Monthly Archives: June 2011

I See Him Quite Clearly

Ludo backed away from the old women “my future is my own, maybe Feldard would like his future told – but it includes drinking large amounts of ale, then we know that already”.

The dwarf snorted at Ludo’s comment. “At least I can hold my ale – Ludo. How’s the headache this afternoon?” Feldard spoke overly loud on purpose then turned to regard the old woman. “I ain’t much on mystic stuffs myself… try Stephen, he’s the one that saved ya”

Stephan darted a look at Feldard. He suddenly didn’t know what to do with his hands but he wished they were hidden in his gloves–which he’d removed not long ago. He looked at the woman’s face. Her visage was unsightly yet she flashed a welcoming, maternal smile.

Stephan gave a short nervous laugh.

“Come, my hero,” Mafka gently lifted the woodman’s hand. She moved with gentle purpose, leading Stephan and the others off the street. “No need to be nervous. Bish thauru dow,” her Traladarin tongue was music to the warrior’s ears. The slight woman had a disarming quality about her! Stephan’s defenses started to rise. She might have a poisoned needle!, he thought.

Mafka’s watery eyes looked into Stephan’s. Her kind brows arched with concern at his obvious discomfort. The eyes and her gentle grip–with a hand that oozed wisdom–were calming. She quickly scribed something with her forefinger on Stephan’s palm and, breathing out, Stephan felt all concern wash away.

“There, there, son. Your hands are certainly large enough for Mafka’s old eyes! I see I’ll have to read ’round a few scars…” She settled onto a nearby stool and began a strange process of scrutiny over the fighter’s palm…

Ludo looked on in wonder – Stephen he could see was putty in the old woman’s hand. He whispered to Hasan, “No way I want my fortune told. What would you do if you were told something awful?!”

He looked around nervously, carts were valuable items yet no owner had come forward to inspect the wreck at the end of the street, lots of people were milling around, yet no one was claiming the cart as their own. He felt the hand of Golthar was involved. Thankfully no one had been injured, including any of his
mates. Still, he felt anger that Golthar had placed innocent people at risk, including this charming old fortune teller.

Mafka closed her eyes tightly. “I see a tall man in yellow robes… He is here, in Threshold and he searches for something… I see him quite clearly. He stands outside a building near the river… a sign bearing two crossed swords swings over his head… he… ah, but the picture dims.”

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Free Fortune Fer Ya

“Watch out!” the dwarf bellowed in warning but was too slow to do much stop the cart.

Recognizing the arraignment of a fellow Traladaran–albeit one of the wandering folk engaged in questionable enterprise–Stephan lunged to keep the poor woman from being pummeled by the runaway cart.

His feet were swift, and he veritably tackled the old woman in what he hoped was not too jarring an impact for her old bones. “Ahhhhaaie,” the scratchy voice of the woman pierced the air. “Kitne duuk ki bahaat te!,” she managed to screech as the woodsman made what seemed to be an attack upon her.

The two, flew into a nearby pampoon cart landing, for the most part, on the juicy ripe fruit. The pinkish, yellow fluids from the pampoons erupted in a dying rain, coating Stephan and the woman. The warrior looked about to find the cart’s vendor, but it seemed as though he must have ran off.

The runaway cart continued it’s perilous run down the rough street.

Ludo ran forward to help the old lady to her feet. “Good save Stephen! T’was a close call, that cart would have flattened a dragon.” Turning to the fortune teller he asked her, “Are you all right?”

“Thank ye young man. I be all right thanks ta this strong one ‘ere,” she said with gratitude toward Stephan.

He watched, impressed as Stephen saved the old woman and followed the carts travel down the incline, where it crashed into a building. Luckily, no one else was in danger. He glanced back up the street to see where the cart had come from as he headed to where his companions were grouping together to talk to the old Traladaran woman. The cart’s vendor was nowhere to be found.

“My name be Mafka,” she said as she dusted herself off. “The least I can do for ye kind sirs is render ye fortune. Free o’ charge of course. Who of ye shall lend me yer hand?”

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Why Did the Fortune Teller Cross the Road?

