Title: Old Man Dardis
Date: Early Dalan, 1333 Avard
Synopsis: The company is sent to Teras to find an old man named Dardis, and see what he knows about Valen Talross. It turns out that Valen paid Dardis to keep his mouth shut, and the party nearly kills him, his dogs, and a butcher, when Old Man Dardis attacks.
Evening of Dalan the 10th, 1332 Avard.
Murdoch, Greff, and Sorsha stayed up late at the tavern, discussing how best to deal with Orven Lightforger's tome, and the bloodstone that came with it. Eventually, they realized that Hershel was not a venal man, and would allow them to do as they wanted – to return the bloodstone and the tome, and perhaps collect a bit of reward. So long as they did it in the name of Meridian Explorations, then all would be good.
When Sorsha returned to the shoppe where she was apprenticed to Roswyn the Gnome, the crafty artificer weaseled the truth out of Sorsha. Roswyn approved of the company's decision, and was intrigued enough to want to participate in their next venture. Unfortunately, someone had to man the shoppe, and that meant Sorsha was staying behind with Nadar. There was plenty of work to do in diverse areas of study that Sorsha had never tackled, and so the singing beauty took the assignment as a challenge worth learning.
In the meantime, Roswyn had, upon the tellings of Sorsha's stories about the company, made a special flask for Greff. Greff had been compiling a list of the best drinks and the places to drink them. Greff's enthusiasm for the task, and the way Sorsha described Greff's heart-felt thanks to Donald the Miller for the horn of spirits, moved Roswyn. An enchanted flask was crafted that captured the best and the worst of drinking, partially as an experiment, and partially as a test.
The next morning at the Ducal Mage's Tower, Roswyn met with Greff, Murdoch, and Balasyr. Introductions were made, and they familiarized themselves with one another.
Arcanist Hershel finally opened the door, inviting them in. He was pleased to welcome Roswyn in Sorsha's stead, but seemed eager to be off and quite distracted. He first informed them that they must leave for Teras, post-haste, to find a man there named Dardis. Dardis was described as an old man that lived above a butchery, but Hershel had no other information than that.
When reminded, Hershel asked for a debrief from the company, half expecting another skin to hang on his wall. The company told him about the kobolds, and also about finding Orven Lightforger's tome – and the bloodstone. Greff, being unfamiliar with bloodstones, asked what they were.
The bloodstones are fair-sized, uncut rubies, around which is wrapped a hair from the beard of each chief in a clan. When a new clan is formed, a new bloodstone is made. Bloodstones among the dwarves are closely guarded, to protect against necromancers or blood magic – but also to allow the clan to call upon the spirits of former chiefs, and as a reminder of their heritage.
Hershel went pasty white at realizing what it was the party had. He immediately bade them follow him upstairs, where the bloodstone and the tome were bound inside of a hollow cube that served as his safe. Only arcane powers could get into the safe, short of hammering it to pieces in a cacaphony that everyone would hear. Before closing the safe, Hershel made a copy of the tome, and upon Murdoch's insistence, placed his signets and arcane markings inside the copy, to ensure that the Lightforgers or other dwarves would not take the company for thieves or worse.
On the way down the stairs, as Hershel hurried off to yet another meeting, Murdoch proposed a scheme to the Ducal Mage. Murdoch's share of the enterprises had been considerable, and if it were tied to Meridian Explorations, then Murdoch would captain a ship for the company, owned by the company and by Murdoch. Hershel agreed, though whether from consideration or harriedness was unknown.
Their last task was to take some documents for the Ducal Mage, the nobles of Chasadan, and the people of the duchy to Teras, and act as escorts for those documents.
The four of them booked a merchant ship sailing west to Teras, and left to sea. The captain of the ship was immediately galled by Murdoch, giving orders to his crew. Only some fast talking and distractions by Roswyn and the rest of the company prevented the captain from locking Murdoch up in chains. Murdoch was finally brought around and apologized for his enthusiasm to be back at sea again getting the best of him.
They arrived in Teras close to sunset, and handed the documents off to the proper authorities. Greff and Roswyn were in familiar territory, but none knew where to find Old Man Dardis. Greff decided to lead them to the Orchid's Dew, an orc bar in the seedier part of town. Greff was old friends with most of the orcs there, and figured that if anyone knew where an old man living over a butcher was, then the orcs of the Orchid's Dew would know.
The company enjoyed themselves at the Dew for awhile, for Greff truly was an old friend of half the bar – though he had a few moment's difficulty when the orcs wanted to eat Murdoch's snowfell Able. Roswyn wound up helping the barkeep, Naft, while Naft served a special drink in Greff's honor. A tun of Barb's Brew had 'fallen' into Naft's orcish hands, and so the barkeep had saved it for the strange, green-skinned, not-quite-an-orc, not-quite-an-elf Greff. Greff alone seemed to like the drink, while everyone else turned their nose up at it, probably because it was made primarily for dwarves.
Murdoch, feeling the urge to check the wharves for ships, excused himself and went out with Able on a leash. While near the docks, someone asked if he was just off the boat from Chasadan. When Murdoch turned to answer, four armed sailors attacked him – and a huge falcon dove off of a warehouse, and clawed at him with steel-bladed talons. Murdoch's magic helped save him from the sailors, but the bird and its master proved more troublesome.
