slowly he took his left hand into the folds of his furs and produced a small stick of venison jerky. Nimbly he snacked on the treat, while remaining alert.
Iacin doesn’t look perturbed by the sight of a wild elf, so he’s either seen one before or he has great business aplomb. Either way he says back to the druid, “They’ll hang that wizard tomorrow at the square. Unless he somehow gets out of it. I’ve heard stories about the Red Wizards, I have. I heard they trade in magical items, but you’d be trading half your soul for some bauble they’re willing to part with. Are you staying in town tonight?”
“I think we’ll camp outside Daggerford tonight, in my usual spot”, replies Urvant. “It’s unlikely we could find rooms in town in any event. Any new cooks in town? Fengshui and I thought we’d grab a bite to eat in a bit and it’s always good to try new things.”
Looking to Fengshui to confirm, Urvant will continue, “I don’t think we’ll watch the hanging. They aren’t pleasant even if they are justified. I’d heard one of the merchants from Iriaebor had a book written in orcish that I wanted to see. Maybe we can catch her during the hanging and there won’t be such crowds about. Speaking of merchants, you’re all good and won’t need any more product for a while, correct?”
While continuing his watch, Fengshui, nods his agreement about new foods, but then added, “Orcs too close to home. We must find more information, disrupt them, and alert my tribe.” Although an outcast to his tribe, the monk doesn’t harbor any ill-will, quite the opposite. Any help he can provide them, he will. Fond memories of his childhood among his kin tug at his heart-strings, despite the troubles he’s caused them.
Iacin shrugs. “There should be plenty, but then it’s Midsummer and there’s more potential customers. As far as the hanging, suit yourself. Personally, if it really is a Red Wizard, he’s got it coming to him. Wish I knew what his motivation was.”
Urvant will thank Iacin and tell him, “Very good. I’ll see you the next time around then.”
Pointing with his chin at the door he will suggest to Fengshui while there is still quiet enough to talk, “Let’s head out then. We’ll just walk until we smell something good enough to eat. Let’s initially move in the direction of Lord Floshin’s estate and maybe we can learn something from a guard or some staff who escaped, we might even be able to pick up the orcs tracks if we’re lucky and get an idea in which direction they left anyway. I wouldn’t mind checking out the garden in any event, partially to see what constitutes a garden and mostly to ensure nothing dangerous was added.”
Fengshui nods in agreement. At the suggestion of following their noses, a big toothy smile spreads across his face. Tracking was a skill he enjoyed whether for food or orcs. With a good meal downed, he would be refreshed to scout for orcs. The monk takes the lead out the door, making sure the way is cleared.
The weather looks…iffy outside, as if another storm front may be on its way. Despite this, there are still crowds of people, and it’s not long before the pair smell cooking meat. The food stalls are actually to the south, but not far; once they eat, they can head back north towards the estate.
There’s all manner of food available, for any palate, though the meatless offerings are generally very spicy. And cheap, as well, costing only a handful of coppers or a silver each.
Once sated, the estate is a short walk to the north.
After having his fill of the spicy veggies being offered and drinking his water, which isn’t nearly as fresh as he’s used to in the forest, Urvant waits as Fengshui finishes his meal and watches the people move past. He will greet those he knows and closely watch the others, trying to determine their occupations and why they are here.
When Fengshui is ready, Urvant will lead the way to the estates of Lord Floshin. If he can help Fengshui track he will do so, otherwise he will track himself.
Urvant also wants to take a look at what the “gardner” had been doing.
The monk ravished several tasty morsels of spicy food from the various vendors. However, his eyes and ears remained alert to the other noisy patrons near-by as he enjoyed the new flavors dancing across his tongue. Soon enough, the druid was finished too, and Fengshui anxiously led the way to the orc investigation, following Urvant directions to the manor. Using his tracking and survival skills, the monk sought any clues to the attack, hurrying as best he could without missing any signs, before the next storm let lose. The outcast will work with the druid to best interpret any of their findings.
The rain does seem to be getting stronger, but it doesn’t faze either the elf or the druid. What does faze them is distance- Floshin’s estate is north of town, sort of halfway between Daggerford and Waterdeep, and though Floshin himself spends a lot of time in town, they discover that travelling to the estate is at least a day’s ride on horses. Considering the weather, it may be a better idea to let the storm blow over.
Cursing their luck when the next storm blast hits, the monk turns toward the druid, “This will wipe most in not all of the outside clues away. Perhaps we should save our strength and energies for a break in the weather. We can make up any lost time when it blows over. Seek shelter for now? If we meet any orcs, I want them to feel the full measure of my anger.”
The druid shakes his head. “The gall of the man, playing a gardner. I wanted to see that. Well, all right, I can wait. Though you already know, I don’t much care to be attacking just any orc I see. I’d want to find the ones responsible.”
As he finishes his sentence, there’s an explosion to the east. Probably around the jail and/or smithy. Even in the rain, they can see the flash of light and a lazy trail of smoke.
Fengshui knew the druid well, but still wondered sometimes about his neutral response to killing orcs. For the outcast’s tribe, no orc in their territory was a good thing. Okay, technically, these marauders were outside his tribe’s lands, but never-the-less ..
The monk’s thoughts were abruptly interrupted by the sudden explosion with its bright flash, rumble, and distant smoke. He spits on the ground with a curse, “Damn civilized folks! Always best for destruction. Appeared close to the smithy, maybe jail, maybe that tattooed man was a wizard after-all and now is getting his revenge. (smirk)” Turning to Urvant once again, Fengshui continued, “I say we check out the most probably immediate threat and then seek the orcs when the weather is more favorable.” Assuming that made sense and convinced the druid too, the monk hurried toward the incident with a brisk pace.
Urvant quickly hurries after the elvish monk, telling Fengshui, “That sounds like an excellent idea my friend. Lead on.”
As he follows Fengshui he checks his healing bag to be sure he has plenty of bandages and balm. He makes a note to replenish both in the near future.