An t-Eilean Mòr

Through the Door, Carnage Lies.
The Party fights for its life, Moft makes a discovery.

The fleet footed Moft wasted no time in their effort to escape the Goblin arrows. Her elven eyes were sharp in the dim light, immediately going for the first door to her right. Nimble and with the quiet grace of a doe she leaned against the door. The gibbering and chatter of Goblin’s let her know that was not their escape route, dashing further ahead. Disregard for any other tripwires that may or may not be there.

Leaning against the second door, she hears only silence. Excitedly she turned her head to look over her shoulder at her party who lagged behind, waving them over. “Rowena!” She quietly tried to inform them with all haste.

The tumult of goblin footsteps above their heads only grew, enough so that it only increased the panic stricken Moft, escape was all that was on her mind. Another volley of arrows fly through the murder holes, whizzing past the heads of Ulundes and Shanston, the latter giving a shout.

Crrrra-RAK!!

The first two doors on either side of the hall they party had entered crash open, pouring out before the party were a mix of goblin children, bows at the ready, and fierce wizened veteran goblins with spears hobble out. Hissing at the intruders, while Moft watched in a mix of frustration and growing panic. She drew her short-bow. The children aim their arrows, but with a quick warding motion from Rowena their bow’s go askew, their arrows harmlessly bouncing off the floor. It give’s enough time for the Bounty Hunter to land his giant plate-booted foot to smash one of the goblin’s underfoot, while he readies his Maul with a roar.

Thwip! A strangled cry of a goblin whose throat pierced fell to the ground. With the lethal kill she opened the door she was at and ducked inside. A burst of brilliant, white arcane energy conjured at the fingertips of Shanston, who skillfully leads it into the goblin mass before him, dispatching one and wounding another. Ulundes comes up, her great axe powered by her impressive physique, she swings—- and the blow that would have finished off the goblin, instead flew over, and so too, did her weapon. Ulundes came into a crouch fist’s ready for a brawl.

Rowena stood behind her concentration undeterred by the sudden appearance of the goblins, a hand outstretched to the group of children goblins. Whispery words fall from behind her lips as if she spoke from a dream, and they all three fell to the ground asleep.
The wrinkled wizened face of the remaining goblin veterans became surprisingly spry from their previous hobble.

“Hrah!”

“Hehehehiihihi!” The shrill cries of a long haired apparently, female goblin. Her spear lunging forward towards the parties Orc, her sudden speed made him give up ground, stepping back. “Hraaghahagahahaga!” Her laughter turned into a scream as she pushed back the Bounty Hunter. He grunted. Shanston, impressed of himself for dispatching the goblins soon found himself cornered by a wide-eyed green goblin, it jabbed low, scoring him in his leg. He stretched his hand out, warding the blow from doing to severe a damage and giving him a moment’s respite from the goblin. While Ulundes, unaware of the old-woman behind gritted back a scream as a deep red cut found its place just above the side of her hip.

Rowena gave no ground, simply side-stepping a blow meant for her. Moft however, intended to wait out the combat, though she still held onto her bow. Thwip! An arrow bounced off the stone wall behind her, her eyes going wide. She hand’t noticed it before, but even here murder holes lined the back of the room she was in.

“Ruagh!” The bounty hunter gave a shout, swinging his maul for the small goblin-woman, who ducked beneath his blow.

“Ahahagaga!” She mocked him with her constant laughter, the Orc went red in his green face, and with a final cry he used the inertia in his weapon and swung in a full circle. Arking his weapon high, and slamming the maul atop her head, it caved in, right between her shoulders. Crumpling her body into the ground. Ulundes wished to take on the goblin behind her, but she was stuck between two of them. She gave ground, not letting them land a bow, but she and no hope of doing so. When one of their blows missed, she had to dodge the next.

Moft dashed out of the room, her dark hair like a black wind following behind her. She goes for the end of the hall-way. It was her only option left for escape. Her elf eyes gave her ease as she delved further into the goblin-stink ridden hallway. Crates come into her way, she slips past them, as if in a dance she makes not a single mistake, not bumping once into their jagged edges. Their in the center, a small circle of mushrooms cause her to give heed, skirting around it to a large door. Without hesitation, she opens it. Though its locked. With a curse she looks over her shoulder, seeing the battle unfolding behind her. She ducked behind a crate, swallowed by the shadows and hid.

“Shanston, with me!” Rowena gave a rallying cry, and they both charged past the goblins, their blows avoided by the both of them. An arrow drew back, behind the safety of a murder hole. “Argh!” Rowena gripped the arrow that had plunged into her arm, ripping it out with a pained growl.

Ulundes was losing ground, and the last thing she wanted was for her back to be pressed against a wall, she drew a javelin, dodging a blow, she went to strike, “Auah!” She cried, a goblins spear found purchase. She dropped the javelin stumbling back, a hand gripping the wound to keep from her blood slipping away.

“Ruaaagh” A scream came from one of the goblins cornering Ulundes, a great maul dispatching him, he hit the wall with a thud and fell dead.

Moft no longer waiting for her party comes out of the concealment of her hiding place. Lockpicks at the ready, she works on the door’s lock to open it. “Open! Open!” She whispered. There was no way she could turn back now, she and this insane thought the deeper they went the more hope they had of escape. Though in reality, the only safety on her mind was her own, and maybe Rowena’s.

‘Click’ the door was opened in mere seconds of her thoughts, she stood up and flung the doors wide. She winced, the weak torchlight was still bright enough in this dark cave to give her pause. A large circle is drawn in the center of the room, a star and its five points drawn within it, touching the outer circle. She shook her head, no matter. She entered, and went to her right, and there she saw a ledge, a ladder leading up to it.
“The goblins… are..!” It dawned on her, “They’re back here! Quickly!” She shouted loud enough for them to hear, begging for their help.

