Chapter Four - Old Red Eye is back...

We sleep for the night, and thankfully I am blessed by my Deity with spells that help our current situation as I grow giant Bat wings and shepherd the children across the water. Not long after I have ferried the first of the children across, sheninigans begin as my pack is thrown in the water, to which no one owns up to. Thankfully my faithful companion SpiderMonkey was on watch, pointing out the naughty Chunk as the culprit with a raised paw.

Once that has been resolved, we are all soon across the other side of the water and stand in the tiny tunnel that leads to a grass and rock outcropping on the mountainside. I somehow managed to carry Stumpy, the heaviest member of the party across safely, whilst dropping Trixie and McFlurry on separate attempts, and their wet footfalls echo in the tunnel like accusing glances.  

We move on and get to the wagon in no time at all, but are aware of things following us in the high grass. A Warg is then spotted before it slopes back into the high grass, and thinking an attack is coming, we quickly form defensive positions with the kids under a blanket for safety. Nothing happens for minutes, and so Trixie becomes a Giant Eagle to go scouting, but finds nothing, and we are unsure if this is because she is a poor eagle or they have gone – most guess the former though.

We move on, and then the wolves come back. As we quickly take positions, the Wargs leap from the long grass and take out McFlurry instantly as all of them attack him pack style. They then turn to Idjit, and I Briar web the lot to protect the party. Obviously some people don’t see this in the same way as I do, as the most thorny of thorny thorns wrap round wrists and feet and into pierce exposed parts of skin with all the power and surprising hurt of a paper cut covered with a plaster made from a lemon slice.

Trixie puts two to sleep with a spell, and the beasts struggle and howl in pain as they try to get out or find something to attack. Thanks to Stumpy’s earlier spell, I am feeling full of battle vigour, and so go and help the wounded Idjit by bashing a trapped Warg who can’t hit me back.

I then get a massive beating as a Warg attacks me after breaching my Brambles, while Chunk hidden in the bushes drops his weapon more than once and Stumpy takes out one with a well placed club to the head. With Idjit about to drop and me covered in bites and scratches, I cast Obscuring Mist and hide under the wagon, on the way forgetting to drag the wounded Idjit away. Oh well.

Someone wakes the half dead McFlurry, who after downing some healing, flurries the nearest bramble stuck wolf with Stunning Fist. Chunk is heard cursing as the Wargs all find him in the mist and attack him on mass, and I stumble across a half dead Warg with scratches and pierced flesh, and make him all dead with a scimitar cut across its head.

Chunk cries out but thankfully I blindly have walked into him anyway, and while I heal him with the wand, I hear Trixie calling out curses to the beasts as she blasts a Warg with Magic Missiles while protecting the children. Soon all of the Wargs that are not asleep are dead, and we surround the sleepers with deadly intent. The first dies knowing no different, and the last is woken as McFlurry treads on its tail before everyone is ready, quickly escaping on its four wounded paws before we can do anything.

Making sure the kids are ok, we carry on once more, and after travelling for little over an hour before we see a dust cloud on the horizon - Riders. We continue to move onwards, but slow and cautiously until 15 riders, 5 armed with curved bows, have spread out before us.

Trixie begins to talk with a splendid opening speech of “Have you seen those brave people that make a change in this world? ...lo! We are such adventurers, and we have rescued the little ones.” Once she has their attention, she becomes all coy, and under thick brows turns to one, strokes her beard and says “..can I have a go on your horse?”

The leader of the group is impressed despite Trixie’s later efforts, and soon we are escorted back to town, through the gates, and soon have the children back to the Slumbering Drake. Lady Shontessa looks impressed, until we spoil it with our bravado, but Trixie once more pulls it back as the children on cue sing pitch perfect “Doh a Dear...”, melting even the hardest hearts of the gathered people watching our show.

McFlurry is given the task of Squire, one that he sets to with relish, but mostly because of the taunting and goading of myself and Trixie. Even Idjit gets in on the action, as McFlurry’s sad efforts to date have been less than optimal, and loads up the Brother with armour and gear to carry.

