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Old Dec 12th, 2019, 06:46 AM
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Chapter 1 - Fires Over Brinestump

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Last edited by MoonZar; Dec 30th, 2019 at 12:50 AM.
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Old Dec 12th, 2019, 06:51 AM
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30 Gozran, 4687 AR
Brinewall
North Varisia


A storm is comingA storm was coming. Tsutamu felt it in his old bones, held tight by weathered skin and his ancient armor, an heirloom of his family, hanging from his body and ready to be passed down once more. If only Tsutamu had a heir. Protecting his master Rokuro family is now his sole duty.

Meanwhile, long frustrated at his father’s silence regarding his ancestry, a young teenager took matters into his own hands and opened a box that was meant to be sealed forever. "Foolish boy, foolish!" His master spoke in their native tongue, the tongue of the land of Minkai. The storm was coming from the north, a cool with from the Land of the Linnorm Kings. Tsutamu remembered not liking that place. It lacked honor. It lacked tact, respect. It was unconquerable. That last point, at least, was respectable. He looked back to his master, his face turned to grit and a flicker of fear. "I told you not to open the warding box! You had my orders son, and what did you do!? What did you do!?"

"It is my family heirloom, father!" His Minkaian, like his Tien, was broken, and needed refinement. The teenager was not a scholar, but he had an astute mind. "Am I not deserving of it? As deserving as you were, when you were my age!?" Rokuro Amatatsu stepped forward, a head taller than his thin son. "When I was your age, I was not foolish enough to assume all that was my family's was mine to squander! You are reckless! And for your recklessness, we now face annihilation." The breeze seemed to pick up, and all three men noticed it; Rokuro looked to the wind, fearfully, as the water around them on the ship crashed. Rokuro looked to the other two ships in the fleet, Cheliaxian ships that were not quite so favourable as the Tien junks Tsutamu knew he missed. These winds, too, were not favourable, but the lord's words were law.
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A storm was coming


"Listen to me, son. Go to the flagship. Set the sail and head south, return to your mother. I will follow when I have confirmed the threat is not real or is dealt with." A man approached him, a Varisian-Taldane mixture dressed in plate armor, his hand on his longsword. "Master Rokuro," noted the man, taller than any of them, his face bearded, "I've begun preparing the fortifications. If what you say is true, we'll need to seal off the vault immediately." Rokuro nodded, and turned back to is son. "I am sorry I have not explained things to you. There is much about our family you do not and cannot understand. But I will tell you everything. Now go, son." The boy’s face is filled with pale rage. "But father—" Rokuro exploded. "GO, BOY!"

The teenager was gone in an instant, off to the flagship. When he was out of earshot, Rokuro at least turned his attention to his retainer. "Tsutamu, long have you served me, since I was but a boy-lord. Far have you traveled with me, protecting me and teaching me what you can of the ways I never knew. But I must ask you now to go ahead of me, and likely, without me. You cannot possibly understand the threat we face, but your survival—his survival—is key. I have not come this far to dishonor my ancestors by letting my family die here." Reaching into his coat, Chelish in fashion and not Minkaian at all, Rokuro pulled out a scroll, written in the classic characters of their homeland, tightly tied. Tsutamu took it and put it in his sleeve, to protect it from the oncoming rain. He would secure it on the ship.

"Give this letter to my foolish son, should I not arrive within five days after you. It explains my wrath. Give my love to my wife, she will understand.I grant you permission to sit with them, so that you, too, have understanding of why I must do this, and alone. Now go, and lead my retainers back to Sandpoint." Tsutamu nodded, bowing, and returned to the ship. He watched his lord head back to the castle with the Varisian, the two speaking heatedly in Taldane, the common tongue of this land. Tsutamu held the scroll to his hand, and went to the starboard side of the ship, speaking to the other captains.

"OUR LORD HAS BADE US LEAVE WITHOUT HIM, AND INTO THE STORM! WE ARE TO RETURN HOME TO SANDPOINT, WITH HASTE! DO NOT DELAY!" A cry of unison, his eyes falling to his master’s bitter son, who disappeared inside the cabin of the flagship. The sails came down, and soon, they were off, taking the wind blowing from the north as they headed southward, to Sandpoint. A warrior walked by, one of the few young samurai left in their lord's service. "Come here my good lad please." The man stopped immediately, coming to attention. A good man, from one of the few gaijin family who ever elevated themselves as noble warrior.

"Take this to the chest in my chambers. Secure it. And then return to me posthaste, we must talk of your future." He smiled at the man, who smiled back with much spirit. The went without delay.

