The Other Side of Old Town Wall

“Did you get anything out of the barman?” asked the priest swallowing a mouthful of bitter ale.

The mage shrugged. “All he was interested in was taking money. I have a couple of rooms for tonight for us. Come closer.” He hunched in and spoke in a low voice. “I’m getting the impression that Sherlane does not have as tighter fist on this town as he’d have us believe. Nicolai had a knowledge and history with the Iron Ring. He came from here and he was not that old, so I cannot believe he spent that much time in other cities. It would be safe to assume his experience of them stemmed from his time here. It would not surprise me that Golthar, who we know has some kind of arrangement with the ‘Ring’, is seeking aid here. Both leads seem to point to the direction of the poorer quarter of this town.” Miklos sipped his wine. It was better than he expected. “It is a shame we didn’t see where Golthar landed.” he added.

“I’d gamble a font full of wine that the quarter you are referring to is Fogor Isle.” Maruc stood up walked to the bar and looked at the barman. “You chose to ignore my friends question. If you dismiss my question you may regret your rudeness. What can you tell me of the folk and nature of the Isle yonder?”

“Sorry there lad,” the bartender apologize. “Been a busy night and we be short-staffed. The isle be a dangerous place. ‘Tis practically run by the thieves guild. The guard don’t even bother to patrol it at night. Though you danger-seeking types seem to like it just fine, us law abidin’ folk like to keep to the mainland.”

Feldard grinned at the news from the young boy. “Good work lad! Yes, I’ll be wanting to be shown where she lives.” Feldard glanced about with a frown. The party hadn’t regrouped yet – Ludo was still not back. “Hasan, I’m going to grab Maruc and go with the kid to see where Marta lives. Can you wait here with Miklos for Ludo to return… with any luck he’ll have the same information and we’ll meet up there. You folk walk so much faster than I.”

“And what of me, Dwarf!” Stephan barked. “Are you not going to direct me to have another ale?” The woodsman leaned back and noisily crossed his feet on the table. “I can stay here and test the stoutness of this table while you and Maruc go it alone to the slum island.”

Hasan watched Feldard and Maruc depart, and Miklos and Stephan kick up their heels onto the table and drink deeply from the cups. The elf followed the dwarf and human out the door, but kept a discrete bowshot behind the odd couple. He watched as they followed a young, ragged boy that looked to have seen about 11 summers down the small side street, Duck’s Back Way. The street’s stones were slick the villagers’ watery offal, waste and excess, but the elf’s footfalls were sure and silent, even as foot traffic diminished.

* * * * *

After collecting some supplies Ludo had arrived at the Hook and Hatchet.

Ludo placed a tankard on the table for Arthol. “My thanks to you Sergeant, you professionalism does you and your command proud. By taking us to the Court you quickly allowed my friends and I to voice our warnings in public and to allow you and the town to be on guard against this evil magic user. Mark my words he will bring nothing but trouble to Threshold. However if I could be so bold to ask a further favour from you, could you direct me to a the mother of a fallen comrade of mine, I seek to return her sons remains to her as a final request. I know she lives here in Threshold but not where. She needs to know her son has passed on, fighting against evil, so that he can be honoured. My fallen comrades name is Nicolai Filandov and his mothers name is Marta. I would be grateful for some information.”

At the mention of Nicolai’s death, the sergeant’s demeanor softened. “Nicolai is gone? I remember him well. A troublemakin’ little pipsqueek he was. There was none more in the ranks more proud than I, to see him turn ‘round his thievin’ ways for the sake of his ma. Bought her way off the Isle with the earnings he be sending back her way. Part o’ me suspected he went back to cutpursin’, so I be glad to hear your tale. Thanks to her son, Marta got herself a small flat just on the other side of Ol’ Town Wall.”

The sergeant grabbed a parchment from the barkeep and drew Ludo a map. “I wish ye well. Won’t be easy news to break. Least she still has her daughter to comfort her.”

* * * * *

The boy led the group to the other side of Old Town Wall. Long ago, Threshold had outgrown its gates, and now Old Town Wall was riddled by so many gates and openings that it served more as a point of interest than a reasonable defense. Inside the wall were most of the town’s businesses, while personal dwellings and estates lied between it and the new wall.

