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Chapter Sixteen: On the Road Again!

Dannigan

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

The Wayward Wanderers beat feet out of the Wayward Wagon's Grand Pool down the hall and get to the bar and lounge in a matter of moments with Auri stomping slowly but surely behind. Bursting into the bar, you come upon an immaculate scene of fine furniture, elegant atmosphere, and three massive oaken gold-bound chests, teeth bared, all snapping at Lady Beatrice who could not be more petrified.

5th-edition-mimic.jpg
(Image credit: D&D Beyond)

That is, until one of the three Killer Mimics gets close enough to sniff and catch her scent. Then you see an immediate change as one stops growling and lets out a happy and surprised whine that carries. The other two Killer Mimics pause, look at each other, then at you as you burst into the room. Recognizing you, Arfy, Barfy, and Snarfy immediately burst into happy yapping and bouncing around. They thump closer to you smelling of wood polish and sawdust breath, pushing their heads against your hands and bodies in eager attempts for attention.

Stewart sees this and just about falls over as he closes to Lady Beatrice's side and hugs her. "I... I am terribly sorry!"

"It... it is quite all right!" Beatrice manages to stammer as she slowly begins to relax. "You... you told me! Told me all about Arfy, Barfy, and Snarfy; it was I who had forgotten. I stayed perfectly still just as you said to!"

Barfy tromps up to Oreleth, his long tongue lolling canine-like. That friendly, bouncy wood-bound mass of teeth moves aside from a table and chairs which the three of them seem to have been guarding. The two chairs and table are covered thinly by sheets which fail to hide large bulges beneath them. "Arooo!" Barfy exclaims as the Killer Mimic hops in excitement to Oreleth and the Wayward Wanderers in what appears to be anticipation.

What do the Wayward Wanderers do?
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth lets out a relieved sigh. "I am quite glad you are well and unhurt, and I apologize that I had also forgotten about our three little ones here." She looks down at Barfy and says, "They were just doing their jobs of guarding the Wagon from intruders. Weren't you, little guy?" She slowly reahces out a hand to scratch the top of the mimic's lid, saying, "And you were being a very good boy, keeping our Wagon safe, then you stopped when you recognized her smell. Good boy! Would you like a treat for being so good? What about you, Arfy and Snarfy? You were good boys, too! Lets go to the kitchen and get you all a treat."
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna nods in agreement with Oreleth. "Yes! I was so afraid that they were going to hurt you! I'm so glad that you are ok. Thank goodness!" She looks over at the three mimics and cannot suppress a grin as she hears Oreleth go on about how the three were 'good boys' and that they deserve a treat. If I had run into a mimic in the course of my adventuring, I would be battling it with my magic. But here we are, talking to three of them and getting ready to reward them with treats for being good boys! How life changes.

"Oreleth is right. The mimics were doing their job well, and stopped their attack once they knew that Lady Beatrice is no threat. They are good boys, and I agree that they deserve treats, too!"
 

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 just shakes her head at the toothy, living treasure chests. "Adventurers get the strangest pets sometimes," she says to whoever's nearest and listening. "Glad you didn't get et," she adds in a louder, but just as dryly humorous, voice so Beatrice can hear. "But since we're all here now, it almost looks like refreshments are on the table already. Under the sheets covering the table and chair the mimics were guarding. Something lumpy enough to stir up curiosity, at any rate. Anyone mind if I have a look?" She moves closer to the aforementioned table and chairs, keeping an eye on the trio of mimics in case they decided to go all barky and snappy at her.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna turns her attention over to Kaerri and the tablecloth that she's pointing at, and walks over to see for herself. "Sure. Lets all find out what we have going on here, shall we?" With that, she motions for Kaerri to take one side of the cloth while she takes the other, and with a nod to the other woman, she lifts her end of the cover to reveal to all what lies under it.
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
Kaerri follows Luna's lead willingly enough, taking the indicated end of the cloth and lifting on cue.
 

Dannigan

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

In the image I provided, I now notice they have small eyes. But in my mind's eye, they do not. Like the Mimics of 1st AD&D, Arfy, Barfy, and Snarfy are apparently eyeless and not even Stewart in his sageness knows how Mimics see (or even if they do!). I really like those teeth and big long tongue, though. Monstrous indeed, wouldn't you say? =)

I love this joke!
Mimics from Quora dot com.jpg
(Image credit: Quora.com)

