Campaign Logs

Company of the Silver Claw

By Brian Flood

Chapter 27 - Dispersion, Part I

The Green Man Inn

Kendall Keep, Kingdom of Cormyr

Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

Alain and Amiel stroll back to the Green Man Inn together. They enter the two-story building and ring the small bell on the entrance desk. Within a few seconds, Calista appears.

“Ah, good morning to you!” the innkeeper says in greeting. “Have you come to tell us you are leaving?” she asks.

“No good mistress,” answers Alain, “it appears that we will be staying another night.” The warrior slips the trade bar out of his pouch belt and shows it to mistress Calista. “Do you accept trade bars?”

Calista’s eyes grow wide at the sight of the gold trade bar. “Y-yes,” she stammers, “we can handle those. Will you be extending all three rooms, then?” she asks.

“Yes please,” replies Alain as he slides the trade bar across to Mistress Calista. Turning to Amiel, he says, “If you don’t mind, I would like to stop off at the tanner’s stall in the market and pick up a piece of leather to finish the necklaces.”

Calista accepts the trade bar and disappears for a few minutes. She comes back and hands Alain nearly a score of gold coins. “It’ll be eight lions for an extra night – one lion for each in your party. The young gentleman with the scarlet robes and strange accent left a deposit of two gold coins yesterday. So here are ten and nine lions returned to you.”

Pocketing the coinage, Alain asks, “If you’ve a moment good mistress, can you let me into room nine? I have need of some tools from my pack, and one of my friends has the key.”

Calista nods and leads Alain to the room. Amiel nods wordlessly to Alain and waits in silence for his return.

The innkeeper waits patiently outside the room as the warrior fetches his required items and then locks the door behind him. The two then return to the lobby where Amiel addresses Alain.

“That issue of the missing girl still bothers me. Like an itch you can’t scratch. You don’t remember if any of the undead we stumbled upon was once a girl-child, Alain?” she asks, brow furrowed.

“Thank you for your help mistress,” Alain tells Calista.

Half bowing to the innkeeper, Alain next turns to Amiel. “We should be off to the tanner’s stall so that we may keep our appointments at the tavern. If you would allow me?” Alain extends his arm to the elven warrior, so that he may escort her in a proper fashion.

Continuing on, Alain responds to Amiel’s question. “I have given it some thought, and I do not believe that any of the undead matched that kind of description.” Looking to the ranger, Alain gives a faint smile. “At least that gives us some hope that the lass may be well.”

* * * * *

The Inner Gatehouse
Kendall Keep, Kingdom of Cormyr
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

The other adventurers stand still while Amiel and Alain head for the Inn. The pair of adventurers is followed closely by Malk, who is most likely headed to the tavern to take care of his aftereffects of the previous night’s revelry. In the wake of the others’ departure, those that remain – Salik, Declan, Velgardrin, Tiron, and Nathan – look askance at each other as they begin to formulate their plans to follow Alain’s suggestions.

“Right Nathan,” says Tiron to the mage, “you heard the warrior, let us find this hunter. On the way maybe you can tell me about your magic!” the half-elf adds with an excited grin that is in contrast to his stern tone.

“From what I know of the Keep,” he continues, “there are several family dwellings as well as an apartment building, all of which are south of here. But where Cob resides, I know not,” he admits with downturned eyes that are perhaps concentrating more on his oaken ring than the task at hand. But his eyes are soon alight with their former spark.

“Chaplain Abercrombie should help, let us to the chapel!” Tiron exclaims, and, as a being of little patience, he begins in the direction of the chapel of Torm, expecting Nathan to follow without a word.

“Let’s start at the shops nearest to us and work our way to the inn,” Velgardrin suggests to Declan and Salik once Tiron and Nathan have left. “What say the rest of ye?”

Velgardrin looks concerned as he continues. “And we be as inconspicuous and subtle as a orc army at the town well doin’ this.”

Declan is looking uncomfortable as well. “Yor right,” he says. “But wot can we do about it?” He shrugs to emphasize his point.

Velgardrin continues, “Let’s head ter the gate and mebbe they can tell us if he left. If he has, we’re done looking in here. If they don’t know or won’t say, then we do stables, blacksmith, quartermaster, and locksmith before returning to the One-Eyed Cat. What think ye?”

Salik nods his head in agreement. “It sounds sensible enough to me,” the rogue says simply.

* * * * *

Chapel of Torm
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

Tiron and Nathan open the chapel doors and enter. They find that the chapel is empty. There is no sign of Father Abercrombie.

