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Unread 24th of June, 2003, 03:01
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Interlude 1: All is not what it seems

The night passes in a sombre tone for the performers, something the villages fail to notice. Celebrating as if this was their one chance to make up for all the recent hardships.

One by the performers slip off to their rooms, to sleep the night away.

Dawn breaks merrily the next morning, and the bards arise late, finding the hardworking villages awaiting them. Being treated as minor heroes they are given a hearty breakfast (on the house) and were seen off by what was almost a parade - indeed many children trailed along behind them for almost half an hour.

The next few days pass amiable well, the days are sunny, the night mild. The time also allows the group to once again mend the rifts which somehow had appeared in their midst’s, allowing everyone - in appearance at least - to get along again.

After several nights of campfires and makeshift beds, the troupe finally rolls into a village shortly after dusk. Slightly bigger then the last one they had visited, this village also free of damage.

Quickly finding an inn, proclaiming to be the Fallen Faerie via a sign nailed to the wall.
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Unread 24th of June, 2003, 11:37
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"Let us hope this villiage is as warm in the heart as the last."

Says Beronas almost stumbling off the back of the wagon. Dissmissing it jokingly Beronas gathers his possessions with a little more care then he had himself. Although his trip had been rather pleasant he was glad to be around civilisation once more.

Beronas however waits for the others to gather themselves before entering the Inn.
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Unread 22nd of July, 2003, 08:45
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Another day, another town, Yavan thinks, unsure as whether he's pleased at the new scenery and the constant movement. It is part of why I am a musician, but the last one needed help so badly. Nothing we could have done, I suppose, but we should at least inform the Duke if we gain audience.

"That's optimistic," he says quietly, looking at the name of the inn. Shrugging he follows Beronas inside, his lute slung over one shoulder.
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Unread 22nd of July, 2003, 22:40
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Morgan's mind is still occupied by the last events, after passing Dougal's reins to the stable-boy she barely glances at the sign before entering the inn., cradling her harp-box as it was a child.
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Unread 22nd of July, 2003, 23:07
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Ilia looks about her, strangely silent through-out the journey to the next townsite. Every so often, she takes one of the ebon-wood bones from its case and polishes it to a deep dark glean before replacing it to its spot in the matching case.

Every so often, the mantra of the dark man's words echoes through her head, and she whispers them for a moment before catching herself and shaking herself out of the descendant reverie.

She leaps off the cart, rucksack on her shoulders, and darts inside, ordering herself a room and a bottle of wine if possible, before retiring to it.
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Unread 27th of July, 2003, 12:24
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The Band of Bards spends the next week and a half travelling a great deal of the distance along to road to the Duke's. Spending most of the nights camping beside the road, they still spend enough time in individual villages to make several performances. None of these matched up to that one done for the Biates, but they are still successful.

Nothing untoward happens (though there was one moment where they had to flee a band of ogres) and you settle into an easy rhythm. At long last you arrive at the town of Codale. Situated on the crossroad of 2 minor trading routes, it is of a considerable size. With the weight of the road on in your limbs - and the weight of your performances in your purses - the idea of stoping here for a few days, more then fleetingly crosses your minds.

Approaching the opening in the rough wooden palisade that surrounds the town you find the way bared by a barrier and 2 militia members. Seeing your arrival, they slowly walk out to meet you.

"Greetings, and welcome to Codale," The taller of the two says friendly enough.

"I'm sorry about the bother, but before you are allowed in we are going to have to ask you your names, and how long you plan on staying."

The shorter of the pair - a dwarf - pulls out a sheet of parchment, and a stick of charcoal in preparation of writing the details down.

"There has been some trouble in town," he explains. "And we have needed to step up security a bit."
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Unread 29th of July, 2003, 10:05
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Weary from the road, Yavan spares the usual flare he enjoys when announcing himself. He's still somewhat unnerved by the encounter with the ogres. Yet the experience only strengthened his resolve to attempt to aid the beleaguered townsfolk. It's an altogether odd sensation. First the followers of Biate and now this. The elf isn't used to caring about strangers, and isn't sure if he enjoys this newfound compassion.

"Yavan a'Nyere, musician and storyteller. I am-we are all, actually, on our way to perform for the Duke. I imagine we won't stay longer than a couple days as we have to continue on our way."

He smiles, but it's an effort. Anxiety has been building up over the past few days. The last time he was in a situation anywhere near the Duke's performance, he failed miserably. True the stakes were higher before, but it is still important. It could mean the difference between moving on in his career and starting over playing village inns again.

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Unread 29th of July, 2003, 13:01
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Remaining in high spirits despite some of their more resent hardships, Beronas announces himself in the usual, somewhat flamboyant way.

"Beronas Gest at your service sirs."

With the slight addition of a wave of the wrist and gentle smile.
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Unread 29th of July, 2003, 21:20
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"Ilia Yellowflower, storyteller." With that, she gives the elf man a long hard glare. Thinking to usurp my position, are we?
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Unread 29th of July, 2003, 23:53
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" Morgan Mac Aran, daughter-by-choice to Einkil Silverbeard of Red Rock Hold" answers Morgan, dwarven-fashion.
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Unread 30th of July, 2003, 08:46
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Taking a moment to write all of this down, the dwarf also adds a description of each of you.