* * *​

Oreleth lets out a relieved sigh. "I am quite glad you are well and unhurt, and I apologize that I had also forgotten about our three little ones here." She looks down at Barfy and says, "They were just doing their jobs of guarding the Wagon from intruders. Weren't you, little guy?" She slowly reahces out a hand to scratch the top of the mimic's lid, saying, "And you were being a very good boy, keeping our Wagon safe, then you stopped when you recognized her smell. Good boy! Would you like a treat for being so good? What about you, Arfy and Snarfy? You were good boys, too! Lets go to the kitchen and get you all a treat."
And just like that, Oreleth makes three instant friends! Each of the massive animated chests are about four feet in height, five feet in width, and four feet deep. The clomping and bumping noises they make as they cheerfully begin to follow Oreleth is nothing short of a cacophony! That is, until Snarfy pauses with an "eep!" The other two stop, turn about, and look at "him." Snarfy carefully, perhaps meekly, turns to Stewart the Steward who is holding Beatrice. Stewart is eyeing them.

"Don't worry," Stewart says gently. "You did no harm and I know why. You caught my scent on her clothes."

Snarfy reels in "his" tongue and slowly nods. Lacking a chin, the chest nods with its entire body.

"So you identified your target prior to attacking. See? The three of you can learn! Go on then!" Stewart shoos them off. The monsters seem to completely forget about the bar and lounge and everything in them as Oreleth leads them into the kitchen. Oreleth enters the richly-decorated room, a daunting place for some for it is truly fit for master chefs. The eager Mimics follow the Wood Elf in like happy little children sans lolling tongues and snapping teeth. But once in the kitchen, how does she go through with her promise to give them snacks. Or put another way... what does Oreleth select to feed the trio of Killer Mimics? Psychie Psychie

Auri silently plods up to Beatrice but she seems to know who it is that approaches. Surrounded by friends new and old, Beatrice relaxes a touch and turns her attention to where she believes Luna and Kaerri to be. She addresses everyone in the room.

"Thank you so kindly for running to a naive lady's defense." She softly bonks herself on her silver-haired head. "I should know by now not to go wandering into rooms I don't know!"

* * *​

Luna turns her attention over to Kaerri and the tablecloth that she's pointing at, and walks over to see for herself. "Sure. Lets all find out what we have going on here, shall we?" With that, she motions for Kaerri to take one side of the cloth while she takes the other, and with a nod to the other woman, she lifts her end of the cover to reveal to all what lies under it.
Kaerri follows Luna's lead willingly enough, taking the indicated end of the cloth and lifting on cue.
On the count of three, the Blazing Wizardess and Rogue of Many Shadows together lift the simple veil that so effectively cloaks the items laying upon the wide couch.

A neat and orderly collection of expertly-made leather backpacks greet your eyes! There is one here for each of the Wayward Wanderers along with the small pick, waterskin, and ladle. Upon each of these is embroidered a golden disc about the size of Luna's palm. Each of the polished discs have a large beautiful engraving with the letters "WW" boldly and proudly upon their gleaming faces.
anais-sanchez-backpack-medieval-anaissanchez.jpg
[Image credit: The gifted Anais Sanchez of Artstation!]

Upon revealing the contents, a pair of large human-like male lips upon one of the packs comes to life. Every Wayward Wanderer has been adventuring long enough to know the popular (at least amongst adventurers) 1st Level Spell Magic Mouth in action when they see it.

"Hellooo!" bellows the bushy-bearded mouth in a near roar.

"Wait," says a second appearing on the haversack beside the first, these lips fair and large and sweet-looking. "Together now."

"Right, right!"

"Hellooooo!" The cheery voices of Ben the Smithy and Misha the Shopkeeper fill your ears. Both of the Magic Mouths speak, Ben first:

"Whilst you shopped, we had these gifts snuck aboard!"

"Loviatar did snatch you out from our shoppe, you know!"

"We made them in your absence!"`

"Mielikki was confident you'd return!"

Together, they sing out, "Take them with our eternal blessings!"

(And that, as Luna and Otiorin know, is exactly 25 words for each mouth!)

These particular bags need no introduction for every adventurer of your experience level: These are the highly-sought after and prized Heward's Handy Haversacks and now each of you owns one from Ben & Misha's Magic Shoppe! Unlike any other holding vessel out there, the beauty of these bags is that you never have to dig around inside to find what you're looking for - you think of it, open the bag, and it's right there! Every time! As anyone who has traveled, that is magic indeed. =)

That is... unless you hail from across the sea and have never heard of the Heward or his haversacks.

Powerpaw leans forward and touches one of the brand-new bags with one claw. "What da face? Wuz dat Ben an' Misha-face?"

Bria looks up to the gladiatorial Felane and nods eagerly. "No mistake!" the sweet healer exclaims.

Mamapaw cranes her furry neck forward. "But... why did they go to the trouble?"

How do the Wayward Wanderers respond?
 