Moving to the head of the ship, he watched, and wondered how bad the storm would get.
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Old Dec 12th, 2019, 06:52 AM
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Few days later, 4687 AR
Brinewall Castle
North Varisia


Inside Brinewall castle
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Kikonu: I'm going to eat your guts!

"Shall I reveal what is in store for your companion, Amatatsu?"

The blood drained from Andril, leaving a trail as the two shinobi dragged his body away, up the stone steps and out of the catacombs. Rokuro was out of breath and out of time, and soon he would be dead. He looked up at his captor, skin shining red with eyes burning like the fires of deepest Hell. The ukiyo-e of them was not exaggeration. They had tusks and teeth like razors, monsters dressed in men's clothing.

"We will defile his corpse: he shall devour the flesh of his kinsmen forevermore! And he, like you, will guard this place for eternity. We are the shadow of the moon, Amatatsu: none may live that know our face. And soon shall we realize our goal, for you are the last." His captor smiled, like a hungry wolf. The long-nosed bird-man behind him giggled, dancing in his armor.

Each spoke in a tongue not native to this land, for none were not of this land. The conflict of these men was not the conflict of Varisia, but of Minkai, in distant Tian Xia. Still, it had shed the blood of Varisians, for here, in Brinewall, Rokuro had seen the whole of its Varisian guard fall, the Ulfen mercenaries, all of the servants. Not five minutes ago, despite his kingly struggle, he had seen his friend, Andril Kortun, slain before his eyes. Blood stained these walls on his behalf. All of this, Rokuro's fault.

"Where is your family, Amatatsu? Where is your woman? Tell us and we will only eat her liver. Tell us, and we will return your head to the shrine of your ancestors," said the leader. His three companions laughed: one blue man, one orange woman, and the red feathered bird-man, giggling, crying out, "This is like a play! A tragic comedy! He is like a raven, trapped in the body of a man—"

"Silence, Kikonu, or I shall break off your nose and choke you with it!" roared his captor, turning to the long-nosed creature; he cried and fell back. The tusked giant turned his fire-gaze back to Rokuro. "Where is the Seal? Give me the Seal, and I shall end this." The beast smiled and drew his katana: over-large and razor-teethed, it was not the weapon of a man. It was the weapon of a demon.

"I have no family. I am the last, for I knew you were coming: why should I pass on the burden of my blood?" he said, with deep sincerity in his voice. "As for the Seal, I opened it to destroy it." He knew that he would not believe that. It was a poor lie. But if they had come this far, then the Seal was safe. It was safe, and they would never find it. Not now. And as long as he kept his mouth silent, and they damned his soul to torment these halls for all eternity, his secret was safe.

The demon drew its arm back and slapped him, throwing teeth and blood across the room. The gauntlet and the hand within were larger than the man's head. "Lies! We know of your wife, Amatatsu. Give us the Seal and I shall make her passing painless!" He knew better. He had prepared for this day all his life. They must kill all the Amatatsu for their plans to begin. They were the key. They were the last.

Rokuro was tired. He was tired of fighting, tired of running. He must hold fast. But he must end this. Or he would break. His head was heavy, his breathing labored. So tired. If he told them, they would end this quickly. He must.

"Come closer. So that I may tell you where the Seal is," he whispered. The demon raised a hairless brow, and fell to one knee, looming over Rokuro. A smile to the demon, who smiled back. "Tell me, Amatatsu," it said.

Rokuro drew in his breath, prayed to his ancestors for forgiveness, and closed his eyes, dripping, salt-brine tears mixing into his opened wounds.

"If it were right before you, you'd never know it. Your horned head is too far up your ass to see it."

The demon roared, and the man saw only the flash of the massive sword. The blue demon in shinobi garb approached and began the rite without skipping a beat, binding the soul before the body was cold.

The oni let loose a howl, slamming his katana into the blood-stained walls of the vault. His companions, save the blue shinobi, backed away towards the steps leading upward. Their leader was the vessel of rage, and this was his cage. The columns and the walls were scarred now with the blood of the fallen, their essence, and his anger. When at last he was spent, heaving and growling in the corner, his back to them, the orange oni stepped forward, past the quivering form of that bumbling idiot Kikonu. If not for her dog legs, she might be beautiful.

"There is... We discovered that he sent his wife ahead, on a ship in the middle of the storm. We may catch them, if we hurry," it said, her eyebrow heavy, her eyes bulging. Behind her, the shinobi returned, and began to search the room, avoiding the body of the dead Amatatsu, now glowing blue as the entrapment began.

