(group 1) Chapter 1: Of Things Long Past
As you make your way down the streets of Scurdaeg and descend the stairs separating the tiers, the fresh snow crunches underfoot and the falling snow accumulates on your shoulders and heads. Other people you meet are bundled up and don't pay much attention to you, seeming more intent on getting inside to a warm fire and soft bed.
You find your way to the Salty Seabird, a long, two-story stone building with many windows, most of which shine with inviting yellow light. The crashing waves are heard easier on this lower tier, and the vague shapes of the quays and moored ships at the harbor can be dimly seen from up here.
The four of you step into the inn, which is full of boisterous Scurdaegans celebrating after a long day of hard work with large tankards of varying kinds of ale, bottles of strong liquor and glasses of wine. A fire roars in the huge hearth at the other end of the room, and the innkeeper is busily handing out drinks at the bar, while a couple tavern wenches weave between the bawdy patrons with delicately balanced trays. A cheerful jig plays in the background, coming from a trio near the hearth playing hand drums, a fiddle and a flute.
Despite the chaos, the inn appears to be well-kept, if rather plain-looking, but is clean and the patrons friendly. BusyScurdaegan days call for busier Scurdaegan nights, it seems.
Dressed in his gear, recovered from the steps of the Palace where his wolf companion had been guarding it, Ezryn looked more like a soldier than the guide he was though it was a distinction he hoped he wouldn't have to make – if only to himself – with every passing day. Atop the clothes he had worn to the meeting at the Palace he had donned his Mithral breastplate, complete with ornamental
crest over his heart which displayed a sword and lance crossed over a shield adorned with the symbol of Aengrist in front of a snowflake, complete with greaves that strapped over his lower legs and a helmet he placed atop the backpack he carried over his shoulders. A bastard sword had been belted onto his waist, a quiver balancing the opposite hip, with an unstrung bow fed through the straps of his backpack so that it was out of the way but within reach. Close to his legs his companion walked, a wolf with grey and white fur and – surprisingly – leather barding covering his sides, spine, head and the fronts of his legs, never straying though his head flickered back and forth to keep watch of those that passed by.
As they entered the Salty Seabird, Ezryn reached for his pouch and walked towards the bar where he hoped the innkeeper would meet him. From his pouch he withdrew a
handful of gold coins and placed them one after another onto the bar. ”Good evening, my companions and I require a room for the night and a hot meal. If possible, we would also like a wake up call half hour before first light with a breakfast and drink...” His requests made, Ezryn waited as the gold caught the the firelight and smiled with an honest, friendly, warmth.
Jona was not traditionally handsome, but he did have cool, wily, sexy presence to him. As he walked into the Salty Seabird, he looked both right at home, in an out-of-place sort of way. The harbor's alchoholics and workaholics intermingling in the early night filled the bard with a warm feeling inside, one similar but distinct from the physical warmth provided by the firelight.
"Thank you...Ezryn was it? I'll Unable to find the game forum cover the next one."
But Jona hopes to make some friends here, and perhaps dig for some information if he can. He makes his way to the band, and as he nods to the rhythm of the music, he begins to chant tunefully along to the happy music. His voice is throaty and raspy, but oddly comforting.
"Oh, until I die and long as I live
Always to Scurdaeg my heart I shall give,
I'll pay a heavy tax, if they so say,
so long as I come back to Scurdaeg one day.
Out in the cheating world is my fate,
Where monsters, pirates and horrors await;
Listen all, and heed this song that I sing,
To Scurdeag, sweet Scurdaeg, my body please bring!"
After singing this verse two more times, with minor alterations each time, he then makes his way to the bar to see if anyone will buy him a drink, and come to him for conversation. He keeps stays Unable to find the game forum as people pass him.
These dice sets were omitted or moved: 1d20+15, 1d20+11
The innkeeper, a doughy old man with an ample gray beard, smiles and scoops up the 1 gold and 7 silver
pieces, saying, "Of course m'lord, right away, one of the serving girls will bring out the vittles to your table in just a moment."