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Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth leads the three Killer Mimics to the kitchen, and starts to rummage through the cabinets for some steaks or other kinds of meat for the trio to enjoy, giving them a running commentary as she does. "Lets see, I have some loaves of bread. Probably not the thing. Jars of marmalade. Tasty to go on the bread, but with those fangs, I'm betting that you guys want meat. Don't worry, guys. I'll make sure you are all taken care of for being such good guards."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Snarfy, Barfy, and Arfy clamber through the kitchen, close behind Oreleth wherever she goes. They make loud drooling and slurping sounds and gnash their teeth - that is, until the mention of bread. Then all of a sudden, the sounds quickly die down as the chests pause and "look" at one another (in doubt as best as Oreleth can tell). Then they spring back to their obnoxious clamoring when the mention of meat is made.

One of the three (Oreleth has yet to figure out how to tell them apart) clambers up to a tall, wide closet. Oreleth has been around the Wayward Wagon long enough to remember that this is indeed where meats are kept (inside special steely containers that somehow never get warm). Then something odd takes place. Oreleth sees the chest suddenly change its shape as an arm-like wood-colored fingerless limb grows from its side. It bangs on the closet loudly enough to be heard from the bar. As if taking on a cue, the other two chests spin about in what appears to be surprise. They rush and bang across the floor until all three of them are loudly (but not damagingly) pounding on that one closet door.

The door, the sharp-eyed Arcane Archer notices, is kept closed by a single scratched-up well-worn brass knob. One of the other chests reaches out a pseudopod to manipulate the smooth round knob - and utterly fails to do so. It is as if it cannot latch onto the brass device. This, of course, in no way stops the three from acting like a trio of spoiled canines, except instead of crying and howling, they are jabbering and making all manner of monstrous mouthy sounds.

In fact, being unable to get into this closet, and with their knowing that Oreleth has noticed, their behavior appears to get that much louder. =)
 

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
These particular bags need no introduction for every adventurer of your experience level: These are the highly-sought after and prized Heward's Handy Haversacks and now each of you owns one from Ben & Misha's Magic Shoppe! Unlike any other holding vessel out there, the beauty of these bags is that you never have to dig around inside to find what you're looking for - you think of it, open the bag, and it's right there! Every time! As anyone who has traveled, that is magic indeed. =)

That is... unless you hail from across the sea and have never heard of the Heward or his haversacks.

Powerpaw leans forward and touches one of the brand-new bags with one claw. "What da face? Wuz dat Ben an' Misha-face?"

Bria looks up to the gladiatorial Felane and nods eagerly. "No mistake!" the sweet healer exclaims.

Mamapaw cranes her furry neck forward. "But... why did they go to the trouble?"

How do the Wayward Wanderers respond?

"Oh, sweet!" Kaerri grins at the sight of what lay beneath the cloth. "Heward's Handy Haversacks! That's really cool of them." She pauses for a moment, then looks first at Oreleth, then at the other Wayward Wanderers. "There's one for each of us," she continues with a sort of fair-minded reluctance, "but I wasn't part of this party when you got 'snatched.' Bren was, though. Should we try to track him down and give him one? Or do I get one, though I'm the new girl here? Your call." She felt she had to bring it up (rogue-ing is all very well, but you shouldn't cheat your fellow adventurers unless they deserve it). On the other hand, Ben and Misha said they put the haversacks in the wagon while the Wanderers were shopping, which meant they knew Bren had left and Kaerri joined, right?

In the meantime (which meantime might well include everyone returning to the main purpose, i.e. getting noms!), the half-elven girl answered Mamapaw's question as best she knew how. "Because they're good people. Maybe they felt some responsibility for you guys getting grabbed right out of their shop? Their words sort of implied that, and words are precious when you're trying to fit them into a Magic Mouth spell. It's been a couple months, after all, and that's plenty of time for second-guessing and worrying (even if Mielikki was sure you'd come back), as well as crafting the wondrous things in between."
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth doesn't speak Mimic, but she can understand their desire to get into that particular door. She goes to the door and asks the trio, "Are your treats in here? Lets take a look!" The elf reaches out and opens the door, looking inside to see what awaits her.
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Looking over at Kaerri, Luna says, "I have no objection to you taking the extra Haversack, but it is something that should be decided by everyone, or at least, have Oreleth make the call, since she has been nominated as our new Fearless Leader." The mage goes over and picks up one of the bags and begins to examine it, seeing where the various pockets are on the bag and adjusting the straps to fit her tiny frame. "The wonders of magic! I loooooove it, being able to have marvelous things like this around! I mean, that is half the reason why I began to study magic. To be able to glimpse of the hidden layers of knowledge in the world."
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus (Tag.)
(Part 1 of 2) The Bar and Lounge. Also, the Kitchen.

