Part 5: Gnomes, Weed and Rock'n'Roll Adventure Notes
Sara, Kaden and Alonzo jump on the cart with the sheep and go ahead without us. The rest of the party will follow later on horses.
"We are going to go back to the Stag and Tackle with the sheep in the morning" says the Admiral. "Did you find anything on your travels?"
"We found an expensive beetle. Show him Dakota." replies Lioniel.
"Take it to town and show others in the Association of Rogan." says the Admiral.
Sir Nigel prepares to clean up. He pulls out a book and When asks him what it is.
Field bathing routines are explained by Nigel. Even how to do it in desert environments. Saunas are used in some places where they use animal bones to scrape the skin. Nigel rolls a 20 and thoroughly explains to When how to clean herself.
When is super convinced and she looks over at Mara like "Should we do this?"
"You... want to do this?" asks Mara confusedly.
"It feels very structured and specific" When replies.
"You hate stucture!" exclaims Mara.
Lioniel has a sly grin "I can play some music for you girls if you like?"
Nigel gives the break down on the steps required for cleaning:
- Assess the environment
- Kit off
- Get wet
- If there are bathing soaps or lubricants use them. Improvise when you must.
- Scrub vigourously.
When immediately disrobes and Nigel turns quickly and walks away shyly. When shouts at him asking how to do it. Mara helps.
Lioniel sits nearby strumming on his lute. Mara asks him "Why are you always playing the bugs?"
"Because it's what the people want to hear." he replies sadly.
Once all the cleaning is complete Admiral comes with two horses and a wagon. One of the horses looks really unwell but they start their journey.
The party arrives at Fedenheim mid-afternoon. On the way in there are tents and tents and tents and marquise. The population of the town has increased ten fold.
A weird magician guy who keeps pulling stuff out of his bag and looks muddled and confused.
There is a small stall with some gnomes cooking some stew. Mara walks straight over.
"Look at this lovely lady" says the gnome.
"Hello sir gnome. I see you have field mushrooms from elvish lands." replies Mara.
"A special batch just for you." replies the gnome. "You don't look very elvish."
Mara visibly winces and says "I am not an elf but would love some mushrooms."
The gnome hands her the mushrooms and she replies thank you in gnomish - "Prost!"
The food is an explosion of flavour.
The cart finally parks up in front of the Stag and Tackle. The party is informed that they have been booked two rooms, is handed 300gp and then the Admiral is off to see the sheep.
Lioniel heads straight out to find the public stage.
The Inn keeper says to When that he's really sad that he can't go to the festival. When starts to take pity on him but Mara intercedes.
"You'll be fine" says Mara and marches When outside.
"Barkeep, can you do something about the rats in this place?"
Mara spots Lioniel striding out towards the sound of music. She is worried and the team decide to follow him.
Lioniel makes his way to the stage and stands nearby waiting for Lola Ramsay to finish her song. When she is complete he yells out a light hearted challenge to her to promote a walk-on.
"Thats weird that a random man would yell out competition" says Mara.
Lola Ramsay accepts the challenge and Lioniel goes first. Lioniel sings "Hard Mage Knight". Rallied by his friend's applause he does well.
Lola Ramsay then tries to sing Moonbean and then he voice goes to shit. She runs off the stage embarrassed.
Lioniel says "This is a shame. I feel that the real losers today are you in the crowd."
Sir Nigel feels terrible about the Command spell that he just cast on Lola.
Lioniel sings another song and then meets up with the party after introducing a jester. Mara wanders off annoyed at him. Sir Nigel wanders off annoyed at himself.
When says "I think I'll go find some weed."
"Good idea" replies Lioniel.
Mara says to herself, "Don't get involved. Don't get involved." She feels she could have helped Lola. She follows her backstage and finds her there strumming her lute dejectedly.
"You know it was magic right?" asks Mara.
"I know it was magic. He'll get his reckoning. That fool." replies Lola.
"If there is a reckoning to be made it will be yours if you go near that fool." says Mara her sense of loyalty suddenly dominating her feelings. She storms out of the tent. Her feelings are out of control.
A Dwarvern Hippy Weed guy with dreads on head and in his beard wearing a jumper with multicoloured runes and sandals greets When: "Hey."
"What have you got?" asks When.
"I have many types! Gunkweed, Goblin Green Bender and the mighty Orcs Bane! Its alllllll smokable." He then checks When's aura and gives her a super chill weed to get the vibe of the different planes of existence. You can also find fairy dens with it. It's called "Fairy's delight".
When buys a two foot long pipe to go with it and he gives her some Orcs Bane on the house.
"Safe travels" he says and dabs. When is a bit taken aback by the whole experience. She pushes the Orcs Bane into Lioniel's hands and they leave.
Sir Nigel goes looking for a very big piece of black cloth. When he gets it he fashions a black headband out of it and heads back to the Stag and Tackle where Mara has already returned.
Mara gets a drink from the bar asking for something very strong.
Then Nigel walks in with a black headband and asks for something very strong.
"You have new headwear" says Mara.
"Indeed, I have made a vow. I am in penance." replies Sir Nigel.
Dakota and the Admiral enter. They have a chat.
"Good work men. I see you're already enjoying the festivities!" says the Admiral.