Shanston heard the call of their elf ‘friend’, looking his shoulder. Hands extended he invoked his power, and sent a barrage of energy into the goblin that came for him. Killing it, its remains a bloody smatter on the ground.

Ulundes to, hears the call. She nods at Bounty Hunter, who returns it. She broke from the last goblin and retrieved her weapon. The Orc leaned back from a blow, and then dispatched their last visible assailant with a vicious swing of his axe.

Rowena, now heeding the call of her friend, rose her hands high. They shimmered a soft golden light as they mended the wounds on Shanston.

Moft had only enough time to look further into the hallway that wound its way on the caves ledge, before an arrow came of the dark. Blossoming a red bloom on her shoulder. She tore it out with a sharp cry, that echoed across the large cave, drawing her short bow and shooting into the dark. Without seeing to see if it found its mark she ran back into the previous hallway, and hid without success behind crates. Clutching her wound desperately.

The party see’s Moft return into the hallway as they all run to their aid, and to finish off the remaining Goblins. Charging heedlessly through the faerie circle of mushrooms, when from all sides arrows shot at them. Moft was spared, out of the sight of the goblins in the corner she found. Those arrows found only one mark, and it was at the backside of their Orc Bounty Hunter. He gave no pause, tearing out the arrow with a grunt.

Moft still clutching her arm, heeded her friends. Though she did not just yet enter the fray.

Shanston was first to enter the large cave room, shooting an arrow of acid from his finger tips at the Goblin that shot at Moft, it narrowly missed.. Ulundes follows shortly after, charging up onto the ledge, climbing up the ladder. She grabs at the ankle of a goblin, throwing it over the ledge. Despite the short fall, landing on its head snapped its neck. Dead. She looks over the lip of the cave-ledge. Only to see a Goblin matriarch with curled horns dash back into the darkened hallway. Gone.

Rowena her battle calm strengthening the resolve of her allies, entered into the cave, turning to the left away from Shanston. She finds a goblin, and invokes her Goddess bursting it in holy-white fire. The goblin gave shrill screams as it ran about, attempting to douse the flame only to fall off the ledge. Where it then burns and smolders into ash.
Followed shortly after her, was the Orc. He charged, and with his arms nearly vaulted onto the edge, stepping up to the two remaining Goblins there. He swings his weapon, and smashing it into the wall.

There standing tall was a blunt horned Goblin, who looked at him with dark glittering eyes. Full of hate and loathing. It hissed. Moft, with her heart strengthened drew her bow and dashed back into the cave. Shooting an arrow at a goblin that had appeared behind Bounty Hunter, the arrow landed, and it fell off the ledge onto the pile of ash. Without wasting a moment she ducked behind the curved cave wall. Away from the sight of the second hidden goblin.

A second goblin came from the darkness that Shanston and Ulundes guarded, the latter finally upon the ledge swung her axe, finding purchase, but so to did it’s dagger in her thigh. Though its blow was not meant with gibbering laughter, but instead scream as an acid arrow bloomed and disintegrated the goblin. Weakened, the Elf-Barbarian descended the rise and the two made for Rowena.

Rowena acknowledges them, and with an arm raised, invoking her Goddess with a prayer mended both her allies. The hidden goblin charged for Bounty Hunter, its throwing axe held high, but it missed its mark, whizzing between the Orc’s legs to clatter harmlessly onto the cave floor. Moft had ducked back out from behind the curved cave wall, and dispatched it with an arrow.

Now it was just the Bounty Hunter, and the blunt horned Goblin. Likely the patriarch. They both swung weapons, but only the Orc’s hit. The goblin bounded back with a hiss. Then darted down the hall way. Rowena saw this, shouting.

“No! Come back!” The bounty hunter charged further, into dark and stink. Moft looked at her allies, and without hesitation charged after Bounty Hunter, leaving behind her short bow on at the foot of the ladder. She moved with uncanny speed, not even hearing the shouts of her friends as she to hurtled into the dark caves, lit only by the gift of her half-elven eyes. Her rapier found its place in her hand, overtaking the Bounty Hunter in her speed and jabbed, blindly. The goblin had barely turned, ducking only seconds away from its throat being skewered. Stopping and swinging so abruptly, Moft hit into the cave wall, a burst of dirt falling atop of her as she fell and into the eyes of her attacker.

Though the incensed goblin was not content, it drew back its cutlass, ready to swing. It came down.

Though not fast enough. Bounty Hunter swung his maul into the face of the Goblin, it flew back, dead, head crumpled inward. The bloody pulp of its body seeping out onto the cave floor.

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Delving deep, into dark and stink.
Our Companions find themselves in an unforgiving situation.

Moft, had stayed behind. After she had dismantled the hastily put together trap, she decided to look for the doorway. While Rowena lead the rest of the party to the top of the waterfall, to build a dam. Midday was sunny, and warm. It felt good on her skin, the sweet Moft thought as she admired the cool waters and the cloudless, blue, sky. Though she was anything but her usual, joyful self. As her companions toiled away making their dam, she thought whilst watching.

Her thoughts were disconcerted, and somber. Grave. They left her stomach in knots, and she bit her lip twice as she argued herself. Blade. This woman was her enemy, for that she was sure. Redcaps, she said that none could fight the Redcaps. Though the Orc believed he was hunting a man by the name of Redcap. What if that was the truth, could her worrying be all for naught? But no, something in the pit of her stomach made her believe that was not so. Either this man who was hunted by the Orc knew something of them, in which case she would dispatch him…
or it was as she feared, and that Blade had sent the Bounty Hunter after a community of Redcaps.