In the meantime (which meantime might well include everyone returning to the main purpose, i.e. getting noms!), the half-elven girl answered Mamapaw's question as best she knew how. "Because they're good people. Maybe they felt some responsibility for you guys getting grabbed right out of their shop? Their words sort of implied that, and words are precious when you're trying to fit them into a Magic Mouth spell. It's been a couple months, after all, and that's plenty of time for second-guessing and worrying (even if Mielikki was sure you'd come back), as well as crafting the wondrous things in between."
Kaerri's words stop Mamapaw in her Kitty-face tracks. Slowly, doubtfully, Mamapaw's ears stay on the half-elf as she turns to face Kaerri, trying not to loom over her. "Did... did you say... two months?! Astonishing Anubis! It was only a matter of days in Pohjola!"

"Oh my word," Bria says from her paralyzed stance. "So it's not September anymore?"

"Guess you missed a couple of holidays, huh?" Kaerri's shadow remarks.

"Uh, who sed dat?" Powerpaw stops what he is doing and sniffs, his eyes and ears alert with one paw on his sword.

"That's Eris," Bria absently remarks. "She's okay, Fuzzy Goof."

The furry gladiator relaxes, his powerful feline muscles shrinking only slightly. "Okay. I'll jus' go back to bein' all shock an' awed here. Damned Lovia-face! Boy, I'd smack her right in da noggin if I could!"

Bria continues. "It appears Loviatar has stolen even more from us than we knew - we have missed entire weeks and weeks here in Highwind. We had no idea!" Stewart, Beatrice, and Auri look to each other in awed silence.

Meanwhile... Kaerri Rainshadow knows that today's date is not September at all but the 17th of November in the year 1118 (which is nearly over with as years go).

* * *​

Oreleth doesn't speak Mimic, but she can understand their desire to get into that particular door. She goes to the door and asks the trio, "Are your treats in here? Lets take a look!" The elf reaches out and opens the door, looking inside to see what awaits her.
Oreleth finds in the cupboard several rows of metal containers that are somehow cold and not getting any warmer. Four dozen in all, they are marked by meat type, date, and function. Three particular containers are marked, "Doggy Treats - Good," "Doggy Treats - Great," and "Doggy Treats - Who's a Good Boy?!" Reaching for any of these causes Arfy, Barfy, and Snarfy to hop up and down in hyperactive suspense and excitement. Anyone listening from the bar and lounge probably thinks there is an avalanche of treasure chests being thrown down a mountainside for all the noise and happy fuss the three mimics are making. In the kitchen, they would look scary as hell if Oreleth didn't know them for what they are - just a trio of overgrown wooden puppies.

* * *​

Looking over at Kaerri, Luna says, "I have no objection to you taking the extra Haversack, but it is something that should be decided by everyone, or at least, have Oreleth make the call, since she has been nominated as our new Fearless Leader." The mage goes over and picks up one of the bags and begins to examine it, seeing where the various pockets are on the bag and adjusting the straps to fit her tiny frame. "The wonders of magic! I loooooove it, being able to have marvelous things like this around! I mean, that is half the reason why I began to study magic. To be able to glimpse of the hidden layers of knowledge in the world."
Heward's Handy Haversack is an item especially known to Wizards and any Class that uses Material components in their spells. While Luna has little need, having learned how to Eschew Materials, these coveted dimensional bags are potential life-savers in that one never needs to dig and dig for that item you need this very moment. Luna knows that if you think of the item as you're opening the bag, it will be right there on top waiting as if summoned.
 

Kaerri

Dannigan's Lady
Administrator
Supporter
"Oh my word," Bria says from her paralyzed stance. "So it's not September anymore?"
"Nope," Kaerri shakes her head. "It's November 17th. Of the year 1118, before anyone worries you've lost more than a couple months. Just another reason to mess up her plans, amirite?"
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
"Nope," Kaerri shakes her head. "It's November 17th. Of the year 1118, before anyone worries you've lost more than a couple months. Just another reason to mess up her plans, amirite?"
Powerpaw snarls, his fangs bared wide. "Bast helps me, I'ze gonna take a few months outta her life if I git just half da chance!" Mamapaw and Bria can't but nod, more or less in agreement with the fearless gladiator.

* * *​

(Part 2 of 2) The Grand Pool.

Location: In the Wayward Wagon's Grand Pool, parked not far from Lady Beatrice's cottage on Arneson Alley in Highwind.
Time/Date: Early evening, and as Kaerri just said, 17 November in the year 1118. It is a Sunday.
Weather: The cloudy sky has darkened with the moon only peeking out ever so often. The evening is cool and windy. It's a good time to stow your hat instead of wearing it!

