Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Darkling Shadows

Gylwics 16th Dyarr YT330
After the bustle of the part three days the comrades decided to spend a quieter day in Gylwics. They had informed the authorities about the events in and around Szurkal. Indeed the whole area north of Korzow was bustling with men in armour and sturdy spear-armed bors. The expedition to seek the hidden manor would have scores of fighting men.
But our adventurers would be looking for the assistance of a man in slate-grey. And they had been led to believe that they should start looking at the Horned Bear.
The place was tucked away down an alley off the road just past First Turning. It was a small square single storied building connected to a larger two-storied stone villa. The Black bear on the green inn-sign told them that they were at the right place. Father Nicolai looked at the men lounging in the courtyard and decided it was the wrong sort of place. He stayed outside while the others went into the taproom. The place was fairly quiet. A curtained alcove in one corner was in shadow but the rest was fairly well lit. Apart from a few tough looking regulars, Brimstone spotted a seasoned warrior who looked less like the type. The man seemed to take a liking to Brimstone and chatted pleasantly for an hour or two before leaving. He seemed to be well travelled.
Olorin slapped gold onto the bar and ordered drinks for all. After an hour or so with various eyes watching them Olorin was invited behind the curtain where he met a man dressed entirely in grey. He claimed to be one of the fabled Masters of Shadow. He knew a great deal about Olorin, his friends and all their recent activities. For a while they discussed whether he could help. He convinced Olorin that he could get in and out of any manor, palace or dungeon for a price. That price would be steep. But then so were the risks. Olorin silently prayed for guidance and was instantly sure that this man was not to be trusted. But his help seemed to be foretold so Olorin continued. A meeting was arranged for the following night in a locked chamber in the Old Wall Tavern.
After returning to the taproom to discuss with the others what had just happened, a shadow swept across the room and with that the grey man was gone. They took their meal in the now empty alcove. Nicolai joined them but kept his vow of abstinence from strong drink.
While the meal was being served Voltarr slipped into the kitchen. The floor was piled with provisions normally found in a cool cellar. Searching he found a trapdoor with a ladder beneath. He explored the cellar, which was vaulted with several pillars supporting the kitchen floor. He was rummaging about in the sacks and such when the cook almost came upon him. With his light put out he could not be detected as he had already cast spells of concealment on himself. He was very nearly trapped by a sack which fell over the trapdoor when the cook climbed out. But he exerted his powers to move it slightly and so escaped. But he did not find anything hidden in the cellar.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Nest of Troubles

Szutsavanica, 15th Dyarr YT330.

The tower of Szutsavanica was surrounded by an ant's nest. A few weeks ago it had occupied the grassy bank with only a few herders huts for company. Now the huts had been flattened and piles of materials and buildings were scattered around it. Its conical roof still stood a hundred feet above the tops of the first new buildings. All kinds were under construction – mean and noble; bold and magisterial; functional and ostentatious. Streets and yards laid out with whitewash lines marked where even more would be built.
Mages in blue robes were striding about looking purposeful. The gold-coloured trims and ornamentation sometimes shone with a new found lustre. The settlers included craftsmen of course, building the town and making whatever was needful. But shopkeepers and merchants were also quick to stake a claim to the best plots. The mock streets were the scene for several real arguments daily. No beggars yet. And fewer women than men.
But everyone was talking about the strange marks daubed on the walls before midnight. Tower and town were without answers. The scrying had added no information about the deed or its agents. Watchmen had failed to catch anyone. It was frightening many. Some had gone back to their former places. Most could not. Some of the settlers whispered that a lord would have been more apt to action than these magisters. But after two weeks the council had finally acted. They had sent for one of there own. Voltarr was summoned to the Council.