The oni lord smiled. "Then we shall follow with the haste of thunder-gods."
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Old Dec 12th, 2019, 06:56 AM
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21 Sarenith, 4713 - Evening
Sandpoint
The Lost Coast, Varisia



SandpointIt’s Fireday on Sarenith the 21st. A humid evening just like any other in the quiet village of Sandpoint at the end of a long work week in the middle of summer. The wind off the gulf carries with it a coolness, just enough to make the evening pleasant instead of stuffy. The small coastal village, which has seen its fair share of tragedy, destruction, and lose over the past decade, sits neatly on the Varisian Gulf along the Lost Coast road. This long and winding path runs all the way from Magnimar in the south to the Fogscar Mountains in the north. Although small, the town sees hundreds of travellers and traders weekly, its small port freighting cargo from Magnimar, Riddleport and Roderick’s Cove to the various caravans that stop in to resupply and trade. Under the protection of Magnimar, it has since seen its own heroes rise to power and save all of Varisia from an ancient evil. A port of merchants, a place of poppers, and a magnet to minstrels, the town have less than fifteen hundred in population at any given time, even during its famed Swallowtail Release festival. Its buildings are a mixture of Varisian simplicity and Chelish grandeur, made to stand the march of time and resist the saline assault of the sea, constructs of stone, of wood, and of clay. It is less than seventy years old and already the town is one of the most famous settlements in all of Avistan. As one comes up the Lost Coast Road and comes to enter this place, a single sign hangs at its gatehouse, near the southern bridge, with a mirror beside it. It reads simply: “Welcome to Sandpoint! Please stop to see yourself as we see you!”

Sandpoint! Light of the Lost Coast, that shining jewel that spawned the Heroes of Sandpoint. Near four years ago, when Sandpoint was but a speck on the map, the Thistletop Goblins attacked her, and they fought. And when the conspiracy of the Runelord Karzoug revealed itself, they fought giant, dragon, and denizens of planes that should not be and won. And while the Heroes of Sandpoint were good for the productive side of Sandpoint, those living there are none too pleased at the stream of tourists and would-bes. Sandpoint's economy thrives under the rush of adventurers, troubadours, or celebrities come to see the home of such newly-minted legends. Many of you are no such tourists. You aren't tourists at all. You're home: as close to home as you can be. Children of the road, citizens of no where, it is here that has collected you and claims you as its own. Or perhaps it is the friends you've made that keeps you here, in Sandpoint. The beacon of friendship is a hard one to ignore, and once lit, shines brighter than the sun and the stars of Desna. The town is quaint, at best, wrapped in moors to the south, marshes to the north, and directly to the east, the high-rising Devil's Platter, a plateau of some magnificence. The tourists come and go: you remain, and while the road may carry you away from time to time, you never cease to return to this place. It's gotten in you. It's infected you. At least, your friends have.

And today, like any other day, invites you to enjoy life. Your friends are in town, like you, and wish to celebrate the happenstance of mutual acquaintance. They've been on edge of late. The road bites their heels, and it is beginning to bite yours. Tonight calls you after a busy day under the sunshine, and you have a feeling this will be no normal evening at the Rusty Dragon. This will be an evening to remember.


 
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Old Dec 24th, 2019, 05:35 PM
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Inno paced outside the door of the Rusty Dragon, slowly walking back and forth in the dirt street, dodging people as they bustled about at the end of their day. She slipped aside easily, her small frame dodging them as they moved about, likely heading to home and dinner at this time of day. The smell of salt and seaweed drifted in with the slight breeze, pushing aside the dusty smell of the roads for a moment. Gone was the lingering smell of the bakeries that lingered in the morning, replaced by the smoke of evening cook fires being started across the village.

Where you should be, she thought. The young woman frowned, and sighed. She rubbed a calloused hand across her brown eyes, closing them for just a moment to calm herself. Why did I agree to this? she wondered. Even if I don't have to work tomorrow, I don't know why I said yes.

She glanced around, trying to spot the reason for her presence at the tavern, to no avail. None of the people moving about the streets were there to meet her. Her thin red cloak billowed only when she turned, having reached the end of her steps, but otherwise hung straight, covering most of her workman's clothing. Tall leather boots came to her knees, wrapped with thin leather puttees to add extra protection from the heat of a glass kiln. Canvas trousers showed beneath the cloak, and a sturdy ocher cotton blouse peeked out brightly as she paced.

"Ah, Canan," she muttered to herself. Why couldn't you just come here by yourself? Inno chided herself almost instantly for the thought, and chewed a bit on her lip in self-chastisement. Because YOU wouldn't have gone out in a crowd, after dark, your first year here, even in Sandpoint, she reminded herself. YOU followed Koya and Sandru like a puppy for the better part of a year or more. The young girl smiled at the memory.

