"Second Son of a Second Son" - An Aquerra Story Hour (*finally* Updated 04/19)

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
InterSession #8.6– “Denouement & Decampment”: Meanwhile in Schiereiland… (part 2 of 2)

Balem, the 19th of Ter – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

By the time they reached Chalkour, Timotheus was tired of Telémahkos’ withdrawn mood. The blond Briareus arrived from Epithalassos-By-The-Sea exhausted from his hard ride, with nary a grunt by way of greeting. They had accompanied a well-guarded merchant caravan going up in the direction of Pyla, as the road to the eastern foothills of the Westen-Scherp Muur was often dangerous. Telémahkos had climbed into one of the wagons, wedging his bedroll into a corner and went immediately to sleep. Tim had to withstand the cutting comments of his old caravan guard companions, through which he had arranged the trip. While he and Telie were guests of the caravan and were not officially expected to do any labor, good manners obligated that they help, but even after Telémahkos caught up on his sleep he did little. He wandered away from the fire when song or jocularity began, and never took a watch. Additionally, he had dismissed Tymon, allowing his servant to spend the rest of his break with his family in Azure. They would meet up again later.

It took seven days of driving the heavy oxen further and further up into the hills until the wall of mountains on the horizon made night fall all that more quickly. As slow as the trip felt, so too was Telémahkos’ mood slow to improve.

“Don’t worry, cousin,” Telémahkos said when Tim complained. “Once I bask a bit in the warmth of your own family, I’ll feel a lot better.”

Timotheus normally cheerful demeanor was all the more effervescent when he first caught sight of the thatched roofs of Chalkour’s homes.

“Here we are! Home, blessed home!” Tim took a deep breath of hill country air, redolent with the smells of grape and goat. “We'll stop over at my folks' house first, then we'll head over to the castle,” he said to Telémahkos as he shouldered his pack and began to take long-strides up the road towards the village, waving good-bye to his friends in the caravan.

“Just a minute, hayseed. I'm going over to the foreman's station and finding out when we need to ship out of here to meet the others on time. I can meet you back at your folks,” Telémahkos called, and he headed down to where the merchants coming into and out of town registered with the local authorities, paid tariffs and made deals.

“Sure thing, Killer,” Tim called back. “Try not to get lost; I know how confused you get by all the trees and grass and sheep.” “Hey, Evan!” Timotheus greeted a local youth, as he walked down the one thoroughfare in the village. “Can you go up to High Talon and tell my lord father that my cousin and I are in town? Let him know we'll be over to pay our respects after we get cleaned up.”

“Sure thing!” the kid said happily and headed out towards the small stone keep at the top of the neighboring and taller hill.

Timotheus waved and called to the villagers as he made his way to his step-father’s smithy.

"Look what the cat dragged in!" Tim’s half-sister Ivy's voice bellowed as he approached the smithy. She stepped in front of the doorway and gave the tall man a rough, but playful, push by way of greeting. "What are you doing here??!" She did not let him in. Ivy had long wavy reddish-brown hair and a freckled round face. She was squat, like all the Chalkour Smiths. (1)

The clanging in the smithy stopped.

"Just came back to see my favorite little sister," Timotheus made an exaggerated show of looking around. "I don't see her anywhere, but I guess you'll do." Laughing, he pointed past her into the smithy. "Is that dad or Bird-Brain in there? And is everyone else around? I won't be staying long, so I want to get in all of the visiting time I can."

Ivy shoved Tim again. "Don't call my husband a bird brain, you son of an ogre! Anyway, both father and Nicky are working in there."

As Timotheus stepped the rest of the way in, Hagen stepped up, leather apron wrapped around his thickening mid-section, to greet Tim. He had curly reddish-brown hair and was nearly a full foot shorter than his stepson. "Son! It is good to see you. I was not expecting to see you so soon…" He put out one big calloused hand to grasp onto Tim's and the other reached up to squeeze his shoulder.

Timotheus grabbed hold of Hagen’s hand and then pulled the man into a bear hug. "It's good to see you too, dad," he said warmly. "I had some time off from the charter, so I came up here to see all of you. Telémakhos is here too." Releasing his father, he continued, "I have to go see Master Erasmus as soon as I get cleaned up, but I'll see you all for dinner afterwards, okay?"

“We wouldn’t want to keep you from your duties with the charter or to your Lord father,” Hagen said with humility.

Timotheus nodded to the broad, blond and horse-faced Nick. He was Hagen’s apprentice; betrothed to Ivy.

“Did they kick you out or something?” Ivy asked, smiling.

"Making us proud, I hope!" Hagen smiled broadly, and while facially he looked very different from his stepson there was a quality to the smile that was often seen on Tim's face.

Telémahkos stepped in with a smile and a shy wave.

The smith greeted Telémahkos as well, shaking his hand. He turned back to Tim: "You just missed your uncle Soren, he was here three days ago to speak with your Lord Father…"

"Oh well, maybe he'll stop in again while we're in town. Seems like I hardly ever see him anymore,” Timotheus shrugged. “Anyway... did I hear something about a husband? Did you guys hold the wedding without me?"

"Eh, you know Ivy…She's been referring to him as her husband on and off for a year now, depending on her mood…" Hagen says.

Nick's grin melted as Ivy shot him a glare. "Father! You're terrible! Talking about me as if I weren't here!" She pouted melodramatically and takes up the basket she had used to bring them lunch.

"Timotheus, I will see you later…" She said as she left. Tim waved absent-mindedly.

Nick rubbed the back of his neck and walked back to the crucibles they were heating up. Telémahkos looked around bored, whistling a tune.

"Heh." Hagen paid no mind to his daughter’s tantrum, and continued. "As for your uncle, I doubt you'll see him. He took off with some your Lord Father's scouts to show them what he discovered, but I am sure you'll learn about all of that at the keep…"

"Well," Tim replied with a sigh. "I'd better get ready to see my lord father. It's really good to see you, though. It's good to be home."

Timotheus headed out the side door towards the house across the yard to his mother and the rest of his siblings. Telémahkos followed. “There is a barge leaving for Azure on the twenty-second. We have to catch it if we hope to get to Sluetelot in time.”

“Will do, Killer,” Timotheus replied.

"Where are we staying?"

"We'll bunk down in my old room. I turned it over to Flora once I moved out, but she can go back to Ivy's room for a few days. You can take Andy's old bed. He's off on apprenticeship, and I figure you two are about the same size." Tim snickered. (2)

After many more greetings, hugs and tears, the two cousins, dropped off their gear, washed up, changed clothes, were fed and then made their way up to High Talon.

