Did I mention that Vardai is really strong? She swung that hammer and the bell rang. And then she did it again! The second time, the proprietor was worried she would damage the High Striker. The bell tower shook so much I thought I was going to have to cast Mending (once again… a good spell choice!) on the tower.
You are right… context! I can’t just start in the middle of the story. We were at the Fish & Biscuit Festival, and the first game we played was the Hammer Striker Strongman competition. There, you are all caught up now.
After Vardai dominated on Hammer Striker (and won a plushy fairy dragon toy), we started tasting biscuits. The first vender was Yelsin & Miller. I grabbed a Haberdasher and Cobbler biscuit and absolutely enjoyed it. It was a little dry and I needed some drink to wash it down. Fortunately, Will slipped me a flask that was filled with… yes, you guessed it… Moonshine! What an awesome evening this was turning into.
We headed over to the archery competition. Even though the winner will get a golden arrow, Will shows no pressure; he is cool, calm, and collected. A few people fire their arrows before Will. One person must have had a defective arrow, because he missed the target. A few others hit the target, but nowhere near the bullseye… they should avoid fighting zombies. Then Will lines up and shoots the arrow straight, dead center. They should have just handed Will the golden arrow on the spot. But they didn’t, they said someone else could beat him... yeah right!
As we start to head to another game, Eowyn starts talking about the qualities of the golden arrow and how it compares to a golden fid…. Wait… Goats! I run over to play with the goats. Cool! Once, when I was little, my mom took me to a carnival, and I rode the goats. This is so awesome. I play with the goats a bit and even sneak them some goodberries. The owner asks me if I want to keep a goat. Wow, I would really love a goat. But, I am an adventurer now. I travel roads all of the time and stay in taverns and fight zombies. None of these goats will ever be big enough to ride. I disappointedly have to say “no”. Bummer.
While I am playing with the goats, Eowyn wins a fish in a bowl. She gives it to me. I am not sure how I can care for a fish while fighting zombies, so we return the fish. Then, I try my hand at catching a Salmon. The first two times, it is too slippery, but then I catch it. Well, sort of. It flops into my hair and soaks my hair and clothing. You know what? After a Ten Day of travelling without my brushes, some water in my hair won’t kill me (I hope). I slide some more goodberries to the goats as we cook the fish.
While the fish is frying, a person from the Library named Signal approaches and starts talking to Eowyn. Eowyn starts talking about various things, but the reveals that she might be cursed with some sort of Demon. I don’t know much about Demons. When I was in training, Thornwill (my mentor) spent more time teaching me about undead and such. I just know that demons are powerful and evil and need to be stopped.
We try the biscuits from the Red Stirge Inn and also from the Church of the Silver Dragon. Those biscuits (the Silver Dragon ones) are clearly the best. We put in our votes and listen to the Drumbeat Initiative play. If you recall, the Drumbeat Initiative is the adventuring party that Will and I went on an archeology dig with. They put on a great show, and we all finally left the festival full and exhausted. Oh, Will did get the golden arrow!
We go to the Drunken Sturgeon Inn. There, we see a job board. There are two jobs that catch our attention. The first is a message to deliver a package to the Mining Guild; the second is to find a lost cat. I am interested in the package delivery, because I would like to root out the corruption at the Mining Guild. Vardai is very interested in finding the lost cat, and wants to go now. We are all tired, but I decide to go along with Vardai. After all, what good is a druid if I can’t find a lost cat?
I immediately start exercising my survival and tracking skills… which are… ineffective. As far as learning stuff, Thornwill spent lots of time teaching me about my connection to nature and all about the natural world. He also taught me some religion, which played nicely into some of the lessons I learned as a courtier. I have heard some druids are phenomenal trackers… I probably couldn’t track a herd of elk running through mud!
