By Scott Kujawa
Date: 1st day of the 1st tenday of Mirtul in the year 1375 - The Year of Risen Elfkin
Time: Morning to Evening
Location: Headquarters of the Red Shields.
Weather: Warm and cloudy.
The new unit of the Red Shields has been called into the quarters of the commander. As she looked up from her logbook, she smiled and nodded. She is dressed in red and black cotton clothing and her long brown hair is pulled behind her in a tail. Her dark brown eyes and brown skin are hidden by her dark clothing. A few scars, from past battles, can be seen on the back of her hands and up her arms. The members of the company have placed wagers that the Commander has more scars on the other parts of her body but, so far, no one has been able to find out if she does or doesn’t.
"Good, good, all of you are here except for the two that have taken longer to get here. For your first two assignments, I'd like you to clear out a goblin warren in Phlan's ruins. Another of the requests that came our way was guarding a caravan of spices that is on its way to Shadowdale. I'm working on getting together a skirmish against a small group of Zhentarim that have been slaving not far from here and I expect, or hope, that all of you will have returned for that."
Ragnar Swifttongued, the half-elf bard of the group, listened to the commander with a half smile playing across his lips before responding, "Gnomes eh? Sounds good to me, never liked the tone-deaf little buggers. Think we'll have time to deal with them before the caravan leaves, Commander?"
"Aye, some of those burrow warders might be digging in the ruins as well. If you find them, deal with them. You should have time before the caravan leaves, if you don't slack."
"Stop messing about, my good natured friend," said Valentre. "If there are goblins, then we shall remove them. They are nothing but parasites as it is," he said as he looked at the rest of the group. "We should get our supplies and be off, the goodly folk are troubled!"
As Valentre looked at the commander, he said, "We'll definitely be back for the Zhents!"
Ragnar gave Valentre an amused look. "Well, who am I to argue with such conviction? Besides, I suppose it's time to see if that battle-song my teacher hammered into me really does work."
"Ragnar, you better have learned that well!" As Valentre scoured the group in front of him. "I just hope everyone can keep up! I do know how the halflings and humans lag!" Valentre said as he laughed. "These goblins are as good as dead!"
Caerlin raised an eyebrow and surveyed the group. "Lag eh? We shall see."
"I merely jest, Caerlin. The archer is right, we must know everything we can about this enemy before we move. And the warren should be fairly simple, they are simply goblins. I look forward to our journey with the Caravan to Shadowdale. I have wanted for awhile to set my eyes upon this grand little village that all seem to love."
Caerlin smiled at Valentre. "No offense taken. But methinks that a bit of seriousness would be good, since, as Ragnar stated, even though they are goblins, they should not be underestimated."
"Ah, my dear Caerlen, I believe Ragnar stated that a human kingdom once fell to goblins."
"Hmm... that does sound like a good idea I suppose, sort of like rehearsing your songs before actually performing them to people. I could use some sort of a crossbow or the like I suppose - I'd probably do more good from the back than out front, wielding this," Ragnar said, thumping the hilt of the rapier he carries at his side. "Oh, and Valentre, I've heard tales that simple goblins have led at least one human kingdom to its grave, so a little caution might be advisable." The last delivered along with a wink at the elf.
She looked at Commander Aurythe. "How long until the caravan is ready to leave for Shadowdale? I ask so we can be sure to have the warren cleared and return here in time for them to leave. And what information is there on the goblin warren in Phlan? Do you have an approximate number, and the size of the ruins? I wish to be as prepared as possible." She gave the commander a slight smile.
"Good questions, those. There are a few days before the caravan is ready. We need to finish packing the wagons. As for the warrens, our scout said that there are about ten to twenty defenders and they are west of the Well, in what used to be a two-story manor. There might be rooms, which the goblins might have hewed out, under the manor."
The female archer listened to the commander before saying, “Ten to twenty defenders? That shouldn't be too bad, but I would like to look over the reports if possible, Commander."
The follower of the Red Knight pulled out a scroll and pushed it across the desk. “The info the scout brought back is in there but it’s the same as I said.”
The tanned halfling stood and patted down the simple outfit he is wearing. He pulled his long black hair into a pony tail. "Well," he said in a deep tone," I think I will let all of you discuss tactics while I lag my way to the mess hall. It has been at least an hour since I last ate." With a twinkle in his green eyes he hops & skips obviously towards the Quartermasters area.