For some reason, I can't get Chronotrigger's music out of my head so... here it is. =)
"時の回廊一時間"クロノ・トリガー" Or... an hour-long repeat of great Chronotrigger music? It really does help pass the time in a nice way. =)

As the day moves on, Stewart gives Lady Beatrice and Auri the Insatiable a slow and thorough tour of the Wayward Wagon, inside and out. They do their level best to stay out your hair and organize all that needs organizing, especially for Lady Beatrice's disability. In return, you might wonder if Lady Beatrice ever gets tired of thanking people. It doesn't seem so for she appears to be genuine about it every time someone does something to help her.

Kaerri is asked to set up Oscar's Crystal Ball and contact with one of Oscar's staff is made. It takes about an hour, but in time you see Oscar's furry red face and little black nose staring at you from the other side of the enchanted crystalline orb. Behind him, you can see a well-lit room partly-filled with bookshelves stuffed with tomes, librams, and every sort of written word available on Averlund. On the other side, you see an enclosed area ringed by four columns all with pristine banners of heraldry and nobility hailing from Highwind's many houses. Kaerri alone recognizes the inside of this place as the Church/Fortress of Saint Cuthbert.

Oscar's deep voice carries his thoughtful and curious tones through the magical orb and to your ears while you get to enjoy close-ups of the reincarnated sage's little whiskers, furry paws, and tiny eyes as he peers and focuses. "Well met, Wayward Wanderers and... who is that... Kaerri Rainshadow of The Last Resort! You appear to be in good health and spirits. Before we begin, Arcane Archer Oreleth! Please bestow upon me the gift of catching me up with your latest news, if you please. What are the Wayward Wanderers doing and what has changed since we were last together?"

Once this information is passed along, Oscar bows in gratitude and begins your training. "Wayward Wanderers, I can allot to each of you about one hour of my time and that of a trainer in your dedicated profession. I have gathered with me some of the best and brightest available and they have agreed to assist me where they can. Some of you may have the same trainer. There is but one exception and that is for Master Rogue and Hero of Highwind Kaeritha Rainshadow - I humbly request of you that, once we are finished here, you serve as a trainer for one's hours' time for a small group of young Rogues loyal to the crown of Highwind. We have no Rogues of proper experience except to train Otiorin Tale Treader. These particular Rogues are greatly interested in the fine arts of 'trap busting.' May I impose on you for this deed, Kaerri?"

However the half-elf out of the Forest Eternal responds, each of you are trained personally by masters of your Class. Some Shop Talk follows:

1. Oreleth the Arcane Archer receives her training as Arcane Archer from one of Highwind's "Rangers" (not to be confused with the Class, Ranger). One Kelliam "Eagle Eye" Cartwright, a retired and wizened human Arcane Archer of some 80 years who remembers Highwind's first line of nobility from his youth. He thinks highly of elves who worship Solonor Thelandira and can shoot with the best of them despite his advanced years. What he lacks in power, he makes up for with incredible accuracy and spell use.

2. Given Otiorin's Experience Level, he can select either a Highwindian Master Rogue or if she is willing, Kaerri is of sufficient Experience Level to bring Otiorin from 5th Level Rogue to 6th Level Rogue. Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Please let your choice be known either here or in The Adventurers' Table.

3. Luna is provided her 13th Level in the art of Wizardry by none other than Grand Vizier Randall Flagg, a very sharp authority on magical matters who serves on Highwind's Council of the Four Winds, answering directly to His Highness King Thayne Wildegard himself. Grand Vizier Flagg turns out to be an exacting highbrow who knows precisely how things should be done and will brook no tones of disobedience or argument during his hour of teaching. In other words, he's a mean buzzard who is full of himself, but he really does know exactly what he's doing, even with the most delicate and powerful of arcane magicks.

4. Bria of the Ko is offered guidance by none other than Archbishop Du Blake of Saint Cuthbert, "Mister Holy Man" himself as he has been proudly dubbed by the Highwind Minotaur community. This bald-headed human of dark skin and great wisdom is a fountain of knowledge and faith. Bria's time with Du Blake is one of friendly familiarity as the two know each other quite well (and Kaerri too. Powerpaw has met him). Mister Holy Man proceeds not to guide Bria to Saint Cuthbert, which is something every person must do for themselves if they wish His guidance, but instead, he devotes his time to helping her pursue whatever it is she is to become as Averlund (and perhaps Sharseya's) last Healer. Auri also advises being of the Ko Monastery and between the three, they have a grand old time!