Timotheus called up with warm familiarity to the gatehouse guards. As he led his cousin through the courtyard calling out for the steward, the other servants greeted him either coolly or effusively, but all of them were respectful to Telémahkos. They were led to Sir Erasmus' study, and Timotheus was taken aback by the sound of his noble father yelling at someone. He rarely, if ever raised his voice.

"Then check it all again and find it! A whole cart load of copper ore does not walk away on its own …" Erasmus Briareus was as tall as his son, but not quite as broad as his brother Agamemnon. He was lighter as well, having inherited the fairer traits of their mother evident in Telémahkos. If anything, Telie looked more like Erasmus’ son than Agamemnon’s. His collar was open, and his coat was folded over the back of an overstuff chair. He had one foot up on a low stool and a young boy was shining his boots. Erasmus held a rolled up piece of parchment in one hand

Timotheus recognized one of the mine foreman as the target of the knight’s derision. The man walked out meekly, barely looking up to greet them.

"Greetings, my lord father! Would a hundred silver pieces brighten your day?" Timotheus stepped in with his arms open and wide smile.

“Timotheus! I had word that you had arrived. This is an unexpected surprise!” He shooed the boy away and walked over for a firm handshake and manly nod of approval. He greeted Telémahkos with cool familiarity. “Nephew…”

Telémahkos nodded back.

“I hope there is nothing wrong with that missing copper shipment,” Timotheus said. “We can help find it, if you need us to…”

“No! No!” Erasmus laughed off the suggestion. “It is just my lazy-minded foremen and their clerical mistakes. I need to pay a healthy donation and get some local boy with a head for letters and numbers to join up the church of Thoth and come and work up here a few years… But, no… Everything is fine… And with you? What have you and your charter been up to?”

Timotheus gave his noble father a truncated account of they had been doing in a familiar, yet still deferential way. Telémahkos only offered his view on things when a question was put to him, otherwise he tried to figure out how his own father could be so different, for while Erasmus had no less potential menace in his comportment, he had a genuine warmness towards his bastard son.

“So there have been no consequences of this event that you are looking for me to help you out of? Nothing like that?” Erasmus asked, skeptical.

Timotheus laughed. “No! Not at all father…” It took a bit to convince Erasmus, but once he became so he warmed up even more and asked to have parts of the tale told him in more detail, being more concerned with the fighting tactics used and the general strength of the foes than any intrigues.

“It is unfortunate that your other charter members are not also here, and that you did not come sooner,” Erasmus commented. “I would have hired you all to accompany your uncle Soren and some of my officers. It seems he’s discovered some secret trail, partially subterranean that hobgoblins are using to travel down into the Schrabs from the Oreithales. It might be big numbers, and if so we may have to try to arrange something with House Roose to take care of it…”

“Oh yes, my… Hagen mentioned something about Soren having been around…” Timotheus was intrigued. “Hobgoblins in the Schrabs… Interesting… And we’d be happy to visit House Roose for you if it comes that… Wouldn’t we Telie?”

“Um… Yes? Yes!” Telémahkos nodded vigorously.

“Make sure you go down to the kitchens and let them know you and Telémahkos will be here for dinner,” Erasmus said. “I will see you then…”

“Not tonight, father… I have having dinner with my mother, but tomorrow?”

“Very well…” If Erasmus was disappointed, he did not show it.

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Timotheus and Telémahkos spent just over three days enjoying everything Chalkour had to offer. They bought rounds at the Lighted Lamp, and there was not a dry eye in the house when Telie sang ‘the Lay of Isis’ and got tears of laughter when he acted out all the parts to gnomish song he had learned while slumming it one night in Quillton. (3) Timotheus found time to gives bits of his share of the Kraken’s Cove booty to his stepfather and his mother and his sister to help towards her wedding. Telémahkos spent afternoons practicing his tumbles in sheep meadows, ducking and rolling to emulate what Mena had described. (4)

In the early morning of the twenty-second of Ter they boarded a river barge, and joined a crew poling goods south back to Azure. There they would catch a ferry to Sluetelot and meet the others.

End of InterSession #8.6

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Notes:

(1) As with most small places in Aquerra, people’s surnames here are based on the traditional profession of their family.

(2) Anders (aka Andy) is Tim’s 14-year old half-brother.

(3) While in Quillton, Telémahkos spent one evening sharing songs and drinking heavily with the cast a gnomish theatre, and would have lost a great deal of coin in a card game if not for the generosity of the local gnomes.

(4) Telémahkos was doing self-training to gain the evasion ability of rogues.
 

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Rastfar

First Post
Who is this Timotheus? I dunno, but I like him. Like, really, really, like him. Where is this guy? Can we get him in our party? Or is it that we are all such jerks that we stifle this side of his personality, making it cower in fear?

:\
 


el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
InterSession #8.7– “Denouement & Decampment”: The Road to Sluetelot…

Ralem, the 22nd of Ter – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

Laarus Raymer of Ra had arrived in Sluetelot the night before, but after meeting with Euleria Finch and seeing what progress she has made on behalf of the signers of the Charter of Schiereiland he headed out to Lilly City. Three days before that he had passed through Moon City and had made an attempt to find Markos at the University of Thricia, where his cousin was training, but the city proved even bigger than he had imagined.

He took a barge down the Sluetelot Canal for something short of silver, and by late afternoon he was in ‘the Drowned City’. Lilly City, also called ‘the City of Flowers’, or ‘New Heliopolis’ and at least once by a drunken bard, ‘the City of Too-Many Names’, was a city of canals, its buildings constructed atop the remains of the old city lost to the encroachment of the Captured Sea. The young priest of Ra was forced pay for a gondola to take him o the High Temple of Ra near the center of the city.

The temple had fort-like outer walls topped with a golden glass pyramid surrounded by seven tall hieroglyphic-covered pillars. He knew that with dawn he would be up there singing praises to his god before the sacred flame, as that was holiest of Ra’s shrines in Thricia. The filmy water of the city’s canals lapped at broad stone steps that led up to the thick bronze doors of the place, and the guards bowed to him as he entered. The temple foyer was a room paneled in beaten bronze relief of Matet’s journey across the sky, reflecting numerous candles and open braziers.