The party then splits as some travel to the armourer to offload the gear we have, while others look about for Quintos, a traveller from Mistinmare, who buys and sells magical trinkets and comes to this city once a week.

Idjit and I have travelled to the guard station where Idjit was due to train. We speak to the guard, and when I begin to apologise for missing our previous appointment, the guard punishes Idjit by charging him full price for his training. Oh dear.

At the armourers, they find it is run by a Dwarf, and Trixie decides to cast a glamour to improve her beauty, but as she enters the shop, not even the beginnings of a charming conversation is begun before guards forcefully enter the shop and try to lock her up for tricksy dealings.

After explaining their way out of a prison sentence, by saying she wanted to flatter the Armourer - “....I changed my appearance for you gorgeous”, not try and rob him, they sell our collective wares.

Our day of shopping and information gathering over, we return to the Sleeping Drake, where Shontessa asks if we have anything planned and while ale and food is brought to our tables, she tells us a story....

“My husband was an explorer, and blah blah...” sorry I was hungry and thirsty, and no one else looked bothered, all waiting for me and my scroll to take down all the details. What I did write was that the husband is asleep like a little Sleeping Beauty. We are looking for a Fiend called Hasna Azahar who possibly done the deed, and that Benthos Rusa was a Dragon terrorising the area, before or after he fell asleep, or because of it, who knows. There is a Hall of Worms, which is actually a Library, and the word Ordimasas, which could be the Librarian’s name, the place where the Library is, or even the bloke who brought me the cheese and biscuits.

All I know is I that I nodded at all the appropriate places, caught the bit where she mentions reward, and showed the correct amount of sympathy at the end. Not sure if the words “...your my only hope..” were used, but I think they could have been.

We agree, and soon are left to discuss the plans, which mostly involve drinking more ale. McFlurry tells us that he discovered another Monk with a Tattoo the same as his own passed through the area not long ago. He is very serious as he says this, which is a huge judgemental error, as Trixie is straight in there with a timely barb, “...I bet he is quaking in his boots if he discovers you are chasing after him...”

A crest on Chunks new Mithril armour is spotted on the return to the armourer as belonging to a long distant relative of his, and Chunk is offered 100gp to show the armourer his Granddads resting place. Thankfully nothing is mentioned about returning the armour, and so things go smoothly.

Trixie and I meet the magic man Quintos, who takes the red eye we have found with revered tenderness before breathlessly telling us that it will cost us a fortune in gold coins to tell us what it is.

The day passes, and Quintos has made a special trip back to us visiting the city twice in one week, and after making ourselves comfortable, he tells us a tale of Elerinth, an Elven warrior........and twice in two days I wake up near the end of someone else’s story and nudge Trixie awake shortly before Quintos returns from his monologue in the past to the real world and the focus shifts back to us.

He continues to gush about the importance of this artefact even after he has finished the story, still saying nothing concrete, while I can see Trixie thinking the same thing as me, ‘...we spent 1500gp on a story?’ And the only real piece of information is confirmation that the Eye needs to be put into an eye socket. Brilliant.

As the Eye of Elerinth once belonged to a Warrior of yore, we gladly start sharpening our knives while tying on bloodstained aprons as we approach McFlurry and Idjit. Chunk stays out of this, and it is suggested that as the eye belonged to a powerful and wise warrior, that it would make one of these powerful and wise. But it is decided by Trixie, with nods of agreement from everyone else, is that “’s not that powerful...”

“Maybe we should cut their eye out, replace it with an egg, and then sell it?” I suggest, to various giggles from the baying crowd eager to put out a party members eye. Soon McFlurry is the chosen one, and Stumpy takes him into his room in the eye and securely bolts the door, much to the disappointment of everyone else.

After a satisfying scream from McFlurry, followed by a sigh as we hear Stumpy cast a healing spell upon him, the door opens to reveal a scene with a distinct lack of gore, along with McFlurry sitting upright blinking as he looks around the room. His eye is red in appearance for a short while, but a few blinks and it returns to its natural colouring.

The next day passes with no real hassles from anyone in the party, Idjit completes his training, and we confirm with Lady Shontessa that we will indeed take her mission to rescue her husband thingy.