“That be here place right there,” gestured the boy. He directed them to a modest tenement. “She be on the bottom floor residence.”

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9 Comments

Filed under D&D, Dungeons & Dragons, rpg

9 responses to “The Other Side of Old Town Wall

  1. 4:10pm, Lunadain, the 6th of Flaurmont, 1001AC
    Moderately cloudy, calm

    Maruc: 10xp+10xp
    Miklos: 10xp+10xp
    Feldard: 10xp+10xp
    Hasan: 10xp+5xp
    Stephan: 10xp+5xp
    Ludo: 10xp+5xp+10xp

    TOTAL:
    Maruc: 24,095/48000
    Miklos: 24,065/40000
    Feldard: 24,350/34000
    Hasan: 23,460/32000
    Stephan: 23,380/32000
    Ludo: 22,925/40,000

  2. Stephan

    Stephan quaffed deeply from his flagon. Setting the sturdy vessel down with a thud, he focused on Miklos feeling the first tendrils of alcohol reach his brain.

    “Aye, Miklos, we don’t talk enough, you and me. Let me buy the next round while we wait. I’d like to hear about your upbringing. Da!”, he yelled and gestured to the lanky wait boy who made his way over to their table. While securing another set of drinks, he maintained his verbal thought stream with Miklos.

    “I remember seeing some magecraft as a lad. It really excited me but the folks in my neck of the woods frowned on that sort of thing. But a friend of mine did end up going away one day with some old man. Folks said he was off to learn the arcane ways; traveling with the old man, who must have been some sort of wizard. I never heard anything of him. Tovin, was his name. I wonder how he’s getting on….?”

    Stephan drank pensively.

    “And you, Miklos, did you travel around with some old wizard as a youth?”

  3. Ludo

    Arriving back at the inn, Ludo dumped a quiver of arrows on the floor at Stephens feet and pushed his feet off a chair, he stated “come on you lush, its time we met up with the others to do our duty. We should head over to Martas home. She will want to know what happened to Nicolai, as will Nicolai’s sister.

  4. Ludo

    As they walked through the narrow streets, feet slipping ocassionally on the slick cobble stones, Ludos mind wandered Golthat must know they were in town and yet they had not heard or seen him. Tomorrow, Ludo thought to himself he would seek out the magic carpet owner that Golthar had used, at the very least this person might have some information, possible they could be in league with Golthar, so some caution would have to be used.

    Ludo looked back he could sense that they were being followed, but he wasn’t sure.

  5. Feldard

    Feldard regarded the tenement, nodding. “Thank you lad. Here’s yer payment with a bonus.” He handed he the boy two coins.

    “Maruc, tell me you have some experience breaking news of death to families. I fear I’d be much too blunt. Nicolai deserves better, ” the dwarf commented as they headed to the bottom level of the building. After moments pause the dwarf rapped on the door.

  6. hasan

    Hasan watched from a distance. The boy raced off, having bit the coins and found them true. Then, Maruc rapped on the door. The elf reached for his bow, and cursed, finding nothing. He watched.

  7. Stephan

    Stephan merrily followed Ludo through the winding lanes of Threshold. The townsfolk were busy with late afternoon chores. He noticed, as he, Miklos and Ludo progressed further into the town, that the gutters and streets were more becoming more filthy. The buildings were “decorated” with the obvious signs of poor maintenance.

    A dirty street urchin rushed past the trio. The lad zigged and zagged so gleefully amongst the citizens of Threshold, and so near to his own person, that his first reaction was to check that he still had his purse. He did. Then, a realization washed over him.

    “Wasn’t that the lad that Feldard sent off?”

  8. miklosdostevar

    I have incorporated Stephans post

    Stephan quaffed deeply from his flagon. Setting the sturdy vessel down with a thud, he focused on Miklos feeling the first tendrils of alcohol reach his brain.

    “Aye, Miklos, we don’t talk enough, you and me. Let me buy the next round while we wait. I’d like to hear about your upbringing. Da!”, he yelled and gestured to the lanky wait boy who made his way over to their table. While securing another set of drinks, he maintained his verbal thought stream with Miklos.

    The mage smiled in reverie. “Specularum was a fine city to go to college in. My eldest brother is heir to my family’s fortune so I got a retainer and training in whatever I chose. To be honest I wanted to stay a student for as long as possible and mage-craft was the longest course and offered a wide range of well paid jobs at the end whatever level you got out. Sneaking out after hours to the local taverns, rag week, freshers fairs, life was great!”