The female archer smiled as she watched Luie leave and shook her head. "Leave us to discuss tactics, eh?"
Valentre winked, "You are right, though, we should take care to plan this journey well, that way we can get everyone in one piece for our journey to Shadowdale. Do hin ever have enough to eat?" He shrugged.
"Ragnar, you do plan on keeping us entertained with that flute, correct?" Val looked around. "I wonder where my sister is? She said she would be meeting us. Ah well, late as always -can't trust the Teu'Tel'Quess."
Caerlin looked at Valentre. "You mentioned a sister? Does she have a specialty, or chosen profession?"
”Well, my former master and teacher, the great Luko Starlingvoiced, used to tell me "twas most entertaining to hear me attempt to play it." I think he was just jesting, though," Ragnar said with a slight frown creasing his forehead.
"So, if Ragnar here wants to use a crossbow, and our lovely young woman over here is using the bow, I supposed I will assume the point position. Now, that leaves us the halfling to wonder about," Valentre mused. "Do we have any arcanists or priests with us?"
"Shall we get everything together today, and leave for the warrens first thing in the morning? That will give us plenty of time to make sure we have everything we need, as well as give the other two time to arrive and be briefed on our missions." She turned to look at the commander again. “Unless you believe that it is imperative that we leave immediately, Commander?"
“Nay, you can leave on the morrow if you wish.”
Caerlin nodded at the Commander. “"If there is nothing else Commander, I would take my leave to ready my equipment?" As Commander Aurthe nodded, Caerlin gave a slight bow to her officer.
"So, my half-elf friend, shall we partake in some moondrop or feywine before we prepare? I would ask you to come along Caerlin, but I'd hate for you not to be prepared. But do feel free to join us!" He also bowed to the Commander before he asked, "Shall we?"
The female human in their unit smiled at Valetre as she picked up the scroll. “I wouldn't mind a cup myself, and I can go through what I have as easily in the mess as I can in my quarters."
“Some moondrop sounds fine by me,” the half-elf replied after he bowed to the Commander.
"Sounds good - we'll introduce the human and the hin to some of our better brews!" Valentre said with a chuckle. "Let's hope that it's not too strong!"
* * * * *
The halfling requisitioned riding beasts with saddles, one light crossbow with two sets of quarrels, water & food for a tenday, a small bag of coal dust, a grapple hook, fifty feet of good strong rope, and three pounds of flour.
"You may never know when you need flour," he said to the male human Quartermaster. "Also some wax... for my ears." He gave no explanation to the Quartermaster about the last request and the male human just looked at him strangely as he marked the items in his logs. As the Quartermaster filled the request, he added two cure light potions that have two doses each.
The stable-boy once again watched the small hin count the number of horses. Then the hin stroked his chin before he turned to the young lad and looked him in the eye. "All horses? By the golden lockets of
Tymora it will take me most of the afternoon to climb into the saddle. hmm..." The hin didn’t wait for a reply before he led the horses away from the stables and towards the barracks.
Luie saw his companions pass him and go inside, while he was holding multiple riding reigns. One was between his teeth, and he mumbled, “Noumffune, Tanksssfurthuuffper.”
Luie helped the stable-hand tie up the horses outside of the barracks. Once he was done, he gathered up the remainder of the supplies that were not packed away in the saddlebags and entered the barracks.
Without pause the hin climbed the stairs to the third floor because that is where the new members have their bunks and he heard Valentre call out, "Luie - where are you going? Come join us for a tallglass of this marvelous brew.”
Luie yelled from the stairwell, "In a bit... almost don... oops, sorry about your foot, sir." Three heartbeats later, as everything heard a muffled scream of pain, Luie’s voice could be heard saying, "Sorry about that, hope there is not a scar."
Caerlin looked up, and raised an eyebrow at Luie's exclamation.
Luie didn’t want to waste anymore time, since he did miss the late morning meal. Before he left the third floor, he dry fired the crossbow a few times to make sure it worked and once he was satisfied that it was well oiled and in good repair, he set it and the ammunition on Ragnars’ bunk.
Luie took some time to check over the rope for any frayed bits and to look over the grapple hook but all of the equipment the company uses is in good repair or if it isn’t then it is replaced. Seeing all that was in order, he stored it underneath his bunk.
