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Chapter Seven: The Stalemate At Loton's Cove

Jan 29, 2019 8:47 pm
Sitting in the bay window of the Ram and Sedge inn on what was to be her last day in Solyhill, Annganne Anne can hardly believe her eyes when she sees the riders approaching. There are five of them, and yes, that one could well be the brooding barbarian, that other one has a bit of Jermal flax in his hair, and there's one with a bow slung over his back...she supposes the two bringing up the rear are "the handsome one" and the demonspawn, respectively, although she can't get a good look at their faces yet.

She had suspected they might show up here, although she'd not dared hope that her timing would be this perfect. In her planning notes, she had anticipated tracking the Hunters of the Crown for considerably longer before finally catching up with them. They've come here for the same reason she did, no doubt, but she wonders if they too will find this town depressingly bereft of interesting clues...

TO BE CONTINUED
Jan 31, 2019 9:14 pm
Aha! The hunters! And again uncalculated opportunity emerges. I shall have to reevaluate my diagrams later.

There are indeed five, I see. Yes. Their number has undoubtedly been fortuitous for them in their undertakings!

AND YET! Were I to join their efforts… [clenches fist with one hand, clasps Complete Pentagram on necklace with other]

I shall have to be wary of my positioning among them. Both spatially and meta-spatially!


She waits, occasionally, glancing around for hostile-seeming humans.
Feb 5, 2019 5:48 pm
The town of Solyhill has no walls, but the main road has the party pass through a gatehouse, where three guards, the oldest of whom cannot be more than fifteen, question you as to where you came from and what business you have in Solyhill. You have little difficulty persuading them to wave you through.

It's nighttime by the time you're in Solyhill proper, but there are beacon fires burning up by the fort. The town feels empty, but not sleepy -- torch-bearing guards patrol wide, deserted avenues as you pass by a well-lit but quiet inn whose sign depicts a long-horned ram grazing in tall grass. A small gray donkey, the only animal hitched outside, raises its head to glare impassively at you.

The road into town terminates at a two-story holy house nestled against the slope of the hill. Shops and taverns line the last stretch of road, seemingly closed, but smoke rises from the chimney of one tavern, and you can hear the lonely ping, ping of a blacksmith working overtime.

~meanwhile~

Annganne looks around. The spacious common room remains nearly empty. Deach the barman is still fretting over the tables with his dirty rag, while the same quartet of widows she's seen in here every day remain camped out at their usual table, weeping and drinking and occasionally falling into fits of rage or strange mirth. How much better for them were they to follow the grieving process of her people! But they were not her people.

Satisfied, she returns her attention to the adventurers outside. Would they stop here to eat and rest, or were they heading straight for the hillfort?

What are you going to do now, players?
Feb 5, 2019 6:14 pm
Domarc eyes the holy house briefly, a frown on his face. "I suggest we try not to burn this one down," he says, "and perhaps the best way to do that is not to go in it at all. What think you, gentlemen? Food and rest and perhaps some song feel preferable to hearing the tale of what woe happened to Gethro and his men this night. My mouth tastes of ash enough already."
Feb 5, 2019 6:22 pm
Zangua spent some time on the road getting a new feel for the sword and shield combination, though he made sure to stow his implements of war before they arrived at the gatehouse. "Would'na had to burn it down if they didn't start anything," he says. "We saved 'em from whatever the Six-Points had in store for them. Those folk will get by, and maybe this time a normal holy man will step in."

The fighter makes a beeline for the tavern.
Feb 5, 2019 6:38 pm
Just to clarify, there's two hospitality establishments that appear to be open right now: an inn nearby and a tavern further up the road.
Feb 5, 2019 6:39 pm
Zangua heads for the inn.
Feb 5, 2019 8:48 pm
"Would be nice to save folks and have them feel like they were saved, or at least not any worse off than before we came," Domarc says as he follows Zangua.
Feb 5, 2019 8:58 pm
"I'll settle for not being chased out of town by an angry mob," Felor grunts as he follows the others.
Feb 5, 2019 9:16 pm
Domarc, Felor, and Zangua tie up their horses next to the donkey and walk into the inn.

It's quite dead inside. A man with a gruesome old scar running up the side of his head is roaming around the common room wiping off empty tables while four young women huddle together at a corner table, nursing ales. They seem to be the only customers here, although there seems to be a very small child sitting in the inn's bay window with a half-finished platter of food.

The bartender glances up as you enter, stares for a moment, then gestures for you to sit wherever you like.
Feb 5, 2019 9:18 pm
"The inn looks fine to me as well. I'd like to see the blacksmith, though. I'll need some sort of additional protection if we are going to be going up against dragons in the near future. Will you join me before we head to the inn, Leth?"

