A return to nature

Maeve's musings following the first adventure

Maeve and Aquila head toward the stream outside the tavern. She needs a moment to gather her composure before heading back to the tavern. She is grateful to have had time in battle-the familiar rush of calling forth spells, and yet she feels a sting of frustration and disappointment in their execution and poor Kelgar, she would never hurt him, ever. And that damn acid spell, what in the gods was going on there? Next time perhaps she will ask Voric to engage his fancy god to make the acid bountiful and splash aplenty…


Maeve’s thoughts turn to her new traveling companions…


VORIC: a most passionate servant of his god…she did enjoy engaging him in conversation with questions in regard to his fanaticism. More of these conversations will be welcome. The devotion to his god, and her necromancy could prove to be quite explosive, OR they could go hand and hand in some wicked way? The god of bounty blessing the elements of death, life and regeneration…And the food! Dear god or by Allegos (as Voric reminds us constantly) has awakened every elf fiber of her being- something that does not occur easily. She could become very accustomed to enjoying the delicacies of his culinary skills. While daydreaming of more sweet treats, she is skeptical though of devoting all the control and outcome of ones fate to a deity…Maeve prefers magic through and through. Ah magic…her mind races to her spells and she remembers the look Leslie threw her way-it registered as disgust and fear in her mind, and her countenance reflects anger. ‘What does he know anyway, a simple thief on the run?’


Leslie: As much as she would rather ignore it, Maeve recognizes the skills Leslie possess. Quiet, quick and deadly, not to mention he carries a good strategic wit. He handled the goblins with ease, and maneuvered through the crypt with keen awareness. A valuable companion that is true, however, there is just something that seems “off” with his motives. We still have no idea where he has come from, and why he is answering Sir Edon’s advertisement. He seems very interested in people, stories, backgrounds. This is something she will gladly withhold from him for now. Kelgar seems to work well with him though, and if she trusts anyone it is Kelgar.


Kelgar: Maeve gives thanks for her traveling companion.  She wonders what Kelgar thinks about joining Ser Edon’s order. She is content to be of help, and continue deepening her magic and proving that Necromancy and the dark arts have their place. She is a bit hesitant though in “belonging” to someone or an institution. She must discuss this with Kelgar. He is the only one that she does not have to fear, give any explanation or justification about anything. He lets her be all the parts of who she is-plain and simple. They have been traveling together for about a year; he and his deathly Betsy have never failed her. He stands in the place of family, as she never really knew her own people. Kelgar, as massive, deadly and tough outwardly, does have a soft side deep within- every now and then Maeve catches a glimpse of this and she feels content, safe. This brings about her often hidden smile.


Enough of this reflective time, she and Aquila need to move forward as they wait for the next gathering from Ser Edon. There is also the business of the tree living and uprooting the Tavern. She will take care of that, and make sure Leslie is watching, he needs to see the power of Necromancy, and how needed it is in this world, and the fact that she is indeed proficient in her arts. People have such a tainted view of death and life. She knows that nothing is permanent, and that is a beautiful thing. Perhaps, this will give an even greater audience and for once she might be appreciated…then again that has proven to be disastrous before. She keeps her ego guarded along with her heart, she has hope, and yet hates that hope runs through her like a double edged sword. 


Maeve will also go to find the mages guilds and offer services in the next town over. She has heard they need wizards and spell casters to fill vials of simple spells. This is a perfect fit for Maeve to make some easy coin, practice her arts and become known for her aptitude and skill. And, she might be able to keep a few vials here and there to pass along to her companions. She will keep her eyes and ears open, for when among wizards you can hear the most interesting of tales, gossip, and news.

Kohen the Tanner

Kohen looked up from his tools and his meager hides in which he has been forced to work with over the past years.  He longed for the day, long past, when he could work with the large hides of cattle.  Now, there was a hide.  The leather workers could make whatever their little minds and hearts could come up with using his fine, large pieces.  Now, they just complained that they only had small pieces to work with…  That they had to stitch pieces together to make things and since the materials weren’t all uniform in color they couldn’t create anything of beauty.  “Do you see any beauty in this land?” Kohen muttered to himself.  Although times have been tough, as the preachers would always say, “When one door closes another will open.”