5. Mamapaw of Bastet and Mielikki is guided by none other than Mother Gwen, the leader of the Fangs of the Forest Mother fellowship. This celebrated and once-retired classy Cleric-become-barmaid has recently become the head of the Mielikkian faith under Mielikki herself since Mother Leaf has gently passed on to the inevitable passage of time and old age. It becomes known to the Wayward Wanderers that Mamapaw is the only Druidess in all of Highwind at this time. All of Mielikki's other Druids are out there in Shandra's Evergreen in hiding, apparently having not gotten word of Mielikki's temporary stay in Highwind (she has been in HIghwind since August of 1118). The Highwind Rangers continue to search for them. In the meantime, Mother Gwen guides Mamapaw to her next level of experience.

6. Powerpaw of Bastet is trained by one of Highwind's greatest knights. Duke Francois Du Ver, a stellar and charming cavalier faithful only to Saint Cuthbert has been His Highness's own Master-of-Arms for years now. The dashing and incredibly skilled champion of law and goodness puts Powerpaw through a rigorous and demanding set of challenges that wears the ferocious Kitty-face out. They spend their last moments together chatting about Saint Cuthbert and Bastet and the faithful that follow them with their lives.

7. At the very end of all this, Oscar puts the Wayward Wanderers through an hour-long series of tests where they face illusory opponents right there in the Wayward Wagon's Grand Pool! You take on the false images of hoary wraiths fighting alongside teams of terrible trolls, great Cloud Giants teamed with Roguish Quicklings (halfling-sized opponents who can move with incredible alacrity and skill), and finally, you face an illusory team of Ogre Magi led by a great Fire Giant Shaman (who is, of course, immune to Luna's fire spells but also able to repel Powerpaw's blunt attacks, forcing him to switch to swords).

Finally, as night falls at one hour to midnight, Oscar and his fellows bid you farewell and best of luck. Oscar alone stays on, fighting yawns and continuing to take notes to aid you. Meanwhile, Stewart, Beatrice, and Auri fulfill their promised duties and get you fed and kept comfortable inside the now-normal Grand Pool as you rest beside calming flash of blue waters and waterfall.

Congratulations on making Level 13, Wayward Wanderers! More details are coming shortly in Adventuers' Table! Stay tuned! =)
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth finds in the cupboard several rows of metal containers that are somehow cold and not getting any warmer. Four dozen in all, they are marked by meat type, date, and function. Three particular containers are marked, "Doggy Treats - Good," "Doggy Treats - Great," and "Doggy Treats - Who's a Good Boy?!" Reaching for any of these causes Arfy, Barfy, and Snarfy to hop up and down in hyperactive suspense and excitement. Anyone listening from the bar and lounge probably thinks there is an avalanche of treasure chests being thrown down a mountainside for all the noise and happy fuss the three mimics are making. In the kitchen, they would look scary as hell if Oreleth didn't know them for what they are - just a trio of overgrown wooden puppies.
With a wide smile, Oreleth makes her decision to go ahead and give the trio a treat from the container marked 'Who's a Good Boy?!' and gives each of the adorable guys a good scritch on their heads to show them that they were all being cared for and well treated.
Kaerri's words stop Mamapaw in her Kitty-face tracks. Slowly, doubtfully, Mamapaw's ears stay on the half-elf as she turns to face Kaerri, trying not to loom over her. "Did... did you say... two months?! Astonishing Anubis! It was only a matter of days in Pohjola!"
Time moves a bit different for an elf, being so long lived. But even for her, this was stunning. "Hmmm. That is hardly the news I had expected. I understand that this is a bit of a shocker for everyone, but just remember, we all signed up to be adventurers, and normal is hardly what we can call what is to be expected. Just keep this in mind, and hold each day as something special, a gift to be cherished. Then we can take the gift of the new day and find a way to make the hated Loviatar eat crow with the destruction of her plans for this war by driving a very sharp knife into her schemes and giving them a firm twist." Her tone is calm, but is full of promise of making the Maiden of Pain pay for messing with the wrong bunch of adventurers.
Oscar's deep voice carries his thoughtful and curious tones through the magical orb and to your ears while you get to enjoy close-ups of the reincarnated sage's little whiskers, furry paws, and tiny eyes as he peers and focuses. "Well met, Wayward Wanderers and... who is that... Kaerri Rainshadow of The Last Resort! You appear to be in good health and spirits. Before we begin, Arcane Archer Oreleth! Please bestow upon me the gift of catching me up with your latest news, if you please. What are the Wayward Wanderers doing and what has changed since we were last together?"
Doing her best to be impartial and give complete details, Oreleth shares what has happened to the Wanderers.
Looking over at Kaerri, Luna says, "I have no objection to you taking the extra Haversack, but it is something that should be decided by everyone, or at least, have Oreleth make the call, since she has been nominated as our new Fearless Leader." The mage goes over and picks up one of the bags and begins to examine it, seeing where the various pockets are on the bag and adjusting the straps to fit her tiny frame. "The wonders of magic! I loooooove it, being able to have marvelous things like this around! I mean, that is half the reason why I began to study magic. To be able to glimpse of the hidden layers of knowledge in the world."
Looking over at Kaerri, the elven archer thinks for a moment, then says, "I believe that getting Bren's Haversack to him would be a struggle simply to find where he is, and that is assuming he would even wish to accept the gift in the first place. No, I believe that the proper thing to do in this case is to go ahead and give the last pack to you, Kaerri, with our best wishes to use it to be the best you can be. I doubt that there is anyone here that will object to this."
 

