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SephironNyl

Junior Member
The lot of you are no strangers. Having banded together on more than one occasion to protect the town of Daggerford. So it isn’t much of a surprise that when the Duchess Morwen is having guests over for dinner, you all are invited. You consider her quite the friend considering how much you have served her duchy over the course of your stay, and the benefits from such a friendship are quite nice indeed.

The night is brisk, the full moon ominously bright as you maneuver your way through the nearly vacant cobblestone streets. Even though the city isn’t the largest, it is normally much more lively, but their superstitions must be getting the better of them. Tugging on your collar you push the thoughts to the back of your mind, making haste. Best not make Ms. Morwen wait any longer than need be.

As you arrive and are lead into the dining hall, the scents of various dishes begin to overwhelm your senses. Eagerly you find an empty seat, watching others file in after you. The Duchess is seated at the head of the table, looking much more distressed than usual. But of course you all exchange pleasantries as she attempts to hide her unease.

You all eat and discuss recent happenings in the town, everything seeming to be alright until the Duchess clears her throat and begins to speak in a gave tone.

“I… don’t mean to interrupt this fine night we have been having.”
She begins hesitantly.
“But we do have some important business to discuss. The reason I invited you all here tonight was because I have some concerns about a group of wayward travelers that are camped outside of Daggerford’s walls. I first assumed they were harmless, but then I had begun receiving reports about how they were harassing residences of my town as well as visitors for money and wine. Threatening to curse anyone who doesn’t pay what they ask.”

Taking a moment to reach for a glass of wine before her, she would take a generous sip before setting the drink back down and continuing.
“I had sent some guards yesterday to try and scare them away, but it appears as if they couldn't’t get the job done. They returned speaking only good things about these travelers, clearly charmed or hexed. I would like to keep this as peaceful as possible… but… they seem not to take to a kind request. This is where the lot of you come in. I have a message I want delivered and I want you to deliver it on my behalf as soon as we finish dining here.”

“If they are not gone by dawn.”
Duchess Morwen mutters.
“Their wagons burn."
 

Hawk13

New Member
Henjk leans back in his chair and ganders at the interior of the manor.

The luxurious finishings, especially the chandelier, made Henjk feel important and strangely enough, at home. It had been several months since he had seen his family back in Neverwinter. He spends most of his time now on different ships, contracted to repair iron fixings on the vessels and forge armors and weapons for the crew once they landed in port. He was a good blacksmith, a trait he learned from his father. His steel grey eyes noticed in the manor the exquisite iron shackles and ornaments which he immediately appreciated because he knew how much work went into them. The lights from the chandelier reflected off his blonde hair which was short, but messy from the wind.

Henjk almost falls over backward in his chair. Forgive me I was admiring the iron finishing’s and lost my balance.” Henjk looks around the table at the other adventurers. This sort of job is nothing unfamiliar to a ragtag group like us. Besides, what types of people harass ordinary townsfolk and steal their money and wine? The only one threatening anyone around here is me.”

Henjk leans forward, returning the chair back to four legs on the ground, crosses his arms, and looks the other adventurers waiting for a response.
 

Natasha_Romanov

New Member
Nazire happily munched on the small bit of vegetable at the end of her fork, she was no stranger to fancy functions and despite herself, her years of formal training took over during the meal. She was on autopilot with her manners, which allowed her mind to wander. Currently she was thinking of a particularly troublesome set of lyrics that had her frazzled.

As Henjk nearly falls beside her, it draws her attention back to the conversation and she gives a wide smile. Tucking a silver strand of hair carefully behind her ear, she nearly knocks her white hood off and casts a quick glance at Duchess Morwen to see if she noticed. She glances up at the chandelier and cocks her head, I suppose it is a nice piece, she thinks.

"You have always been a fine contributor of the arts Duchess, count me in on anything I can do to return the favor." She glances at the rest of the group and gives them an eager grin, "Besides, it could become an epic ballad of bravery!"
 