Kohen, having worked long into the night, as was usual, put his tools back into the small box beside his work bench.  He knew that the tools needed to be sharpened again, but he would wait until morning to put that task off again.  Kohen walked out of the small cramped workspace and set off to the main building where he slept.  Tomorrow he would walk around Niska again as he typically did.  A time to see the goings on in town and see if he could find more work.  As he passed the pile of hooves, horns and other associated niceties, unwanted by the butcher and himself. He heard the cooing of the carrier bird.  This one was gray with a few feathers missing from its right wing.  Wide eyed and talkative for so late at night, it must have heard something off in the distance.  Rather than losing another bird to predators at night Kohen decided to attach the note now.  He opened the shutter to the simple case and placed the small note into a holder which had been affixed to the bird’s foot.

Kohen, holding the bird and feeling how light and delicate it was remembered a more simple time.  A time of bounty and happiness.  Feeling the cold breeze coming off the stream running off the back of the property he held the bird high and let it go.  The bird flapped once, squawked, and landed a few feet in front of him.  Feeling the heat of anger welling up from his stomach Kohen yelled and ran at the bird.  Squawking and flapping wildly the bird took to the air and flew off into the darkness.  Muttering to himself Kohen looked up the road and saw something he was not used to seeing at this hour.  A man, tall and broad of shoulder shuffling down the road towards him with a noticeable limp.

Evening One - Kelgar
Kelgar's Activities Post Adventure

The tavern room was what Kelgar had expected for a town this size. There was a bed, much too small for Kelgar’s girth, a single chest for keeping whatever belongings the patron deems precious and a wash stand in the corner with a half shattered mirror barely hanging onto the wall above the sink. Kelgar noted that the maid had already delivered two buckets of steaming hot water to his room and assumed she must have seen him get up from the back table in the bar to pay for his drinks.

“At least the service is good…” Kelgar grumbled as he set Betsy against the far wall, the floor boards creaking in discomfort under the weight of his war maul.

Kelgar set his attention to the chest at the foot of the bed, observing that it was made rather well, solid oak, steel hinges and a place for a solid padlock should he have one to secure his belongings. Opening the lid to the chest, it creaked from lack of oil and a waft of stale oak tinged air assaulted his nostrils. Inside was a simple quilt for the colder nights. Even with the quilt, the chest was deep enough to hold Kelgar’s backpack of meager belongings. Shutting the lid, Kelgar rose to his feet with a grunt, his body reminding him that he was no longer the spring chicken from the years when he served in the Order of the Sacred Hand. Kelgar welcomed the pain though; it reminded him that he was alive.

The giant 52 year old, began undressing. His already large frame was made more impressive by the full plate mail under the oversized linen tunic he wore over it to hide the markings of the Sacred Hand. He lay the tunic in the corner to be washed by the hand maidens later, and started unbuckling his gauntlets, pauldrons and breastplate. The armor of the Sacred Hand was dwarven crafted and designed to uphold through years of abuse without losing its infamous silver gleam, but since his exile Kelgar had abandoned the tradition of oiling and polishing the armor each night. The armor was now a dull iron shade, with stains of grime and blood splatter from previous encounters. Nevertheless, a man of practicality, Kelgar pulled out a small vial of oil and cotton cloth from his back pack and began massaging the leather straps and buckles knowing that while the iron may have lost its gleam, the leather was more critical in keeping the armor functional.

Once his armor was taken care of, Kelgar removed his undergarments and examined himself in front of the shattered mirror. The goblins that day had successfully rendered him unconscious for a bit, landing two blows that Kelgar had not expected. The first goblin was all but dead and so Kelgar arrogantly left it behind for the friar to deal with when it lashed out and dug its scimitar into small gap between his thighs and calf that was unarmored behind the knee. The second found the unprotected space of the underarm where the pauldrons and breastplate joined together.