* * * * *
Valentre turned, left the commanders quarters, and headed north to the barracks where they could get some drink and fare. Caerlin followed Val and Ragnar out the door and walked behind them. They crossed the once grassy area, which has now turned to mud and dirt because all of the feet, and hooves, that have killed the grass. They say the hin leading the horses, or it actually looked like the horses were leading him, towards the barracks. The three of them stepped inside the barracks and entered the tavern on the first floor. The second and third floors were where the other mercenaries slept when they were in camp.
The tavern wasn’t packed but ten mercenaries sat around the circular tables. The walls were mostly bare but they were starting to be decorated with arms, helms, weapons, and other trophies that the company has won. The male human tavernkeeper, and the two female human maids, who are younger, are the only residents that are not part of the company itself and they stay in the settlement when all of the mercs are out on campaign.
Ragnar pulled out a chair at one of the tables and gestured for the attention of one of the two maids with one hand. He slipped his flute-case open, which he'd put down on the floor already, with his other hand. Caerlin sat in the chair that was against the wall, pulled out the scroll from the Commander, and started to read it.
"Caerlin, have you deciphered anything in particular or are you going to be a stick in the mud all night?" Valentre mused with a wink. "Where are those sweet breads we've ordered?
"We'll have to come up with a preliminary plan since we know that there are about ten to twenty goblins and that they have taken over a ruined manor. Any opinions?" Valentre stated as he began to take another sip of his tallglass.
Luie joined his unit by ‘hopping’ into a chair. “So, when do we leave? Do we have users of the Power? Where are the others? How can we tell they are with us and not some random adventure party? Where is the fare? Do you think the burrow warders are making room for more of their people or are they looking for something? Where is the ale? Who wants to go fishing? Since we are not leaving anytime soon. Mmmm… fish…”
Caerlin blinked a couple of times at the rapid-fire questions before she tried to answer them. "Well, we talked about leaving in the morning. As far as I know, no we don't have any spell slingers. I don't know where the others are, and that is a good question. The gobs could be doing either of those things and that's what we are going to find out. And I'm not much for fishing."
As the maid arrived with the fare she refilled of the tallglasses.
Foods here," she winked at Luie before she flipped the map out for the others to see. "Well, like the Commander said, they are in this manor house.” She pointed at the manor on the west side of the map. “They have seen ten to twenty of them only in the manor. The report says that the human female scout saw no patrols in the hour or so that she was there."
She took a sip of her drink and a deep breath to recover from the questions. "Whew", she said before she looked around the table, “This drink is very good.
"Well, with only four of us at the moment and we are outnumbered by quite a bit. I think that we should try to take as many out as possible from a distance. Maybe by taking up positions either around or inside this building," She pointed at the building just north of the ruined manor. "To try and take advantage of the wall that has fallen. We could also try to get around to the front of the building, using the well and surrounding buildings as cover."
Ragnar looked up just as he's about to start playing the flute. "It might be a good idea to scout the area around the manor for escape-tunnels and if we're really lucky, we can use one of those to take them from the back. Although I'm sure that you people are more experienced in military matters than me." He winked and turned his gaze towards one of the barmaids. When she noticed his gaze, she smiled back and started to sway her hips, to tease the bard, as she walked among the mercenaries.
"We generally are, bard, though you should pay attention as well!" Valentre chuckled. "You should also pay attention to the current plans and not the amenities of this tavern - she will be here when you return, if you return! And your chances of returning would be greatened if you paid attention!" Valentre smiled.
"So, master archer, what plans do you have for us? And Luie, slow down, they'll be time to talk on the road!"
Caerlin raised an eyebrow and chuckled. "Master archer? Not quite."
She scanned the report again, and frowned a bit. "Well, the report indicates that the scout didn't look around too much because the ruins are filled with beasties and she was alone so she feared for her safety. So Ragnar's suggestion is very valid as well."
She looked at the others. “I have given my opinions on a couple courses of action, but I am no way an expert on these matters. So the decision is really up to all of you." She indicated the rest of the group.
"Very well, I will take point and scout what I can. Monk, you should probably be up front when I announce the numbers. Caerlin, you should be able to snipe off goblins as they come forward. Ragnar, how good are you with that crossbow? As soon as our last member arrives, we should get ready to go."
"Really Valentre," Ragnar said, "I was just trying to get a refill. A man can drink and pay attention to details at the same time, you know. Actually, the drinking part is nearly a requisite if your relations came from across the Sea of Swords, right Caerlin?" He winked at the Illuskan archer.