Tiron’s shoulders fall in a sigh as the emptiness of the chapel assaults him. “Well that certainly helps things not!” he exclaims to Nathan.

“We could try the tavern,” the half-elf suggests, walking toward the exit. “Have you any ideas?”

“The tavern is a likely choice,” Nathan replies, “since we can easily ask where Cob lives if he’s not there when we arrive.”

Tirondalin gives his magi companion a friendly slap on the back and proceeds toward the exit of the chapel, looking behind him as he does so at the furnishings and pious icons.

* * * * *

The One-Eyed Cat Tavern
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

Malk heads straight back to the inn. Once there, he reaches eagerly for a flagon of water. He sits at the table and continues to fill his flagon until his thirst is quenched somewhat. When he is feeling better, he looks around for a sight of Jess.

The young waitress does not appear but the bartender – Wilf – does. “How are you this morning, lad?” he asks cheerfully. “That was quite a show you put on last night!”

“Er, fine,” the bard replys, “glad you enjoyed it. Do you think that I could borrow a basket and a blanket, and buy some food from you to make up a picnic? I think a bit of peace and quiet is called for today.”

Wilf nods his head slowly. “Yup, I guess we could do that. How many people will be at this picnic?”

“There will be two of us I hope. Is Jess around?” the bard asks. “I thought we may have a look at the caravan as well, any idea how long it is staying in town?”

“She should be over at the Green Man, helping Calista clean up the rooms and the other morning chores. She will be back in here before lunch.”

“As for the caravan,” the bartendar continues, “I believe they are leaving quite soon – either today or on the morrow.”

“Thank you, I’ll come back for the basket around then. Here’s the money for the picnic,” Malk says as he hands over a gold lion. Feeling much more his old self, the bard heads off for the stables to check out his Haynuss, and to talk to Tella.

* * * * *

The Market
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

Alain and Amiel step out into the open-air market to find that a scattering of customers have already gathered around the varied stalls. The two adventurers make their way through the shoppers to the tanner’s stall. The leather worker smiles when he sees them.

“Top o’ the mornin!” he says in greeting. “What do you for me today – a dragon’s hide perhaps?” he smiles at his sarcastic jest.

Moving with a dancer’s grace, Alain steps forward. A boyish smile rests easily on his face at the tanner’s easy jests. “Nothing so exotic. I have need of a piece of tanned leather. Perhaps a foot across and two feet in width.”

Alain’s hands sketch a rough outline of the size of material that he wants. “Do you have something that size, and how much would it cost to persuade you to part with it?”

The tanner frowns as he consider the request. “I think I could find something like that. And I’ll give it to you for three silver falcons.”

Slipping his hand into his pouch belt, Alain rummages around for a moment and retrieves the requested amount. “Here you are master tanner. I’m sure the quality of your wares is of the highest order.” Smiling, Alain waits for the square of leather.

The tanner pockets the coinage and retrieves a large piece of tanned hide. Using a sharp knife, he carefully cuts the requested piece of leather from the hide. He hands the item to Alain.

Rolling the leather up, Alain nods a quick thanks to the leather worker. “We should move along to the tavern Amiel,” he then says. Turning away from the stall, Alain begins heading to the tavern.

* * * * *

The Main Gate
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

Velgardrin, Declan and Sailik make their way to the main gate of the Keep. Knocking on the door to the watchtower, the investigators summon Sabine, the gatekeeper. Shortly thereafter, the woman appears.

“Good mornin!” she exclaims. “Are you needin’ to exit the Keep?”

Velgardrin responds, “Not yet, but we needs information. We be seekin’ a mage by ther name er Aseneth er somethin’ like that who was at the tavern a couple er days ago. We air wonderin’ if you could tell us if he has left ther keep. It’d save us a heap er time lookin’ here if we knew he’d gone. If ye can’t tell us, we jest keep lookern.”

Sabine looks pensive as she ponders the dwarven priest's question. “No one looking like a mage has left here in the past few days. I recall someone with a name like that arriving a little less than a tenday or so ago. I think it was a woman, however.”

Velgardrin bows as he replies. “I be thankin’ yer then. So we continues ther search.” Velgardrin then turns from the gate and starts to head toward the stables.

“Hold a moment me friend,” Declan says.

Turning to the gatekeeper, the mage continues, “Excuse me, Sabine. But do yer know where this yung lass is stayin’, then, eh? Or if she ‘as left the chuffin’ tahn yet?”

