Sunday, April 14, 2013

Kagerou's Journal 8

Read part 7 here.

On the way I asked the others what had happened to make them exit the building through the drain with an additional person. The halfling volunteered the information first.

“As I said before, I’m familiar with this town and I know the healer, Hannah. When I didn’t find her on the first or second floor, I checked the basement. She has a small altar to Gozreh down there. The moment I reached it I knew something was wrong because despite the fire, the basement was ice cold. I heard a loud crash and hurried forward to open the double doors. I found the bear lying amidst broken wood, his fur on fire. I quickly healed him.”

I raised my eyebrow but made no mention of her skill. She must have been the one that had healed us in the water and in the fight with the goblins.

She continued. “When I looked around I saw a blood trail and bloody footprints of some gigantic monster leading to the chimney. Also, the poor of holy water was boiling from contact with some type of evil.

“I looked first up the chimney and found Hannah injured. I think she may have tried to escape whatever it was. This good woman,” she gestured to the Shoanti, “appeared then and helped me to get her down. I knew the fire was too great for us to escape that way so the pool was the only option left to us.

“I have some talent in blessing evil things, so I blessed the pool and returned it to its holy state so it would stop boiling. She cast an air bubble for Hannah and herself and we set off swimming at which point we met up with you at the grate. You have my thanks for unlocking it. Otherwise we might have drowned.”

“You’re welcome. But that is quite the tale. You think, then, that the fire wasn’t caused by normal means but by something evil?”

“Aye. By whatever monster attacked my friend.” She looked sad.

We arrived at a three story building made from gray stone. “Here is the Rusty Dragon.” She pushed open the door.

The late hour meant that the Rusty Dragon was nearly empty. A huge tapestry dominated one wall with a large dragon curling round a fiery town. The walls were cluttered with various items and trophies and on one wall there was a huge board with notices. The few people there slumped over their cups in front of the small flames in the huge fireplaces. There was no sign of the owner but I could see the top of a head behind the bar.

We headed for the bar and the short person came into view. He was a tiny goblin and he sat upon a barrel of pickles, idly munching on pieces of food drawn from the barrel.

When he spotted us, he asked, “Whatcha want to drink?”

We looked sideways at each other. The halfling stepped forward first and ordered a pint of Lunchard ale. The Varisian ordered a half and half of Rio cider and wine. I preferred to stay on the safe side, not being familiar with this tavern, and ordered wine.

The Shoanti, however, slapped her hand down and said, “Surprise me!”

The goblin chuckled appreciatively and came back with a tall mug, the smell of which make be gag. She lifted it and chugged it down on the spot. A second later she collapsed to the floor, unconscious. The bear cautiously sniffed her mug, drank the rest and soon he had joined her on the floor.

The goblin just chuckled. Rather than continue to watch the pathetic pair, I asked him about the young man from earlier, Aldern.

“Him? Yeah, he’s staying here, but he’s already gone to bed.” His hand darted forward and the next thing I knew he was fiddling with my Pathfinder compass. “You an explorer?”

“I get around,” I replied, deliberately vague. I held out my hand and he tossed my compass back.

“I suppose you’ll be wanting rooms.” We nodded. “Being adventurers, I can give ‘em to you for free. I only have two though. Mind sharing?”

I looked at the others. I hadn’t seen anything to prove they weren’t who they said they were, but I still wasn’t sure about the strange halfling or the bear.

“I’ll share with you,” I said to the Varisian. I at least knew what she was capable of. “If you two,” I glanced at the bear, “or three wouldn’t mind sharing?”

The halfling glanced at the slumbering Shoanti. “I don’t mind. But the bear’s sleeping outside.”

“That’s settled then,” the goblin said happily. “I still have some leftover porridge if you want free food?” He proffered a bowl of gray goop.

“No, thank you.” I backed away from the nasty stuff. It didn’t look like porridge to me.

“Your choice.” The goblin disappeared behind the bar and reappeared to lead the way a moment later. “Follow me. I’m Ick, by the way. If you need anything, just ask.”

We murmured our assent and followed him upstairs. I and the Varisian took the first room and the others took the second, the bear having gone outside to sleep.

I slung my pack onto the bed and sat down facing my roommate. “If we’re sharing a room, we ought to introduce ourselves. My name is Kagerou and I’m a traveler. And you?”

She bowed slightly. “My name is Breuvial. I’m a dancer who dabbles in magic.”

“You are quite talented on both those points.” I lay down on the bed. “And also quite the talented pickpocket.” I smirked at her startled expression. “I have eyes and I was watching before the fight broke out. Don’t worry. I won’t turn you in. But you’ll be sorry if you try the same on me. Just a warning. Good night, Breuvial.” I turned over and gradually drifted off to sleep.

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