Caerlin covered her snicker with a cough, and recovered with a twinkle in her eyes.
"But never worry, I shall pay attention to whatever plans we lay and remain sober enough to remember them tomorrow. I’ll also be sober enough to deliver a bolt to the head of any goblin that enter my sights. Incidentally, do you think they'll wear boots by any chance? I've been thinking of ways to use what little magic I have in battle."
"Boots? Hmmm... That’s doubtful, but one never knows. But I am sure you will find another use for any magic that you have." She smiled at Ragnar.
"Oh that magic is paltry and unimpressive I fear," Ragnar said as he smiled back at her. He then put his six-holed, fairly thick (one might even call it blocky), wooden flute to his lips and played a tune that is short, and simple, enough that he can do it one-handed. His other hand weaved a not too complicated pattern in the air.
”There, now we'll see what I can do."
Luie picked up a mug of ale and after he took a drink he made a face. As he arched an eyebrow, he said, “We should approach the ruins during the day. Once there we could scout around the manor and if we come across a small group, which is highly unlikely during daytime, we should take them out.” He took another drink and made a different face. “Preferably alive, so we can get some information from them and some type of magic that can influence their minds would be great. Information offered freely is better than information forced from a subject.” He put the mug back on the table and then scratched his neck. “And it is a lot less messy too.” He then reached for the meat & cheese and in less than a breath he proceeded to make a rather large sandwich.
Hmm..." Ragnar watched the halfling grimace his way through the tankard. "Something wrong with your drink, friend Luie?" He turned to Caerlin and winked. "Now, this will soon go away, but a pretty girl should have some adornments and I've always thought," he said before he reached forward and gently stroked her cheek. When his hand pulled back, a red-and-yellow five-pointed star seemed to have been painted on her cheek.
“No, no, it is good. It has just been a while since I had water.” He paused in the middle of his construction of the sandwich. ”Nice tattoo, Caerlin. So we have multiple ideas for one task? Just out of curiosity, am I the only one that can not see in the dark?”
Caerlin looked confused. "Tattoo? I have no tattoo...." She put her hand to her cheek and looked at Ragnar and raised eyebrow before she looked at her reflection in the back of her shield. "A star, eh? Hmm... At least it's something small."
"Ragnar, this way you can impress on the goblins that you are a master body art specialist." Valentre laughed.
"Do you think that will scare them away?" Ragnar chuckled. "Begone foul goblins, or the mighty Ragnar will mark you all with little pretty stars and hearts and moons and thingies!
"And don't worry Caerlin, it's nothing permanent. If it had been that I'd have put it on Valentre instead because I hear that the wood elves enjoy such things." He winked as his words came to an end.
Caerlin looked at him and laughed. "Well, I didn't figure it was permanent, but I don’t know... Valentre might get a bit upset if you put one on him."
Sitting nearby, but by herself for now, was a female gold who was listening to the unit as they discussed plans of action. She knew that all of them were the members that she was assigned to, but she had yet to introduce herself to them since they have been together for about a month and she was just assigned to them that morning.
He looked between his sandwich and the lone female gold sitting at another table. “Anyone else have an more ideas?” the halfling asked before he stood and reached for more cheese.
As Caerlin reached over to grab some of the meat and cheese before Luie ate it all, she looked over at him. "Nay, you aren't the only one who cannot see in the dark, for I am unable to as well."
"Do not worry about not being able to see at night, I will not let either of you misstep. Now, I suppose I should order another of these plates as you N'Tel'Quess haven't eaten all of my midday meal."
Valentre got up and headed towards one of the maids to order another plate.
“I think I should go get something as well,” Ragnar said before he also rose and walked towards the maid.
Luie gave Caerlin a conspiring smile and whispered in a loud voice, "Our plan worked! Soon he will bring us more food." He then let off a deep chuckle.
Caerlin winked back at Luie and whispered, "Nice job there, getting Valentre to go spring for more food."
"You know, I could still hear you - I have excellent hearing." Valentre smiled as he returned with the food and drink. "So, when we finally have the company composed, we will be ready to head out - well, at least after a night of rest or play!"
Caerlin looked up at Valentre with a smile. "I wasn't really trying to be quiet either. And yes, I believe that we will be ready to leave first thing, once our other members arrive."