Drawing her knees up close to her chest, watching as the sun beat against her working friends, listening to the roar of the waterfall. Quietly, beneath her breath she promised: “I won’t let them hurt my family. Not ever. Not even Rowena.” Her fists tightened against her dagger. Though at just that moment she gave a start, a glaring, bright light dazed her vision as a ray of ice ran over the now constructed dam, abating the flow of water temporarily.

There it was! The Door! “Rowena! Rowena! Theres an entrance behind the waterfall! Its far above me, we’ll have to jump from the precipice!” The party looked over the cliffside, noting for themselves the appearance of the door as Moft made her way up the mountain.

The Orc wasted no time. grabbing his rope and tying it around a sturdy, thick tree. With his strength he rappelled down to the entrance. Tying it around his waist, and finding a sturdy hand hold as the rest made their way down. There was no incidents, and Rowena kept a watchful eye on the rope to be sure it would not snap. As Moft climbed down into the entrance she made her own way down, stepping onto the landing. The flow of the waterfall began to pick up as the ice melted, and their makeshift damn eroded from the strength of the built up water.

Moft cast one look over her shoulder, as the rest ventured deeper in. Saying a silent goodbye to the bright daylight. When once she was little, she was warned by gentle Breliak.

Wary child, of places dark and deep, thick with stink.
Play where the sun shines, never far from its reach.
For in its absence do the bad things lurk, hungry.
Searching for something to eat.

That warning came to her again, as did a dark thought. Lead them into a trap, she thought. No. No no no. Not yet, Rowena is your friend, Ulundes your friend. With a shake of her head she came back to her senses. The light steadily gave out, and her elf eyes began to adjust to the dark light of the cave, illuminated by the torches of her friends. It was damp, and there was a sweet, cloying smell, then another, more pungent. It smelt like the Bounty Hunters boots after a day’s march, and then, something fouler. Something, she had come to recognize in the depths of the Coille Forest as a child. Goblin Stink.

Her heart began to thump in her ears. Lub dub, Lub dub. She allowed a shaky breath to escape her lips, to calm herself down. She gasped aloud quickly, slipping on a slimy piece of cave moss. Maintaing her balance by grabbing hold of Rowena who gave her a stern look. Quiet, the look said.

They descended further into the cave, slower as they came upon the slick, slimy ground. Their travel boots threatening to slip away beneath them. Lub dub, Lub dub. Her eyes looked around wide in the dark, though despite her elven sight she felt like she saw nothing at all. At last, they came into a chamber, the party spreading about. Moft was wary to stand in the center, uncertain of this area. How the water dripped from the ceiling, her boots deep in dank, dark waters that came to Bounty Hunters ankles. It was cold to, but in the dim light they could all see the crates piled high.

Rowena spoke, “From the Caravans…” She looked around the area, wary. “How could they have gotten here, into this waterfall of all places?” She looked further into the dim light, to see the dim outline of a doorway leading deeper.

“Augh! IT’S AN AMBUSH!” The Orc shouted, as an arrow bounced off his armor and another whizzed by Shanston’s head. He ducked shortly, eyes wide as he raised his hands in preparation of an incantation. Though it was to no avail, the Goblins hid away behind the crates. They were sitting ducks.

Bounty Hunter wasted no time in his effort, sloshing through the shallow fetid waters, jumping atop a crate and shouting. He waved his axe-wielding arm wide, in an effort to reveal the Goblin but it made no matter. Ulundes followed shortly behind him, vaulting over the crates and throwing her brutish weapons, upturning crates and scattering merchant goods into the foul waters beneath them. Twang! An arrow flew past Ulundes from the other side, the goblin whose bow it came from dipping behind the crates again. Another, now behind Bounty Hunter rose from his hidden position and scored an arrow deep into the Orc’s back. Who in turn, howled his frustration, spinning in a circle to retaliate to only hit the empty air where the goblin once was.

Moft was about ready to flee, to follow the advise of her adopted mother, Breliak. Though she sturdied herself. She was no Redcap Maiden, she was a simple girl, who only wanted to do what was right. With her elf eyes, she calmed herself, focusing in the dark. There. The slimy green goblin was between two crates, it’s arrow aimed right for… Rowena!

“There! THERE! Kill it quick!” She screamed, and Shanston, his arms raised high, invoked a word of a power, a spark of arcane missiles launched towards the revealed goblin. The arcane energy ripped the green scoundrel apart, he was a wet smear against the wall, and a mess of carnage now floating in the waters. It was Ulundes who shouted next!

“There’s the fat slimy runt shit! Get him!” Rowena, arms raised whispered soft dream-like words, and the Goblin fell fast asleep.

“Leave him to me. He is not to come under harm.” She gave a stern look to her followers, daring them to test her. When they had sheathed their weapons, she allowed them to tie the goblin up, taking away his weaponry. Moft, however had a better idea. Her hands deep in his pockets, with a delighted gasp she held her hand aloft!

“Look what I found!” She laughed uncontrollably, "Shiny rocks!’

Rowena shook her head, “Those are silver co— never mind.” She said with a sigh, “Search the crates.” She ordered. The party did as much, and confirmed Rowena’s earlier suspicion.

“This is the same cargo that was stolen from the ruined caravan on the road we took to Deanadachd, Rowena.” Shanston said, “Though one question remains, how did they get it all up here? There must be some other entrance.” Rowena remained quiet for a time, and with a firm shake of her head she inwardly decided something.