Heirarchy7890

New Member
Gimbel snickers at Henjks antics and tosses a bread roll at him. "Who you calling ragtag?" He says to Henjk with a smile as Nazire speaks. He knew full well that he wasn't what people would call 'civilized'. More often than not he had twigs and leaves in his hair and beard, his clothes weren't always FILTHY, but he does spend a lot of time in the woods and it shows. On top of that, he'd never gotten the concept of changing the way he talks just because he was around certain people. And stars and stones help him if he needed to use more than one fork!! The whole thing made him uncomfortable so he decided a long time ago to just not deal with it, he is who he is.

With a mouthful of fruit, he says to Nazire, his voice full of laughter "A ballad of bravery?? Not like that time with the goblins I hope!! I never knew my little legs could run so fast!" He laughs and turns his attention back to the business of eating as much of the Lady Morwens fine food as he can get his littke hands on.
 

Danger Mouse

New Member
Seated next to Gimbel was an Elf dressed in the finest silk. The pristine cleanliness of Aramil in direct contrast to the bedraggled Gimbel almost made both of them seem even more drastically primed, or filthy, respectively.

Shifting his attention away from what he presumed to be an inebriated stumble of Henjk's, Aramil looked down disapprovingly at a lone crumb what dared to alight upon the shoulder of his silk jacket ere a perfectly manicured nail flicked it as far from him as possible. The food had been... quaint, but Aramil quietly admitted to himself that it was far better than he expected from the staff to such a minor holding. Even the wine was almost passable... almost.

The abrupt break in the protocol of a formal diner did catch him by surprise though. In the past, the Duchess had impressed Aramil with her self-composure; to see her so visibly shaken did arouse his interest. Surely something as simple as vagabonds at the gate would not have been enough to rattle her so; especially to the point where she demanded such a call for force.

To Aramil's elven ears, humans always sounded like they were talking with a mouth half full of marbles. He had difficulty catching some of the nuance in Lady Morwen's speech, and strove to keep an ear open for some indicator of her larger intent. Aramile was not entirely certain if Lady Morwen sounded eager to burn out the nuisance at the gates, or reluctant?

In his usual haughty tone, Aramil added his assent to the common country air, "That our... gracious host should be so plagued is indeed unforgivable. You may rest assured that I will be quite pleased to remove yet another blemish from your quaint little hamlet. No doubt, as with all commoners, these brigands simply need be set in their place by a superior..." Aramil took a small sip from his wine, frowned slightly at what the vintner had the audacity to let pass from barrel to bottle, and then set down his glass before turning his attention back to the table.

Everyone at this table, other than Aramil of course, had their flaws... But they also had their virtues; hidden as they may be. Aramil may not have known them as well as he would like, but he had seen them in situations both dire, and strained. As of yet, Aramil would at least be willing to venture beyond the town's walls with those gathered here tonight.

EDIT: Wrote "eye" when I meant "ear".
 
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Hawk13

New Member
“GIMBAL!" Henjk exclaimed as he dodges the flying dinner roll, "Watch where you are throwing that or I'll use you to butter my bread!" he said in a joking manner.

Henjk turns his head to look at the Duchess. We will investigate your traveler problem, but can you tell us, at what time during the day did you get the reports about harassment? It sounds like they may be using a charm of some sorts so if we can catch them off guard it might be easier to get by the magic.”
 

SephironNyl

Junior Member
Morwen nods.
"Thank you for your efforts. While I do not mean to rush you, I do wait anxiously for this situation to be handled."

Soon enough you all would exit the keep, Morwen having to keep a few eager guards from accompanying you. As you all start down the cobblestone path for the city gate, the biting wind tears at your clothing and armor once more, it howling in the distance- or perhaps wolf was. Nevertheless you all continue onwards, there being no time for superstition.