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 grins at Luna and Oreleth. "I'll take it then!" She scoops up the haversack in question and cuddles it for a moment, then slings it over her shoulder. Later, while they wait for Oscar to answer the call through the crystal ball, she carries it to her room to pack her belongings into it. It probably doesn't take all that long, given that her stuff is fairly organized already and the nature of the Handy Haversack means she doesn't have to be especially careful about what goes where.

Time moves a bit different for an elf, being so long lived. But even for her, this was stunning. "Hmmm. That is hardly the news I had expected. I understand that this is a bit of a shocker for everyone, but just remember, we all signed up to be adventurers, and normal is hardly what we can call what is to be expected. Just keep this in mind, and hold each day as something special, a gift to be cherished. Then we can take the gift of the new day and find a way to make the hated Loviatar eat crow with the destruction of her plans for this war by driving a very sharp knife into her schemes and giving them a firm twist." Her tone is calm, but is full of promise of making the Maiden of Pain pay for messing with the wrong bunch of adventurers.
"I like how you think," Kaerri replies with a smile. "That's a knife I can get behind twisting, for sure."

Oscar's deep voice carries his thoughtful and curious tones through the magical orb and to your ears while you get to enjoy close-ups of the reincarnated sage's little whiskers, furry paws, and tiny eyes as he peers and focuses. "Well met, Wayward Wanderers and... who is that... Kaerri Rainshadow of The Last Resort! You appear to be in good health and spirits.
Kaerri waves jauntily. "You look a little smaller than last time we met! But we can talk about that afterwards."

There is but one exception and that is for Master Rogue and Hero of Highwind Kaeritha Rainshadow - I humbly request of you that, once we are finished here, you serve as a trainer for one's hours' time for a small group of young Rogues loyal to the crown of Highwind. We have no Rogues of proper experience except to train Otiorin Tale Treader. These particular Rogues are greatly interested in the fine arts of 'trap busting.' May I impose on you for this deed, Kaerri?"
"Absolutely!" Kaerri nods. "How many times has Highwind provided trainers for me? 'Bout time I started repaying that. I'll train anyone you want, so long as I'm free to, Oscar." Rarely does she make such an open-ended promise, but Oscar is, well, Oscar, and anyone he thinks is worth the time, probably is.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
Captain Hesperus Captain Hesperus Kaerri Kaerri i Psychie Psychie Sherwood Sherwood (Tags!)

Location: In the Wayward Wagon's Grand Pool, parked not far from Lady Beatrice's cottage on Arneson Alley in Highwind.
Time/Date: Late evening, Sunday, the 17th of November in the year 1118.
Weather: The cloudy sky has darkened with the moon only peeking out ever so often. The evening is cool and windy. It's a good time to stow your hat instead of wearing it!

The time passes and each of you spend it learning and burning, helping your fellows where you can, and slowly figuring out how this new make-up of the Wayward Wanderers might perform when the time comes for true battles. Kaerri's training of the younger Rogues turns out to be a seamless event as each of the would-be adventurers was clearly prepared in advance and told to be on their best (nonetheless Roguish) behavior - this they stick to until the lessons are taught and the time comes to bid farewell. Each of the students expresses their appreciation for Kaerri's lessons while Powerpaw, Mamapaw, and Bria all express their thanks to Oscar and each of the solid trainers - each busy persons and true masters of their arts - he convinced to bring forth.

This leaves the rest of the evening for the Wayward Wanderers to recuperate their sore muscles and tired-out brains. If the mood strikes you all, you may call it an evening and settle back into your rooms (Kaerri getting to discover her own in the Wayward Wagon) while Stewart, Beatrice, and Auri make their rounds and help out wherever they can.

Consider yourselves rested, fed, and with a few hours remaining in the evening. Do you spend them here or do you retire and start anew in the morning?
 

