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Party 8

Chapter 1

Kanaxe_Ru

Senior Member
Chapter 1: Into the Mists

The lot of you are no strangers, having met through some strange turn of events and coming to rely on each other's talents time and time again. And you're not the only ones -- in the time you've spent in the small northern Sword Coast town of Daggerford, just a bit under a day's travel from the sprawling city of Waterdeep, you've made a bit of a name for yourselves protecting its people from the various perils of the wilderness. 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 walled settlement isn’t the largest, it is normally much more lively - but the people's 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 somber tone.

“I don’t mean to interrupt this fine night we've 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 heard rumors from the townsfolk -- of them practicing witchcraft and other savage rituals. Of threatening to curse any who crossed their path.”

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. “At this point I'm not sure who or what to believe, but I'm wary of exotic magicks -- and quite frankly, we can't afford to have any more unknown factors after the events of the previous few nights.” Her gaze flickers downward. "... You're probably aware of the rumors of werewolves."

She sighs, shaking her head. “But I digress. For now I simply ask for you to go down there tonight and investigate things for me, while I'm held up with other concerns. And in the case that they are as wicked as I've heard... tell them they have until dawn to move out of my territory, or I will see them out by force."

 

RuneRW

Can't Rune away from me!
"Duly noted, M'Lady!" Baltair finishes his drink and wipes the mead from his moustache. Turning to his companions, he says: "All right lads - and lass - are ye ready tae show these undesirables the way outtae these lands?"
 

Boonslayer

New Member
Tazkul was expecting this. It never was just dinner with these people lately. Of course, he was dressed a bit more formally for such a dinner, but expected to need to head out. Heading out that night, though? That was the unexpected part. "Your request, Duchess Morwen, is accepted with honor. I am...curious about the evidence of their misgivings, but I have no reason to doubt your concerns." He adjusts his collar a bit, looking towards Baltair. "I'm fullly prepared...certainly hope not to have to resort to violence, but...I get the impression diplomacy is only going to get us so far."
 
"Let's not jump to conclusions," Cassia intoned with her typical softness - though as her companions knew, that softness could change to a fiery rage in an instant in the face of perceived injustice. "We ourselves must look mighty odd to strangers. Rumors can be scurrilous things." Finishing her last morsel, she turned to Gaarek, the lumbering half-orc. "I am ready. How about you, Gaarek?"
 

VidkunFanel

New Member
Gaarek had been out of his element since he entered the Duchess' grand hall. The normally calm and confident half-orc had been quiet and fidgety all night. When Morwen alludes to the roaming group being savages with rituals and witchcraft his back straightens and he tightens his grip on his cutlery. Cassia's softness and his trust in his allies to do the right thing may be all that stopped him from causing a scene there and then.
"Yes, I am eager to hear these people's side of things."
 

Boonslayer

New Member
Tazkul looked over towards Cassia. "But of course. This may be all one large misunderstanding created by paranoia. Justified paranoia, given recent events, but paranoia nonetheless. It would make the most sense to have a neutral party conduct a research expedi--I mean...investigate."
 

Boonslayer

New Member
Tazkul gets up after his paladin compatriot, and gives a bow to the Duchess as well before exiting on his way. "It would take me approximately 10 minutes to create one of my invisible servants, Miss Cassia. That would certainly help in searching their campsite for indications of what they truly are doing out there."
 

VidkunFanel

New Member
Avoiding eye contact with the Duchess, Gaarek gives a rather unenthusiastic bow and follows his comrades after scoffing down what was left on his plate.
 
As they leave the Duchess's abode, Cassia turns to Tazkul. "I don't know if such a servant will be very useful in scouting the camp. No harm in having one around, though, if you're so inclined." She waits patiently for Tazkul to perform his ritual.
 

RuneRW

Can't Rune away from me!
Baltair finishes another drink and bows to the Duchess. "It's been a pleasure, Duchess Morwen. As always." He then hurries after his friends. "Ay wait fer me! Me legs are shorter than yers!"
 

Boonslayer

New Member
Tazkul nods to her, pulling out his spellbook. "Bear in mind, Miss Cassia, that my servant would only be around for an hour when summoned. Better to do so when we are near the campsite." He begins flipping to where the spell is in his book as he looks towards Baltair. "Terribly sorry, Mr. Tursan, I suppose we were all in a hurry to get this done." He thought for a moment. "It would be useful to have one around as we begin proceedings, I'm sure. Just as a precaution, since casting this does take me a bit of time, typically."
 

RuneRW

Can't Rune away from me!
"I was of a mind to cast a ritual of mine as well. It'd let me detect magic, ye ne'er know what can ye find out that way!" says the dwarf after catching up. "It lasts even shorter though, only ten minutes."
 

Kanaxe_Ru

Senior Member

Daggerford:

The streets of Daggerford are just as empty as when you first arrived at the Duchess's manse for dinner, though even more of its citizens have snuffed out their candlelight and retired for the day. In lieu of lit windows the sky is clearer now, the distant stars twinkling in the background as the moon now hangs high and prominent in the middle of the night. For most of your walk, you hear naught but the sounds of your own voices, the occasional barking of dogs, and the rustling of a crisp breeze that follows you down the cobblestone streets.

