An Unrequested Gift

Suffer the slings and arrows

Goblins skittered away in the darkness, dragging along a bound and hooded body. A smoking siege machine lay silently in the street. The flames nearly consumed the Thumb and Hammer as Durzo continued to chase lyrics and scribble stanza’s.

The rescue mission, led by the briskly walking Arahanna chased down the goblins and their captives. Arrows and bullets flew try, finding their mark time and again. The ripper had left it’s mark on the cobblestone streets and the rapier pierced some goblin flesh. The bolas however, flew true from the hands of Atherton, and found their mark around the legs of X.

Daggers flew from darkness, and dancing lights illuminated both the rooftops and a formely shadowy figure.

The captive barely conscious, gratefully accepted healing. Once his head was liberated from its bag, you could see the remnants of a circlet unceremoniously fused to his flesh.

Worgs and goblins littered the streets, but is the Thumb and Hammer still standing, and did Winston Tremalian get out in time?

A moment in Time

Flames, ever hungry, consume the wooden frames that support the stone houses that surround you. The roar of the flames fills the Barrens and are littered with the crashing of stones, goblins, and men. The city appears over run. The song of the dying fill the streets, cascading from windows above, their anguish fills your ears. A thankful child peers from a scorched doorway of a shattered house.

The crumbling siege machine sits quietly in a smoking ruin behind you. Bodies of its goblin operators scattered around it in odd positions as if they were marionettes with their strings suddenly snapped. The Thumb and Hammer with smoke pouring from her windows, barely muffling the screams. Someone is inside. Someone important.

The flames fill the streets with their apathetic light. Still, the darkness comes. The stones beneath your feet rush up to meet you as you collapse.

Thoughts of the silver hand, a purchased and liberated slave, a sleeping woman murdered and man stuck between forms fill your mind. Faith through commerce. The Underground. A dragon in chains. An old man with a deck of cards. An An Innocent slain? A hidden room filled with notes. A trial. Diane. The Palace. A city under siege.

An Evenings Review

Eventually they shook the dust of their sandals, staffs, rings, cloaks, daggers, swords, and calico cats (Ornea, being coastal, is rather sandy) and left Ornea , with a brief stop in Inori and then headed to The Barrens home of the infamous Thumb and Hammer. Just past the gates of the city a crowd had gathered, some sort of spectacle had drawn them in. Soon ten curious eyes cast their gaze upon two men atop of a stage. One, dressed in dark black robes with streaks of red than ran through as if the streaks were in perpetual motion. The second, barely covered in rags unfit to wash the stage he cowered upon, looked beaten and exhausted.

A dark voice rose above the crowd, offering, those willing, a chance to heap violence upon the poor man’s fate. Silence at first was the crowds reply, until, those born of an ill sign, took the robed figure up on his offer. Boots and fists were hastily introduced to flesh leaving their mark upon body and spirit. Soon Arahana’s voice met the dark offer, with an offer of her own. “500 gold” to free him, sent a murmur through the crowd, who couldn’t produce half of that between them. “1000” came the response.

Gold changed hands among the group, an event that perhaps went unnoticed. Soon, their weary, but thankful charge joined them in the crowd. Atherton, Durzo, and Varda were content to part company with the foul man, yet X and Arahana, preferred to speak with him further. However, their efforts, equally noble and aggressive found themselves under the watch of the guard. X committed this man to memory.

Soon they found themselves at a tavern, where X and Durzo found themselves engaged in knife throwing with some of the local intellects. Atherton attempted to elicit information about the city from their charge, however, the beatings and fatigue stripped him of any useful knowledge. A moment had passed before the three compatriots realized their newly freed friend was free indeed, as he made a quick dash for the door and disappeared down the street.

