Feldard listened stoically arms crossed standing near the front of the group as the tale unfolded. Hmph werewolves. He’d heard of them but knew little more than the folk knowledge of them. They were men that were cursed and became ravenous beast-wolves at the time of the full moon and that silver was need to kill them. Then the tale continued on to mention a dark evil mage.. that pretty much was all that Feldard needed to make up his mind. He began to turn away – so not interested in dealing with yet more evil wizards. One undead one in a fortnight was plenty! He started towards the door, maybe that barn was still a good spot to camp. But his retreat halted at the mention of orcs. And he glanced back towards the villages. “Orcs, you say? I HATE orcs.” His hand moved to the handle of his battle axe out of reflex at the mere thought of his hated enemy. “Where is this tower you speak of?”
“It’s not far,” answered Bram. “A number of us have been there before, including myself and Nefen here,” he said pointing at the other villager that had come out in the rain, “Dieter led us to the tower some time ago to confront Dentiata.”
“This sounds awful.” Maruc said deeply concerned. “So, you’ve been to the tower ‘en masse’ as it were? And what happened when you demanded answers for your complaints?
“When Thaddigren Dentiata met us, he acted polite and nonchalant. He, of course, denied that he had anything to do with the missing livestock. He gave us a tour of his abode. There didn’t seem to be anything unusual except for his orc henchmen, who were also polite to us.”
“Have you spoken to the Duke or one of his envoys about your experiences?” Maruc wasn’t about to offer the aid of the party as a whole but he might be able to do something himself. “What does your village priest say? Perhaps I could talk to him. I could offer him my support if he would take the support of a Halavist.”
“We are but a small farming community. We have no formal church. I suppose you could say our adviser in spiritual matter would be Runa Kroza, a wisewoman that has lived here longer than anyone else.
Saeth wandered away from the mass of villagers, over to the bar. Let the humans listen to their clucking–after all, they’d already been falling over themselves to help. “Stew, or whatever’s on your hearth all around.” After a moment, she remembered the bet, already lost. “And a pair of ales, one for myself and one for the Dwarf.” Her voice dropped to a whisper, regaining the mischieviousness it had decades before. “Console him a bit as you give him his, will you? He’s had a rough day, and needs a bit of comfort.”
Nicolai strolled to the bar and ordered a bowl of stew, a large hunk of bread and a pint of ale. He turned to Saeth and whispered “Friend, if we hadn’t offered to hear their tale, we’d likely not have been welcome in this inn and had to tramp all the way back to Specularum in this weather. And if Maruc had spoken first, we’d likely be stood in the rain listening to their story. I didn’t fancy either of those options, so I chose this one. And I’m sure you’d agree that this is the better.”
Miklos looked up from the bar. He’d already drained one pint and was on his second. It wasn’t strong beer but it was starting to warm him up. He’d left the others to the crowd and moodily nursed the tankard. He’d been out of sorts as the time on the road had given him time to dwell on the preversion of his craft by the likes of the Sons of Night. Feldard’s antipathy radiated from him and Miklos got the distinct impression that he wasn’t already the butt he would be soon.
And meeting this new dark mage would do nothing to improve his temperament, especially now this Dentiata employed Orcs. There was no convincing the taciturn Dwarf of the benefits of magecraft in this light. He drained the second pint and waved the barkeep over. “Hot stew please, and bread.”
He turned and leant his back against the bar and watched the excited argument unfolding in front of him. It didn’t take divination to foresee that they would meet the Master of the Tower. Still, there was a good chance that they may find another spellbook or objects of power. Miklos brightened at the thought. “And why not?” He voiced his thought.
“The Black Eagle brings slavers,” commented Nicolai. “That’s all I know. Feldard may hate Orcs, but I hate slavers. Would the Orcs be looking for slaves, or would they be looking for food. I don’t know, but I think they’re going to find the edge of my blade soon. That is if noone minds.”