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Now What

Alayi’s Journal

The trip to Varnar would take twelve days on foot or six days by horse (with Defender running, but he’s proud to say that he doesn’t get tired). I wasn’t much for riding, but soon found myself watching the others haggle over the prices of horses, mules, etc. Tomas was being a cheapskate while knowing nothing about animals, but eventually Defender bought two (Alunys has her unicorn). I realistically named mine, “Target”, while Tomas cynically dubbed his, “Shoe”.

The gnome was in no shape to travel with us, even though he needed more care than the village could provide. We promised to send someone for him, and he wrote out a note for us to post to Morgrave University. Finally, we were off to the southeast. The first day was quiet, but on the evening of the second day, as we set up camp, Alunys and I noticed a large wolf approaching from the south.

As it got closer, we realized that it was covered in bony plates; I pulled my bow, warned the others, and let fly, but the arrow bounced right off! The wolf charged me, biting, and I found out the hard way that its jaws were dripping with acid. Fang missed a bite, the unicorn missed its attack, and then Defender and Tomas plowed into the fray. When the wolf turned on Defender, I crawled away to try again, only to see more wolves appearing from nowhere!

The new wolves didn’t have bony plates, at least, but they converged on Tomas for some reason. Alunys shot a smiting arrow at the bony wolf, while Fang attacked a “normal” wolf to draw it away from Tomas. Tomas was rolling on the ground, trying to get away from the pack, and I was slashing away with my scimitar, but two pulled me down again - at least I saw the unicorn finish off the leader of the pack!

Fang and the unicorn attacked the again, while I crawled out of the battle a second time to regain my feet. Fang and the wolves were trading bites, Defender got mauled, and Tomas was unconscious on the ground; Alunys tried to get to him and was pulled from the unicorn’s back! I healed myself up somewhat and rejoined the fight, but there seemed to be more wolves every time I looked around. The unicorn healed Tomas enough to wake him, but now the grass and foliage seemed to come to life and entangle us all. We HAD to find who was behind all of this!

As we began to get the upper hand in the fight, I started scanning the trees around us for a glimpse of the druid that I was now certain was guiding our attackers. Nothing. Even after we finished off all of the wolves, and the entanglement ended, I could catch no hint of whomever set them on us. I was very frustrated! But back to the party; we had a lot of healing to do!

Thankfully, the horses hadn’t scattered far, and eventually we settled down for the night at our original camp. Defender stood watch, while we hoped for the best and went to sleep.

The night was quiet, and the next day. Defender wanted to stop and camp under a lone tree, so that we could sleep in the branches and ambush any possible attackers. I did some more healing, as did the unicorn before disappearing for the night, then climbed into the tree to satisfy Defender’s whim while the others slept below. Fang got my bedroll. The night was quiet, so - onward!

On the sixth day, we arrived in the small city of Varnar. Tomas was disappointed that the city had no wall, therefore not meeting his ideal of a “real city”. Then, he wanted to know about “papers”, which Alunys said we’d take care of in the same place that she had to send the gnome’s message from. And that we could not forge them (with a glare at Tomas!).

After a quick argument over our “reason for travel” - we settled on research - we bought identification papers. Mine even has a portrait of myself and Fang on it. We then headed over to the Silver Flame’s church, then to an inn for a night’s rest. We stopped by House Lyrander to give them news of their airship, which they already knew about, and Tomas suddenly announced that he wanted to sell the gold statue.

Of course, it was way too pricey for this area, and I ended up feeling bad for Alunys, who got a lot of stares - druids and their companions aren’t too rare around here, nor warforged, but she stuck out. Eventually, Tomas gave up on selling the statue (this is a trade center for ranches, not treasure), and ended up putting all his cash and gems in an “account” at the House “bank”. I kept mine in hard currency, thanks!

Finally, we made it back to the inn, and went to bed.

Not for long - I woke up to Alunys screaming “Assassins!!!” and running out the door of our shared room! I leapt out of bed, saw her leaning out the window at one end of the hallway, and turned to look down the stairs at the other end. I saw nothing. Meanwhile, Alunys was shouting for Defender, and I ran to check on Tomas. His door was locked, and he wasn’t answering our shouts!

It took several tries to break the door down, and when we did - the room was empty. I was telling Alunys that they must have gotten to him first when Tomas popped out of hiding, which was a relief, and accused me of trying to get in his bed, which I answered in an unprintable fashion. He claimed not to have heard us knocking, but before we could argue the point, we finally heard the sound of steps on the stairs.

The halfling proprietress was naturally outraged at the ruckus we were raising in her establishment! I told her about the attack (Alunys had hollered out at some point that she’d been hit by a dart), and realized at the same time that Alunys was looking really sick, to the point of sitting down right where she stood. I headed for our room to collect our gear, and discovered that the whole place had been ransacked! My cursing drew Tomas to the door, who accused us of being slobs.

The window was now wide open - and empty, of course. I picked up everything, realized that none of my stuff was gone, and took Alunys her gear, which she quickly checked. None of hers was missing, either! While we were scratching our heads over that, the town guard arrived. Their head investigator was NOT happy with me, as I’d messed up his whole crime scene. I apologized as best I could, told him our story, and offered to pay for the broken-down door. They were able to discover that our lock had been picked, the next question being: why attack the Silver Flame, first?

Defender and Fang and the horses were all right, and he guarded us for the rest of the night. In the morning, I prayed for a lot of spells to restore Alunys’ strength after the poisoning, and we got ready to go. The innkeeper waived our charges as an apology for the attack happening there, and the investigators let me go with a warning not to touch a crime scene next time!

I wonder what they were looking for...

Posted by Kate on July 4, 2007, 00:06 | Alayi’s Journal