The guard shakes her head. “No” she replies, “no one fitting your description has left the Keep in the past few days. The only person to leave today thus far was Cob, the hunter.”

Declan grimaces, “I don’t speak yor tongue right well, so bear wiv me. The lass that came into the Keep a few days ago. Do yer know where she is stayin’? It might ‘elp if we find ‘er and talk ter her.”

Sabine again shakes her head. “No I do not. I would suggest you check the Green Man and the Guild House.”

Declan nods and smiles, “Arright. Thank yer for yor time, missee.”

* * * * *

The One-Eyed Cat Tavern
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

A few minutes after leaving the temple, Tiron and Nathan enter the One-Eyed Cat. Wilf, the bartendar and owner, stands behind the bar, wiping the wooden surface with a rag.

“Ah,” he says as the pair walks in, “some more of the revelers from last night! Your friend the minstrel just left. Wasn’t lookin’ too good, that one – kind of green, if you know what I mean. What can get for ya?”

Forgoing formalities, Tirondalin addresses the friendly Wilf, “We seek Cob, the hunter. Would you know whither he rests?”

Wilf’s face falls at the mention of the name. “Cob left this morning. Real upset he was, too. Might have been the drinks still affecting him. Kept mumbling about risking his life, fighting corpses and giant bugs for nary a single coin. He had his things with ‘im. I think he went back to the woods.”

“Well, Tiron my friend,” quips Nathan, “I leave you the honor of informing our lovely leader of this turn of events. I’m certain she’ll be most pleased.”

* * * * *

The Stables
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

Malk enters the horse-smelling stables. After a few minutes, Tella’s face pokes around from one of the stalls. “Hoy there again! Come to look in on yer arse again, have ye?” The freckled teenager seems especially chipper this morning. A fact that Malk accepts with some chagrin.

“Hello Tella, have you been taking good care of it for me?” smiles the bard at the youngster. “You seem very happy today. Have you got any news for me or are you just pleased to see a face without the pointy ears, the smell and the hair all over it?”

The girl shakes her head. “No siree, no one’s been askin’ after ya. ‘aven’t ‘eard of any openin’s fer musicians, either!”

“I was wondering if you know any thing about a dark young man who was at the inn around four or five days back when I first arrived,” Malk tells the girl. “I believe his name was Aseneth.”

Tella shakes her head. “Nope. Ne’er ‘eard of ‘im.”

Shrugging his shoulders, Malk replies, “Oh well. I’d be obliged if you gave my Haynuss here a bit of exercise today, I expect we’ll be moving on before too long.” With that, he tosses Tella another copper.

He then goes over and scratches Haynuss between the ears and pats his neck. Murmuring a few gentling words into his ears, Malk then turns and heads for the caravan.

* * * * *

The One-Eyed Cat Tavern
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

Alain and Amiel return to the tavern and find Tiron and Nathan already there. The half-elf and the mage look fairly disappointed.

Tirondalin clears his throat and addresses those of the party newly entered. “It seems our hunter friend has just departed, muttering something about not being paid by ourselves, or so our bar-tending friends tells us,” he states matter-of-factly but gives only little pause.

“Give me several hours under Sol and I shall find him,” states the ranger, showing confidence in the offer of his services to the leader of the party.

Alain looks back and forth several times between Amiel and Tiron. Seeing no immediate response from Amiel, the warrior steps forward.

“Actually Tiron, this might turn out to be a fortuitous happening. With the injuries to Baulin, I have been worried that our front line might be a little light without the swinging axe of our dwarven brother. What we really need is someone who can stand in the thick of battle. Any ideas?”

Tirondalin raises his eyebrows, “Cob was worth more for his knowledge of the Keep and its surroundings than anything else, but I suppose that is perhaps a secondary concern now.” His hand strays to his ring before he continues, “But I have come across no one that would fulfill Baulin’s role. Mayhap we talk to people in the tavern tonight? However, that would present issues conflicting with our desire for secrecy of our activities.”

“But personally I’d prefer to search the woods for Cob than stand here talking,” the half-elf states in conclusion, perhaps to the annoyance of his party members. “But no use standing here, shall we to the rendezvous point?” he asks with a proffered hand in gesture.

Alain rests an easy hand on Tiron’s shoulder. “Be assured my friend, I to would like to be out of the Keep and ridding my fair land of this evil, too. But a little more preparation may save us time in the long run.”

“As far as moving on to the rendezvous point,” the warrior continues, “I believe that it is the tavern.” He spreads his hands wide and glances around as a smile lights the big warrior’s face, “And here we are.”