The room reeked of influence and wealth as the group huddled around the table. Clearly they were more than capable of removing a single, problematic individual, but something about it felt off. Irregardless, the reward of information persuaded the group to take the job. That night the group moved quietly through the streets, moving closer and closer to the their target. The door proved a helpless defender against the crew as they moved into the house. Some searched the main floor, while the bard silently, deftly, and perhaps a little coldly ascended the stairs. He quickly spotted the target, sleeping soundly, unknowingly on the precipice of becoming a dearly departed.
He stepped forward, quickly sliding the dagger out and rooting it in the chest of the sleeping woman. A gasp escaped her lips, as her spirit left her body behind.

A keen eye and quick hands allowed Varada to acquire an ornate staff hanging above the bed. Someone else spotted the false panel behind a table,discovering notes left behind by their victim full of scribbles of a desperate soul, it appeared as though, the one who sent them on this mission, was involved in the Silver Hand.

The group escaped out the back, with the assistance of the ever resourceful Atherton, and made their way back to the tavern.

The following day, Arahana finds herself in another chase, leading guards and onlookers through alleys, stores and side streets. Varda attempted to provide cover by shapeshifting and soaring above and casting spells into the chaos below. Arahana managed to fell a guard or two before lingering a moment too long and she found herself captured, and later, standing trial.

Through the fortuitous intervention of their previously freed friend, Arahana, somewhat inexplicably escapes the trial of the underground.

While they waited to hear from Diana, the group divided, some went beyond the gates to explore who managed to cross paths with a dragon and return.

Shot in the Dark

The party awoke the next morning (well at least some awoke then, others, perhaps closer to the afternoon)to the sounds of people milling about in the streets. The Bard, rising before the rest, and making his way to the library and finding himself at home amongst the stone shelves and tomes. Joined by Atherton, the two weaved their way throughout shelves, with the bard becoming perhaps more acquainted with the economic history of Ornea. After spending a few hours studying the dusty volumes, Durzo spots an older scholar seated at a desk tucked away in a corner. With his long, unkempt dark grey hair, and ink stained hands, seemed like someone who was more in tune with ancient history. After giving him a description of the note embedded with the balanced scales, he asked for a few minutes to explore the recesses of his mind. Upon Durzo’s return, a note remained on the desk of the elder scholar. It pointed him towards a nondescript title found in the home makers section. The note producing only a name Thyron. By the time Atherton and Durzo left the library, the streets had more than filled as people began to prepare for the festival of Aravan.

The keen eyes of Atherton noticed the deft hands of a staggering passerby brush against Durzo to regain his balance leaving a note pinned to his cloak in his wake. Atherton, quickly taking note of the stranger before turning to Durzo to discover what words were pressed on the scrap paper.

Meanwhile, Varda and X found there way to a forest outside the city to spend time with animals of a largely nonverbal nature.

Arahana, however, was spending time enjoying the crowd, relieving several unsuspecting passerby’s of their purses. Although, almost getting caught once, she was spared by her sharp wit and quick retreat. She also found her way to the local gambling corner where she managed to “win” some more coins.

Eventually, the party reunites at the thumb and hammer, Atherton and Durzo explain the note had summoned them to meet beyond the gates at midnight.

Finally the group left the gates of Ornea behind. Ensuring they arrived in time the left the town early. Along the road, just off to the left stood the remnants of a since abandoned well, rotting wood and crumbling mortar was all that remained. Someone had noticed a small duck sitting on top of the remnants.

After a not so subtle attempts to inflict harm on the duck, it narrowly escaped an arrow’s flight away.

Suddenly, an arrow pierces through the darkness finding its mark. Quick thinking by the team brought some illumination to the night as the crew struck the assailants (and on occasion, each other)finally reigning death on their attackers, much to the disappointment of Atherton.

Eventually, after separating the corpses from their valuables they each returned to the Beggar’s Purse to patch the wounded and get some needed rest.

Turning Wicker into Gold
A Beggars Chance

Five adventures who have known each other only in passing find their night of revelry and story interrupted by a rather macabre gift. As each had the pints filled, spilled and filled some more, and chorus and song had meandered past their lips, a basket found itself in their midst.

