Notices


Chapter 6 - South to Saerloon

   
Garak chuckled slightly at the reference the paladin had made. However funny, Garak was happy to have left the obese priest behind. The laugh surprised Garak. He figured it was the first time the assassin had actually appreciated anything about the paladin. However, any pleasant thoughts of the paladin were quickly replaced once again with the usual plans for eliminating these and his wife.

"Your kind, you ask? I was under the impression, by means of the Order, that you were a Paladin. On that note, so long as you don't mind that the corpse of your enemies rises to guard your flank, I do not feel we should have a problem. And, it is as you said, I am only employed by the Order, they do not own me. However, I am a business man. They have paid me to perform a mission, and I take pride in my work. Therefore, I will complete this mission or die in the attempt. That is simply all I met. You strike me as a man of honor, there is honor in work ethics, do you not agree? And I do not know this Raz you speak of."

Lucifer had said his piece. He rounded Dusk Taker away from the paladin, the holy aura making him mildly uncomfortable. When he again turned the horse and it's cart back to the proper path, he was closer to the middle of the traveling caravan. There were a couple others he wished to speak with, now that he was able to get away from the holy man and his wife. The gnome greatly intrigued him, as he could sense from him great magic. Perhaps he knew some of the darker arts? Lucifer would have to discuss the craft with him later.

The other was a bit more elusive. He let his eyes fall to the assassin, and then caught a glimpse of something in the woods that seemed less than corporeal. A face seemed to form on his left shoulder, staring into the woods as well and examining the form. Whatever it was, he was almost certain that it fell under his area of expertise, and it might be useful to him. Though that didn't explain why the ghostly dog was watching the assassin.

Lucifer pulled Dusk Taker into stride and let the charger settle into a pace within reach of the assassin. "The dead watch you closely," he said as the face on his shoulder faded away. "Is it an ally, or is it full of malice? In either case, it may be useful."

The gentle flapping of wings heralded the return of the final member of the motley group. A snort and an indignant whinny came from the beaked maw of the second archer's mount. It's feet pumped the air, regardless of a lack of traction, as it gently glided toward the earth. Hooves met road, and the hippogryph had landed. It tucked its wings in around it's rider's form as it matched pace with Martin's horse.

Martin was a man that Grenessel could understand. They had come to the bow differently, yet they both respected its bite. Gren didn't worship the bow the way Martin did, but he felt as though the bowstring spoke to the knight the same way it did to him. His own bow, a marvel of Elven magics, was never far from his reach. The great sword rested in it's sheath against the body of the unnamed hippogriff, waiting to awaken. He tilted his eyes to Martin's work on the rabbits.

"Clean shot," he rasped, years of solitude having left his voice raw and husky. He drew his sword slowly, and in a soft glow of green light it melted and reformed into a beautifully crafted longbow. He plucked an arrow from the five compartment quiver on his back, choosing a sleek swiftwing arrow. After examining the sharpness for a moment he set it into his bow. Martin had skill to back up his tricks, Gren wasn't so flashy. His magical goggles glowed warmly for a moment, increasing his vision before finally he let the arrow fly.

Whistling past the others, its momentum carried it far along it's path, disappearing from normal sight.

"Couple hundred feet up there we'll find a turkey. Ever had wild turkey?" Gren had almost exclusively dined on small game for the past several years, and had found he quite enjoyed preparing food. "I've got some rice in my pack, ought to be a nice addition to your rabbits."

He hadn't really spoken to the others, save perhaps a word in passing to the mages that had been sent with them. The others were good folk more or less, he could sense that about them, but he still wasn't used to this much company.

Khel's curioisty had drawn him closer and closer to the paladin, he would have never admitted it aloud but he was very curious about how the holy man would have reacted to necromantic magic... he searched his mind and identified quickly the pale face appearing every now and then on Lucifer's robes a Ghostly Visage... I wonder whether the paladin knows that he is already traveling with an undead....

His musings were interrupted by the paladin bursting to laughter... and by his involuntary reaction that caused him to jump almost a foot from his saddle. Trying to recover his composure and his dignity, he started re-positioning all the bags and spell components that once again had fallen out of place due to his sudden movement.

Realizing that there was not going to be any new revelation or immediate confrontation between Lucifer and Joachim, he spurred his black stallion, accelerating to a speed impossible for any horse to achieve and caught up with the archer right before the hippogriff landed beside him, carrying a second archer with him.

