Our intrepid heroes, the Blackwing Dragonslayers (Hirok-Nor branch), had finally found their way to the town that they were seeking which they had been given directions to TWICE after having made a wrong turn. The slayers’ strange craft floated by the ancient stone idol that stood a far way outside of the city palisade, it was chiseled into the crude shape of a grinning Satyr but the horns had been recently hammered away. The pennant flying above the open gates of the town of Aáhké bore a split field of white and red and a golden chalice with a longsword and golden mace crossing behind it. The guard loitering before the gate bore shortspears and freshly scraped round shields where the old heraldry could still be made out. The shields had borne a quartered field of white and light green with a red ram’s head being the central charge, the banner of the Achaánal clan but had been scraped and probably sanded. The presumed captain of the guard stepped forward to greet the incoming strangers his shield did have a fresh coat of red and white paint on its face. Vorwulf using his magic helmet halted the magic hovercraft. The guards were a homogenous mix of human, faun, and hill giant common to the Hill-Lands and were puzzled by the adventurers’ weird vehicle but not disturbed.
Vorwulf [Played by Cris]: “Is there a healer or a White Star Guild in this town?”
The Captain of the Guard [pointing at Magiia]: “If ya need help for your friend see the priest, Norwe, he might be able to help. What’s wrong with her? Doesn’t look like Marsh Fire.”
Grom [Played by Gil]: “She got bit by a Lindwurm.”
The captain shook his head knowingly and directed them to the Wayman’s Camp and the Travelers’ Inn not far inside the gates. Vorwulf caught sight of a prison-wagon, as this town apparently lacked a proper jail, across from the inn and a familiarly colored cloak from between its iron bars. He approached to get a better look at the person bundled underneath the black and yellow striped cloak. To his disappointment it wasn’t Xanto the wasp but rather an old faun vagrant. The pathetic old drunk told them that a young wizard gave him his cloak as he left town about two days ago along with someone he called “the outrider”. Soon after that the adventurers had already paid for a room (4 gp per night) and leaving Maggi in the room both Grom and Vor had made their way into the market place where all of the early season merchants were set up.
In the small market place they found that there were no permanent storefronts but a collection of wagons most of which opened up to show-off the goods for sale. They found the usual collection of snake-oil salesmen, weapons dealers, and local produce especially fish and eels. They quickly found they couldn’t understand anyone there so the shaman “chugged down” a potion of Comprehend Languages. He instantly realized that they were speaking Westlander, the native language of our heroes, but with an extremely heavy Hill-Lander accent. They quickly find a trader in alchemical gear and potions. Vorwulf picks up 2 potions of fire protection and 3 alchemist kits paying with 75 gold pieces and a pair of large emeralds. Grom the shaman got 1 potion of Purification and 3 alchemist kits but then charmed the salesman getting a discount putting down 4 aquamarines and 160 gold pieces.
Cris: “Man! You wanted a DISCOUNT! You know rich we are! Like when I was trying to get that info from the wasp CHEAP and you threw down those diamonds!” (see the Dragonslayers II Pt. 2)
So Vorwulf tossed 4 rubies into the merchant’s eager hand as “f*@# you money”.
They returned shortly to their room, more a bungalow really, and gave Maggi the 6 alchemist kits. The shaman gave her the Purification potion which after she drank it seemed to have an effect as her shaking immediately stopped but in retrospect the shaman realized later that it couldn’t have done anything for her. The Ferenoi immediately leapt to her feet and snatched up a kit and began brewing Dragon-Blood Potion. The other two left her to her labors as they departed tot eh tavern which was almost directly across the street adjacent to the town cistern. A red bull on a white field adorned the pennant that hung from a post that faced the muddy winding street.
The Red Bull tavern was under a semi-permanent canopy of oiled-leather that extended from an open counter of a longhouse which served as the kitchen and bar for the place as well as the proprietor’s home. The tented portion of the tavern was held by a perimeter of evenly spaced poles set into a floor of flat stones held by packed earth and clay and the sides were roll-up panels or flaps. The flaps were all currently rolled up leaving the place practically open-air. The place already had a few rough-looking fur-clad dirty faced trappers drinking their breakfasts. Several others, obviously fighters, well-equipped were doing the same the heraldry on their actons was a pair of crossed black maces one spiked against a quartered field of light blue with one white and one red quarter. By himself near the bar sat another trapper with a full meal in front of him and counting a copious number of gold coins. Vorwulf immediately approached him asking him if he would hire on with them as a guide. He replied with a backwater accent in bad Westlander saying he would but the shaman sensing something not quite right with him said he would “like a second opinion” about the direction the shifty looking woodsman would take. Grom pulled his friend from the table to the counter.
Next to the counter mounted to the wood-log wall of the house was a painted carving of the arms of the Achaánal Highlander clan on a round shield. It was badly defaced and studded with various throwing implements, throwing daggers, darts, and tomahawks. The barkeep was a bulky and tall old faun nicknamed ‘Ole Twist’ due to his badly deformed and twisted horns gained form a childhood bout of Twist Horn, a disease which is often lethal to young fauns of the Hill-Lands. Over the hearth which could be seen from the bar-counter in the corner of the kitchen area hung a Satyr Blade, a double ended sword with each of the blades curved like a scimitar, which was notched up and down both of the wicked looking blades. They found the man friendly enough, an old adventurer, especially since the first thing that Vor did was slap down a platinum piece on the soggy bar.
Ole Twist told them about a more reliable guide known only to him as “the Boar Hunter”, a Hill-Giant that spends all of his time in the wilderness “somewhere abouts” Black Boar’s Heath just south of the White Heath they were asking after. The wasp had been in town for a short while and looking for a guide the one he found was hardly reputable, a traitor who had been a sell-sword for the Achaánal clan during the rebellion against their rule but he was tolerated due to the amount of gold and silver he spent around town. He was a ratling known as “the Outrider” who rode a war-goat.
Ole Twist: “The lil’ turd don’t fight fair with his feet o’ the ground but from o’ back o’ da goat wid’a spear, canna ya believe dat?”
After a few jacks of ale and a few more of some decent Hill-Lander whiskey Vor bought “something special” from the old goat, a bottle of carved glass with a ruby stopper. The contents of which seemed to whirl and surge of their own accord though Ole Twist said that it was whiskey of a “pow’ful vintage”. He described to Vorwulf the bottle contained a Whiskey Elemental, he had taken it as a share of some loot from an adventure a long time ago and it was only now that someone happened by with the wealth to buy it. He packed it away and sat down to finish the remainder of the booze he purchased prior. The shaman took off to the market again to buy some more potions buying out the alchemist of his Alchemist Fires. As dusk came both Vorwulf and Grom stumbled into the bungalow at the inn and found Maggi back to her full capacities. Vorwulf slopped into his bed. The shaman got Maggi to pry herself away from her work, she was brewing the rest of the Lindwurm-blood into Dragon-Blood Potions, long enough for her to buy a carved glass bottle of some “good stuff” from Ole Twist and while she went back to the room to continue her alchemical task which she did until dawn, the shaman decided to follow the shiesty woodsman that he and Vor had talked to earlier who was now thoroughly drunk.
Gil: “Don’t worry guys this’ll be easy.”
The shaman’s quarry immediately noticed he was being followed and shot off towards the West Gate with Grom in hot pursuit. Just as the town gates were being closed they both dashed out into the dark and that’s when the trapper turned and pulled out his dagger in one hand and his battleax in the other.
To Be Continued…