Mordred is looking for a buckler or some sort of improvement to his AC, but isn't inclined to make small talk at night with strangers by himself. If Leth is hesitant, he's OK with going straight to the inn.

ETA: I can do it later if there is no plot to be had at the smithy, PBO.
Last edited February 5, 2019 9:19 pm, a total of 2 times
Feb 5, 2019 9:38 pm
Mordred and Leth make a side trip to the smithy to see about armor upgrades before joining the others at the inn.

The shop is a cluttered cavern nestled between a potter and a woodworker, full of unfinished pieces and farm tools for sale. Pots and cookware are piled on a table. You see a few weapons and armor pieces -- mostly braced helmets -- on the walls, but even in this poor light you can see that the workmanship is passable at best. The pinging beckons you further into the shop.

The back room opens out into an enclosed yard, and here you find the smith hammering away at what looks like a large axe blade. The smith is a tall, stocky woman with frizzy red hair tied in a topknot. She doesn't seem to notice the two of you until you're a few feet away, at which point she starts, looks up, and says, "Oh...did you need something?"
Feb 5, 2019 11:24 pm
OOC - We have a bunch of stuff sitting on the party loot sheet we could also look at selling, if we have a chance. We haven't been in a town in a while. Maybe Mordred could try bartering away the chain shirt at the smithy?

Domarc nods at the man and heads over towards a different corner table, away from the other patrons.

"Ale, please," he says to the barman, and lays some coin on the table.
Feb 6, 2019 12:43 am
BullOctorok sent a note to deathmtn
The barman returns after a few moments with cups and a jug of brown ale. He scoops up the coin as he starts to leave.
Feb 6, 2019 10:22 am
nubs says:
OOC - We have a bunch of stuff sitting on the party loot sheet we could also look at selling, if we have a chance. We haven't been in a town in a while. Maybe Mordred could try bartering away the chain shirt at the smithy?
Fine with that, sell that vendor trash!
Feb 6, 2019 10:24 am
Felor pours ale into the cups then, taking one to drink, turns to survey the other customers at the inn. A child on their own? Maybe they're the innkeeper's, he thinks.

Would Felor know of/have met gnomes in Jerma?
Feb 6, 2019 1:12 pm
"Beg your pardon for startling you, smith. My party and I have just come in to town, and I would have waited until morn to do business, but I heard hammer on anvil and thought I might as well see your wares before we go to the inn. I'm looking for a hand shield or buckler, if you have anything of that nature in stock. I've a fine shirt o' mail to barter with, or I can pay in coin."

I think I've got some Dwemer scrap metal and Soul Gems in here somewhere as well...
Last edited February 6, 2019 1:18 pm, a total of 1 time
Feb 6, 2019 1:54 pm
Squints, looks for clues as to the national or cultural background of these three.
OOC:

Edit: The perception roll (if it applies) should have had +1 for wis and +5 for observant. History should have had +5.
Last edited February 6, 2019 1:58 pm, a total of 2 times

Rolls

History - (1D20)

( 16 ) = 16

Perception (Observant feat) - (1D20)

( 8 ) = 8

Feb 6, 2019 1:59 pm
Has Annganne overheard what happened to the windows' husbands?
Feb 6, 2019 6:31 pm
Felor would know about gnomes and has most likely seen them before, but never in Bload.

Felor takes another look at the other customers. Two of the four women have reddish, puffy faces, like they've been crying within the last few minutes; the other two don't look much more cheerful. They sit closely together and talk quietly, occasionally casting little suspicious glances in your direction.

The child in the window is wrapped up in a hooded traveling cloak. She, too, keeps making furtive glances your way.

Annganne observes the three men more closely and finds nothing to shake her from her initial hypothesis. The handsome one has the warm complexion and agreeable features of a coastal Mezian, no doubt, and there's no mistaking the Jermal countenance and hair color of the earnest-looking man with the spear. As for the lean warrior quietly taking in the room through half-closed eyes, no obvious bloodlines stand out to her; she wonders if he might be one of this land's native humans.

Annganne knows that the four widows lost their husbands about a month and a half ago. They were soldiers stationed at the fort, and when the Hierophant of Hazard secretly dispatched them to confront the Six-Pronged Crown, a white dragon fell upon them as they marched north and killed nearly every one of them.

~meanwhile~

The smith sighs. "All Teav's finished pieces were sent up to the armory already. There might be some wooden bucklers still at Gyman's, but nobody's been in to run the shop this week. If you come back in the morning, I might be able to get someone to open it up for you..." She looks down at the rough blade cooling on the anvil. "I'm not much good with armaments yet, sorry to say. This one's for practice. Going to be a halberd."
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