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The Arvan Game: Part 5

The first thing our intrepid heroes (Bers & Dead-Eye) did was make a bee-line to the
nearest tavern (there’s no beerhalls in Fertums; fortified trade outposts which are family/clan owned often ruled by the lords that fund the beerhalls elsewhere) to decide on what to do next. While there a group of savage looking men with tattoos of crossed flaming axes on their bare chests burst in and proceeded to be loud and obnoxious. They appeared to want trouble and began furiously drinking large quanitites of cheap ale. They were told after asking another patron that the men were a local berserker coven based somewhere in the Light Wood to the South probably just off of the Trade Road. They were creeping around the area due to the political situation, the peasants in the Village of Dreyton were becoming rebellious. They decided to take their leave of the tavern before the inevitable happened and Bers decided to get her armor repaired (she was wearing the superior quality mail Coif she got from the hoard and Dead-Eye discarded his “trashed” armor for the superior quality Bear Hide) and Dead-Eye needed to have the Greyling skin crafted into a pair of boots and 2 cloaks by an armorer. After consulting with the Fertum’s armorer they wandered the Post Quarter of the Fertum where the traders and caravans stay and sell their wares. There they bought a large black talon from the blanket spread of what appeared to be an old southern-nomad (gypsy) couple (they could tell their ethnicity due to the serpentine features of their faces). Dead-Eye quickly determined it was a Wyvern’s talon. They were told it was found on the grounds of Black Brow, a ruin roughly 16 miles from the Fertum in the hills.

The ruins could be reached by traveling North along the Trade Road (which was about a 14 mile distance) until they ascended the first set of low hills and then cut West across The Meadows (a swamp) ascending two more hills to reach the ruins of Black Brow (another 8 miles). It would be a total distance of 22 miles give or take but they decided it would be safer traveling the road most of the way (I guess they know me too well). They decided to pick up some more leads by checkng the Post Board near the entrance of the Fertum, Bers being the one who could read (she picked up the Literacy skill from the XP earned from the dragons).

The board listed some Most Wanted notices: The Robbers of Eagle’s Grove (3 well-armed individuals with camo-painted cloaks, Reward 10 gp)
The Return of a Strongbox inscribed with the Brewer’s Guild Mark (Overflowing Gold Goblet containing a drowned serpent, Reward to be discussed).
and Wanted the killer of Xincrim, see Yebrit his daughter in Dreyton.

The board also had an inordinate amount of Missing posters, all for young girls from farming families in the North Spur several miles to the North-East. Bers was eager to follow this lead.

But they decided to follow up on the last notice and were on their way to the village to see Yebrit about the murder of her father and made it as far as the front gates when a crazed man on a Sleipnir (6-legged horse reserved only for those of the Hyvalian Theocracy [so it was probably stolen/looted maybe descended from battle-spoil], namely Hyvalian Crusaders) shouting, “Woe! Woe to the Lord Dreyhawk for his lack of faith! A tree must be planted at the center of this fort to pay homage to the [druidic] brotherhood! Gather ye faithful abouts me and here my sermon!” SOme of the onlookers gathered around the rearing horse. His flowing dark hair, beard and moustache were streaked with grey and he was bare-chested with an open silk robe and green dyed buckskin pants. He wore gold torques on his arms and around his neck. They recognized the crazed man as a druid(the religion of the Westlands is druidism [in the fantasy sense of the term btw]). During the chaos Dead-Eye spied the ranger Tors’sk (the ranger henchman of Black Fork) stocking a wagon with provisions and supplies in a rush next to a covered wagon near the gates. It appeared as if the greatly diminished cult of Black Fork was making haste out of the area. He also spotted Black Fork himself seemingly hiding behind the wagons clutching what appeared to be a large bright green egg. In Cris’ (Dead-eye’s player) words, “dammit.” Bers and Dead-Eye left the Fertum for the day (as quick as they could).

They returned later, in time to see the Berserkers being escorted out of the front gates, that evening after speaking with Yebrit (Jenn, Bers’ player, didn’t like her much saying she was “mean”). They were told the killer of her father slew him outside of a proper duel (actually a lie but they didn’t find that out) and that the killer was a foreign warrior in full plate, a Hyvalian. She wanted his head delivered to her for 100 gp. They decided to stay at the Wayman’s camp just outside of the Fertum’s wooden ramparts(essentially a campground for those not allowed to stay within the walls after dark at which time it is locked up tight).

They were awoken suddenly in the night (around second watch or so) by an impossibly loud roar. They saw the shape of an adult green dragon sail beyond the walls and heard its enormous weight thud into the center of the Fertum. They simply waited and listened. They heard the monster roar, “My egg! Where’s my egg!? In recompense of the insecurity of your lands puny lord, I demand a head of cattle every week to be left in the field across from this fort or I’ll destroy everything under your protection!”

It released a blast of its gaseous acid-breath and flew off in the direction they thought Blackfork was heading. In the morning they witnessed the devastation, several Fertum warriors were dead along with a few unfortunate merchants. They went back to the merchant’s quarter to load up on supplies finally deciding to investigate the ruins of Black Brow, due to the facts they were self-proclaimed dragon-slayers and their immediate need to vacate the Fertum and leave its troubles behind. By the afternoon they had set out North along the Trade Road.

To Be Continued …