The Villagers’ Tale

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.”

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8 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

8 responses to “The Villagers’ Tale

  1. The Bountiful Tappe:
    Saeth: 10xp +10xp
    Maruc: 10xp +10xp
    Miklos: 10xp +10xp
    Nicolai: 10xp +10xp
    Feldard: 10xp +10xp +10xp

    TOTAL:
    Saeth: 4465/8000
    Maruc: 4390/6000
    Miklos: 4355/5000
    Nicolai: 4140/4800
    Feldard: 4290/4400

  2. Maruc (Clr3)

    “Orc mercenaries. It rather begs the question ‘why?’ does it not?” Maruc thought around the issue, “The Duke is either bizarrely liberal, these orcs are not what they seem or he is unaware of their presence. Orcs, by reputation have a low moral code but they also send out a message. To me it says that Dentiata doesn’t care that he attracts attention to his enterprise. That he uses orcs because they are cunning with an evil reputation but their loyalty can be bought. All of these things can be said of humans of course with the added advantage thats it less unusual, but not all humans can be trusted.”

    “What a sad state this world is in when you can trust an orc more than a human. But I suppose if your plans are less than wholesome your choice of friends would be limited. Dentiata could be of ahh mixed parentage…” Maruc dismissed the idea. The man was a mage, Orcs are not renown for producing scholarly types.

    “How long has Dentiata dwelt in the area? Has he ever visited Cadwell castle to your knowledge?”

  3. Miklos (Mu2)

    Miklos cut across the priests words, “Magi do not share power, knowledge yes in special circumstances. It is possible that he might have Sevastians’ books and got beguiled by their contents. It all depends. Based on our recent experiences it would take a gifted individual to lift anything from under Sevastians nose without attracting some kind of reprisal. Be he friend or no.”

    Miklos guessed that these simple village people knew nothing of the occupier of Cadwell castle. The the ‘disappearances’ disturbed him. He directed a question at the locals. “In your past has anything like this happened before? I’m talking years here.” He wanted to know if Dentiata was continuing Sevastians research. He tried to guess how long Cadwell castle had be abandoned to its ruin. Eighty years? Over one hundred? More? How long would it take for a book to disintegrate? This was useless conjecture, the books may well have been ancient before Sevastian got hold of them. Still if this had happened before they might be able to stop Dentiata before he goes too far. He was already displaying the classic symptoms of egocentric behaviour, the orcs, the tower even a guided tour!

    Still Miklos didn’t see how Maruc was going to help them. Treat them to a nice sermon? No that was cruel, he was too bad a sort. For a religious fanatic.

  4. Saeth Tegau

    Saeth’s eyebrows raised. The theif, clearly, hadn’t spent a day outside a city in his life. Trying to keep a patronizing tone from her voice, she diplomatically replied, “It certainly is a step up on standing in the rain.” Neverless, she did turn about–though as much to watch the Dwarf get his ale than out of interest in the villagers’ plight.

    She didn’t see what was so odd about Orc retainers, however. Braver than Humans, stronger than Dwarves, smarter than Goblins, and more trustworthy than all three combined. Why was Maruc taking this story at face value, that Dentiata was some evil wizard with an unfathomable scheme for the village?

    If the world is half as Manichean as it’s looking, Saeth will have to undergo an attitude shift.

  5. Nicolai (T3)

    “The stories I heard of dark Mages always showed them as doing anything in their search for knowledge. And the only type of Mage coming from the Black Eagle is a dark Mage. Could Caldwell have duped us into taking the risk of clearing out that castle, only for this Dentiata to gain any hidden benefits?”

  6. Miklos (Mu2)

    “I suspect whatever happened Nicolai, happened long before we arrived.”

  7. Nicolai (T3)

    “True Miklos. But I’m worried now that the only thing we’ll find out is if live mages are harder to kill than undead ones.”

  8. Saeth Tegau

    “I assure you, they are.” Saeth joined the conversation, still gazing off into the distance, thinking back to a tower, many years ago. “Those who served with the wizard survived far better than those who opposed him…” She sipped her ale, then refocused, looking directly at the young mage. “So to the degree you’re ready to go toe to toe with that Dentiata, let the priest rush right in.”

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