Laarus called a novice over. “Young novice, let Master Dracius know Laarus Raymer of Ra is here and requests an audience at his convenience.”

The novice bowed his head. “Yes sir. . .” He hurried off.

In the meantime, he sought out the temple steward and arranged for a cell to sleep in. Having led enough guests to their quarters as a young novice himself, he did not require someone to guide him. As he brought his gear there, Dracius of Ra greeted him with a smile, hand outstretched to clasp.

He was an older man with a clean shaven head and a golden torc about his neck clasped firmly to his bronze-colored cassock. “Young master Laarus! What a pleasant surprise! I would have thought you would have been deep in the Disputed Territories by now…”

“We made it to the Disputed Territories. But only to a secluded cove… We were investigating rumors of an attack against House Wetherwax, but found ourselves in a completely unexpected situation,” Laarus explained, stopping in the doorway to his cell. “House Weatherwax may still be in danger, but we've learned little else to lead us in the direction of the truth. We are now preparing to depart towards the Disputed Territories once again. We plan to stop in Wesmearshire on the way. There seems to be great interest in the King Stones, but I am uneasy about it. Do you know anything of them?”

“An attack on House Wetherwax? You mean on their citadel in Tribunisport? Or on their ships? Did anything come of the rumors? Or were they just that?” He followed Laarus into the cell and closed the door behind them for more privacy.

“We were led to believe it would be against their fleet, but so far it has remained a rumor, but we all sense it is more serious. We only know of one who would have more information, but we don't know his whereabouts,” Laarus said. He kept his hands folded in front of him and spoke in an even and unexcited tone, never looking away from the elder priest.

“And that is?”

“Vanthus Vanderboren. We don't know how he is involved. He appears to have had contact with one who is,” Laarus replied.

“Vanderboren? I seem to know that name… Son of Vareck of the Dancing Sword, correct?” Laarus nodded, and Dracius of Ra continued. “Interesting… Have you alerted House Wetherwax?”

“I have not.” He paused and bowed his head slightly to the right, deep in thought and then looked up again. “I don't believe anyone else has either. But, as I've said, it is little more than a rumor at this point.”

“But you must have felt there was something to it or else you would not have investigated it…” Dracius rubbed his scalp hard with his right hand. “My question is: If this Vanthus is a danger to the Wetherwaxes or has information that can guard them against attack should they not be told so they may raise their own effort to find him?”

“Feeling there might be something to the rumors does not make them true. One should pay mind to their feelings, but never mistake them for fact,” Laarus stated, as if quoting an old adage. “Had we informed Weatherwax of our initial assumptions, we would've misled them. We have little more proof of anything now. I would not wish to steer their efforts in the wrong direction.”

“How can you steer their efforts in the wrong direction by warning them of a possible attack and someone who knows more of it, young Laarus? I can understand not wanting to propagate rumors, but what do you think will happen if there is an attack and the word gets out that you and your companions knew something.… anything about it ahead of time?”

“I see your point,” Laarus conceded. “I still feel uneasy about doing so.” He gave it another moment’s thought, and continued. “I've not the time to visit them immediately. I'll need to meet with the rest of the group and convince them it is the just thing to do.”

“I can easily send word for you and tell them of this 'Vanthus', and you can go on with your journey to the Disputed Territories and the King Stones…” Dracius offered.

“I feel it would be best if we were to bring the news to House Weatherwax ourselves. Should I not be able to convince them to delay our departure, I'll send you a message gladly accepting your offer.”

“It is no trouble at all. I am sending an agent of the church down there for temple business. It is someone I trust implicitly,” Dracius assured him.

“Have there been any new divinations concerning the Disputed Territories and the Kingdom of the Red God since we last spoke?” Laarus asked.

“Divinations? I am not sure which you mean…?” Dracius frowned. “But I would not be privy to the divinations of our higher priests unless I were being briefed for some duty I was being given.”

“I mean, do you have any further information on the activities in the Disputed Territories?” Laarus rephrased. (1)

“No. . . Nothing new… It has not been very long,” He smiled. “Now, did you say you had some questions on the King Stones?”

“Yes. What do you know about them? As I said, there appears strong interest to head there. But, I'm not so sure.”

“Well, I just have a general knowledge. Long ago they were the tombs of pretender barbarian kings, but have long since been ransacked and transformed into the lairs of various humanoids that are always vying for control of the resources in the area with the local remaining human barbarian tribes. . .”

Laarus holds up his hand. “I don't want to waste your time. I was more wondering if you saw any significance to the matter at hand.”

“Significance? I am not sure I know what you mean. . .”

“Traveling to the King Stones was first mentioned by Joezyn Barhyte. He suggested we could gain treasure by raiding the tombs found there. The tombs may be defiled. But some of those buried worshipped Ra's Pantheon, though in a different visage. I do not feel it is right to steal from their tombs. We've since learned of a group of adventurers doing just this. They encountered dervishes in the area. This news gives the area significance, as we know the Red God has at least a passing presence there. But, there are some in my band who are still interested in Barhyte's suggestion. And one who has another motivation, though he sees it not fit to share. This is what troubles me.”

“Well, if you know of dervish camps in the area of the King Stones then you know more than I do, for I have not heard of such. . . From what I know these camps are further south - but that does not mean there are not more in other places. . . The barbarian kings followed syncretic heretical cults. . . Their rituals of burial are not those of the recognized laws of Anubis. . . And even if they were, whatever belonged to the so-called kings originally buried there are long gone. . . If you do come upon a tomb that is still sealed from that time, then within will be a great amount of wealth - but you must decide then whether it would be a violation based on the situation, and if it is, then leave it sealed.”

“Are these kings of old not from the barbarian tribes that exist today? Are you saying that none of these tribes are true followers of Ra's Pantheon?” Laarus asked. The young priest still stood, though the elder priest sat on a low stool, occasionally flexing his knee in slow exaggerated stretches.

“If they are remains to be seen. . . They have unapproved of traditions, and at such a time when the Disputed Territories are reincorporated into Thricia the church will have to make a ruling on those barbarians, and work towards bringing them into the fold of the proper way to honor Ra and the other gods. . . Again, this is something you will have to decide upon your arrival and interaction with them. . . As for the connection of the current tribes to those of old. .. Whatever connection it tenuous at best. . . Similar to those noble houses that declare themselves descendants of Harbinger or Amarantha…”

“I see. So are these Beast Gods not truly Ra and the other gods in a different visage? I always saw them as such. Not as a loose approximation of the proper gods of Ra's Pantheon. Or is only the barbarians' method of worship and their rituals suspect?” Laarus continued with his query.