"We should warn you about what exactly the trouble is," The human says. "There have been a couple of murders in the town recently. So far we haven’t been able to catch whoever is doing it. It's all very strange, almost as if the person is mocking us. As soon as we think - umf"

Kicking the human in the leg, the dwarf quiets him.

"Dolf, why don't you go and open the barrier for the good people."

Waiting until the man has walked off, the Dwarf returns his attention to the performers.

"Have you been to Codale before? Nay? Then I doubt you will know where you are staying. I might suggest The Broken Mug. It's a good safe tavern, and also the only place in town that server good dwarven ale."

Motioning the troupe towards the now clear path, the dwarf tucks the parchment away. As you make your way into the town, you notice several people hanging around on the inside of the barrier. AS you see them the question occurs to you.

-is the barrier there to keep people out, or the keep them in-

Moving slowly through the town, you notice that the inhabitance seem happy and open enough. A near by market is still doing business, the merchants are still hawking their wares with the same fever, and the customers barter with the same thrift that is normally seen. If it hadn't been for the militia at the gate you wouldn't know that anything had happened.

Arriving at a study looking building with painted on sigh of a broken ale mug, you stable your horses - the stable boy only paying half attention to you. Entering the common room you are greeted by a black-haired dwarf, coming around from behind the bar.


"Greetings," He says. "What can I do for you?"
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Unread 30th of July, 2003, 12:04
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Yavan's eyebrows drop and he tilts his head to the side for a moment, trying to fathom Ilia's stare. She introduced herself simply enough. Perhaps she is irritated because he spoke for them. Still, it's yet another event with the somber halfling that makes him worry.

Yet the mention of murders rapidly shove the thought to the back of his mind. He casts a glance at his companions at the mention, but nods simply at the warning.

"Thank you, guardsman," he says, smiling at the dwarf, "we'll keep your words in mind."

Once out of earshot, Yavan stops and turns to the other three.

"Allow me to be rash and guess that none of us want to stay here longer than necessary, right?" He asks, looking at each of them, "A killer who is mocking the law? Sounds dangerous."

And the perfect set up for a story, part of him responds.

He shrugs, "Well, we are here now and might as well make the best of it."
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Unread 4th of August, 2003, 03:04
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Ilia nods. "Make the most of it, yes."

She turns her attentions to the dark-haired dwarf. "Yes, I'd like two bottles of wine, if you will my dear sir."
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Unread 4th of August, 2003, 05:29
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Morgan does not answer Yavan's remark; true, the killings are the guards'affair, but implaying that a murderer about is reason to leave the town in haste irks her; in the hold it would have amounted at an accuse of cowardice.

She strides on to the bar, nodding to the dwarf:" Thank you Beer-Master" she says in dwarven, the rocky syllabes flowing easily from her tongue " I'd like to sample a tankard of your best stout".
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Unread 4th of August, 2003, 14:26
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"A bottle for me aswell, nothing like washing the vigours of travell away with a fine glass of elvish wine."

Says Beronas retreating to a seat.
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Unread 6th of August, 2003, 16:08
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"At once."

Turning and calling for 'Virago', the dwarfs calls are answered by an attractive woman comes out from the backroom.

"Three glasses, and a bottle of wine from our blue range for out guests."

As the woman retreats back, the dwarf turns his attention to Morgan.

"You were fortunate to have found your way into this tavern lass. We are the only place in town that serves good dwarvish ale," the darkhaired one replies in the same language.

Pulling out a tankard and pouring a frothy substance in it, the Dwarf presents it over the bar.

"Mattock Iruin, at your service. Welcome to The Broken Mug"

As Mattock engages Morgan in conversation, Virago with returns with a green bottle, and 3 ornate ceramic goblets. Gracing the people at the table with a smile, she sets a goblet in front of each of them and starts pouring.

"This isn't the best bottle of wine we have, but it is still one of the better ones. Quality, and it wont cost you a weeks wages to drink it."
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Unread 8th of August, 2003, 13:39
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"Ah, one with refined tastes," Yavan says, nodding to Beronas' order. "Make it two glasses, if you would."

Turning from the bar Yavan surveys the rest of the room, amber eyes sweeping over the common area. The murderer on the loose unnerves him slightly. He would help if he could, but he's a musician, not a fighter.

Making your life as a warrior? How barbaric. The profession has its uses, certainly, but to be one?

Holding the wine glass in one hand he swirls the ruby liquid before inhaling the aroma.

Yet there is some beauty to it, I suppose. And there are those who have combined song and sword. Maybe it is not quite as bad as I thought, but it certainly is not the path for me.
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Unread 8th of August, 2003, 13:57
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Ilia swoops upon the filled goblet, drinking the liquid smoothly, downing half of the contents in what looks like a single gulp. If there's one thing I learned off of those kobolds, it's how to drink. Sure, they'd pass out after one tankard, but that's only coz their liquor is severe.

She smiles a little at the thought of the kobold tribe who had planned on eating her, but instead took her in after she found a friend in one of their own storytellers.