After exiting the through the main gate and heading towards the hill these visitors are camped on, the darkened night seems to grow darker even with the light of a bloated moon. You see dozen of men and women gathered around a large bonfire. They are in high spirits, a couple of them sing and dance around the fire while others find joy in their seemingly bottomless wineskins and flasks. Three barrel-topped wagons are parked at strange angle with their horses, a half dozen of them, tied to a nearby tree doning bright coats with bangles and tassels.

While approaching the lively bunch, a male human from the group approaches with a wide smile in both his eyes and lips, a younger woman and man flaking him on either side.
“Welcome, my friends.”
He greets you warmly.
“My name is Stanimir. How may we help you on this beautiful night?”
 

Natasha_Romanov

New Member
Nazire’s eyes go wide with excitement at the sound of music and singing. She gave a half curtesy, matching Stanimir’s smile, her hood almost dropping to reveal her horns. With practiced ease, she readjusts it while flipping her lute from her back to her front, fingers finding their natural place along the neck.

Bahamut’s blessings to you, Stanimir! Looks like your having quite the party!” Nazire eyes the fiddler, her memory wavering on why she and her companions were here. They don’t seem nearly as bad as the Duchess made them out to be. She thinks, giving her friends a quick glance, confidence wavering. “We, uh, bring a message to you from the Duchess, right guys?”
 

Danger Mouse

New Member
The expression Aramil wears as he looks down his nose at both what he perceives to be a Gypsy campsite, and its occupants, is a mix of contempt, and derision. Since they were told to expect trouble, Aramil hopes to take advantage of Nazire drawing attention to herself to allow him to quickly scan the camp for signs of trouble, or danger.
 

Hawk13

New Member
Henjk sees Aramil itching to check the campsite so he gives her the go-ahead nod while he walks over next to Nazire to back her up. He looks Stanmir up and down, but he does not look that intimidating.

"Greetings Stanimir, I am Henjk Stormwind and these are my companions. Nazire is a wonder on the lute and she loves a good party. As she was saying, we came directly from the Duchess's manor where she expressed her concern that a certain group was harassing her villagers and extorting them for gold. Would you know anything about this?" as he crosses his arms and puffs up his chest.
 

Heirarchy7890

New Member
After getting to the campsite, Gimbels eyes widen as he looks around, a huge smile on his face. He loves a good party as much as the next gnome and these people look like they can PAR-TAY!! While his friends speak, he takes in as much as he can for a few minutes. The bright colors, the music, even the way the people moved all screamed party on wheels.

As the music continues to play, Gimbel finds himself nodding along to the beat, eyes on a gorgeous woman dancing by the fire. The flickering flames making her pale skin seem to glow, the wild joy shes feeling written all over her face.
 

SephironNyl

Junior Member
Stanimir's face takes on a look of concern, though his eyes never lose their smile.
"Harassing villagers? It is unfortunate that she thinks that, as it is our intention simply to offer hospitality to all that pass. Still, if we are not wanted here, we can move on. It was not our intention to stay around for too long anyway."
Rubbing his hands together, he gestures towards the fire.
"Now, if you must rush back to report, I understand, but if not, please, join us for our celebrations. We have some truly great stories you may wish to listen to."
 

Heirarchy7890

New Member
When he hears the word 'stories' Gimbels ears perk up. He loves stories! Taking his eyes from the beautiful dancer, he looks at Stanimir.

In a flash, he's a young gnome sitting by the fire, his grandpa sitting next to him. The two gnomes were cracking up, with Gimbel holding his side, trying to catch his breath.

Shaking his head, Gimbel clears the memory and comes back to reality.

"Stanimir, old chum, we'd love to stay a while!! But surely we can't enjoy your stories with these dry throats of ours..." He says with a long look at the flasks that the gypsies are holding.
 

Danger Mouse

New Member
Aramil draws his gaze away from the peasant wagons, narrows his eyes at Stanimir, and thinks to himself, "Wine, women, and song... Surely this is how they lulled those other misfortune individuals before manipulating them with Gypsy magics and taking advantage of them."