“Wake the prisoner.” She commanded, and Ulundes was more than happy to comply. A quick kick to the head and a punch to the gut had the goblin sputtering awake. He looked up wide at first, startled, only for his features to become smug. When he spotted the large Orc however, the barely put together act faltered. “Who do you work for.”

“Breya.”

“Who is Breya?”

“The one.”

She breathed in and out, slowly. Patience. She told herself. “The one who?”

“The chosen one.” He nodded slowly, as if she was being the difficult one.

“What is your purpose.”

“To guard the front gate. This gate, in fact.” He nodded chipperly, it appeared that he was no longer intimidated. In fact, it almost looked as if he was confident in the whole situation. Bounty Hunter looked him over once, noting a small irregularity.

“Rowena.” He said in his gruff voice, whispering in her ear. “He has tusks. Goblins don’t have tusks.”

Ulundes with her sharp ears picked up the whisper, “You are not fey. Why is it you have tusks?”

He spoke again, grinning. “I was chosen.”

Something came to Rowena at that moment, speaking up. “How did you get all these crates up here?”

“The chosen one willed them to be here.” He nodded sagely.

“Do you know of the ley clach then? Does Breya have a ley clach?”

“He is chosen one.” The goblin repeated.

“Enough. Where is Breya?”

“Breya comes… when Breya wishes.”

“What is down that doorway?”

“Home. In the dark.” He looked gravely at Rowena.

“Is that where the Caravneers are? What did you do with them?”

“We brought them here.” He stated.

“How many of you are here?”

The goblin did not answer, instead laughing. A sputtering mad, laugh. “Breya will save me. You will die. There is no hope.”

Ulundes interjected the questioning. “I suggest you speak, we are the ones in power here. We could crush your skull.”

Rowena rose a hand in caution. “No. Im not finished.”

“Oh, but I’m finished with you!” He giggles madly again, his body shaking in his restraints as he finds his glee.

The Orc came forward, “Talk!”

Shanston spoke up, unexpectedly. “Did you… hear that? I heard something.” They all paused, hearing the soft patter of steps. They all cast a glance down the doorway, as the goblin continued to laugh.

“I’ll look ahead.” Moft looked at them all, “I can hide well in the dark. They won’t find me, and I can tell you what I see.”

Rowena furrowed her brows, beginning to shake her head no. Until the Orc spoke up.

“Let the girl go. See if she’s as capable as she says she is.” With the vote of confidence from Bounty Hunter, she gave a quick nod, and just like she said slipped into the dark as if she was part of it.

She came down a small series of steps, until she came to a long winding hall way. Not a soul present, except for four doors and… a tripwire! Her elf eyes examined it quickly, a small series of bells attached. Good thing she caught that, she thanked herself.

Meanwhile the party remained, they stayed silent awaiting Moft to return. Though it became calm, even their cackling prisoner had become subdued and silent. Twang! Twooong! Arrows bounced off the Bounty Hunters armor.

“Where did those arrows come from?” Rowena shouted, as she looked around.

Ulundes pointed above them. “There! They have us trapped! Look!” She raised her battle axe high, and slammed it hard onto the knees of their goblin prisoner. Nearly severing his legs from the knee down. He gave a shrill, animal scream, twisted in pain.

Above them, at the very ceiling there were murder holes, a handful of arrowheads poking out the uncountable amount of holes.

“Go! Go!” The Orc shouted, and the party rushed. Moft hearing the alarm from up ahead in the dark turned to look over her shoulder.

“Not yet! I don’t perform under pressure!” She cursed beneath her breath, her shaking hands working to disable the tripwire. Their footfalls and the sounds of arrows bouncing off the room behind her. She let out one shaky breath and… “Yes! I did it!” She turned her head just in time to see the harried faces of her companions.

“Run Moft, Run!” Ulundes shouted, and forgoing all caution, they charged further.

Further, into the deep, dank, dark.

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back to Coisir

As told to Trina, over a frosty root beer (sigh):

Before we left Deanadachd we went to buy healing potions and thieves tools for Moft. Do you want to know why I was the only one with money to buy things? I am the only one WHO CAN’T BUY BEER!!!!! We then went to the Brigantia temple and talked with a door guarder named Trifia. (My job naming ability is the goodest.) She knew things I didn’t know—knew things about stuff. We then talked with somebody named Agrefena and paid some dough to read books and stuffs. I think Moft stole a book, but honestly I wasn’t paying much attention. There were words and books; that sort of thing. We found out stuffs about the ley clach thingers. The main one has float-y thingers around it and stuff. The others don’t.

We then left town with a caravan and it was Gaelan. Nothing much happened on the way back. It got warmer and stopped raining. It was boring.

So we decided next to find that cave by a waterfall. We all knew about the waterfall three days into the forest. On the way we saw wolves and I heroically killed one of them. We finally found the waterfall but we didn’t see a cave. I had some important ideas and was the real mvp.

And that’s how it ended. Wait. How am I telling you this, Trina? I’m not back yet. This is actually a dream sequence where I’m talking to a barkeep that won’t serve me beer. I have the most boring dreams ever.

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Of Health Pots and Twitchy Eyes

Moft had taken an arrow to the knee and was bleeding out on the ground. Using the last Health pot BH healed her to full. He turned around, looking for the foes once more, and took another shot in the chest. He stumbled, barely not falling to the floor himself. He turned to tell Moft to run, and found nothing where she had lain just moments before. He wanted to find her but one more shot would kill him for sure. He had to get out of there. He sprinted down the road toward the temple. Hoping she made it out ok. The group would kill him if she died.