Khel did not find bows, or weapons in general that interesting but Magical Beasts were definitively one of his passions. Suddenly his attention was concentrated on the winged stallion at the expense of everything else, including the new archer's impressive shot. Without looking at Grenessel, the gnome got closer while still on his stallion and leaned forward to look at the hippogriff Magnificent beast... a hippogriff, I see... 4 years old? Can I have a feather?


"Yes, I have tried turkey," Martin said quietly, looking at the other archer in the group. One skilled, but who did not follow the way of the Bow. One who saw with magic, aimed with his hand, shot with it, and killed with some sword turned bow. "A fair shot."

He continued cleaning his rabbits, and once done, wrapped the meat and skins in leaves for later use. "Shall we be moving on?" he asked, raising his voice so that Joachim and Lucifer could hear him.

Gren leaned over the neck of his mount, whispering in his ear as he gently stroked along its neck. After a moment, he found what he had been looking for, a loose feather. He stroked his hand over it until the feather dislodged, then held it out to the gnome. "She has plenty. Enjoy," he said, not entirely sure why the gnome wanted one.

He turned with Martin to look back with to the others. His hand tapped the hilt of his Great Swordbow gently, now returned to its sheath. He had once been a patient man, and he hoped it would reassert itself to other people.

The motley caravan continues onwards, slowly but surely, pausing on occasion as conversation breaks out amongst the gathered assembly. Few of these fellows could relate to one another, save perhaps for the two bowmen, and each was keen to learn more about their new companions.
It seems that the Order had seen potential in these men, however, thus it seemed prudent to at least attempt to make friends, at least until their skills could be proven in battle...

The group moved along at a leisurely pace, nobody seemingly interested in taking the lead, as positions in the caravan ebbed and flowed along the current of conversation. And as some of the group traveled on foot, their procession became more and more disheveled with every mile traveled...

Who is where in the caravan? Also, now is the time for new players to make sure their character-sheets are complete, and for veteran players to make sure theirs are up-to-date...

I will include XP for the previous chapter in my next DM post, but if you're VERY close to leveling up, it would probably be safe to assume that will happen...
OOC

Garak studied Lucifer for a moment after the man asked about Kohl. He cared little to converse with any of the new members, as they were purely fodder or hindrances until they proved otherwise. As the assassin stared into Lucifer's eyes, his face yielded no expression or emotion at all.

He finally nodded towards Kohl. "He is with me. If you touch him, you will beg for death." With that, the assassin spurred his horse forward, clearly not interested in speaking further.

Not interested in having his back to anybody, Garak circled around the group and took a position ten yards behind everybody and off to the side. He then resumed his silent watch of the trees and area around him. They had powerful enemies, and they surely knew the party was on the move.

Behind the whole caravan, heavy steps are heard, approaching at a fast pace. Then, their pace suddenly slows down, reduced to a slightly faster pace than the caravan's. Those who look back see an odd visage, something they for sure weren't waiting to see around here.

The steps belong to a large, two-legged lizard, standing as tall as any horse but with a twice as long neck and a very long tail behind it. It waves its head as it walks, looking left and right and, every now and then, opening and closing its mouth as if tasting the air. Inside the mouth, 10inch fine teeth can be seen, glowing with the day's light. Its scales are very dark in colour, with some areas being crimson coloured. It has reins and a saddle on it, connected to its rider, along with two wide saddlebags.

The rider is another strange view for the party, as its features aren't similar to any of the other riders. What seems like plants coming out of his head, by its diameter and shaping, seem to continue with his body, which is composed of several ivy branches entwined together. What appears to be 'fruits' hang around the ivy plant here and there, big round orange-coloured berries or the like. The rider's face is obscured yet, though a few moments more and he'll be close enough to discern. An adorned spear hangs from his saddle loop, small animal craniums and feathers hanging from under the blade in a gruesome show of voodoo.

Thus, the rider and its mount close in, slowly, giving time for the group to spot it and react. The rider seems to be looking forward, but doesn't give any sign of recognizing the party riders nor to want to stop.

Garak turns to see the shaman and his pet approaching. Apparently the rider decided to join the party after all. He raised his hand in a sign of recognition.




 

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