The gold elf stood from the table she was sitting at and approached her new comrades. "Well met. I am Ithyria Roseshadow, and I will be accompanying you on this journey." Ithyria looked over the food and drink that was just brought back to the table. "Excellent, I am parched," she commented as she grabbed a goblet and sat next to Caerlin.
"Lady Roseshadow, well met. I thought that we were getting another member to our small company. However, I did not purchase enough food for all – I guess I'll be right back." Valentre smiled. "And Luie, try not to eat everything this time!"
"Muevw vwunt," Luie replied.
Valentre headed back to the maid and took more food from her.
Ithyria glanced around the table and assessed all the members. "So, when do we leave?"
Caerlin looked startled at the manners of the gold elf. "Greetings Ithyria, did Commander Aurythe tell you of our mission?" She turned the map so that Ithyria could see it. "I'm not sure how much of our plans you overheard,” she continued before she gave a quick explanation of the different ideas. "Is there anything you would like to add?"
"I heard your plans in full and I do not have anything to add. I feel, for now, that it would be best that we make sure our gear is in order so may depart at first light."
Ragnar returned to the table, carrying a mug of ale and a plate with some greyish mutton on it. "Well, something tells me I'll take my dinner in town today."
He looked at the gold-elf. “I'm Ragnar Braelithar, son of Aerinon Braelithar of Waterdeep. A pleasure to meet you - I think at least, so far I'm just going by appearances.” He smiled before he winked at Caerlin.
"Well met to you as well".
Caerlin smiled at Ragnar before she stood and whispered to him, “It had been a few years, before meeting you, since I have had any dealings with gold elves. I had merely forgotten how they can be."
She picked up the map and report before she turned to the rest of the group. "If we are done discussing plans, I think I shall return this to the Commander."
"Make sure that she knows that we are ready to leave soon."
Valentre turned to the lady gold elf. "So, my Ar'Tel'Quess friend, what is your specialty? I would assume from your pouches, that you practice the Art. If so, Luie and I will keep you safe as you rain fire upon our enemies,” Valentre said with a wink.
"You are astute for a wood elf." She smiled. “I do practice the Art and I have been assigned to watch your back. I’ll probably not do anything as grand as raining fire, however."
"So, any once else up for some dice? Or some cards?" the wood elf asked.
The gold elf stood. "Then if we are done discussing, I will retire to my room to prepare for the journey. I will see you all when Lathander spreads his dawn." Ithyria opened the chest at the end of her bed and made sure that she had all the gear she needed in the morning. Once she was done, she sprawled out on the couch, since the elves don’t have beds, that she used for Reverie.
"Well," Ragnar started as he got out of his chair after having finished his mutton-sausage. "I for one am thinking of taking a trip to the mages tower because there's a few things I'd like to look for. Does anyone care to join me? And don't worry Valentre, once I've returned I'll take you up on those cards. Knowing I'll have some money coming in will make my time at the tower more pleasant."
“No tower for me Ragnar. I think it is time for me to go fishing.” Luie placed the rest of his meal in a sack before he tossed Valentre a copper and called, “Keep the change!” His laughter could be heard as he left through the front.
Caerlin watched them both leave before she turned back to Ragnar. "Thanks for the invitation Ragnar, but I think I will return these to the Commander." She lifted the reports. "Then I’m going to make sure that we have everything we need for tomorrow."
He smiled at Caerlin. "I guess I'll go alone then." He nodded at the remaining members of his unit before he headed towards their chamber to change into his performer's outfit. Once he was changed into his more distinctive garb, Ragnar buckled on his sword belt, left the barracks, and entered the stone mages tower. The first floor was given over to rooms of storage for the company’s equipment. A large, and burly, male human sat nearby at the desk, updating the log book. Ragnar could hear others moving around, and talking over arcane theories, upstairs. Ragnar stood and listened to the arcane theories and discussions for a while before he shrugged his shoulders and returned to the tavern in the barracks.
She looked at Valentre, "Sorry, no dice or cards for me today."
The archer smiled at both of them before she headed towards the Commander's residence.
Valentre smiled as Caerlen left the barracks. "Well, it looks like I am alone in this wonderful establishment, except for the other members of the company that are eating here.”
Valentre headed to communal room on the third floor to sit in contemplation on the days ahead and to commune with Rillifane Ralathil.
Caerlin entered the room for a moment to remove some fetching supplies from her chest, before she left the room again.