Fortunately, Vardai could. She finds the cat in the stables. Vardai uses the plush dragon toys to coax the cat out of its hiding spot. As we are returning the cat, we travel through the tent cities on the south side of Etonia. We find Eymen Moss, the owner of Zima, who we find out is the name of the cat. He pours some tea and talks to us about some history and lore. Vardai shares that she is searching for her ancestral home. Eymen tells of the Empire of Many Arrows. Damak, one of the rulers, rounded up all of the Half races (half-orcs… half-elves, etc.) and killed all of the Grandfathers and Grandmothers. Tamil (I believe Tamil was Damak’s brother) defended the half races. It resulted in a civil war. In the end, a great Wyrm came in and destroyed the Empire. I believe this was the same lore from the archeology dig that Vlad had previously led us on.
Eymen also talked about the situation in the tent city. He appealed, “If you have any influence over the council, please persuade them to build permanent housing faster.” He is trying to improve the lot of the refugees in the tent city.
After we return, the party decides we need to move the goblins to the ship. Remember? We have goblins stashed away in a barn whom we are helping to get to a sailing ship for their freedom. We go to Tom’s Shop. He found the perfect ship for us. We go get the cart and mules that I had borrowed from the caravan, and we go to the barn. Although they are not happy about it, the goblins allow us to hide them in the barrels, and we quickly find the ship. Will and Eowyn question the Captain, Phineus Smucker, to make sure the goblins won’t get exploited. Wow, I feel like we are cleaning up a bunch of loose ends tonight!
We get some rest, and then go to the job board for the mining guild job. It reads, “HELP WANTED: Seasoned adventurer’s needed for safe transport and delivery of a parcel to one Mister Clay Achatri, Guildmaster of Mining, from Everst Mining Guild liaison. Completion of the task on a paid on a sliding scale of expediency remunerated by the Fassad. Discretion in this instance is appreciated.” I pull the token off of the board, and then I receive a sending. The sending gives us further directions, which include picking up the package at the library. I find out from the sending that the Mining Guild is working with the Red Horned man (who we suspect is named Ahli) to gather spell components. This is probably also tied to the goblin raids somehow. I return the sending with the following message, “Accepted, will trust you to make fair compensation, will accomplish post haste”
Well, I can’t just march into the Miners Guild. Clay Achatri had reached a deal with my father to sell me into indentured servitude. But I am very interested in learning more and stopping the corruption. So, we get a disguise. I borrow Will’s cloak (again … thanks Will!) and we go to Yelsin & Miller Haberdashery for me to get a hat to cover up my horns. I don’t like covering my horns, but there are not very many 20-year old female tieflings running around these parts. In order to make it work, we get a hat that that has a wide brim and some flower decorations. Not the best for sneaking around, but it allows me to pass as a human. Except for my tail, which is what the cloak is for.
Eowyn quickly goes into the Library and finds the package, then we are off to the Mining Guild. Although we want to know what is in the package, we never do find out. I cast Detect Magic, but do not pick up anything.
We arrive at the guild. A clerk named Rose shows us into a waiting area. While awaiting Clay, Eowyn and Will rummage through the office. They find some ledgers. One ledger looks like the true books, and another ledger looks like an edited copy which is hiding many transactions. The Mining Guild is clearly hiding income from someone, probably the City Council and the Tax collectors. We also find documents about an “incident” at a mine. The papers discuss needing to extract some artifact as “Phase II” of the mining operation.
Clay arrives. He accepts our package. He provides us a small chest, which contains many rubies… roughly 1,500 gold worth of rubies to be precise. Clay protests us searching the chest, but I mollify him by tell him that our employer would be “very disappointed” if we didn’t ensure everything was in order.
Clay exits as quickly as possible, and doesn’t seem to recognize me. The rubies must be delivered to the wizard Fassad in Montsilt. If you recall, Fasssad was involved in a Roc (big, scary bird) incident in Etonia, where he or the wizard Antam came into town to find resurrection components for the other wizard (unsure of which wizard need ressurrcting). Eowyn does some research and learns the rubies are needed for a spell, probably for the spell Simulacrum. We also learn that Fasaad is relatively new to town and sells snake oil potions. He had hired a woman named Supheli.
So, we are off to Montsilt. We sign on to the next caravan. We buy some supplies, and get ready to move out. Signal announces that she will come along with us.