“Generally, the latter…but do not think that all these tribes worship in the same ways or the same gods. . . There are as many different customs as there are tribes. . .”

“I was not assuming such. And I understand not all the beast gods have connection to Ra and his Pantheon.”

Laarus took a moment of silence to let it all set in. “You've eased the burden on my mind. While maybe not moral, removing items from these tombs would not an affront to the gods. I've less to worry of my companion's behavior. I'll heed your advice and rule again once the evidence is seen.”

Turning to his items, Laarus picked up his suit of scale mail. “I'm donating this to the church. I plan to purchase a different set of armor tomorrow.”

“I shall bring it to the armory for you, if you like, as you must be fatigued from your journey” Dracius said, standing and reaching for it. Laarus thanked his mentor and handed it over.

As Dracius turned to leave, Laarus asked one final question. “Should I need to take you up on your offer, what is the name of the agent you are sending?”

“Eubren Winter of Ra.”


Tholem, the 25th of Ter – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

Victoria of Anhur and Bleys the Aubergerine traveled with a caravan of gnomish merchants heading for Weirspierogen thanks to the efforts of Lavinia Vanderboren. The road between was not safe enough for two to travel alone, and the gnomes were happy to have extra bodies to discourage bugbears and bandits. There the militant and the watch-mage would catch the ferry across Drie-Hoek Bay to Sluetelot .

The road west made its way over and around wooded hills, coming round bends to come upon half-deserted hamlets of poor folks living off the land. It skirted atop the bald foothills of the Little Groots Mountains, known for its goblins. However, they traveled without event.

As neither was very talkative, they fell into an easy and comfortable silence around each other. The kind of quiet respect that requires no verbal acknowledgment, and that even years of friendship cannot always muster. When they did speak it was succinct comments on horses or birds (2), and once a brief conversation about the relationship of the gods to one another.

The journey had taken a hard week, spending most of their day walking, which made Victoria miss Argos all the more. (3) They made their final camp just past mid-day in the shade of towering trees atop the final rise of the northern Ben Huevels where they gave way to Weirspierogen and the bay. Bleys Winter thought of his father not quite a day’s ride to the south, and then his mind drifted to the map folios he carried, their wards dispelled by Malcolm the Bronze and their great value appraised by Lavinia Vanderboren. He remembered that evening when he went to ask her the favor, and to try to fill in some questions he had regarding Vanthus, and her parents. He recalled how he had bended to one knee, her hand clasped in his and held to his chest as he swore, “I vow to do my best to bring Vanthus and answers back to you, my lady. From this night forth: I swear before Isis.” (4)

Bleys noted the Tower of High Hill and realized how close they really were.

Victoria walked over. “Bleys, I was thinking we should request the hospitality of Sparlange… Since House Devenpeck is known to be no friends of House Wetherwax, perhaps if we bring up the rumors of the plot while there something will come loose… Perhaps some name will be mentioned…”

“I would rather not,” Bleys replied flatly, looking slightly uncomfortable. “Could you not bed down at the Temple of Anhur? I am almost certain that Garkhan the Green would grant me hospitality for one evening.” (5)

Noting Bleys' rare show of discomfort, Victoria asked, "What's wrong? Didn't the others suggest that we all try to find more information about the possible plot against Weatherwax while we were going our separate ways? Is there something you're not telling me?"

"Well, I can say that there is much you don't know?" Bleys sighed, it was half a statement and kind of a question. "Let me ask you this: Where do you stand on honor? Is it more honorable to serve duty and law, or to serve altruism and goodness?"

"Laws form the path by which we travel toward the light, so I do not feel the need to put service for one over the other. That said, law is the means and good is the end, if that answers your question any," Victoria responded, obviously confused by this sudden philosophical discussion, despite her immediate answer. She considered Bleys for a moment, and then continued, "Do you have reason to mistrust the Devenpecks, but lack evidence? If so, what better opportunity to obtain some than staying at their manse?"

Bleys nodded as she replied, as if in agreement. "You are entitled to your suspicions, I will not correct you. He adopted a tone of formality and lowered his voice just slightly. He surveyed the hasty camp, looking for any caravan members who might be attempting to overhear the young nobles' conversation. "However, Lady Victoria, it should be known that as second son to Callum Winter, patriarch of the Devenpeck Winters, Master of the Roost in the Ben Heuvels, in service to House Devenpeck, it would be uncouth of me to cast further suspicion upon the nobility of the house we dutifully serve, or propagate uncorroborated rumors as to their political machinations or agenda as I certainly have no evidence to do so. I must now beseech you to desist in your inquiry." Bleys looked directly at her with the last. "…And I would rather not look for venom and snakes in the vipers' nest. At least not yet, not now…"

As realization of Bleys' blood ties dawned on Victoria, her eyes widened, but quickly narrowed again. She returned Bleys' stare. She whispered, "I had not spoken of suspecting House Devenpeck … My thought was that they may know of others with bad intentions toward House Weatherwax. I understand that it may be… unseemly to use our benefactors for information this way, but I have no intention of accusing the Devenpecks or even of spreading any rumors of their involvement in the plot, since I have little reason yet to think they are involved. My intention is merely to bring up the rumors of the plot as light dinner conversation, and hope that it will lead to some possible suspects we are unaware of. If you have some problem with even this, Bleys, I wish you would as straightforward as I have found you so far and tell me why."

Victoria Ostrander put her fists on her hips, striking an imposing figure in her scale mail armor, silver spear of Anhur shining around her neck.

Bleys looked about again, as if nervous. "Victoria, listen to me… Have reason… This is a conversation that we can no longer have. Not now. Not here. We may speak again in Sluetelot . I cannot go to Sparlange with you tonight. I can be no clearer on this." He leaned closer. "And while you may do as you wish, I would encourage you to do the same. At the very least, should you do so, make no inquiries while there, into this suspected plot. And it may behoove us were you not to offer my presence in town. You are blooded of a minor noble house, should an accident befall you, well… excuses could be made."

Bleys paused, but Victoria seemed to still be mulling it over, so he continued: "The Temple of Anhur, I am certain, could house you for one evening, would not protocol be slaked by requesting this?"

Victoria studied Bleys for a long time. "Very well, I'll take your advice, but we will speak of this in Sluetelot . I mislike secrets among those who are ostensibly friends."