It had been, in fact, only in the past several months that Inno had ventured forth more routinely on her own, exploring Sandpoint without the requirement of another soul nearby. Because she's scared, just like you were, the young woman reminded herself. Can't blame her for that.

Inno ran a delicate hand over her head, feeling the stubble that was forming again. I wonder how long it will grow this time, she mused. And what color it used to be. All Inno could remember about her hair, what little there had been of it, was that it had always been white, or light grey. Inno was sure, somehow, that she hadn't been born with white hair, and that at some point in her past, she had borne tresses of incredible length, and beauty. But she could not remember any of it, of course. Every memory beyond a few years ago was non-existent. Every time she saw her own hair, she was a little jealous of Aurora, and her exotic tresses.

Another sigh escaped her lips. "Come on, Canan," she whispered, and leaned her thin frame against the tavern wall. The rough wood felt warm against her back. I'm here, you need to be here, we can go inside and do whatever it is you wanted to do. Hopefully, it's quick, and we can leave again. Hopefully, Sandru doesn't swing by and tie us all up into one of his schemes or tales, or some stupid bar game.

She looked up at a noise, and saw her friend. A quick hand rose up to wave, and a smile appeared on Inno's face, warm and friendly.

"Canan," she said, raising her voice with the wave. "Over here!"

 
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Old Dec 26th, 2019, 12:48 AM
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You can never go back home
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Graegor left Koya's home with his mind lost in a wild mix of emotions. Guilt and regret had brought him home to Sandpoint after learning of his father's passing, but something else was now keeping him there. After learning that his family's close friend, Madame Mvashti, had also died a few months back, and that her daughter, koya, had been holding his family's sword at his father's request, he decided that he would accept the blade as his father had groomed him to do since he was a child. It was no small burden, but he would no longer deny that it was his to bare. With the black katana slung over his back, he made his way down the road.

Graegor had expected to be sleeping in his father's house that night, but was remiss to learn that, save for the blade on his back, all of his father's possessions and property had been sold, the assumption being that Graegor would not be coming back to reclaim them. After their explosive last argument years ago that caused him to leave in the first place, be was not surprised. Faced with the loss of two major influences in his life and the home he had been born into, he truly felt lost.

Be it fate or chance, his feet led him to the door of the Rusty Dragon while his mind was lost to chaos. Entering the inn, he approached the bar and set his pack down beside a stool and took a seat.

"Ale", he said as the barkeep came over. "And it seems I will be in need of a room for the foreseeable future."

 

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Old Dec 26th, 2019, 07:30 AM
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21 Sarenith, 4713 - Evening
Sandpoint, The Rusty Dragon
The Lost Coast, Varisia



Sandpoint - Rusty DragonThe tavern’s own proprietress, Ameiko Kaijitsu, stands as the one and only draw for townies and outsiders – her boisterous personality and no-nonsense attitude keep her regulars coming back and out-of-towners charmed by her lovely Shamisen playing and well-known discount to anyone willing to tell her an entertaining or harrowing story. Tonight, the bar is crowded and rowdy, just like Ameiko likes it. Her cook, the magnificent young Koharu, hustles with a bunch of aids about serving up mutton stew and drinks at the tables as Ameiko slings ales and gabs with those sitting at the bar.

She brings a small glass of brown liquid over to her friend and confidant, Shalelu Andosana, who sits at the end of the bar in her usual spot playing an old elvish lute beside a very old man with a pointy hat that seems to know both female. They clink their glasses together and Ameiko swigs back the shot before getting back to work. A man, dressed in the garb of the town’s militia well know as sheriff Hemlock walks in through the door with a piece of rolled-up parchment in his hand. Ameiko waves, greeting the man and chatting casually with him before taking the parchment and bidding him farewell. She chuckles to herself, unrolling the parchment before placing it against the back of her bar. With a flick of her wrist, she thrusts a knife into the carefully drawn-up flyer and stands back for a moment to admire her handy work.
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Sheriff's Hemlock bounty

After the sheriff is gone, a gentleman merchant at the bar swigs his beer and wipes his mouth roughly, gesturing toward the poster with his mug as some of the foam spills over the edge.

"Bout time! Las’ night, another round of colourful explosions burst over Brinestump Marsh. Them and their infernal fireworks again… Scared the living daylights outta my horses as we were coming up the road toward town! Nearly lost control of mah goods! Good to see that good-for-nothing sheriff is finally trying to recruit someone to take care of it."

A woman sitting next to him turns sharply.

