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Chapter Sixteen: On the Road Again!

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
"I say that Bilal's lucky he's already dead, and he'd better stay that way if he knows what's good for him," Kaerri begins, but then the unusually sour expression flees from her face and she grins, much more like her usual self. "I'm with Oreleth -- I'll happily take you both along! And for sure let's help if we can."

She glances at the others, and adds, "And, well, if you want more information on that Dragonslayer you mentioned... I think I can answer whatever questions you've got."
 

Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
Supporter
As the Wayward Wagon finally touched down outside the fine domicile of his good drinking friend and compatriot, Otiorin hopped down from the back of the team hippogryph he’d taken to riding once the wagon was firmly in hand again. Gladness filled his heart to see Stewart looking hale and hearty, his beloved Beatrice on his arm, and he ran over to shake his hand, foregoing the urge to throw his arms around the Wanderers’ ex-steward.
“Hail and well-met, Stewart the Learned, purveyor of fine wines end good company! Long have been my travails and dark my days since last we met, but joyous am I to bask in the light of our friendship renewed!”

He entered the comfortable home, taking care to hang his new harness with the beautiful weapons on proud display from the cloak rack in the hall and was about to present Stewart with the skin of mead when the older man's words stole the happiness from his face. Bilal had been making the Lady Beatrice's condition worse to keep Stewart in his begrudging employment. The Half-elf felt a dark shadow pass over his heart. I hope that Hydra got nothing worse than indigestion from the sickness that existed within that bloated goat-fondler's body*, he thought to himself as he remembered that fateful night when he and his fellows ended the brutal regime of the corpulent merchant along with his life.

"Well, of course you will ride with us.", he replied, shaking away the night-black thoughts that clouded his head, "And, the Gods willing, we shall find that which you seek. You have been slaves to Bilal the Bastard long enough, we would be monsters indeed to leave you thus. Come with us and be free of the curse of Bilal the Bellyfiller!"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus

“Hail and well-met, Stewart the Learned, purveyor of fine wines end good company! Long have been my travails and dark my days since last we met, but joyous am I to bask in the light of our friendship renewed!”

Stewart's grin is coupled with an expression of relief at the sight of Otiorin hale, healthy, and here. "That... makes two of us!"

"Well, of course you will ride with us.", he replied, shaking away the night-black thoughts that clouded his head, "And, the Gods willing, we shall find that which you seek. You have been slaves to Bilal the Bastard long enough, we would be monsters indeed to leave you thus. Come with us and be free of the curse of Bilal the Bellyfiller!"

Beatrice decides as she taps a finger against her chin. "That may be most fitting title that man has yet received."

"I say that Bilal's lucky he's already dead, and he'd better stay that way if he knows what's good for him," Kaerri begins, but then the unusually sour expression flees from her face and she grins, much more like her usual self. "I'm with Oreleth -- I'll happily take you both along! And for sure let's help if we can."

She glances at the others, and adds, "And, well, if you want more information on that Dragonslayer you mentioned... I think I can answer whatever questions you've got."

At the sound of Kaerri's compassion and surety, Stewart can't help but do a double-take. "I... gamble that you can!"

Oreleth is not one to succumb to emotional outbursts, but the plight of Lady Beatrice is enough to bring tears to her eyes. Such love and compassion for one another is a rare thing. She dabs at her eyes for a moment, then says, "What kind of monsters would we be if we were to say no to such a request? It is tragic! Tell me, is there nothing besides this rare herb that might be able to cure this ailment?"

Stewart and Beatrice shake their heads as if they were one person put into two bodies. Beatrice folds her arms. "No, Oreleth. Not in all of Highwind or in what few towns remain nearby."

Bria takes that moment to chime in, her brown eyes gazing heavenward as she ponders. "If you'll accept the free aid of someone who wasn't born anywhere near Highwind or its towns, I'd like to sit down with you to some tea and share our experiences? There are mysteries in the world waiting for the curious and the lucky, and should it come to pass that we prove to have sufficient amount of both traits, we can not only aid you but perhaps others with your condition will have reason to hope? There must be some goodness we can create together."

"You must be Bria," Beatrice nods with certainty.