The caravan master was calling out in his high gnomish voice that the break was over. “We should be in Weirspierogen proper in about three or four hours,” he announced. Victoria walked to where the front of the caravan was forming up, not saying another word.

Later, Bleys reminded her that they would meet just before dawn at the ferry to Sluetelot . She nodded her agreement.

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Hours later she was in the sparring court of Weirspierogen’s temple of Anhur, taking out her anger on a practice dummy. The novices, who lined up to spar with the guest militant, as was custom in this church, did their best to hide their worry when they saw her brutal and precise blows.

The temple was halfway up the western side of High Hill. From here there was a good view of Weirspierogen below, and it was much smaller and impoverished than Victoria had imagined. Passing Sparlange on the way, she noted there was no lack of splendor and pomp there, and the temple of Anhur, while spartan, as was custom, was large and well-attended; everything of the finest quality.

Militant Julian Spar played the part of host for her. He had earned a reasonable high rank at this temple despite his youth. He was friendly and eager to hear of her exploits. He also passed on the high militant’s invitation to join him at his table at dinner.

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High Militant Crispus Devenpeck was a tall and handsome man just past thirty, his brown hair cut very close to his scalp, and counter to Thrician custom. He took his meals in the mess hall with other militants and novices, at a table removed from the others, where he and his advisors could talk privately, if they needed to. This time, however, the occasion was merely good form in handling a guest.

He stood as Victoria approached, reaching his hand out to shake it with the equal respect some militants failed to show women of their order.

“Well met and welcome,” he said, sitting down and gesturing for her to do the same. “I must admit I am surprised to see a member of your charter here in town without young Bleys. I hope all is well with him…” He smiled.

“Bleys is alive and well and traveled with me here to Weirspeirogen,” Victoria replied. “Though he felt his visit was better spent consulting with the local watch-mage… I must compliment the impressive statue of Anhur above the sparring court. It is a wonderful example of craftsmanship…”

“Yes,” High Militant Crispus replied, going along willingly with the change of subject. “It is a Brairley… A relatively recent installation, obviously…” (6) And the talk went on in that fashion…

End of Intersession #8.7

-----------------------------------------------------------
Notes:

(1) There was some confusion regarding Dracius of Ra’s use of the word “divined” when he first discussed the Disputed Territories with Laarus. The latter interpreting it to mean, the information the elder priest was sharing was gained by means of divine magic.

(2) House Ostrander is known for their ability to breed fine horses, and Bleys’ father is the Master of the Roost, House Devenpeck’s aviary for faultless and falcons.

(3) Argos was killed by falling into the yellow musk creeper pit in Session #4

(4) This scene, too, is from an InterSession thread that did not make it to the story hour.

(5) There was also a scene covering Bleys the Aubergine’s visit with Garkhan the Green, some the contents of which may be covered in a future installment in the young watch-mage’s journal.

(6) Susan Brairley is a famous sculptor from Moon City, and is incidentally the mother of Gregori the Brown, watch-mage and one-time member of The Oath adventuring company.
 
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el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
And so, that is (finally) the last of the InterSessions between Sessions #8 and #9 - the next installment will be the first part of Session #9, which I will be posting as soon as I am done writing the whole session up (I am about 3/5 of the way through it). But I also have Sessions #10 thru #12 to write up, and I am sure we will play Session #13 before I get that completed.

But I won't be working on it this weekend, as I will be away celebrating my birthday with friends (some of which are in this campaign). . .
 

Gold Roger

First Post
He, happy birthday then.

Finally caught up. Gotta say, while I enjoyed the intermissions, in the end I'm keen to see the actual play continue.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
I have completed writing up Session #9, and I hope to get the first installment of it (1 of 3) up tonight after today's session (#13), and then get to writing #10.
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Session #9 – “Returning to Sluetelot & Leaving Again” (part 1 of 3) (1)

Ralem, the 1st of Quark – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

The coolness of the night gave way to the cleaving heat of mid-summer Sluetelot. The sea gave no hint of a breeze to alleviate the closeness, and Bleys the Aubergine was glad to get up early and greet the day rather than struggle for an extra hour of the damp tossing and turning, as Telémahkos and Timotheus were doing, weary from their late arrival by ferry the night before, followed by their immediate joining of revels. Tymon was already up, washing his master’s travel clothes.

Bleys and Victoria had arrived in Sluetelot late in the evening two days before, where Laarus awaited them having returned from Lilly City that same afternoon. They were nearly done with their own breakfast when Timotheus and Telémahkos joined them, and might have gone on their way if there were not news to share of their time apart, business to handle with Euleria, and grousing to do about the fact that Markos would be late.

“Did he say why he would be late?” Laarus Raymer had asked the steward of his cousin when he had passed through a few days before, doing nothing to hide his disapproval.

“His message only said that he training would take longer to complete than he first thought,” Euleria had replied. Then as now she was wearing her typical tight fitting-clothes that seemed appropriate for an afternoon hunting foxes, and she had a calm demeanor only occasionally broken by the slightest of smiles.

The common room of the Death & Taxes Inn was empty of all other patrons, and still being cleaned up from the night before, as was common at this time of the day. Barton Digits served with even more obsequious joy than normal, having happily collected and recorded the tax the young nobles paid on their spoils from their adventure in Kraken’s Cove. (2)

Euleria presented them with an itemized list of all the expenses that had incurred since their last meeting. No one objected to discussing financial matters in Markos’ absence, though the steward was certain to ask before she began. The expenses included purchasing provisions for their upcoming long journey and arranging for transport of their horses from the livery outside New Harbinger by barge to Sluetelot. She also informed Victoria that three good light warhorses had been picked out for her to choose from at the stables in New Sluetelot. (3)

“I have also arranged for the halflings of Wesmearshire to provide a guide into the Disputed Territories, but I could make no details in terms of what it will cost. It shall have to be negotiated when you arrive there.”

“Thank you, Euleria,” Bleys said to the steward. “As always, your service is invaluable. Much more than we could ever hope to expect. You do those of your profession credit…”

Euleria smiled awkwardly and thanked him for his praise with sincere humility, and then she turned the talk to the hiring of Falco Fletching and Dunlevey the Swordsman.

“They want to re-negotiate their pay,” Euleria explained. “They would be willing to lower their per day pay to five pieces of copper, or five-percent each of the gross spoils recovered while in the Disputed Territories, whichever is greater.”