"What if it’s just like five years ago?! Like the Swallowtail festival raid?! What if the goblins are mounting another attack on town? When that happened, my friend Amele Barett and her children had to move in with her sister in Magnimar after she lost her husband Alergast. One of those bloody creatures had holed up in one of their closets and attacked Alergast in the night! It was absolutely dreadful, I say."

Ameiko makes a wet raspberry noise at the two of them from behind her bar.

"Goblins are too stupid to do that again! I don’t know where they got their hands on fireworks, but the last attack on town was orchestrated by a human, not another Goblin. Sandpoint’s heroes from a few years back may have moved on from saving this podunk nowhere town, but the Sheriff isn’t a good-for-nothing! He’s merely giving hungry adventurers a way to pay for their next meal. Think about it that way. You may call it laziness, but I call it an opportunity! "

The woman sips her mead and wrinkles her nose.

"I heard a couple of young adventurers passing through town and looking for extra cash already tried going out into Brinestump marsh last week. My friend Alma says they haven’t been heard of since!”

The merchant hiccup with a slight burp before the barmaid continues with an impatient tone. "Maybe they got scared and moved on! You lot do love to gossip about how it’s haunted. I wouldn’t be surprised if they got spooked and ran off!" She shrugs and pours several mug of beers, placing them on the waiting tray of Koharu who is giving a hand on the main floor as everything is running smoothly in the kitchen. As soon as the mugs have been set on her tray, the beautiful woman goes shuffling over to a table, dramatically dodging and ducking under the flailing arms of drunk customers. She made it safely to Inno and Canan table.

"Did you see the goblin poster? I couldn't imagine cutting the ears off a living creature. I suppose that can't be helped, Sandpoint needs all the help it can get. Glad you both made it tonight, Ameiko mixed those with lemonade for you, that's on the house. That should help to go through the night and nobody will know he he... "
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The inn is warming up

At the bar Ameiko serves a large metallic mug of ale in front of Graegor Fallow. He remembers Ameiko, everybody does, but she didn't recognize him after all those years. - " I still have rooms. " She looks at the black katana on his back. - " Nice antique, I didn't saw a real one like that in a while. You know what, if you go after those goblins and bring back some weapons as proof, You can have a room free for a week, food included. Deal? " It was a bit random, but Ameiko recognizes an adventurer when she sees one. Shalelu who is sitting at the bar as well, barely opened her right eye to look at the stranger Ameiko just offered a free room. She makes a sight of disappointment when she sees the sword on his back and continues her melody. Graegor knows Shalelu too well, she fought goblins with his father before and probably would remember the sword.

The old man with the pointy hat beside Shalelu sighs as well and turns his head to Shalelu.

"What is the point in worrying about something that will solve itself in time…. Besides, haven't you already taken care of all the goblins in the Hinterlands by now anyway?"

The elvish archer laughs at his friend's morose attitude and shakes her head.

"Goblins are like cockroaches. You'll never be fully rid of the pests. According to the militia, the Sheriff has grown exasperated from receiving reports about the goblins down in the Brinestump Marsh area over the past few weeks. I guess he's desperate enough to re-instate the old bounty from a few years back. Did you hear about what happened? Sheriff had to ban the bounty when a bunch of scavengers got swept out to sea chasing after goblin corpses for coins…"

The retired wizard takes a sip from his drink. "Have travellers been injured recently by those vermins?"

Shalelu nods and stops playing from her lute, both of her green eyes opened. "Yeah, it’s resulted in some rather serious injuries so far. Thankfully, no deaths but… Goblins are rather reckless. I guess they’ve come across someone’s stash of Desnan Candles or something… either way, any little bit of firepower always goes to a goblin’s head. I’m sure they’re just overconfident about their new weapon. The Sheriff men are concentrating on keeping the roads and town safe, he doesn't have much men to spare to search randomly in the marsh to find goblins. He is particularly annoyed that Magnimar’s officials don’t really see it as much of a threat yet and is leaving tomorrow to make his case there. ”

He removes his hat and expose his half-bald head to scratch it. "I'm too busy for this... It's time for younger folks to step up. I'm going back home to Korsova first thing in the morning as well if the weather allows. " The blonde doesn't smile, she almost never does, but her expression is kind. - " I hear you, I promised to the Sheriff I would stick in town until he returns. The The most notable events in the short history of Sandpoint occurred in the winter of 4702, and are referred to locally as "the late unpleasantness." The people of Sandpoint would prefer to put the unsavory disasters behind them, but five years is not long enough to fully forget these events. Within the course of only a few years, a string of murders by a ruthless killer known as "Chopper" and a great fire which destroyed the iconic chapel and many of the surrounding buildings ravaged the town both physically and emotionally. A grand cathedral has since been built and the people of Sandpoint are finally optimistic about their future.late unpleasantness is still fresh on my mind. I wish you well old friend. Give my regards to the family. "