Luckily Moft met him at the temple. apparently she had sheathed, killed one of the bowmen and made the other flee. BH doubted that she could accomplish such a task but he did not argue.

It was time to spill the beans. When they get back to the temple BH explained everything to the rest of the group. There was guild war going on in the city. His contractor was in trouble and he wished to figure out what was going on. At that moment he saw a figure on the roof and an arrow was fired into the tree they were standing next to. Attached to the arrow was a note. The note asked them to come back at midnight and to be alone. the party agreed to wait till midnight.

Midnight stuck. While Moft was still pulling splinters out of her self ( her attempt to hide in a bush did not go well), a stranger entered their midst. The person who landed from the tree was Blade. BH’s contractor. She had obviously gone mad. With a twitch in her eye she told BH that he needed to quit wasting time and kill Redcaps. She was very closed mouthed about why and how, but she did finally say where. North she said, go north to the lights.

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Making Plans and wayward Bounty Hunters

After talking with Jorros we headed back to the Inn for dinner and a good nights rest. Ulundes, who prefers to spend her nights outdoors left the inn after dinner and the rest of us went to our rooms to sleep. The next morning we all meet up for breakfast and to make plans on how best to continue our search for the Ley Clach. Ulundes came in looking damp from sleeping outside in the rain, but she didn’t seem to mind it. Moft and Bounty Hunter both look like they got little sleep. This is nothing new for Moft since she likes to go exploring at night. It is unusual for Bounty Hunter who usually looks well rested in the mornings, but he doesn’t say anything.

Over breakfast we discuss plans to return to the cave near Coisir to begin our search for the Ley Clach. Bounty Hunter announces that he has some business to take care of here in Deanadachd before he leaves. Moft became very agitated that we were thinking of returning to Coisir leaving Bounty Hunter to go off on his own because we didn’t know what he was doing or what his motives were. We offered assistance which he refused. He didn’t want to talk about what this business was that he wanted to take care of and clearly did not want us involved so I suspect he was completing one of his contracts and didn’t want us tagging along to slow him down. Moft decided to tag along anyway. We told Bounty Hunter that we would wait for him at the Diancecht temple where he could meet us or send word and we would meet him.

We made our way to the Diancecht temple where we could get lodging in trade for small chores and an opportunity to make use of their library to do some research on Fey, Ley lines and the Ley Clach stones that we are searching for. I am also very interested in learning more about the Dream Domain that was given to me by Diancecht. Has this every happened before? In return for our food and lodging I help out in the infirmary while Shanston and Ulundes assist in the gardens. We spend our free time talking with the the other residents and making use of their library.

Meanwhile elsewhere… Bounty Hunter and Moft get ambushed by bandits. Moft is downed in one shot. Bounty Hunter rushes to stand guard over her and dispatch the attacking bandits. The bandit on the ground quickly realized he was at great disadvantage and rushed off to report to his superiors. The remaining 2 bandits remained on the roof to continue to attack their prey from a safe distance.

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Catching Jorros
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Over the River, and through the Salt
We've found Keen, but still no Joros!

Day broke, it was bright despite the clouds that drifted overhead like mounds of cotton suspended in the depthless blue skies. The party woke in their own rooms with a gentle breeze that carried with it the scents of a freshly baked goods from the Salty Shepherds kitchen. Dressed, alongside a de-loused Moft, the party made it’s way to the common rooms. Where a small breakfast was had, to discuss the days upcoming events.

“I just don’t see why you can’t wear anything nice. Furs and bones are going to attract attention, and all the bad sorts.” Rowena cautioned of Ulundes who only shook her head as she swallowed her bread down with a gulp of her ale.

“S’not matter to me, or any of them what I wear. She can wear her pretty dresses.” She gestured to Moft with a sharp finger, who was to busy feeding a colony of ants that made home in a corner of the inn. “I’ll wear my armor. Don’t know about any of you but with so many people in one place… I wouldn’t put it past any of them to try and slip a dagger if I wore anything else.”

With a shake of her head, Rowena gave in. “Matter’s settled then. We’ll continue on to the High City, minus Shanston of course. There seemed to be some mixup, he said he’d have it all worked out before the days out. You sure you won’t come?” She gave a look to the Bounty Hunter, already into his third ale.

“I’ll keep an eye out for the gnome. Ask around.” The orc stated. Ulundes only rolled her eyes.

“Moft, we’re leaving!” Rowena called out.

“Coming!” She placed the remnants of her bread on the ground, which earned a dire glare from Lucretia, but despite her annoyance she found a fondness for the girl. Deep down, of course. She’d make her clean up the common rooms when she returned that night. She watched from behind her bar as the trio left the bar, and came round to the Bounty Hunter to replenish his ale. He’d be drunk before noon.

  • High City *

This part of the city was by far the most crowded, and the trio was given a great deal of scrutiny from the bureaucrats and city officials. A woman who acted more a young girl, a dress of blue dancing about and singing as if all by herself? Mad, clearly. A barbarian, ELF of all sorts carrying her weapon alongside her travel-worn hides? There, leading the party was a Priestess of Dianchect. The pairing of the three had the look of a circus.

“Moft, come back here, and walk beside me!” Rowena called out, the tone in her voice more akin to an irritated mother, and when she refused to listen as soon as the girl came in arms reach she took hold of her and held her wrist so that she couldn’t skip about the streets.
“You’re going to bump into someone or something, take care.” She chastised, Moft on the other hand was to busy admiring the architecture of the city, and the clothing the people wore as they passed. The usually talkative woman was in silent awe at the amount of people and diversity.