Breaking from her own reverie, she turns to the dwarf again. "So, this murderer. What is it he is doing, and is there anything we might be able to do to help?"
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Unread 8th of August, 2003, 16:05
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Beronas bows his head and raises his glass to Yavan, before taking a sip, savouring the experience, leaning back in his seat.

Murderers...well as long as we don't encounter any during our stay...It is not our duty to track down a killer and bring justice upon him or her...that's why a town has the guard. So why does Morgan speak on behalf of the party as if we're obligated to do so?

"We're minstrils not guard, please do not offer my services, after all it is the task of the guardship to track down the culprit...not entertainers. However if you wish to offer you aid to such service be my guest, however do not speak on behalf of the party without prior consent."

Says Beronas to Illia in a serious tone, one which you have not heard uttered from this companions lips before.
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Unread 9th of August, 2003, 06:05
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Morgan who had been exchanging clan names and news whith Mattok fells silent as Ilia inquires about the murders, her gaze studying the dwarf.

Beronas' rebuke takes her by surprise. Have I found myself a company of cowards? Don't they understand that what treathens one of the clansmen threathens the clan and all the allied ones?
The red-haired woman turns, and angry retort on her lips.
But they aren't clansmen the thought stops her, she as always felt bound by dwarven customs and traditions, out of both gratitude and love, but her companion aren't, they have different ethics, different loyalties, and she must accept that.
She keeps silent, eyeing Mattok.
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Unread 9th of August, 2003, 07:03
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Yavan looks over the common room. It looks the typical Inn common room. Stonewalls which are slightly moist and have some mold in the corners, while the wooden floors are swept clean. The tables are roughly hewn, but sturdy with ale stains and scares enough to show they have long been used.

Braziers are scattered around the room, the glowing coals spreading warmth that is really unneeded in the daylight. The handful of people scattered about the room pay the bards no mind, engrossed in either eating, drinking or talking quietly amongst themselves.

At the mention of the recent murders, both Virago and Mattock look uneasy.

"A ghastly business that. I don't know much about it, but I hope the guards catch whoever it is soon. His last victim was a man who was a regular here."

Looking sad, Virago attempts to change the subject.

"You are performers?" she asks indicating the instruments some of then had brought in with them. "Does this mean you are heading to the Duke's for the upcoming Gala?"
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Unread 10th of August, 2003, 18:47
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Ilia looks at Beronas, her eyes narrowing to mere slits. "Do not speak to me like that, he who can not sneak to save his life. While you may be a coward and an honorless mule, I am not." The venom coming from her gaze holds a near tangiable quality to it, and the corner of her lips twists into a small sneer. "Not only that, but you speak like pompus nobility, with all that 'Its not our station to help' nonsense. But, that seems to be true to yourself, so I can do little to aid against it."

This countenance vanishes as she turns back to the dwarf once more, all but ignoring any comment made to her by Beronas. "Forgive my companion, he's not exactly the bravest man around. Too fearful of his own purse and neck to stick it out for another."
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Unread 10th of August, 2003, 19:30
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"Excuse me...who do you think you are? I felt you were out place offering the service of everyone without consultation. How dare you then proceed to insult me, for not agreeing with your mistake. Couldn't sneak to save my life...hmm you couldn't play good music to save yours, a true torture it is indeed. I guess you had good reason to go and sob after each performance, for putting us through such a horrific act. So offer only your services and not that of everyone...lets just hope you don't put us through the horror of your music again."

Beronas returns Illia's gaze, pacing out of the bar. Retreating to the front of the Inn Beronas leans against the wall...holding the bottle of wine by the neck, gripping it tightly. The insults she had delivered had come as a shock to Beronas, unjustified.

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Unread 13th of August, 2003, 13:43
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Yavan's eyes dart back and forth, alarmed at such bitter words seeming to spring up from nothing. To be true, he sides with Beronas, a man that the elf isn't entirely sure he likes. The murders, while unfortunate, should not be their concern. While they might be good at lending a hand in a pinch, or getting roped into becoming chosen ones, Yavan isn't certain if volunteering their aid in a cause they know nothing about is wise. They've already done it once, to do it again would tempt fate. Yet his conscience, something relatively quiet until the last several weeks, nags at him.

"Easy, friends, easy," he says soothingly, "this is no time for harsh words."

His eyes glance back and forth, making sure the two are not causing too much of a scene.

"You are," he says, "both right and wrong-" he holds up his hands, trying to cut off any angry responses "-in that we have certain obligations. We are entertainers, first and foremost; that is why we are together. If that is our business, then we must make sure it takes priority.

"However," he continues, his voice soft, "we could not help the last village. Perhaps we should at least look into giving the guard a hand, if nothing other than having an extra set of eyes and ears to notice anything suspicious.

"So, let us make further inquiries into the matter before volunteering our services. Any that do not wish to participate, do not need to. Is that agreeable?"
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Unread 18th of August, 2003, 08:31
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" To me it certainly is". Answers Morgan from the bar.
She had assisted to the quarrel with growing disconfort. Although she shares Ilia's opinion, Morgan couldn't help but feel the Halfling was venting something deeper at the most handy target.
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