 
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Old Dec 26th, 2019, 11:41 AM
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Aurora is doing a Stealth=8poor job of hiding in the Inn. Her cerulean eyes keep an eye on her niece Koharu and any patrons who might dare to untoward towards her. Cerulean blue eyes will pick out people in the tavern and suggest that they behave themselves either towards Koharu or others. Ameiko has told her, many times, that she does not need to be a bouncer here. Yet, here she is again keeping an eye on her niece as well as Ameiko and even Shalelu both of whom she knows can entirely take care of themselves. The thing is though that it has been hard since her mother passed, hard to see anything in the world except as a threat to those she holds dear.

The Sherriff comes in and unravels a poster with the reward for goblin ears and Aurora finds fires heating up in her. How dare these creatures still be at it, how dare they hurt so many people, someone must do something about them. She finds herself moving out of what meagre shadow she'd been in to stare at the poster and then look at the departing woman who had put the notice up. As she examines the sums of gold she thinks about how much she can fetch for her pots and finds that sum somewhat wanting in comparison to ten gold per set of ears. Just ten of the creatures would bring in a hundred gold and the head of their leader three hundred. She could give that money to her sister, help to fund a caravan that would go further for her.

"I could do it, two ears no problem. A simple slash of one of their own little dog slicers and ten gold. Might have to split it though, don't think I'd go on my own. My sister would surely have my hide if I did that." She stared at the picture though wanting to go and do this, wanting to make sure her home was safe and to make enough money that her sister could get what she wanted. One last Caravan out to the furthest places. Koya deserved it for everything she'd done for her and simply because she was a deserving woman.


 
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Old Dec 26th, 2019, 03:12 PM
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Taurin had spent another day in Risa's place being worked and lectured intermittently . Risa had ordered him about while she told tales of times past and some bits of ancient myth, he listened while weaving between the early day patrons, it had been a rather slow day, apparently the Rust Dragon was the place to be tonight. Eventually Risa notices his growing restlessness, "Bluecoat," She rasps, not even turning to look towards him "It's slow tonight, and I find myself too tired for continued lectures, occupy yourself." Taurin grins as he hangs his apron up, throwing an awkward wink at Lanalee who smiles softly and shakes her head, and a grin at Vodger, who grunts and grouchily shines a mug.

Dressed in a lightly colored tunic, a pair of rough trousers and of course, his bulky blue coat, Taurin walks the streets of Sandpoint, bare feet slapping against the cobbles. He takes another bite out of the loaf of bread he brought with him, thinking on what to do, when he remembers that the Rusty Dragon was apparently packed right now, grinning as he takes a last bite of his bread, finishing up the loaf, he starts off to a night of entertainment.

Taurin is not disappointed by the Rusty Dragon, positively bursting with sounds and people. Taurin marches towards the bar, noting the presence of a few notables, he had seen Inno outside earlier, a couple Mvashti's were about the place, a rather conspicuous fellow with an odd sword sat in a corner with a pretty heft stormcloud about himself Fallow? I think? Risa said something of note about a Fallow in one of her stories, hm, something to look into. The owner, Ameiko is about the place he knows, hopefully I'll get to hear her play, people at Risa's always say it's great. Shalelu plays a pleasant tune nearby, and the Sheriff himself is hanging around, Best not to cause too much trouble tonight then. and an strange old man, Taurin didn't actually recognize him, odd that.
He stops as he catches sight of the poster, Goblins! That starts a cascade of thoughts as Taurin immerses himself in the chatter of the tavern, it sounds like they've been causing quite a bit of trouble recently, Maybe this is the chance to put my skills to work? I mean they're only as big as I am, they can't be that bad. Someone let out a shout as they raised their mug, bringing Taurin back to the present, he looks around First thing's first though, I should probably find somewhere to sit.

 

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Old Dec 26th, 2019, 03:58 PM
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Charles walked down the stairs, his steps light as air with his armor on the rack in his room. Not only was it still filthy from a day rooting for mushrooms in the forest, but the disparaging looks the girls had given him at breakfast this morning made him opt for more conventional attire. The boy didn't mind wearing his armor everywhere. It was a great workout and kept his motions fluid when they mattered most.

He thought of stopping by the stables once more, but willow was tired and needed her rest. The uneven terrain and narrow forest trails proved quite the workout for the young mare.