Stephan felt his blood drain. “That devil has a look,” the woodsman was clearly undone. Then, slightly frantic, “We have to get out of this town.”

With no little amount of help from the lad, Feldard found himself perched similarly atop a several stacked crates, just to see overtop the crowd. When Golthar showed himself, the dwarf realized how wise a decision it was for the guards to take his crossbow from him. He searched for a means across the procession, but he’d more than likely be trampled attempting such.

Feldard tugged on the young lad’s sleeve to gain his attention. “That man in the yellow robe and the woman in the blue cloak. Do you know of them.. or where they might be staying?” He added as they disappeared into the crowd. He tried not to sound fierce in his questioning, he wasn’t trying to scare the lad.

“Nay, I have not sir Dwarf,” responded the Thyatian youth. “They look like they be the type to dwell on Fogor Isle, if I had ta guess.”

Hasan watched the brazen man somehow disappear into the crowd. The elf clenched his teeth, knowing that he and his companions were watched. With little to do, the elf watched the procession complete itself. Each minute lasted an hour, as the elf watched for Golthar and wondered how the party would escape his notice.

When the procession ended, the companions reunited. “We should leave this place,” Hasan said, “but I fear our time here is not done. We must track down this Golthar. He will let us come, as he needs us. Without arms, we must be wary. But we must put him off now, when we have some choice, rather than lead him to his goal. We cannot let this madman link with the Deathmage’s. Can we find this magic carpet salesman? It is our only clue.”

Ludo rushed back to the Inn and met up with Hasan and Stephan. “Did you see Golthar! He was spying on us during the parade. He in indeed either very sure of himself by having this town in his pocket or just does not care that we know he is here. The question is whom is tracking whom? Frankly I think we should depart and head north west. From the the lack of action by the town authorities there is no sense in staying here. Lets gather some supplies for the trip ahead, gather our weapons and depart while the day is still young. As much as I would like to see a magic carpet, I think we will not get much information from its owner”.

As the companions gathered at the Inn, Feldard watched the late breakfast crowd warily. He watched for Golthar, the woman in the blue cloak – Jolenta, or others they might have hired to keep tabs on them. He also watched for the return of the young lad – hopefully with news of Golthars whereabouts. “Would you two lower your voices?” Feldard muttered as serving wench stopped at their table to take their breakfast orders.

Suspecting that this might be his last Inn cooked meal for some time, Feldard ordered a large breakfast of eggs, ham, sausage and bread. After the woman left, Feldard looked to Ludo.

“I agree, once we have restocked we should continue on. No doubt we will be watched and followed though, so some manner of ruse will be needed to not give away our destination.” The dwarf to the rogue as if somehow expecting Ludo to have an answer to that problem.

Ludo sipped his ale and nodded in agreement with Feldard comments. “As for slipping out of Threshold without being seen, it would be best to leave at night, we collect our weapons at sunset and then head overland due east; back tracking to check for anyone following us. We let slip to the inn keeper that our business in Threshold is complete and that our plan is to head to Kelvin via Misha’s ferry. No doubt he will blab this information to the right ear that pays him enough. This may help to throw off our trackers. But this place is too dangerous to stay much longer, Golthar will be making his plans as well.

“Very well,” said Hasan. “Let us quit this city to head east by northwest.” The elf laughed, rose, and walked quickly to the bar. “East I say,” his companions heard him say. “Any goblins you speak of will feel a nip from my bow, I tell ye! Now give me a nip of you finest peach.” The elf raised the small glass to his lips, dashed it down, and smashed it against the iron-colored stone of the barman’s counter. “That’s for the Eastern goblins, I tell you,” said the elf, as he walked away, leaving a solitary electrum spinning behind. The whole bar heard the coin spin until it fell.

The group set about completing their business in Threshold, stocking up on supplies. Hasan took a detour to investigate Cardia’s Carpet Service. It proved to be a dead end as Cardia was away, apparently flying one of the Patriarch’s aides to Specularum. He joined the others in the market as they completed their purchases.