Luie saw the two elves on the third floor and the halfling moved towards his bunk to meditate before he started to do forms. Once he was done with his forms, prayed to Tymora and then fell asleep.
* * * * *
After Caerlin left the tavern, she walked to the Commander's office. As she walked, she looked around the busy yard. Some of the mercs were being taught or practicing their melee weapons. Others were off to the east side of the settlement practicing ranged weapons. Some of the mercs were guarding the settlement while others were getting ready to ride. A few of the users of the Art that reside in the tower were also discussing arcane knowledge plus war spells. The few that have settled here that helps keep the company running were also around.
As she arrived at the Commander's she knocked on the door and entered as the Commander called out, “Enter.”
She entered and handed the report back with a bow. "Thank you Commander, we have looked them over and made some plans. The five of us are planning on leaving at first light for Phlan. Is there an official in Phlan that we need to speak with before we begin our clearing of the goblins? And is the scout that made the report at base at this time, or is she out on duty again?"
“All has been arranged with the council, so just ride through and they will open the gate to the ruins. All of you have the seals that show you are members of my company. Yes, Synalee should be around. I’d try the barracks since she likes to sleep during the day and she’s a better night scout anyway, so I let her.”
Caerlin inclined her head. "Thank you Commander, but I believe then I will wait until eveningfest and speak to her at that time. I'm not sure disturbing a scout's sleep would bode well for my health." She smiled as the Commander laughed and nodded. "Is there anything else that you think we should know about this mission? It seems pretty straight forward, but that won't mean it is easy."
“Just watch yourselves in the ruins because they are still mostly homes of monsters and beasties that have taken them over. However, the manor where the goblins have settled has started to be cleared, so there shouldn’t be that many monsters that can kill you.”
Caerlin bowed to the Commander before she thanked her and bid her good day. After she left the Commanders residence, she walked towards the archery range while she unslung her bow from her shoulder. She looked it over before she began practicing firing arrows at the hide target.
The archer spent two hours doing this and about half of her shot made it into the target while the other half flew wide. Once she collected her arrows, she crossed the settlement and entered the stone mages tower.
She nodded at the thick, and burly, male Quartermaster as he sat behind his desk and worked on his log book. Once he looked up, she said, “Well met, I was wondering if you have some arrow shaft blanks, and maybe some hawk or eagle feathers?"
“How many do you need, young one?”
“Five blanks, and enough feathers for them.”
Once she had her items, she left the tower and made her way back to the barracks. She climbed to the third floor and saw that the gold elf and the wood elf were sitting on their couches. She grabbed her tools, left the room, and found a table by the wall in the tavern. After she sat with her back to the wall, and signaled one of the maids for a tankard of mead she smiled at the maid.
"Thank you, and don't worry, I will clean the shavings off the table when I am finished."
“Don’t worry about it. We’ve cleaned up worse.”
Caerlin took a small sip, got her tools out, and started to carefully work on an arrow while she waited for the others. As the archer worked on her arrows with skill she was surprised that she had, the short blond haired, and tawny skinned, scout stepped into the tavern with a yawn.
“Ale, Kolar, and keep it coming!”
Once the male barkeep nodded, Synalee crossed the room while she gave another yawn as she continued to try to fully wake. Caerlin waved the scout over just as Synalee grabbed her tankards and the scout joined the archer at her table.
"Well met, Synalee," Caerlin said as the scout sat down. "My companions and I are leaving to clear the ruins in Phlan that you scouted. I’ve read your report, and I was wondering if there is anything else you can tell me about them? How much of the north wall has fallen, the amount of cover from trees and bushes, and the like."
“All of the northern wall has fallen outwards onto the alley. There are some trees and you can use the other ruined buildings for cover. One tall tree, near the south of the manor, has grown up the most and it provides shade on that side of the manor. I did spot a group of cultists as I was leaving but what deity they were worshipping, I know not.”
After discussing the mission with Synalee, Caerlin asked, "How does one become a scout for the company? What kind of training is needed? What would I need to know before getting said training? And who would I need to talk to, to receive said training?"
“The Commander decides, of course. As for the training, you have to know how to find your way out of places, how to spot movement, water, and other obstacles, and so good hearing and vision are a must. Any of the scouts can train you, after the Commander puts your through her tests to make sure you will not falter. The knowledge of a ranged weapon is also useful, but you know how to use one of those already.” She paused to yawn again before taking a deep pull from the first tankard. “But otherwise, a scout just has to be fast and know how to run, move quickly and silently while not being seen, and listen and watch.”