“Ye gettin careless old man…” Kelgar muttered to himself as he examined the two wounds. The friar’s magic had done wonders, closing the wounds, healing the infection such that all but a faint shade of pink remained where the scimitar blades had pierced his skin. The muscles were still tender, but even that would abate in a few hours and there would be no reminder of his carelessness. Kelgar did not like the completeness of magical healing. To him, scars were important as shown on the rest of his imposing frame. His back and chest were an intricate vine work of scar tissue and his fingers traced the more prominent scars along his torso absently as his mind remembered the foes that taught each lesson; an owlbear here, a wyvern there, and even a stone giant. Those lessons though were nothing compared to the one permanently etched into the right side of Kelgar’s face, a lesson in the foolishness of faith and the purity of vengeance.

Kelgar shook himself from his thoughts and finished washing the day’s grime from his skin. His eyes, he noted were blood shot and glassy from the five pints of mead he consumed down in the bar, and though he was drunk, he was not burden with the typical handicaps of intoxication. His mind was still sharp, his reflexes and motor coordination no slower than before, only his eyes gave any indication that the burly old man was drowning away or numbing some sin from day long gone. While he served in the order, Kelgar remembered looking down on men who lost themselves in the glass, but now he understood the why and the need. For him, it was one of two things that could curb the constant boil in his blood.

Finished washing, Kelgar took out a clean tunic and britches from his backpack and also a padded leather tunic, dark green hooded cloak and a pair of finely crafted soft leather boots. As he dressed, he thought back to the day’s adventure and more specifically the two new comrades he and Maeve had met.

Friar Vorric was a man of abundance and good cheer. A cleric of Alegos, the man, to Kelgar, had an incessant need to talk throughout the entire journey, but he had been useful in battle. Despite his rotundness, Vorric had proven himself quite capable of keeping up in their travels and even more capable in wielding his long sword and shield. He would be a viable ally in battle if Kelgar could ever get used to the constant babblings of praise be to Alegos. Besides, Maeve seemed to enjoy his company and the food he brought with him, despite Kelgar believing it to be absurd to tote around such a feast while they were on a mission.

Then there was the quiet man named Leslie. Kelgar favored this young man as he kept his words sparse and his secrets to himself. Kelgar wasn’t concerned with the man’s secrets as he proved himself to be honorable in battle and quite capable. Besides, in Kelgar’s experience with rogues, most of them were merely petty thieves or honorable contract assassins, Leslie did not strike Kelgar as one of the more rare sadistic assassins of the Shadow Blade. Kelgar appreciated Leslie’s keen eye in battle strategy, a skill that perhaps he acquired in some former military training.

Lastly there was Maeve, Kelgar’s traveling companion for the past year or so. Maeve was a strange child. Kelgar chuckled at the idea of calling Maeve a child when she nearly doubled him in age due to her half-blood heritage, but he could not deny the bond they had formed and how he viewed her almost as a surrogate daughter. A half elf by fate, a necromancer by choice, Maeve had set the world against her almost from the start, but Kelgar did not pity her, but rather found admiration in her steadfast beliefs and courage. Sure she was a bit jaded and distrustful of society, but she was a long ways from becoming the abomination that he had become. There was still love and trust in her heart and Kelgar found it comforting almost soothing to be in her presence; she was a reminder of what life had been and Kelgar would do everything in his power to ensure Maeve got her happy ending and found her place in this world.

Kelgar gently placed his backpack into the chest, secured the padlock and tucked a pair of daggers into his leather tunic. Leaving Betsy propped against the wall and taking one last look at the room, making specific note of the arrangement and location of everything, Kelgar shut the door and ventured out of the tavern into the darkness. Hood up, he shielded the right side of his face and took on a false limp and a slow drag of his left foot, identical to a crippled beggar. Kelgar made sure to travel down the less lit alleyways of this small town as he headed towards the tanner that he had met earlier that day. His new found sense told him that this tanner was up to something no good and Kelgar intended to find out what it was and enact whatever punishment he deemed worthy of the sin. Should some of the local thieves try and stop him in the alleyways, well that would be more fun for the evening.


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