    “I remember seeing some magecraft as a lad. It really excited me but the folks in my neck of the woods frowned on that sort of thing. But a friend of mine did end up going away one day with some old man. Folks said he was off to learn the arcane ways; traveling with the old man, who must have been some sort of wizard. I never heard anything of him. Tovin, was his name. I wonder how he’s getting on….?”

    “Not Tubby-Tovin? Hah! He was apprentice to Sage Devere San-Grost.” Miklos shook his head at Stephans quizzical look. “No. No you mistake me Tovin was as thin as a willow stick, hence the name. Ironic? Hah! This passes for college humour.” It completely passed Miklos that anyone did not have fun during their childhood. His upbringing was somewhat sheltered.

    Stephan drank pensively.

    “And you, Miklos, did you travel around with some old wizard as a youth?”

    “Sponsorship? No not me.” he rejoined, “There were those that required, ahh, help in that respect. Altruistic magi sometime go out in search of promising lads. Few make it through because they have to work whilst they study and its tough enough without having to hold down a job. Ahh look Lucius has returned, laden with goods!”

  9. miklosdostevar

    “Sadly yes.” I have seconded at funerals. “Sympathy and understanding and a brief tale spoken sincerely.” Maruc took in the dwelling and took a deep breath and straightened his clean formal dress tabbard. He knocked on the door smartly and stood back. The curtain to the side moved and after a few moments a young woman answered the door. She appeared wary and innocent but there was something about her that felt hard edged. She also had a familiar air to her, like deja vu. Maruc spoke softly. “My name is Maruc, priest of Halav and this is Feldard. We seek Marta Filandov. We have important news of a personal nature. Is she here?”
    The woman’s gaze swept the pair as she appraised them. “Who is it?” an older woman’s voice tied but proud called from a back room. “Strangers, mum.” She said, a confident lyrical tone. “They want to talk to you.”
    “Hang on love I’m coming.” a sound of pouring water and a flushed middle aged woman appeared behind her daughter drying her hands. “Priest eh? and a Dwarf. I paid Mr Hacker fair and square so you can…”
    “Mrs Filandov.” Maruc cut in, “We have news of your son. It would be better if we went inside. Such matter are not for the street.”
    Her eyes hunted the street for a moment and the colour drained from her face. “Whats happened to my Nic? What have you done with him?”

    ***

    “…and when we entered the chamber of the last sanctuary of the elven witches Nicolai, with no thought to his own safety sort the thwart the magic being hurled at our party. Where it not for the stalwart resistance to evil wizardry possessed of my friend Feldard here I would not be able to tell you of your sons noble sacrifice. His actions freed many slaves and rid the land of a terrible evil. Lord Hasan, one of our party was a member of the Elven village freed of their curse. Your son died a selfless hero. His soul was commended to Halav in our Church in Specularum an cremated as is our custom. Here are his remains.” Maruc’s head dropped as he paused in thought and respect. Marta had remained in shocked silence with her daughter stone still beside her on the low bench in the warm front room. Motes of dust caught the beams of light through the curtains. The only noise came from the small grate that spat and crackled. The younger woman sobbed and buried her head in her mothers embrace. Marta rocked her slowly and stroked her head absently like a babe in arms.

    “You have my deepest sympathy Mrs Filandov.”

    “His last wish was that he want you to know that he did not … die a thief.”

    A solitary tear rolled down Marta’s cheek. She said nothing.

    Maruc looked sideways at Feldard and nodded. A certain relief at leaving crossed the dwarfs face and Maruc stood up. “If there is anything we can do to ease your pain simply ask. Either way we have Nicolai’s share of what we came by on our travels. It is not ours to keep but has been held in trust for you.” Maruc placed a heavy sack of coins and gems on the table. Nicolai’s share of their treasure. “We are staying at Ye Juggling Orc Inne if you wish to get us a message. Fare you well.” Maruc turned to leave.

    “Wait… hero you said.” Marta whispered. “Not a thief….no, not a thief.”

    ***

    Maruc stood outside the house, Feldard silent next to him. “It doesn’t get any easier.”

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