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In Warlike Array

   
In Warlike Array

Another evening, another nigh-brawl at the Grey Fox. The seedy little tavern has practically become a second home since you took on your new life as a job runner for the Black Crocus. While it makes you a bit nervous to be skirting the law so blatantly, as you walk by the indifferent guards at the gates of Astangard you feel a strange sense of empowerment. A passing wonder: are these halberd-wielding petty servants of the kingdom secretly also in the employ of the shadow regime to which you've attached yourself?

Without fanfare, the six of you are directed by one of the loitering thugs to the back corridor, and down the stairs to the quartermaster's secret lair. There, on the long table, are laid out the items you requested: potions, scrolls, weapons, armor, and most importantly the maps, copied onto fresh parchment and rolled in protective cases for the journey. The horses are saddled, with the heavier equipment already packed and ready to go. "Best I could do on short notice, but the hood seems to want you to be there and back already. Your animals will be fresh enough, so you should be able to make good time."

Sofia had been extremely quiet and apathetic since her return from the Temple. Yet as soon as she saw the saddled horses, she quickly walked over to Night and gave the steed a gentle pat. She then gently wrapped her hands around the steed's neck. "Did you miss me?" she whispered, tears starting to flow down her eyes. The priestess made an effort to hide the sudden release of tension and wiped away her tears with her sleeve.

She then walked to the table and silently prepared her equipment.

Wyngrad, approaching this new job with more confidence and a more professional attitude this time, checked out his horse. Not bad, he thought. It will do.

Wyngrad had learned a lot of lessons from the last trip. He regretted his emotional outburst. Unfortunately his father's health was slowly declining but his family's financial situation had greatly improved. He knew now not to make promises he can't keep, though he knows that he got away with that mistake last time.

Layna's looks over the horses, trying to identify if her original horse or her inherited horse is among the collection gathered for this job. Her face, which usually softens in the presence of the animals, is unusually tight, as if her thoughts are not entirely on the task immediately at hand.

After seeing her original mount, her countenance lightens for a moment and she heads over to the table and pulls each map from its protective case, examining each map in turn, taking inventory of which maps have been provided and noting that everything is as she remembers it. She then returns the maps to their cases and then tucks the tube under her arm. She picks up one of each of the potions and heads to her horse and places the items in her saddlebags.

She then retrieves a set of leather armor and padding from the table and with a sigh heads out of the room to change from her street clothes into the armor. When she returns she stuffs her clothes into the saddle bags, then picks up two short swords and a dagger from the table and sheaths them. Finally, she retrieves her bow and several quivers of arrows and ties them to her saddlebags.

Any of the lightness that had been in her face over the last few days has melted into a very even, distant expression as she prepares to mount her horse.

"Seven hours, they claim," the dwarf rejoins cheerily. "If you like it enough, maybe you have the coin to make it permanent like a real dwarf!" He laughs heartily as he checks the straps on one of the tents.

"Perhaps," Layna quips, "But does it come with the beard?"

Didn't 2nd ed elves and half elves have some limited form of infravision/darkvision? And silence was a mage spell, not a cleric spell. Ah, the good old days...
2nd edition?

The dwarf bursts into an intense bout of rollicking laughter and, perhaps to the complete surprise of everyone, slaps Layna playfully on her behind. "That's the spirit, lass! Oh for the days where I could join you folk on some underground adventure." He lifts up one pant leg to show the lower leg, badly mangled and scarred. "Don't tango with a troll if you don't want to be a tasty treat."

"Well, I'm ready to go. Filled to the brim.", Karn says patting his jug and his belly.

He looks at the horses and, if he can recognize his horse from before , he will walk over, tie the jug to the saddle, and mount. If he can't see (or recognize) his old horse, he will do the same for any random horse.

"Well, we don't want to keep our employers waiting too long. Shall we go?"

He stares as the dwarf laughs and looks impressed at the scarred leg. "I'll keep that in mind.", He says

"Not that dancing a jig with a dragon is any wiser," Layna says as she climbs into the saddle quickly, obviously a little surprised by the dwarf's near sign of affection.

"Shall we," she asks as she looks at the rest of the group.




 

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