Looking back to the ranger, Alain suggests, “Why don’t you take Nathan and see if that silent warrior woman’s services are for hire, or maybe she knows of someone who might be of service.”

Moving over to an empty table, Alain pulls out a seat and offers it to Amiel. Then seats himself next to her, and pulls out his leather working tools and begins work on fashioning necklaces.

Tirondalin nods in response to Alain, “Very well. I should verily like to talk to her if that is all I do.” Turning to the mage by his side he adds, “Join me, Nathan?”

“By all means,” smiles the mage, “let us down a mug before we accost the warrior that Alain speaks of.”

“Do men require ale as they require food?” asks Tiron rather innocently, “for it seems that the focal point of this Keep is the tavern. Nathan, I’m sure ale will always be around if you have the copper to pay for it,” the half-elf states with a smile, “but this woman here may be gone within the hour and no amount of money will bring her back if we lose her scent!”

“However,” continues the half-elf with barely a pause, “it seems that this woman, Third if I recall correctly, is not here. So you may indulge in your ale after all, friend Nathan.”

Tirondalin pulls a chair out next to Alain and sitting down, inviting Nathan to do the same. Once Nathan is seated, Tiron continues their discussion.

“Well Nathan, while we wait upon the others, tell me of your magic, if you would!” the half-elf begins in excited conversation. “Where does it come from and how do you access it and can I cast similar spells? I’ve never had the chance to ask Declan these same questions and my grandfather had little to say on the subject of magic, for whatever reasons that I could not discern. What spells can you cast?” And there he stops, suddenly conscious of his volley of questions and in his bright eyes is the enthusiasm that is Nathan’s invitation to speak.

Looking up from his work on the necklaces, Alain appears thoughtful. “Then again, trying to employ someone new might be ill advised. Maybe just being better prepared – and using what we already have more efficiently – would be the smarter road. And as you say, we still owe Cob his wages. I’d hate to have him think that we were trying to cheat him. What do you think?”

Shaking his head Alain continues to work on the necklaces. “I wish he was here so we could pay him.”

* * * * *
The Stables
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

Following Velgardrin’s earlier suggestion, the three adventurers – Velgardrin, Salik and Declan – head toward the stables. Upon entering the hay-smelling wooden structure, they are soon greeted by freckled teenaged girl.

“G’Day!” she says cheerfully. “Just arrived to the Keep are ya?”

“Ayuh, that’s not why we be here,” responds Velgardrin. “We be lookern fer someone by there name of Aseneth er something like thet. We was hopern yer maight know the whereabouts of such.”

The girl shakes her head. “Nope. No one by that name’s got a mount er pack animal ‘ere!”

Velgardrin turns without a further word and leads the group on to the blacksmith’s shop to continue the search.

* * * * *

The Market
Mid-Morning, 19th Day of Mirtul; Year of the Tankard (1370 DR)

Malk strolls through the Keep’s outer bailey and soon arrives at the open-air market. The bard finds that there is a healthy scattering of customers browsing through the various stalls and booths erected by the merchant caravan.

He looks around the market stalls, walking with a casual air and his natural grace. He nods to the man who sold the beer yesterday, but decides to refrain from sampling the cherry ale out of respect for the now lessened banging in his head. He looks to see if he recognizes anyone. As he approaches the stall with the woodcarvings, he smiles at the stallkeeper and looks over the merchandise to see if there is a small something that Jess might like.

After several long minutes of browsing, Malk finds a small, intricately carved model of a unicorn. It is a bit pricey – the wood carver is asking twenty-five gold lions for it – but the bard feels that his future lunch partner will most likely enjoy the trinket.

“This is pretty,” Malk says to the shopkeeper as he picks up the carved unicorn. “However I am only a traveler. What would be your very best price for this?”

“I’m askin’ a score and five lions for it,” the man replies. “But since I heard ya sing at the inn last night, I’m willin’ to give it to ya for a score and two.”

The bard persists with his inquiry. “Apart from the excellent workmanship, is there anything about it I should know? Did you make it?”

“Yes, I made it,” the craftsman replies. “And, no there is nothing else special about it.”

“I’ll have to think about it,” Malk concludes. “Are you staying in the Keep for long?”

The wood worker shrugs. “At least for today. We will probably leave on the morrow.”

Malk thanks the man politely. Turning toward the inn, he heads to his room.

The content of Company of the Silver Claws is the property and copyright of Brian Flood, and are not to be published or redistributed without permission.

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