After some tense moments fighting, Murdoch and Able retreated, calling the situation a draw. Murdoch went to the authorities immediately, and returned to the scene of the crime with quite a few of the Guard. The blue-tabarded Guard slapped awake the armed sailors, asking their side of things. The sailors, though, were disbelieved when Murdoch produced his writ from the Ducal Mage of the Janis Plains. Plus, Murdoch's description of the attacker was dead-on for one Kagen the Blackknife.
Murdoch returned to the Orchid's Dew under escort, and the situation grew tense when four armed and armored Guards strode up the stairs into the Dew. Greff took the opportunity to leave gracefully, to prevent a fight or trouble, and the company went back down to street level.
Outside, they decided to stay at a nearby inn Roswyn knew of, and visit the address the orcs had supplied for Dardis in the morn. Greff's hunch had proven true; several of the orcs did, indeed, know of Old Man Dardis up above a butcher's.
The next morning, they found Rolf the Butcher, a large man with fingers the size of sausages. Rolf let them know that Old Man Dardis lived upstairs, just up the stairs in the alleyway. Leaving Able tied up and snapping at pedestrians, they entered the alley unharried. Old Man Dardis was in – but quickly closed the door and refused to have anything to do with the company when they asked about Valen Talross. The company took up a waiting stance, and figured to remain until Dardis had to leave, sooner or later.
The butcher closed up shop, claiming he had to pick something up.
Murdoch would throw his blade down into the alley, and have it appear in his hand moments later, much to the astonishment of a few brave souls willing to watch. A throw in their direction scatterd the urchins, though.
Roswyn played on her ocarina, over, and over, and over again, the same tune, time after time. She apolozied, saying it was the only tune she knew on the only instrument she knew.
Dardis finally relented. He invited the company in, locked the door behind him, and then had his dogs attack the party while he fled deeper into the apartment.
Balasyr let loose with a blast of fire that sent one of the dogs running – and caught the apartment on fire. Just into the next room, Rolf the Butcher had his hammer and his cleaver handy. Between the smoke, the dogs, and Rolf, the party was hemmed in and unable to bring its full power to bear. Old Man Dardis went down, his back badly burned by Balasyr's fire, as the apartment began to burn in earnest.
Only with hard-placed, well-coordinated attacks between Murdoch and Greff, as well as some support from Roswyn, did they manage to bring the crazed Rolf down. The dogs were killed, but of no consequence to the company. They found that Rolf had come through a secret, swinging bookcase, with a ladder in the next alley. The company got Dardis and Rolf out, though Murdoch and Balasyr had to both work together to move Rolf's massive bulk.
Outside, the call for fire went out, and everyone in the neighborhood helped contain the fire. The company briefly considered escaping the scene, but Greff and Roswyn reminded them that, in Teras, at least, not participating in a fire brigade was a hanging offense!
When the fire was out, and the Guard had responded, Roswyn managed to help bring Dardis back from the brink of death. The old man relented, and in his pain, told the company why he had attacked.
Valen Talross found something, out there, and came sailing in one day from the south – most likely from Baroneth. Valen was scared silly, and paid everyone who knew him to keep quiet about him, or else whatever-it-was might find him. When the company came a calling… Dardis knew that Valen was dead, but an old habit did not die quickly.
His son Rolf knew nothing of the deal, but had protected his father.
Evening of Dalan the 13th, 1332 Avard.
I didn't like ending things in Teras, especially with Murdoch still having so much to do, but it was 10:30pm and time to wrap things up. I'd like to start the next time in Chasadan, ready to go again, but we'll have to see how Ross and the rest want to handle things.
I was flat-out surprised when Ross decided to take Murdoch out alone. I had Kagen the Blackknife just waiting to take their hard-earned riches from them, as the company's fame is already spreading, even to Teras. It's okay to split the party, now and again – but remember that great wealth draws great thieves!
Roswyn: 9067 (6th-level)
Murdoch: 9067 (6th-level)
Balasyr: 9067 (6th-level)
Greff: 9067 (6th-level)
Changed it to Roswyn healed Dardis - because I did…and asked specifically if you would let me before I did it. Somehow you still forgot. :p
Apologies for forgetting Roswyn did the healing! I know Teras has gone to hell in a handbasket since Joshua 'retired', and I'll move Rain's location to Kashin – just as soon as you post her character info!
In my defense, I rolled it out that Murdoch wasn't comfortable in the orc bar, so it made sense to leave. Also, when you're leading a wolf around that's the size of a horse, you tend to be more brazen.
Those sailors must have been payed very well to see the two of us and still attack. And to be fair, looooooooooots of sailors come in from chasadan every day… kinda makes me wonder how many other people they robbed/beat up/killed.
I had a lot of fun. I'm trying to get Balasyr more active in the RP especially since all the locals we deal with are surprised and/or scared to see a dragonborn :)
Although Greff still has no idea what his back ground is, his race or parents, he is starting to feel something for the first time. Acceptance. Greff has always felt like an outcast because of societies view on his physical appearance. But with his new job with Miridian Explorations, Greff feels… wanted. He has begun to realize that with the hardships he had to face during his years wandering around Galeth, he has developed a skill that is completely unique, which no other posseses. Greff has channeled alot of his time he would spend drinking and fighting to writing a travel guide to Galeth. Specifically a drinking guide. He has taken his love for the ale and spirits and plans to publish a guide in which travelers are given some advice to food and drink when they travel around to towns visited by Greff.