The cavalier made his way to the Rusty Dragon. Not only had the day's travels left the boy's throat dry, but the sheriff told him there would be a big announcement tonight. Who knows, Shalelu might be there tonight as well. A tale of adventure would go a long way to lifting my spirits. He jingled his coin pouch. More than enough to buy a few drinks.

He rounded the corner just in time to see Inno and Canan enter the establishment. He blinked his eyes to make sure. "What are they doing here? Oh, Gods, I hope they don't think I'm stalking them. He thought back to the hushed tones the girls had used on their way back into town. This night was shaping up to be interesting. Stay focused, stay focused, stay focused. He scolded himself, remembering the harsh looks Canan had paid him for his spotty attention at breakfast.

Charles entered and scanned the room. The same regulars in their usual spots, with a few exceptions. He saw Inno and Canan off to one side, he saw Shalelu talking with the mage, he saw Aurora skulking at the edge of the crowd, and he saw a stranger at the bar. Strangers weren't odd in this town, but there was something special about this one. He adjusted his cotton tunic and went to tighten his swordbelt before realizing he'd left it with the armor. He pondered which to approach as the sheriff hung his notice.

So there are goblins out there! They told me I'd just seen a dog. Wow, ten gold a head, with three hundred for their leader? That would buy some new armor for myself, or for Willow, or even both! He'd had his eye on a new breastplate since the winter caravans. The same smith had also offered to make Willow something more robust that the militia offered leathers. He was years away from saving that much oh his salary.

He walked next to Aurora as she studied the bounty. "Yes, it would be foolhardy to go alone. They wouldn't offer a bounty this size unless they were a nuisance and goblins are only a nuisance in large numbers. I'd be willing to split any bounty with you fifty-fifty." Charles snapped his fingers as an idea came to mind. "We can use Willow to haul out the things they've stolen as well. There may be a reward for that too." He eyed the picture one more time. "Hopefully the ones they're sending us after aren't this cute. Look at its little smile and mushroom hat."

He looked around the room to see who else was eyeing the bounty. He didn't fancy a smaller cut, but he also knew that the three of them would never be able to take a goblin chieftain and his hordes. Still, culling a few goblin stragglers would net him a month's pay for a single day's work. Heroic tales and pretty girls could wait for a full coin purse and a safer Sandpoint.



 
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Old Dec 26th, 2019, 11:22 PM
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Ameiko placed the metal tankerd on the bar in front of Graegor.

"Thanks, Ameiko", he said. She gave him a look as though she were trying to place him. Graegor smiled. "I'm Graegor Fallow. Sato was my father. This was actually his sword, "he said. Much had changed in Sandpoint in the last ten years, but Ameiko had not.

Graegor could imagine his father jumping at the opportunity to deal with the goblins. He could recall numerous times when Sato had left to go on one adventure or another when Graegor was young. It seemed fate was once again setting him on a familiar path.

"I think I might take you up on that offer," he added before taking a long pull from the tankard before rising from his stool and moving to look at the poster the sheriff had brought.

Seems as good of a place as any to start. He glanced at the woman also looking at the poster and nearly did a double take. "Aurora? It's me, Graegor Fallow," he said, knowing that he likely looked different than he did when he last saw her ten years ago. "I'm sorry, I just heard from Koya about Niska. Are you planning on going after those goblins," he asked, nodding toward the poster.


 
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Old Dec 27th, 2019, 12:43 AM
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Before the halfling leave Risa's place, Lanalee waved and said she will join later with Sandru and other Varisians. He had a hard time to find an occasion to talk to her without her sister or brother sniffing around. She usually hangs out with those friends and some Desna's worshipers, the goddess of travel. Their interactions have been superficial so far and mostly related to work. There's a healthy competition between the Rusty and Risa's tavern, the latter attracting an older clientele who like to drink alone. Old Risa doesn't mind that her daughters seldom visit Ameiko's shop to have fun and dance.

Taurin is literally not standing out in the crowd. A lot of people are coming in and the main entrance is kept open with a door stopper under the door. A fresh breeze constantly coming in the Rusty Dragon to refresh the place who is getting hot with that many people in the middle of summer. Seats are getting rare already, forcing people to drink standing. An old wizard with a pointy hat who was sitting beside Shalelu is taking is leave, opening a seat of choice at the bar beside the famous elf with a full view of one of the best attractions in town, Ameiko. There's space at a table where a half-orc and bald beautiful woman with angelic traits are chatting. Another table is half occupied by three farmers in the middle of a drinking contest. It's not unusual for people to join the table of strangers in Sandpoint since it's a rare commodity and a good way to make new friends, which is the spirit of the house. Finally, he notices some seats in front of Aurora who was just saying that cutting some goblins ears wouldn't be a problem for the experienced woman.

