Early Morning - 21st Flamerule, 472KR, Firesteap Mountains, Erruggar's Shrine.
Story: Expedition B had finally managed to traverse the short but difficult path back from the entrance to the Trogdolyte Caverns (Hyradraea's current "back-door") and returned on the night of the 20th to Errudrakkennath, Erruggar's Shrine to the Morndinsamman. A sombre mood greeted our Party as the dwarves laid the broken body of Thorfan Inkpen upon a richly decorated bier before the shrine of Moradin in the chapel's central fane. The dwarves present gave up remembrances, uttered in low tones, to the gods of the world's bones, sending Thorfan on his journey to their glittering halls with formulaic tales of his life.
Not all could have known the dwarf so well, or so long, but the ritualistic words of return and finality gave a hallowed air to the chamber that affected at first Silifrey (no doubt remembering her mentor and friend, Tornar) and then most of our band of companions. Candles and sticks of pungent incense were reverently lit before the dwarf's corpse, resting atop perfumed cloth and wood, and the more lengthy portion of dwarven funeral took over the room. It was during this time, when the more private dwarven rituals began, that the Party drew off towards the furthermost corner of the main fane seeking out their fellow outsiders, Quailyth and Barro.
Erro, being least affected by the sad turn of events, engaged Barro in a coversation that attempted to take in the merchant’s history and knowledge of the local area. Whilst forthcoming on his (supposed) wide-spread knowledge and travels, Barro was reticent to discuss details of the closest trade-appropriate community, Sherra. Suspicion amongst the Party grew with the numbers of their ranks as gradually the merchant, Quailyth and a dwarven observer became the subjects of detailed questioning by our heroes.
This resulted in a hasty decision to finally penetrate the walls of Sherra, leaving Silifrey to observe proprieties and ‘socialise’ with some of their new acquaintances at the shrine. Following the muscled form of Erro, and the somewhat comical forms of Barro and his mules, the remainder of ‘Expedition B’ ventured north and dwon through the Fire-Steap Foothills toward the lush and more than slightly fetid fields surrounding Sherra. Assuring the Party that he would be well-received, and yet unable to recall why or indeed whether he had spent one night or one week in the town, Barro led them to the rough stone and wooden walls that they had spied whilst heading from Kordova some four days earlier. As before they took note of the extra three to four feet of newly constructed wall and the stout oaken gates. Barro called out for entry and shelter, with confident voice, and after a brief exchange was answered in the affirmative by the brusque yet rolling tones of the eastern Kordian commons.
As the reinforced gates of the Sherra drew open Master Hammander was received, as were our own heroes, with open arms and the sight of broached barrels, fresh bread and cheese. Armed and armoured the guard might have been, however the ’mayor’s-reeve’, the ‘town-welcoming-council’ and ‘brandy-wenches’ soon eased their guests trepidation by distributing flowers, drinks and welcomes in equal measure. Not unused to hedonism as a cover for more nefarious deeds, Sharah imbibed her drinks with gusto whilst still watering local flora and grasses surreptitiously. Similarly Evnarra, given her unfamiliarity with surface-folk, imbibed in (pun not intended) small-measure.
Despite imbibing deeply, Erro maintained ‘his-frame’ and a hardened Lando kept his feet. Their companion Barro meanwhile was bemused, befuddled and beyond-recall, happily following the jubilant and now oblivious ‘welcome-council’ toward the centre of town. Gates re-secured behind them, and an absence of the typical traffic associated with such a regional hub, the Party decided to reluctantly investigate what was now very noticeable noise from a large central stone ‘hall’ some two-hundred metres to the south and east. Aside from this central ‘fest-hall / council-hall’ there was a noticeable set of ancient buildings atop a small knoll south and west, a decorated shrine of a local deity and well dressed houses, with overgrown gardens all along very, very overgrown streets.
Entering what they found to be a Feast-Hall, shortly after their erstwhile ‘welcoming-commitee’ Erro, Sharah, Lando and Evnarra found a scene that baffled some and made others blush.
The revel inside the Feasthall near the centre of the town of Sherra.
Erro – Proves that fists are not his only weapons, finding the right angle with Barro Hammander to ensure an invitation to accompany him to Sherra and the promise that he would obtain entry for the Party.
Lando – Tries to outwit the doppelganger Crigemnos (masquerading as the avatar of Illanre the Spring Maiden) by playing up his 'charms' and formal politeness toward the ladies. A battle of wills ensues during which he is able to mentally conceal his friends presence, but not his intentions…
Sharah – Gets super-stealthy, leaping from concealment on multiple occasions to "gank" injured dopplegangers and hill giants alike.
The Party -
Since the outset of the covert 'take-over' of Sherra, their Horn of Plenty has been missing. Immediately following the 'normalisation' of daily life in Sherra (thanks to the Sunset Wanderers) Dahlia, the Sherran Lady of the Dance, was quite concerned that it was not found on the bodies or in the belongings of Crigemnos or Trigarios. Nor was it on top of the rise upon which the grove of Yjanre sat and the "Hungry Twins" gorged themselves.
1420 XP for each ACTIVE CHARACTER.
923 XP for each OFF CHARACTER.
Story Goals Achieved:
Refitting the Hall Goal 1 Reached and Stretch Goal completed.
Great Southern Blight? from The Local Area # 2 Completed.