A quick cough clears his throat before talking and then Aramil squares his shoulders, gazes down his long nose into Stanimir's eye, and says, "Harassing Villagers is not the extent of our Fine Lady's desire to see you removed from her lands. There have been allegations of malevolent magics, charms, curses and hexes, which my companions would do well to recall......... Despite these allegations, the Duchess would prefer to see you willfully depart rather than see you all in chains. Though it should be noted that this offer of clemency expires at first light. By her own words, if you are not gone by dawn your wagons will burn."

While he was speaking, Aramil subtly rested his hand upon his hip. This way he was ready to draw his rapier if Stanimir reacted like a typically hot-headed barbaric Gypsy.
 

Hawk13

New Member
Henjk sheds a slight grin at Aramil. Henjk was never really much of a drinker, he felt it clogged his mind and slowed his body. He also was not one to lie with simple gypsy women, or any random women for that matter. Being on the ships for long periods of time got him used to not being with any significant other and with his work and adventuring at the top of his priority list, he did not have the time.

I stand with Aramil and the Duchess. We are not here to negotiate as our orders are to see that you depart from these lands. We are following orders commanded to use from the Duchess herself. Depart these lands, or the repercussions stated by Aramil will ensue”
 

Heirarchy7890

New Member
When Gimbel hears Aramil talk about potential charms and mind altering magic, he becomes instantly on guard. He's seen the effects of mind magic, and if he went his whole life without seeing it again itd be to soon.

Had he already been ensnared?? No, he didn't think so. But then again, if somebody DID use magic on him, would he notice??

Frowning, he decides that for once it might not be a good idea to party.

"Yea, Aramil and Henjk are right. We came to deliver a message, and we've done that. Stanimir, please do everybody a favor and move on."

Gimbel then moves a few steps to the side standing slightly closer to Aramil.
 

Natasha_Romanov

New Member
Nazire drifted off from the group, eyes trained on the violinist who was carrying the tune that others were singing and dancing to. Her eyes were wide with delight and a huge smile was spread across her face as she watched the mans fingers move expertly along the neck of the instrument. She itched to try to join in, but she knew her lute wouldn't do the music justice. A woman dancing twirled around her and handed her an already filled cup which Nazire awkwardly accepted with a near fumble of the cup and liquid as she tried to adjust her lute and hold on to the cup at the same time.

She glanced back to her friends, seeing them tense and standing next to each other like a blockade. Sweet Bahamut, what did I miss? She thinks as she scurries back to the group. Standing next to Gimbel, Lute in one hand and drink in the other she gives a fierce nod, "Yeah! What they said!" she gives Gimbel a wink before turning back to look at Stanimir.
 

SephironNyl

Junior Member
Stanimir shrugs. "That is unfortunate, but I understand that you do have a job you must perform. Perhaps, should we return this way at some point in the future, you could take us up on our offer. But for now, you have my word that we will leave by morning." With that, Stanimir turns and heads back to the rest of his cohort.

Satisfied with the diplomatic solution to the problem, you return to the keep, unaware that the night's events had only just begun. As you approach, you pick up the smell of blood and viscera on the still night air, and rounding a corner, you see the door to the keep, now hanging open on a single hinge. What remains of four guards lies scattered around the front door to the keep, armour dented and limbs torn from torsos. The torches that normally illuminate the entryway are extinguished, shrouding the hallway in shadow, and leaving the doorway looming dark and ominous over the scene of carnage before you.
 

Danger Mouse

New Member
"... and you see, that is why the Elven wines from the *Eastern* side of that vineyard will always be superior to the common gnome wi-....... Well, shit..."

Aramil stopped dead in his tracks upon seeing the death and destruction in front of him. Espousing the obvious superiority of Elven wines to Gimbel would have to wait. Treachery was afoot.

Aramil scanned the area around him while trying to quietly ready his bow, and slink into a nearby shadow.

Aramil thought quietly to himself, "Could this be the work of the Gypsies? Revenge? No, we left them only moments ago... They could not have moved quickly enough to have done this much damage..... or could they?"
 

