Serevance: Dust of Bones

The Couriers

Two days ago, you sat in a shadowed bar, half-drunk in the city of Langseld. The barkeep had been sharing some local gossip with you, of pirate raiders sacking the docks of Cambol-Tur to the south. He mentioned that the local constable is ‘giving his fortune away’ to men of capable mettle, like yourselves, in hopes they can scare off or kill these lawless brigands.

As you discussed the prospect of traveling south to Cambol-Tur, a weeks journey in good weather, a young, female dwarf approached you with a proposition of her own.

‘“Hello lords. Me name is Mar Silverhand, I ain’t much for snoopin’ but I overheard yer conversation with the barkeep. If you’re already headin’ south, could ya deliver a letter to me father? His name is Mundi, he’s the village blacksmith. It’s on the way, just two days south in a village called Haradiin. I’ll give ya each a gold piece to deliver it. What do ya say?"

It didn’t take long for your party to mole over the prospect when she presented the shiny gold coins in her dirty palm. She gave you the letter, folded in thirds and sealed with red wax. Dwarven script is carefully written in beautiful calligraphy you may or may not be able to read. She instructs you that she will arrange a carriage to ferry you to Haradiin in good time and relative safety.

Arriving at the stables some hours later you find a middle-aged man of slight build strapping supplies onto his uncovered carriage. The carriage looks as though it could seat six. Two are already on board, a young man and his child brother, giggling over some kind of slap-hand game. Next to the older brother is a strapped pack full of dried goods. The driver asks you to board when you inform him of who you are and the young man greets you with a warm smile but does not speak. A few moments later, the driver mounts the carriage seat and with a “hyah!” the two horses leading the carriage step to the reins.

Comments

Stec lingered a few moments outside the carriage, ensuring that Haddross was properly tethered to the carriage and that the majority of his equipment was secured within the saddle bags on the donkey’s back. Mounting the carriage clad in his leather armor and adventurers outfit, complete with the bandolier of three knives (Slight of Hand roll 16; Spot DC 22), Stec considered his companions.

The first was another gray elf like himself, who had been sent after Stec when his absence from Nost en’Khelek had be noticed. He’d spent the last week convincing him that they should spend a little time getting to know the outside world before returning to a life long seclusion amid the mountain fastness. Stec was sure he’d have to find more loopholes in the orders given to the seeker to prolong their eventual return; after this little mail delivery errand they were running of course.

His other companion was also an elf, but of a kind living in the Ald’harath Forest. This elf was shorter of stature, darker of hair and complexion than the gray elves Stec had grown up among. While this elf spoke a strange dialect of the ancestral language, he was still a familiar face in a land of strangeness. For now they were reliable enough drinking companions, and both could hold their own if trouble ever reared its ugly head.

Stec took one last look at the letter and hand drawn map that Mar Silverhand had given him before folding them into his belt pouch and fixing the larger of the two humans traveling with them with his violet eyes and impish smile. “Traveling to Haradinn to sell your wears, young man?”

The older of the two humans looked up from his game with his younger counterpart, ‘Actually, we’ve journeyed to Langseld from Haradiin for supplies master elf. We are returning home. My name is Drayne, and this is my younger brother Hashim,’ the boy looks at you shyly. ‘We make this journey once per month.’

“Ah, bringing provisions back to the homestead, good on you; and please just call me Stec, I’m nobody’s master,” he said. “So tell me Drayne,” Stec continued, “What do you know of a Dwarf named Mundi? He’s the town’s blacksmith is he not?” (Gather Information: roll 8, total 14)

Aye that he is! A kind and generous dwarf, loved and respected by all in our village. Without his expertise in architecture, Haradiin would surely have fallen into disrepair generations ago. He arrived long before Hashim and I’s birth. What business would . . . (he peers into your violet eyes before his vision rests on your pale hair) elves have with such a humble and dutiful sort such as he? If you don’t mind me asking. Stec may roll a Sense Motive Check

(Sense Motive: roll and total 18): You sense concern on the part of the young human, mild fear even. His response is guarded at the prospect of a trio of elven travelers, one of which (you) seeming to know a lot about what you recognize in his tone as a community celebrity.

(Slight of Hand: roll 10, total 15; success) With a flourish, Stec pulls the letter out of his belt pouch and makes it seem like it appears from thin air. “His daughter, the young Mar Silverhand, has commissioned us to deliver this letter to him.” Stec lets the boys gaze at the writing on the outside of the letter for a moment before hiding it away in his belt pouch with another flourish (Slight of Hand: roll 18, total 23; success). “Perhaps when we reach Haradiin, you might be so kind as the point us in his direction?”

‘Of course sirs, though I doubt you’ll have a hard time finding him, Haradiin is a small village. I knew he had two children, a son and a daughter, but I’d no idea Mar lived in Langseld. I admit I’ve never discussed the matter with Mundi himself, simply village gossip you know?

END TURNSTEC
BEGIN TURNERUMILLAS

The Couriers
 

Erumillas looked at the carriage and payed the humans already on board little heed. He was still giddy from his self-imposed exile, but kept his emotions calm and measured. He fiddled with his bow string for awhile before mounting the carriage. Dry firing to a loud ‘clung!’ as he tested the strings tautness. He made sure his daggers were attached to his belt, and boarded the carriage without so much as a glance to the humans on board. He spoke not, merely listening to the rogue doddle with the humans. He adjusted the green hood of his explorer’s outfit to gaze upon the skies. Erumillas may roll a Survival Check in an attempt to discern the weather.

END TURNERUMILLAS
BEGIN TURNALUR

The Couriers
 

Alur gave a nudge to Stec whilst boarding the carriage, in an effort to show his distaste for him speaking with the humans. Stec paid it little heed and continued, much to Alur’s ire. Alur boarded and adjusted the straps on his leather armor. Unlike the wood elf, he bore no hood, but his leather armor was stamped and branded with slivered crescents and lines of elven script. At his hip he carried a bulbous glass bottle filled with an orange liquid.

Once Stec had finished, Alur turned to the larger human saying “I am Alur of Nornal’s Chosen. Tell me of your village human.”

Drayne . . . good to meet you. I’m unfamiliar with that term, Nornal’s Chosen you say?

Alur stared a moment, “Nevermind that. Your village. Tell me of it.”

. . . Sure. It’s small, a community built on logging. For generations the town has been governed by the Ursel family, a noble family with strong ties to Langseld; they own the land and collect taxes and tithes that are destined for the city. Silas Ursel is the elder of the Ursel House, most know him to be a fair governor.

“Good,” said Alur. “I would like to be introduced to him when we arrive.”

I can arrange that sir. I would think he’ll be happy to see a group of elves. Haradiin has not been visited by any of your kind in many years, certainly not during my lifetime.

Alur rolls a d100: 92

The Couriers
tyler_2

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