Caerlin raised her eyebrow in surprise. "Cultists? About how many do you think there were? And where exactly did you see them? This adds a whole new aspect to the mission if they turn out to be of hostile intent." She looked serious as she thought about this angle.
“I saw about six of them and they are all male humans. They were east past the four-way that leads back to civilized Phlan. I doubt they will bother your unit but I was mentioned them, so you could be on the lookout for them.”
“Would you join me for eveningfest? My companions may be joining me soon, and they may have other questions as well. Unless, that is, you have duties to attend to." Caerlin respectfully inclined her head to Synalee, and thanked her for her time and patience with her questions.
“Aye? I’ll stay for now since I’m awake and I prefer the night anyhow.”
Caerlin signaled to one of the barmaids and when she arrived, she asked with a smile, "What is the fare for eveningfest? And I need another mead.”
“Roasted potatoes and meat pies or spicy sauce covered chicken and beef from Calimshan.”
After ordering, Caerlin cleaned her tools and carefully packed them carefully away while carefully wrapping her new arrows to put in her backpack later. As the maid returned with the order, Caerlin cleaned the shavings off the table, so that they don't end up in anyone's fare. During this she continues to talk to Synalee about becoming a scout, and about other issues that are occurring in the area. Synalee replied with tales of centaur clans to the northwest, about half a tenday away, have been raiding each other. She knows about a cave that leads down into the Underdark in the Dragonspine Mountains, which are far to the north. She’s also been asked to go explore the fringes of the small forest north of Phlan and look for tracks or signs of a beastie that has six legs. The rest of her information is about Hillsfar to the southwest and the constant fighting over that ruined town.
* * * * *
Luie took the long way to the command building and then looked over the duty roster. He saw that there was a sixth member, who is listed as elven thief, on the list to join their unit. However, that member has a question mark next to there entry.
He read that she was assigned to help the group with arcane dealings and to provide more use of the Art. A small note next to her name reads, “Art comes from blood. She claims the Sword Coast as her residence.”
Once he had the information he wanted, he left the mercenary settlement and made his way to the River. The halfling waded out a bit from the bank and waited until the fish swam between his legs before he scooped it out and onto the shore. He spent the rest of the afternoon catching fish, since most of the supplies and horses are ready to go at dawn.
After a nice day of fishing, Luie took take his catch to the kitchen. He left them there for the patrons of the tavern to enjoy before he retired to the upper floor.
* * * * *
Ragnar saw that Caerlin sat with Synalee, one of the five scouts of the company. The female human scout has short blond haired and tawny skin and she is drinking from two different tankards. Ragnar walked up to the table with Synalee and Caerlin and sketched a bow to them. He looked different from this morning because he's wearing his performing outfit, which is a loose, bright red vest over an equally brightly green tunic, along with snug-fitting hose that are bright yellow on his left leg, and a vibrant blue on his right leg.
He smiled at them and asked, "Mind if I join you Caerlin and Synalee? I promise there will be no face-painting tonight."
Caerlin chuckled a bit and indicated for Ragnar to take a seat. "Please join us. Synalee is the scout who made the report, so I was asking her some more about the area." She frowned a bit. “She told me that on her way out, she spotted some human male cultists, of unknown religion. They may or may not complicate our mission."
Caerlin signaled to one of the barmaids to bring Ragnar a drink and as the maid brought the tankard and Ragnar gave the maid a coin and a wink, the archer continued, "Interesting outfit you have there, my friend." She winked and smiled after those words. Synalee continued to sit and drink and it looked like she was starting to come fully awake now.
He smiled after he sat and enjoyed his drink. "Well you know, a bard has to be seen, and this certainly ensures that I'm seen."
Caerlin nodded and smiled. "Aye, you will definitely be seen in those."
He turned to Synalee with a friendly smile and she looked back at him with a small smile. "Cultists you say? Do you have any idea about which kind? Oh, and how d'you know they're not just looters looking for stones or something?"
“No, I don’t know what kind and because they were worshipping a statue that I didn’t get close enough to see.”
After Synalee left, Ragnar and Caerlin spent some time together in the tavern before she stood and bid him good eve. Ragnar joined his unit on the third floor and he was soon asleep.
The content of Champions of the Silver Wyrm is the property and copyright of Scott Kujawa and is not to be published or redistributed without permission.
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