The young nobles all found this very disagreeable, but Telémahkos was particularly vocal in his opposition to agreeing to those terms. There was a long debate about crafting a counter-offer to the would-be hirelings, And Bleys suggested they dismiss them altogether, while Timotheus wanted to try to make an offer to Dunlevey to be hired on as his personal sword-arm, while Laarus was concerned with the phrasing of the charter when it came to the split of spoils and did not want to agree with any thing requiring a split off the top before the noble houses got their share.

“Why do you think they want to change their terms?” Victoria asked. “They were happy with less before.”

“I told you dismissing them was a bad idea,” Timotheus said. “Sell-swords don’t like having their time wasted.”

Falco and Dunlevey arrived soon after and negotiations began in earnest. It soon became apparent that the two would-be hirelings had decided to negotiate as a duo as to have a stronger bargaining position. Worried that after taxes and paying the Houses, their own shares would hardly be more than what the two were asking for, they could not agree. After a long discussion, Falco and Dunlevey were offered three copper pieces a day or two and half percent of the gross treasure recovered, whichever was greater. The party would also pay for their provisions. It was agreed.

The discussion turned to what exactly the party would do next, and while the discussions were relatively peaceful without Markos around, but they were no shorter.

Laarus of Ra brought up taking a detour by Tribunisport to warn House Wetherwax that an attack on their naval forces might still happen, but the others were against any possible delay. They were more agreeable to his alternative of having Dracius of Ra send word with his agent who was headed to the area anyway. (4)

Later that afternoon, Bleys accompanied Victoria of Anhur to the stables in New Sluetelot to look in on the party’s horses and aid her in the purchase of a new warhorse to replace Argos. After some haggling on her part from the watch-mage, she bought a particularly hardy light warhorse that the hands had dubbed ‘Ironside’. It was a gray horse with a mottled white belly and legs and a black mane.


Osilem, the 3rd of Quark – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

Though evening’s shadows had arrived, it was still very light out this time of year, and the patio Death & Taxes was as crowded as the common room.

The signers of the Charter of Schiereiland were gathered around a table, finishing dinner and complaining that Markos had not yet arrived, when he was spotted pushing his way through the crowd without looking up, his nose buried in a small book he was paging through. (5)

“Markos!” Telémahkos called to him, getting up to meet him half way. The slender mage looked up and made a weak wave by way of hello and continued upstairs to the suites. Sighing, Telémahkos went after him and brought him back to the table, so the party might discuss their options and fill him in on decisions regarding the hirelings and expenses.

Markos looked bored throughout the entire discussion. They also told him about the vote to go to the King Stones, and he did not object. All that was left was the matter of when they would leave.

“I would like to stay one last day or two in order to scribe some spells,” Markos asked. “I have learned a new spell I plan to use on our front-line fighters… with your permission…” He gave a weak smile to the group, despite the contempt that burned in his eyes. “It would enlarge you, making you stronger, and giving you more reach. Victoria, I thought you in particularly would benefit from it with your long spear…”

The militant shook her head. “I already have access to that spell by Anhur’s grace,” she said. “And I personally find the downsides outweigh the benefits.”

Markos’ lip twisted in disapproval. He turned to Timotheus. “And you?”

“Sounds fun,” Timotheus smiled, and took three big gulps of ale.

“If we are to be headed to the King Stones, I believe we may be able to kill two birds with one stone, as they say,” Bleys said. “We might do service to the Triad (6) and to Ra’s pantheon by retrieving the amulet of Fallon. I know the church of Isis, specifically would also hold those who accomplished this feat in high esteem.” (7)

Bleys the Aubergine brought out the map that Malcolm the Bronze had provided him and retold what he knew of the Moor Tombs (8), and noted how both maps they had referred to the barbarian people know as the Ray-Ree. He also told them of the amulet, and the likelihood of finding it.

Victoria and Laarus, of course, were eager to look into this and do honor to their gods and the followers that came before them, and Telémahkos and Timotheus had no objection to looking into it while they were down there.

“Anything is better than fighting ogres,” Telie said with a forced smile.

Malcolm the Bronze mentioned that the Ray-Ree are used to having adventurers come through their territory, and may help us, but they are a proud people and we must come bearing gifts… Tools that are rare for them, but common for us…” Bleys went on to explain. We are to give them these things with no expectation of trade or payment. Anything they give us will be as gift as well… But if we do not offend them, we will benefit from their aid more than the mere cost of such items…”

There was no objection to this at all, and soon Euleria was given the task of procuring such tools for the party to bring with them, given a budget of up to thirty pieces of silver.


Isilem, the 9th of Quark – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

It was not until three days later that the signers of the Charter of Schiereiland headed out of Sluetelot once again, by way of the Beach Road as they had nearly two months before. In that time they took care of last minute business, including packing their gear, agreeing to pay for Bleys to learn and scribe the enlarge person spell as well, and discussing their route and goals some more. In addition, a horse had to be acquired for Tymon.

They wondered at the reputation of the Beach Road when once again three days of travel on it brought no noteworthy event, let alone an attack by bandits.

“Bandits would not be foolish enough to attack a band of nine men on horses,” Bleys commented.

They hurried past Bog End, not wanting to deal with the aggressive locals, and Falco led the way into the rolling plains divided into perfectly square farmsteads. Here local farmers waved to them as they passed on the dirt tracks that divided up the properties, and just before mid-day on their fourth day of travel they came upon a hamlet at some crossroads that was having their market day. Here they happily paid a few copper for homemade muffins, fresh cow’s milk still warm from the udder, and spicy blackened sausages on a stick.

As they made to leave, they were called to by a tall figure in long yellow robes. As the man approached they could see he was a watch-mage. He had long graying wavy hair, and a long face with a jutting dimpled chin. He held a long ornate staff. He introduced himself as Terrance the Yellow.

After a brief discussion of the weather and the possible dangers on the road, Terrence made mention to Bleys the Aubergine of one Jacoba the Brown, a watch-mage of House Brill who was stationed in the Border Shires. He bid them farewell.

Before nightfall, the young nobles and their retainers made camp on the edge of a wall of thorny trees.

“Beyond is Thistlewoodshire and the Border Shires,” Falco explained. It was rare that he strung so many words together at once, and he had a strange habit of picking one person he stared at when he spoke, even if he was addressing the whole group. “We will continue in the morning. The narrow paths beyond are unsafe for our mounts in the dark, and there will be many places where we need to dismount to make progress.”