Making your way past the city gates, you're greeted with perhaps the exact opposite: the clamor of revelry and the bright blaze of a roaring bonfire, along the distant edge of the river from which Daggerford gets its name. Circling around it is a ring of three barrel-topped wagons, their accompanying horses tied to a nearby tree and munching away at some food. Around this quant scene, roughly a dozen men dance and drink and sing, their exotic garments, swaying in the wind.
 

RuneRW

Can't Rune away from me!
"They don't seem like such a bad bunch at first glance!" says Baltair looking at the group of people in question. "Let's hope we won't have tae change our minds!"
 

Boonslayer

New Member
Tazkul has his spellbook out already at this particular moment in time, tying some string to some wood in a particular fashion, focused on casting his Unseen Servant first while they still have the distance to remain unnoticed. "We shouldn't make assumptions on their character in a positive light either, Baltair." Over the next 10 minutes, Tazkul's attention would be on the intricate weaving of the string around the wood and infusing it with the magic to create the servant.
 

RuneRW

Can't Rune away from me!
Baltair shrugs, and at seeing his compatriot begin his ritual, he begins chanting in a low, quiet voice as he waves his hands in a slow, rythmic fashiom around himself. He spends the next ten minute attuning his senses to the weave, giving himself the ability to detect magic. "Ey me friends, protect us, will ye?"
 

VidkunFanel

New Member
"Fear not Baltair." Gaarek takes a quick look behind the group before turning his attention to the dancing figures. Puffing up his chest he takes a wide stance a few paces toward the camp ahead of them. He stands guard over his party one hand on the head of the handaxe hanging off his waist.
 

Kanaxe_Ru

Senior Member
Near the Nomad Camp:

Tazkul and Baltair finish their rituals at roughly the same time, Tazkul's unseen servant making two soft footfalls in the dirt to signal its arrival and Baltair's eyes faintly flashing with a gleam as he tunes into the magical weave. To the dwarf, everything in and around the quaint nomad camp appears to be the same as it did before, with no sign of magical influence.

Still fairly hidden in the darkness near the city gates, Gaarek's stance seems to be unnoticed by the revelers as they continue to dance and sing into the night.
 
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Boonslayer

New Member
Tazkul begins moving forward a bit more slowly so his servant can keep up with him, commanding it to walk beside for the moment. He was still going to be behind Gaarek, though. "Now, now, Gaarek. Our best bet here is to remain tactful. Wouldn't want to scare the gentlemen into actually trying something, now would we?" For the moment, he puts his spellbook away. He had some of his spells memorized, so he was good on needing it outright at the moment.
 

RuneRW

Can't Rune away from me!
Baltair follows suit, catching up to and walking besides Gaarek. Longsword sheathed on his back and bagpipe hanging from his shoulder, he softly hums a popular dwarvish song. Somewhere along the way, he sprinkles himself with his perfume and says to the group "Let's get the... negotiations underway."
 

Kanaxe_Ru

Senior Member
Nomad Camp:

Approaching a bit closer to the camp, the light of the flames glinting off of your clothes and other accoutrements soon catches the eyes of a few nomads, one of whom seems to point your group out to someone in the distance. Soon enough the group is greeted at the edge of the camp by an old man, who is accompanied by a man and a woman standing slightly behind him. His gaze sweeps across each individual person before he bows deeply. "Greetings, and welcome to our humble camp. May I ask why we have visitors on this fine night?"
 
Cassia pauses a moment and gazes across the camp, then smiles, a little more at ease. "Greetings to you my friend. I am known as Sorrowful Cassia. My friends and I heard your revelry and were curious what you are celebrating."
 

Boonslayer

New Member
Tazkul is going to be lagging behind a bit, pulling out his quarterstaff to use as a bit of a walking stick for the moment as he moves in behind the others; he needed to move slower for the sake of what could not be seen, after all. He had little to say at this particular point, but his eyes studied the camp behind the group that greeted them at its entryway.
 

Kanaxe_Ru

Senior Member
Nomad Camp:

"Why, do we need cause to celebrate?" the old man asks, chuckling and shaking his head. "This is merely a fire to scare away the cold, and a drink and a dance to remind us of our homeland, so far away. This is nothing, compared to a real celebration of honor with our tribe in its entirety. But I digress," he says, bowing slightly. "I have forgotten my manners in the face of company. My name is Stanimir, and this is my son Ratka and my daughter Damia. We are but humble caretakers of this splint of the Zarovan tribe."

Looking behind him, Tazkul can easily take note of the brightly lit revelry dancing around the bonfire at the center. While a couple people are dancing to the tune of a nearby fiddler (a young woman), others are simply sitting around and chatting or appearing to clean up things around the camp. A couple men are standing around the edges of the ring, on guard; Ratka too is occasionally glancing behind him, as if more concerned with the watch than with these newcomers in front of him.

"If you have come all the way out here simply to sate your curiosity, then you are more than welcome to join us in the warmth of the fire. Perhaps we can entertain you for a spell," Stanimir says, smiling softly. "I'm a very good storyteller, myself, and my dear daughter has been training in the soothsaying ways of our people."

 

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