Dakota looks at Mara and says "Dwarvish ale. Interesting."
Mara asks him petulantly "Are half elves allowed to drink that?"
Dakota replies "They can drink whatever they want. Barman, one elvish ale. Seat taken Mara?"
"No one is sitting there unless your elvish eyes are deceiving you." says Mara.
"Big festival. This is good news for the town. Been here a bit working with the admiral." says Dakota.
"How did you end up working for these associates?" enquires Mara.
"Well maybe that could be a story for another time. We should concentrate on our next step." says Dakota
"You won't tell me what we're doing now? You want us to stay together and keep going on this quest with you?" Mara asks exasperated.
"We have to go to the Desert of Desolation." says Dakota.
"Surely you have other agents rather than using outsiders?" says Mara.
"Because we are apparently righteous and good natured souls!" yells Sir Nigel.
"Sir Nigel is in!" says Dakota.
"Sir Nigel is a baby and you know that!" says Mara.
"Well the Association of Rogan is dwindling. We having a hard time getting people to save the world. They are too self centred. If money is a concern we can definitely pay you." says Dakota.
"The money is a concern. Not because we all need the money." Mara gestures to the Paladin "But don't you think saving the world is ambitious for dwindling older men?"
"You have hit the nail on the head. We need people like yourself Mara who are strong of heart. If we let some things continue then things will continue to get worse." says the elf.
"Making this better for who? You're a high elf. You haven't had a hard day in your life." says Mara dejectedly.
"Sure you might think everything is easy for someone like me but it's not always the case. I've chose to align myself with a certain group because I think its the right thing to do. I don't want the dead rising from the grave to wreak havoc on the living. We need to control evil or else we don't get to have festivals and listen to songs by the Bugs and young paladins drinking too much ale." says Dakota.
"It would be contract to contract but I will sign on for a fee." says Mara.
"Hired sword it is." Dakota nods.
"If you can get the others to agree." says Mara.
"Sir Nigel, are you ready to take on the forces of evil?" Dakota asks him.
"I have looked into the flames of my soul and I have found myself wanting. I shall rise above this and I shall pledge my soul to become the best that I can be and smite evil and make the dead go back to where they belong" Sir Nigel draws his sword, falls over his feet and lands on the floor on his back.
"You will rise like a pheonix" Mara says helping him to his feet.
Dakata motions towards Mara mouthing "One down".
"Young fella, going to bed already!?" Lioniel says walking in and seeing Sir Nigel walking upstairs.
"Your half elf friend is quite a character!" Dakota says to Lioniel.
"Which half of her is an elf?" replies Lioniel merrily. The two of them laugh at the old joke.
"You know what we have been though." says Dakota.
Talks to Lioniel who wants to know what they are going to try to find. He said they are going east to another town to find out. Lioniel says he was going that way anyhow and would tag along to see what happens.
"What about you When? Want to keep the group together? To be honest, Gwhenhilder Bogharty, Kaden is going to return to our forward operating base in the West and I need a good tracker who is good at finding things that no other people can find." Dakota says.
"What I'm looking for isn't in the desert of desolation" says When.
"Oh seems like you're out of luck elf!" says Mara.
"Why is your journey more deserving of my time than finding the thing that killed my mother in these woods" says When.
"Your mum is dead?" asks Mara.
"Something killed her?" questions Lioniel.
"Something hurt her a lot and all that was found was a broach. I do believe she was taken before her time." says When sadly.
"The order can help you. Without a doubt. We have lots of information. It's one of the things that the order does. Track down strange occurrences. I think we can help you in this situation." Dakota assures her.
"Is that on the condition that I come with you and stay with the team?" asks When.
"I'd love you to come. Your'e a better tracker than Kaden and he smoked a lot. You help me get to the next town and help me find someone and I'll send you information about what we know." says Dakota.
"Ok. I'll help you rather than tracing a trail that has been cold for months." says When.
"Are you in Sara?" ask Dakota.
"Yup!" says Sara.
"Are you in Mara?" Dakota ask her one last time.
"That was the agreement." Mara replies unhappily.
"Oh Mara. Have a drink." says Lioniel. "It's a festival!"
When talks about how her Mum went out into the Averdean Woods to stock up her stores and never came home. And she removes a book from her bag that makes Dakota blink.
Dakota gets some charcoal from the fire and rubs it on the first page of the book and the outline of a big R is indented into the page. "This is a book of the Association of Rogan" he says.
He flicks through the book and sees that some of the pages have been torn out.
"It could be one of the first generations of Monster hunting manuals. Some of our scholars will be able to help you decipher it."
"What a day. I'm going to retire." says Lioniel. The others agree and they head up to their rooms.
In the morning Mara wakes up and see Nigel out of the window talking to himself and kneeling resplendent in his armour. He seems much happier than he was the night before and chanting to himself:
"Honesty. Don’t lie or cheat. Let your word be your promise. Courage. Never fear to act, though caution is wise. Compassion. Aid others, protect the weak, and punish those who threaten them. Show mercy to your foes, but temper it with wisdom. Honor. Treat others with fairness, and let your honorable deeds be an example to them. Do as much good as possible while causing the least amount of harm. Duty. Be responsible for your actions and their consequences, protect those entrusted to your care, and obey those who have just authority over you."