“Do you know this area well?” Timotheus asked their guide.

Falco shrugged, “As well as a human can. I have passed through here once or twice, but though the halfling are always polite, they are not overly fond of big folk, which is what we are to them…”

“Wow, you are almost downright talkative tonight,” Timotheus kidded.

“I had something worth saying,” Falco replied curtly, and walked off to prepare his bedroll.

…to be continued

------------------------------------------------------------------
Notes:

(1) This session was played on May 27th, 2007, in Maplewood, N.J., rather than our usual Brooklyn gathering place.

(2) See Sessions #6 & 7 for the party’s adventure in Kraken’s Cove. Thrician law states that 6% of all spoils of adventuring or war must be paid in tax. This is halved to 3% for those of noble houses, or chartered by a House or the Crown.

(3) This was part of the instructions sent to Euleria via Faultless during the various InterSessions between Sessions #8 and #9.

(4) Laarus did send word to Dracius to have Eubren Winter of Ra pass on the warning regarding the attack.

(5) Not to be read by other players in the campaign: [sblock]This is a book that was left for Markos at the front desk that Barton Digits had been informed not to show or talk to about to anyone else. [/sblock]

(6) In Thricia, The Triad refers to the alliance of the three goddesses, Isis, Nephthys and Fallon. Otherwise, in most of central Aquerra it would refer to Ra, Thoth and Anhur.

(7) Upon arriving in Sluetelot, Bleys sought out Leisel of Isis to tell her of what Malcolm had told him and get her approval for the quest as a means of encouraging his priestly companions to agree to undertake it.

(8) Bleys learned of the Moor-Tombs from Malcolm the Bronze in InterSession #8.5. To see the Moor-Tomb map itself, click here.
 
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handforged

First Post
It's good to get another dose. Markos was surprisingly polite this time around. I can't wait for the next combat sequence when we can see what everyone learned in their training.

~hf
 

el-remmen

Moderator Emeritus
Session #9 – “Returning to Sluetelot & Leaving Again” (part 2 of 3)

Osilem, the 10th of Quark – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

Mid-morning found the signers of the charter of Schiereiland riding their horses at a slow walk single file along narrow winding tracks through thick woods. The trees on either side of them were tall and tightly packed making it difficult to reach the tall green of the wooded hills that rose to the north. After a time they came across a low stone wall parallel to the trail, and could occasionally see a second similar wall about sixty yards away at the top of a gentle hill, also running parallel. Eventually they came to a branch in the track guarded by a wooden gate connecting the two walls. There they were greeted by the barking of dogs at the top of the hill, and halflings in studded leather armor at the gate. Two held arrows gently to their short bows, while a third did the talking.

“We were told to expect you,” the halfling said in his child-like voice.

They were told to bypass the gates and take the branching southwestern track towards the village of Tunbury. There their guide, someone named Brennis, would meet up with them and take them the rest of the way into the shires.

A few hours later, not long after they packed up after stopping for lunch, they heard the awkward clop of hoofs coming down the obscured embankment to their right. A hairy-hoofed war pony broke through the trees ahead of them. It was brown, with patches of white, and a thick white mane. It snorted. Astride it was a tallfellow halfling with long curly locks and a narrow face. He wore a chainshirt, and had a long sword forged for his size in a scabbard on the saddle. He raised his hand and hailed them.

“Hail, and well met! Are you the nobles of the charter of Schiereiland?” He asked, his high voice not betraying his seriousness.

“Aye, we are,” Bleys called back, and the halfling visibly relaxed, smiling and bringing his pony up the track towards them.

“I am Brennis the Outrider. I bring you greetings from Lady Brigid of House Kilcullen and High Guardian Isolde,” the halfling said.

“Are you to be our guide to the Disputed Territories?” Timotheus asked.

“Nay, I am merely here to keep you on the right track to Wesmearshire and to he who will be your guide if you can come to acceptable terms,” the halfling outrider replied. “Old Kermit is as good a guide into the Disputed Territories as you can find, and he knows the way to the fabled King Stones and the barbarian lands around it well…”

Brennis began to lead them down the track, and soon it widened enough to allow them to ride two abreast.

“I will bring you somewhere you can sleep tonight, and then tomorrow we will continue,” Brennis said to them.

They rode on for nearly another four hours before crossing an open field that came to a place where four grassy hills were sculpted with homes of the halfling village of Tunbury. The local watch let them through the gate tipping their caps to Brennis, and a few to the party as well, and he led them through the hills to an expansive farm beyond. A barn there would serve as their shelter for the night.

Though the barn was too small to fit all their horses, they would safe tethered outside, and two stalls had been opened for them, spare blankets and pillows folded atop a hay bale. There was also a basket of food prepared for their dinner and a small cask of the local brew, which Timotheus was especially thankful for.

“How can we repay this farmer’s kindness?” Markos asked Brennis.

“Please… You are guests of Thistlewoodshire…” Brennis demurred.

“Oh? Are we still only there?” the young mage asked. “I thought we were in Wesmearshire…”

“Oh, no, we will not reach Wesmearshire for another day and a half,” Brennis replied.

The young nobles fell to discussing tactics once again as they ate, and after a few mugs of ale they were out in the yard for Markos to practice casting his enlarge person spell. Bleys and Victoria watched on soberly, as Laarus and Timotheus stomped around, the latter giddy as he swung his now six-foot long flail.

There was talk of going through some drills in order to practice, but reactions were half-hearted, and fatigue and alcohol began to stretch their moods thin, and soon they were snoring softly in the dark barn, finally exhausted by their frequent clashes of temper.


Balem, the 11th of Quark – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

All this day Brennis led them along more winding trails through thick woods, passing a few more of the low stone walls half-hidden behind tall hedges and wooden gates. As afternoon waned he directed them to a small lean-to on the side of a babbling stream. Here they would camp and replenish their skins and the horses could graze in the rich meadow on the other side of the water.

As Tymon built the campfire, and the young nobles and their hirelings pulled off their boots and armor, Laarus Raymer of Ra announced that it was his birthday, and drew a bottle of Remoli from his pack. (1) They had to make do with a small cup each of the valuable wine, but it was a fine little celebration, and after another long day of travel they would arrive at the place where they would meet their guide.


Teflem, the 13th of Quark – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

Wesmearshire was notable for its strings of burrows at the edge of meadows atop tall green hills. Here the natural landscape provided the halfling villages with amazing defenses. All the trails they took were way below these homes and meadows, and they could hear the clanging of goats’ bells wafting down to them.