"Dats Bria all right. An' Oreleth over dere iz our newly-appointed leader. So if she sez you an' Stewie-face iz comin' along, den dat's what's gonna happen!"

"'Stewie-face'?" Beatrice can't help but grin. Hers is a grin that contains only amusement. She turns her head to Stewart not to look at him, but to hear his response should he choose to give one.

"And that, my fair damsel, is the gladiator, Powerpaw."

Beatrice's ears follow his voice. "You sound large and lethal."

"I iz what I iz." Powerpaw presents, "Dis here's me Mom! Mamapaw da Druidess of Beastly Bast an' da Forest Goddess chick."

Mamapaw plants her paws on her hips. "That's Mielikki, son, and she is no chick! Blessings upon your line, yesterday, today's, and tomorrows, Lady Beatrice."

Powerpaw waves a paw as Beatrice curtsies and continues to listen with eagerness. "My likki, yer likki, as long as she's helpin' us lick da bad guys, she's all right wif me!"

Beatrice responds. "And yours, Follower of the Forest Maiden. There is one final concern before we join you. Take note of the carousing going on on the other side of that wall?" Beatrice remains quiet long enough for the many rough and rowdy voices to let their presence known. Whomever it is, they are definitely having a good time! Beatrice stares at the wall and takes on a look of deep respect as she speaks. "In the next room is an old friend of the family's that has done a profound job in keeping me safe against those who would see me harmed. It is because of him that Stewart never needed worry about me while we were apart. I... would have him with us for those reasons and more, if one more would not be a bother to you young folk?"
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter

Art by Peritwinkle
Character sheet
Hit Points: 99/99
Armor Class: 27
Touch Armor Class: 17
Shadow Illusion: 3/3
Shadow Call: 2/2
Shadow Jump distance: 80/80 feet
Defensive Roll: 1/1
Rogue Talent Resiliency: 1/1
Stinger -- uses of Slow remaining: 3/3
Charm of Bastet -- uses of Cat's Grace remaining: 1/1
Action Points: 14
Kaerri glances at Oreleth. "I wouldn't think it'd be a bother," she said. "And it could be handy to have someone guarding the wagon for us when we aren't with it. If your friend would be willing, that is. Sounds like he's done right by you, so I'd think he'd do right by us if 'us' includes you as well." She listens to the sounds coming through the wall. "Er, how many is he? Or does he just have a partyful with him right now?"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus (Tag!)

She listens to the sounds coming through the wall. "Er, how many is he? Or does he just have a partyful with him right now?"

Beatrice turns her ear towards the sounds and a little smile rises from her lips. "Just one."

Stewart reaches for two bottles of wine and begins pouring glasses. He does not seem perturbed in the least by the rowdy clamoring. "One of him is equal to many others as you shall soon discover."

Stewart hands one glass to his lady while casually strolling past the great sliding door that separates the two rooms. The door drifts open and you are immediately assaulted by the sounds of Dwarves! Singing, cheering, playing, swinging, kicking, stumbling, grunting, and sticking... Dwarves!

In this large hall dominated by a huge wooden table and many chairs, some twenty proudly-bearded sons and daughters from under the distant mountain-country of Morgandir are carrying on in a most unusual fashion, even for Dwarves!

At the center of their attention is a gigantic green ball about the size of Powerpaw. The humongous ball is rolling around the floor, suddenly changing direction at odd intervals. There are Dwarves stuck to it, smacking at it, or bellowing helplessly and laughing all the while. What few Dwarves have escaped this fate are drinking and playing wild music from instruments, mainly fiddles, pipes, and drums.

There is a collective gasp from the throng as they notice the door has been swept wide open with your entire group's attention on them. A sudden shout in Dwarvish follows!

"STOOOOOOP!!"

With that whooping cry, all action and music come to an immediate halt! Bearded mouths hang open. Silence reigns. Embarrassed-looking Dwarves hang from the sticky ball and look about as helpless as flies in a spider's web.

"Oh!" A voice says coming from the ball. "Were we making too much noise? A thousand pardons! We were just having a ball!"

A large reptilian hand grows forth from the ball and sprinkles some kind of liquid over the top of the ball's surface. Gravity does the rest. Dwarves fall off the ball and humiliated thumps rubbing their shoulders and rear ends.