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

Once she's fully settled into her own room, Kaerri wanders through the Wagon, getting properly acclimated and oriented so that she can find her way around in pitch-dark, if necessary. Well, her shadowdancer-granted darkvision would do that, of course, but the half-elven girl wanted to be sure that even without it, she'd be able to quickly find her way to the exit if need be. Or anywhere else that might be necessary. Bedroom doors that happen to be open would have a strawberry-blonde head poked through them with a smile, a wave, and a "Just looking!" to anyone who happened to be in them, as would the public areas of the Wagon. Orienteering done to her satisfaction, Kaerri concludes her wanderings in the pool room, where she takes off boots and stockings, rolls up her breeches, and dangles her feet in the pool while she watches the play of the lights on the water, creating her own small waves and splashes from time to time just to make the pattern of light and shadow change.
 

Dannigan

Kaerri's Man. =)
Supporter
While perusing the Wayward Wagon, Kaerri, being a Rogue of her experiences, learns...

....there is only one apparent exit from the Wayward Wagon (the front door).
....the Wayward Wagon has no windows (to the outside or into adjoining rooms like the bar and lounge).
...when she closes the door to her room, she can't hear anything outside of it. Powerpaw was in his room laughing at some joke between he and Auri and when Kaerri closes her door (perhaps on a whim) there is naught but silence. Only if Kaerri puts her ear to the floor can she detect any sound from without. Otherwise, she is left in silent serenity.
...the entire wagon seems to be one unique and fascinating feat of magic in that it is not just one dimensional space between four wheels, but several dimensional spaces within a larger dimensional space. I bring this up because I know what Kaerri has seen and not seen and with Skills, experiences, and senses like hers, she could accurately point out that the Master Bedroom and adjoining bathroom is faaar too large to fit where it does. The same goes for the study and the storeroom and especially the Grand Pool (which might even be bigger than the outside of the Wayward Wagon? Did anyone bring their measuring tape? Oh wait. Wrong game. =)
...Wave, Poseidon's unique trident, doesn't mind being held above the water of the Grand Pool where he can hover in place like some beautiful ancient omen made even more impressive-looking by the shining reflections of the pool's water.
 

Dannigan

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

At some point when the Wayward Wanderers are hanging out in the Grand Pool together, there is a polite but firm knock at the door of the Wayward Wagon. All of you hear it. Why? Because the one door leading out of this magical wagon is connected to the Grand Pool - the largest room in the entire wagon and guess what? *cups his hands* Theeere aaare echoooes!

Stewart, Auri, and Beatrice are in other, farther rooms and therefore do not hear it.

Does anyone answer the door, and if so, whom?
 

Sherwood

Luna's Concubine
Supporter
Luna will go ahead and rise, pulling her bare feet from the pool and walking over to the door with curiosity building up inside her. Not expecting any trouble here in the city, she goes ahead and opens up the door. "Yes? Can I help you?"
 

Captain Hesperus

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

Otiorin did as well as he could hope for with his distant-learning from the scar-faced Rogue Master Oscar had asked to train him. The man was an expert with twinned blades, with twinned weapons in general, and his insight and practical examples of the art of wielding two weapons to best effect rubbed off on the Half-elf. Soon Otiorin's naked torso was glistening with perspiration, but he was able to coax his new Thornblades into a gleaming web of razor-sharp death all around himself. Similarly, he found himself able to wield one of the blades alongside his hand crossbows, granting him ranged attacks with the option of attacking and defending in close quarters. Once his trainer was satisfied that Otiorin had successfully absorbed his lesson, he dismissed him and the young Rogue took the chance to wash his exertions away and change into more comfortable clothes. This done, he carefully cleaned and resheathed his weapons, then went through to the Grand Pool to join his fellow Wanderers even as a knock on the wagon's door drew his compatriot mage to the portal.
 

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 gives Otiorin a friendly nod as he joins the gathering at the pool. By way of making conversation, rogue-to-rogue as it were, she opens with, "D'you get used to not hearing things outside your room? When the door's closed, I mean. I like to hear everything that's going on around me, and it's a little unnerving if I can't."

She has indeed left Wave hovering upright above the water, and splashes one foot again to watch the shimmering reflections on the trident's gleaming surface.
 

Psychie

Princess Psychie
Oreleth looks up from her place at the side of the pool at Kaerri with an amused smile. "Its all magic, and that breaks so many rules I can't even keep them all straight. Heck, the whole Wagon flies! If that isn't crazy, I don't know what is." She then looks over at the main entrance to the pool where Luna is at the door. "What do you have there, Ms. Pyromancer? Anything of concern?"
 

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