Arahana quickly pulled the basket towards her almost reflexively, her roguish instincts helping mask this unusual occurrence amongst the regular rabble and din found within the Beggar’s Purse. This allowed for the Duskblade, Xanros, or X as he is commonly known, to lift the lid up with a potato infused fork. Roguish instincts were no match for the curiosity of the property realignment expert, who leaned over and quickly removed the wicker lid, while sliding the note off the top. Those at the table leaned in, the rough wood of the table digging in the arms of the bard, not the first time blood would be drawn that night. Staring back at them through a tattered cloth the vacant expression of a bodiless elf.

The stunned silence, more conspicuous than the inebriated dwarf standing on a table pint in one hand, expressive gesturing occupying the other while regaling his compatriots that while the Beggar’s Purse is a great tavern, it holds no burning keg to the legendary Grunt and Pollwart.

The Bard,Durzo and the buccaneer Atherton, notice two off duty guards chasing down pints at the bar. One appears intent on solving the mystery of the bottomless pint while the other, seems to be one of those guards who doesn’t have an off switch. In order to allow Arahana and Varda (an elvish druid) to make an a less than noticeable exit the bard quickly requests a well known verse from his portly compatriot, who offers Durzo a chance to join him in song, but before Durzo can get a stanza in, said Bard fills the air with his ale infused words, something an orc and rebellion and a chicken.

Aharana and Varda quickly weave through the crowd which has joined the Bards in their incoherent tale. As the tune begins to wind down Atherton stands between a human who is dwarf deep in ale and a halfling who holds her liquor and tunes in a similar fashion: poorly. However, in the Beggar’s Purse one’s vocal ability is often based on volume and quickly Atherton has these two leading the encore before subtly bowing out and joining his compatriots outside.

While they missed out on the show and encore Arahana and Verda quickly stashed the basket down an alley. Not wanting her skills to atrophy, Arahana smoothly relieved Varda of a single gold piece. The good natured druid allowed to keep her reward.

Mean while the Beggar’s Purse, its walls made of mere wood, cannot contain the approaching legendary sounds of the bard inspired sing a long as the music forces itself out the doors,windows, and numerous cracks and holes in the walls.

Meanwhile, Varda and Arahana both manage a voice in the darkness gently calling for alms. Kindly giving the man dressed in rags a gold coin before he moved off elated by the generosity of the pair.
Returning to Varda, Arahana looks down to find her generously given gold piece has been replaced with a piece of wicker.

Both Arahana and Varda quickly spot both pieces of wicker and torn fabric after Arahana exclaimed that she was going to sherlock the shit out this.

While the two dynamic deceives were hot on the trail, the men were finally separating themselves from their pints and stumbling out of the tavern, under the guise of drunken revellers. Some say this guise looked a little too authentic. However, they managed to keep in between the watchful eye of super cop and his compatriot allowing the ladies to gain ground on a hobo.

However, the the ladies leading the charge decided to wait for the meandering men after finding the trail had gone dark midway down an alley. After deafly hiding as super cop walked past, soon enough the group was together again discussing the recent events.

Arahana moved down the alley finding the discarded torch and aptly discerning change in stride by the mark, but even the deft eyes of this largely elvish group could not piece together this mystery as the footsteps ended just before the wall.

As they quietly gathered to discuss their options Atherton silently made his way down to the gate, while the Bard leaped up to the top of the wall, briefly grabbing the top which he quickly learned had been infused with broken shards of glass and clay. Both X and Varda had managed to get on the other side of the wall but were unable to spot further tracks.

Atherton’s endeavour only produced 3 bored guards who claimed he was in fact the only person they had encountered on an otherwise long and boring night shift.

Soon, with the adrenaline wearing off, the crew realized that it would be dawn soon, and they headed back to the Beggar’s Purse which was littered with mugs, plates and still drunk but now sleeping patrons.


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