The party continued to walk, up until they reached the square. Ulundes and Rowena pointing out a man standing upon a performers stage, juggling a great deal of colorful pins. The scar across his nose marked hi undeniably as the man Keen, the one whom they sought. He would know where Joros is.

“What do you think, Rowena?” The barbarian woman asked.

“I thi— Moft!” Was all she could say as the dark haired girl in her bright blue dress slipped through the crowd of on-lookers.

She moved as if a rabbit, bounding ontop of the stage. Keen looked on at her in confusion, as she reached up, took hold of the few pins in flight and began her own juggling. Her laughter was like the bubble of a running river as she took place beside him. The crowd were amused by the girls interruption, the skilled Keen continued his juggling, whilst Moft struggled to juggle to two that she had taken. At the very least she had the grace to smile and laugh and appear with the confidence of a performer!

“Look at this, folks! The trollop’s decided to give juggling a try! Not anything new for her I suppose?” The crowd jeered from the crude bit of wit on the jugglers part, not at all pleased with her surprise entrance.

“What’s a trollop?” Moft replied, earning her another round of laughter as she struggled to continue juggling. Ulundes however, had made her way to the foot of the performers stage.

“If you ask me she’s made the show the better.” The crowd applauded the elf-womans frank attitude. The bold comment had irritated the juggler enough he called off the show.

“That’s all for today, friends! I’ll be back here tomorrow, same time, bring the kids!” He called out, putting away his juggling pins, and then reaching out for Moft’s remaining pins whom was reluctant to hand over. One hidden behind her back, while she tried to hand him the other one.

“I know how many I have!” He said, incredulous of the girls simpleness.

“It’s my favorite color, please!” She begged as he wrenched the last one from her grip. Pouting.

“Ah! Sir, you must forgive her, Moft truly is a child at heart. She was only wanting to have fun!”

“So long as she doesn’t expect a share of the coin, no harm’s done… I suppose.” He folded his arms. “Well, what? Why are you still here?”

“Do you go by the name of Keen?”

“Whose asking?”

“Pardon, sir. I am Rowena, Priestess of Dianchect and these are my companions, Ulundes, and as you have already met, Moft.” She gestured to each woman respectively. “Please, we are in need of some information. Lucretia gave us your description, and told us where we may be able to find you.”

“Right, what can I do for you?” His attention earned from the mention of the inn-keeper. Though there was a grain of suspicion he gave Rowena.

“I believe it would be more prudent to speak in private. It’s in regards to Joros, we mean no harm that I can assure you.”

“If it’s about Joros then I suppose you’re right. Come on then.” He had decided to trust the woman, and her strange traveling companions. Leading them to a secluded area, with few people milling about.

Once settled, Rowena procured a note from her pocket. “We found this in a locked box at Joros’s home. It was ransacked by a strange, lice-covered creature. It says ‘Speak with Keen’. We were hoping if you might be able to help us find him.”

“Im not in the habit of revealing friends to strangers. Why are you looking for him?”

After a moment of consideration on Rowena’s part she decided it would be best to be upfront with him. “Something is happening. We were part of the Ritual of the Land, performed by Father Moorland at our home town of Còisir. What we saw there… was disturbing to say the least. The Ley Clach have been taken, and in all honesty we do not know. Though they need to be returned, but even to where we do not know. We had heard from a friend that Joros knows a great deal about fey and lore. He’s our only lead.”

“Well, Joros would be the one gnome to go to for anything in regards to fey.”

Moft pitched in, “So you’ll tell us where he is?”

“I don’t know where he is.” He folded his arms, “None of his friends do, fey can charm people into revealing someones disguise or location. He’ll avoid fey at all costs, and he’s the one man who even could.” He paused, “Your cause seems noble enough, though. I’ll tell you what I do now. Joros had been studying people, figuring out to make a disguise.”

Moft brightened suddenly, something clicking in her head. “Rowena! The description of the Half-Elves, that must be what he’s disguised as!”

Rowena gave a look of approval to Moft, nodding her head in encouragement. Next, she offered a book to Keen. It was in a strange language, nothing written by mortal hands. “Can you read this, by chance?”

Keen shook his head, “Sorry, I’m just a street performer. I’m willing to bet someone I know can, and I’m sure you already know who I am thinking of.”

“Thank you for your help, Keen.” With a tip of her head the party left.

When they returned to the Salty Shepherds Inn, they spoke right away with the Orc bounty-hunter what they had come to know. Moft was the first to voice her concern. “Rowena, this is pointless! How will we find one disguised man, who may be using magic to aid him in his disguise? Without Shanston theres no chance. I say we go elsewhere, there’s other places we can investigate!”

Rowena turned to her, procuring a small list. “Remember this?” The list had odd things written on it. A variety of wood, whistling, salt, red-sash. Many more. “We need only find a half-elf who meets the descriptions on here. As many half-elves as their are in this city, not all of them would be wearing, or doing whats described here. These are all things that discourage and repel fey. Joros will be doing that.”

“Salt’s on that list.” Moft scrutinized. “There’s a whole district for the salt-trade in this city.”

“As does running water.” Ulundes points out.

The Bounty Hunter spoke, the first time since they returned. “We should split up.”

“No.” Rowena cautioned, “We know already the fey can disguise and lurk in any corner, if we split up we’re at risk.”

“I agree with BH!” That earned a glare from the Bounty Hunter, it was his agreed upon nickname, but he didn’t like it. “I’ll take the salt district.”

“I’ll take the river that runs through the city.” Ulundes put in.