Stewart offers each of you a glass of wine and replies to the ball with a grin. "The Wayward Wanderers have seen through the scroll and accepted! We are to join their company! We are now discussing your coming along, and this is your moment to make their acquaintance."

"Some first impression I've made!" the ball whines.

The dwarves right themselves and stagger out of the way and a very unusual transformation takes place right before your eyes.

The ball rolls forward as if by magic, but it is not magic at all, but the creation of momentum. Underneath the ball sprouts a giant pair of clawed feet. Carefully-manicured fingernails appear on huge hands. Gently, underneath what appears to be a huge shell, a kindly-looking aged head of a turtle appears from the very top, appearing both regal and full of wisdom. Then you see what was a great green ball was actually the shell of a large humanoid-turtle the entire time. This creature and the ball are one and the same!

Stewart and Beatrice turn to you. Beatrice speaks with old admiration, "Please allow me to introduce Auri the Insatiable, the most steadfast protector a lady could ever ask for."

"How do you do?" Auri bows. As he does, you see that he is covered in a number of pockets and satchels along his waist and legs with a couple on his wrists. In one hand, he holds a dragon-headed cane that is lit with some mysterious small fire in its eye. All in all, he appears unassuming and harmless, and very wide and round-shaped, especially in his belly!

Bria gasps in recognition and surprise and rushes up to him. "Endless One! What are you doing out here?"

"Bria!" Auri exclaims as they embrace like old friends. "Why, looking for you!"

"You have found me!" Bria cries out in joy. "Please come and meet everyone!" Hand in claw, Bria leads Auri to meet you!

What do the Wayward Wanderers do?
 
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth blinks a few times in confusion that slowly changes to a series of giggles as she looks at the giant turtle. Of all the things that I may have expected, this was not even on the list! Still, Dendarian would have her by the ears if she did not show proper manners, so she takes a step forward and offers up a courteous bow. "Greetings and well met, good Auri. I am Oreleth Soumral, the leader of this motley band of adventurers. If you have been welcomed into the home of good Stewart and his lovely lady Beatrice, then you can consider yourself among true friends with the Wayward Wanderers."

She offers up a smile as she is finally forced to ask, "If I may, and I mean no disrespect, but just what exactly are you, Auri? In my travels, I have never encountered a being quite like you before."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna lets out an excited squeak. "Oh, Great Boccob! This is truly a marvel! Oh! Where are my manners? I should introduce myself! I am Luna Kaftan of Sommerset." She gathers up her robes for a curtsey, one fit for any good friend of Stewart and his lady love. "Um, just curious, though, are the dwarves included in the joining the Wanderers? If so, we'll have to come up with some sleeping arrangements for all of you."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
(Per our conversation in Adventurers' Table)

Sherwood Sherwood
Sparkle cannot help but stare and gawk. "Bahamut's scales, Pyri! Do you know what he is?" Sparkle's mental tone heavily implies that the lady dragoness whose years are far greater than Luna's own is at a complete loss.

Luna takes a good long moment to study and ponder the Felane-sized, completely round, turtle-person. In moments, has come to a firm conclusion; Luna has no Sharseyan idea what this creature is nor in all of her studies in the Summerset libraries and Boccob's own "Knowledge College" has she heard of any creatures remotely like him. As far as Luna is concerned, this fellow, like the Felane, may be something completely new to Averlund!
 
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Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna slowly shakes her head, sending the thought back to Sparkle, No, I have no clue as to what this being is, even after all the times I have spent researching in the great libraries of the magic school. This is a new find for us both!
 

Captain Hesperus

Harbinger of the End Times and Apostle of Ghan
Administrator
Supporter
Otiorin Taletreader

Again Otiorin stands in bemused enjoyment of his beloved Bria's seemingly endless friendship with all creatures great and small from across the vast and trackless world they lived in. This tortoise creature (Otiorin had experience of tortoises, several Grey Elves kept them as pets for their longevity, but none of turtles) seemed to him to be at once aged and youthful, flamboyant and humble.
"Otiorin Taletreader," he spoke up, adding his introduction to those being offered by his comrades, "of Waterwind and the world. The pleasure of meeting a friend of my dear Bria is all mine."
He offered a polite bow to Auri.
 

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