As they made their way back to the Inn, they spotted an aged Traladaran fortune teller crossing the street. At that moment, a runaway cart sped down the incline of the street directly towards her.

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Patriarchal Parade

Feldard woke from his sleep, his demeanor no worse for having drank copious amount of ale last night. “Of all the inconsiderate, ill-mannered, lout-brained notions, whose idea is it to be so loud this early in the day!?” The dwarf made his way to the window and opened the shutters to look out at the street below. “What’s going on down there? People are trying to sleep here!” the dwarf shouted down to the crowd below, irritated.

The few down below that bothered to acknowledge his question and concern did so rudely. The dwarf gave a huff and began to get himself dressed. He might as well go down and see for himself what the big deal was.

Stephan dragged himself from a deep peace with no little irritation at the din out the wind hole. Feldard’s paroxysmal sentiments added to the annoyance. “By the Veldar! This is not good!” He rubbed his eyes and stretched the length of the too-short cot. Rising, he found gravity yet a further irritation as he stumbled to the wash basin. The coolish water splashed across the woodsman’s face helped. The world started to clear a bit.

Seeing Feldard readying to leave, Stephan followed suit. Looking out the wind hole again, he said “Breezy out there. Hard for a flying carpet to get around? I wonder?”

Hasan watched as Stephan and Feldard fought themselves into a standing position. The elf moved downstairs, trudging like a dwarf himself, and followed the procession. It was hopeless. He knew the party would stay in Threshold longer. if nothing else, they were curious.

Ludo gathered his things together and scrambled down the stairs after the others, he tripped over trying to put his boots on and thudded into a wall. Curses from the rooms inhabitants followed him as he followed the others outside. Ludo’s eyes watered in the harsh daylight, that was so used to the smokey gloom of the inn. “Damn they are loud – he yelled to Stephen, bloody pious clerics, just because they don’t sleep in they feel they to make sure no one else does either”.

Turning to Stephen and Hasan in turn, are we to go and see the flying carpet, I have never seen one before, do you think I could sit on it? After the wake held for Nicolai he felt in the need for some fun and excitement. Surely that would be our best bet to find out where Golthar had gone.

Stephan eyed the blusterous sky. “Ludo, if you see a flying carpet, I don’t think it’ll be in a parade. But you may get a ride of ‘ol Gol’ gets you.” He ended with a maniacal grin.

Looking at the sky again, “But I wonder if the wind keeps things like flying carpets away?”

When Feldard finally, made it downstairs, he found he was faced with the same problem now as what he faced the day he first met Miklos and Maruc—a wall of human backsides blocking his view of the procession. He could try to jostle his way through to the front, but all it would take is one flatulent individual and his whole day would be ruined from that point on.

The dwarf glanced along the edge of the milling people and spotted that one same youth he’d employed yesterday. The lad was balanced precariously on the rim of a rainbarrel – just in front of the building beside the inn. Feldard made his way along the edge of the crowd towards the boy.

“Hey lad!” He shouted up to the boy to be heard above the blare of the trumpets and rest of the processional. “What’s going on? Some sort of celebration?”

“‘Tis the Annual Patriarchal Parade!” replied the boy excitedly.

Musicians played a lively tune as they marched down the streets, accompanied by a detachment of town guards wearing their finest surcoats. A large white and gold palanquin held aloft by eight bearers swayed down the street. Sitting in the palanquin was the Patriarch, Sherlane Halaran. The elder Thyatian warrior cleric was clean shaven, his white hair blew in the breeze as he smiled warmly at the people.

Ludo moved along the street following the procession, spying a bakery stall, he slipped close to a bench that had some hot bread sitting on it and slipped a roll of bread under his arm, and then moved further along the street intermingling with the public, before finding a quiet corner to eat his breakfast.

On the other side of the street, a figure dressed in yellow caught Ludo’s eye, and then Hasan’s. Soon everyone saw him. It was Golthar, accompanied by a tall, dark-haired woman dressed in a brilliant blue cloak. Golthar glared at them from across the street, and then blended back into crowd, eventually disappearing along with his companion. With the procession filling the street, it was impossible to get at them.

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