Natasha_Romanov

New Member
Nazire was listening intently to Aramil's conversation with Gimbel. For a man of such studious tastes, he certainly had an opinion about everything, even if that opinion was odd. Nonetheless, she was engrossed in learning more and was waiting for him to continue when she noticed everyone stopping.

"This, uh, doesn't look like I remember it did." She sucks in her lower lip, and strains her eyes in the darkness. "Should we get help?" Glancing at her friends she realizes, "Wait, we are the help, aren't we?"

Sticking her chest out and squaring her shoulders she inhales deeply, "By Bahamut's watchful gaze, we have been beckoned her to help! Lets go!"
 

Hawk13

New Member
Henjk slowly puts his hand on Nazire's shoulder.


" Woah calm down there Naz...We don't have the slightest idea what happened here."

He turns to the party and addresses them...

“We should look to see if there any clues as to what happened here, and we should warn the Duchess. This looks like more than just a few gypsies harassing village folk.”



Henjk had a sudden flashback to the story his father told him about the slaughter and kidnapping that happened to his Stormwind ancestors. His heart started to burn with fury and his blood ran warm with a lust for vengeance.
 

Heirarchy7890

New Member
Gimbel is walking and nodding along with whatever Aramil is talking about. Something about grapes. Maybe wine. That must be it. Wine. Is he a drunk?? Certainly a high functioning drunk if he is. Damn, that gypsie girl was cute. I wish we could have stayed. Damn mind magic. Does mind magic work on animals?? Could someone control a fish to catch itself?? Probably. Wait, trees are alive. Does it work on trees...??

He continues to nod along, while his mind wanders completely. After a few more steps he realized that Aramil was no longer talking. In fact, the elf wasn't even walking with him anymore, but was darting off into a shadow.

That's when he saw the carnage. Bodies and buildings a like completely torn apart. TORN APART. Not just killed. Literally shredded. Instantly flipping his mental switch to alert mode, he draws his scimitar and looks around. Not seeing any threats, he immediately ignores Henjks words about looking for clues and runs inside, calling over his shoulder "C'mon!! People could still be in there!!"
 

Danger Mouse

New Member
Muttering quietly under his breath, Aramil sees Gimbel charge ahead, and then looks to the other two. Henjk has that look in his eyes again. While Henjk might try to proceed with caution Aramil doubted there was a way to prevent Henjk from moving forward... And for once, Aramil agreed. This was too big of a mess to just walk away from, and even if the Duchess' accommodations had been lacking in quality she had been nothing if not the courteous host.

With one last curse under his breath, Aramil called after Gimbel in a loud whisper, "Gimbel... GIMBEL!... Slow down! Try not to run right into whomever did this! By the Nine Trees, Gimbel, lets all proceed cautiously so we can help each other if we find trouble..."

As Aramil cautiously moved from shadow to shadow to reach the near the fallen gates, he really hoped that Gimbel had heard him, and was not too far away already...
 

Natasha_Romanov

New Member
Nazire did not hesitate and took off like a shot after Gimbel, eager to help whoever needed help and for whatever adventure might await. Not having had many experiences of being in actual danger, she had no real reason to pause when one of her friends might need some backup.
 

Danger Mouse

New Member
Aramil grumbles, "And this is why they are the shorter lived races," to himself before picking up his pace and calling back to Henjk, "We are going to have to go bail them out... Again. Let's try to stick together despite their best efforts..."

Loping smoothly forward towards the shattered gate of the keep, Aramil tried to keep up with both Nazire, and Gimbel, while still hanging back enough to stay out of sight and provide ranged support.

The lengthy string of curses about rushing foolishly into danger was something Aramil kept as an internal monologue.


EDIT: As Aramil moves forward through the scene of destruction before the gate, he is diligent in stepping around the bodies of the fallen in an effort to keep his boots pristine - free of the stains of blood.
 
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