“No! Is anyone listening to me? If we’re splitting up lets at least do so in pairs. Ulundes, since the river runs close to the Salt District, why don’t you and Moft search together?”

“I do not baby-sit.” The elf stated.

“I can go on my own! Im sure I could make plenty of friends to help us find Joros!”

“Fine.” Ulundes, resigned and reminded of the innocence of Moft, thought it would be best she look after the girl despite her indifference for her. The last thing we needed was a dead girl to bring home with them to Còisir.

The party finally having agreed upon their course of action, set out their separate ways keeping to their pairs.

“What should we be on the lookout for?” BH asked of Rowena.

“Look for holy symbols, like the one I’m wearing or of another diety. I’ll see it before you do. Whistling, too. Red ribbon, clothing turned inside out. Bells that jingle. Those were all on the list.” The started their search in Old Town, and had little luck. There was one half-elf they spoke to who wore the holy symbol of Brigantia. The god of footbridges.

“Sir! Excuse me!” Rowena called out, but he continued to walk away. Shaking his head.

“I don’t want to buy anything.”

“I’m not selling anything, could I ask you a question?”

“No!” He stated firmly, he seemed like he was in a rush.

“Do you know anything ago—”

“I don’t want to talk!” He wheeled around, putting up a hand in caution. Then turned and continued on his way.

The due were not deterred however and continued their search. Midday was turning into evening, and it was beginning to get dark. On the corner of a street, the found a man whose clothing was a mess. His garments were to dirty to discern if they were red in color, or inside out, so the Priestess approached.

“Hello there. My names Rowena, a devout priestess of Dianchect.” She bowed her head. The half elf regarded her with a smile and a curt nod.

“What’s got you down on your luck?” The gruff voice of the bounty hunter came out.

“I was fired at work. I used to work at the docks, but I drank to much.” He seemed as if he was going to say more, but didn’t.

Rowena offered him bread, and a drink from her water skin. By then, she had examined his clothes, they were just dirty, and they weren’t inside out either. This definitely wasn’t Joros. “Thank you for your time.” They left, and continued their search until the day was out.

Moft and Ulundes on the other hand, had been walking alongside the river all day until they reached the salt district. Evening was there, and the workers were quiet, tired from the days out. The elf, and half-elf Moft both had their ears pricked for the sound of bells chiming and whistling in the otherwise somber crowd of people leaving the district.

It was indeed quiet, the workers were ready to return to their families or reach a bar to begin the nights drinking. The first two blocks were quiet, it wasn’t until they reached the third block did Ulundes ears prick up, she had heard whistling. Directing Moft, they both made their way to the center square. There, in the opposite corner was a dirty, homeless man. It was clear he was of elven descent, Ulundes being an elf would of pegged the half-elf for a human for his features. Though Moft being a half-elf herself could accurately identify him. Unlike Rowena’s encounter with the homeless, this man was oddly dressed, red ribbon clearly displayed. A wooden staff recognizable as one of the few make of wood to repel fey, and not common for any walking cane.

“This has to be him!” The had ducked against a wall, in the shade to keep discreet.

“What’s the plan?” Ulundes asked.

“I’ll go speak to him, I’m the friendlier of us two.” Ulundes could only agree with Moft’s statement, allowing he to begin her walk. Before Moft could even get half way, and the man could clearly see her reaching a hand out in greeting to him he darted off like a hare. Ulundes, didn’t have to hesitate and was on him like a wolf, chasing him down a the same street he did with Moft just a foot behind. Though it was to no avail, the man was gone. The salt across the street disguising his tracks.

“Now what!” Ulundes barked, agitated that they didn’t try to sneak up on the man instead.

“We should search for him!” Moft said, “We can find him!”

“He could be anywhere, theres hundreds of warehouses here, some of them could connected to each other. We’ve lost him.”

“Well I’m not going back. I’ll stay here, you tell the rest what I’m doing and that I’ll be back in the morning.”

“No.”

“I am not leaving! We’re to close!”

“Fine, but if you get ambushed by a pack pixies, you’ve got yourself to blame.” Ulundes left the stubborn Moft, who relying on her years of training under the trolls. Became part of the shadows, it was if she wasn’t even there. So while the party reunited at the Salty Shepherds Inn, enjoyed a hot meal, and a nights rest. Moft remained awake all night.

She saw few people, and none that had the same face as the man she meant to greet. Dawn broke, and she returned.

Once there, she devised several plans to try and weed out the disguised gnome, Joros. Though they were shot down.

“Joros cannot be in it for himself! What if I go disguised, a panic, stricken young woman whose being hunted by fey, just like he is!”

“Or you can just go as a woman of the night.” Ulundes suggested.

“No! Out of the question, and what would a whore be doing out in the day?” Rowena questioned.

“I could get a share of the profits.” BH commented, perhaps seeing some profit in it.

“We’re not actually doing that, it’s supposed to be a disguise, and in any case we aren’t doing it.”

“Fine, then I suggest we make search rounds around the district.” Moft began, looking at a map of the city’s salt district. Circling four sections, with the center square in the middle. “We each take a corner of the district and search, every thirty minutes we meet at the center and see if he’s there and to check in on each other.”

“He’s probably left the salt district.” Ulundes reasoned.

“Well I don’t see anyone else coming up with ideas, so its either this or we should leave!”

“We aren’t leaving, Moft. We need to protect Còisir, our home!”

Moft didn’t say anything in reply to Rowena.

The party continued talking in circles, until finally they agreed to return to the Salt District, wearing worker’s clothing. Carrying concealed weapons, with them and searching each four sections dictated by Moft.