Soon one of the serving girls, a buxom brown-eyed lass, bustled out of the kitchen balancing a couple trays laden with bread, bowls of chicken stew, and pale beer. She sets it down on the table, looks at Ezryn and says, "Say, you know, you look a little familiar. You been here before?"
Meanwhile, the musicians leveled skeptical gazes at Jona when he joined them by the fire. But as he started chanting, they all smiled and continued their playing. The patrons nearby took notice and starting stomping their feet and swinging their glasses in rhythm with Jona's chant, whooping and making rudimentary efforts at singing or humming along. When it's over, there's a cheer, and one patron flings a small sack of
coins at Jona's feet.
Afterward, when Jona goes to the bar, he's joined by one of the musicians, the drummer. "Nice chant you got goin' there," he says abruptly. "Here, on me." He snaps his fingers at the innkeeper and raps a knuckle on the table, after which the innkeeper produces a couple of shot glass. "Whiskey," the drummer says, and the innkeeper fills both glasses with an amber-colored spirit. The musician raises his glass, "cheers," and downs it. "Don't think I ever seen you afore. What brings a fella like yerself to this'n little pub of ours?"
Jona is filled with pride as he feels the small pouch of gold in his pocket. He began his chant with his important mission in mind, but he couldn't help but get caught up in the thrill of the performance. Maybe I actually will cover the cost of the next inn and meals...
But before he knew it, someone had taken him up on his offer. His stomach still full from the meal with the queen, and a glass of wine still floating inside him, he eyed the glass of whiskey for a moment, and then let it all slide down his throat.
"The burning soothes, the soothing burns," he muses as he looks up at the drummer, "I have some family here. Though I'm not staying long, I'm off to some place called Fios Sean in Fuar Dubh. Doubt there's establishments like this'n out there. Do you know much about it? I've been trying to get a lay of the land so I know what to look out for out there."
The smell of sweat and smoke makes him cough when the front door opens. Never has Garn ever set foot in such a place. Having spent most of his time in the tower library. Not wanting to stand out Garn follows Ezryn up to the bar. When Ezryn orders the drinks Garn asks for a milk instead. He has never really liked the taste of liquer. Upon seeing the
crest Garn carefully studies it for a moment. Thinking he has seen it before. Trying to remember itys place in
history "Thank you for making the arrangements Ezryn. This is quite a sight for me. First time in a tavern, but I think there are many firsts to come in the following weeks. Cheers and to safe journey gentlemen." looking at Jonas and Ezryn. (and Anton if he's there)
Garn seems to be taking it all in.
Glancing around the room as the merry making is going on.
The drummer slams down his shot glass after chugging it. "Ah, Fuar Dubh, nasty place," he says. "Most folks just go there to go through it, not just into it. Me, I'druther just take a boat the long way round and avoid the place altogether. Folks say it's fulla spooks, bogeymen, an' all that, and that the ground can swallow you whole, and stuff like that. Never heard o' this Fios Sean place you speak of. Big marsh, though, covers the whole central part of the island. Bound to be lotsa stuff there no one knows about. I dunno about all the stories, but I do know 'tis a treacherous place to travel, what with sudden fogs and hidden quickslush'n all that."
"Hmm...quite a nasty picture you paint in me mind. You don' know anyone who's actually been there, do ye? Love to pick his brain about, maybe buy him and you a coupla rounds," Jona encouraged, trying to mask his dissappointment in his information gathered thus far. He politely turns around to his associates, Ezryn, Garn and that quiet one, and whispers "Not sure I'll get as much accomplished here as I hoped..."
Recognizing some one from the tower Garn asks the bartender if he knows the gentlemen with the man he knows. Wondering why he hasn't said hello and if its O.K to go say hi. Feeling that secretly is important for his own mission. The quest hes on is for the Queen and the Archmage and no one else.
"He's been through the marshes," the drummer says, pointing at the fiddle player. "Mostly as a dare to himself. Likes to experience things first-hand, y'know?"
The bartender says to Garn, "Him? He comes in here occasionally, don't talk much. Name's Erik. Don't see why you couldn't go say hi, no harm in that. Can't say as he'll talk though, but maybe he'll talk to you, who knows?"
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