Just about mid-morning they came to large burrow connected to a small barn, at the end of a field broken up by many little streams fed by a nearby river.

It was the home of Kermit Buckleburr. He was harfoot halfling, not more than three and a half feet tall, but wiry, and his sun-weathered skin, thick brushy mustache and narrow-slitted eyes gave him an air of competence that belied his size.

“So you be the big folk that wanna head down to the Disputes, eh?” he asked, through a cigar wedged into the corner of his little mouth.

“Yes,” replied Markos. “We were hoping to negotiate your rate to guide us… I assume you know the area well?”

“Well enough,” replied the halfling, with a smirk. “I been down there and back many times, and I know how to live off the range down there, and keep unseen. Listen to me and you can survive down there, too…” Kermit smirked. “As for my rate, well that’s simple enough, I get an equal share of whatever you find down there… But I don’t go in the caves… I’ll keep an eye out, and keep the animals, but I don’t go in… That’s part of the deal…”

Markos was speechless. He opened his mouth, but nothing came out. He merely shook his head and turned away sharply, and stepped away. “No…” he mouthed.

“Or you can find your own way,” Kermit added, shrugging.

“I shall leave you to your negotiations,” Brennis said, the awkwardness clear on his face. He wandered over to chat with Dunlevey, Tymon and Falco, who were dealing with the mounts.

“We cannot afford to pay you that much,” Telémahkos said, working hard at hiding his own annoyance at what he considered an unreasonable fee. “It is much more than we are paying our other hirelings, and they will be going into those cave and risking their lives…”

“Where do ya think you’re going? The Disputed Territories are plenty dangerous on their own without going in caves, and I gotta find the safest way for nine big folk with ten horses, or do you know how to avoid the feeding grounds of landsharks?” Kermit spat. He grew gruffer each time he spoke, his disdain for humans becoming apparent.

“Landsharks?” Timotheus was skeptical.

“Well, we cannot afford it, and thus are forced to give you a counter offer,” Telémahkos said, with seething diplomacy. “If you will allow us a few moments to confer…?”

“Of course…” Kermit said.

“I was against hirelings from the outset,” Bleys commented, as the nobles huddled to discuss their options and the counter-offer. “It eats into our coin to a degree beyond our ability to comfortably maintain.”

There was a long discussion and eventually it was agreed to offer the halfling guide the same as Dunlevey and Falco were being paid. Kermit agreed.

“We leave immediately,” the halfling said. “Let me get ole Duckhunter ready, and we’ll be off…”

“That your dog?” Markos asked.

“He’s not my dog. He’s just a dog and my friend,” Kermit complained. “You big folk are always want to proclaim ownership on everything…”

Curious about the process of using a canine as a mount, Victoria asked to accompany Kermit, and he agreed, seeming to find a human woman less objectionable than the males of her kind.

Duckhunter was a Thrician Tall Lushond. Charcoal gray with hints of red and brown, it was a tall and thick-chested dog, that whined happily when Kermit opened the door to the den where the beast made its home, connected to the halfling’s own modest home.

Victoria watched Kermit fasten a small leather saddle of excellent quality onto the hound, but was amazed by the lack of reins.

“Dogs don’t need reins when they been raised right,” Kermit explained. “They are better off with a kind word or a quick pinch to the scruff than being yanked around.” The halfling guide also attached a small pack to the back of the dog’s saddle before mounting.

Brennis bid them farewell, and headed back towards Thistlewoodshire, while Kermit led the party due west into the borders of Rocropshire. Kermit took the lead atop Duckhunter, taking them up drying dusty bluffs that left the thick woods and lush meadows of Wesmearshire behind. Here the yellow chalky landscape was broken up by small copses of scrubby trees, or a lone drooping tree winding its way out of drying pools. Up and up they climbed, as the land to the south fell away sharply.

“Aren’t we climbing away from the Border Rift?” Timotheus asked, unsure of his own knowledge of geography.

“Yep,” Kermit replied. “But we need to take a long way around for the sake of the horses, and to avoid being vulnerable on the steep climb down. Past the river above the Takken Falls, the descent is much more gradual, and better for our purposes.”

“And how will we cross the river? Is there a bridge?” Victoria asked.

“Look! Ferry…” Kermit pointed. They had come to the top of a rise and below them a broad river valley extended, a shocking line of green bordering a wide river on both sides. To their left, which was south, they could hear the distant roar of falls, and see the tall cloud of spray that obscured the horizon in that direction.

A safe distance upriver from the falls, they could make out several buildings on the close side of the river, and a large flat-bottomed boat being poled into a space beside a dock. The glare of the sinking sun obscuring the sight moment by moment.


Anulem, the 14th of Quark – 566 H.E. (637 M.Y.)

With dawn the signers of the Charter of Schiereiland waited as their entourage and mounts were poled across the strong river in pairs on the ferry. It would take most of the morning, and Timotheus went first with Falco, and Laarus went over second with Dunlevey. Meanwhile, the others discussed Vanthus’ map of the islands beyond the Sargasso Bands (2), Markos was eager to determine if the pinhole in the map that was somewhere in the western Disputed Territories might match up with some known place in that area. He asked Kermit, but the halfling was dismissive.

“Nothing over there but barbarians and Dervish camps,” Kermit scoffed.

“You know of the location of Dervish camps?” Victoria asked, overhearing.

“Not specifically,” Kermit replied. “And nowhere near the King Stones… Those are places best avoided by halflings…”

“So you don’t know anything about a magical pearl in that area?” Markos asked.

“Pearl?” Kermit scrunched up his face in confusion.

“Yes! Pearl!” Markos spat, letting his frustration through. Kermit looked to Victoria and raised his eyebrows as if to comment on Markos’ sudden flare of temper. The young mage continued. “You do know what a pearl is, right?”

“I don’t know anything about a pearl in those parts,” Kermit said. “It seems rather silly, it being so far from the sea and all…” The halfling whistled for Duckhunter and then went down closer to the dock to see if the ferry was returning.

…to be continued

---------------------------------------------------
Notes:

(1) Remoli is a fine wine from the Kingdom of the Red God of the West. This bottle was among three found amid the spoils of Kraken’s Cove. See Session #6.

(2) Also known as ‘The Hellish Isles’. Click here to view Vanthus’ map.
 

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