They had decided upon a whistle, to call out for each other should they find him. It wasn’t until midday did Ulundes spot the man at the opposite corner he was at last night, she whistle, and with her mighty barbarian lungs, it carried to the ears of her party members. Though so too, did the half-elf. He turned around to see the elven woman, and dashed down a street to escape.

The party raced to reach Ulundes, who in turn raced to catch Joros. Though he had left her sight.

He’d gotten away, again.

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Shantson's statement from jail
Matt is typing (otherwise this would not happen)

This is the sworn and true testimony from Shantson Smithwork, arrested for underage drinking at the Salty Shepherd Inn.

We entered Déanadachd on the xx of xx, Dalon the Caravan Master paid us, and we were set free to find Jorros the bard. We did not find Jorros. We did find Jorros’ apartment. The apartment was in either good shape or bad shape. We looked for stuff and found a thing in a box. We killed it with a box. Moft got lice. Rowena was drunk.

Later I was picked up for underage drinking, but it was a misunderstanding. I ordered a ROOT beer, but the barkeep misheard me. And I’m old enough to drink anyway! Can I call my lawyer now?

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On the road to Deanadachd (as remembered by Rowena)

We started out bright and early with the caravan. The first day was uneventful except for Moft’s glee over the rain. Moft’s glee over the rain lessened with the 2nd day of steady rain and she complained about being wet and cold. Over the rain we heard the sound of a boar charging right at me, just 60’ away. Ulundes leapt into action stopping the boar’s charge at the risk of her own health. It was then we noticed that 2 more boars were charging our way. Moft, Shanston and I attacked the boars, then Bounty Hunter noticed we were being attacked and joined the battle. Eventually the boars were dealt with and all the injuries were treated, the more grievous ones requiring some healing magic. We had roasted boar for dinner that night.

The next couple of days were uneventful except for walking through rain and worsening mud. The next day dawned with glorious sunshine. We continued on the road as it curved around to the west. As we rounded a hill we could see the smoking remains of another caravan. Ulundes & Moft went ahead to investigate while Bounty Hunter, Shanston and I stayed with the caravan. After a short time I noticed movement near the other caravan that seemed to be more than just Ulundes who had reached the area by this time. I told the others and rushed to investigate with Bounty Hunter and Shanston close on my heels. As we arrive at the caravan we are attacked by arrows and notice that Ulundes is down. As we defend ourselves and try to make it to our fallen comrade, Moft is struck and went down as well, but managed to shoot an arrow, killing the goblin as she went down. We eventually defeat the rest of the attacking goblins. While I tend to all the injuries, the others inspect the caravan. Everyone has been killed by arrows and the caravan had been left to burn itself to ash. I joined the search after all injuries are tended to. As we are searchedthrough the caravan for anything worth salvaging I found an ebony lock box securely attached to one of the wagons. It is obvious that whoever attacked the caravan had tried to remove it. Moft was able to remove the box from the wagon and pick the lock. Inside there were documents in some language that none of us could read. We think maybe it could be dwarvish, primordial or deep speech. It was obviously a courier box as it had a note on top that read "To LK from FM” We put the documents back into the box and take it with us.

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A pond to remember

I found myself wondering why the ditzy half elf was talking to the shadows and the wind: Moft I think her name was; perhaps they spoke something to her that other ears could not follow. I could not distract myself with such meaningless creatures though, something deeply disturbing had come to my attention. After gathering the water something caught my eyes, there were people; tens, dozens of them perhaps but none were dead. They were all breathing and tied to the bottom with kelp. I managed to cut one loose as my lungs were burning, craving the oxygen I had deprived them of for a short time.
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Once above water there were questions, asking where this secondary being came from. I had nothing more to say than to tell them of the other bodies below. But the one of which I had just grabbed spoke up to speak of his name, Fondue he said, a bard. Uninteresting to my taste, too noisy. The priestess Rowena and what seemed to be her sidekick Shandston both questioned him. The bounty hunter was particularly quiet, considering he was a sunflower.
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Unbeknownst to any of us, small creatures started to appear from nowhere, but to any less observant creature they would appear as small lights or fireflies. They were none other than mischievous pixies, looking for a fight. After many tries at being a mushroom and Fondues attempt at being a rock, Rowena being the only one on a mission attempted to talk to the creatures. “people are ugly so they make the world ugly, so we had to get rid of them” these vile creatures put them on the bottom of the lake! at least they had the decency to put a breathing spell on them. Rowena being the heroic person she is decided to appease them and try to prove that not all creatures create ugly things. Shandston tried to whittle a stick, and they were not pleased, I tried to make a flower crown, but with the rough hands I have it just looked like shredded leaves, Rowena managed to create a statue and it was beautiful enough that they let us go.
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Rescuing the rest of the lake survivors we sent them to the town, I’m sure they needed a good pint or twelve. On the return however Rowena and I both noticed some glowing rocks to the west. While she sat and decided on what to do I went ahead and followed this path, it must lead to something. After some time I heard Moft and Rowena behind me. I slowed my normal pace so they could catch up to me. Further down we found a shack. A run down old home. no one to be seen, no one seemed to have been there in a while, if someone has been living there, they have been hiding it well. After that side adventure we make it back to town. Rowena anxious for her ritual we headed off to the temple after finding our separated companions. We watched this man as he spewed languages we didn’t understand seeing all sorts of colors, ones I never knew existed, and then it seemed like darkness filled, as he spoke dark languages, convulsed and lay on the ground. Unconscious. “Is that how its supposed to go?” I asked
“No, not at all” said Rowena
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