At the bar, Ameiko is chatting with a swordsman who has a black katana hanging on his back. She is taken a bit off guard when he introduces himself as Graegor Fallow, the guy who abandoned his father a decade ago and just returned after the old man death. The elegant bard is not judgemental in her expression, but surprised that he showed up after all that time. - " Graegor? Right, I remember. Feels like ages ago. " She leans a bit forward and he can smell Ameiko's exotic perfume mixed with alcohol flavour from her bar. - " I'm sorry your dad passed away before you made it in town. He was a brave man. " When he mentions going in adventure after the goblins, she bites her lower lips. He can feel the conflict on the matter. - " My days of adventurer are behind me, I don't want to live through that ever again. " He doesn't know what happened to her exactly, rumour in town is that she came back from the Fogscar Mountains with Sandru, the remaining of her group slaughtered. She doesn't like to talk about it. - " I'm glad you are taking on the offer. Your father loved that place, it's good that you are willing to help us. " She points out in the corner of the inn a woman with purple skin that he recognizes as Aurora chatting with a young man in armor that looks like a guard of some kind. - " I heard those two talking about hunting goblins out loud. Better not going in alone, the goblins are more dangerous than you think, you will need help. " Shalelu nods in silence, and Ameiko's attention span is pretty much expired as she dashes to more customers desperate for more drinks. - " COMING! " Graegor get up and walk toward Aurora, dodging a few drunkard on the way to her table.


 
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Old Dec 27th, 2019, 07:58 AM
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It had been a long day already, and tiring. From the interruption at breakfast time, through Charles inviting himself out to the forest and talking all day, and now an evening at the Dragon: Canan was close to exhausted and ready to sleep. The half-watered ale, lighter and more refreshing than normal, was what she wanted. Inno, sitting opposite her, looked tired as well. Canan gave her friend a sideways glance.

"You know, we don't have to stay out if you don't want to. Mama Koya said we can walk home together if there's both of us, and we've seen worse than there'll be as we head home.

"And Charles is distracted by the bounty,"
she added as an afterthought. "If we leave now he won't notice us, and we can finally get some time to think."

Canan turned sharply back to her ale; she thought Charles was turning to look at her. Again. Maybe it was a trick of the light, or just a quick movement that she'd misinterpreted, but she didn't dare look more closely to find out.

 
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Old Dec 27th, 2019, 11:12 AM
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She glanced at Charles again remembering how he would follow Shalelu around listening to her tales. He was young, but not nearly as young as she'd envisioned him. She could have sworn he was three inches shorter the last time he was asking for a story from the Ranger. Now though he seemed larger and stronger, plus the armor that would help. "Cute? I'm not seeing it...threat to Sandpoint and the surroundings plus ten gold that I see."

Even as she spoke Graegor came up and at first she expected to see a young boy of twelve at most. She stared at him a few moments, "Greagor? When did you get so big? I swear I was watching over you so you wouldn't get into trouble just a few years ago and now look at you. All grown up!" Time, it was the real enemy, but it was one she could do nothing about. It would inexorably march on and she would...she had no idea how long she might live really. Just that she'd been in that awkward teen phase far longer than any of the humans in town and much longer than her sister. Now people like Graegor and Charles were older and even adults.

She moved to clap Graegor on the back, "Thanks for the thoughts I'm sure mother would appreciate them. As for these goblins. Yes, that's exactly the plan go after them and collect the bounty which even split between three isn't too bad. Though it would probably help if we had a healer."

 
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Old Dec 27th, 2019, 12:21 PM
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Charles extended a hand to the stranger from the bar. He knew there was something special about the swordsmen. Aurora's knowledge of the man only cemented the feeling. "The name is Charles, well met Greagor. The more swords, the merrier. Perhaps we won't have to settle for stragglers after all."

He pondered the Sylph's words and agreed that magical support would be helpful. Maybe they'd be able to take the chieftain even, if the Gods were on their side. "We could also use a guide as well." He looked at the bar and settled on Shalelu, who looked away and studied her conversation partner.

The hero of Sandpoint doesn't even get out of bed for ten gold a head. She has better things to do. But who else do we know?

He continued to scan the crowd, before spotting Canan avoiding his gaze, and eyeing the door. "Aurora, I have just the people in mind, but I'll need your help to convince them to join us! He turned towards the girls and hollered over the din of the busy tavern.

"INNO, CANAN, COME ON A QUEST WITH US!"

He gestured for the two to join them in front of the bulletin.



 
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